Thursday, August 25, 2016

What's Growing in the Lake?

Our once perennial Baldwin Lake has been extreamely low for more than several months due to the current drought. Walking by the lake the other day I couldn't help but notice the plants newly colonizing the lake bed. What are these plants and how did they get there?

Newly established plants colonizing the Baldwin lakebed. Birds carry the seeds. 

Persicaria lapathifolia, commonly known as 'Smartweed' has a history of use as a grain and a medicine by Native Americans in the in the East, Southwest and Midwest parts of this country. It is a North American native  plant that likes disturbed places and wast land and has become a noxious weed in Europe. 

Persicaria lapathifolia

Catharanthus roseus; this is the garden annual known as 'Vinca' or 'Periwinkle' The seeds are small and can be carried by birds that eat insects that are feeding on the periwinkles. 

Salix laevigata the native Red willow. The seeds of this plant are dispersed by the wind and may have come from established plants located near the upper part of the lake. 

A Chenopodium sp., commonly called "Goosefoot". Chenopodiums are common weeds of waste areas. Birds and humans can disperse the seed. 

Portulaca oleracea. Portulaca is a common lawn weed that is quite edible.Seeds are small and can hitch a ride on birds, animals and humans.  

Portulaca oleracea closeup

Epilobium possibly E. ciliatum. Epilobiums are known as 'Fireweeds' because of their affinity for burned or disturbed areas. Seeds are dispersed via the wind and can blow for miles. 

Dysphania ambrosiodes, is also known as the "Epizote" and is one of the ingredients in the hangover cure Menudo. The seeds of this plant are very small and can be dispersed via dirt in the tread on shoe soles. 

Ubiquitous palm seedlings, probably Washingtonia robusta, the Mexican fan palm. These seedlings are no doubt the result of the copious fruits that drop from the dozens of trees surrounding the lake. 

Possible Lactuca sp., spread by the wind. 

Looks like a sunflower but most probably Paulownia tomentosa seedlings.  Paulownia seeds are winged and easily dispersed by the wind. They germinate immediately upon being dispersed (usually in the summertime). 

Prickly lettuce, Lactuca serriola. Lactuca is spread mainly by the wind, having seeds somewhat like dandelions. These plants may have come from nearby ones growing in the adobe excavation area. 

Either a walnut seedling or Ailanthus altissima, the 'Tree of Heaven'. Sniff test confirms -the leaves smell like rancid peanut butter. 

Ailanthus altissima seeds are contained in a wing-like membrane and can travel almost 300 feet from the parent plant. 

Most probably 'Barnyard grass' a common weed of cultivated areas. The seeds are buoyant, and are able to float great distances in water. 

Cyperus involucratus. An accesioned plant, however this one is a volunteer. 

Cyperus papyrus, the Papyrus plant. This too is a volunteer from an accessioned plant. Animals eating the tubers of this plant may have been responsible for spreading, or it could have hitchhiked on gardener's tools. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Iconic Burkard’s Nursery on Orange Grove and Lincoln Blvd. is Closing

Frank Burkard Jr.,(Frankie to his friends)  who has managed the family owned and run Burkards nursery since 1978, is retiring.
Frankie is a true plantsman. His encyclopedic knowledge of plant material is amazing. Not only can he recall the names of thousands of plants that have been offered by the nursery over the years (and just as many that haven’t), he can tell you how to take care of them, when and where to plant them, and other details most people would have to look up.

Frank Burkard Jr. 

Frank pioneered South African bulbs, he was one of the few to offer flowering Florida dogwood that grew (albeit with some fairly rigorous considerations) in the Southern California heat. For a long time he carried over a dozen different varieties of Japanese maple, and he would always have the best selection of English garden type perennials like Veronicas, asters, many different types of Dianthus etc. Ever have a vague craving for a Lauder’s walking stick hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’)? Frankie usually had one in stock.
How do I know so much about this? I worked at Burkard’s from 1985 until 1992 while I was studying Botany at Cal Poly Pomona. Working with Frankie at that nursery was a complete learning experience; I was able to learn more plant material in a year there than I would have learned in four years at a University. Not only that but I became acquainted with the care, feeding and characteristics of the plants.
Entrance to Burkards

So when I received an email that the retail store was closing for Frank’s retirement, I had to go down and pay my respects. As usual Frankie was there showing off his plants with the same enthusiasm that he did when I was working their some 30 years ago, jumping from customer to costumer, shaking hands and showing the same energy I’ve always known him to have. It obviously wasn’t a health issue that was causing him to retire. I talked to Frankie and asked him why he was retiring. He told me that he had worked hard at the nursery, but that he really wanted to spend time with his grand kids on the east coast. He also mentioned that he would be volunteering at Arnold Arboretum, and that he hoped to bring his love of gardening to inner city Boston kids.

Frankie’s always had impeccable timing. He got into perennial gardening just before it got hot in the 80’s, he would always wait for the best exchange rate between the dollar and the guilder before he bought his bulbs from Holland. Now he’s passaging into a retirement of volunteer service and closer family ties at a time when retail nurseries are facing a period of change (because of the drought and less fervent interest in gardening) that at best could be described as extremely challenging and at worst as cataclysmic. He and Burkards will be missed. 
Old Truck at Burkard's

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's Blooming this Weekend (August 19, 20th and 21st)

Here's a map to just some of what's blooming at the Arboretum. Just email yourself the link to this map (click sharing symbol) to your GPS compliant mobile device, open your email an then click on the link to the map and it will open up on your phone's Google Maps App (Requires Google Maps). You can then navigate to the plant you want to see using the Google Maps navigate function set in the walking mode. Here's the link if you just want to cut and paste:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

South African Plant Talk Links

Here's the list of links for each of the 20 plants I mentioned at the Thursday talk at the Huntington. I must confess I  have made a grave error; Euphorbia resinifera is NOT from South Africa, it is from Morocco.

Cheers,   Frank

South Africans

Drama queens: South African plants gain deserved garden spotlight - The Denver Post


North American Clivia Society
Pacific Bulb Society | Clivia
Pacific Horticulture Society | Cultivating Clivia
How to Grow Clivia - White Flower Farm - YouTube


The lowdown on dymondia and three other lawn alternatives - latimes
What is the Best Drought Tolerant Plant To Replace Grass - Dymondia - YouTube
Plantzafrica Dymondia page:

Aloe striata

Coral aloe brightens winter garden - SFGate
Aloe striata
Aloe striata at San Marcos Growers
Coral Aloe - Monrovia - Coral Aloe
Mature Aloe Hybrid Aloe Striata Hybrid or Ghost by SucculentOasis

Aloe rooikappie :Little Red Riding Hood"

Aloe ‘Rooikappie’ Giddy | ISI 2004
Little Red Riding Hood Aloe - Monrovia - Little Red Riding Hood Aloe
Aloe 'Rooikappie' at San Marcos Growers


Felicia amelloides (blue marguerite) | Plants & Fungi At Kew
Garden Plant Collections | Felicia amelloides | San Francisco Botanical Garden
Witbos | Felicia amelloides & Hybrids
Plantzafrica page on Felicia amelloides
Felicia heterophylla ‘The Rose’ - E-F - A-Z Botanical Name - Flowers Seeds
Felicia heterophylla ‘The Blues’ Seeds

Felecia species pages

Felicia aethiopica subsp. aethiopica
Felicia josephinae
Felicia heterophylla
Felicia filifolia
Felicia dubia
Felicia echinata
Felicia elongata
Felicia erigeroides

Amarygia hybrids

Amarygia 'Hannibal's Hybrids' - Buy Online at Annie's Annuals
Pacific Bulb Society | ×Amarygia
Suncrest Nurseries, Inc.: Plants for a Thirsty State
Ruth's Tips: x Amarygia parkeri - Mercury News
Hortus Camdenensis | x Amarygia parkeri ‘Blando-Josephiniana’
X Amarygia parkeri – Botanics Stories
Amaryllis belladonna Jersey Lily by Mail Order at Desirable Plants UK

Euphorbia resinifera (From Morocco, not South Africa)

What Is the Hottest Chemical on the Scoville Scale?
Euphorbia resinifera at San Marcos Growers

Bulbine frutescens

Orange Stalked Bulbine - Monrovia - Orange Stalked Bulbine
Bulbine frutescens 'Hallmark' at San Marcos Growers


Kniphofia | Red Hot Poker | Torch Lily Plants for Sale
TERRA NOVA® Nurseries - Professional Growers - Kniphofia
Kniphofia or Torch Lily or Red Hot Poker at Digging Dog | Kniphofia caulescens, Kniphofia linearifolia, Kniphofia pauciflora, and Kniphofia uvaria
Out of Africa – again! (regal torchlily) | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Kniphofia Mango Popsicle (Kniphofia Mango Popsicle) at Wayside Gardens

Delosperma (Hardy icelplant)

Hardy Ice Plant, Trailing Ice Plant, Cooper's Ice Plant Delosperma cooperi
Time to Celebrate Ice Plants!
Shop Delosperma: Buy Hardy Iceplant at Wayside Gardens

Plant Select Delosperma varieties:

Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select

Monrovia Delsosperma varietes:

Eye Candy Ice Plant - Monrovia - Eye Candy Ice Plant
Hardy Ice Plant - Monrovia - Hardy Ice Plant
Red Mountain® Ice Plant - Monrovia - Red Mountain® Ice Plant
Fire Spinner® Ice Plant
Fire Spinner® Ice Plant - Monrovia - Fire Spinner® Ice Plant

Pelargonium peltatum (Ivy geranium)

Pelargonium peltatum - Plant Finder
Pelargonium peltatum
Pelargonium peltatum Summer Showers Fleuroselect Ornamental Plant
Pelargonium peltatum - Google Search

Euryops (Golden daisy bush)

Green-Leaved Euryops - Monrovia - Green-Leaved Euryops
Euryops pectinatus (golden daisy bush) | Plants & Fungi At Kew
Euryops pectinatus at San Marcos Growers
Euryops chrysanthemoides
Vigorous Euryops Keep the Bloom On - latimes
Euryops pectinatus | grey-leaved euryops/RHS Gardening
Euryops | Horticulture Week
Dwarf Euryops - Monrovia - Dwarf Euryops

African olive

Olea europaea subsp. africana

Bauhinia galpinii

Bauhinia galpinii at San Marcos Growers
Bauhinia galpinii
Bauhinia galpinii, Red Orchid Tree
Bauhinia galpinii, Bauhinia punctata, Pride of De Kaap, Nasturtium Bauhinia -
Bauhinia galpinii Red Orchid Bush Bauhinia galpinii Red Orchid Bush [] - $7.99 : Buy Banana Plants & More Tropical Plants For Sale, Florida Hill Nursery

Scented geraniums

Scented Geraniums
San Diego Master Gardeners -Easy-care scented geraniums fill the garden with fragrance and beauty
Scented Geraniums
Martha Stewart on scented geraniums:
Taylor Greenhouse scented geranium selection:

South African restios

Giant Cape Restio - Monrovia - Giant Cape Restio
Chondropetalum tectorum at San Marcos Growers
San Marcos Growers >Chondropetalum
Video: Displaying South African Restios in the Garden | Martha Stewart
Restio Plant Care - Kelnan Plants
Chondropetalum tectorum at San Marcos Growers


Varieties of Osteospermum (Spanish Marguerite) - SUNNY®
Osteospermum Collection (Hardy) - Perennial & Biennial Plants - Thompson & Morgan
Osteospermum varieties listed by Horticulture Week
Osteospermum (group) - Plant Finder


Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' at San Marcos Growers
Arctotis 'Harlequin Mixed' Seeds
Arctotis × hybrida - Plant Finder
Arctotis fastuosa


Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Flavida' at San Marcos Growers
The Succulent Garden nursery :: Succulents :: Cotyledon
Plants Belonging to the Genus 'Cotyledon'
Cotyledon orbiculata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Cotyledon barbeyi

Agapanthus Plants of southern Africa
Agapanthus africanus
Agapanthus campanulatus
Agapanthus caulescens
Agapanthus coddii
Agapanthus dyeri
Agapanthus inapertus
Agapanthus inapertus subsp. hollandii
Agapanthus inapertus subsp. intermedius
Agapanthus inapertus "Graskop"
Agapanthus praecox subsp. minimus 'Adelaide' Homepage

Misc. other Plants from South Africa

8 South African Flowers for American Gardens: Gardenista
African Geranium | Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County
African stars | Denver Botanic Gardens
Aloe arborescens 'Lutea' at San Marcos Growers
Always Red™ hybrid Aloe - Monrovia - Always Red™ hybrid Aloe
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides at San Marcos Growers
Foraging Ice Plant Fruit- Hottentot Figs, Sour Figs, Sea Figs | Penniless Parenting
Gardenia thunbergia
Gardenia thunbergia
Gardenia thunbergium, Gardenia thunbergia, white gardenia, forest gardenia, wild gardenia -
Gazania linearis "Colorado Gold," - Google Search
Lampranthus sp. 'Hot Flash' - Buy Online at Annie's Annuals
Mesembryanthemum 'Sparkles Mixed' - Half-hardy Annual Seeds - Thompson & Morgan
Oscularia deltoides at San Marcos Growers
Pig Face (Mesembryanthemum) - Flower Power
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Plant Select - Smart Plant Choices | Plant Select
Portulacaria afra 'Prostrate Form' at San Marcos Growers
Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' at San Marcos Growers
South African Bulbs at Desirable Plants - Stocklist A-Z
Telos Rare Bulbs, South African Bulbs, California Native Bulbs, South American Bulbs, Mediterranean Bulbs
Witbos | Lampranthus hybrids
Water-wise succulents are high on style | Monrovia | Grow Beautifully
Foraging Ice Plant Fruit- Hottentot Figs, Sour Figs, Sea Figs | Penniless Parenting
Pacific Bulb Society | Home Page
Debra Lee Baldwin, Succulent Savant