Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Huntington once again!

No apologies for posting about the Huntington Gardens once again. This is a wonderful plant collection and beautiful garden, and probably my favorite place to visit.  We chose last weekend, as it was the Spring Plant Sale and yes I did buy just a few new plants. We also wanted to catch the cacti in bloom in the desert garden. Two years ago at this time we found a spectacular plant of Echinopsis  'Apricot Glow' in full bloom - absolutely captivating and now I have a plant of my own. This year the original plant at the Huntington was just a rather dull untidy cactus - I think we missed its showtime spectacular this year but there was plenty else to see. The different types of Puya with their vivid colors caught our eye, many of them with flower spikes 6-8ft tall. First a few pictures of the desert garden. Please feel free to correct my naming if you see any errors or gaps!

Aeonium and aloe
Aloe cameronii

Erythrina acanthacarpa

Euphorbia milii CV?

Opuntia and Lampranthus

Puya berteroniana

Puya chilensis

Puya caerulea

Puya - species unknown - ideas?

After lunch we explored more generally and particularly loved the rose garden in full bloom. It always amazes me that just two hours away from Palm Springs, we find ourselves in a garden that has not only desert plants but the more temperate species that remind me of gardens back home in the UK. And rose gardens - so very English! We also loved the little orange and green humming bird on the Echiums

Alyogyne 'Moon Indigo' - love this plant but can't seem to grow in Palm Springs

White climber - possibly Beaumontia grandiflora


Digitalis mertonensis (thanks Chad for identification)

Look carefully - little orange humming bird!

Eschscholtzia and dune primrose

Grevillea -nope - my bad! Chad says its Calothamnus quadrifidus! Thanks!

Blue climber -Bignonia callistegioides - thanks Chad for ID.

Leucospermum - species? - L. cordifolium - thanks again Chad!
 And a couple of trees that caught my attention.  Wigandia urens is a wonderful exotic-looking tree with big leaves and blue flowers like borage. I recall reading that it was inclined to be irritant and cause skin rashes but this tree was right next to a path. Homalanthus populifolius is also known as the Queensland poplar or bleeding heart due to the red coloring produced in senescent leaves. Altogether a lovely day in warm spring weather!



  1. Agreed on Huntington's many different gardens, but that treasure of a place is such a well-designed collection, it's beyond inspiring. Puya berteroniana - that flower color is so unusual and so me.

  2. Hello Ian,

    I never know when to look for a new post so I'm a bit late with comments on this one!
    Could the Digitalis be D x mertonensis?
    The possible Grevillia is a Calothamnus, I think C.quadrifidus.
    The blue climber is Bignonia callistegioides, unless it has changed its name [the whole Bignoniaceae confuse me – it might be Clytostoma again].
    The Leucospermum is L.cordifolium or a near hybrid.

    I grew Wigandia urens here for a bit. It stings like a nettle! There is a large one on Tresco, but it doesn’t survive outside on mainland Cornwall. In the poly tunnel it was a liability and died from respectful neglect.

    I keep planting flowers that US write ups say that if I grow them I’m sure to get hummingbirds. I don’t.


    1. Chad - many thanks for the ID's. I'm lazy and don't post as often these days but thanks for reading and correcting. Did the Puya names seem OK to you?

      Humming birds in the UK - surely not! I know there are native species to all states in the USA.

  3. Ian,
    Much as I hate to admit ignorance of anything I know nothing about Puya except that they are difficult to weed round!

    1. Agreed - I regard them as thugs of the plant world!