Sand aster, California aster
Guaranteed to brighten your day! That little flower is so sweet and unpretentious, how can you not smile when you look at it? This is a lovely example of a sand aster, a drought tolerant, perennial ground cover that's happiest in full sun in Zones 7 through 10. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-12-3
The gardeners at UCLA just tore out a whole slew of chokeberries and planted whatever that is above. They're nice shrubby things, about two feet tall, with bright green foliage and these odd, layered flowers that look like pinwheels. Anyone recognize these plants? Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-10-22
Thanks to astute reader insanely sane, we now know that the previously identified "chrysanthemum" shown above is actually a dahlia. For more about these flowers, including new varieties and growing suggestions, check out the American Dahlia Society. Thanks, insanely!! Excellent catch! Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-07-31 UPDATED (i.e., CORRECTED)!!
Diplacus aurantiacus or Mimulus aurantiacus
Sticky monkey flower
A California native that grows wild here in Zone 10, but makes a good garden plant, too. It's drought tolerant and bee friendly, but deer avoid it. Sticky monkeys do best in mild climates, like Zones 6 or 7 through 10. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-06-12
Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai
Common and giant, or white, birds of paradise
A tale of two birds of paradise, or BoPs, if you will. The first is the ordinary, run-of-the-mill, official LA City Flower, shown above. The second is the super-sized version, fondly known as Big Bird around here, which apparently traded in the brilliant (or what some might call garish) color scheme for a more subdued palette with a lot more height (see below). Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-06-04
Poppy of some sort
Icelandic? Oriental? Flanders Field? I've looked at so many poppy pictures that they're all running together. Please, someone take pity and identify this plant.
It's in bloom now here in Zone 10. There's another one just like it, but white, nearby, and they both have the shortest stems I've ever seen on flowers like this, only about 4 inches off the ground. Weird, but beautiful. Look familiar?
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There are two trees (see image below) like this growing in a wilderness park here in Zone 10. Most of the year, they're regular green trees. But in the fall, they turn bright copper-orange. In fact, the color is so unusual that it actually looks like the trees are dying, but they're not; they turn green again every spring. Also, the little seed things on the ends of the branches stay green. (Click on the image to enlarge it and get a better view of the seeds; they look like beads on a string.) Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-01-09
Happy Day After!! Not much of a Plantidote today -- just some electric orange roses to liven the joint up a little. You might be happy to hear that Santa brought me a new camera, one that macros!! So we should have much better images in the near future, right after I read the manual (for a change) ;-) Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-12-26
Summer sun justicia
A favorite with hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, justicia leonardii is a native of Mexico. It's best suited to Zones 8b through 11. The plant blooms for months at a time, as long as it has full sun and not too much water, although it's fine with humidity. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-11-15
Ooooooo, a Halloween mystery! Actually, I'm pretty sure we've seen this small tree (shrub?) before, but can't recall the name. These berries eventually turn red, but this particular plant is in a shady spot so they may not be ripe yet. Whatever it is, it's very common here in Zone 10 and doesn't seem to be fussy about anything -- it's growing in what is basically a vacant lot. Look familiar?
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Native to California, these poppies are the state flower. They grow everywhere here, mostly wild, carpeting hillsides every spring and summer. Very reliable self sowers; plant these poppies once and they come back year after year. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-09-19