Stroll and drive along the streets of South Pasadena and you will be amazed at the wide variety of plants and trees that grow and thrive in our temperate climate. This guide will help you find these beauties tucked in private gardens, parkways and public parks all over town.
Agapanthus: A tough survivor in the face of chronic drought, this popular perennial grows from a bulb-like rhizome. Vibrant evergreen leaves shine in the winter and blue or white showy, rounded flower clusters provide color in the summer. Agapanthus can be found in numerous gardens in South Pasadena.
Hibiscus: Beautiful, exotic-looking flowers are short-lived and typical bloom for only one day. When one flower dies, another bud opens for a long succession of blooms all summer long. Blooms are in shades of white, pink, red, yellow and orange. The plant leaves can also vary in color from green to bronze and near black. You can find an example on the corner of Mission Street and Marengo Avenue.
Southern Magnolia: A popular shade and ornamental tree, the magnolia grandiflora is planted around the world in warm and subtropical temperatures. This tree has a dense growth of smooth, leathery evergreen leaves and fragrant, creamy white flowers that appear on the ends of thick, tough stems. Blossoms open at about 9am and close at night for 2 to 3 days. Flowers appear throughout the summer into the fall. Examples can be found in private gardens and a magnificent one on the corner of El Centro Street and Fremont Avenue in front of Fremont Centre Theatre.
Kangaroo Paw: Native to Australia, Kangaroo Paws are tufted evergreen perennials with vibrant flower colors atop fans of narrow leaves. These flowers are clustered at the ends of the stalks, tubular in shape, covered with velvety hairs, and have pointed lobes that are curved at their tips giving them the appearance of kangaroo paws. Available in gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, red, pink or purple and bloom from late spring to fall. Kangaroo paw can be found in numerous gardens in South Pasadena.
Lantana: Known for its rounded clusters of small, brightly colored flowers, lantana have a unique sprawling appearance from woody branches. The leaves have a sandpaper-like texture and the flower’s nectar attracts several species of butterflies. The flowers range in color from yellow, orange, white, red, pink, blue or purple and the bright colors can be mixed within the same cluster to create a bicolor effect. Lantana can be found in many private gardens in town.
French Lavender: A beautiful and useful plant for the garden. It’s a workhorse as it has fragrant, purple flowers, attracts wildlife and the flowers can be cut to be used in the home for decorating or in the kitchen. This plant is adorned with gray green leaves and can be pruned into the size and shape you prefer. Examples are scattered throughout town in many private gardens.
Next month: July Bloom Report