Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bloom Day from A to Z - April 2024 (Late Edition)

As abundant as spring can be here in coastal Southern California, this year is more exuberant than most.  I've an embarrassing volume of plants in bloom.  I carved out some of them, the so-called African daisies, in a separate post last Friday but this is still going to be an obnoxiously long post even though I've excluded all succulent flowers as well as ignoring the most recent blooms.  I've organized my photos into collages alphabetically by genus and I've limited my usual commentary to the bare minimum necessary to identify the plants for readers who may have an particular interest in one or another of them.

A is for Ageratum, Alstromeria, Antirrhinum, Argyranthemum & more

An exact ID for the white-flowered Ageratum (aka floss flower) on the left and upper right isn't available as I've no record or recollection of ever planting it.  The plant on the lower right is Ageratum corymbosum.

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemerias 'Inca Lucky', 'Inca Vienna', noID pink variety, 'Claire', and 'Indian Summer'

Left to right: Antirrhinum majus (snapdragons) 'Chantilly Peach' and 2 noID varieties

L-R: Argyranthemum frutescens 'Pink Comet', Grandaisy Dark Pink', and 'Angelic Maize' (aka Marguerite daisies)

Clockwise from the upper right are: Abelia floribunda 'Chiapas', Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt', Allium neopolitatum, and Anemone coronaria 'Rosa Tigrato' 

B is for Babiana (and Bauhinia, which defied attempts to be photographed this month)

Thus far, only Babiana stricta is blooming

C is for Calliandra, Ceanothus, Cercis, Cistus, Coleonema, Cuphea & more

Calliandra haematocephala (aka red powder puff)

NoID Ceanothus hedge shrub

Cercis occidentalis (aka western redbud)

Clockwise from the upper left: Cistus 'Grayswood Pink', C. landifer 'Blanche', C. 'Little Miss Sunshine', C. x skanbergii (in wide shot and closeup), and C. 'Sunset' (aka rockroses)

L-R: Coleonema album and C. pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' (aka breath of heaven)

L-R: Cuphea 'Honeybells' and C. 'Starfire Pink'

Clockwise from upper left: noID Calibrachoa (with succulents), Cotula lineariloba, Campanula portenschlagiana, Centranthus ruber, and noID Cyclamen

D is for Digitalis & more

NoID peach and pink Digitalis purpurea (aka foxgloves)

L-R: Delosperma cooperi and Dianella tasmanica 'Tasred'

E is for Echium & more

Clockwise from the upper left: Echium handiense, Erysimum 'Wild Orchid', Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl', Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid', and Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein'

F is for Ferraria & Freesia (and Felicia, included in the earlier April Bloom day post)

Ferraria crispa (aka starfish lily) isn't prolific but it's unusual enough to deserve notice

Freesia in a variety of colors

G is for Grevillea & more

Top: Grevillea alpina x rosmarinifolia, G. 'Peaches & Cream', and G. Poorinda Leane'
Middle: Grevillea sericea and G. 'Scarlet Sprite' (wide shot and closeup)
Bottom: Grevillea 'Superb' (all aka spider flowers)

L-R: Geranium 'Tiny Monster' and Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy'

H is for Helleborus and Hippeastrum 

Clockwise from the upper left: Helleborus 'Blue Lady', H. Pacific Frost', H. 'Wedding Bells', and  shots of 2 plants labeled as H. 'True Love'

L-R: Hippeastrum 'La Paz' and H. 'Luna' (aka amaryllis)

I is for Iris

Left: Iris douglasiana (aka Pacific Coast Iris) 'Santa Lucia' (top) and I. d. 'Wilder Than Ever' (bottom)
Right: noID Iris germanica (aka bearded Iris)

Clockwise from the upper left: Group shot of Iris hollandica (aka Dutch Iris) in my back border followed by closeups of  'Mystic Beauty', 'Eye of the Tiger', noID selection from 'Tiger Mix', 'Pink Panther', 'Sapphire Beauty', and 'Casa Blanca'

I've no Js or Ks in bloom at the present!

L is for Lathyrus, Lavandula, Leucadendron, Leuccospermum & more

Although I planted seeds of 5 varieties of Lathyrus odoratus (sweet peas), only these 2 have bloomed.  They may be from either the 'Mermaid's Dream' or 'Jewels of Albion' mixes.

L-R: Lavandula dentata, L. multifida, and L. stoechas

L-R: Leucadendron 'Cloudbank Ginny', L. 'Summer Red', and L. 'Safari Sunset' (aka conebushes)

Clockwise from the upper left: Leucospermum 'Royal Hawaiian Brandi', L. 'High Gold', L. 'Spider Hybrid', and L. 'Sunrise' (aka pincushion plants)

Clockwise from upper left: Lantana montevidensis, Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Limonium perezii, and Lobelia laxiflora

M is for Melianthus & Metrosideros

L-R: Melianthus major (aka honeybush) and Metrosideros collina 'Springfire' (aka New Zealand Christmas trees)

N is for Narcissus & Nemesia

L-R: Narcissus 'Beautiful Eyes', N. 'Geranium', and N. 'Sunny Girlfriend' (aka daffodils)

L-R: Nemesia 'Sunglow Bicolor' and N. 'Nessie Plus Pure White'

O is for Oncidium (and all those Osteospermums included in my earlier post on African daisies)

Left: noID red Oncidium.  Right: A mourning dove nesting close by, the reason I didn't get a better shot of the orchid. 

P is for Pelargonium, Phlomis, Polygala, Pyrethropsis & more

These are only a few of the Pelargoniums (aka geraniums) in bloom.  Clockwise from the upper left are: Pelargonium peltatum 'Lavender Blizzard', a noID variety, and P. 'White Lady' in a wide shot and closeup.

Phlomis fruticosa (aka Jerusalem sage)

Robust self-seeder Polygala myrtifolia (aka sweet pea bush)

Pyrethropsis hosmariense, which I understand is now officially called Rhodanthemum hosmariense (aka Moroccan daisy) even though both names are included in the WFO Plant List

L-R: Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata' (aka mint bush) and Prunus persica (aka peach tree) 

Q is for Quercus (oaks) but I have none

R is for Ranunculus (and lots of other plants like roses that aren't currently in bloom)

This clump of Ranunculus popped up unexpectedly from a tuber planted last spring

S is for Salvia & more

Left and upper right: Salvia 'Bee's Bliss', a California native.  Lower right: Salvia africana-lutea.

L-R: noID Scaevola, Sparaxis tricolor, and Stachys 'Lilac Frost'

T is for Teucrium and Tulipa

L-R: Teucrium fruticans 'Azureum' (aka tree germander) and Tulipa clusiana 'Cynthia'

U is for nothing I have in my garden

V is for Viola

Viola cornuta 'Penny Peach'

W is for Wahlenbergia (which I failed to photograph)

X is for Xylosma, which isn't in bloom yet

Y is for Yucca, also not yet in bloom

And, finally:

Z is for Zantedeschia (and the rain lilies, Zephyranthes, that refuse to bloom despite all our rain)

Zantedeschia aethiopica (aka calla lilies)

Whew, that's a long post even for me!  If you need more of a flower fix and you haven't yet visited Carol, the host of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, you can find her more timely Bloom Day post here at May Dreams Gardens.

All material © 2012-2024 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


  1. Replies
    1. Two back-to-back years of rain has had an almost unbelievable impact on my garden. I wish I could settle into a dream world where this was our new reality but summer's heat looms ahead and I know that 3 years of good rain in a row is very unlikely. In any case, we can enjoy it for now!

  2. It had to have taken quite a while to put this post together. I enjoyed the change-up to an alphabetical display though I suspect it may have been extra effort on your part.
    I can imagine walking through your garden. The plethora of blooms has to be overwhelming, in the best possible way.
    Many of the zone 9 (plus) plants are not within my reach. Ageratum corymbosum is one such plant. I may plant a variety of this as an annual: I hear they are butterfly magnets.
    The Ranunculus surprise: what an eye popping gorgeousness!

    1. I'm currently overwhelmed by my own garden, Chavli. As Hoover Boo (Piece of Eden) often says, rain is magic - and 2 years of rain like we've had is pure sorcery!

      Oddly, I can't remember ever seeing a butterfly on that Ageratum corymbosum, which has been in my garden for many years now. But it's planted along the house in an area that gets only early morning sun so maybe that's a placement issue. The flowers certainly should attract butterflies. As to the Ranunculus, I've always considered them as essentially annuals so to have one come back a second year is a revelation but then it may just be the result of that rain magic ;)

  3. That was a lot to put all those photos together like that, so pretty!

    1. That I actually gave up taking any more photos for Bloom Day is extraordinary in itself, Tracy. In the future, instead of trying to document everything that's blooming, I think I need to focus just on the superstars, at least in spring.

  4. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing all this beauty with us. I will click back through to see more details. You have a full-scale "botanical garden" collection. :)

    1. I don't think of my garden as spring-centric, Beth, but this year it does feel as if everything's blooming everywhere all at once ;)

  5. There's a ferny/fennel-leaved argyranthemum I like with simple white daisies that I never see offered at nurseries. Maybe you know it? Whatever variety that ceanothus hedge is, it's a solid one. Pretty sure you inherited it, so that's some longevity esp. for SoCal. Ageratum corymbosum is another signature plant of yours, always looks amazing!

    1. I don't currently have a white-flowered Argyranthemum but I've previously grown one called 'White Butterfly', which is a beauty. Like most Argyranthemum, it bloomed prolifically but eventually got woody and I pulled it out. All of those I've seen recently have been a smaller type called 'White Chocolate'. Re that Ceanothus, you're right that it came with the garden. There were 3 more in the front garden when we moved in but they died back and we removed them - or thought we did. At least 2 of them are now attempting a comeback!

  6. No Js or Ks? Geez, gonna have to work on that...jk ;P Inspiring as always, many thanks!

    1. Well, I have a dwarf ('Bonsai Blue') Jacaranda but, if it blooms, that'll happen in May or June. And I have a few Kalanchoe, at least one of which was blooming last month but I excluded all succulent flowers this month in the interest of brevity this month ;)

  7. You do have quite the abundance of blooms Kris. It must be fun to walk around and see them all!

    1. It feels amazing this year, Candi. An abundance of rain makes a big difference.

  8. What caught my eye right off was the starfish lily. I had to look it up and - alas, doesn't grow in my zone (6a just reclassified from 5b). Then, the sweet peas, which I've only succeeded in growing once. You have quite a collection. All I can say is "wow".

    1. The starfish lily (Ferraria) is hard to keep going even in my zone 10b/11a area, Alana. In contrast, sweet peas are relatively easy in my climate but I didn't thin the plants as much as I should have and I've got a tangled mess with only 2 of the 5 varieties of seeds I sowed making an appearance.

  9. Wow! Wow! Wow! The garden is going great guns. I love that Nemesia 'Sunglow Bicolor' Stunning. My Zantedeschia overwinters in the garage and is sporting huge leaves currently. It rarely flowers like yours but the leaves are what grab me the most.

    1. That Nemesia is on its second year so it's impressive for more than its good looks, Elaine. The Zantedeschia were inherited with the garden. When we moved in (in mid-December) I didn't even know they were there until the plants popped up on our back slope following the rainy season. They need a good rain year to bloom in significant numbers.

  10. What a glorious show! Like Paradise. I love the combo with the Phlomis. So lovely!

    1. I rather like that shot with the yellow Phlomis too, Julie. In my experience, those plants get woody in time but the 2 I installed in the back garden 18+ months ago have settled in nicely.

  11. Wowsa! I love the alphabetical approach this post felt a lot like walking through the cut flower market where I'm dazzled by the options.

    1. If only cut flower markets provided botanical names! That might have even more impact than if botanic gardens reliably followed that protocol ;)

  12. Kris-As always, your garden is amazing and such an abundance of blooms! The winner today is the Ferraria crispa, but I do love them all!

    1. Thanks Lee. I do wish the Ferraria was a more reliable bloomer.


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