What's Blooming

Grevillea ‘Boongala Spinebill’, Australian Garden

world tour trail sign   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. February at the Arboretum produces more 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 winter include a number of native manzanitas, including Arctostaphylos montereyensis (Monterey Manzanita) and Arctostaphylos montaraensis (Montara Manzanita).  Other natives include the Ribes malvaceum var. viridifolium ‘Ortega Beauty’, that displays bright red blooms, and the showy Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy).

Arctostaphylos montereyensis (Monterey Manzanita)
Arctostaphylos montereyensis (Monterey Manzanita)
Arctostaphylos montaraensis (Montara Manzanita)
Arctostaphylos montaraensis (Montara Manzanita)
Ribes malvaceum var. viridifolium ‘Ortega Beauty’
Ribes malvaceum var. viridifolium ‘Ortega Beauty’
Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy)
Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy)


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 delicate Protea obtusifolia, that displays silvery white blooms and the brilliant Erica cruenta.
    Among the other plants in bloom are a number of Agathosmas in the family Rutaceae, including the Agathosma ovata, and an early blooming and spectacular Leucospermum grandiflorum.
Protea obtusifolia
Protea obtusifolia
Erica cruenta
Erica cruenta
Agathosma ovata
Agathosma ovata
Leucospermum grandiflorum
Leucospermum grandiflorum


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 macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe).
   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. There is also the Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’ a very ornamental evergreen perennial with long silver, sword-like leaves..

Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe)
Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe)

Leptospermum scoparium
Leptospermum scoparium
Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’
Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’


Australian Garden
   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 Grevilleas is the Grevillea ‘Bonfire’.   
  In other areas of 
the Garden you will find many other colorful and interesting plants in bloom that illustrate the diverse flora of Australia. Among them are the Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle), that displays profusions of fragrant, bright yellow flowers, the Phebalium squamulosum, and the Isopogon formosus, that has rounded heads of showy, purplish-pink flowers.
Grevillea ‘Bonfire’
Grevillea ‘Bonfire’
Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle)
Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle)
Phebalium squamulosum
Phebalium squamulosum
Isopogon formosus
Isopogon formosus

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 ‘Hot Lips’.  Other attractive blooms include the Pelargonium 'Orsett', which has a spicy mint scent, and the Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ Rosemary, a dense, evergreen shrub with clusters of blue flowers.
Salvia 'Anthony Parker'
Salvia 'Anthony Parker'
Salvia 'Hot Lips'
Salvia ‘Hot Lips’
Pelargonium 'Orsett'
Pelargonium 'Orsett'
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ Rosemary