Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Garden Surprise



The Bush Morning Glories (Convolvulus cneorum) are now in full bloom. I've lost quite a few of these perennials in the last couple of years, but the ones left are now quite large and present a spectacular display of flowers for a three week period in March.

My Garden Monk looks like he has picked one of the Bush Morning Glory flowers, but actually the stem has grown in the space between his hands and robe.



There are only a few California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) blooming in my landscape this year. One of the reasons is that we are near the common area along a roadway, and the landscape crews came through on a breezy day and sprayed their pre-emergent and weed killer combo along the roadway, and the stuff drifted into my yard. Wildflowers are very sensitive to both chemicals, so I've found many dead ones in my front yard.

We won't have a profuse display of wildflowers in the desert this year because of the rain pattern for the months between September and January. A certain amount of rain is necessary to assure a massive display. We had one last year, and it's rare to have several in a row, so I'm not surprised. Even my Desert Bluebells, which are normally prolific, have left a lot to be desired.


This was a surprise! I swear that it wasn't there on Saturday, and when I strolled through my garden on Monday, there it was! This Agave lophantha stalk will grow rapidly and then put out some type of inflorescence.



Agave plants have three types of flower stalks depending on species. One type is the raceme, or an inflorescence having stalked flowers arranged singly along an elongated unbranched axis. Another is a spikate inflorescence where the flowers cling to the stalk in pairs or clusters. The third, is a paniculate inflorescence where the flowers appear in clusters on lateral branches, like a candelabra. This is definitely not a paniculate type, so it will be interesting to see what emerges as it grows.


The Agave will die after the flower stalk is mature. Usually Agave pups emerge to replace the dead plant. I don't see any pups, so this might end up being a bare spot in my garden.

This is a close up of the Agave flower stalk. In the close up, it looks like the inflorescence type may be a raceme. It's really hard to know as Agave species easily cross pollinate.




I thought this Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) was gone for good when it dried up this past summer, but it has come back larger than ever. I wish it would drop some seeds and spread!

15 comments:

verobirdie said...

I'd wish I was walking though your garden this morning, it looks great and welcoming!

Dee said...

I can't wait to see the flower your agave puts out- but sad that it will die afterwards. Your garden is so peaceful and beautiful!

Darla said...

Cool! I am so pleased to see your Bush Morning Glory. I have seedlings up now, they are the blue with the yellow center, any tips for growing them?

Peter said...

Nice agave bloom shot. Too bad though about your upcoming losing such a beautiful A. lophantha, but it happens to the best of them. I recommend filling the hole with A. filifera which will pup much more agressively than A. lophantha which we find to be very hard to propagate given how few pups it generates.

perennialgardener said...

Your desert garden is looking healthy & colorful right now Aiyana. That bloom on the Agave looks very interesting. Hopefully there are some hidden pups to replace it when it's gone. :)

Carla said...

that bush morning glory is something else! Actually everything is so cool, I bet the color really shines in your yard.

Jean said...

I love the first picrure showing more of your garden. Lovely! The Morning Glory Bushes are perfect! They sure do make a statement! Hope to see your agave flower next week! Jean

Claude said...

Beautiful shots of beautiful flowers... Please make sure you show us the agave when it blooms. Hopefully, after the bloom comes up it'll send out a pup, or maybe there's one hidden under all those leaves just waiting for a chance...

Pam/Digging said...

I really like the image of the garden monk with the flower poking through. So cool! The agave bloom is exciting, but what a shame about the road crew's sloppy herbicide spraying.

Lythrum said...

I love the monk picture :)

beckie said...

I know you are disappointed by the lack of blooming perennials, but oh your gardens look so lovely and invitinh. The bush morning glories are beautiful as are the daisies. I so love poppies and wish I cold grow them. I hope they spread again for you. Could, you ask the spryers not to spray on days when the wind might carry it? Such a shame! Be sure to show us the Agave bloom, Aiyana.

Lancashire rose said...

I was interested to hear about the three kinds of inflorescences as this has often puzzled me. It is easy to identify the candelabra one but then the ones that grow the pups all along the stem are really confusing. One of our garden bloggers here had an agave that sent up a stalk with hundreds of pups along its length. We all had to take some home so I have lots of the babies. However its identity remains a mystery although the leaves are quite soft which makes me think it is not cold hardy.

Julie said...

Awe---the Buddha looks so serene there with his Morning Glory Bush!!! Beuatiful photo!

kate smudges said...

The Agave flower stalk is really interesting. I hope there are some babies before the plant dies off.

The daisies are gorgeous as are the Bush Morning Glories. I love the way the monk appears to be holding a bloom.

Sorry to hear about the California Poppies.

Barbara said...

Indeed a surprise and a lovely surprise...the monk praying with the little white flower :-) ! I like this picture!