Gold Ridge Farm Tour: The Present

This page covers Spots 19-23.
Chinese Hawthorn

We've moved a bit farther down the hill and reached Spot #19, Chinese Hawthorn. This is just to the left of the path. This hawthorn has a red edible fruit.

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Why Hawthorns?

Here's a close-up of the ripe fruit. Mr. Burbank thought that the hawthorn was a "responsive shrub" and that it showed promise. He decided that future work should be left for other horticulturists (plant breeders) or even amateur gardeners.

Mexican Hawthorn


Right next to it on the left is Spot #20, Mexican Hawthorn. This also has an edible fruit, which is yellow.


Walking just a short distance, we reach Spot #21, Blueberries. These bushes are on both sides of the path and produce terrific fruit. Blueberries were very popular in Mr. Burbank's time and several varieties existed.

Golden Bamboo - in Sebastopol?

Now we've reached the bottom of the hill and the dirt road we originally walked up to get to the cottage. On the east side of the road is Spot #22, Golden Bamboo. Although we know that Golden Bamboo was on the Farm during Mr. Burbank's lifetime, the records that have been found don't tell how Mr. Burbank used it. Golden Bamboo blooms only once every 60-80 years, so it would have been difficult to use it for plant breeding!

Thornless Blackberries

This is Spot #23, thornless blackberries. Have you ever gone blackberry picking? Did your arms get scratched up by the thorns? Well then, Mr. Burbank must have had you in mind when he decided to work on this species! This plant grows all along the east side of the dirt road. It flowers for a long season, but at this location, the berries are pretty small, due to limited irrigation, but still very tasty.

Mr. Burbank went through thousands of experiments, spending years to develop this plant. He started with a the dewberry and eventually crossed a thornless dewberry with his own creation the Himalaya blackberry. this was hard because thorns are a plant characteristic that will "dominate" when bred with thornless varieties. Mr. Burbank believes that this plant would become the main type of blackberry grown, but he was wrong. By the way, did you know that Mr. Burbank also created a "white" blackberry, one that had no pigment (color)?

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To see a list of some of Mr. Burbank's Famous Plant creations, click here.