In Bloom

PLANT OF THE MONTH: September 4, 2015

LeycesteriaPlant Name: Leycesteria formosa

Plant Location: SE corner of the parking lot

Leycesteria formosa (Himalyan honeysuckle) is native to the Himalyas and southern China. Leycesteria is in the Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle family) and grows on tall arching canes, with opposite leaves. White flowers with burgundy or purple bracts are followed by purple or black berries, and in the late season (now) you can find both flowers and fruit on the same raceme. This specimen is located near the planter box on the SE corner of the parking lot. You can also buy them in the MsK Rare and Native Plant Nursery.



PLANT OF THE MONTH: August 7, 2015

Plant Name: Daboecia cantabrica

Plant Location: Along entry path

In bloom right now, the Daboecia cantabrica (Irish heather) is native to Western Europe and Ireland, in the heathlands. Daboecia is in the heath family and looks like a slightly larger heath or heather, with dark evergreen leaves and purple urn-shaped flowers. This specimen is located along the entry path not far from the entry arbor.

PLANT OF THE MONTH: July 7, 2015


Plant Name: Notholithocarpus densiflorus 

Plant Location: Nursery

Plant Notes: In full glorious bloom right now, the Notholithocarpus densiflorus (tanbark oak) is native to California forests. It is in the oak family and although does not have the distinct oak-like leaves, has clear acorn fruits.  We have several specimens in the Garden. Standing in the courtyard, look up and over the greenhouse. This specimen is over 40 feet tall and is covered in bright catkins!  Smaller versions of this tree are available in MsK Nursery.


PLANT OF THE MONTH: June 8, 2015


Plant Name: Embothrium coccineum

Plant Location: On the main house

Plant Notes: Despite being a beloved shrub in the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden, Embothrium coccineum, or Chilean fire tree, has NEVER been the plant of the month!  Rod Parke used to say that when the Chilean fire tree was in bloom, it looked like the house was on fire.  The bright red flowers on this South American native look like a spike of fire, even now when the shrub is a tree standing tall above the farmhouse. This plant is available in MsK Nursery, albeit in small numbers.



R. fortuneiPlant Name: Rhododendron fortunei

Plant Location: Upper Garden

Plant Notes: Just in time for Mother's Day weekend, our grove of Rhododendrons in the upper garden are in full bloom. The Rhododendron fortunei series is native to China, have large white and pink-tinged blossoms, and have a slightly sweet fragrance. There are numerous hybrids made from the Rhododendron fortunei series, including Rhododendron Loder's White (shown here in the photo). 


PLANT OF THE MONTH: April 8, 2015

Plant Name: Viburnum carlesii

Plant Location: Boardwalk

Plant Notes: Have you been strolling down the boardwalk the past few weeks and notice a lovely smell on the air? It is Viburnum carlesii, the Korean Spice Viburnum. You have Heidi to thank...she planted it there last year! It is blooming now and in addition to the beautiful inflorescence and scent, it becomes a 4-6 foot tall shrub that has lovely fall color. A perfect specimen for our upper garden.Viburnum carlesii is available in small sizes at MsK Nursery.