From Gold Medallions to Angel Trumpets

Over time, shrubs and trees that bloom every year, but only briefly, are increasingly welcome, much like old friends, each time they flower. Your appreciation of them grows from year to year as you l...

Forest Pansy and Purple Smoke Tree

When you first encounter the eastern redbud known as Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy,’ you will find it impossible to resist. Deep burgundy foliage that is heart-shaped covers attractive gray bark an...

De Caussin’s Plumeria Paradise

“My question is about tropical plants growing, or trying to grow, in the San Fernando Valley. I have plumeria plants that are growing and flowering nicely, but have no leaves and are basically ...

Jacarandas: Growth Habits and Habitat

Q: Where would you suggest jacarandas be planted? They are beautiful when in bloom but messy. The petals track into the garage on the tires, and the sap is hard to remove. Will the roots cause proble...

Cockspur Coral Tree

Despite more than a quarter century of Valley plant watching, I had never seen a cockspur coral tree grow to more than four or five feet tall. I had seen a few reach that height but suddenly stop, lo...

Gloriously Messy Jacarandas

A little over a month ago, I received a call from someone who wanted me to inspect his jacaranda tree. The reason I was to make the inspection had to do with the flower buds on his tree, which he was...

Summer Arrives When Jacarandas Bloom

When jacarandas bloom, you know summer is here. Although summer officially begins later this month, the jacarandas have been blooming since early May, about the same time the Valley summer – wh...

Sweetshade and other May Delights

Late spring rain has brought out the best in trees that flower this time of year. Their names evoke mysterious beauty, royal garb, and whimsy: sweetshade, purple orchid, purple robe, and fringe tree....

Orchid Trees & Their Problematic Trunks

With spring in Los Angeles arriving midwinter, it only makes sense that summer should come in early spring. A new kind of sun has arrived – one that turns the sky pink and mauve and purple in i...