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.
To help you decide where to start, we present a sample of some of the specimens that are currently worth seeking out. To aid in your quest a map of the Arboretum can be found here. To view a larger selection of what's currently blooming in our gardens, check out the photo gallery on the Arboretum Snapshots page.
The Puya berteroniana, an unusual terrestrial bromeliad plant, is currently in bloom at the Arboretum. The plant is located in the South African Garden on the boundary with the gates to the New Zealand Garden. It is near the two picnic tables behind the Butterfly Garden. It has been blooming for the past two weeks and the blooms only last a limited time. So if you visit in the next week take the opportunity to view this unique spectacular plant.
The Puya berteroniana is native to Chile and is related to the pineapple. The abundant nectar in the deep turquoise blue flowers attracts bees, birds and other insects. The blooms are one of the few in the world that are truly blue and beaming out of their centers are high contrast orange antlers. (Updated November 4, 2015)
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.
Showy native blooms are currently well represented in the California Garden. Highlights are the Encelia californica (California Brittlebush) and the beautiful Epilobium canum (California Fuchsia).
Encelia californica (California Brittlebush)
Epilobium canum (California Fuchsia)
South African Garden
Many brilliant colors and fascinating plants can be found throughout the South African garden. There is a wide variety of colorful Leucadendrons and Ericas currently in bloom, among them the Erica speciosa and Erica gilva. Other plants include the elegant Proteas, such as the Protea repens ‘Embers’ (above) and the Protea 'Pink Ice'.
They have been joined by the beautiful Mimetes cucullatus and Mimetes chrysanthus.
Protea 'Pink Ice'
New Zealand Garden
Many New Zealand plants have become familiar to California gardeners and many special forms of these plants are on display. Among these are a variety of Hebes including the Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe), Hebe andersonii-x and Hebe stricta var. macroura.
Other plants of interest include the Leptospermum scoparium.
Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe)
Hebe stricta var. macroura
Australian Rock Garden
A stroll through the Australian Gardens is always a feast for the senses. Diving, glittering hummingbirds signal the presence of a variety of grevilleas of every form and hue, like the Grevillea thelemanniana 'Gilt Dragon' and the Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon'.
What might look like furry animals hidden here and there in the shrubbery are actually Banksias, many of which are currently in bloom, like the striking Banksia menziesii.
Behind the Australian Rock Garden you will find the Corymbia ficifolia, or the red flowering gum, one of the most commonly planted ornamental trees in the broader eucalyptus family.
Grevillea thelemanniana 'Gilt Dragon
Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon'
The Aroma Garden contains salvias of all shapes and sizes. Among the current ones showing off their sparkling colors are the Salvia 'Costa Rica Blue' Blue Sage and the Salvia 'Waverly' Sage.
Salvia 'Costa Rica Blue' Blue Sage
Salvia 'Waverly' Sage