Spring flowers, common and exotic

… at Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden this morning. In the common category: mock-orange, foxgloves, and bearded irises. On the more exotic side: Elegia capensis, the horsetail restio; and the Chilean bromeliad Puya coerulea.

Everyday but notable. Particularly handsome at the moment.

First, the flowering shrub mock-orange. From Wikipedia:


Philadelphus coronarius (sweet mock-orange, English dogwood) is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangaceae, native to Southern Europe. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 3 m (10 ft) tall by 2.5 m (8 ft) wide, with toothed leaves and bowl-shaped white flowers with prominent stamens. In the species the blooms are abundant and very fragrant, but less so in the cultivars. It may resemble, but is not related to varieties of the similarly named dogwood, which is the common name for Cornus in the family Cornaceae.

The specific epithet coronarius means “used for garlands” [well, for garlands as crowns: Latin corona ‘crown’].

On this blog on 6/23/11, in “More plants of love”, a note on Philadelphus (‘brotherly love’).

Then foxgloves (Digitalis), now blooming in beds of gorgeous 4-foot flower spikes in a wide variety of colors. See the coverage in my 4/28/13 posting “digitalis/foxglove”, with photos.

The fabulous beds of tulips have now all passed, but extraordinary collections of bearded irises are now in full bloom. Like tulips, their blooming time is relatively short, but they’re stunning in their season. And they’ve been bred in an huge variety of color combinations. Two assortments of bearded irises from the net:



Two big exotics. From my 7/23/15 posting “Breakfast at the Gamble”, #3 there Elegia capensis, the horsetail restio: a water-loving plant South African native with very tall bamboo-like stems and feathery, needle-like leaves, and heads of small flowers that bloom spring to summer, in cream then golden then brown, as here:


And Puya coerulea var. montanoa, a Chilean bromeliad with spiky pineapple-like foliage and 6′ tall rose-colored flower stalks, producing dark purple-blue flowers that bloom in in the spring:

(#5) Foliage

(#6) Flower stalk and flowers

A very noticeable plant.


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