Friday, December 16, 2016

Foliage Follow-up: 'Tis the Season

As I'm in the middle of Christmas holiday preparations, red and green are front and center so it seemed only appropriate to focus on foliage in those colors for today's Foliage Follow-up post.

Some of the red-green color contrasts in my garden are simply the product of new growth.

Reddish orange tips decorate the ends of every stem on Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'

Every time Calliandra haematocephala (Pink Power Puff) is trimmed, the new growth comes in red


Color changes in other plants seem to be associated with colder temperatures.

This noID guava produces red-green leaves every fall

The pinkish-purple color at the tips of Hebe 'Purple Shamrock' is also more prominent during cold weather

Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' develops stronger red coloration in winter, while the reddish tones of Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', present all year, become more prominent.  Not all Leucadendrons turn red during the winter months, though; some, like 'Wilson's Wonder' (not shown here) develop yellow tones in winter and turn red in summer.

This Leucadendron 'Jester' showed deeper red color during the heat of summer.  Our cool season temperatures have brought out more variability in the foliage, which now shows the red, green and yellow variation for which the plant is known.

Leucadendron salignum 'Safari Sunset' develops red flower-like bracts this time of year

Trachelospermum jasminoides (aka Star Jasmine) develops red-green leaf color in winter


Many succulents turn redder as temperatures drop.

Sedum rubrotinctum has turned mostly red as the weather cooled and even the Aloe vanbelenii x ferox and Aeonium arboreum sharing the space have turned a little red around the edges

Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' has developed redder edges too


However, some succulents that turned red under summer stress shift back to green.

Aloe wickensii is shown here during summer's heat (left) and currently (right)


That's it for my seasonal foliage highlights.  Visit Pam at Digging to find more foliage follow-up posts.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

18 comments:

  1. I am fascinated by the aloe's turning color with heat/cold change. Wow! And what better timing to get red tinted new growth on plants :) I always enjoy visiting your blog! Happy Holidays!

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    1. I also find it interesting that some plants react to heat by turning red, while others react to cold that way. Even those within the same genus, like the Leucadendrons, vary by species.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your wonderful seasonal foliage shots. But that Sedum rubrotinctum is the best!

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    1. That Sedum is cute! One of its common names is pork and beans.

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  3. Those are my kind of holiday decorations. Thanks for sharing! I found an article for you after seeing your question on my post. It talks about heaths and heathers for California, though it focuses on the North Central region. I think your best bets would be the Mediterranean and South African species. Unfortunately, the article doesn't say much about the latter because they aren't reliably cold hardy, but in frostless gardens like yours you can try any of them. http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/heathers-for-warm-gardens/

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    1. Thanks for the link, Evan! I'll keep my eye out for the infrequent appearance of heaths and heathers in my local garden centers so I can give one or 2 a try. This would be the best time of year to plant them probably.

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    2. I've seen Erica canaliculata 'Rosea' here and there for sale, and a few growing in the area. It seems to do really well. The ones at the UCSC Arboretum were quite striking.

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    3. I've had it in mind that Ericas are low-growing groundcovers and was surprised to discover that this one grows to 6 feet tall!

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  4. My aloes are still folded in summer horror. Yours looks green and happy.

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    1. Most of the succulent do yank themselves out of their summer doldrums once cooler weather and rain arrives. I can almost hear the Aeoniums sigh in relief.

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  5. I do like a themed post especially with the holidays in mind, well done!

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    1. Sometimes it's best to go with what's top of mind...

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  6. Beautiful foliage--great examples! I really like the Pink Powder Puff plant.

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    1. The Pink Powder Puff plant is wonderful - beautiful in flower and out.

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  7. You DO have a lot of red-and-green foliage in your garden, Kris. I like how the succulents color up with red in cooler months. And wow, that aloe is super cool. I like the way it folds up like an umbrella in the hot summer months, and then relaxes and unfolds when it's cooler.

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    1. That Aloe wickensii feels (and acts) much like the gardener herself in mid-summer!

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  8. Replies
    1. Pam and other garden bloggers like yourself are largely responsible for getting this self-professed flower floozy to give equal time to foliage, Peter.

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