Crape Myrtle: The Lilac of the South
  • Crape Myrtle: The Lilac of the South
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“June Gloom,” the cool and intermittently overcast conditions likely to dominate the beach and coastal areas through the remainder of this month, mocks the already sizzling temperatures inland. If it weren’t for the ocean’s enormous resistance to changes in temperature, the hottest weather along the coast would occur soon after the summer solstice — June 20. Our warmest beach weather will probably not arrive until August or September, just about the time the ocean water temperatures are peaking.

Crape Myrtles are in bloom around San Diego this month through the end of summer. This smallish, vase-shaped tree blossoms in colors ranging from white or pale pink to lavender, red, and blue. “Lilac of the South” is one of the nicknames given to this native tree of China because of its popularity in the warmer parts of the U.S.

Western Azalea, a native rhododendron, is blooming this month in scattered locations throughout the county’s higher mountains. Fond of semishade, it’s often found growing along creeks and canyon bottoms. Like its ornamental cousins, western azalea’s fragrant white (sometimes pink or yellow tinted) flowers are borne in ornate clusters. Palomar Mountain State Park harbors a colony of them alongside a trail linking Doane Valley and Chimney Flats.

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