Winter in California’s summer-dry climate is very different from the rest of the country.

Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’ conebush flowering in San Francisco Botanical Garden, January.

It is a robust time in gardens as winter rains kick plants into their growing season. It is a great time to visit San Francisco Botanical Garden and get a cure for what most of us think is a dormant season.

Garden visitors photographing Christmas Heather (Erica) in winter at San Francisco Botanical Garden

The aloes are starting their bloom in the succulent garden.

Aloe arborescens, Candelabra or Krantz Aloe, red flowering succulent in San Francisco Botanical Garden

Of course, any time of year is a great time for the Agave americana, blooming or not.

Agave americana, Century Plant; gray silver leaf succulent in San Francisco Botanical Garden

In fact, beautiful foliage is the key feature for a number of plants in the South African section.

Don’t you just want to stroke the leafy ‘feather duster’ stems of Phylica pubescens ?

Phylica pubescens – Featherhead Bush with leafy ‘feather duster’ stems

Restios, grass-like perennials, have become quite popular and the ones in the Botanic Garden are mature, giving a good sense of scale.

Thamnochortus insignis, South African Thatching Reed, flowering in San Francisco Botanical Garden

The Heathers are flowering with their profuse tiny bells.

Erica canaliculata, Scotch Heather, or Pink Heath; winter blooming flowering shrub San Francisco Botanical Garden

And in the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest, the Giant Groundsel (Telanthlophora grandifolia) shows off.

Telanthophora grandifolia Giant Groundsel, large leaf shrub in Mesoamerican Cloud Forest

See more: a new gallery is the Archive.

And don’t forget now, one of the biggest winter attractions in San Francisco Botanical Garden is the showcase of flowering magnolias.

Magnolia soulangeana flower unfolding on deciduous winter flowering tree; San Francisco Botanical Garden in Strybing Arboretum
Magnolia soulangeana flower unfolding on deciduous winter flowering tree; San Francisco Botanical Garden

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. These photographs are absolutely amazing! I had visited these gardens a few years ago and loved them. Your photos have
    brought back such fond memories.

    • Thanks Lee. I come from the East Coast and am still amazed at what a winter looks like in California; and even more in San Francisco.

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