What's Blooming

Succulent & Cacti 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. May is no exception and in this Spring there is an  abundance of varied blooms in the gardens to see. Well worth a visit!

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  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.
   Spring brings forth many new blooms in the California Garden and some of the highlights this month include Trichostema lanatum (Woolly Blue Curls) and Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage).  Other plants of interest include Lepechinia calycina (Pitcher Sage) and Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannelbush).

Trichostema lanatum (Woolly Blue Curls)
Trichostema lanatum (Woolly Blue Curls)
Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)
Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)
Lepechinia calycina (Pitcher Sage)
Lepechinia calycina (Pitcher Sage) 
Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannelbush)
Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannelbush)

South African Garden
   Many brilliant colors and fascinating plants can be found throughout the South African garden this time of year. There is a wide variety of colorful ericas, leucospermums and leucadendrons currently in bloom. Among the many leucospermums on display are the colorful Leucospermum ‘Veld Fire’ and Leucospermum 'High Gold'Other plants of interest are the Felicia fruticosa (Wild Aster) and Polygala virgata.

Leucospermum ‘Veld Fire’
Leucospermum ‘Veld Fire’
Leucospermum "High Gold"
Leucospermum 'High Gold'
Felicia fruticosa (Wild Aster)
Felicia fruticosa (Wild Aster)
Polygala virgata
Polygala virgata

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 variety of plants currently in bloom are the Brachyglottis x greyii x repanda, Corokia cotoneaster ‘Anton’s Dwarf’ (Wire Netting Bush) and two of the leptospermums.

Brachyglottis x greyii x repanda
Brachyglottis x greyii x repanda
Corokia cotoneaster ‘Anton’s Dwarf’ (Wire Netting Bush)

Corokia cotoneaster ‘Anton’s Dwarf’ (Wire Netting Bush)

Leptospermum scoparium

Leptospermum scoparium

Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka)

Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka)

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.
   A c
urrent example of the banksias is Banksia grandisThere is also a wide diversity of other plants of interest at this time of year, including the brilliant Callistemon ‘Kings Park Special'. Two of the most unique and attractive are the Telopea speciosissima 'Fireball' and Darwinia meeboldii (Cranbook Bell).

Banksia grandis
Banksia grandis
Callistemon ‘Kings Park Special'
Callistemon ‘Kings Park Special'
Telopea speciosissima 'Fireball'
Telopea speciosissima 'Fireball'
Darwinia meeboldii (Cranbook Bell)
Darwinia meeboldii (Cranbook Bell)


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 fragrant Rosa banksia ‘Alba Plena’ and the Moraea huttoni,
that displays dark yellow very iris-like flowers. Other plants of interest are the Pelargonium sp.and Salvia chamaedryoides (Germander Sage). with dark blue flowers that appear for much of the year.
Rosa banksia ‘Alba Plena’
Rosa banksia ‘Alba Plena’
Moraea huttoni

Moraea huttoni

Pelargonium sp.
Pelargonium sp.
Salvia chamaedryoides (Germander Sage)

Salvia chamaedryoides (Germander Sage)