Garden Blogger's Bloom Day-June

As Ms Town mouse said we had more rain later in the season than usual, and it has been a mild June with little of the blistering hot sun that dries out the soil. It's been a wonderful year for wild flowers. One wild flower that grows in my garden natively is the fascinating soap plant California Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum. It's a perennial plant, growing from a bulb.

The photo doesn't do them justice but is the best I could do at sunset. It looks down on a four foot drop to a terrace where the plant decided to grow. It is easily 8 feet tall with flower - the plant is several years old.

The star shaped white flowers spangle a huge inflorescence that rises a rosette of long strap-like leaves. They open around sunset so that night-flying insects can pollinate them. As Wikipedia says:
The juices of the bulb contain saponins that form a lather when mixed with water, and both Native American people ... and early European settlers used the bulbs as a kind of soap; this is the origin of the plant's name. It was particularly used for washing hair, since it was held to be effective against dandruff. Extracts of the bulbs could also be used as a sealant or glue
Another welcome surprise is a large cluster of Triteleia laxa, Ithuriel's Spear. I planted these years ago in a container, following a class given by Fran Adams, about planting native plants in containers. She kindly gave out native bulbs to participants. And here they are better than ever, though neglected dreadfully. Their leaves are somehwat yellow, probably from overwatering. I forgot they were in there, and I had been watering the miniature dahlia also in that pot.

Here's a closeup:

Finally, the annuals I planted this year for the first time are doing well, though I hope next year they will reseed and grow a bit more thickly.

Here is a Clarkia unguiculata blossom:

And here is a chunky Dudleia caespitosa:

I'm hoping to get time to blog about meadow madness, and potting pottiness but life, she is filled with much to do ....

Please read the next post if you're curious about the blooms in the suburban garden where Town Mouse lives.


Michelle said…
How nice to see the flowers of your soaproot, the deer eat the flowers on my plants. The don't seem to like the flowers of the yellow flowering triteleia though.

And why is it that as the days get longer, time in the garden, actually time in general, gets shorter?
I just attended a talk on bulbs yesterday by Brent Heath and he hardily endorsed Triteleia - got to look into where I can squeeze those into my garden.
NellJean said…
I subscribed to a feed; need to visit here more often than Bloom Day.
Those are all interesting--and certainly not the 'usual' that I see for GBBD. You're showing some rather unique plants, in the sense that they aren't the typical perennial. I enjoy diversity, for a change of pace!
Your natives are so flashy. I love them.
Gail said…
So many new plants to my completely immersed in this side of the prairie garden experience! You know I love seeing native plants in a garden~~books don't do them justice. gail
Yours is a very "California" garden (and that was said by a fellow Californian). The plants all have a wonderful sense of place and belonging.

This clarkia is on my list to try someday--Your photo gives me even more incentive.
ryan said…
I like that allium because it does so well with neglect. It looks great. The dudleya too. Happy bloom day.
So interesting to see your blooms, so different from Wales! :)
Barbara E said…
I have Chlorogalum in my shade garden and never get good pictures of it. It is a very delicate and beautiful plant, though. It is a joy to see your garden flowers. Thanks for sharing.