Summer Color (that’s not brown)

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There has been a very interesting discussion, Native Plant Stars of the Summer Doldrums, on the California Native Plants google group. As people were sending messages about what is blooming in their gardens, despite the long period without rain and with intense heat, it got me thinking about the plants I know that are colorful (flowers, fruit or whatever) in summer and fall. That led to a long period of browsing through my image database. (Oh the ways one can spend time…) This led me to upload a new native plant list called Native Plants with Summer and Fall Color. Most of the plants on the list come from my garden or Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and they display color in the months of July through about October.

Right now my garden is mostly soft gray and brown (except for the jarringly green front lawn). This summer I have watered even less than usual so the Canada goldenrod and Pt. St. George aster have not bloomed much. You know, brown is a color! I’m good with subdued. But for those whose very mood depends on bright colors, here’s some summer shots from past years. I decided not to include the better-known summer show-offs like California fuchsia and the buckwheats.

Canada goldenrod, (Solidago canadensis) 7/31/2009, in parkway garden. 
Fragrant evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa), 8/5/2007, in parkway garden. This desert plant bursts into bloom after it is watered. I had a lot of luck with it back in 2007 but have lost several since then. May give it another try. 
Fragrant evening primrose, 8/5/2007.
Rose hips of California rose (Rosa californica), 8/20/2005, Lower Arroyo Seco Park.
Finally, island snowflake (Eriophyllum nevinii) in foreground and coastal goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii)  in center. Picture taken last week, 8/6/2012, at Point Vicente Interpretive Center. This native garden is maintained by the South Coast Chapter of CNPS

Check out the California Native Plants google group for other interesting native plant discussions, and add, either here in comments or at the google group, your favorite summer showoffs.

3 thoughts on “Summer Color (that’s not brown)

  1. Great post and so glad to know others recognized beauty in our late summer natives.

  2. Beautiful post. I grew up in Australia and enjoy CA blogs because they remind me of back home. You have a compact evening primrose. Our native pink is a terrible thug in the garden but I still appreciate it.

  3. Thanks, Saxon. <br /><br />@Patrick&#39;s Garden, the non-native Mexican evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is a bully in our gardens. A bit of it arrived many years ago (transported from a neighbors garden, probably by birds). It is so pretty that I left it alone. I don&#39;t really regret but I do have to have to work to keep it under control.

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