Wednesday, October 9, 2013

False Spring Has Arrived

Our cool summer followed by a brief but intense period of heat has tricked some plants into thinking it's spring again. This 'False Spring' is pretty common here in Southern California, happening at least once every 5-10 years here or more. The fun thing about these not-so-common weather patterns is that they seem to affect different plants each time. This year our 'False Spring' has caused our 'Tower of Jewels' (Echium wildpretii) to bloom out of the seemingly dead clumps of last years plants. Since 'Tower of Jewels' is a biennial, I guess these would be 'triennials'.

'Tower of Jewels' (Echium wildpretii) blooming in fall from an old, mostly dead bloom cluster from last season.

Magnolia X 'Galaxy' blooming out of season due to the 'False Spring'.

 Fuzzy critters attacking oak trees? No, just a type of gall wasp that causes a furry but benign gall to appear on the leaves.

Live-oak wooly leaf galls.
 Hops (pictured above) are the female flowers of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus)extensively used in the beer industry as a flavoring and stabilizing agent. These are growing in our herb garden.
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