What's Blooming

Metrosideros excelsae 'Mangapika', New Zealand Garden

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.

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 eye-catching Berberis nevinii, and beautiful salvias like the Salvia apiana (White Sage). Other showy blooms include the Trichostema lanatum (Wooly Blue Curls) and Eriogonum fasciculatum (California Buckwheat).

Berberis nevinii


Salvia apiana (White Sage)


Trichostema lanatum (Wooly Blue Curls)


Eriogonum fasciculatum (California Buckwheat)


Dudleya caespitosa


South African Garden

The Leucospermums (pincushions) are continuing their annual spectacular display this year, among them the Leucospermum cordifolium. Their brilliant colors can be found throughout the South African garden.  They have been joined by the spectacular Mimetes cucullatus, and the Leucadendron 'Winter Red' and Leucaden 'Safari Sunshine'.

Leucospermum cordifolium


Mimetes cucullatus

Leucadendron 'Winter Red'


Leucaden 'Safari Sunshine'


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 the Cordyline australis (Cabbage Tree) lily family member, Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax), and a variety of Hebes

Also just beginning to hit its peak in the Arboretum with stunning crimson red flowers is the Metrosideros excelsae 'Mangapika'. Sometimes referred to as New Zealand's Christmas tree, it can grow up to 33 ft high. 

Metrosideros excelsae 'Mangapika'


Cordyline australis (New Zealand Cabbage Tree) 


Hebe andersonii-x


Phormium tenax (New Zealand Flax)


Pachystegia insignis (Marlborough Rock Daisey)

pachystegia insignis

Australian Rock Garden

A stroll through the Australian Gardens is always a feast for the senses. You can't help but notice the spectacular members of the ancient Protea Family. Diving, glittering hummingbirds signal the presence of grevilleas of every form and hue. What might look like furry animals hidden here and there in the shrubbery are actually Banksias.

The Australian Rock Garden is also putting on a marvelous display of color and texture at the far side of the Banksia Field opposite Dr. Ball's Redwood Grove.

Grevillea 'Superb'
A large, colorful swath of the aptly-named Grevillea 'Superb' can be found in the clearing leading to the Australian Rock Garden. It is a favorite of bees and hummingbirds.

grevillea 'superb'

Grevillea 'Honey Gem'

grevillea honey gem

Grevillea 'Pink Surprise'


Banksia speciosa (Ric-Rac Banksia)


Banksia baxteri (Baxter's Banksia)


Dianella tasmanica (Tasman Flax Lily) 


Melaleuca lateritia (Robin Red Breast)


Xerochrysum bracteatum (Strawflower)
There is a large field of these flowers located on the right as you head on the upper drive toward Horticulture II.