Thursday, September 25, 2014

Juniperus chinensis 'Kaizuka Variegata' - Variegated Hollywood Juniper

The Variegated Kaizuka Juniper or sometimes called the Variegated Hollywood Juniper is an uncommon sight in SC county, with only a few registering in my travels. Growing slowly to 15' with a spread of 10', the plants are very much tighter than the green hollywood juniper and lack the wide spreading branches, though the branches do twist. Grown for its splashes of cream foliage, it makes a nice specimen.




Evergreen leaves are spirally arranged, scale like, very small with juvenile awl-shaped leaves thrown in. The cream areas lack chlorophyll completely and provide no help in growth, but look cool.



Juvenile foliage awl-shaped and some lacking chlorophyll.



Quite frequently the cream foliage dies in summer heat.



This clone has cones.



Also known a Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa Variegata'

Misidentification:
Not sure


Location:
Aptos
Corner of Soquel Dr and State Park in the parking strip of the Church, across from the Safeway gas station.

706 Clubhouse Dr.

Capitola
102 Grand Ave

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' - Strybing White Magnolia

This beautiful tree had me stumped for years. One reason was it bloomed really early and caught me off guard so I often missed the critical points, and the blossoms were really high up and not easily accessible. I finally managed to collect all the images and sent them off for help. The suggestion from the Huntington was a hybrid of Campbell Magnolia. I found out that one of the college Board of Directors planted the tree and remembers the name!! Yeah. Thank you Rachel Spencer.

The Strybing Arboretum lists is as cultivated variety of the Campbell Magnolia selected by the Arboretum back in the 30's from seed. Seed came in as Magnolia campbellii. However, they also mention that its likely the seed was the result of a hybrid cross.

This of course makes the naming a bit of a challenge. Since the name should be Magnolia 'Strybing White' without the specific epithet as the other parent is unknown and the hybrid not named and described. But it makes a much more exciting tree to be a white cultivar of a pink magnolia rather than some unknown cross resulting in a white flower.

Regardless, its a beautiful tree, and I love the green ting to the flowers and the large leaves. Growing upright with ascending primary branches it will likely be a large tree.






Leaves larger than other Campbell magnolias that I have seen, more elliptical and narrower at the tip. They reach 8-10" in length, are dark green with a distinct white lower surface that is really noticeable in the fall when the leaves are on the ground.




Flowers are large, 7-10" across, off white, cup shaped originally, but the outer tepals reflex, un saucer-like typically seen in the species. Inner most tepals are more white and larger than the outer tepals which have a green ting on the outside. Reproductive parts red. Fragrant. Blooms much earlier in the spring than other related species.





You can see the outer most tepals spreading giving the flower a tea cup and saucer look.



Misidentification:
This one really stumped me.

Location:
Cabrillo College in front of the Sesnon House.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Podocarpus elongatus 'Monmal' - Icee Blue® Yellow-Wood

This cultivar is pretty new on the market but the blue color should make it very popular and I have seem them popping up in several yards. According to Monrovia Nursery, it's a slow grower but will reach 15-25' and be as wide (oops) and be pyramidal, not sure how that works, but we will see. Spectacular specimen in South Africa.



Foliage is spirally arranged, narrowly oblong or elliptical, 1-2" long, blueish gray, stiff and thick. They have longitudinal stomatal bands on the upper leaf surface along the edge of the leaf, as well on the lower surface.







Plants are dioecious and I have no idea which sex this clone is. There seems to be remnants of some reproductive structures but I don't know which they are. You can see the dried up bits, but again, I am not sure what they are.



As you may notice Monrovia has trademarked the name Icee Blue so no one else can use the term, and as typical they have bent the rules for naming cultivars by assigning it a nonsensical name. Mon for monrovia.

Misidentification:
not sure, blue foliage is pretty unique.

Location:
Aptos
Cabrillo College Hort center, by the main building,
440 Cliff Drive.

Acca sellowiana - Pineapple Guava

The Pineapple Guava is a commonly planted small evergreen tree or shrub, planted as a screen or as an accent tree showing off the beautiful flowers or the edible fruit. Grows to about 15-20' by 8-10' wide, and usually multi stemmed. You are more likely to see it being used as a hedge or screen.



Evergreen leaves are alternate, simple, oval to elliptical shaped, 1 - 2" long, dark green upper surface, white lower surface. The white undersides and stems make the plant look blue green from a distance.




Flowers appear in early spring, usually singly, with four fleshy petals that are white on the outside and pink on the inside, about 3/4".  The red showy bits are long bright red stamens. Flowers are edible.



The edible fruit (a berry) is oval shaped, bluish green, 2" long, with a whitish fleshy pulp. Strongly fragrant and very tasty. Strawberry to pineapple flavors.



Trees can produce huge amounts of fruit, and many times most of it ends up on the ground.



Young stems covered with white hairs.



Bark is tan, stems never really develop a wide girth.



For those using the plant for fruit production there are lots of cultivated varieties available.  Can't say I have ever noticed the cultivars being sold in local nurseries.

Feijoa is the old name.

Misidentification:
Not sure,

Location:
Everwhere,

Banksia integrifolia - Coast Banksia

Commonly called the Coast Banksia or Coastal Banksia, this interesting plant has a variable growth habit ranging from a large upright tree to a spreading large shrub, usually  with a single trunk but can me multi stemmed if shrub like. Other sources indicate there are four subspecies so my guess is that has a lot to do with the variability. The specimens I have seen in town grow upright and are about 25-30' and look like the one below seen at the USCS Arboretum. 



The evergreen simple leaves are whorled in groups of 3 to 5, oblanceolate, 3-5" long, dark green upper surface, silver below, thick and leathery texture.




Young stems are covered with a whitish coat of hairs, older stems become tan colored.



Notice the whorled leaf arrangement as well as the copper colored stems.



Banksia "flowers" are beautiful, though what we are looking at is an inflorescence or a group of flowers perhaps several hundred individuals on a woody stalk, arranged in a spiral, opening from the bottom up to the top. 

Individual flowers are usually light yellow or greenish and mostly what you see is the style, which is the female part of the flower.




After pollination, the "cone" develops, which is not a true cone but a collection of follicles arranged on a woody stalk and opening when dry or exposed to fire. Students mentioned they look like clams opening.



Bark is rough gray to brown and shallowly checked.



Misidentification:
lets hope there are not many other Banksias out there, just kidding really, look at the foliage, as other Banksia trees have different leaf shapes.

Location:
Aptos
564 Santa Marguarita Dr
630 Cliff Dr

Dodonaea viscosa 'Purpurea' - Purple Hopseed

The purple hopseed is a rapidly growing small tree or more likely a large shrub, but we can include it here anyway. Growing to 15', individual plants will form an upright oval shape. More often than not we seem them as a hedge or screen.



Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, oblong to oblanceolate,  4" by about 3/4" wide and depending on the sun exposure and cooling temperatures they can be purple to greenish bronze. Generally held vertical on the stems.






Small green flowers in the spring, in clusters, hard to spot. Separate male and females on the same plant (monoecious). Can't say I have ever seen them or even looked for them.


Fruit is a 2-3 winged capsule, reddish to brown when mature. Resembles an elm fruit. But must look like a hop plant, unless you have actually seen a hop plant.



A fresh capsule, still red and showing the 3 lobes.


Bark is fibrous, peeling with age. Trunk never really gets that big in diameter.


Misidentification?
Not sure.

Location:
Everywhere, sorry but its the truth.

Zelkova serrata - Japanese Zelkova

The Chinese Zelkova is a medium to large sized deciduous tree growing to 50 plus feet, with a short trunk and an upright vase shape eventually spreading with age. Younger trees show a very upright V habit. Resistant to Dutch Elm disease and is recommended as a replacement for many elms.




Leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 1.5 to 2.5" long, with large very uniform serrations. Medium to dark green, sort of dull and much lighter below. Leaf tip is long and pointed.



Buds are easy to spot. They are divergent (spreading) on the reddish brown thin zig-zag stems. They are sharply pointed with imbricate scales.



Fruit are wingless drupes (aren't they all, if they had a wing I think they would be a samara), green turning brown when mature.



Spectacular bark. Like the Chinese Elm, gray with an orange brown inner bark. When young they have lots of lenticels.



Fall color is pretty good, or fair, depending on the tree. Can be red to yellow and in-between.



 Two trees on 7th side by side.



Older specimen in Spokane, showing the strong V shaped branching of the primary lateral branches.



They make spectacular bonsai.


Misidentification:
Maybe the Ulmus parviflora, due to the bark and the leaves, but look at the leaves carefully, the serrations are much different.

Location:
Capitola
Across from New Brighten School on Monterey Blvd.
Also just up the street are a few large ones, 825 Monterey Blvd

Santa Cruz
7th Ave young ones, around the 1000 block