Palm Springs, California: World's First Cactarium

A spiky, scraggly, mysteriously overgrown spook-yard in otherwise tidy Palm Springs. It's been here since 1938.

Moorten Botanical Garden

1701 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
Moorten Botanical Garden. Southwest edge of the city. I-10 exit 120. Drive south on Indian Canyon Drive for 5.5 miles. Turn right at the stoplight onto E. Alejo Rd, then left at the first cross street onto Palm Canyon Drive. Continue south for another two miles. Bear right just past the Eisenhower Health Center to continue on Palm Canyon Drive. Continue south another two blocks. You'll see a sign for the garden on the right.
M-T, Th-Su 10-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $5.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About World's First Cactarium

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

World's First Cactarium.

World's First Cactarium

The Cactarium is within a lovely botanical garden filled with all kinds of desert plants. Some of the cacti look positively alien! They also have a nursery where you can purchase a small cactus for yourself. Admission is only $5.

[Kelly S., 12/01/2022]


World's First Cactarium

Moorten Botanical Garden, a family-run glorified backyard, has been in existence since 1938. Their claim to fame is the world's first "Cactarium," a ramshackle greenhouse so caked with grime it is amazing that its admittedly hardy plants continue to thrive. This is not some tidy, interpretive-panel-packed, university-run garden.

There's something delightfully sinister about this thorny place: species have Latin names such as "Agave horrida;" signs warn you to beware of the jumping cholla; unnerving South American "creeping cactus" slither at you sideways; and as you exit you need to duck around monstrous spiky things hanging from the ceiling. Morticia Addams would feel right at home.

Well worth the small fee for a detour to a place that feels nothing like the rest of its upscale, sometimes overly-precious Palm Springs surroundings.

[Steve Archer, 12/16/2015]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of Sonny BonoStatue of Sonny Bono, Palm Springs, CA - 2 mi.
Statue of Lucille BallStatue of Lucille Ball, Palm Springs, CA - 2 mi.
Palm Springs Walk Of StarsPalm Springs Walk Of Stars, Palm Springs, CA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Murrieta Veterans Memorial, Murrieta, CA - 42 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, North Dakota (Jan 23-29, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings