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PLANT OF THE MONTH: July 2017 Plant Display

By Susi Torre-Bueno.

What is the Plant Display?

Each month, members bring in plants, cuttings, or flowers and put them in blue bottles on our display tables at the monthly meeting. What a great way to see which plants grow well in our area. EVERYONE is invited to participate. All plants are welcome. Write descriptions similar to those below and put them with your plant(s).

Join the fun and bring something to the next meeting. We thank those people who brought in plants to show to other members.

Available FREE on our website:

All 22 years worth of plant descriptions!

Dasylirion longissimum MEXICAN GRASS TREE (Nolinaceae) Mexico

This architecturally striking succulent from northeastern Mexico can grow (slowly) to up to ten feet tall and eight feet wide (see photo). It thrives with minimal water in full sun. According to San Marcos Growers, it has “glaucous-green stiff unarmed grass-like 4 to 6 foot long leaves. The leaves radiate symmetrically out of a large woody trunk that can slowly but eventually grow 6 -15 feet tall. In the summer, a nine foot tall spike of small white flowers emerge from reddish buds. Plant in full sun to light shade. Drought tolerant and cold hardy to at least 15°F. A great container plant or focal point specimen in the garden. The older, bottom leaves can be trimmed off to expose the trunk.” Go to Dave's Garden for a very interesting long article about Dasylirions, with lots of photos. (Jim Bishop, San Diego, 7/17) – S.T-B.

Leucadendron galpinii (Proteaceae) South Africa

There are so many fabulous plants from South Africa that thrive in our climate, and this one happens to make good filler material for bouquets. The plant displayed was part of a very large bouquet brought to our meeting by president Jim Bishop, and the plant’s cones added a fascinating element to the arrangement. This evergreen shrub, which thrives in full sun with moderate water, grows six to eight feet tall and about as wide. Like most plants from South Africa, it needs well-drained soil, but isn’t fussy about soil type. According to San Marcos Growers, it “has soft, narrow, silvery-gray leaves. Male flowers are yellow pompons and the female flowers are silvery-gray cones flushed with pink. It is hardy to about 20-25° F. A very useful and durable plant in the garden and the flowering cones are great in flower arrangements.” Said to make a good and fast-growing screening or hedge plant. Australian Native Plants notes that it is “suitable for front line coastal situations as well as inland.” (Jim Bishop, San Diego, 7/17) – S.T-B.

Leucadendron salignum ‘Summer Red’ (Proteaceae) Horticultural cultivar

This evergreen shrub is a cultivar of a South African species, and can provide vibrantly colored and interesting bouquet material. Like most plants from South Africa, it needs good drainage and full sun, and isn’t fussy about soil, preferring unimproved soil. A multi-stemmed plant, it also does well with very little water. Suncrest Nurseries notes that it “grows in a dense mass to 3-4 feet in height. Narrow new leaves in spring and summer are red, then mature to a pale green color. The female flowers have most of the parts of conventional flowers reduced to small scales, but their dense, cone-like clusters are surrounded by circles of leafy bracts that develop cream and red tones before and during the actual flowering season. Male and female flowers are normally borne on separate plants in the genus Leucadendron. Occasional to infrequent watering.” (Jim Bishop, San Diego, 7/17) – S.T-B.

Leucadendron ‘Wilson’s Wonder’ (Proteaceae) Horticultural cultivar

This is another drought-tolerant evergreen shrub grown for interesting and long lasting cut flowers (actually, the “flowers” are leafy yellow bracts surrounding small dense cones). Australian Native Plants notes that this cultivar (of a South African species) is a “beautiful shrub to 6'x8' with green foliage and bright yellow bracts ageing to orange in winter-spring. Excellent cut flower around Christmas time. Tolerant of most well-drained soil types and conditions. Full sun. Frost tolerant and growing well in Ojai and on the coast. Attractive screen or hedge.” (Jim Bishop, San Diego, 7/17) – S.T-B.

In addition to the plants described above, the plants listed below were displayed; all have been described previously.

Plants marked ‘3’ are fully described in the SDHS Plant Forum Compilation, available online for FREE at

3 Aleurites moluccana CANDLENUT (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 7/17)

3 Leucaena esculenta GUAJE (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 7/17)

3 Grevillea ‘Red Hooks’ (Jim Bishop, San Diego, 7/17)

3 Melaleuca incana Grey Honey-Myrtle, SILVER MELALEUCA (Jim Bishop, San Diego, 7/17)

3 Trichostema lanatum Wooly Blue Curls (Pat Pawlowski, Vista, 7/17)

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