What's Blooming

Callistemon viminalis (Weeping Bottlebrush), Australian Garden

    There are literally thousands of interesting individual plants in the Arboretum and Botanical Garden's collections.  At any time of the year there's something blooming, and there's always plenty to see. December is no exception and there is an  abundance of varied blooms in the gardens to see. Well worth a visit!
wtour-trail-sign.jpg  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 Garden can be found here. Follow the World Tour signs to view many of these blooms. You may also access a larger selection of images that illustrate what plants bloom in our gardens by checking out the photo gallery on the Garden Snapshots page.

California Entrance Garden
  The California Garden, on the right as you enter the Arboretum & Botanic Garden, boasts many special plants of interest to gardeners. Many of these were originally selected in the wild by Garden staff, and have since been propagated and released to the horticultural trade.
   Highlights this December include the Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy), that displays showy yellow flowers for most of the year, and the Epilobium canum (California Fuschia), that is great for a bird and butterfly garden. Also, a number of manzanitas are showing their blooms, including the attractive Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Sentinel’. Another native is the Galvezia juncea ‘Gran Canon’ (Cedros Island Snapdragon), that has deep red tubular flowers.

Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy)
Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Island Tree Poppy)
Epilobium canum (California Fuschia)
Epilobium canum (California Fuschia)
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Sentinel’
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Sentinel’
Galvezia juncea ‘Gran Canon’ (Cedros Island Snapdragon)
Galvezia juncea ‘Gran Canon’ (Cedros Island Snapdragon)

South African Garden
   Many brilliant colors and fascinating plants can be found throughout the South African garden. There is a variety of colorful proteas, ericas and leucadendrons currently in bloom. One of the proteas is the striking Protea neriifolia (Flared Form), with a flower head of pink with a black fringe. Among the leucadendrons on display are the Leucadendron muirii and the Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunshine’, that has showy red bractsAnother plant of interest is the Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bietou), an attractive drought-resistant, evergreen shrub with bright yellow, daisy-like flowers.

Protea neriifolia (Flared Form)
Protea neriifolia (Flared Form)
Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bietou)
Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bietou)
Leucadendron muirii
Leucadendron muirii
Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunshine’
Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunshine’

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. Among the hebes currently in bloom are Hebe sp. 'Brett's Star' and Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe), which has large crimson widely spaced flowers. Other blooms of interest are the Leptospermum scoparium, which is very attractive to bees.

Hebe sp. 'Brett's Star'
Hebe sp. 'Brett's Star'
Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe)
Hebe macrocarpa var. brevifolia (Surville Cliffs Hebe)
Leptospermum scoparium
Leptospermum scoparium

Australian Garden
   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. Both are great favorites of the hummingbirds that zip around the garden.
   One current example of the banksias is the Banksia spinulosa ‘Stumpy Gold’, that is appropriate for small gardens
One of the attractive grevilleas is the Grevillea rhyolitica ‘Deua Flame’, a low growing grevillea that has clusters of red flowers.
   There is also a variety of correas in bloom, including the Correa reflexa ‘Kangaroo Island’, that has dark glossy green leaves and lipstick-red flowers. Another plant of interest, is the Corymbia gummifera (Red Bloodwood), a hardwood tree that produces a stunning display of clusters of cream to white flowers.

Banksia spinulosa ‘Stumpy Gold’
Banksia spinulosa ‘Stumpy Gold’
Grevillea rhyolitica ‘Deua Flame’
Grevillea rhyolitica ‘Deua Flame’
Correa reflexa ‘Kangaroo Island’
Correa reflexa ‘Kangaroo Island’
Corymbia gummifera (Red Bloodwood)
Corymbia gummifera (Red Bloodwood)

Learn about banksias from Melinda Kralj, Australian Garden curator, and the Outback Howlers.

Aroma & 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.
   Some of the current examples include the sweetly fragrant Narcissus tazetta ‘Golden Dawn’ and the Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ (Rosemary), a drought-tolerant plant with fragrant flowers that is attractive to bees and butterflies. A wide variety of salvias are also in bloom this month, with one example being the Salvia clevelandii ‘Winnifred Gilman’ (Blue Sage), that has ball-shaped clusters of electric blue-purple flowers. Another plant of interest is the Syncolostemon obermeyerae (Pink Mist Bush), that has a profusion aromatic lavender pink flowers.

Narcissus tazetta ‘Golden Dawn’
Narcissus tazetta ‘Golden Dawn’
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ (Rosemary)
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ (Rosemary)
Salvia clevelandii ‘Winnifred Gilman’ (Blue Sage)
Salvia clevelandii ‘Winnifred Gilman’ (Blue Sage)
Syncolostemon obermeyerae (Pink Mist Bush)
Syncolostemon obermeyerae (Pink Mist Bush)