my new personal project is educating myself about whatever cool flowers/trees/plants I come across in LA
this turns out to be Brugmansia, or angel’s trumpets. related to Datura, same toxins as deadly nightshade. botanist says: “The more you ignore them, the better they do. Some people care for them so much they kill them.” 🎺 💀
thinking this is a Corymbia ficifolia (Red flowering gum), native to coastal Western Australia. very popular with bees, according to what I’ve read (and the bees happily buzzing around this one)
here ya got Leonotis leonurus, sometimes called lion’s tail or lion’s ear (pick one dammit!). from South Africa, with ~mild psychoactive properties~ so obviously I ate some
Albizia julibrissin is a hard, ridiculous name (first part is for the Italian guy who brought it to Europe, second half is garbled Persian for “silk flower”), but “mimosa tree” is a fun alternative. preferred by hummingbirds and butterflies!
our friends live next to this lovely palo verde tree, named for its green bark, which I didn’t capture well here—but it can photosynthesize when the tree drops its leaves 🧪
ABSOLUTE UNIT of bougainvillea, in the classic magenta shade you know and love. it’s from all over South America, and our name for it comes courtesy of a French admiral (not the cross-dressing woman botanist who was probably the first European to document it)
not positive on this one but my best guess is yucca gigantea, also called spineless yucca (probably because of the split trunks) and just yucca cane. it yields the izote, national flower of El Salvador
neighborhood these days is aburst with flowers from the golden medallion tree (Cassia leptophylla), a relatively recent Brazilian transplant and one of few tropical species to find success in Southern California. they love the heat!
spotted these African irises (Dietes iridiodes) and just read that the flowers only last a day. make the most of it, flowers!!
Tibouchina urvilleana is commonly referred to as the princess flower, for obvious reasons, but I’m more partial to the nickname GLORY BUSH. another Brazilian plant, should be blooming into autumn
some kind of hibiscus—maybe Hawaiian?—let’s say Hawaiian! there are like 200 species of this thing so cut me some slack please
this is plumeria clusioides—no fun nickname i could find for it. originates in Cuba. cool petals?!
this looks to be Lagerstroemia, aka crapemyrtle, a Southeast Asian import. nickname comes from the crinkly, crepe-like flowers, which last through the season and come in quite a few shades
lately noticing some action on these African tulip trees (Spathodea campanulata), which bloom through the growing season but are supposed to peak in spring. what are seasons? never heard of em
in a parking lot near my office they’ve planted a patch of Celosia argentea, known as silver cock’s comb or plumed cock’s comb. despite the lovely colors, it’s regarded as a nuisance weed in Asia. in Africa, however, it’s used to control witchweed, a parasitic plant
a not especially good photo of Passiflora vitifolia, the perfumed passionflower, a vine native to Central America and the upper parts of South America. the fruit is a super-sour berry cultivated in the Caribbean—ripened enough, the taste is similar to strawberries 🍓
having some trouble ID’ing different ficus species around town but this one’s easy: the Indian rubber fig (ficus elastica), whose roots can be guided so they grow into awesome living root bridges
jogging up Santa Monica into Beverly Hills you find a nice little succulent garden. pictured: the ponytail palm, the Mexican grass tree, the old man cactus and the dragon tree 🐉
neighborhood has been coming out with windflower, aka the Japanese anemone, aka the wood anemone, aka thimbleweed, aka smellfox, aka crowfoot. yep, this hybrid flower has the most good nicknames. also “partial to shade” so watch your back
one of my favorite trees in the neighborhood is Phoenix canariensis, aka pineapple palm or Canary Islands date palm, which is native to there but *not* a true date tree. listed as invasive here in California 🙁
some of the mighty oaks in beautiful Descanso Gardens
an entire side of Pleasure Chest in WeHo is covered in dazzling Pyrostegia venusta, usually called flame vine or orange trumpet vine. another Brazilian import. reply with 🔥 to respect this dope vine
met a matching magnolia tree on the way home from the farmers market — a saucer magnolia, the hybrid of the denudata and liliiflora varieties. cultivated in 1820, in France, by a former calvary officer of Napoleon’s army 🐴🐴🐴
basically overnight, a few Pyrus pyrifolia bloomed on our block. it’s a pear tree from East Asia, so it has nicknames associated with China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea — but I really like “zodiac pear.” the flowers are typically a symbol of early spring, but California strikes again
neighborhood is bursting with flowers from jade plants (Crassula ovata), a hardy succulent that needs very little to thrive and so is well known as a houseplant. but they get pretty big outside! native to the eastern cape of South Africa and Mozambique
building down the street has a lovely garden that includes Gazania rigens, or treasure flowers, which come in many dazzling varieties. belongs to Asteraceae, the daisy family. a popular ornamental, native to southern Africa and the Mediterranean, where it is a perennial
late winter (it’s 73°F) means a ton of showy pink blooms on Handroanthus impetiginosus, or pink trumpet trees—so called for the shape of the individual flowers. after this stage, the leaves should emerge. native from Mexico down to Argentina, and the national tree of Paraguay 🇵🇾
earlier this month we had a nice crop of iceberg roses. a popular variety for being disease-resistant and nearly thornless. contrary to the name, the flowers should last through summer 🧊
🚨 bougainvillea babe 🚨
been too long since i plantposted. here’s a weeping bottlebrush, or Melaleuca viminalis, belongs to the myrtle family and hails from both sides of Australia. it’s adapted to withstand strong flood currents, which probably isn’t a concern here
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