Far Out Flora

Strybing All Day Long

November 22, 2011 by Matti | 3 Comments

Salpiglossis

Salpiglossis - Painted Tongue

Gotta love the SF Botanical Garden at Strybing. There’s always something to check out year round. How adorable is this Salpiglossis? Also known as Painted Tongue, it was popping in the beds. Found a great write up on Salpiglossis over at Life on the Balcony.

Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba'

Fuchsia boliviana

I’ve a love hate relationship with this Fuchsia. About a year ago gophers attacked and we lost a couple plants. Then requested you to help pick out our replacement plant. Well, the Fuchsia boliviana ‘Alba’ just squeaked in as the winner and I am a huge fan. However as I recall, F. b ‘Alba’ wasn’t available and we ended up planting F. boliviana instead…no Alba. Ours is getting big and I can always pop over to Strybing to get my Alba fix.

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

Every time I see Amaryllis belladonna, I think it’s gonna be the last of the season. Then I’ve got to bust out the camera and document. Just how late in the season will these guys bloom? Dirt Du Jour Northern California has an cool pick showing how it looks in the garden.

Dahlia tenuicaulis

Dahlia tenuicaulis - Tree Dahlia

I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about this plant, Dahlia tenuicaulis (aka Tree Dahlia). Early last spring while up in Mendocino, I just missed seeing them in flower. I mean, can it really be…a Dahlia that is a tree. Well, it’s true. We even scored a couple plants this past summer, which we planted up in a big container and they’re just about to flush out its first bloom. I just hope that the wind doesn’t snap off the main trunk before ours flowers. There’s a mystery what color they’ll be as it was unmarked. Stay tuned.

Salvia ‘Anthony Parker’

Salvia ‘Anthony Parker’

So many Salvias…so little time. Glad Strybing has ample space to grow out a bunch of them including this Salvia ‘Anthony Parker’. Gorgeous contrast between the purple and green.

Melianthus major 'Purple Haze'

Melianthus major

We’re in the search for our own Melianthus major ‘Purple Haze’. So far no luck, but we’ve put out the feelers. I suspect that if we get off our seats and head down to a Strybing plant sale…we’ll likely find one. Until then, just need to drool over this guy.

Canna edulis

Canna edulis

Another dazzling display. Canna edulis you look like fireworks shooting off into the sky.

Crinum moorei

Crinum moorei

Frankly, I know nothing about Crinum moorei. I didn’t even know the name until I found the tag. (shh… don’t tell Megan). What I do know is that Derek over at Plantgasm has the Coolest time-laps video EVER! of it blooming. Man, that was the best 90 seconds I’ve spent in a long time. Thanks for doing what you do…Derek!

– Far Out Flora

Quarryhill Foliage Fever

October 27, 2011 by Matti | 7 Comments

Styrax japonicus - Japanese Snowbell

Styrax japonicus - Japanese Snowbell

Second part of our trip over to the Quarryhill Botanical Garden up in Glen Ellen, CA included all those Asian tree / foliage species they love to grow such as this Styrax japonicus (Japanese Snowbell). It gets white to pinkish flowers in late spring, and then develops these egg shaped fruits as seen above late summer / fall. Danger Garden has a nice commentary on their fruit. Fortunately, this guy was not used as a median strip walkway tree lol.

Acer pentaphyllum - Asian Maple

Acer pentaphyllum - Asian Maple

This could be one of the rarest trees in the whole bunch on their 25 acre garden. The Acer pentaphyllum (Asian Maple) is the iconic plant for the Quarryhill Botanical garden…even is used at part of their logo. William A. McNamara wrote a fantastic article on A. pentaphyllum that is a must read for Maple lovers.

Idesia polycarpa - Igirl Tree

Idesia polycarpa - Igirl Tree

Idesia polycarpa (Igirl Tree) is a dioecious tree…aka boy parts and girl parts are found on separate trees. In order to get fruit, they need to be grown relatively close to each other. Hum, so which is pictured above? Since the fruit is supposed to start out red then turning a dark purple…I’m guess we have a girl tree here. What a beaut. We hear the fruits are edible, but we never eat random plants/fruits/berries/etc.. during our travels. Love that contrast between the chartreuse leaves and the deep purple berries.

Broussonetia papyrifera - Paper Mulberry

Broussonetia papyrifera - Paper Mulberry

Don’t know a lot about this tree, Broussonetia papyrifera (Paper Mulberry), but leaf shape is pretty sweet. Read that it does go deciduous…and bet can make one great leaf pile to jump in.

Toona sinensis - Chinese Mahogany

Toona sinensis - Chinese Mahogany

One challenge during our visit was trying to get good picture of the whole tree. You really can’t get far enough away to get an entire tree in a single photo, and we still try to grab little nuggets here and there. The Toona sinensis (Chinese Mahogany) best feature was the trunk and bark. The trunk was so straight, and the branches just seemed to be an afterthought…almost attached afterwards like one of those old school silver Xmas trees, sans the conifer look.

Cornus capitata - Himalayan Flowering Dogwood

Cornus capitata - Himalayan Flowering Dogwood

The fruit on this Cornus capitata (Himalayan Flowering Dogwood) was starting to form. The round fruit above starts out green, but then turns a brilliant red raspberry color late fall. I found some great pics of this tree at a place where we need to visit on one of our trips north…I’m talking about you ..Digging Dog Nursery up in Albion, CA.

Mega Spider

Mega Spider

Gratuitous spider photo. Not sure what kind of arachnid you are, but glad I saw it before my face fell into your web. Anybody know this guy? It was just smaller than a Saqajuia dollar…and about the same color.

Liriodendron chinense - Chinese Tulip Tree

Liriodendron chinense - Chinese Tulip Tree

Liriodendron chinense (Chinese Tulip Tree) reminds me of a couple sidewalk trees that grow along the streets of San Francisco…aka, the L. tulipifera. The leaves are unique where the apex seems to be lopped off. You can bet that when I took plant ID…I could not miss identifying this one.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Japanese Judas Tree

Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Japanese Judas Tree

Saved this tree for the end. There were a couple times while hiking around the gardens that we kept getting whiffs of candy smells…almost like burnt brown sugar. Turned out to be this gorgeous tree, Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Japanese Judas Tree…aka Katsura Tree). Not exactly sure why it produces it scent, but it gets more intense as fall approaches. Okay, I want to think it’s because of attracting pollinators. But I still think a fun tree to point out to the kids.

Hey, if you missed it a couple weeks ago, catch up on more of the blooms going on at Quarryhill Botanical Garden here.

– Far Out Flora

Quarryhill Airing Autumn Blooms

October 4, 2011 by Matti | 2 Comments

Lilium speciosum - Japanese Lily

Lilium speciosum - Japanese Lily

Check out these Lilies (Lilium speciosum)…deliciously gorgeous. We finally made it over to Quarryhill Botanical Garden located just north of SF in Glen Ellen, CA. They focus on Asian plants where seeds are collected from the wild. Don’t worry…they go through legal channels.

Platycodon grandiflorus - Chinese Bellflower

Platycodon grandiflorus - Chinese Bellflower

Though not shown above, Platycodon grandiflorus blooms look more like a big old hot air balloon before opening. Take a peek how the flower looks pre full display on Jon’s Home Blog.

Rose Hips - Rosa sp?

Rose Hips - Rosa sp?

I know these are rose hips, but no idea which ones. The hips were huge…about the size of a small lime. I heard that Quarryhill seeks out old school, non-cultivar roses for their collection. Not up to speed on roses, does anybody have a guess on its name?

Scabiosa japonica - Pincushion Flower

Scabiosa japonica - Pincushion Flower

Bees were humming all over the place on these Scabiosas. Megan pointed out to me that we’ve been growing some unknown cultivar in our garden. Yeah, I sometimes loose track of all our plants. Ours bloomed all summer, and still popping with flowers.

Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard Lily

Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard Lily

Walking along the well maintained walking trails, we saw lots of spans of lilies…many weren’t flowering at the moment, but this Leopard Lily (Belamcanda chinensis) was stunning. Plants are the Strangest People had a random event with these guys…check out the seeds.

Hypericum forrestii - St. John's Wort

Hypericum forrestii - St. John

Tricyrtis formosana - Toad Lily

Tricyrtis formosana - Toad Lily

Musella lasiocarpa - Golden Lotus Banana

Musella lasiocarpa - Golden Lotus Banana

This was a freaky golden flower. It looked like it was emerging from the ground…probably from the base. Best ID I could come up with was some sort of weird Strelitzia, but Megan came through figuring out it was a Musella lasiocarpa (Golden Lotus Banana). Go Megan!

Dianthus superbus - Fringed Pink

Dianthus superbus - Fringed Pink

Lycoris aurea - Golden Spider Lily

Lycoris aurea - Golden Spider Lily

Golden Spider Lily Is a well-suited name for this guy. Sounds like Lycoris aurea are hard ones to get to bloom. It’s more likely to flower where it’s hot and dry during the summer. Glen Ellen, CA is the perfect climate for it. Still can’t believe that this Botanical Garden has been off our radar. Likely a new favorite haunt while we head north to wine country.

– Far Out Flora

January 8, 2011
by Matti
7 Comments

Dudleyas Dudleyas Dudleyas

…the succulent so nice we had to say it thrice.  Hey, we made it to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  They focus mainly on California natives and have an impressive collection…including a ton o Dudleyas (aka Live-forevers).  Their 78 acre garden … Continue reading

October 13, 2010
by Megan
3 Comments

Cool Cacti and Stuff

    Hmmm… I thought I had a bunch of really cool pictures of flowering cacti, but I only have a few. These are more pics from our recent trip to UC-Berkeley’s Botanical Garden.     This cool dude is … Continue reading