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. Late spring at the Arboretum produces many varied blooms in the gardens. There is no better time to 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.
The exotic 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. The Puya berteroniana is native to Chile and is related to the pineapple.
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.
Many varied native blooms are currently well represented in the California Garden. Highlights this late spring include the Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage), Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy), Styrax redivivus (Snowdrop Bush), and Dudleya sp. ‘Frank Reinelt’, a beautiful native succulent with silver leaves that blush rose-purple with winter chill.
Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)
Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy)
Styrax redivivus (Snowdrop Bush)
Dudleya sp. ‘Frank Reinelt’
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, Leucospermums and Ericas currently in bloom. Among them the Leucospermum cuneiforme, Leucadendron ‘High Gold’, and Erica cerinthoides. There are also examples of South African bottlebrush, like the Greyia flanaganii (Kei Bottlebrush).
Leucadendron ‘High Gold’
Greyia flanaganii (Kei Bottlebrush)
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 and Leptospermums, including the beautiful Hebe topiaria and Leptospermum scoparium 'Kiwi'. Other plants of interest include a number of Cordyline australis (Cabbage Tree), currently in full bloom in early May.
Leptospermum scoparium 'Kiwi'
Cordyline australis (Cabbage Tree)
A stroll through the Australian Gardens is always a feast for the senses. One of the most fascinating of the Australian plants, the Xanthorrhoea preissii (Grass Tree), is currently blooming near the Horticulture I building. Their long grass-like leaves grow approximately 3-4' long and large spear-like creamy flower spike, is magnificent.
There is also a wide variety of banksias and grevilleas of every form and hue. One example of the banksias currently on display is the Banksia ashbyi (Ashby’s Banksia).
In other parts of the Australian Garden, many callistemons are in bloom, including the Callistemon glaucus. While in the area of the Rock Garden, you will find many colorful and interesting plants in bloom. One of the more striking examples being the Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paws).
Xanthorrhoea preissii (Grass Tree)
Banksia ashbyi (Ashby’s Banksia)
Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paws)
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 include the Salvia lanceolata and the aromatic Moraea huttonii (Butterfly Iris). Another current plant in bloom is the Cordyline ‘Festival Grass’ with red burgundy leaves that produces tiny pale lilac flowers, with a jasmine-like fragrance, in the summer.
Morea huttonii Butterfly Iris
Cordyline ‘Festival Grass’