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A smell reminiscent of San Diego County’s agricultural past

Yuccas, orchid trees, and citrus in bloom

San Diego County’s first commercially planted orange and lemon groves began to produce fruit in the 1870s.
San Diego County’s first commercially planted orange and lemon groves began to produce fruit in the 1870s.

Orchid Trees, now at their flamboyant best in front yards and public spaces throughout the city, are showing off their large, orchidlike flowers in shades of pink, purple, and maroon. Orchid trees thrive in areas with a mild winter climate, hence their popularity in Hawaii, Southern California, and Arizona.

The Sticky-Sweet Odor of citrus blossoms is wafting on the spring breezes this year, as it has in every year since the 1870s, when the county’s first commercially planted orange and lemon groves began to produce fruit. From early plantings in areas like National City and Lemon Grove, citrus groves spread east and north as urbanization encroached. Today, a car or bicycle trip through Rancho Santa Fe, Pauma Valley, and the outskirts of Escondido, Vista, and Fallbrook induces a pleasant reminiscence of San Diego County’s agricultural past.

Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) palm

Yuccas of two varieties are in bloom in San Diego County from now through May. Year after year, the Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) sends up a blunt flower stalk of white, waxy blossoms from the same base — a rosette of dagger-like leaves. The shimmering white exclamation point that unfolds above “Our Lord’s Candle” (Yucca whipplei), on the other hand, is a prelude to the plant’s imminent death. Mojave yucca is widely distributed along San Diego County’s coastal strip and throughout the higher elevations of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Our Lord’s Candle prefers the scrubby coastal foothills and the drier slopes of the Palomar, Cuyamaca, and Laguna mountains. The two yuccas coexist with each other in a few areas such as Torrey Pines State Reserve and Anza-Borrego’s Culp Valley area.

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San Diego County’s first commercially planted orange and lemon groves began to produce fruit in the 1870s.
San Diego County’s first commercially planted orange and lemon groves began to produce fruit in the 1870s.

Orchid Trees, now at their flamboyant best in front yards and public spaces throughout the city, are showing off their large, orchidlike flowers in shades of pink, purple, and maroon. Orchid trees thrive in areas with a mild winter climate, hence their popularity in Hawaii, Southern California, and Arizona.

The Sticky-Sweet Odor of citrus blossoms is wafting on the spring breezes this year, as it has in every year since the 1870s, when the county’s first commercially planted orange and lemon groves began to produce fruit. From early plantings in areas like National City and Lemon Grove, citrus groves spread east and north as urbanization encroached. Today, a car or bicycle trip through Rancho Santa Fe, Pauma Valley, and the outskirts of Escondido, Vista, and Fallbrook induces a pleasant reminiscence of San Diego County’s agricultural past.

Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) palm

Yuccas of two varieties are in bloom in San Diego County from now through May. Year after year, the Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) sends up a blunt flower stalk of white, waxy blossoms from the same base — a rosette of dagger-like leaves. The shimmering white exclamation point that unfolds above “Our Lord’s Candle” (Yucca whipplei), on the other hand, is a prelude to the plant’s imminent death. Mojave yucca is widely distributed along San Diego County’s coastal strip and throughout the higher elevations of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Our Lord’s Candle prefers the scrubby coastal foothills and the drier slopes of the Palomar, Cuyamaca, and Laguna mountains. The two yuccas coexist with each other in a few areas such as Torrey Pines State Reserve and Anza-Borrego’s Culp Valley area.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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