Knife leaf acacia
A multistemmed tree that grows to about 15 feet in height. The name comes from the leaves' resemblance to paring knives, although in this shot they look more like little shark fins.
There are dozens of different kinds of acacias, with about 30 or so actively grown in Zones 9 through 11. The flowers are fragrant, the trees are drought tolerant once they're established, and they're great at holding up hillsides, something we like a lot here in earthquake country. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-09-28
Sweet gum leaf
Welcome to Autumn in Zone 10! Yes, it's just a veritable riot of colors, ranging from green to another shade of green. Ooops, almost forgot the pale yellow. Three colors this year -- actually, more like 2.5. Wow!! Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-09-25
Very much in bloom here in Zone 10. These trees are quite common here in LA, the pink ones especially, but there are also white and lavender varieties. Crape myrtles are deciduous trees, which the Sunset garden book describes as having a "very attractive trunk and branch pattern." The trees bloom from July to September. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-08-27 UPDATED!!
I can only imagine how shocked you will be to learn that I have no idea what kind of tree this is. I've walked past it a lot and always assumed it was a eucalyptus, a) because we have a ton of eucalyptus trees here in Zone 10 and b) their trunks tend to peel like this. I've never seen a chartreuse eucalyptus trunk before, but figured it was one of the less common varieties. Wrong! Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-04-23
Red-cap gum (in bloom!)
This is actually a different eucalyptus tree than the one we featured a few months ago, but it is the same kind. Meanwhile, some other trees I was hoping to shoot just fizzled out. Yes, I'm talking to you, acacias. Last year the acacias were absolutely loaded with flowers. This year, pretty underwhelming. Eucalyptus, on the other hand, can't seem to stop blooming. Weird. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-04-03
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
Prunus Serrulata "Shirotae"
Mt. Fuji Cherry Tree
A touch of Spring here in January, as a reminder. This particular cherry tree is the Mt. Fuji. There are a number of varieties of Prunus Serrulata, and these are not the Cherry trees found in the DC Tidal Basin. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-01-04
This is a big (20' high), beautiful tree that is situated right next to one that was in bloom through much of November and December (see image below). So actually, we're talking about two trees. The flowering one has none of the wicked looking thorn things, so I'm guessing this is a boy/girl type of deal -- maybe?? Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-12-27
American sweet gum tree (leaves)
So long, summer! Hard to believe it's already the first day of fall -- what happened to summer? Heck, what happened to spring? Anyway, about the trees. Sweet gums are big, deciduous trees known for their colorful autumn foliage. They produce tons of leaves in spring and summer, which makes them perfect for a spectacular fall display. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-09-23
Natives of South Africa, dombeyas are big-leaved evergreen shrubs/trees that can reach 15 to 30 feet in height and a similar width. The leaves on some varieties are covered in tiny fibers, giving them the feel of velvet. This particular plant has bell-shaped flowers that dangle from the ends of branches, but other varieties' blossoms -- like pink ball dombeya -- look more like hydrangeas. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-06-30