Ceanothus gloriosus is a very short, wide spreading deer-resistant bee-attracting plant. To 12″ high, but 6 to 8 feet wide. The smaller native bees really go to town around these. I wonder why they call it the Pt. Reyes Ceanothus?
This holly-leafed Ceanothus will get about 2ft. tall and spread fairly wide. I like to say around 6ft., but if you leave it be it can go 8ft. But you shouldn’t let it go totally wild, you know. A little pruning helps.
All of the holly-leafed Ceanothuses are deer resistent. Most of the Ceanothuses are in bloom around about now. Floral scented flowers!
This California native spiny Ribes is also blooming. The flowers are rather low down on the plant, so I had to raise it up to photograph. Either that, or I would have to lay down on the ground. I would have too, for you, but I didn’t.
Look, I know you’re sick of the Coreopsis gigantea bloom photos I’ve been featuring for the past month, as more and more of the blooms open up, but here’s a closeup.
What’s so special about this closeup? Nothing, except it’s a really good demonstration that this is in the Sunflower, or Aster (Asteraceae) family.
See, these big-headed flowers are actually inflorescences made up of many tiny little flowers all put together into one big giant head, just like a giant sunflower head. Click the photo and dive right in and you’ll see what I mean.
You can’t really tell on this photo, but the petals along the outside are also actually single petals from little blooms along the outside edge. It’s pretty amazing in person, but then you can check it out on your own sunflowers this summer and it looks the same!
It’s a little bit of summer right here in the middle of the California winter, such as it is.
These are a smaller ribes than the blooming ribes I posted a couple days ago. It only gets 2 to 3 feet tall, but will grow wide. You can let it go wild to about 8 ft. if you choose.
Prefers some shade, can survive well in our local clay soils with no watering through the summer drought.
The edible fruits are a tangy currant. I don’t really know that, I just thought I should write something about the fruits, since they are edible, although the plant is really grown for the flowers. The book says they don’t fruit further inland, but we’re coastal so we’ve seen the fruit. And the birds will eat them right up.
It’s out favorite time of year in the Native California plant world – the time when the Ribes grow fresh new green leaves and stunning displays of pink flowers. Also, the Arctostaphyloses and the Ceanothuses, too, but more on that later.
I wonder if the currants from this plant are delicious? Most of the Arctostaphylos berries are terrible tasting, to us, though delicious to bears, and thus healthy and nutritious for us, but still terrible tasting.
This is one of the larger Ribes, getting 8 ft. tall! Now that’s impressive. We like these for being shade tolerant and drought tolerant and clay tolerant too. Very versatile. And attractive to native butterflies and bees and birds. Check out the honey bees in Davis collecting nectar on this plant. Very nice photos! Happy bees!
We went for a walk in Sonoma Valley Regional Park and all I got were these Arctostaphylos pictures.
And here come the blooms…
And they’re white!
There were other Manzanitas along the path too, but they weren’t as pretty as this one. We saw lots of ferns in the dark and dank corners along the dribbling water streams in the park. It wasn’t raining, but it was wet.
Solanum umbelliferum “Spring Frost” is a very pretty white-flowered cultivar of the Blue Witch Nightshade. But don’t ask for any at the nursery, we’re out. And we don’t get it in very often anyway. But you never know if you come by often then one day, maybe, there it will be. Yay!
If you do have it, go ahead and prune it back in the late fall so it comes out pretty in the spring, and then prune it before summer again to get it to rebloom all summer long.
Pt. Reyes Lupines threatened by invasive beach grass, with the help of a cute little native mouse.
It’s a battle between an invasive plant and a native plant, but with a new twist. The two plants, European beachgrass and Tidestrom’s lupine, are not in direct competition, and yet the beachgrass is helping to drive the lupine over the cliff.
European beachgrass provides cover that allows a timid deer mouse to get close enough to the lupine to snip off stalks of lupine fruits without being nabbed by overflying birds.
Epilobium canum – California fuchsia. Now those are some tubular blooms. Also known as the Hummingbird Trumpet, since those tubular flowers attract hummingbirds, and the wide open end resembles a trumpet. At least, that’s what I would guess. But the truth is that a trumpet is brass-like in color and the Epilobium is bright orange, so the comparison only goes so far.
Anyway, it’s a nice full specimen plant, even if they are low growing and this plant is less than a foot high.
Did I mention that we have our California native lupines back in stock in the liter pot size? No blooms yet on these smaller plants. The first one is of course more popular with the Berkeley crowd.
Still wondering why L. albifrons is the more popular? Because it’s less common. That’s the crux of the bargain at a small specialty nursery.
Here’s a larger plant from last year.
Man, that’s an attractive lupine. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s more popular because of those silvery leaves. One never knows what goes on in the mind of a customer. Except when they tell you, and then you do know.
OK, so it’s not really called lavender sage. It’s Official Common Name is Musk Sage, but that’s just nasty.
Salvia clevelandii ‘Winifred Gilman’
Aromatic grey green leaves are topped with whorls of lavender blooms. The shrub will get to about 3 ft., and not an inch more.
It’s history is all Bay Area. First found in a Strybing Arboretum sale, later found growing in a Berkeley garden, and introduced into the nursery trade in 1990. This is considered by many to be a hybrid, unlike other more common varieties like “Allen Chickering”. On the other hand, “Allen Chickering” smells delicious.