Some plants are photo-shy, and even on the third try I've had trouble with one of my favorites, Carpenteria Californica. So I ask your forgiveness if the pictures don't quite do justice to the beauty of the plant itself.
The Western Horticultural Society has this to say:" The white blossom with its boss of rich yellow stamens look like a single rose. The well groomed evergreen foliage is a plus in all seasons. Carpenteria belongs to the hydrangeacea family and is the sole species in the genus. It is native to the foothills of Fresno and Madera Counties, where it grows along the edges of seasonal creeks."
In my garden, I've tried Carpenteria in two places. In the front, where it's sunny, she almost perished, even with some extra water. I finally dug her out and nursed her in a pot for a bit until she looked respectable enough to be given to a friend, who had just the spot. In the back, where it's shady, she grows along the fence and is over 8 feet tall, getting taller every year in an effort to catch more sun.
Blooms start in mid-April, this time we had some blossoms for the garden tour, and go on for about 8 weeks. After that, my dear Carpenteria looks a little spent, but if I snip off the spent flowers and usually some dried-up leaves, she looks respectable for the rest of the year with nice green leaves even with little water.
And soon enough, after the rains in winter, the buds appear again and I look forward to another spectacular show.