What's Blooming At The Huntington September 2, 2018

A red Lotus in the Japanese Style Garden

We visited the Huntington yesterday.  What was blooming after an extremely hot summer?  Plenty.  We took a different path than usual around the garden,  going left at the entrance towards the Conservatory Meadow instead of straight through to the rill and Desert Garden.  
Grasses and Abelia flowering in the Conservatory meadow

 Lagerstroemia 'Black Diamond Crimson Red' aka 'Ebony Fire'
Cyperus papyrus, maybe.

 In the Chinese Scholar's Garden, water lilies:
 Liriope in the Japanese Style garden
 Lagerstroemia there, too.
 Also in the Japanese Style garden, Callicarpa.  Not common in Southern California;  popular elsewhere. 
 In the Subtropical garden,  Hibiscus ovalifolius, native to east Africa
 In the Australian garden, possibly a Melaleuca...
...but undoubtedly Pandorea jasminoides 'Rosea'
As well as Brachychiton discolor, an Australian rain forest plant, but from drier rain forests.  Is there such a thing as a drier rain forest? 
 This might have been Eremophila.  Glorious.
 Then on to an area of mixed region plantings.  Agapathus, which is from South Africa...
 ...then Campsis radicans, from the eastern US. 
 While we're here, note the green shrub below the Campsis.  That's a Mexican Mahonia, M. chochoco.  Did you know there was a Mexican Mahonia?  It has the yellow flowers and deep blue berries of other Mahonias, but the foliage is soft, without prickly tips.    
 While we are digressing on Mahonia, did you know there's one native to the Los Angeles basin, M. nevinii?  It's mostly extinct in the wild, maybe because the Los Angeles basin is mostly housing and concrete now.  The berries (red, not deep blue) are a favorite of the Western Bluebird, and therefore worth planting for that alone.  The flowers feed, yes of course, hummingbirds.  I think I need to find a spot for M. nevinii. 

But back to blooms, now in the Desert Garden.  Every Beaucarnea seemed to be flowering. 
 Agave parrasana is not a big Agave, but it puts out a seriously stout flower stem. 
 Echinopsis 'Sleeping Beauty'.  The photo fails to capture the glowing peach color.  This is a gorgeous one, folks. 
 Desert Willow there on the left under an overcast sky.  The marine layer lingered;  September 2nd was the first day since July 2nd Los Angeles stayed below 80F. 
 Ferocactus emoryi, maybe
 Some other Ferocactus, maybe
Brilliant orange and red Caesalpinia pulcherrima
 Notocactus warasii said the sign, though I learned some people would rather die than call a Parodia a Notocactus, so maybe it's a Parodia. 
 Cleistocactus?  These bloom year round at the Huntington. 
 The daintiest Opuntia flower of them all?  Opuntia quitensis.  Note the ants.  The flowers were tiny, maybe a half inch. 
 Opuntia erectoclada aka Tunilla erectoclada may be a garden hybrid and not a true species.  Pretty flowers, regardless.
 No idea
 Stapelia in a come-hither pose. 
 Echeveria 'Maze'
 We ended our morning by going up through the Rill garden towards the exit.  Tropical waterlily
 The summertime Rill plantings were pretty much bloomed out.  Time for Autumn change out soon, I expect. 
 Grasses and Salvias as we left. 
Unfortunately we skipped the Rose and Shakespeare gardens this visit--the madding crowds were streaming in and the sun was burning off the marine layer.  Time to skedaddle.  


  1. Ah the maddening crowds...

    Thanks for the quick desert garden tour, always enjoy your visits.

    1. Or maybe they were texting crowds?

      Happy to update on whazzup in the DG.

  2. It looks as though you picked an excellent time to visit The Huntington! I'd no idea there was a Mexican Mahonia, much less one native to the Los Angeles area. I wonder if The Huntington will offer either at it fall sale? I think I need to find that peach Echinopsis too. I'm glad you've enjoyed a bit of the marine layer too. We've been socked in well into the afternoon of late - it's been lovely.

    1. It turned out to be a great morning. I too had no idea about those non-PNW Mahonias. Glad I took the time to look them up.

      'Sleeping Beauty' is fragrant, too. Fall sale...you going?

      Love love love that marine layer! Enjoy!

    2. Clicking on the photo with the beaucarnia blooms took my breath away!

    3. It looked like maintenance staff have been busy!

    4. What is the main kind of maintenance task that would have been happening recently, say in the Beaucarnia planting?

    5. Looks like they planted some new groundcover plants, as last I was there, empty spots in that area. Also a bloomed out 'Blue Flame' or two or three. And of course the usual litter and weed removal. Like any other garden the bigger plants outlive the little space fillers.

  3. Loved the tour of blooms! Mahonias native to Mexico and the L.A. basin? Who knew?

  4. Nothing like a bloom tour. Love that tropical water lily bloom color. WOW.

    1. You are right, the tropicals have that eye-popping neon color. No other flower color quite like it.

  5. That Echinopsis 'Sleeping Beauty' is a stunner. *And* fragrant, you say... It must draw a little crowd on days like your visit.

    So much beauty to enjoy, when temperatures permit it! The yellow-green of that cool non-prickly Mahonia chochoco sets off the orange trumpet vine nicely. That picture has a number of elements that grabbed me hard: an arbor, an arbor planted with something from my local flora, orange/chartreuse combo...

    The salvia and grasses photo is magical. Well, many of them are, but this more than most.

    Even if agaves weren't monocarpic, it's hard to see how A. parrasana could survive a flowering into which it put that kind of effort. Whoa.

    1. Interesting but lots of people walk right by and do not notice the smaller plants and the details to be seen. Takes multiple visits and familiarity with plants to see what is there, because there is so much there there. ;^) The Echinopsis plants were sunburnt, battered, and there was plant litter scattered about the clump. The filigree of grass flowers in the last photo--everyone was walking right by without a glance, even the people not texting on their phones.

      The Campsis arbor area is just outside the Desert Garden at the bottom of the Huntington. Most visitors never walk that far--makes it a nice spot to pause.

  6. What a great tour. Thanks for sharing all those great photos. It's amazing how much can still bloom even after a hot dry summer.

    1. Thanks! The plants were either heat-lovers, or relieved it's finally cooling down.

  7. My fantasy zen cottage of the future is going to have a wall covered with that Cyperus image. It's mesmerizing.

  8. I so miss the Huntington's desert garden. I've seen it only in December and I'd love to see it in early spring.


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