A Visit To Tree Of Life Nursery

A trip to Tree Of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano was well worth the drive:  I finally learned how to pronounce Matilija (ma-TEE-a-ha).  Sweet!
Tree Of Life is mainly a wholesaler of plants native to the drier regions of California, plus plants native to the Sonoran Desert.  The Sonoran Desert covers large parts of Arizona and California, and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California and Baja California Sur.  Tree of Life's customers are mainly landscape contractors, but it has a small retail unit as well.
The Mantilija Poppy is the largest flower native to California:
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An enormous California Sycamore, estimated to be several centuries old, is a centerpiece of the property.  I had the wrong lens, and could only photograph a very small bit of it.  Tree of life, indeed!
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 Oaks and Sycamores, the iconic trees of Southern California. 
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 There's a clump of Mistletoe on the Sycamore:
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Oak trunk:
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It's not a "garden center".  It's a plant nursery.
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Plants grown from seed:
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Plants grown from cuttings:
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Fallugia paradoxa, Apache Plume:
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 Supervisor on duty:
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Boxed Brahea armatas:
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Now, some of the plants that were for sale:
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 Verbena lilacia:
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 Penstemon centranthifolia:
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Trichostema lanatum:
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Did you know there is a native Lonicera?
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Salvia apiana:
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Calliandra...californica?  Surprisingly showy.
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Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' grass--very photogenic.
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Lysiloma watsonii, Small riparian tree found south and southeast of Tucson AZ:
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Cupressus montana, San Pedro Martír Cypress.  I have one of these.  Mine isn't so large--yet.  
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Erigeron 'Bountiful':
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The nursery was alive with birds.  

Western Bluebirds were nesting right by the office door, paying little attention to all the people milling around staring at them while they went back and forth, back and forth feeding their hatchlings.   You could here the baby birds peeping whenever Mom or Dad brought food, which was constantly.  My camera was not quick enough--it caught only Dad's tail as he entered the bluebird house:
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There was an enormous Western Scrub Jay by the entrance, the largest I have ever seen.  Could not get a good shot.  
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His smaller companion was observing from a spent Agave flower stem:
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All in all, fun for the plant lover.  Lovely place +
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cool plants at good prices = 
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great visit!
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  1. Great photos too, Hoov. So many interesting plants. I love the white edge on that Mimulus.

    1. Thank you! Yes that Mimulus was very striking.

  2. I always love a little help with pronunciation. Now if I can just remember it. Is it the same thing as Roneya coulterii?
    Nice shot of 'Blonde Ambition'. It's been on my wish list but whenever it shows up someone always beats me to the punch (it seems to be very popular).

    1. So many plant names I've only read, never heard spoken--when I hear them I think, "Oh! So that's how to pronounce that!"

  3. great outing and pictures!!

  4. One of my favorite nurseries! Visit again when the Vitis californica clusters are ripe :)


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