I saw this blooming tree in Balboa Park, I think it's called Angel's Trumpet. Now, I believe the astounding variety of blooms is due to plants being brought there from South American countries. For example this shrub is originally from Ecuador and is a relative of Datura, something I grew in my own garden once for its large flowers.
I got lucky and my visit coincided with the cacti blooming, but don't ask me to identify any of them because not a lot of cacti grow in the Midwest! Maybe Prickly Pear? It's a good place to start for a guess, feel free to laugh at me and correct me if I'm wrong!
The one below is an Indian Fig (or Barbary Fig) if I remember correctly. It was growing outside the visitor center at Torrey Pines Recreation Area and had a sign.
Perhaps another Indian Fig Cactus? This one was located in Old Town State Historic Park and I caught a bird flying in for a look at the blooms.
At Mission San Diego de Alcala and a few other places I saw White Bird of Paradise which grows like a tree with a fan of large 5-foot-long leaves. It can grow to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide! I saw the standard orange Bird of Paradise plants in landscaping too, but didn't get any photographs.
But the first blooms I saw were on the Jacaranda trees, straight out of the airport and everywhere I traveled. It loves full sun and sandy soil, and is native to Mexico and countries further south. The fragile blue hued blossoms were difficult to capture, so I settled for this shot.
The twin flowers below were in a private garden.
And speaking of Datura, I believe this might be one of the species. It was growing all over the rocks between the parking area and the beach at Torrey Pines.
Fences are good places to find unusual flowers.
And here's another tree I saw in Old Town. The blossoms were so numerous that the tree was humming from all the bee activity. Which did not stop families from sitting beneath it to get some shade in the heat of mid-day. A little identification help would be appreciated, Google didn't know what it was either!
Bougainvillea must be really easy to grow because like the Jacaranda it was everywhere!
Don't worry, I saved a few blooms aside for when I get to posting about my desert hiking. I wanted to get to the San Diego Botanical Garden but ran out of time, which gives me something to do when I return again someday to visit my cousin and his hospitable family!
|From left: Leacey, Cooper, Mom, Jack and cousin Chris|