Plant Kingdom

Succulent thief in North Park and University Heights

“Who steals plants?”

Yesterday, a woman parked her white Prius right there [in front of my house],” said Steve from University Heights, “then started to cut my succulents (with a pruner), and left. That’s stealing!” Steve, 67, is ...

The brash coloration of wildflowers and silk oaks

Bloom still to be found on north-facing slopes and in shady canyons

San Diego’s Coastal Wildflower Bloom continues practically unabated this year owing to late-season rains and cooler weather during April. On north-facing slopes and in shady canyon bottoms, where the sun’s drying effects have not yet ...

The hills are alive with the rust tint of monkey-flowers

Look wherever native vegetation clothes the landscape

Monkey-Flowers of various species are putting on an excellent display this month around San Diego. Look for these low, shrublike plants with tubular yellow, orange, or red flowers wherever native vegetation clothes the landscape — ...

A smell reminiscent of San Diego County’s agricultural past

Yuccas, orchid trees, and citrus in bloom

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 ...

San Diegans busy with Japanese gardens, ferns, bamboo, irises, bonsai, and tomatoes

A plant retrospective

A Sword for Its Army and a Lily for Its Heart Dorothy had a floral display at Art Alive to worry about; one of the iris-show clerks backed out because her horse was due to ...

San Diego's vernal splendor

Spring evident in African daisies, India hawthorn, and sycamore trees

African Daisies are bursting into bloom around San Diego, especially along the freeway embankments. The name refers to a wide variety of species belonging to the genuses Arctotis, Dimorphotheca, and Osteospermum, with flowers ranging in ...

Few local politicians realize the importance of trees

Is water conservation backfiring?

San Diego needs many more trees and must take better care of the sparse trees it has. Trees shade us from the sun, reduce urban heat and noise, save energy, raise property values, improve air ...

Commodities of the plant kingdom

The San Diego business of kelp, houseplants, oranges, roses, grass sod, and macadamia nuts

Diary of an Orange Grove About 45 percent of the water in Fallbrook flows into groves, nurseries, and fields. In Rainbow 95 percent of the water is agricultural; in Valley Center, 85 percent. But when ...

I wept for the lagoon

The slaying of Agua Hedionda’s green menace.

It’s a mild, breezy afternoon at Agua Hedionda Lagoon. From the vantage of the visitors center, I can see small boats and jet-skis carving whitewater trails off to the west. Right above me are massive ...

Annals of San Diego gardens

Oceanside and Ocean Beach gardens, Pat Welsh in Del Mar, wisteria, moonflowers, Monterey cypresses as pests, and the therapy of gardening

The Julia Child of gardening “Chickweed is the main winter weed of my garden, and in a way I don’t mind because it’s edible.” She pulls up the tiny plant, its leaves not so feathery ...

Our local plant kingdom

San Diego’s palms, Engelmann oaks, endangered species, dangerous eucalyptus, oleander as cheap botanical thrill

The Oak Lady Ryan noted that she has also planted Engelmann oaks at Guajome County Park in Oceanside and at Felicita County Park just west of Escondido, at the Wild Animal Park, the Palomar College ...

Deport the eucalyptus

Taking them all out would not be fine and dandy.

“Deport the eucalyptus back to Australia!” That’s Johnny Sevier, a certified arborist, on the tree he loves to hate but that many San Diegans revere, the ubiquitous eucalyptus. Long an arboreal staple in San Diego ...

Avocado prices plunging

Fruit too big in Mexico, too small in U.S.

The local avocado industry takes more bruising.

Preemptory strike on eucalypti

Trees pose threat in Coronado's Spreckels Park

Today, December 15, the city was set to begin removing three Coronado eucalyptus trees, longtime residents of Spreckels Park. An assessment by the city’s arborist found the sweet-scented trees, which are similar in size and ...

Water worry: avocados

Over 74 gallons of irrigated water required to produce a pound

As if San Diego doesn't have enough drought-related problems, here is another: avocados. According to the magazine Mother Jones, avocados, which don't require nearly as much water as almonds, still need a lot. According to ...