My young Vauquelinia californica is taking the season happily. All the new growth earlier in the year has become a bushy head of green foliage.
The great event of May will be bloom. But not yet. I expected to be able to post the flowers, but the buds are still holding off opening.
Vauquelinia is a member of the rose family, hence the common name "Arizona Rosewood". I am expecting panicles of small, five-petaled white flowers, which apparently bear a strong resemblance to spirea blossoms. But we will have to wait a little longer to see them!
Nearby there are other white desert flowers in bloom.
These come from Asclepias subulata, the desert milkweed, which I include in some of these updates simply because of my fascination with it.
But back to Vauquelinia californica, which is beautiful even without bloom. Here is some of the foliage, with its elegantly serrated edges and soft variations in color.
The damaged bark at the base continues to heal over from within. And yes, I do need to clip the basal new growth... again!
So that is the Arizona Rosewood in mid-May. I am intrigued by its schedule of growth and bloom, which (although admittedly May has thus far been fairly mild) are stretching well into the warmer months . Unlike the Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia floridum) that I followed in 2015, this small desert native does not rely on a summer dormancy for protection against the rigors of the season. Perhaps this is due to its provenance at higher elevations?
A big thank you to Squirrelbasket for hosting the Tree Following meme each month! Do check the other fascinating trees from around the world and feel free to join in!
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 94 F (34 C)/Low: 67 F (19 C); Humidity: 17%-49%
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Kris P (Friday, 12 May 2017 19:25)
Thanks for introducing me to this tree, a species utterly unknown to me despite the "californica" in its name. I checked it out in my Sunset western garden guide today and was chagrined to discover that I'm well out of its range. I guess it needs both more winter cold and more summer heat than it could get here. I look forward to seeing it in bloom in your garden!
αγγελικη (Saturday, 13 May 2017 00:03)
καλο βραδυ!!!!! φιλακια!!!!
Erika (Saturday, 13 May 2017 07:41)
A lovely little tree. Look forward to seeing it in bloom.
Diana Studer (Saturday, 13 May 2017 13:08)
flowers will be like cotoneaster?
Hollis (Saturday, 13 May 2017 13:35)
Interesting that the leaves stand upright ... will they stay that way through the season? It certainly looks like a healthy happy plant. Looking forward to flowers :)
Pat (Sunday, 14 May 2017 05:43)
Lovely update - it does look so healthy and I like the miniature garden underneath it, with the cactus.
The milkweed looks interesting, too.
Is that a reflection of blue sky and clouds in your windows, or a mural? Effective backdrop anyway!
Thanks for your continued enthusiasm.
All the best :)
Island Threads (Sunday, 14 May 2017 07:27)
lovely lush looking tree, the leaves look a bit like the leaves on my willows only the willow leaves hang down, the rosewood leaves are all standing to attention, are they quite stif and thick? I like the white flowered plant frothing around the rosewoods feet it looks pretty, Frances
David C. (Sunday, 14 May 2017 14:39)
Great foliage. This is a favorite of mine, and the neighbor across from me has a 15 ft. tree of it. Can't wait till your's blooms. Tried Chisos Rosewood and Nuevo Leon Rosewood yet?
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 15 May 2017 19:07)
With apologies to all of you for my late and rather condensed replies - we have been dealing with a serious illness for Bella, my beloved Labrador Retriever, since Friday. Still hoping for a good outcome, but none too sure of it and doing a lot of back and forth to urgent care and now the vet's office...
Meantime, thanks for all your comments... :)
Kris - I wish I had more technical knowledge, but it does seem that the species name "californica" often indicates a plant from the Sonora or Baja (formerly included in the Sonoran ecosystem) regions?!!
Aggeliki - Many thanks!!! Wishes for a wonderful week - and hugs!!!!
Erika - It is beautiful in so many ways, but it is certainly taking its time for blooming! :)
Diana - For lack of any pictures of my own... here is a photo from Mountain States Wholesale Nursery: http://www.mswn.com/media/fbver/info_sheets/vauquelinia_californica_flower_ver_587.jpg
Hollis - In my experience, the upright growth is typical in all seasons. But I'll be watching more closely now that I'm following it every month :) Very much looking forward to bloom, though I would definitely grow this one even without significant flowers!
Pat - Thanks so much - I've been happy with the way these rather rugged plants have been arranging themselves in this wilder section of the garden - somewhat on their own! In the second pic you are seeing the dining room window on a day when we had quite a few clouds. :)
Frances - Those leaves are indeed quite stiff and leathery - I assume that is their way of dealing with the harsh conditions, rather than summer leaf drop like so many of the native trees and shrubs. It does make it much lusher through the seasons! :)
David C. - This is the first Rosewood I've tried - what a wonderful plant, so I would love to have others! It has grown a bit faster than I expected from descriptions, but 15 feet will take awhile... ;-)