Look, I know you’re sick of the Coreopsis gigantea bloom photos I’ve been featuring for the past month, as more and more of the blooms open up, but here’s a closeup.
What’s so special about this closeup? Nothing, except it’s a really good demonstration that this is in the Sunflower, or Aster (Asteraceae) family.
See, these big-headed flowers are actually inflorescences made up of many tiny little flowers all put together into one big giant head, just like a giant sunflower head. Click the photo and dive right in and you’ll see what I mean.
You can’t really tell on this photo, but the petals along the outside are also actually single petals from little blooms along the outside edge. It’s pretty amazing in person, but then you can check it out on your own sunflowers this summer and it looks the same!
It’s a little bit of summer right here in the middle of the California winter, such as it is.
The pendant blooms can reach 4 to 6 inches. This cultivar was found on San Clemente Island in the Channel Islands off the Califorina coast near Santa Barbara. These are the earliest of the winter blooming Ribes, although the color is more subtle. Generally this is the most sun-tolerant of the currants, but that means it needs a bit more water in the summer too.
Encelia californica, also known as the California Brittlebush. You can extend the bloom season by deadheading religiously. The shrubs will get hundreds of flower heads at the same time. It is a daisy, or sunflower, or aster, depending on if you prefer to call the Asteraceae Family the Aster, Sunflower or Daisy Family. I usually call it the Daisy family since the flowers are all, clearly, daisy flowers.
It will survive most Berkeley winters, but is short lived regardless, so mix it in with your ceanothuses and your echeverias for maximum effect.
I just had my Dr. Seuss repotted, and he doesn’t look so great. I chopped back all his dead hair, he was quite lush before, but had out grown his pot. He’s about 5.5 feet tall from base of trunk. We potted him in a sandy mix of soil. He has gotten all this new growth, and the flowers since he was potted. I’m not sure how much water he needs, in old pot he was doing good with twice a week. Also, do you know his technical name? Can’t seem to find anything about him online.
Also, he’s getting a couple extra hours of sun each day in the new location. More afternoon sun than before.
It is a Coreopsis gigantea. It’s a California native from the Channel Islands and the coastal cliffs of SoCal, so it is a winter grower and goes dormant in the summer, often loosing most of it’s leaves. In your large pot I would recommend watering well once every week or two and letting it dry out well before re-watering. Being a summer dormant plant too much water in the summer can cause rot and disease issues. It should perk up and take off this fall and look great again by Thanksgiving.
From the coast, the Sonoma Coast, which you should be able to identify now from the wide sweep of the photo.
Baccharis pilularis is a great native shrub for your front yard. You should look into getting one. Do you see how beautiful they are in these wind-swept areas? Well, now imagine them up against your house after you’ve painted it a nice eggshell blue. Now that’s class.
How did a cactus store come to sell so many daisies, you may ask? I tells you there’s a reason for it. It may have to do with the fact that they are often low water and easy to grow here in Berkeley and perennial so they come back every year and rebloom – no need to plant new flowers every spring. Or it may have to do with the fact that cactus flowers only last a few days and people like longer lasting flowers to fit between their occasional ly flowering cactuses too.
Or maybe they just like them.
Did I mention they’re all in the Asteraceae (Aster) Family? Also known as the Sunflower Family? And they all have disk flowers?
Saturday, August 15
Guided Tour: California Native Plants in the Garden
10 a.m., Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center
Tour the Mary Wattis Brown Garden to see great native for your home garden.
And in case you can make it over there in the next hour:
Friday, August 7
Folk Music Jam Session
12 p.m., Wyatt Deck
Pull out your fiddles, guitars, banjos (you name it) for an acoustic jam session. Campus and community folk musicians play together over the lunch hour. All skill levels welcome. Listeners welcome!
Oh well, I guess my fiddle will have to stay put away until another day.
Our favorite of the California native grapes. Great color, tasty fruit, easy to grow. They will grow 10 to 20 ft. vines once mature that will cover an arbor pretty early in the summer and help keep all that hot, messy sunshine off your patio, but then will die back in the winter allowing all the warm comfy sun to reach into your living room through the windows and onto your sofa where you are relaxing with a cup of hot steaming joe.
Asclepias subulata is Hap’s new favorite perennial. These are very cold hardy (down to 20F) and need only a little water through the summer dry season. They’ll get 4 to 5ft. tall and will attract the usual complement of butterflies and bees and even some birds too.
Native to California as well as Arizona and Nevada and down into Baja too. It will get leaves, but they don’t last long.
These are classically inclined to be complementary with a very dry cactus garden, so go ahead and plan it out that way.
I was at Cactus Jungle this morning – here is a picture of my succulent that is unidentified. It has been in the ground three years in full sun has not grown much in that time. Looks like a chrysanthemum.
Thank you Hortensia
That’s a Dudleya. We do have those here at the store, out on the floor, but they do not have as much red on the tips as in the photo. It is a very slow growing succulent that forms only small clumps.