What's Blooming

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 some of the specimens that are currently worth seeking out. To aid in your quest a map of the Arboretum can be found here.


Puya stalk


The Puya berteroniana continues to exceed expectations and is blooming again this year.

Tom Sauceda describes the puya flower stalk
Walk through the South African garden almost to the middle gate to the New Zealand garden and turn around. To your left, nestled against a large protea, you will find this Chilean member of the Bromeliaceae family, related to the pineapple. Within the collection of tightly clustered crowns of curved, spiny leaves, one crown will at some point—anything from 2 to 30 years or more—send up a flowering stem resembling a giant asparagus, which morphs into a showily spectacular spire of deep turquoise blossoms, abundant with nectar and with bright orange anthers, to the delight of the nectar eating fraternity of birds, bees and ants.

Puya photo

The growth spurt displayed by this plant is impressive. The photos below were taken fourteen days apart, on August 2 and August 16!. Come and see this spectacular plant while you can!


(Common name Kangaroo Paws)

anigozanthos photograph


anigozanthos photograph

The Kangaroo Paws in the Australian Garden are particularly handsome this year. The yellow-flowered form is blooming to either side of the "Welcome to the Arboretum" sign in the upper parking lot. The fuzzy petals are fused into a tube shape, resembling kangaroo paws which gives them their common name. There are often hummingbirds darting about among the flowers, drawn to the nectar inside the flower.





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

BABINGTONIA VIRGATA (previously BAECKIA VIRGATA) (Common name Twiggy Heath Myrtle)

Slosson entrance photograph

Entrance to the Slosson Garden, showing one of the stone benches.
The Babingtonia are on both sides of the path in the middle background.

Babingtonia photograph


Babingtonia photograph

This large shrub can be found at the entrance to the Slosson Garden closest to the wide path separating the Australian from the South African Garden, just behind the two stone benches and on the mound to the right. It is often used in bonsai plantings.