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Silas_Sancona

Signs of Summer ..2019

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Silas_Sancona

While the start of calendar summer is still roughly 11 days away,  "Sizzle season" is off to a fast start here in the Desert. After some of the best mid/ late spring weather last month,  June is quickly making up for the lack of heat thus far this year.  While many things around the yard slow down until Monsoon season sets in, or have finished flowering for the year, this is the season for heat lovers. For some, the heat stimulates a burst of growth, flowers, or both.  As hot and dry as things can look this time of year, still enough color to enjoy as Summer sets in. 


"Lynn's Legacy" Texas Sage.. One of only 2 or 3 varieties i will plant.. Unlike some of the other Tx. Sage cultivars, Lynn's Legacy stays smaller,  is a slower grower and flowers a bit heavier than others like the more commonly used varieties such as "Green Cloud" / "Silver Cloud", etc. Like all Leucophyllum species / cultivars, flower displays are stimulated by humidity and heat through the year.. Soak it once a month until Monsoon season, left on its own October -May.  Bee magnet.
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Baja Ruellia, Ruellia californica ssp. peninsularis.. The only widely available Ruellia anyone should plant.. Unlike Mexican Petunia, this species grows as a low / medium-sized bush and doesn't spread like wildfire / quickly become a nightmare.. Extremely drought tolerant and another desert native that flowers heavily in response to heat / increased moisture.. Mine planted out front look a little rough this time of year, and because i don't water all that often. Placed in more shade, provided more / regular water, they look more lush ( pic.#2 )
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Sierra Madre Nightshade, Solanum tridynamum. Rarer Solanum sp. from Southern Sonora / Sinaloa Mexico. Small /medium-sized sub shrub that has done well in the time i have had it, and will take some drought, but another desert subtropical that looks better in some shade/ provided more water where it might spread a bit also.  Flowers in cycles March-late October.  A few spines around the fruits /stems ( pic. #3 ) but mottled look of the developing fruit is kind of neat, imo.. Fruit not edible, so leave it alone, lol..  Big magnet for the native bees.
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Edited by Silas_Sancona
edit: picture reposition
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Silas_Sancona

Bougainvillea "Torch Glow"  Barely watering these this year and flowering like crazy.. Slowly catching up in size to their cousins across the street.
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Calliandra tergemina var. emarginata, placed in more shade this year and apparently quite content
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Some seedling stuff that likes heat:

Sacred Datura, Datura wrightii.. Considered a weed by some, a very popular summer flowering perennial here, especially in Moon Gardens where the fragrance from the flowers can be appreciated on warm summer nights from a patio.. Planted a few out front this year. Base of the larger one ( pic #2 ) was attacked by cutworms but is somehow hanging on. Sticks around the smaller one are to Keep neighborhood feral cats out.. Attracts Sphinx Moths, some of which prefer these over Tomatoes.. Spinx Moths also pollinate such things as Plumeria, Mandevillea, etc. Will update wen they flower later on.
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Stuart's Pea, Swainsonia formosa. Seed sent by @greysrigging earlier in the year.. Slow to start back in May, Loving the heat now. Tough cookie to get to germinate for sure..
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Bush Morning Glory, Ipomoea leptophylla  Gaining size.. slowly.. While there hasn't been much "new" growth this year compared to last year, these normally focus on building  their massive root systems before putting on much size above ground. One of those plants you have to be patient with, especially here.
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Sun-flowery stuff..

Brittlebush, still flowering atm.
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Brownplume Wirelettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora. another native perennial wildflower some might consider a weed but isn't. Not much to look at as it lacks leaves most of the year. Likely blew in last fall during Monsoon Season. Tough as nails, kind of grassy looking in growth form, and very important for several native Bees.
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Other sunny Flowers..

Coue's Senna, Senna covesii on flower cycle #2. Wasn't anticipating anything on these until Monsoon season but likely stimulated flowering by harvesting of seedpods.
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Mexican Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia mexicana, also on it's second flower cycle this year. Typically seen Red Birds, C. pulcherrima are also flowering around town atm.
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Caesalpinia pumila. Rare slow to moderate growing, medium sized shrub from Central  / Southern Sonora. Interesting to note differences in some of the Caesalpinia sp. flowers. Started seed for extras of.. / better pollination opportunities with this species. Pods are pink colored as they form.
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Showy Menodora, Menodora longiflora at peak flowering. As mentioned in the past, easy, tough Texas Native and another great plant for fragrance in the evening. Also attracts Sphinx Moths.
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Silas_Sancona

Rain Lilies..

Have a collection of several sp. which flower on and off through the year. These two have been very shy flowering since moving here. Nice to see both flower at the same time this year.

Copper Lily / Copper Rain Lily, Habranthus texana / tubispathus. Have had these for several years. For one reason or another, hadn't flowered since 2015. Likes drier conditions compared to some of the other species.
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Pink Rain Lily, Habranthus robustus, another sp. in my collection that has been rather shy here..
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Has been a somewhat erratic year for flowers on my Sonoran Lignum Vitae / Guayacan ( Guaiacum coulteri ) specimens. Biggest, planted ( out front ), and potted out back both flowered lightly a few weeks ago. No flowers yet on my Second largest/ oldest potted specimen.   Wasn't sure if they'd all wait until Monsoon season starts to stimulate another flower cycle.

Didn't take long for the largest potted specimen to respond to increased heat since the start of the month. Is absolutely loaded with buds.  Wouldn't be surprised if the specimen out front decides to flower again soon also.. 

Don't really have much to add here about the species.. Have shared plenty of info. regarding culture in other threads. @mike-coral gables Hoping for seed this go around but if not, i have a couple extra 1 gal, 2 yr old seedlings i can send.. 
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..Today's guest appearance while taking pictures..
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Enjoy, and stay cool out there..

Nathan

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Hillizard

Wonderful pictures Nathan! Thanks for sharing your spring blooms!:D

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JubaeaMan138

How about this heat !!!!

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Silas_Sancona
4 minutes ago, JubaeaMan138 said:

How about this heat !!!!

# # # About sums it up lol!!  ( We need a 'censored' emoji here )

Was 107F today, supposed to be 110 tomorrow,  maybe 112-114F Wed..  Supposed to "cool" off to 102-104F by the weekend.  A few days of 100-104F June - September is acceptable.   Won't miss our 3+ months of 100+ ahead once out of here at all.  Crossing my fingers # of 110F+ days is less than 10 this Summer..

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greysrigging

Mate ! That is legendary getting the Sturts Desert Pea to strike ! Well done !!. Honestly your climate is ideal for them to thrive.....go easy on the watering regime once they are established. You guys have a bit of a 'monsoon season' coming ? That will be enough for them. Even the 105-110f days only water once a week. Once up and going they don't like wet feet. Within a few years I expect to see them naturalized in the Phoenix area.... haha
They will self propagate in the Aussie deserts.... the more barren and crappy the soil, the better they seem to do.... rocky, sandy, shaley... doesn't matter as long as there is perfect drainage.
I have found a local chain store that sell the seeds in my home town..... not that we can grow them in Darwin with our extreme Monsoonal climate, but I am more than happy to send some more seeds Stateside if anyone is interested, and has the climate to suit....10492169_916425738374196_5599984627117006549_n.jpg.787dbea9d9ff4e8ffbd8361b38e6e572.jpg

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6 hours ago, greysrigging said:

Mate ! That is legendary getting the Sturts Desert Pea to strike ! Well done !!. Honestly your climate is ideal for them to thrive.....go easy on the watering regime once they are established. You guys have a bit of a 'monsoon season' coming ? That will be enough for them. Even the 105-110f days only water once a week. Once up and going they don't like wet feet. Within a few years I expect to see them naturalized in the Phoenix area.... haha
They will self propagate in the Aussie deserts.... the more barren and crappy the soil, the better they seem to do.... rocky, sandy, shaley... doesn't matter as long as there is perfect drainage.
I have found a local chain store that sell the seeds in my home town..... not that we can grow them in Darwin with our extreme Monsoonal climate, but I am more than happy to send some more seeds Stateside if anyone is interested, and has the climate to suit....10492169_916425738374196_5599984627117006549_n.jpg.787dbea9d9ff4e8ffbd8361b38e6e572.jpg

Thanks Doug!,  Tricky to germinate for sure.. Tumbled some of the seed with 1/4 inch / 6.35mm sized gravel, and nicked a few when i planted ( very delicate operation by the way ).. This was the only one that germinated. ..and yes, being very careful when watering everything sitting near it. Soil its in is sand / un-sifted decomposed Granite,  & some Turface / Pumice.. NO organic anything. Stays pretty moist and have only provided a splash or two of water, no soaking.  Once Monsoon season starts, esp if we see decent rain,  i'll likely stop watering all together. 

Agree, these should be seen more often here / in other hot places in CA, the Southwest, Texas / Florida. A few of the local municipalities / HOAs have it listed in their "Plant this / not that" lists and a nursery that specializes in Australian natives has it listed in their catalog, but, i have never seen it sold anywhere.. 

Will update once i start seeing flower buds..

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Peter

Cool photos and info Nathan-thanks!  Do you know if Lynn's legacy will grow in Socal?

 

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Silas_Sancona
9 minutes ago, Peter said:

Cool photos and info Nathan-thanks!  Do you know if Lynn's legacy will grow in Socal?

 

Yes,  I'd be surprised if it isn't already used in landscapes out there.. Can't imagine it would present any challenges growing anywhere in SoCal. Might even flower a bit more there than here also. Have heard this variety is also somewhat less prone to rotting if the soil it's planted stays wet a little longer compared to other varieties of Texas Sage.   Should be easy to find / order ( if need be ) from any nursery there.. Practically every wholesale nursery i can think of is or has grown it.  Is sometimes listed as Lynn's Legacy- Rio Bravo Tx Sage.. Other places list Rio Bravo as it's own specific cultivar.. I always ask specifically for Lynn's legacy when i order if there aren't any available on site at X nursery. 

"Cimarron" is another low growing Tx. Sage variety worth looking into also.. White leaves/ Dark Blue Violet flowers late summer / fall ( here ) Steady, moderate grower to about the same average height / width as Lynn's Legacy ( 3-4' X 3'-ish ) and just as easy to keep trimmed/ more compact, if desired.  Little more sensitive to wet soil but planted a few back in San Jose back in 2013. Still there atm.

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Peter

Cool thanks-will make some inquiries at my local :-)

 

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Silas_Sancona

A few extra pics of Guaiacum coulteri ablaze.. and attracting all sorts of attention, including from neighborhood Hummingbirds, which was something unexpected i'd also noticed last year.  As far as i know, ( and have read ) they are not considered a major pollinator of the species.  Don't think i recall mention of Hummingbirds visiting the plant at all either in past research. While fragrant, you usually have to be up close to notice. This specimen is flowering heavily enough that i can stand a few feet back and easily detect the scent, esp. in the Morning.

Can't decide whether or scent leans more fresh soap / detergent, or leans more Black Licorice. Pleasant regardless, at least to me. When first researching it years ago, there was little to no mention of fragrance in any of the literature i read through..   Always interesting  what additional information can be learned about a plant as it is grown more.

Overall look.. Somewhat spindly atm due to on-going training for height / form. Was also a little hungry coming out of winter this year also. If you look closely, on the far lower left corner of the picture, you can see part of my second- oldest specimen looking a lot greener / fuller atm. Fed this one back in early April and while nice and full foliage-wise, is lagging on putting out flowers. Just started training on it as well. Planning on bumping both to 25 gal containers next year.
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Flowers galore.. and plenty more to open.
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Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Peter

What a beautiful flower!

 

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Silas_Sancona
3 hours ago, Peter said:

What a beautiful flower!

 

As i'd said before, might not be the fastest grower, but worth it for sure.  Noticed many of the branches on the specimen i have planted out front have added about 10" of new growth in the last few weeks, especially after i let the hose soak it a couple times.

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Peter

Just wish they were more readily available here in SoCal

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Silas_Sancona
6 hours ago, Peter said:

Just wish they were more readily available here in SoCal

Completely agree.. they should be. Wouldn't be surprised if it became a popular option, especially in landscape situations where space is limited, let alone for the flowers/ relative ease of growing.

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Peter

I think the problem is that they are super slow growing here, and perhaps coastal areas don't get enough heat. 

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Silas_Sancona
47 minutes ago, Peter said:

I think the problem is that they are super slow growing here, and perhaps coastal areas don't get enough heat. 

Definitely possible, and will be watching mine once out there to see if there are any big differences in how they grow being closer to the coast.  Also plan on testing a couple up in San Jose.  More curious to see how the other two Guaiacum species i have respond to the climate out there.

Edited by Silas_Sancona

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