I blogged this plant last week, but it was a cell phone photo. So here’s a portrait for you.
They bloom through the night and are fading by morning. You can see this one was fading when I took the picture, but still pretty spectacular for a primrose. A California Native primrose, no less, ratty thing.
Those were C. “Anchor Bay” and C. Owlswood Blue” but then you already knew that.
If you look past the flowers you’ll notice that the first one is a “holly-leafed” ceanothus which means it’s deer-resistant. (Rabbit resistant too, but then you already knew that.) While the 2nd one has delicious juicy leaves.
One of these is hardy down to 15F. Can you guess which one? OK, that was a trick question. They’re both hardy to 15F!
OK, then, let’s try this one. One of them is from Marin County, just north of us. And the other one is from Pt. Reyes, the coastal national park in Marin County. Hah! C. “Anchor Bay” is known as the Pt. Reyes Ceanothus and thus is from the Pacific side of Marin while the C. “Owlswood Blue” was discovered on the Owlswood Ranch near Larkspur, which is on the Bay side of Marin!
I’ll bet many of you didn’t even know that Marin was essentially a Peninsula between the ocean and the bay, just like San Francisco. SF and the area south to San Jose is also known as the “Peninsula” whereas the Marin area is known as the “North Bay”.
I was very disappointed with the photograph last week of a different manzanita I posted. But being lazy, I left it up there anyway. Scroll down if you want to see, but here’s a much better picture for you.
Arctostaphylos rudis “Vandenberg”
Found at or near the Vandenberg AFB in Southern Cal., these will get up to 6 feet tall, and can spread wide if you don’t prune them. Dense branches, shaggy bark, and thickly foliaged with deep green leaves and these will work even as a hedge if you prune judiciously.
I think they make a centerpiece plant in a large front yard. In a smaller yard you should probably put them up against the house. When you prune them you can keep the red shaggy branches for mounting your Tillandsia collection in your back yard.
Keep the cats away from this plant, just because. No real reason. Just do it.
Arctostaphylos “Sunset” has normal Manzanita flower clusters and pretty red berries in spring, if we ever get a real winter around these parts. I wonder what will happen berry-wise without rain. The birds will be hungry.
Arctostaphylos “Austin Griffiths” is a really nice hybrid with gorgeous large leaves that gets 10 to 12 ft. tall – the perfect size for a Berkeley yard. Full bloom on these is a lot of flowers for a long time – 6 weeks or more. If you don’t like manzanitas in general, then this is not the plant for you. Hah! Everyone loves manzanitas!
The pendant blooms can reach 4 to 6 inches. This cultivar was found on San Clemente Island in the Channel Islands off the Califorina coast near Santa Barbara. These are the earliest of the winter blooming Ribes, although the color is more subtle. Generally this is the most sun-tolerant of the currants, but that means it needs a bit more water in the summer too.
Lupinus albifrons is a California native, including throughout Northern California and into Oregon, that mounds about 3 ft with another 2ft. worth of bloom spikes on top of that. It’s cold hardy to 20F and can handle some heat too, although the plant will be a lot smaller in the interior of the state.
Butterflies are attracted to this plant, as one would expect.
Lupines are early adopters of fire-ravaged landscapes and naturally deer-resistant. Only one of those 2 pieces of information is useful to gardeners.
It is a critical host plant for the Mission Blue Butterfly, whose larvae will only eat this or 2 other lupines. So let your garden plants be eaten to help preserve the Mission Blue? Or maybe do some random plantings of L. albifrons out on the hillsides when no one is looking. Now is a good time to get them to root and establish.
This reliable year-round bloomer is in full bloom. We have a different color group of plants than we had this spring. It’s the same species, so maybe we should check for cultivar names, but I don’t like flower-color-cultivars so I will probably accept that this lovely California coastal daisy has variable flower colors naturally.
Here are 2 new additions to our California Penstemon collection.
Firecracker Penstemon eatonii is red and firecrackery. The flowers are kinda aimed down rather than aiming out and up.
Azure, or Sky Blue, Penstemon azureus var. angustissimus is a local Northern Cal. native from the areas around and about North and East of us in the Bay Area. Blue, or purple, depending on how you see this range of colors, is always a nice addition to the flora of the neighborhood.
The Azure Penstemon has a more typical weedy stem and light foliage for a Penstemon, whereas the very exciting Firecracker Penstemon has denser thick green underfoliage and thick bloom stalks.
P. azureus is endemic to Northern California while the more common P. eatonii can be found throughout the West including into Idaho, for crying out loud.
Calystegia macrostegia “Candy Cane” is one of the few vines we carry. Maybe tomorrow I’ll blog the other.
It’s a native vine that, like most Morning Glories, blooms a lot. It’s not invasive, like so many of the other Morning Glories. But it is pretty, like all the other Morning Glories.
The blooms are often a lot more striped than this photo would indicate.
It can take full sun in its native coastal scrub habitat, but would need afternoon shade inland. It can die back if you don’t ever water it around this time of year, but then we wouldn’t ever do that so it stays evergreen for us.