Another morning walk in the UC Davis Arboretum

I don't usually post about the same place twice in a week. However, Stella and I just had another wonderful morning walk in the UC Davis Arboretum and I want to share some of the photos I took. Unlike last Saturday when it was misty, this time the sky was a deep blue—California blue, as my mother likes to call it. 

UC Davis water town as seen through the fine filigree of a majestic valley oak (Quercus lobata)

The area inside the magenta rectangle is what is covered in this post. Map © UC Davis.

Another view of the UC Davis water tower, with a Brahea armata on the right and a large clump of spineless prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) on the left

While most deciduous plants are still bare, there are some early signs of spring. One my favorite acacias, the pearl acacia (Acacia podalyriifolia), has started to flower:

Pearl acacia (Acacia podalyriifolia)

Pearl acacia (Acacia podalyriifolia)

In recent years, the Arboretum staff has planted many agaves, including Agave ovatifolia...

Agave ovatifolia

...and Agave × protoamericana 'Lemon Lime':

Agave × protoamericana 'Lemon Lime'

If Dr. Seuss ever drew an agave, it might have looked like this. I have no idea what it is, but based on the leaf color and relatively smooth leaf margins, it might be Agave mitis

Opuntia robusta

Generally, I'm not a fan of Agave americana, but this is a nice form—smaller and more symmetrical than many of the heavily offsetting clones

I was surprised to (a) see this Agave gypsophila (or Agave pablocarrilloi), and (b) find it virtually free of cold damage. I had the variegated form called 'Ivory Curls', and I just tossed it in the yard waste bin because it had so many black spots caused by frost. Clearly, the regular non-variegated form is hardier.

One of several wonderfully symmetrical Agave parrasana

Yucca rostrata planted in a decidedly non-glamorous spot near the campus bus maintenance facility

Stella, our Formosan mountain dog, loves the Arboretum as much as I do. There are so many interesting smells, and she wants to explore them all. However, nothing is quite as exciting as a hole in the ground:




Always alert!


© Gerhard Bock, 2022. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.

Comments

  1. A wonderful place to walk. Stella seems like she's been a great addition to your family!

    Do you have to drive to the Arboretum, or is it close enough to walk?

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    1. We're all crazy about Stella! She's such a character.

      The Arboretum is too far to walk to, but it's only 10-minute drive.

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  2. Good shots of Stella. And her shadow. I hope there is nothing (or no one) hiding in the holes to give her a scare.

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    1. Whatever is in these holes knows how to hide. Stella's never gotten nipped on the nose, so they're probably empty.

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  3. Much as I appreciated the Agave shots, I enjoyed the photos of the intrepid Stella even more! My Agave gypsophila, acquired by mail order from Annie's long ago, doesn't look anything like the Agave you photographed, renewing my concern that it's not that at all. I'd hoped that it was just growing through its teen years but, since I moved it, it's looking more and more like Agave vilmoriniana...

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    1. Stella is a challenge to photograph because she moves so much. Just when you think she's hold still long enough for a photo, her head or body swivels in the other direction...

      As for your agave mixup, it happens. It's virtually impossible to ID seedlings by sight so if the tags get switched or lost, all bets are off.

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  4. I couldn't resist pointing you to this: https://twitter.com/aucoincomposer/status/1466760500251869186?s=20

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    1. LOL, I would have loved to see that!!

      Here's the scene where Marlon Brando yells "Stella" in A Streetcar Named Desire: https://youtu.be/6q3fBK6LbCc

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  5. I absolutely insist on meeting Stella the next time I visit your garden. Provided she likes people of course !

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    1. She loves people! She usually needs a minute to get used to new people, but after that, she'll love on you.

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  6. Oh that Agave gypsophila is positively dreamy! But the first few you shared, I wanted to get those needles off them.

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    1. LOL, I know what you mean. These agaves are under conifers :-)

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