Saturday, February 16, 2013

February Foliage Follow-up

Foliage Follow-up Day, sponsored by Pam at the wonderful blog, Digging, is a time to celebrate the plant foliage that may be overlooked as a result of the general tendency to focus on flowers.  There are several plants in my garden with foliage deserving of recognition right now.

My Bloom Day post included the fluffy pink flowers of Calliandra haematocephala.  This is the first year this plant has bloomed for me here but I've enjoyed the shrub's foliage for the past 2 years.  It has an almost fern-like quality.  The new growth appears with a reddish hue, turning a medium green as it matures.  I regularly use it as a filler in flower arrangements.  The picture below doesn't entirely do it justice.
Calliandra haematocephala

Most of my succulents look good year-round but I am particularly taken by 2 Aeonium that rooted without difficulty from cuttings I simply pushed into the soil this past Fall.
Aeonium arboreum?

Aeonium 'Kiwi'

This Euphorbia tirucalli moved here with me from my old house.  It's getting more sun in its new location in my vegetable garden, which has intensified its color.  For now, it's happy in its terracota strawberry pot but I'm sure it would gain stature if I put into into the ground.
Euphorbia tirucalli

I featured Hibiscus acetosella 'Haight Ashbury' in last month's Foliage Follow-up.  It flowered and looked great for about 6 weeks, then collapsed.  I cut it back in the hope that it will eventually return to its former glory.  Hibiscus acetosella 'Mahogany Splendor', shown below, has proven to be a better performer in the long run.  The plant produces small, burgundy-colored flowers but it's main attraction is its foliage.
Hibiscus acetosella 'Mahogany Splendor'
Some Pelargoniums are also flaunting their foliage.  I picked up the 2 plants pictured below at the Fall Plant Sale at the South Coast Botanic Garden in October.  They're still relatively small but their foliage color is eye-catching in a bed in partial shade.
Pelargonium 'Vancouver Centennial'

Pelargonium 'Mrs. Pollack'

In the vegetable garden, Salvia officinalis 'tricolor' is adding foliage interest.  Although it's principally grown as a culinary herb, this plant also produces attractive blue flowers; however, we'll have to wait until Summer for those.
Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor'

The Xylosma congestum hedge lining my backyard border has taken on a beautiful orange glow.
Xylosma congestum

As my parting shot, I'll highlight the interplay between a dark-leaved Pelargonium in my front border and the Santa Barbara Daisy foliage growing up through it.  I picked up the Pelargonium at the South Coast Garden Show in May 2011.  My records are imprecise but I think its Pelargonium x hortorum 'Tweedle Dee'.  If you recognize it as something else, let me know.
Pelargonium x hortorum 'Tweedle Dee' (?) & Erigeron karvinskianus

Connect to the Digging blog for links to other foliage photos.  Thanks for hosting, Pam.


  1. Lovely foliage colors, the tricolor sage is a favorite of mine.

    Xylosma is on my list, love the colors on this one.

  2. I inherited the Xylosma when we bought the house. The shiny foliage is always nice but it ups the game when it puts out that new foliage. Now, if I can just stop the gardener from pruning all that lovely color away as he seems to want to do...

  3. You have such a nice display of foliage this month! I'm smitten by your autumn-hued pelargonium leaves, and by those stunning Aeoniums.

  4. Both Pelargoniums and Aeoniums do well here (by contrast to my former house, just 15 miles away). I expect to add more of both in the future. thanks for stopping by, Pam!

  5. I am so impressed with the Euphorbia tirucalli and the Pelargonium 'Vancouver Centennial'. Just gorgeous!

    1. Since I've had the garden just 2 years, the Pelargoniums and many of the other plants are still small. I look forward to the day they gain some presence. Thanks for visiting!

  6. I always like finding new blogs through foliage follow up! I'm a bit jealous of your Aeoniums, and them "rooting easily" (somehow I can't manage that). They are very pretty!

    1. We're lucky here in Sunset zone 23/24 (we're on the cusp)!

  7. I also have tricolor sage. I'm hoping mine survives winter in a pot. :o) Love the aeoniums and pelargonium foliage. Aeoniums don't grow well here. They're just expensive annuals because our winters are too cold.

    1. I'm afraid I suffer from zonal denial too. I once planted a herbaceous peony and tried to mimic winter cold by dumping ice cubes around the base.