(Blue Atlas Cedar)
Noble, majestic and impressive in form and stature, the blue Atlas cedar is a heat and drought tolerant tree with alluring steel blue to frosty blue-green needles. An evergreen conifer native to the Atlas Mountains of extreme northwestern Africa, the tree in youth is pyramid-like with few branches but becomes a massive, spreading-branched specimen with age.
The needles emerge each spring in tufted whorls atop short nubs on the thin branches, first steel blue and becoming powdery blue green. The...
Forest & Kim Starr
The bombax family comprises some 30 genera and 250 species of tropical and subtropical trees, many native to arid or semi-arid regions. Closely allied to the Malvaceae (mallow family), members of the Bombacaceae are distinguished primarily by their imposing stature, their bundled (or "fascicled") stamens, and their smooth (rather than spiny) pollen. Many have swollen, bulbous, light-wooded trunks rich in water-storing tissue. These make striking but ultimately massive ornamental trees for tropical...
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Ceiba, Kapok, Silk Cotton Tree)
Impressive in size and muscular in form, kapok has fragrant dull white flowers in late winter that produces pods filled with cottony fibers once used for stuffing lifejackets, furniture and pillows. A massive deciduous tree native to South America, it has been cultivated all across the tropics for so long that often it is misleadingly listed as native to Africa, southern Asia or "pantropical". The smooth gray bark of this monstrous plant puts elephants and the largest of dinosaurs to shame. With...
(Variegated Kapok, Variegated Silk Cotton Tree)
Impressive in size and muscular in form, variegated kapok has fragrant dull white flowers in late winter followed by white and green foliage. A massive deciduous tree native to South America, it has been cultivated all across the tropics for so long that often it is misleadingly listed as native to Africa, southern Asia or "pantropical". With ages the trunk becomes magnificently buttressed.
In late winter and early spring, while the tree is barren of leaves, the green-gray branches bear five-petaled,...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Common Hackberry, Hackberry)
Common hackberry is a deciduous shade tree native to the eastern United States nad extreme southern Canada. The foliage is reminiscent of the American elm but often suffers from small warty galls. It has purple, pea-sized fruit in the fall and readily self seeds and can become invasive. Fall foliage color is a clear yellow. Mature trees have distinctive, coarse ridged bark. It is susceptible to witches-broom.
Common hackberry is a tough plant, tolerant of windy and/or cold winter locations. Plant...
Mark A. Miller
Valued for its handsome foliage, compact habit, and tough constitution, this small deciduous tree is found over much of the central and western United States and northern Mexico. It typically forms a short multi-trunked tree with sinuous branches and an asymmetrical rounded crown. The oval, dark-green to gray-green, prominently veined leaves have toothed edges and pale yellow-green undersides. They turn yellow in fall. Inconspicuous flowers in late winter or early spring give rise to pea-sized fruits...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Bell Flower Cherry)
Filling its branches with dense clusters of pink to deep pink-red flowers in late winter, the Taiwan cherry is a fantastic tree for warm winter regions where traditional flowering cherry trees grow poorly. A deciduous cherry tree that has an oval but spreading canopy, it is native to the mid-elevations of southern China, Taiwan, southern Japan and Vietnam.
In late winter to early spring while the branches are still leafless, they fill with flowers. Each flower hangs downward and resembles a bell...
Forest & Kim Starr
(St. John's Bread)
The carob tree offers deep shade for warm, dry climates. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean where winters are mild and wet and succeeded by a very long, dry season. Adapted to poor, rocky ground that is well drained, it solves a landscaping challenge in the sandy-gravelly soils of desert gardens. This is a medium-sized evergreen tree with dense branching and large, glossy, leathery leaves.
The Carob tree blooms in spring with small flowers that release a pungent scent. They are followed...
Gerald L. Klingaman
Regarded as one of the world's most beautiful small shade trees, the katsura tree has uniform heart-shaped leaves, golden orange fall foliage and persistent coppery-tan seedpods that decorate its bare winter branches. A deciduous tree from China and Japan, it generally has a spreading, vase-shaped to oval-canopy and gray-brown bark that exfoliates in vertical bands, adding winter and spring interest.
The heart-shaped leaves first emerge with a bronzy color before turning medium green. The leaf...
Mark A. Miller
(Heronswood Globe Katsura Tree, Katsura Tree)
Regarded as one of the world's most beautiful small ornamental shade trees, the katsura tree has uniform heart-shaped leaves and pinkish apricot to gold fall foliage that releases a faint fragrance akin to burned sugar or caramel as they drop. A deciduous tree from China and Japan, 'Heronswood Globe' develops with a dense and perfectly round silhouette with gray-brown bark that exfoliates in vertical bands, adding winter and early spring garden interest. This cultivar was selected by Dan Hinkley...