Thursday, February 4, 2016

Aloes and acacias: another few weeks of patience

This winter has been strange. Maybe because after four years of drought it’s marked a return to the “old days,” or a semblance thereof? We only had one night below freezing and certainly more rain than we’ve been used to lately (7.77 inches since November 1, 2015) At the same time it hasn’t been unseasonably warm like in recent years. As a result, the two groups of flowering “a” plants I keep an eye on at this time of year—aloes and acacias—are lagging behind a few weeks. Or maybe they’re right where they should be in a “normal” year? I must admit I keep forgetting what “normal” is.

Anyway, I did a quick check on the aloes and acacias on the University of California Davis campus this past weekend, and this is what I found.

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A few aloes are in bloom in the alley between Haring Hall and the Sciences Lab Building but most of them are still in the bud stage

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The big aloes outside the Sciences Laboratory Building are still a few weeks away from flowering

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Aloe marlothii

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LEFT: Aloe marlothii  RIGHT: Aloe ferox

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Aloe marlothii

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Aloe marlothii

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Aloe ferox

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Aloe microstigma

Two years ago, all of these aloes were in full bloom in early February.

The next photo is proof that this year winter (or what passes for winter around here) is sticking around a little longer.

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Moving on to the Eric E. Conn Acacia Grove in the UC Davis Arboretum. Many trees are loaded with buds but all of them are still at least two weeks away from a good show. It all depends on how much sun we get. Today it was sunny but fairly cold (high of 57°F). However, for early next week Intellicast is forecasting daytime highs in the low 70s. That should help.

I’ll check back towards the middle of February.

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Queensland silver wattle or pearl acacia (Acacia podalyriifolia)

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West Wyalong wattle (Acacia cardiophylla)

11 comments:

  1. I love Acacia trees...used to have one when I lived in SoCal. The aloes are so beautiful in flower,great shots. Happy you are having rain and a normal winter.

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    1. I think "normal" is the best way to describe our winter. It seems like we're getting a lot of rain, but that's only because we had so little in the last 4 years. We're actually still behind our average rainfall pattern.

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  2. I think "normal" is gone, so luckily gardeners are so flexible. Love the pearl acacia image!

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    1. If I had to choose, I'd pick pearl acacia as my favorite Australian species.

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  3. What Alan said... but I'll add that I love the Aloe microstigma photo. WOW!

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    1. The aloes are loving the rain, too. Should be a great show this year once it gets underway.

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  4. I reached a similar conclusion about winter this year. A lot of my plants seem tardy about flowering but I suspect it's because our temperatures have been closer to "normal" for winter than those we've experienced for the past few years. Unlike you, however, I still can't say we're enjoying a good amount of rain - my season-to-date total (since October 1st) is a measly 3.3 inches.

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    1. Wow, 3.3 inches isn't much at all. Although your average annual rainfall is shockingly low at around 13-15 inches, depending on the source. That's even less our our annual average. For some reason I thought you got more rain than that.

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  5. The acacia is very nice. Mine also seems behind (not the same kind) although we haven't gotten as much rain either.

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  6. We have mid-80s for next week. :( At least the Aloe flowers are cheerful. They are later this year here also. We haven't gotten anything like 13 inches since--2010 or 2011.

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  7. Your visit reminds me to take better care of of my A. cardiophylla, currently neglected in a small pot. Just checked the blog, and my Pearl Acacia seems to be reliably in bloom in January. I do know that we've run up a big electric bill with the space heaters this winter.

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