What's Blooming

Banksia speciosa, 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. Our very wet winter has produced an unusual abundance of varied blooms in the gardens this summer. 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 July include the Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine', that is great for a bird and butterfly garden, and, among many of the Eriogonums in the garden, the Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum (Leafy California Buckwheat)Other natives include the Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp bolanderi ‘San Bruno Mountain’, which is covered with bright yellow daisies, and the Dudleya caespitosa (Live-forever), a plant, that with proper care may live for extended periods, hence the common name Live-forever.
Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine'
Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine'
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum (Leafy California Buckwheat)
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum Leafy California Buckwheat
Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp bolanderi ‘San Bruno Mountain’ Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp bolanderi ‘San Bruno Mountain’
Dudleya caespitosa (Live-forever)
 Dudleya caespitosa (Liveforever)

South African Garden
   Many brilliant colors and fascinating plants can be found throughout the South African garden. 
There is a variety of colorful Leucospermums currently in bloom. Among them are the Leucospermum cordifolium and Leucospermum 'Dennis' Red'
   Among the other plants on display are the vibrant Erica cruenta, one of the  many of the ericas in bloom, and the eye catching colorful Mimetes cucullatus.
Leucospermum cordifolium
Leucospermum cordifolium
Leucospermum 'Dennis' Red'
Leucospermum 'Dennis' Red'
Erica cruenta
Erica cruenta

Mimetes cucullatus
Mimetes cucullatus


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 recurva.
   Among the variety of other plants currently in bloom are the Metrosideros excelsa, that displays a profusion of beautiful red bristly flowers and is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, the Cordyline kaspar (New Zealand Cabbage Tree), and a variety of Phormium tenax, a flax plant with attractive tall flower stems.
Hebe recurva
Hebe recurva
Metrosideros excelsa
Metrosideros excelsa (Pohutakawa)
Cordyline kaspar (New Zealand Cabbage Tree)
Cordyline kaspar (New Zealand Cabbage Tree)
Phormium tenax
Phormium tenax
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. Current examples are the Banksia speciosa (banner image above) and the Banksia serrata.
   This summer also offers variety of other plants of interest, among those currently in bloom are the 
Anigozanthos ‘Regal Claw’, an elegant orange kangeroo paw, the Verticordia mitchelliana (Rapier Feather Flower), that displays bright red flowers, and the Boronia crenulata ‘Shark Bay’, a small shrub with dainty pink flowers.
Banksia serrata
Banksia serrata
Anigozanthos ‘Regal Claw’
Anigozanthos ‘Regal Claw’
Verticordia mitchelliana (Rapier Feather Flower)
Verticordia mitchelliana (Rapier Feather Flower)
Boronia crenulata ‘Shark Bay’
Boronia crenulata ‘Shark Bay’
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.
   A wide variety are currently in bloom in July including Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’, that has twisting spikes of dark violet flowers, and 
Agastache mexicana ‘Sangria’, with wonderful lemon-scented foliage. Other examples are Santolina ericoides (Lavender Cotton), with lemon-drop sized sized yellow flowers, and Jasminum azoricum, a fragrant, vigorous grower.
Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’
Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’

Agastache mexicana ‘Sangria’
Agastache mexicana ‘Sangria’
Santolina ericoides (Lavender Cotton)
Santolina ericoides (Lavender Cotton)

Jasminum azoricum
Jasminum azoricum