Far Out Flora

Sweet SF Botanical Garden

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Verbascum 'Letitia' looking cute

I’m still a little lame about my total lack of plant names from Ruth Bancroft Garden, so I’m going to try and redeem myself with plants with botanical names from a couple visits to SF Botanical Garden over the last two weeks. In late April I graduated as an official docent, so once a month you’ll find me wearing a really cool apron next to a table (interpretive station) getting excited about plants. So far it’s been super fun.

Who the heck knew Verbascum came in a cute little shortie form? It’s going nuts in the cool rock garden circle at the main gate. While googling ‘Letitia’ I came across a cool little online nursery I’ve never been to before that specializes in rockery plants Wrightman Alpines. Check it out, lots of cool shorty plants, and interesting stuff.

Primula vialii

Bizarro, I just looked up Primula vialii and I think this is some sort of mutant flower. They’re supposed to be pointy on top instead of flat. It looks like the flower crested. Also called fasciation, here’s what wikipedia has to say about this freaky plant happening: “Fasciation (or cresting) is a condition of plant growth in which the apical meristem, normally concentrated around a single point, producing approximately cylindrical tissue, becomes elongated perpendicularly to the direction of growth, producing flattened, ribbon-like, crested, or elaborately contorted tissue. The phenomenon may occur in the stem, root, fruit, or flower head.” Our graptopetalums do it all the time.

California Native paradise

Phacelia, Layia platyglossa, Gilia tricolor and the poppies were going nuts last weekend in the native garden. It’s looking pretty awesome.

Wachendorfia thrysiflora

Gotta love the South African section. I’m strangely fascinated by Wachendorfia thrysiflora. It’s huge!

Kniphofias in yellow

There’s lots of Kniphofia action going on right now. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that our Kniphofia northiae will bloom this summer. It’s getting pretty big and popping out babies.

Salvia africana-lutea

This might sound crazy, but we haven’t jammed a Salvia in our backyard yet. I think this might be the one. It’s common name is “Beach Salvia”, and as it ages the flowers turn deeper orange and then brown. It doesn’t mind hanging out next to the foggy, wind infested coast (I’m a little bitter about the fog and it being 57 degrees at 5:30PM). Summer is not my favorite season in San Francisco. We live in the foggiest (cheapest) part of town.

Matti and the Mega Bartlettina sordida

Wholly gigantoid ageratum like monster!!!! Bartlettina sordida is native to cloud forests. As much as I bitch about the fog, I really should appreciate the amazing plants we’re able to grow that ONLY thrive in our cool summers and mild winters. More pics from Strybing are here if ya want to check them out.

 

 

7 Comments

  1. I love that brown sage. Even once the petals fade and fall, the calyx is still decorative. It grows along the West Coast, where we go to revel in Spring flowers.

  2. my first mail-order succulent was aeonium arboreum atropurpuretum cristata.

  3. I love the Salvia africana-lutea. Does Annie’s carry it?

  4. That Bartlettina sordida really does look kind of sordid. I would definitely want to give it a try, even though regular-sized ageratums are not exactly my favorite. I am also considering showing it to my mom…She has this intense dislike of things with fuzzy and fleshy leaves – she loathes gloxinias – and is generally wary of things that grow really big, so this could be her botanical archnemesis…

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