Ferns are an ancient group of plants that have lived on Earth for more than 300 million years; they were flourishing well before the dinosaurs appeared. Because ferns reproduce with barely visible, dust-like spores, they were a great mystery to people for centuries—without flowers or seeds, their reproductive process was hidden, leading to the belief that fern seeds were invisible. In the Middle Ages, people thought that if they could manage to collect fern seeds, they could become invisible themselves, see into the future, and stay young forever.


Fish live in just about all aquatic habitats on Earth, from deep oceans to trickling mountain brooks. Different species are adapted for living in different places, so the fish that live in a coral reef are different from those that cruise the open ocean or those you see darting about in a freshwater lake. In fact, there are about 28,000 different species of fish.


A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant, or other type of organism. The term typically refers to the zone in which the organism lives and where it can find food, shelter, protection and mates for reproduction, utilizing the qualities the species has adapted to survive within the ecology of the habitat. It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds a species population.


Welcome to the botanical gardens of the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! There is an astounding wealth of plant life that graces our grounds. San Diego’s mild climate makes it possible to grow more different types of plants than almost anywhere else in the United States. With nearly two million plants between the two parks, our grounds represent truly world-class botanical gardens that have been recognized by the American Association of Museums.