Friday, November 2, 2012

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum fall 2012: South Africa

My personal highlight of our recent trip to Santa Cruz was a visit to the University of Santa Cruz Arboretum. I had been to the Arboretum in October 2011 and again in February 2012 so I knew what to expect. But unlike during my last two trips the sun was shining and the colors seemed more vibrant.

So without any further ado let’s take a stroll through the South African Garden. Click here to read my post on the Australian Garden.

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Protea repens ‘Rubens’

The shining stars of the South African Garden are the proteas, leucadendrons and ericas that are now in bloom. While there is no shortage of beautiful flowers in the plant kingdom, I think the proteas have the most stunning blooms of all.

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Protea repens ‘Summer Pink’

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Protea repens ‘Summer Pink’

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Protea repens ‘Summer Pink’

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Protea repens ‘Rubens’

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Protea neriifolia × susannae ‘Pink Ice’

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Protea neriifolia × susannae ‘Pink Ice’

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Protea neriifolia × susannae ‘Pink Ice’
The number of bees in some of the protea flowers was amazing!

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Protea neriifolia × susannae ‘Pink Ice’

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Protea neriifolia, looking good even in death

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Protea neriifolia

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Protea neriifolia

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Protea neriifolia

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Protea neriifolia

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Protea neriifolia

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Protea neriifolia

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Protea neriifolia ‘Alba’

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Protea obtusifolia

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Protea obtusifolia with amazingly thick branches

Leucadendrons have very different inflorescences. Their main attraction are the bracts that take on vibrant hues of red or yellow in the winter months, followed by showy seed cones (hence the common name “conebush”).

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Leucadendron salignum

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Leucadendron salignum ‘Rising Sun’

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Leucadendron salignum ‘Rising Sun’

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Leucadendron salignum ‘Rising Sun’

My favorite leucadendron was a variegated hybrid called ‘Safari Sunshine’. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find one for purchase yet. But when I do it’ll be featured prominently in our front yard.

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Leucadendron salignum × laureolum ‘Safari Sunshine’

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Leucadendron salignum × laureolum ‘Safari Sunshine’

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Leucadendron salignum × laureolum ‘Safari Sunshine’

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Leucadendron salignum × laureolum ‘Safari Sunshine’

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Unidentified Leucadendron species (listed as “garden seedling”)

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Unidentified Leucadendron species (listed as “garden seedling”)

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Leucadendron linifolium

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Leucadendron linifolium

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Leucadendron teretifolium

Leucadendron argenteum, or silver tree, is one of the most stunning plants in the South Africa Garden at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. It grows to 30 ft and its fuzzy silver leaves shimmer in the sun as if they were made of precious metal.

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Leucadendron argenteum

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Leucadendron argenteum

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Leucadendron argenteum

Many of the ericas at the Arboretum were in bloom. What their flowers lack in size, they make up in quantity.

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Erica gilva

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LEFT: Erica gilva
RIGHT: Erica cruenta

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Erica canaliculata

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Erica canaliculata

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Erica canaliculata

I also spotted some other South African natives with interesting foliage. After all, it isn’t always about the flowers!

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Leucospermum cordifolium

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Phylica pubescens

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Phylica pubescens

I’ll have a separate post about the restios in the South African Garden. Many of them were looking shockingly bad compared to last year, and I want to find out why.

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8 comments:

  1. Wow, protea porn! The sunny weather has certainly enhanced the beauty of the plants (and photos!). Hope you get hold of Safari Sunshine soon, it's a gorgeous plant and one of my favourites!

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    1. I've found a nursery in the Monterey area that carries Safari Sunshine. I'll grab one on our next trip. Too gorgeous not to have.

      Coincidentally, I bought a leucadendron hybrid called Safari Sunset recently (red bracts with a yellow center, but not variegated). I'll plant it tomorrow in the front yard.

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  2. Drooling over these beautiful flowers! Leucadendron salignum × laureolum ‘Safari Sunshine’ makes me want to move to South Africa or at least California. I love restios so I'm looking forward to your post about those!

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    1. Some of the restios were partially dead. I was quite shocked. I'm trying to find out why.

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  3. Simply beautiful! Oh to be able to grow these in my garden, what a life that would be! Gerhard can you grow the silver tree in your garden?

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    1. Loree, I think the silver tree would be marginal here. I was tempted to buy one at the Arboretum gift shop ($12 for a 1 gallon plant) but it gets so huge, we just don't have the room.

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  4. Very nice! I caught a glimpse of a restio in one of the photos I think, and that got me excited. Dozens of beautiful photos of blooms in this post, and I'm just not satisfied. What's wrong with me today? ;-)

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    1. The restios provides a beautiful backdrop to the flowering protaceae. If I had a few acres, I'd try to create a miniature South African garden.

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