strawberry begonia, strawberry geranium, roving sailor, creeping rockfoil, creeping saxifrageHighlight Month:
Strawberry begonia is native to shady cliffs at lower altitudes in China and Japan.Growth Habit:
Low, creeping herbaceous perennial.Growing Requirements:
In the garden, S. stolonifera appreciates a cool, shaded nook with rich soil and regular watering. This plant is hardy to USDA Zone 6 with some protection. Alternatively, S. stolonifera makes an excellent houseplant when provided with bright, indirect sunlight.Features:
The fuzzy leaves are a lovely deep green with flashes of silver venation and pinkish-red undersides. Each leaf extends from the basal rosette on a reddish petiole. In late spring and early summer, breezy panicles of white and pink flowers adorn the plant. The individual flowers have three pink upper petals and two larger white lower petals. The flowers stand about 12-18” above the leaves. S. stolonifera spreads via reddish stolons tipped with small plantlets. Consider growing the plant in a hanging basket where these can be displayed.Where at Lotusland:
Visitors can find the plant in the Fern Garden, clambering over tufa stones and creeping along the ground.
Yemen tree aloeHighlight Month:
It is found in southwest Saudi Arabia and western Yemen and grows in a wide distribution on dry, rocky open hillsides.Growth Habit:
Aloe sabaea is the tallest aloe from the Arabian Peninsula and its unbranched trunk can reach heights of 9-12 feet. Three-foot-long pale green leaves with small white marginal teeth emerge in drooping side-facing rosettes, imparting a melting appearance to the entire plant. When damaged, the leaves ooze a clear exudate smelling strongly of rat urine, indicating the presence of toxic hemlock alkaloids. This species blooms in mid-winter with coral orange flowers held on a branched inflorescence. Yellow-flowered forms exist but are rare in cultivation.Growing Requirements:
Full sun, well-drained soils, hardy to 27°FFeatures:
The specific epithet sabaea comes from the name for an ancient group of South Arabian people, the Sabaeans, who founded the Kingdom of Saba (800-400 BCE), in what is now present-day Northern Yemen and the Asir Province of Saudi Arabia. Researchers at Kew Gardens speculate A. sabaea evolved from a radiation event of Aloe into the Arabian Peninsula about 5 million years ago.Where at Lotusland:
Hardenbergia violacea ‘Happy Wanderer’
lilac vine, purple coral pea, false sasparillaHighlight Month:
H. violacea is native to Australia. ‘Happy Wanderer’ is a cultivar selected for fast growth, with purple flowers.Growth Habit:
A fast-growing vine, climbing on twining stems to 15 feet.Growing Requirements:
Light shade to full sun, drought tolerant once established but grows best in well-drained soil.Features:
Lilac vine blooms from late winter through early spring with dense, cascading clusters of small pinkish purple flowers. It makes a good screen for fences, or for an impressive winter flower display on a trellis.Where at Lotusland:
Hardenbergia grows on the Kiosk in the Australian Garden.
Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’
Green Goddess calla lilyHighlight Month:
Garden OriginGrowth Habit:
Calla lilies are evergreen in moist sites in the Santa Barbara area, although they can return from their drought-dormant tubers quite successfully once fall rains have begun. Their large leaves, 1 ½ to 2-foot blades atop 3-foot stems are arrowhead shaped. They begin blooming in very early spring with tall stalks rising above the leaves. The cultivar ‘Green Goddess’ has a funnel-shaped spathe surrounding the familiar yellow spadix that shades from pure white in the center to an elongated tip striped with emerald green.Growing Requirements:
Calla lilies naturally grow in bogs, so constant moisture is required to keep them year round. Bright shade or filtered light promotes vigorous growth and good flower production. They may even be planted in shallow water in ponds.Features:
This cultivar is larger than the regular calla lilies and provides a lush, tropical look to the shade or water garden.Where at Lotusland:
tilt-head aloeHighlight Month:
South AfricaGrowth Habit:
This arborescent aloe grows to 15’ or more with a single rosette of grayish-green leaves atop an attractive “skirt” of older leaves. The rosette usually tilts toward the direction of the greatest sun exposure. The large, unbranched inflorescences have deep pink buds that mature to greenish white flowers with reddish brown stamens.Growing Requirements:
Aloe speciosa is very easy to grow. It requires full sun and good drainage. Water only to get plants established. It is hardy to 25 – 30 degrees Fahrenheit.Features:
This is one of the later aloe to bloom at Lotusland.Where at Lotusland:
Along the Main Drive near the Sycamore Canyon Gate and in the Aloe Garden.
kerosene bushHighlight Month:
Southwestern AustraliaGrowth Habit:
A woody shrub up to 3 feet in height that can spread 10 feet or more in width. Very drought tolerant, it makes a soft-looking mound of light green, fine-leaved foliage.Growing Requirements:
Full sun, no supplemental water once established.Features:
The narrow leaves are deceptively soft-looking. In actuality, they have sharp tips that can cause dermatitis. Wear long sleeves and gloves when working with this plant. In spring, it is clothed with clusters of small white flowers.Where at Lotusland:
In the Australian Garden around the parking lot.
weeping willowHighlight Month:
Northern ChinaGrowth Habit:
Weeping willow trees grow rapidly to as high as 50 feet. The pendant branches form a fountain fo greenery with leaves touching or nearly touching the ground enclosing a canopy nearly as wide as it is high.Growing Requirements:
Full sun and regular moisture; it favors wet sites at the edge of natural waterways.Features:
This tree has been widely cultivated for thousands of years for its graceful shape. It can be a focal point in the appropriately large and moist site. The bright green leaves emerge in early spring.Where at Lotusland:
In the Japanese Garden at the edge of the pond.
Assam, MyanmarGrowth Habit:
This species rhododendron has small leaves and will become a rounded shrub 4 to 6 feet in diameter.Growing Requirements:
A native to elevations of about 2000 feet in the Himalayas, this species can withstand moderate frosts. It can be grown in full sun where summers are cool making it suitable for coastal southern California. Soil should be acidic and rich in organic matter.Features:
Relatively large flowers in clusters make this species a standout. The pink buds open to blush white.Where at Lotusland:
Spanish MossHighlight Month:
Southern United States, Central and South AmericaGrowth Habit:
This bromeliad is one of the “air plants” that simply hang from trees, shrubs or even manmade structures. It takes all its water and nutrient requirements directly from the air with the help of specialized hairs called trichomes. The leaves are very thin and thread-like and tiny flowers may be observed in summer (a hand lens can help).Growing Requirements:
Spanish moss grows naturally where temperatures are mild to warm and humidity is high. Frequent misting is required to grow it in naturally arid environments.Features:
The silvery gray foliage can festoon trees in a garden setting. It has historically been used as a stuffing in cushions and pillows.Where at Lotusland:
Throughout the bromeliad gardens.
hammock fern, palm fernHighlight Month:
SE United States and American West IndiesGrowth Habit:
This clumping fern spreads underground via rhizomes and forms a dense groundcover up to 2 feet tall. It displays striking pink new fronds in the spring.Growing Requirements:
Blechnum appendiculatum grows best in partial sun to full shade, in moist soil. It makes an excellent ground cover.Features:
This fern has long been misidentified as Blechnum occidentale in cultivation and the correct identification for this species is B. appendiculatum due to the presence of hairs on the rachis underside. Species in the genus Blechnum can easily be recognized by the presence of bar-like sori that run parallel to the costae (midvein) of each individual pinna (leaflet).Where at Lotusland:
Blechnum appendiculatum is planted throughout the Fern Garden and in the Lower Bromeliad Garden.