Thursday, June 5, 2008

Native Columbine

This is a sweet little native columbine that is very delicate and simple. It lives in a planter under some palm trees along the driveway in San Juan Capistrano.

One of the things about planting native plants here in California is that there are such diversity in the topography in our area that there are many, many different classifications of native plants.

In other words, just because it is a native doesn't necessarily mean it will thrive in your yard. In fact many of the natives are very difficult to get established and almost impossible to propagate. One of the reasons is that there can be four or five different terrains in an area just a few miles wide.

In Laguna Beach there are native plants that only live on north facing hills which typically have heavy clay soil and some plants that are native only to the south facing hills that have more sandstone in their foundations.

Most of our California natives bloom in the winter which is our rainy season and go dormant in the summer. We often go seven or eight months at a time with no rainfall. The average rainfall for our area is 13 inches a year. But what that really boils down to is that some years we get four inches and other years we get 26 inches. You can imagine how tough the native plants must be to survive, let alone thrive!

4 comments:

walk2write said...

What a sweet Columbine! We grew them in Illinois and shared them with family and friends. They are so easy to grow and propagate by seed. I'm ashamed of myself that I haven't tried yet to grow them here in Florida. When I go back to Illinois for a visit, I'm going to ask my sister for some of the offspring from my Columbine or at least some seed.

cindee said...

Another Beautiful flower!!!

themanicgardener said...

I love these. I can't believe some peole don't.

I lived for years in California without being aware of the north-slope south-slope difference you talk about. I saw it, of course, but didn't realize there was almost a different eco-system on the opposite slopes. Thanks for pointing it out.

--Kate

Signe said...

This was a very beautiful collumbine.