Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fasciation Fascination

Fasciation is a type of deformity that occurs in plants fairly frequently. It is usually not fatal to the plant (in the short run) and can sometimes make it appear more interesting and unusual. Their are several causes of fasciation in plants. It can occur spontaneously as a mutation of the genetic material in the plant's growing tip (the apical meristem), it can occur as the result of the mutating effect of chemicals, or it can occur as the result of  bacteria that inhabit the soil and infect the plant with a small piece of genetic material that produces large amounts of a hormone like compound that causes that plant to become fasciated. Fasciated cactus and succulents (called 'cristate' or 'monstrose' ) can be sought after as highly desirable by collectors. Here at the Arboretum you can see fasciated plants occurring regularly. This might be because our soils could be infested with the bacteria that causes fasciation. 
Fasciation on a 'Tower of Jewels' (Echium wildpretii)
Close up of fasciated (crested) Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Fasciated (crested) Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Aloe speciosa with crested flower spikes. 

Close up of Aloe speciosa with crested flower spikes. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Native Orchids?

Q. This plant is growing on the slopes near where my daughter lives in Palos  Verdes. She thinks it may Be a wild orchid. Thanks Laura 

Mystery plant. 

A. After doing a search of native orchids here on, I found a pretty good match for this photo. It's a Epipactis gigantea, commonly known as a stream orchid or giant hellaborine. Here's its range (from so you see that it can be found where daughter lives in Palos Verdes:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

California the Orchard State Tour Links

Here are some interesting links that relate to the tour I gave Saturday, April 2nd here at the Arboretum

History of Orchard Culture in California

Story on Canary Island Grape -the so called 'Mission Grape'
California Wine History
Citrus Industry in California -A History
Los Angeles Agriculture - Agriculture and Natural Resources Blogs
What Grape Was Grown By the Mission Padres?
THE CITRUS LABEL GALLERY -Hundreds of Labels Collected By Members of the Citrus Label Society οΎ 
Label Showing Santa Anita Racetrack and Sierra Madre

Fruit Growers Associations

California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Fresh Fruit-Healthy Recipes: Sunkist Citrus Oranges, Lemons
California Avocados Commision
Almond Growers | Almond Board of California
California Walnut Growers
California Canning Peach Association
California Raisin Marketing Board
Western Growers
California, Arizona, & Texas Citrus
Citrus Research Board


L.E. Cooke Company -Their site is a treasure trove of information)
Dwarf Citrus Trees, Meyer Lemon, Kieffer Lime, Oranges – Order Online – Four Winds Growers (These are the growers that first developed dwarf citrus along with UCR)
Durling Nursery Inc (No Website, but follow this link for phone # and call; they'll e-mail you their availability)
La Verne Nursery