Asclepias subulata is Hap’s new favorite perennial. These are very cold hardy (down to 20F) and need only a little water through the summer dry season. They’ll get 4 to 5ft. tall and will attract the usual complement of butterflies and bees and even some birds too.
Native to California as well as Arizona and Nevada and down into Baja too. It will get leaves, but they don’t last long.
These are classically inclined to be complementary with a very dry cactus garden, so go ahead and plan it out that way.
OK, so those flowers aren’t exactly “pretty” but they are called Baja Fairy Duster.
Calliandra californica will get 6 ft. x 6 ft. in an open, vase-shaped shrub. The red puffball flowersare pollinated by hummingbirds and butterflies too. But not today. They’re all hiding from the rain.
Erigeron glaucus is a reliable California coastal bloomer. Easy to grow, lives for years, spreads out a bit. It’s a Northern Cal. native, up through the Oregon coast, so it can handle clay soils and sandy soils. High winds too. It’s an exposure-junky, although that’s not to say a bit of afternoon sun won’t make it happy. I love double negatives! Did I just say it likes a bit of afternoon shade, or not? Hard to say.
Will be found an attractive plant by the butterflies and the bees.
Malacothamnus palmeri is actually called Bush Mallow. This California native has hairy leaves, thus being a deer resistent option. Native to the Central Coast, it’s naturally found as far north as Monterey. But it’s a reliable yearly bloomer with reblooms in the fall, so it has been planted successfully farther north than Monterey. Why, one could even claim to have seen it in the Berkeley area.
This tiny yellow flower is hard to photograph. The yellow is very dense and the flower is very small. Here’s my secret: (shhh, it’s photoshop.) I isolated that baby from the rest of the picture and tweaked it up good.
Matilija poppy is a glabrous, shrubby perennial, heavy branched and woody at the base, growing to 8′ tall.
I wonder what glabrous means? I suppose I should take a botanical terminology class. Or, let me check the wikipedia.
In botany and mycology, glabrous is an adjective used to describe a morphological feature as smooth, glossy, having no trichomes (bristles or hair-like structures), or glaucousness (see also indumentum). No plants have hair, although some structures may resemble it. Glabrous features may be an important means of identifying flora species. Glabrous characteristics of leaves, stems, and fruit are commonly used in plant keys.
Lewisia cotyledon “Regenbogen” has these weirdly vibrant flowers. They supposedly come in a variety of colors and striping too, but all of our babies we’ve been growing have bloomed in this color, so far.
It’s definitely been Lewisia season for the past 6 weeks or so. The rains the last couple days have stopped the show, but I presume when we get sun again, soon enough, they’ll be bursting out again.
Salvia brandegei “Pacific Blue” – is from Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara.
These are a nice size. They’ll get 4 ft. tall x 6ft. wide. Heavily branched, the narrow green leaves are nicely scented. The tiered whorls of dark lavender blue flowers open slowly over the course of a month long bloom period. Long-lived, very drought-tolerant, hardy to at least 15°F.
Encelia californica, also known as the California Brittlebush. You can extend the bloom season by deadheading religiously. The shrubs will get hundreds of flower heads at the same time. It is a daisy, or sunflower, or aster, depending on if you prefer to call the Asteraceae Family the Aster, Sunflower or Daisy Family. I usually call it the Daisy family since the flowers are all, clearly, daisy flowers.
It will survive most Berkeley winters, but is short lived regardless, so mix it in with your ceanothuses and your echeverias for maximum effect.
This California Lilac is endemic to California. There are many cultivars and Hybrids from this, but the original Blue Blossom has a very soft blue flower. In habitat it has been known to grow about 20 feet tall, but in local gardens it stays under 12ft. generally.
The small native bees can live off these flowers. But be warned – the deer like these soft green leaves too.
Lewisia cotyledon are blooming this time of year. Also known as Bitterroot, these succulents are from mountainous rocky soils all around the Pacific Northwest and Northern California and into Canada too if you care to look for them. They have a nutritious and edible root that is, as you can imagine, bitter. Not delicious.