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. Thanks to our winter rains, this year the spring season will offer an abundance of 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 early spring include the Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannelbush) and Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky Monkey Flower). Other natives include the striking Ribes speciosum, that displays elongated red flowers that resemble those of fuchsia, and Trichostema lanatum (Woolly Blue Curls) that has aromatic leaves and clusters of blue flowers.
Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannelbush)
Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky Monkey Flower)
Trichostema lanatum (Woolly Blue Curls)
South African Garden
Many brilliant colors and fascinating plants can be found throughout the South African garden. There is a wide variety of colorful Proteas and Ericas currently in bloom. Among them are the delicate Protea 'Pink Ice' and the unique blooms of the Erica caffra (Water Heath).
There are also many colorful Leucadendrons, including the spectacular Leucadendron discolor ‘Cloudbank Ginny’ (shown in the banner above), and a number of Leucospermums, like the brilliant Leucospermum 'Dennis' Red'. The Greyia sutherlandii (Natal Bottlebrush), a most decorative, ornamental plant, adds to the variety of blooms that the South African Garden offers.
Protea 'Pink Ice'
Erica caffra (Water Heath)
Leucospermum 'Dennis' Red'
Greyia sutherlandii (Natal Bottlebrush)
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 number of Hebes currently in bloom, including the delicate Hebe macrocarpa. Among a number of members of the myrtle family in the garden, the Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka) is displaying a profusion of its beautiful pink and white blooms.There is also the Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Margaret Turnbull' that displays bell-shaped, honey-scented, dark red to purple flowers.
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Margaret Turnbull'
Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka)
A stroll through the Australian Gardens is always a feast for the senses. There is a wide variety of banksias and grevilleas in bloom of every form and hue.
But this early spring also offers the experience of appreciating the variety of other colorful and interesting plants in bloom that illustrate the diverse flora of Australia. Among these are the Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Purple Haze’, that exhibits prolific flowering, and Calytrix tetragona - prostrate, that displays five-petalled, starry flowers, in the centre of which is a cluster of prominent stamens. Others to enjoy are Epacris longiflora, a beautiful fuchsia heath, and Pimelea nivea (Snowy Pimilea), with dark green leaves and white flowers which grow in clusters.
Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Purple Haze’
Calytrix tetragona - prostrate
Pimelea nivea (Snowy Pimilea)
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 greggii ‘Orchid Glow’ and Pelargonium ionidiflorum. Other attractive blooms include the Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) and Psoralea pinnata (Fountain Bush).
Salvia greggii ‘Orchid Glow’
Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender)
Psoralea pinnata (Fountain Bush)