Outback on the Coast – UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

On my trip to Santa Cruz last summer I headed up to the Arboretum. While no longer free, it is quite a good destination for any plant lover. They have the largest collection of australian and new zealand plants in the hemisphere, as well as a monarch butterfly wintering site (come by in February to see them start to fly away). I was in luck with tons of exotic flowers.

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Lots of cacti in this section, but not many were flowering (try in winter)

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Although I did find one

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Looks like a pom-pom

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These are banksii plants, very interesting range, from these trees to shrubs and buses

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The old flower pod things stay on the plant and it grows further out

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They develop these seed pods in the furry thing (it is all very hard and spiky though) which often need fire to open and germinate

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When they do open up, they really look like creepy mouths

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But the flowers are spectacular, they used to use them in episodes of star trek to give an alien feel to the room

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Close-up

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Close-up of the unopened flowers

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This pair made such a brilliant image

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The same variety blooming

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A whole different kind in red

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This is entirely different, but I don’t know what it is

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Or this orange and wiry one

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Sunset flower

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So lacy and dainty, I think it was my favorite

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The bees loved them all, including this magenta one

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How’d you like eyelashes like that!

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I think hummingbirds would enjoy these types of flowers

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These were on a big bush full of the flowers, each with a reservoir of nectar in the center

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Too cool for school

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Bees were digging in and gorging themselves

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This one was very tall and striking

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I would have chilled out here on the eucalypt limb, but  had further adventures in store

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So much pretty. A few shots from my time on the coast up next.

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