Friday, April 21, 2017

Nasturtiums & Leucospermum

What do common nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) and exotic Leucospermum have to do with one another?  Nothing really, other than that they're both plants.  However, today I took a short hike through my neighborhood and down the nearby trail I explored in a March post to check on the nasturtiums I'd seen tumbling down the slope along the trail behind my next door neighbor's house.  On the return trip, I took some photos of another neighbor's yellow pincushion plant and thought I'd share both in a single post.

First the nasturtiums.

I took this photo, included in my earlier post on the trail, on March 3rd before the plants bloomed

This is the same area, photographed from the other direction, taken earlier today.  I waited longer to get back to the area than I should have but, with temperatures reaching into the upper 80sF this afternoon, I didn't think I should put it off any longer.

Closer view of the mass of nasturtiums

I spent several minutes staring at this small tree, thinking that the flowers looked very familiar.  After checking photos on-line, I concluded that this is probably a lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora).  If it looks this good on an untended trail, watered only by run-off from the neighbor's property, I think I may have to try growing it in my own garden.


In another March post, I shared a photo of the huge noID orange Leucospermum growing in one neighbor's front garden.  The yellow Leucospermum grown by another neighbor wasn't blooming at that time but it is now.  I can't help admiring it every time I drive by so I wanted to give you an opportunity to admire it too.

This plant has bloomed reliably in a brick planter at the top of the neighbor's driveway every year we've lived here


The neighborhood specimens, as well as the beauties featured by another SoCal blogger, Hoover Boo at Piece of Eden, led me to invest in 2 Leucospermum, despite the fact that I've previously killed two of these plants.  As the saying goes, the third time's the charm!  Both my plants are alive and both continue to produce new leaves but there's no sign of flowers yet.

The non-blooming Leucospermum x 'Brandi', planted in March 2016, can be seen in the foreground on the right.  Grevillea 'Ned Kelly' and noID Anigozanthos on the left seem to be taunting the Leucospermum to bloom already!

I planted Leucospermum 'Goldie', shown front and center in the photo above, in my front garden earlier this month.  Its tight leaf buds initially had me thinking it was about to bloom but, no, it too seems intent on taking its time.


Hopefully, they're just investing their energies establishing the deep root systems necessary to make it through our hot, dry summers.

Enjoy your weekend!  I'm off on yet another plant shopping expedition.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

21 comments:

  1. Those leucospermums are gorgeous, especially the yellow one. Don't you feel tempted to pick one and take it home? And the lowly nasturtiums are putting on an impressive show. I have some of my own though I am disappointed in their performance this year. Not the color that the picket promised me. I wonder what will be in your shopping cart this weekend.

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    1. Those Leucospermum are tempting but picking wouldn't be worth the possible alienation of a neighbor. I brought home much less than I'd anticipated.

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  2. That is a very impressive display of nasturtiums! I think the tree growing with them is actually Melia azedarach. Annie's sells it. Good luck with your Leucospermums!

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    1. Thanks for the ID, Evan. Re the Leucospermums, I think I just need to give them time to gain some girth before expecting blooms - as I recall, both plants came in 1-gallon containers (i.e. they're smaller than most of the blooming specimens I've seen).

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  3. Omg...I can not imagine encountering a hillside of nasturtiums like that...so completely amazing...

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    1. I was surprised when I realized that all those nasturtiums were cascading down from my next door neighbor's garden but then there are large patches in her backyard too. I still haven't gotten round to asking her if the display was intentional.

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  4. OOOoooo, looking forward to seeing what you buy on your shopping expedition. That is quite a mass of Nasturtiums. I think I actually prefer the shot of just the green foliage.

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    1. I liked the greener conditions of the trail in early March myself, Alison. There's already a lot of dead foliage surrounding the trail.

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  5. Like Evan Bean above I thought the tree looked like Melia azedarach. I've written several posts about it so you might be able to check the ID. Good shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks Christina! I'll have to look into the Melia azedarach - it's very pretty and can clearly handle tough conditions.

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  6. Hi Kris, nice to see the kangaroo paw and grevillea so far from home! The Leucospermum flowers are fabulous. If only they were easier to spell.

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    1. Our climate in coastal southern California is much the same as that in parts of Australia, Sue, so many of the plants native to your area of the world also adapt well to ours. I'm in love with Grevilleas and am continuously adding other Australia natives (when I can get them).

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    2. I'm in love with Grevilleas too, but funnily enough lots of varieties haven't done well in my garden.

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  7. Caution on Melia azedarach, an invasive in the southeast--it is somewhat in this neighborhood--I pull seedlings (probably from a neighbor's tree) quite often.

    The carpet of nasties in the gully here is starting to dry out. The season-that-must-not-be-named is coming all too soon.

    Your Leucospermums are looking good--next March probably for the first flowers. They are worth waiting for!

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    1. Yes, I'm seeing more and more signs of that season-that-must-not-be-named as well. The Agapanthus are already putting up bloom stalks!

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  8. Love that carpet of nasturtiums! My sis grew a wonderful nasturtium display in containers so I've been trying to start them in the garden as well, but I think that will have to wait till next winter! The Leucospermum is gorgeous; fingers crossed for your new ones; they look nice and healthy!

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    1. My neighbor certainly has no trouble growing nasturtiums but she's been gardening in that location 30 or more years and it appears they've spread mostly of their own accord. I've had trouble getting them started in my own garden but I probably haven't set down enough seed or shown sufficient patience.

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  9. WOW. The nasturtiums are insane, in a good way. It had to have been a beautiful sight when they were at their peak.

    And your neighbor's leucospermums are even more impressive. I so wish I could grow leucospermums here. I think we're just a tad too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer for them to thrive. Fortunately, I can grow leucadendrons and grevilleas.

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    1. We're definitely not too cold for Leucospermum here and, as my neighbors were able to keep them alive through summer's heat, I should be able to do so as well. I think my prior failures were due to restricting water too much during the plant's first year in the ground - I'd been warned so strongly against over-watering that I overcompensated.

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  10. In the first moment I thought "wow, they are nasturtiums?, so many of them", but then I realised that there is probably not many separate plants at all, but the way these plants work makes such lovely display. I always find one plant in my garden, growing self seeded, that creeps amongst other plants and it looks like there are so many nasturtiums.
    I love them though :)

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    1. I suspect those Nasturtiums have been self-seeding on that slope for decades, Aga. No one could count how many individual plants are there!

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