Happy April Bloom Day!

This is my last minute, impromptu Bloom Day post featuring a selection of flowers currently blooming in our zone 7 western Oregon garden. Bloom day is a monthly challenge from May Dreams Gardens to document the flowers occurring in our gardens. Check it out. It’s a great way to see how far ahead or behind your own flowers are compared to other parts of the world and to find new and interesting plant blogs.

First up, our native Pacific hound’s tongue, Adelinia grandis, formerly Cynoglossum grande. Cyno- (blue) glossum (tongue) was easy to remember. Adelinia, not so much. These were transplanted from up the hill. They must be happy because there are seedlings nearby (right).

Blue flowers of Oregon native Adelinia grandis, Pacific Hound's Tongue
Seedlings of Oregon native Adelinia grandis, Pacific Hound's Tongue

This Anemone nemerosa ‘Stars in the Night’ gets better every year. Might be time to divide later this summer and start a second patch.

Blooming for the first time, our Arctostaphylos auriculatus ‘Diablo’s Blush’, next to Narcissus bulbocodium.

The most vibrant pink of the manzanitas in our yard belongs to Arctostaphylos bakeri ‘Louis Edmonds’.

Vibrant pink flowers of Arctostaphylos bakeri 'Louis Edmonds'

The unusual green-yellow flowers of Aristolochia californica. Last year, I dissected the flowers and learned about their pollination biology, here.

Flowers from two of our very abundant weeds, English daisy (Bellis perennis, left) and horsetail (Equisetum telmatiea, right). Once the English daisy flowers open up, the pink color fades away and becomes pure white. Horsetail is our most aggressive weed, impossible to get rid of. I’ve given up gardening in certain parts of the yard because of it. If you look close, you can see blue fungal spores on the tip of the flower – it’s been so wet and cold that even horsetail flowers start to mold.

Purple deadnettle, Lamium purpureum. Easy-to-pull, mostly inoffensive weed.

Our native Calypos bulbosa, rescued from a clearcut about ten year’s ago. It’s often said that this orchid is impossible to transplant. Obviously, not true. My strategy was to move the plants into an environment that was similar to the one they came from – underneath a patch of Douglas fir with similar lighting, moisture, and moss species. It worked.

My teaser featured photo, Carlina acaulis. A favorite, photogenic dead flower. Expect the unexpected for bloom day at Botanica Chaotica.

Shades of purple. Corydalis solida ‘Purple Bird’ on the left and Fritilaria mileagris on the right. This is the only corydalis that I’ve had start to naturalize. For some reason, the pink varieties don’t return. I’ve had similar issues trying to establish F. mileagris. I noticed that the checker pattern on the flowers looks blurry, even when in focus. That’s gotta be a super power.

A Doronicum species. Surprisingly drought tolerant. Mine survive 3-4 months without any rain or watering.

Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fens Ruby’ (left), purchased because it reminds me of my grandmother’s garden, where the plain green variety meandered amongst the iris. I’ve been afraid to plant it in ground, worried about its invasiveness. This year, I went ahead and did it. We’ll see what happens. The related Euphorbia myrsinites on the right.

Florist’s cineraria (left) bought on a whim, because I loved the deep dark purple of these flowers as a boy. I didn’t remember that they were fragrant. On the right, the brightest, most vibrant red Gasteria blooming in the greenhouse at work.

Grevillea ‘Neil Bell’.

Botanica Chaotica’s patron flower, Hacquetia epipactis. I just divided the mother plant again, seems very happy here in western Oregon. Takes our summer drought like a champ. I’ve been looking for the variegated version, Apollo, for several years. So far, no luck.

Our native Lomatium columbianum. One of two flower clusters remaining after a long, cold, wet spring. The others rotted away.

Two more natives, Cardamine nuttallii (left) and our western skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanus, emerging from the creek (right) – it’s the vertical yellow oval thing emerging from the creek near the center of the photo.

Just a few of the many narcissus in our yard. Clockwise from upper left, Narcissus romieuxii or N. bulbocodium ‘White’ (I can’ tell which is which), Narcissus bulbocodium, N. ‘Snowboard’, and N. ‘Rainbow of Colors’.

Paeonia tenuifolia. Blooms on their way. I like it at this stage best. See the horsetail emerging in the background?

Phyllodoce empetriformis.

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Flore Pleno’. Not invasive in our yard. This plant is at least 10 years old and hasn’t gone anywhere.

Unusual flowers of Scopiola carnicola, a name fitting for an 80’s hair band. This is a subtle flower that you have to poke around a bit to appreciate. 

Twisty blue petals of the extremely dry shade tolerant Trachystemon orientalis. These make an absolutely terrible cut flower, wilting within minutes into a sodden lump. This weekend, I divided and moved the original plant to several shadier locations as the leaves burn in the summer’s hot afternoon sun.

Our native trilliums, Trillium kurabayashii and Trillium ovatum.

Two more natives. Veronica regina-nivalis, still blooming from February. Another casualty of the name change gameI just need to remember that the specific epithet refers to one of the common names, snow queen, with nivalis meaning snow and regina meaning queen.

Off to the right, is a favorite yellow violet, Viola sempervirens. This species doesn’t seem to get damaged by the violet gall midge (Phytophaga violicola) like the European Viola odorata varieties do. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any of our native violets with much damage, which makes me think the midge might be native here in western North America.

And that’s a wrap. Hope you’ve enjoyed the flowers I’ve decided to focus on for this month!

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Kris P

    Many, if not most, of your flowers are new to me. I do have an Arctostaphylos ‘Louis Edmunds’ on my back slope but it’s a mere shadow of yours, even after 3 years in the ground. I love your orchid, the Lomatium, and the peony, which looks particularly exotic at this stage of growth. Thanks for sharing your spring collection!

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      I keep thinking that I don’t have as many cool plants as other gardeners around here do, forgetting that what I am growing is probably of interest to people from other regions. Our big issue with manzanitas around here are the leaf spot diseases. It’s a rare variety that stays clean in our damp location and Louis is a keeper for sure. Sorry to hear yours is struggling.

  2. Anna K

    Very cool stuff! I put a Hacquetia in a fern table a few years ago. It usually grants me a couple of flowers, but I think it’s still too dark for it. How much sun does yours get? I have a Scopiola in the same fern table, but I think that too might benefit from moving. Both of them from the now defunct Joy Creek, which I miss very much.

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      I’d say most of my Hacquetias get maybe 2-5 hours of intermittent sun per day, mostly from 9 am to early afternoon. The Scopiola gets 3-4 hours morning sun only. It’s been so long, it took awhile to remember what a full day of sun looks like around here.

  3. danger garden

    Love the dead Carlina acaulis and the way you’ve got the Hacquetia epipactis mingling with the cyclamen foliage is magic. Oh and Paeonia tenuifolia… I swoon! Those little Scopiola carnicola flowers are perfection. You’ve got a great Bloomday showing!

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      Can you imagine if I did a whole bloom day post with dead flowers? Gosh, I’m so tempted now. Maybe for October. Save up a whole summer’s worth of death and destruction for a celebration in browns, blacks, greys, and other sickly colors.

      I’m glad you like the Cyclamen/Hacquetia combo. An accidental combination that happened to turn out well. Thanks for the compliments!

  4. Lisa

    I’m southern Oregon 8b. You have amazing plants. I’m thrilled to see you include the deadnettle for Bloom Day! So did I. It’s my favorite “weed.” I’ve not seen Paeonia tenuifolia before. How odd.

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      Thanks Lisa! Deadnettle is a pretty one to have for a favorite weed. Not sure what my favorite one is. Deadnettle would sure be at the top though because it’s not too prolific or hard to pull out. Fernleaf peony (P. tenuifolia) is probably my favorite of all the peonies. I just wish the flowers lasted longer. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Yvonne

    It’s been interesting reading your April Bloom Day post, as most of your plants are unfamiliar to me. Of course, once one has purple deadnettle, one always has purple deadnettle. Thank goodness it disappears quietly by mid summer in our garden. I’m a tiny bit envious that you managed to move an orchid to your garden and it has thrived. Must give you great joy each spring when it greets you. I feel for you with that giant horsetail. We deal with agressive native and non-native plants that move in each year. Always seems like a neverending job. Thank you for leaving a comment on my post. It’s always nice to meet someone new who gardens.

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      You are welcome Yvonne. It’s always nice to see what other people are up to in their gardens.

  6. LL Garden

    Wonderful to see all those flowers! I absolutely love the Grevillea and Lomatium. Your Manzanitas look spotless, despite your wet winter climate, which is impressive. I was wondering what the tiny groundcover Arctostaphylos was, growing next to one of the Narcissus? Is it just Arctostaphylos uva-ursi? It looks lovely.

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      Well, I haven’t posted the really ugly manzanitas yet. There are a few that absolutely hated our winter this year and have turned almost completely black. The groundcover one came as A. edmundsii ‘Rosy Dawn’, but think it might have been mislabeled. I am wondering if it might be A. nummularia instead because the leaves are very round and glossy.

  7. Linda Brazill

    What a wonderful variety of blooms. I agree about Paeonia tenuifolia. Looks perfect at this stage.

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      Would love it if P. tenuifolia would stay at that stage. It’s one of my favorites.

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