Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bloomalicious Beauties...Cal Natives in their Springtime Glory

4/25/10 Showy Penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis). One of the very first natives I planted in my garden when we moved to the property in 2006. Since then, the two 1-gallon plants purchased from Theodore Payne have reseeded and there are over 10 "volunteers," all of which are on the verge of flowering. Very showy and up to 4' tall. Found in coastal sage scrub & chaparral communities of the Peninsular & Transverse ranges.
4/27/10 'Eleanor' Monkeyflower (Mimulus cultivar).

Rattan's Beardtongue (Penstemon rattanii). Native to North Coast & Klamath ranges and the Bay Area. Works great in a woodland garden. In warmer inland areas, best in partial shade. Got mine growing in regular garden soil on drip.

4/27/10 'Sunset' Monkeyflower (Mimulus cultivar).

4/27/10 Wind Poppy (Stylomecon heterophylla). Native to grasslands & chaparral. 

4/25/10 Pink Showy Penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis).

4/25/10 Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla).

4/27/10 Golden Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha). A Southwest native (not a Cal native), but equally at home in our climes.

4/27/10 Penstemon 'Margarita BOP'

4/27/10 Orange Sneezeweed/Owl's Claws (Helenium hoopesii). Some gnarly looking petals, like they got up out of the wrong side of the bed...

4/27/10 Catalina Mariposa Lily (Calochortus catalinae). Planted four bulbs (from Telos Rare Bulbs) last fall, and they've actually bloomed...Yahoooo!! Per the Jepson Manual, they are uncommon and found in heavy soils in open grasslands & scrub. Native to the S. Central Coast, South Coast and Channel Islands. I've come across these in the springtime hiking along the Grotto Trail (Circle X Ranch) and Pentachaeta Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, and also on Figueroa Mountain in the Los Padres National Forest (Santa Barbara County).

4/27/10 Peninsular Onion (Allium peninsulare). A really showy native allium. Doing well so far in our decomposed granite. 

4/27/10 Fringe Cups (Tellimia grandiflora). This one likes shade, good soil, and moisture. A north slopey kinda plant. 

5/1/10 Hana in daydreaming mode...


  1. They really are basking in the sunlight. Beautiful little flowers.

  2. I love penstemons, I will plant a few in this new garden of mine. In my previous garden I had many of them. they are not that popular in Sydney because they can be quite messy looking.

  3. Beautiful! My Chinese Houses finally beat the slugs and are exploding with blooms!

  4. Hi Rosie! It's amazing how these little natives can really shine in the garden.

    Kathryn, I know what you mean - penstemons can look leggy and unkempt after flowering, but I think they're worth growing for their sheer beauty when they are in full bloom.

    Lisa and Robb, I can only imagine how beautiful your bloomfest of Chinese Houses must be after beating down the slug population. And I'm sure your temperate climate up in the Bay Area doesn't hurt either!

  5. The sneezeweed petals are so funny--I really like your description of them. I have mixed results with my penstemons. The rugged Margarita BOPs are doing pretty well, but I've never had luck raising others from seed--It's nice that you've got them to re-seed for you.

  6. James, I've found the Margarita BOPs to very adaptable to many different soil conditions and watering regimens. As for the Penstemon spectabilis, I have them growing in straight decomposed granite along with some pea gravel mulch. This combo seems conducive to their successful reseeding.

  7. I really need to plant some Collinsia this fall, along with some native Columbine, they're both so beautiful. Congratulations on getting your Calochortus to bloom. Now that I know we have some volunteers here, I'd like to try growing some other species.