In the span of a few weeks the Garden has gone from relatively leafless to a green jungle, and the number of plants in flower has tripled. When you visit the Garden, don’t forget to look up, down, and all around, or you’ll surely miss something great.

The courtyard’s prominent California flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum) has started to flower and will continue to do so all summer, guaranteeing that we will hear the question “What is that plant with the big yellow flowers?” at least once daily. If I only had a dollar each time I heard it!

The Chilean fire tree (Embothrium coccineum) by the house chimney is in flower. Each year, it buzzes with hummingbirds as the tiny birds attempt to claim the orange flowers for themselves. Tour docent Rod Parke traditionally hams it up during tours by pretending to call 911 and report a chimney fire.


The Garden’s dove trees (Davidia involucrata) and Pacific dogwoods (Cornus nutallii) are among other trees in flower now. The manna ash (Fraxinus ornus) and empress trees (Paulownia tomentosa) annoy the Garden staff with their weediness and messiness most of the year, but earn a brief reprieve with their lovely floral display each spring.

Here is a long, but certainly not comprehensive, list of what will flower in the coming weeks. Come by and take a look. Bet you can’t find them all!

Silver broom (Adenocarpus decorticans)

Azara serrata

Deerbrush (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus)

Low deer brush (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus v. repens)

Chinese redbud (Cercis chinensis)

Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa)

Pacific dogwood (Cornus nutallii)

Dove tree (Davidia involucrata)

Blue bean (Decaisnea fargesii)

Chilean fire tree (Embothrium coccineum)

Manna ash (Fraxinus ornus)

California flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum)

Purple avens (Geum rivale)

Columbia lewisia (Lewisia columbiana)

Siskiyou lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon)

Devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus)

Cardwell’s penstemon (Penstemon cardwelii)

Little leaf bush penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus v. scouleri)

Photinia parvifolia

Rhododendron tomentosum ‘milky way’

Sitka romanzoffia (Romanzoffia sitchensis)

New Mexico raspberry (Rubus neomexicanus)

Dwarf Korean lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘palabin’)

Inside out flower (Vancouveria hexandra)

Evergreen inside out flower (Vancouveria planipetala)

Leatherleaf viburnum (Virburnum rhytidophyllum)

Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax)