Australia:Santa Cruz Arboretum

Astroloma conostephioides

Back in early January we headed south to the UC-Santa Cruz Arboretum to check out the winter bloomers. Laura at Interleavings blogged about her visit, and the pictures made me want to go check it out. It’s a crazy place. Take it from them, “With the largest collection of Australian and South African plants outside of their native countries, the most diverse collection of eucalyptus and their relatives to be found in one easy-to-access area, an unmatched collection of conifers and other trees, and extensive representatives of New Zealand and native California flora, the Arboretum is home to a world-class living collection.” It’s really cool if you like weird plants. Our first stop was the Australian section. The Astroloma conostephioides (ass-troh-LOH-muh) above is commonly known as Flame Heath.

Brachysema praemorsum ‘Bronze Butterfly’

It’s a pea shrub! The dark leaves are great.  After a little googing around, it turns out this plant it totally old news. Back in 2002 the UCSC Koala Blooms Introduction Program started making it available to a bunch of nurseries. Turns out UCSC also happens to be one of very few USDA approved quarantine sites for importing plants in the Rutaceae family.

Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea’

This Acacia’s about to burst. I’ve been noticing the Acacias are starting to bloom all over the place in the last week or two.

Banksia victoriae

Thryptomene calycina

In an effort to actually get this post posted, I have nothing to say about the above two plants except they’re cool. Stay tuned for the crazy South African post, and if you just can’t wait check out all the pics from the trip here.

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