Two spectacular plants

Two visits to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden recently (Sunday with Kim Darnell, yesterday with Juan Gomez), both to mark/cushion Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s 80th birthday. Photos of remarkable plants both times — this is high flower season — and I’ll spread the photos (by my companions) out over several postings. Today: from yesterday, two spectacular plants — Tower of Jewels (Echium wildpretii), distinguished by being a humongous cone of red flowers; and treasure flowers (Gazania rigens / splendens hybrids), with composite flowers of such intense bright colors they look like an artist’s (van Gogh’s, maybe) imaginings of flowers.

Tower of Jewels. A whole plant, which towers well above me:


And the blossoms seen up close:


From Wikipedia:

Echium wildpretii is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae. It is an herbaceous biennial plant that grows up to 3 m (10 ft) in height. The nominal subspecies is endemic to the island of Tenerife, and is found mainly in Las Cañadas del Teide. The subspecies E. wildpretii subsp. trichosiphon occurs at high altitudes on La Palma. The common names are tower of jewels, red bugloss, Tenerife bugloss or Mount Teide bugloss. The Spanish name for this plant is tajinaste rojo.

… It is a biennial, producing a dense rosette of leaves during the first year, flowers in the second year, and then dies. The red flowers are borne on an erect inflorescence, 1–3 m. The plant blooms from late spring to early summer in Tenerife.

We have visited the genus Echium before, in a 3/28/17 posting about Echium candicans Pride of Madeira and Echium vulgare viper’s bugloss. (Echium referring to a serpent, or viper; etymological tale in that earlier posting.)

Gazanias.Two shots of some of the gazanias in bloom yesterday, middle distance and then close up:



From Wikipedia:

Gazania rigens (syn. G. splendens), sometimes called treasure flower, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to southern Africa.

In Australia, where it is known as coastal gazania, the species has become naturalised on coastal dunes and roadsides in the Central Coast and Sydney regions of New South Wales as well as the coast of South East Queensland. In South Australia it is found in the southern Mount Lofty area as well as on the Eyre peninsula.

The plants above are F1 hybrids, apparently from the ‘Kiss series’, which come in an extraordinary array of intense colors. More pictures (#1 and #2) in my 8/31/15 posting “African daisies”, initially about Gerbera, the Transvaal daisy, Barberton daisy, or African daisy, where I note that

… there are at least three other genera with African daisy as one of their common names: GazaniaOsteospermum (formerly Dimorphotheca), and Arctotis. All (like Gerbera) gorgeous, showy flowers with Africa in their histories.

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