Please Don't Bloom, Because Your Flowers Are Ugly

 Don't bloom, Centaurea ragusina!  You are perfect as is. 
 
The other day, I realized there's been an Agapanthus ('Sandringham') in the garden for four years now and it still hasn't bloomed.  I hit it with fertilizer to see if that will help.  It is a souvenir of the 2014 Fling visit to Joy Creek Nursery in Oregon.  I did not know at purchase that it was a deciduous, relatively cold-hardy-ish Agapanthus, which is good for a climate like Portland's, but irrelevant in no-chill Southern California.  Is that why it hasn't bloomed?  On purchase it had a grand total of three leaves, which gave it an excuse, but it has plenty of foliage now, and sun, and water. 
What's your problem? 
 Glaucium flavum aurantiacum produced two pretty orange flowers shortly after purchase, but in the three years since, has been strictly a foliage plant.  Nice foliage, too.  I did like the flowers, though. 
Bloom if you want.  Don't bloom if you want.  
 Senecio candicans 'Angel Wings' I hesitated to try due to a comment that it prefers cool summers, but also because it is a Senecio, and Senecios have ugly flowers.  It's a reliable way of identifying a Senecio:  "Wow those flowers are ugly!  Must be a Senecio." 

'Angel Wings' has its own little shade structure to keep it cooler.
Searching around the internet, I found several photos of Senecio candicans in its native habitat.  The photos of S. candicans also contained penguins.  

The dots indicate some of the places where S. candicans is found.  The big white thing in the middle is Antarctica:
The best photos of S. candicans came from either tropical plant nurseries or the Falkland Islands.  

 Summers near Antarctica are probably fairly cool, even chilly, perhaps nearly as chilly as the summers in San Francisco.  Anyway, 'Angel Wings' is pretty right now, even if it will be toast by mid-July, and don't bloom, please.  Senecio flowers suck.  

Incidentally, in researching the native habitat of S. candicans, I found this wonderful post on visiting the Falklands, which includes a photo of Senecio candicans with penguins.

Some plants produce flowers so insignificant it doesn't matter if they bloom or not.  Euphorbia turicalli is in bloom here, not that it matters, and Clematis 'Perle d'Azur', with flowers that do matter,  decided it was a fine structure to climb.
I was amused at the strange juxtaposition of Euphorbia and Clematis.  Thinking further on 'Perle d'Azur' climbing a vertical shrub/tree, the thought occurred that 'Perle d'Azur' climbing one of the black-foliaged Lagerstroemias might be awesome.  

Like this black and blue, only eight feet tall.
Those blooms would be okay.  Entirely okay.  They could both bloom at the same time, and it would still be okay.  Purple would work too, especially with a touch of white, like Clematis 'Venosa Violacea'.  There is a white-flowering black foliaged Lagerstroemia.  Just imagine this climbing on one of those:
Ooooh!
 Speaking of black and blue...
No, not this black and blue
 The blue under this black,  Agave 'Nova'.  It had better not bloom, because that will kill it. 
 'Lady Emma Hamilton' rose and the Felicia can bloom their hearts out together, though.  They are not ugly.  Especially together.

More orange and blue in Abutilon 'Victor Reiter' and soil sulfur treated Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'.  
Huh.  How did I get from "Please don't bloom", to this?  

Comments

  1. I have an Agapanthus that finally bloomed for the first time last summer, after four years in the ground. It was a huge clump of foliage that produced one flower stalk. So I understand your frustration. Also, laughing at the thought of a Clematis climbing Euphorbia tirucalli -- they stay so small here, that would be impossible. I'm loving your black and blue combos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the classic tactic of setting the shovel right next to the clump as a warning to the plant is in order for both of us.

      Ha, ha! Here the Clematis are small and the E. tirucalli are huge, and where you are the Clematis are huge and the Euphorbias not!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. She's a looker! When I finally found one for sale I grabbed with both hands. Good thing it didn't hurt--much.

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous! Those Felicia blooms are so sweet, and they go with so many things. Are you going to plant some clematis to bring your ideas to life? It would look great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think yes eventually on the Clems, but the purchase will wait a year or two until the Lagerstroemias put on more height.

      Delete
  4. It was great to wander down this particular rabbit hole with you! I especially liked the side trip to The Falkland Islands. It'd never occurred to me that the Senecio wants weather that cool. The 'Angel Wings' I put in a pot isn't entirely happy, although it gets afternoon shade, but maybe it's reacting to the gray water I've been using to hydrate it. The plant I put in the ground gets more sun but unadulterated water (if city water can be described as unadulterated) and thus far it's looking good. I'm very disappointed with 'Lady Emma Hamilton' (won in the 2017 DC Fling raffle) but then all my roses have done very poorly this year so, with more rain this coming winter (fingers crossed), maybe it'll come through eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I saw the penguins, I thought, "Uh-oh." Mine in the ground is okay, but wait until Friday/Saturday they are predicting 100F. Yikes.

      'Lady Emma' took several years to really get going here. Can't say it is my favorite rose despite the beautiful buds and just-opened flowers. It finishes badly and the foliage is always scorching....grr.

      Delete
  5. Yes, what is it about Senecio blooms? And they are so incongruous, at least on Senecio greyii. The first time I saw those blooms, I thought it was some errant daisy growing up through the shrub. I started some cuttings last year, but when they start blooming I think I'll have to be like Morticia Addams and cut their flowers off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morticia Addams, ha ha! Perfect for Senecios.

      Delete
  6. Good morning Hoover Boo,
    You have always so much beautiful plants to share.
    Have a wonderful day
    Rosehugs Marijke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can grow so many different kinds here, and I like to experiment!

      Delete
  7. I like all of your black and blues. The oranges and purples thrown in are lively. I am not familiar with the Senecios. I will look up some of those blooms to see what you are dreading. I do like the foliage of those angel wings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that 'Angel Wings' foliage wonderful? Apparently they make pretty good houseplants (in an unheated house, I would think).

      Delete
  8. And look at that sand S. candicans is sprawling over! Yes, ragusina in bloom is nothing to write home about -- keep the snippers handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Icy cold sand, too. Maybe all the penguin poop helps them grow.

      The snippers are ready!

      Delete
  9. Don't be too concerned about the penguins. We have penguins in Cape Town. (And no snow pack like California)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about penguins. I forgot you have them in Cape Town; I have seen photos of them there.

      The plant survived the nasty heat quite well. If I can get it through the summer I will be delighted.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts