Saturday, July 21, 2012

UC Davis Arboretum in mid-summer

My last two posts were downers, dealing with tree suckers and pests. Today’s post is on the lighter side. I took advantage of yet another cloudy morning (two of them this week!) and snuck away to the UC Davis Arboretum to take a quick look at what’s going on during the summer doldrums.

120719_UCD_Valleywise
Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Spring is the big season for flowers at the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden. In the summer, the palette is more muted, but there is plenty of foliage texture and a few things are in bloom.

Nolina-bigelovii
One of a dozen volunteers out pruning and trimming this morning
Dasylirion-quadrangulatum
Toothless sotol (Dasylirion quadrangulatum)
Panicum-virgatum-Shenandoah
Shenandoah switch grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’)
Muhlenbergia-lindheimeri- -Yucca-pallida
Lindheimer's muhlygrass (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) and pale-leaf yucca (Yucca pallida)
Limonium-platyphyllum
Statice flowers (Limonium platyphyllum) provide visual interest even dried
Allium-cristophii-seed-head
Star of persia (Allium christophii) seed head
Opuntia-compressa_02
Eastern prickly pear (Opuntia compressa or, more correctly, Opuntia humifusa)
Opuntia-compressa_03
This prickly pear shrivels up in the winter and looks terrible but come spring it plumps up and looks perky as can be at this time of year
Bergenia-crassifolia
Pigsqueak (Bergenia crassifolia) not only has a cool common name, it has beautiful pink flowers in the spring and looks good year round thanks to its large leaves
Crambe-cordifolia
Colewort or giant kale (Crambe cordifolia). Apparently in early summer if produces tall stalks with tiny white flowers. It looks like a plant that might need a lot of moisture but it apparently doesn’t. Like full sun, too. I’ll have to track down a source.
Beschornerias
I spotted these beschornerias in the nearby Carolee Shields White Flower Garden. No species given, but it was great seeing three of these criminally underused succulents from Mexico.
Scabiosa-ochroleuca_02

Pincushion flower (Scabiosa ochroleuca) with pale yellow flowers

Eriogonum-grande-rubescens
Red buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens)
Eryngium×tripartitum_02
A veritable ocean of sea holly (Eryngium × tripartitum)
Eryngium×tripartitum_01
Bee on sea holly (Eryngium × tripartitum)
Ceratostigma-plumbaginoides
Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) with foliage that is more yellow than usual. Chlorosis? This plant is fairly invasive. Our neighbor has one in her front yard and I’m forever battling it because I don’t want it to cross over into our yard.
Chrysanthemum-maximum
Yes, Shasta daisies (Crysanthemum maximum) are almost a cliché but their flowers are the very definition of cheeriness
Buddleia-Morning-Mist_01
Silver Anniversary buddleia (Buddleja ‘Morning Mist’) looks striking against green foliage
Buddleia-Morning-Mist_02
Silver Anniversary buddleia (Buddleja ‘Morning Mist’)
Duranta-erecta-alba
White sky flower (Duranta erecta 'Alba') at the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden

Just as I was leaving the garden I came across this flowering shrub. I found a tag that said “Woolly butterfly bush (Buddleja marrubifolia)” but according to the photos I found online, this is definitely not a Buddleja marrubifolia. Does anybody know what it is? I really like the spherical yellow flower heads.

120719_UCD_Valleywise_unid_shrub1
 
120719_UCD_Valleywise_unid_shrub2
 
120719_UCD_Valleywise_unid_shrub3
 

Even though the middle of summer isn’t the best time to visit this part of the UC Davis Arboretum, there is still plenty of interest both to casual visitors and to hard-core plant aficionados. And some plants, like the yellow-flowered mystery shrub, are at their best now.

4 comments:

  1. So many great plants!

    Would you plant the Buddleja ‘Morning Mist’ in your own garden? I think it looks quite nice in the photos, but how about "live"?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, definitely if I had the room. I'm a sucker for gray-leaved plants, and I thought that it looked great against a darker background. I've never seen this buddleia cultivar in any nursery so I'm not sure how easy it would be to source one.

      Speaking of buddleias I recently bought a Flutterby Petite, a new dwarf that only grows to 3 ft. It's in a pot for now but I'll plant it in the garden this fall.

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  2. The place is looking wonderful Gerhard, and love that shot of the Eryngium blooms en masse!

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  3. Your mystery plant is Bupleurum fruticosum “Shrubby Hare’s Ear”. Sue

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