I missed posting for Bloom Day. Again. Flowers catch my eye, but then on Bloom Day, the ones I noticed are done, or someplace other than where I happen to be with my camera.
These are faded and brown now, but were looking great when I took these shots on July 3.
And closer still.
I first noticed this large front yard Catalina ironwood, Lyonothamnus floribundus subsp. aspleniifolius, just north of NE Knott on NE 20th Ave in December. It was dark and cloudy and I couldn’t get a good shot then. It wasn’t looking its best then anyway, with the brown spent flower clusters still clinging, and matching leaf die-back from the December freeze.
It’s amazingly huge for a tree that is supposed to reach around 20 feet in the garden.
And isn’t the bark cool too?
The gardener was out front when I screeched to a stop in my car. She told me it came from Cistus Nursery — naturally — but I can’t remember when she said it was planted. It sure is happy in this west-facing spot.
She also said that this was the best bloom season this tree has had. L. floribundus, profuse flowering — got that right.
This tree meets all the criteria for a favorite in my book. Evergreen leaves of unusual and beautiful form, ornamental bark, drought tolerant, and fast-growing. There is a slight problem of its messy look due to retained dead leaves. But that shouldn’t hinder enjoyment very much in light of all the positive features.
This one at the McMenamin’s Chapel Pub on N. Killingsworth (always good for unusual plant viewing) is a more typical size. It also enjoys its placement sheltered in a southwest facing aspect.
This next one is close by to the Chapel Pub tree, a front yard on N. Moore Ave, just north of Killingsworth for easy sidewalk viewing.
I can’t stop admiring the leaves! The subspecies name, aspleniifolius means leaves like Asplenium (a fern).
And the bark!
Native to the California Channel Islands, this tree is the only species in its genus. A member of the rose family, Rosaceae, it prefers full sun and well-drained soil in a protected location. Tolerant of poor soils and drought, and hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 10.
For more information on this tree, see the San Marcos Growers website.