There are literally thousands of interesting individual plants in the Arboretum's collections. At any time of the year there's something blooming, and there's always plenty to see. December at the Arboretum continues to produce many varied blooms in the gardens. Well worth a visit!
To help you decide where to start, below we present a sample of some of the specimens that are currently worth seeking out in our gardens. To aid in your quest a map of the Arboretum can be found here. Follow the World Tour signs to view many of these blooms. You may access a larger selection of what's currently blooming in our gardens by checking out the photo gallery on the Arboretum Snapshots page.
California Natives, the entrance garden
The California Garden, on the right as you enter the Arboretum, boasts many special plants of interest to gardeners. Many of these were originally selected in the wild by Arboretum staff, and have since been propagated and released to the horticultural trade.
Highlights this December include a number of native manzanitas, including the Arctostaphylos pajaroensis (Pajaro Manzanita) and Arctostaphylos viridissima ‘White Cloud’ (White Haired Manzanita).
Other natives include the delicate Ceanothus megacarpus var. insularis and the Epilobium canum (California Fuschia), which is now displaying its showy trumpet shaped blooms that are loved by hummingbirds.
Arctostaphylos pajaroensis (Pajaro Manzanita)
Arctostaphylos viridissima ‘White Cloud’ (White Haired Manzanita)
Ceanothus megacarpus var. insularis
Epilobium canum (California Fuschia)
South African Garden
Many brilliant colors and fascinating plants can be found throughout the South African garden. There is a variety of colorful Proteas and Ericas currently in bloom. Among them are the striking Protea 'Pink Ice', that displays silvery pink flowers from fall into winter, and the brilliant Erica cruenta.
There are also a variety of leucadendrons to view, including the showy Leucadendron salignum x laureolum ‘Rising Sun’. Also the Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bietou) which belongs to the daisy family, is currently displaying its glossy yellow leaves.
Protea 'Pink Ice'
Leucadendron salignum x laureolum ‘Rising Sun’
Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bietou)
New Zealand Garden
Many New Zealand plants and trees have become familiar to California gardeners and many special forms of these plants are on display. There are a variety of Hebes currently in bloom, including the Hebe traversii, Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe) and Hebe 'Icing Sugar', with striking blooms that go from pink to white.
Among a number of members of the myrtle family in the garden, the Leptospermum scoparium is currently displaying a profusion of its beautiful pink and white blooms.
Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe)
Hebe 'Icing Sugar'
A stroll through the Australian Gardens is always a feast for the senses. There is a wide variety of banksias and grevilleas of every form and hue. A current attractive example of the banksias is the Banksia spinulosa var. cunninghamii.
In other areas of the Garden you will find many other colorful and interesting plants in bloom. Among them are the Lechenaultia formosa (Red Lechenaultia), a spectacular small shrub, and Thryptomene saxicola, whose leaves contain aromatic oils. There are also a number of correas, including the beautiful Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’.
Banksia spinulosa var. cunninghamii
Lechenaultia formosa (Red Lechenaultia)
Correa 'Marian's Marvel'
Learn more about the fascinating Banksias from Australian Garden curator Melinda Kralj and the Outback Howlers.
The Aroma and Succulent Gardens
The Aroma Garden contains salvias of all shapes and sizes, lavenders, oreganos, thymes, and many other drought-tolerant perennials and shrubs can be seen. You will see many plants that produce their aroma from their flowers, and many which produce their aroma from their leaves.
Current examples in bloom include the Salvia 'Anthony Parker' and Salvia greggii ‘Orchid Glow’. Other attractive blooms include Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ Mock Orange
and the striking Syncolostemon obermeyerae Pink Mist Bush, which has aromatic green leaves that are covered in velvety hairs.
Salvia 'Anthony Parker'
Salvia greggii ‘Orchid Glow’
Syncolostemon obermeyerae Pink Mist Bush
Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ Mock Orange