Monday, October 20, 2014

California Ho!

ProfessorRoush took another long hiatus from blogging again this past week, but at least this time, I had a good reason (or think I had a good reason).  My annual ACVS (American College of Veterinary Surgeons) convention was in San Diego, so Mrs. ProfessorRoush accompanied me to that desert paradise and pretended that she was on a "San Diego Housewives" reality show for a few days.  We ate ourselves into discomfort and celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary while there.

When Mrs. ProfessorRoush drags me to interesting and educational sights on such trips (such as the beach and the Old Coronado Hotel, I make every effort to listen with one ear and nod while I'm actually concentrating on the different climate and vegetation.  Often, I can't identify a "other-zonal" plant at all, as exemplified by the specimen at left.  I haven't a clue what this is, but I really hope that it will thrive in Kansas because if I ever see it, I'm going to grow it in my garden.

I frequently learn about new plants during these trips.   For example, the plant at left is a Dragon Tree (Dracaena Draco), a member of the asparagus family, which lives at the Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island.  The plaque at its feet notes that the Dragon Tree at this Hotel was used in a backdrop in the 1958 Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like It Hot, so I spent some time imaging the eternal beauty of Ms. Monroe standing next to me under its shade.  Sadly, before I could take that fantasy very far, Mrs. ProfessorRoush dragged me away all too soon to see the stupid Pacific Ocean and the barren beach along it.  

I wasn't surprised at all to see the orange Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) above, and I was able to recognize the long jasmine hedge at the left and spend some dreamy moments thinking about its fragrance in full bloom.  I was also pleased to learn that 'Fire Power' Nandina looks just as bad in Southern California there as it does in my own garden. 

The most perplexing moment of my trip, however was finding a number of daylilies in full bloom in various artificial landscapes.  Daylilies in Southern California?  Blooming in October?  How strange.  I didn't see a single 'Stella de Oro', but I did see this light yellow daylily and the purple daylily below.  I believe the latter to be "Little Purple Grapette' or something like it.  I really don't have a clue, but I would have bet that daylilies would bloom in March in Southern California and be long done by now.  Does anybody out there know about daylilies in Southern California?

All in all, a great trip, good lodging, good eats, good company, and good weather.  San Diego is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to grow daylilies there.


  1. That sounds like a very interesting and enjoyable trip. It is always a learning experience looking at what is flourishing in a different climate to one's own. I remember going to Madeira and being amazed by the sight of teams of workmen scything down the myriad of agapanthus growing on the verges. I have one tub of them which I nurture and prize very highly.

  2. Your mystery plant looks like a loropetalum--there are many cultivars varying in mature size and leaf color--usually considered hardy to zone 8 or 7.

  3. it also kind of looks like a variegated tradescantia

  4. Did you ever find out what that plant is?


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