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what would be a fantastic tree to grow in california that you never see anywhere ?

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Calliandra houstaniana

What about this or does it just become a big bush?

post-27-045402800 1297390183_thumb.jpg

Here is mine when I first got it. Now its about 3 feet tall in a 5 gal. I suspect if I put it in the ground it would do well considering how much I neglect I give it and it lives...

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Not a large tree to compete with those mentioned, but Eucalyptus torquata is covered in nectar laden flowers when in bloom. There's a small specimen at L.A. arboretum ,and I've seen one other that was several years old ,but disappointingly smallish and 'delicate' looking. The only large,old E. torquata I have seen was in an old part of Phoenix, and it was impressive looking,being about 25'X 30', with large trunk and branches and dense crown covered in blooms.

So I have no way of knowing If one planted in SoCal would get that big and dense.Could be it was tried long ago just like C.ficifolia. One got big and impressive,and the other didn't.

There are many unusual Eucs and corymbias from Western Aus.. I often wonder If they have all been tried at one time or another in SoCal over the last 150 years. Though many of these are smallish Mallee-types. I am interested in them because of their nectar potential and the ability to attract birds (esp. hummingbirds). Makes me wonder if there are any very old records of species tried over many decades in Balboa Park or SD Zoo.

Oh, there is torwood also. There is one in the LA Arb., again smallish and delicate looking.

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Sports Arena Street View

There are Euc. deglupta around. Probably the largest are the ones out front of the Sports Arena. They're so so as far as bark coloration goes. Better at certain times of the year than others. They're avenue trees so they get no water or fertilization to help expand the trunks and peel bark.

The ones at the entrance of the SD Zoo are better looking.

I really have my doubts these are the same type of Euc's going around FL as Deglupta. The ones I got from FL breeze through winter, have shinny leaflets, and have a slightly different look. The ones I got from you are not shinny, browned in winter and just grows different even in pots. Gary told me he thinks the ones at the SA are not even Deglupta. Not sure I agree, but I think they are maybe ones from a different islands.

What do you think? You have both right?

Sports Arena trees are definitely E. deglupta. (I grew my trees at my Loxahatchee nursery from their seed.) Likely that dryish soil, regular onshore buffeting, and lower number of degree days (compared to SoFla) all contribute to keeping a comparative lid on CA trees. That a New Guinea native (USDA Zone 12, rainfall over 100"/yr) grows fairly well under typical SoCal conditions is really nothing short of remarkable, IMHO.

Ken, these are actually spread across Guinea and Indonesia and Philippines (import long ago). Maybe there is some variation amounst them? Not sure but the two I have from SA and the one from FL look and grow different. Gary has noticed the same thing.

I agree maybe the neglect at SA is what makes them not look as nice also.

Len,

You have plants grown from the Sports Arena trees?

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Not a large tree to compete with those mentioned, but Eucalyptus torquata is covered in nectar laden flowers when in bloom. There's a small specimen at L.A. arboretum ,and I've seen one other that was several years old ,but disappointingly smallish and 'delicate' looking. The only large,old E. torquata I have seen was in an old part of Phoenix, and it was impressive looking,being about 25'X 30', with large trunk and branches and dense crown covered in blooms.

So I have no way of knowing If one planted in SoCal would get that big and dense.Could be it was tried long ago just like C.ficifolia. One got big and impressive,and the other didn't.

There are many unusual Eucs and corymbias from Western Aus.. I often wonder If they have all been tried at one time or another in SoCal over the last 150 years. Though many of these are smallish Mallee-types. I am interested in them because of their nectar potential and the ability to attract birds (esp. hummingbirds). Makes me wonder if there are any very old records of species tried over many decades in Balboa Park or SD Zoo.

Oh, there is torwood also. There is one in the LA Arb., again smallish and delicate looking.

Ohhhhh I love the Eucalyptus macrocarpa and E. rodantha mallees. Triode, you've gotta grow one of those if you like rare, oddball trees that you don't see planted very often.

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Len,

You have plants grown from the Sports Arena trees?

Arent yours?

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Len,

You have plants grown from the Sports Arena trees?

Arent yours?

No. Mine are from John in Andalucia's seed, which if I remember correctly, he said came from PNG.

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JUST WANT TO THANK YOU GUYS FOR TAKING THE TIME ON THIS THREAD.

I am keeping a list of all these trees and a friend of mine who just

purchased a big piece o land will try a few of these babies !!!

:drool:

Edited by trioderob
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Michael,

I acquired my first seed batch of A. xanthophloea seed on ebay from a bonsaii dealer, about 4 years ago. It was the only place I could find them. I grew them up, planted 2 out, and sold and gave away the rest. Then I discovered this tree growing in my neighborhood Google street view and I collected the seed from it. The owner originally got the seed from the Wild Animal Park many years ago. Now my own tree is seeding and I just saw the first sprouts of germinated seed last week, so it'll be a while before they are ready. I planted my A. xanthophloea up on my rocky, south facing ridge, thinking that it would do good but they struggle with the dry conditions, at least when they're young. They are getting better and I only had to water once every 2-3 weeks last Summer in order for them to keep their leaves. Hopefully this Summer I'll only have to water a couple of times deeply. There is not much top soil here so that doesn't help.

The most amazing drought tolerant Acacia I'm growing is A. podalyriifolia. It needs absolutely no water, even in Summer, even planted in rocky soil. It's awesome! Here's a long shot of it across the canyon. It's about 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. It seems to glow powdery blue and when it blooms it's entirely yellow puff balls everywhere.

post-126-028301400 1297269087_thumb.jpg

I found this at a local nursery and snatched it up quickly because I'd never seen one before. I had collected seed several years before off of a tree in the Water Conservation Garden in Rancho SD, but they are super slow and picky when tiny sprouts. It took several years just to get them up to 6" pots. Then finally they start to grow strong. I sold those, but I have more seeds germinating from my tree now.

Matt--

It's great to hear that you're getting seeds already from your own tree. The Google tree looks really nice as well. Imagine those as common trees in SoCal...wouldn't that be a beautiful contrast to the usual stuff. Also good to hear you've got it growing in a very dry area. I was wondering if its normal swampish habits might preclude non-irrigated positions.

That blue Australian wattle is quite striking. Almost looks like a silver dollar Euc in many ways. What I've always thought strange is that the Australian Acacias have a history of cultivation in California, while the African species have been overlooked, particularly the flat-topped thorn trees. This is something that needs to be remedied by adventurous planters and nurserymen! If you're interested in Acacias in general, there is actually a very pretty native Acacia here that has just come into bloom here in the Key Deer Refuge. It is rather shrubby but has pretty feathery green leaves and characteristic yellow pom-poms. There are several species in this area, but I think this one is the pineland acacia, Acacia pinetorum, or perhaps Acacia farnesiana, the sweet acacia. These should be tried in other dry areas as ornamentals. Not sure if these would stand California's coolness and wet winters, and dry summers, but I think would be worth a try. These supposedly have good nodulation capabilities and would be good soil-builders for barren areas.

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Ken, these are actually spread across Guinea and Indonesia and Philippines (import long ago). Maybe there is some variation amounst them? Not sure but the two I have from SA and the one from FL look and grow different. Gary has noticed the same thing.

I agree maybe the neglect at SA is what makes them not look as nice also.

Len--

Thanks for the info; I was too busy/lazy to Google.

And, as with any species spread over large distances, esp. likely if across islands, variability is bound to occur. Book me a tour for a couple of months to the region and I'll report any findings back to ya... :winkie:

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From Hawai'i, Erythrina sandwicensis, the wili wili, is amazingly beautiful. So're Hibiscus waimeae and H. arnottianus, both reaching 30ft with fragrant white flowers. Acacia koa's very elegant, especially up close.

In California I've never seen Cercis silquastrum, the judas tree from the Mediterranean. It would seem a better drought-tolerant, tree-shaped redbud than our native or the eastern species.

Chile and New Zealand have dozens upon dozens of trees ideal for California, some even showy bloomers, like Metrosideros robusta, the North Island rata, Embothrium coccineum, the Chilean firebush, and the various Sophoras. It may be too dry and alkaline in Southern California for many of these, but Chile's northern areas harbor a wealth of options.

Ombu trees, Phytolacca dioica, are very rare (and very cool & weird) in California.

Banksia integrifolia makes a nice big tree to 50 feet, and Banksia seminuda becomes a good-size tree with quite showy flowers.

Magnolias -- dozens of lush evergreen species, many with showy, fragrant flowers, like the former Michelias.

Araucaria cunninghamii strikes a nice balance between the ferocious thorniness of A. bidwillii, angustifolia, and araucana, and the soft symmetry of A. columnaris and heterophylla.

I think the many desert trees like Parkinsonia, Cercidium, and Pittosporum angustifolium, are under-used in California, especially in the Central Valley.

Some of the South African natives are intriguing, like Cunonia capensis, the butterspoon tree.

Matt Ritter, a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is coming out with a new book on California cultivated trees in April that will be a very good reference, with great pictures taken throughout the state. Sean Hogan's recent book, Trees For All Seasons, is an excellent reference for California, too.

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From Hawai'i, Erythrina sandwicensis, the wili wili, is amazingly beautiful. So're Hibiscus waimeae and H. arnottianus, both reaching 30ft with fragrant white flowers. Acacia koa's very elegant, especially up close.

In California I've never seen Cercis silquastrum, the judas tree from the Mediterranean. It would seem a better drought-tolerant, tree-shaped redbud than our native or the eastern species.

Chile and New Zealand have dozens upon dozens of trees ideal for California, some even showy bloomers, like Metrosideros robusta, the North Island rata, Embothrium coccineum, the Chilean firebush, and the various Sophoras. It may be too dry and alkaline in Southern California for many of these, but Chile's northern areas harbor a wealth of options.

Ombu trees, Phytolacca dioica, are very rare (and very cool & weird) in California.

Banksia integrifolia makes a nice big tree to 50 feet, and Banksia seminuda becomes a good-size tree with quite showy flowers.

Magnolias -- dozens of lush evergreen species, many with showy, fragrant flowers, like the former Michelias.

Araucaria cunninghamii strikes a nice balance between the ferocious thorniness of A. bidwillii, angustifolia, and araucana, and the soft symmetry of A. columnaris and heterophylla.

I think the many desert trees like Parkinsonia, Cercidium, and Pittosporum angustifolium, are under-used in California, especially in the Central Valley.

Some of the South African natives are intriguing, like Cunonia capensis, the butterspoon tree.

Matt Ritter, a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is coming out with a new book on California cultivated trees in April that will be a very good reference, with great pictures taken throughout the state. Sean Hogan's recent book, Trees For All Seasons, is an excellent reference for California, too.

Cercis silquastrum (or at least a tree ID'ed as such) used to be at Fullerton Arboretum, but it finally succumbed after quite a few years.

Metrosideros robusta used to be in Santa Barbara (and was on the cover of one of the volumes of Trees of Santa Barbara), but I have not seen it personally. Would probably be worth reintroducing to CA.

I used to grow Cunonia capensis and know where a couple of sad, sheared specimens still subsist on Trask Av in Garden Grove. It's very difficult from cuttings but easy from seed. Makes an interesting foliage plant up close. Sadly, did not take kindly to Florida relocation...

-------------

Liquidambar orientalis and L. formosana are two other species that used to be planted occasionally but are now rare in the trade. Would be worth reinvestigating for possible resistance to Xylella fastidiosa that is decimating L. styraciflua locally.

Melaleuca styphelioides, M. decora (M. genistifolia) are two larger, fine-textured Melaleuca species that are drought and heat-resistant and deserve wider use. The latter did well for me in FL as well.

Lagunaria patersonia (formerly L. patersonii)-- Cow-itch/Primrose/Tower Tree is a Hibiscus relative that takes direct drought, ocean spray, low-desert heat (and limestone of SoFla), has showy flowers. Just don't throw seedpods in the chipper...

---

I look forward to Matt Ritter's book. I've corresponded with him on a few ID projects but have yet to meet him in person.

Edited by fastfeat
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Don't know if this tree will grow for you but autograph tree would be really tropical looking and interesting flowers.

Clusia rosea.

50502.jpg

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Castanospermum australe

Khaya nyasica

Calliandra surinamensis

Schotia brachypetala

Chiranthodendron pentadactylon

Chiranthofremontia lenzii

Meryta balansae

Pterospermum acerifolium

Erythrina falcata

Ficus columnaris 'Lord Howe Island'

Delostoma roseum (the non-glossy leaved version)

Stenocarpus sinuatus

Hopefully that'll pique your interest. I have all of these but the Chiranthofremontia and Erythrina (which I am actively looking for), and can vouch that they are great, trouble-free, trees.

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Tirode:

As Matty indicated, and others may have noted, the Euc tribe is rich in possibility.

Also consider E. erythrocorys, the "red cap gum" which rocks the house.

TOtally, tubularly

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Castanospermum australe

Khaya nyasica

Calliandra surinamensis

Schotia brachypetala

Chiranthodendron pentadactylon

Chiranthofremontia lenzii

Meryta balansae

Pterospermum acerifolium

Erythrina falcata

Ficus columnaris 'Lord Howe Island'

Delostoma roseum (the non-glossy leaved version)

Stenocarpus sinuatus

Hopefully that'll pique your interest. I have all of these but the Chiranthofremontia and Erythrina (which I am actively looking for), and can vouch that they are great, trouble-free, trees.

Justin--

Is this the Delostoma you reference? (D. integrifolium)

Delostoma integrifolium:

Malibu_Scroph4.jpg

Malibu_Scroph3.jpg

Malibu_Scroph1.jpg

How big is yours? Where did you get it?

------------------------

Erythrina falcata is rather easy from big cuttings. Toughest part is getting a chunk off of one without getting arrested... I know where a few are, but probably can't get big enough material easily.

Ken.

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That is the correct Delastoma. I got mine from Buena Creek Gardens several years back. It's growth habit is much better in my opinion - less leggy.

I'd really like an Erythrina falcata - it's perplexing that it is so hard to find.

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Metrosideros robusta is scattered around San Francisco, with some rather grand specimens at the SF Botanical Garden (Strybing Arboretum) whose flowers the squirrels decimate at bloom time; amazingly, they're still pretty showy trees with only half the flowers left.

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What about Chiranthodendron pentadactylon (Devil's Hand Tree)? I have one growing in Florida. It thrives during this time of the year and then struggles through the summer. It seems to be happiest with temps ranging from 40 to 75deg.

The fellow selling these on EBay obtains his seedlings from the SF Botanical Garden from a particularly robust, upright, and lush selection from Chiapas. It has very large leaves, flowers, and fruits (that look like cacao pods), and grows very fast.

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Bump..

After a few years of dormancy, and in light of recent articles discussing potential challenges being faced with tree selection for landscapes, public, private or otherwise in CA. I thought it might be fun to take look back on this great thread ( where is Triode btw), perhaps to refresh ideas, spark or expand upon new interests, or just to see if anyone has had success with some of the rarer suggestions over the past few years, if you were able to acquire them.

Another reason I felt inspired to resurrect the thread came about while watering stuff earlier this morning and looking over my own trial specimens. Planning an update on that in the next couple days, seperate thread ofcourse.

So,  regarding the list of species presented back in 2011, any updates, new insights gained since then? 

Going forward, what new additions stand out as potential test subjects.. or have gone into the ground recently. Thoughts, observations?

As for my own list, while the obvious lean is toward acquiring and testing flowering stuff, Mexican Oaks in particular have always caught my attention, alongside some of the more obscure stuff from dry and subtropical parts of the globe ( emphasis on the Americas, Madagascar and S. Africa )that have some degree of cool/ cold tolerance, or won't be killed outright in an average winter, esp. when raised to a size that might give that extra inch of tolerance .

Been researching over other stuff as well. Not to say any of it hasn't been attempted but with so many possibilities, some older, some newer,  you just can't stop looking for ideas. Anyway.

A few obscure things I'd add. Some might be easier to obtain of course.

Mex. Oaks:

Q. Coccolobifolia

Q. crassifolia

Q. insignis.  Produces the biggest Acorns in the Genus.

Q. mcvaughii, subspathulata, conzatti.. others. ** a few, or more of these could also be trialed further north, based on some interesting recent cold tolerance observations.

Flowering:

Capparis decidua

Tecomella undulata

Goetzea elegans- Puerto Rico.. maybe/ maybe too tropical

Adenolobus garipensis

Lemuropisum edule

Jacquinia sp. 

Catunaregam spinosa

Clethera pringlei, and mexicana

Magnolia tamaulipana.. other possible sp. from Mex.

Purdiaea cubensis

Forchammeria watsonii

.. the list could go on..

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Any ideas were to get Chiranthodendron pentadactylon? In Southern California? Bitchin tree I must have one

Edited by JubaeaMan138
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Love the tree, have grown several from seed to flowering size (there is a photo of a large one of mine in the variegated monstera thread) and seen some genuinely massive ones in nature, but be aware they are fast-growing water hogs with thick, invasive roots.

I would imagine they are readily available at specialty exotica nurseries in SD and SB counties.

Jay

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Would love to know if anyone is growing the West African tree Berlinia grandiflora in California. I have an order in for seeds from a European supplier, for which I'll probably wait years before delivery. Where I live this species would need overwintering indoors, but it might grow in protected areas in SoCal. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Berlinia+grandiflora & http://www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de/root/index.php?page_id=14&id=190

Berlinia.jpg

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