5/16/08

Friday Night Botanical Garden

How I do enjoy visiting the Botanical Garden after work.

Even more so on a Friday.

San Franciscans are chillaxing in the park.

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It's been hot in the Bay Area. Yesterday, all the floats in my Galileo thermometer sank to the bottom. My laboratory thermometer said it was 104 degrees F in my garden. I set a digital thermometer in a ceramic container I grow tomatoes in, and it read 124 degrees F!

Anyhow, we're taking it easy.

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Aesculus californica, the California Buckeye; my favorite flower of late spring, early summer.

Aesculus californica

This is the tree.

Aesculus californica

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Lupinus arboreus

Salvia spathacea

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Melianthus

Leucospermum

Erythrina

Cussonia paniculata

That's Cussonia paniculata (Araliaceae). The cabbage tree has gone from being something that I didn't notice, to something that I didn't care for, to something that I didn't hate, to a South African species that I appreciated, to a fun plant that I could conceivably have in my garden one day, to a functional vertical element that I ought to start getting serious about, to a plant that I NEED TO HAVE RIGHT NOW. This is its foliage.

Cussonia paniculata

Anyhow, I'm thinking I'll buy the largest specimen I can find that will fit in my car. I really shouldn't plant anything until October. It could also work as a container plant in a back corner. I'll move forward once I settle on the details.

Now back to the Botanical Garden.

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I'm keeping my eye on the Agave chiapensis inflorescence.

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Leptospermum rotundifolium

Leptospermum rotundifolium.

Leptospermum rotundifolium

Banksia

It would be nice to have a Banksia too. Now that I have the basic native plant framework established in my garden--the number one planting priority for me--it's fun to think about folding in other mediterraneans.

Banksia

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii, was Eugenia smithii, in fruit (Myrtaceae). The common name is lillipilly or lilly-pilly. The berries are supposed to be edible, but I've never tasted them--have you?

Acmena smithii

The dangling red foliage belongs to another Australian Myrtaceae, Angophora costata. I guess I didn't take a picture of the whole tree, but it's not a great specimen anyway. Opposite leaves distinguish this genus from Eucalyptus (for one thing).

Angophora costata

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This was super-fragrant from several feet away.

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Retama monosperma

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6 comments:

Les, Zone 8a said...

Looks like a great place to "chillax". I like the structure of the buckeye. The ones on this coast don't have that, they are more shrub-like. Thanks for the tour, and for an addition to my vocabulary.

lisa said...

LOVE LOVE the blue agave and red flowers...wow! I fully understand the fever pitch that can arise like a tornado when you really want something...;-)

germi said...

That's IT.
I'm moving to the Bay Area!

EAL said...

Nothing like a handy botanical garden.

Frances, said...

Hi Chuck, I was all ready to comment on the buckeye and cabbage tree, both fine specimens, when you showed what appears to be a deciduous azalea! Is that what was fragrantly soothing your brow from the oppressive heat? The botanical garden is a perfect place to hang out, lucky you, and to see plants that interest you in maturity, letting you change your mind after carefully studying them. How wonderful.
Frances

Jennifer said...

Hi there - I recently found your site while searching for myoporum images. What a find!

I've started something similar in New York - tracking down plants hidden among the concrete and steel. Please stop by sometime!

Jennifer

newyorkplantsandotherstuff.blogspot.com