Habitat

Introducing New Stylish Decor For Habitat + Home!

The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Atwater Village, Los Feliz, and Los Angeles.

TPP Anini Collection Ad3.png

Welcome to a world where the outside comes in.  A style created from the botanical inspiration of The Plant Provocateur.  Immerse yourself in a botanical tapestry of form, texture, and colour.  Let it take you.

The Plant Provocateur is proud to introduce a line of stylish decor for the home.  Introducing The Anini Collection.  Inspired by travel, The Anini Collection is a line of throw pillows designed by The Plant Provocateur.  Each pillow features a distinct design reflective of the lush tropical climes of distant destinations. 

DelonixPillow.jpg

Delonix

FernPillow.jpg

Laua'e Fern

SunSeaPillow.jpg

Anini Sun Sea

Each pillow is cut, sewn, and crafted in California. Pillows are 18 X 18 inches.  Cases are machine washable.  Poly insert included is hand wash only. Each pillow has a concealed zipper. Pillows are currently available In-Store Only.  $36.  Soon to be available in the New TPP Online Shop.  Coming Soon!

TPP Staghorn Fern Mounting Workshop Sun. 6/18 12-2pm! Father's Day!

Staghorn fern house plants mounting workshop Silver Lake, Los Angeles.  The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Los Feliz and Atwater Village.

Staghorn fern house plants mounting workshop Silverlake, Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Atwater Village and Echo Park

There's something very elegant and chic about a Staghorn Fern mounted on wood.  It's botanical art!  So, after many requests, The Plant Provocateur is holding a Staghorn Fern Mounting Workshop where you make and take home your very own piece of living botanical art to hang indoors or out.  It's a trophy of fascinating flora that brings you closer to nature. 

Staghorn Ferns (Platycerium bifurcatum) plant naturally grow on tree branches and trunks.  So, mounting them is the perfect process for planting and growing these old world plants.  This workshop will show you how to select, mount, and care for your mounted Staghorn Ferns.  There will be a few surprise plants on hand that can also be mounted.  Each participant gets to make and take home what they create. 

Workshop fee is $50/person.  This includes plant materials and instruction.  Also, this is a hands-on workshop, so come prepared to get your hands dirty.  Tea and cake or something of the like will be served as well.  Workshop space is limited to 6 participants.  Tickets are available for purchase by clicking HERE.

Carnivorous, Nepenthes, Pitcher Plant, Sundew and Venus Fly Traps Plant Workshop Silverlake, Los Feliz and Los Angeles

Carnivorous Plant workshop, Nepenthes, Pitcher plants, sundew and venus fly traps Silverlake, Los Angeles.  The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Los Feliz and Atwater Village.

Carnivous Plants Nepenthes Pitcher Plant venus fly trap silverlake los feliz los angeles Echo Park Atwater Village

I've hinted at it for some time now.  Well it's finally here.  The Plant Provocateur Carnivorous Plant Workshop is happening Sunday, June 11th, 12-2pm.  This is a workshop for those interested in learning about, working with and experiencing the world of carnivorous plants.  Carnivorous plants are those plants that eat insects and do it in the most interesting ways.  Their savage beauty is absolutely fascinating. 

This workshop will teach you how to identify different types of carnivorous plants, how they eat, and how they grow.  Participants will get to choose (2) plants from a selection to pot up, cultivate, take home, and call their very own.  Additional plants will also be available for sale.  They grow beautifully on a windowsill or outside in the garden.  The Plant Provocateur has searched high and low for some truly unique, unusual, and captivating carnivorous plants for this workshop.  Come prepared to experience the strange, the mysterious, rare chicness of these botanical wonders. Perhaps like nothing you've seen before.

Workshop fee is $45.  This is a hands-on workshop, so please come prepared to get dirty and possibly a bit wet.  The fee includes all materials and instruction.  Tea and cake or something of the like will be served as well.  Workshop space is limited to 6 participants.  Tickets are available for purchase by clicking HERE

The Plant Provocateur is located on the back patio at 3318 Sunset Blvd., in Silver Lake.  Cross street is Micheltorena.  Patio entrance is located next door to Night + Market Thai Restaurant and behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026.  Sunday metered parking is free!

TPP January Sale Begins Jan. 19th!!!

Plant sale flower shop silverlake Los angeles

For the first time in history comes a very special SALE event from The Plant Provocateur.  It's time to clean house and prepare for the 2017 TPP Spring Collection.  So, starting Thursday, January 19th until the end of the month, TPP will be offering up to 60% off on select merchandise including pottery, essential oil diffusers, essential oil blends, bud vases, designer watering cans, garden tools, books, and design goods.  Quantities and styles are limited.

This SALE event is in-store only.  The Plant Provocateur is located at 3318 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 in the Silver Lake neighborhood.  Entrance is off the street on the back patio behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 Sunset Blvd. and next door to Night + Market Song Thai Restaurant.  Shop hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 12noon-5pm.  The shop is CLOSED on Mondays. 

 The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Los Feliz and Atwater Village.

TPP Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

Unique and exotic gifts with scented candles, organic essential oils and ceramic pots. Also available are low maintenance house plants, potted plants and exclusive prints. The Plant Provocateur supplies a unique range of gardening books in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. 

 The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Los Feliz and Atwater Village.

essential oils scented candles house plants pots gardening books silverlake los angeles Echo Park Atwater Village los Feliz

Happy Holidays From The Plant Provocateur.  Looking for that last minute Holiday gift?  Looking for that hard-to-buy-for-person?  Well, look no further than The Plant Provocateur.  Why not give a gift that's chic and unique!  Shop hours Fri 12/23 and Christmas Eve Sat 12/24 are from 11am-6pm.  I've got a beautiful selection of treasures for habitat and home.  The Plant Provocateur shop is located at 3318 Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake.  Located on the back patio behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 Sunset Blvd. and next door to Night + Market Song Thai Restaurant.  Cross street is Micheltorena. 

 

TPP Holiday Wreath Workshop Sun. 12/4 + Sun. 12/11!!!

Holiday Christmas wreaths. UniqueTillandsia, succulent and living wreaths in Silver Lake Los Angeles.

 The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Los Feliz and Atwater Village.

christmas wreaths tillandsia living wreaths silverlake los feliz los angeles Echo Park Atwater Village

I am very excited to announce that The Plant Provocateur will be holding 2 Holiday Wreath Workshops.  I've split the experience into smaller, more intimate workshop sessions.  Limit is 4 people per session.  So here's the deal...I will be teaching you how to create a holiday wreath that is beyond ordinary; that is something more extraordinary using unique plant material that is not your everyday pine branch or dried twig.  I want to open your eyes up to a world of creative possibilities that go outside of the usual holiday box. 

The workshop is $150 per person.  This includes instruction, wreath materials, and premium plant materials (which are the bulk of the workshop fee cost.  You'll be using the GOOD stuff!)  Each participant will leave with their very own extraordinary wreath.  Participants get to choose between making a table wreath centerpiece wreath or a hanging wreath.  I will share my secrets about which materials I have found make for a longer lasting wreath, as well as which materials dry beautifully. 

The workshops will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4th and Sunday, Dec. 11th from 11am-2pm.  No previous experience is needed.  The workshop will take place at The Plant Provocateur Shop on the patio.  Please note this is a hands-on workshop, if you have garden shears and/or gloves, feel free to bring them.  Additional materials will be provided.  Again, each session is limited to 4 people.  Reservation purchase is required to attend.  Tickets are available through the 'SHOP' menu of this website or via the following link: WORKSHOP RESERVATIONS.  The Plant Provocateur is located at 3318 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026.  The shop is situated behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 W. Sunset Blvd., and next door to Night + Market Song Thai Restaurant.  Nearest cross street is Micheltorena.  You can also call The Plant Provocateur for more info at 323-774-4836.  Sunday metered street parking is FREE!

Holiday Kokedama 'String Garden' Workshop at TPP Sun. Nov. 20th!

Kokedama Moss ball String Garden Workshop in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

 The Plant Provocateur supplying Silver Lake, Echo Park, and the areas of Los Feliz and Atwater Village.

kokedama moss ball string garden silverlake los feliz los angeles

The Plant Provocateur will be holding a very special Holiday Kokedama 'String Garden' Workshop on Sunday, Nov. 20th from 10:00am - 11:30am.  Kokedama are cool little moss ball gardens that can hold and grow plants.  You can hang them up or place them on a pedestal.  For the holiday workshop, we'll be creating Kokedama with a seasonal style. 

Participants will learn how to create, build, and care for these amazing little individual green gardens of goodness.  This is a hands-on workshop so please come prepared to get your hands dirty.  Each participant takes home what they create!

The workshop will take place on the patio at The Plant Provocateur shop in Silver Lake.  Workshop fee is $65.  This includes materials and instruction.  Workshop is limited to 8 people.  Reservations may purchased by clicking HERE.

The Plant Provocateur is located at 3318 W. Sunset Blvd., in Silver Lake.  Cross street is Micheltorena.  Patio entrance is located next door to Night + Market Thai restaurant and behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026.  Sunday metered street parking is free! 

Kokedama 'String Garden' Workshop at TPP Sept. 18th!!!

Kokedama string Garden Moss ball workshop Los Feliz Los angeles silverlake

kokedama moss ball string garden los feliz los angeles silverlake

Back by popular demand is The Plant Provocateur Kokedama 'String Garden' Workshop on Sunday, September 18th from 10:00am - 11:30am.  People have been really lovin' these cool little moss ball gardens.  So, here's your chance to make your very own string moss garden vessel planted with a super charming Angel Vine.

My workshop teaches you how to create, build, and care for these amazing little individual gardens of green goodness.  This is a hands-on workshop so come prepared to get your hands dirty.  Each participant leaves with their creation.

The workshop will take place on the patio at The Plant Provocateur shop in Silver Lake.  Workshop fee is $60.  This includes materials and instruction.  Workshop is limited to 8 people.  Reservations may purchased by clicking HERE.

The Plant Provocateur is located at 3318 W. Sunset Blvd., in Silver Lake.  Cross street is Micheltorena.  Patio entrance is located next door to Night + Market Thai restaurant and behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026.  Sunday metered street parking is free! 

 

It's The Last Japanese Woodcarving Workshop For The Year At TPP!!! Sun. July 17th 1pm-4pm.

Japanese Wood Carving Workshop Los Feliz Silverlake Los Angeles

Japanese Wood Carving Workshop Los Feliz Silverlake Los Angeles

You've been asking about the next one and here it is.  Actually, it's the LAST one for the year!  Sunday, July 17th will be the last Japanese Woodcarving Workshop at The Plant Provocateur until 2017!  Master Wood Carver Yo Takimoto teaches a meditative Japanese Kikezuri Woodcarving Workshop.  The art of Kikezuri asks the participant to leave their intentions behind and allow the wood's nature to emerge.  It's a very relaxing and meditative process.  If you haven't experienced this amazing workshop...now is the time!

Workshop participants are provided with wood at the time of the workshop, tools for carving, and instruction.  The workshop session is limited to 8 people.  Class fee is $60 which includes all materials.  Workshop session takes place on the patio at The Plant Provocateur.  Event is 3 hours long.  Tickets are available through www.plantprovocateur.com via the 'SHOP' menu.  Under the 'SHOP' menu select 'events' to purchase. 

The Plant Provocateur shop is located at 3318 W. Sunset Blvd. on the back patio behind Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 W. Sunset Blvd., next door to Night + Market Song Thai Restaurant.  Metered street parking is FREE on Sundays!

The Plant Provocateur Shop - Opening March

 |Palm Frond Night Moves Kaleidoscope|

|Palm Frond Night Moves Kaleidoscope|

Hello everyone and Happy New Year.  2015 is gonna be a BIG year for The Plant Provocateur!  After all the talk, after all the dreaming, I'm finally taking the leap and opening a brick-and-mortar plantasy.  In fact, I'm typing, this very post, from the cabinet of curiosities that will be the official Plant Provocateur HQ.  I say cabinet because being a first time shop keeper I'm going to keep things a bit intimate.  You know me...provocative.

 |Coming Soon Doors|

|Coming Soon Doors|

So here's the deal.  The Plant Provocateur shop is currently under way with a teeny tiny build out.  New lighting, shelving, a little of this, and a little of that.  My aim is to get those doors open sometime early to mid March.  Crossing fingers, toes, and the beard beneath my nose...things will get growing as planned.

 |Aloe Kaleidoscope|

|Aloe Kaleidoscope|

Now what can you expect?  Beauty, intrigue, and mystery.  The shop will feature signature live plants.  I've been searching the world for crazy cool heirloom, exotic, unusual, badass plants, the likes you have never seen. So they'll be here.  Also, in a slightly different direction, I will be offering cut flowers on a small scale.  Now, I won't be a full blown florist but I will feature some cut florals from time to time.  Also, for the locals out there, I am providing these pieces by appointment.

 |Bromeliad Kaleidoscope|

|Bromeliad Kaleidoscope|

Let's see what else?  Oh yeah, The Plant Provocateur will feature a select display of furnishings and 'figments' for inside and out.  I'm pretty excited about this and can't wait to share with you the cool things I've found.  Also, the shop will feature occasional classes and featured speakers.  If the subject relates in anyway to the botanical world around us...we'll be talking about it.

 |Magnolia kaleidoscope|

|Magnolia kaleidoscope|

So a lot of people, have asked, "What will The Plant Provocateur be about?"  You know when you start a business it's always a good idea to have a mission statement; something that defines the very being of what the heck it is you're about to do.  Well mine is simply this... Inspire With Plants.  Yeah, you may of heard it before.  It might sound a bit cliché, but wait and see what I do with this mission.  I've been feeling extraordinarily creative as of late.  I hope to explore things that are beyond our expectations.  I call it the Future Flora Initiative.  I want you to fall in love with plants and what they inspire, perhaps in ways you never thought you would.  Like the saying goes...big things have small beginnings.  Well, that's how it will start.  Now, moving forward, my mission is to make it exciting and thrive.  Stay tuned.

 |FiddleHead Kaleidoscope|

|FiddleHead Kaleidoscope|

Give 2 Me Your Leather. Take From Me My Lace. - Alsobia dianthiflora

 |Alsobia dianthiflora petal detail|

|Alsobia dianthiflora petal detail|

So lately, in my world, a hot topic has been super sexy houseplants.  I know that might sound a bit racy for some of you, but, I'm talking about houseplants that offer a little more than a lump of static greenery.  Now don't get me wrong, there are some outstanding green foliage houseplants out there.  You just gotta know where to look. In my travels this summer, I stumbled across a plant that I don't see too often.  Don't know if you've met?  Everyone...this is Alsobia dianthiflora.  Alsobia dianthiflora this is everyone.

 |Alsobia dianthiflora floral profile|

|Alsobia dianthiflora floral profile|

In some circles, this gorgeous angel of elegance is referred to as Episcia dianthiflora and commonly in others as the Lace Flower Vine.  It is in the gesneriad family of plants.  You know some of Alsobia's common name cousins...African Violet and Gloxinia.  When I first saw the fringe and frill of its dreamy, illuminating ivory flowers I was a goner.   So elegant yet so savage.  Be still my horticultural heart!  Alsobia dianthiflora comes to us from the climes of places like southern Mexico and Costa Rica.  It is a perennial plant that is replete with sumptuously soft, downy deep green leaves and produces stunning white trumpet-like flowers, whose petals are detailed in a filigree of white foxy fringe.  As an added bonus, for those who like to look a bit closer, the throat of each flower is delicately spotted with dreamy drops of violet color.

 |Alsobia dianthiflora foliage + flower + form|

|Alsobia dianthiflora foliage + flower + form|

Alsobia dianthiflora likes bright, indirect light, shady spots, and can tolerate a part-sun situation outdoors.  It vines up to around 3 feet long if it's happy and gets about 8" tall.  It's low and likes to stroll.  It likes to set its roots down in a well-draining, fertile soil and prefers regular water.  It's hardy down to around 35 degrees fahrenheit/1.6 degrees celsius, if outdoors.  I keep mine on the porch and let it creep and sprawl its way around.  Looks so luxurious that way.  It also does well indoors and makes for one sexy houseplant.  So if you're in the mood for a houseplant with a lush, plush, knight-in-white-satin kind of vibe... look for, find, and grow Alsobia dianthiflora. You can find them online here.  You might even find them at The Plant Provocateur. Huh?!  What's that you say?  Stay tuned...

Tantalizing TriColor Sunset Supernova - Stictocardia beraviensis

 |Stictocardia beraviensis floral detail|

|Stictocardia beraviensis floral detail|

Outside it's hot, hazy, and humid.  My daily diorama is complete with blue skies and fluffy thunderhead tufts playing hide and seek behind the San Gabriel Mountains. Yep, summer in L.A. is in full swing!  The Plant Provocateur Botanical Garden is killing it right now with crazy cool flowers and fragrances.  One such standout is the Stictocardia beraviensis vine that is kickin' out some tantalizing tricolor sunset supernovas.  Check it!

 |Stictocardia beraviensis bud + flower + detail|

|Stictocardia beraviensis bud + flower + detail|

Isn't the color ridiculous!?  So vibrant, so rich.  Très tropical!  Stictocardia beraviensis is commonly referred to as the Hawaiian Sunset Vine or Braveheart Vine. It is related to the Morning Glory vine.  Although there's mention of Hawaiian in its common name, this vine comes to us from tropical Africa and Asia.  It's a lightning fast growing/twiner that can cover a fence or wall in no time.

 |Stictocardia beraviensis tendril + texture|

|Stictocardia beraviensis tendril + texture|

Stictocardia beraviensis can grow in sun or shade.  It outfits itself in gorgeous, luxuriously pleated, heart-shaped leaves.  Leaves in the shade can grow up to 1 foot wide giving off some serious tropical realness.  In the sun, leaves grow up to 1/2 that size but still cover their vines in a tropical tapestry of verdant voluptuousness.  Vines can grow 10 to 12 feet long.  From spring to fall, it produces dramatically dreamy, 2 to 3 inch wide, cup-shaped flowers that will remind you of the most beautiful hawaiian sunset.  Their ultra-vivid color will carry your senses away to a tropical island complete with tropical breezes, beaches of white sugar sand, azure ocean, and tall tiki glasses spilling over with Mai Tais.  Who's with me?!

 |Stictocardia beraviensis bud + flower + foliage|

|Stictocardia beraviensis bud + flower + foliage|

In warmer climates, this evergreen vine will even bloom in December and January.  It prefers to grow in well-draining soil, receive regular water, and is hardy down to around 30 degrees fahrenheit/-1 degrees celsius.  I find mine defoliates a bit when the temps drop below 40 degrees fahrenheit/4.5 degrees celsius but springs right back with a vengeance when the temps heat back up.  Also, big bonus for container gardeners, it does great in containers.  Wanna create a cool tropical vibe on your balcony?   Try growing this in a container and let it wrap its way around your railings or some trellis action.  In no time, you can have a tropical backdrop for the perfect 'stay-cation'!

So, if you're an exotic plant nut like I am, search the internet, look high and low for this super cool, super sexy vine.  It's totally worth it!  Maybe one day, The Plant Provocateur might be able to offer some up.  Stay tuned!

Whiplash White Burns With A Heavenly Hotness - Michauxia campanuloides

 |Michauxia campanuloides floral profile|

|Michauxia campanuloides floral profile|

Our story begins a few years ago when I spied a mysterious beauty in the pages of a catalog.  Now, understand, the purpose of this catalog was to seduce the reader with tales and promise of unfathomable beauty and what I'd call 'exotitude'...exotic attitude.  The pictures contained within this catalog succeeded in inebriating me with a plant lust so powerful and possessive that I had no defense when it came to resisting its charm!  And now, I can confess to the world that, although I've said I'm not a huge fan of white flowers, I have now eaten those words and savored their exhilarating taste.  The overpowering, seductively alluring flowers of Michauxia campanuloides have made me a true believer in the powerful beauty of white flowers.

 |Michauxia campanuloides bud + bloom|

|Michauxia campanuloides bud + bloom|

Michauxia campanuloides  also commonly called Michaux's Bellflower or Rough-Leaved Michauxia is a short lived perennial or biennial in the Campanulaceae family that comes to us from the Israel, Lebanon, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean.

 |Michauxia campanuloides foliage + form|

|Michauxia campanuloides foliage + form|

Michauxia campanuloides can grow to be up to 6 feet tall with wide spreading stems up to 3 feet if not supported.  Supported, it takes on a tall, narrow, upright profile.  It starts off with a compact basal clump of bristly leaves that produce stout stems that telescope upward to form arching canes jeweled with solitary, nodding white flower buds reminiscent of white pastry bags filled with fondant.  When the buds open in late spring and summer they reveal an elaborate array of arresting flower form... a crown-like calyx, curly semi-corkscrewed petals, and a crazy octopus-like stigma. It's almost a visual overload.  Provocative indeed!  Also, a stunning candidate for those who dig cut flowers.

 |Michauxia campanuloides floral detail|

|Michauxia campanuloides floral detail|

If the fascinating flower form weren't enough, Michauxia campanuloides flowers exude a deliciously dreamy fragrance of delicate hyacinth!  Now that's pure heaven in my book.   This biennial plant is fairly easy to grow.  It likes full sun to part-shade conditions, well-drained soil, regular to low water, and is hardy down to around 0 degrees fahrenheit/-17 degrees celsius.  This is one floral fantasy that must be experienced to be believed.  Once you witness it's beauty, I'm positive it too will become one of the top flowers on your list.  Find it! Grow it!  Soon you won't have to look that far...stay tuned...

The Sugary Gloss of Persian Mimosa Floss - Albizia julibrissin

 |Albizia julibrissin filaments|

|Albizia julibrissin filaments|

My last post created a bit of controversy!  I featured a plant called Tamarix ramosissima.  I got quite a few comments about how some people see it as nasty weed.  One thing you should know dear reader, is that one person's weed is another person's wonder.  When it comes to my love of plants, I often fall into the later category.  Plant life is my drug, my addiction.  As a result, much of my taste, when it comes to plants, is on the provocative side.  Sometimes beauty isn't always pretty or well behaved, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be fascinated by what it displays. Such is the case of this post.  First, I want to kick things off with the above image. What you are experiencing above is a visual explosion of silky stamens from the flowers of Albizia julibrissin also known as Mimosa, Silk-Tree, or Persian Silk Tree.

 |Albizia julibrissin foliage|

|Albizia julibrissin foliage|

Here we have another case of one person's weed and another person's wonder. Albizia julibrisson is native to Persia and Asia.  It is a deciduous tree known for its lushly tropical, fashionably fern-like, bipinnate foliage and its ethereal eruption of diaphanously delicate floss-like flowers, which burst forth in late spring from clustering constellations of delicate buds.  One cool feature to note is that this tree folds it foliage closed at night or during long periods of rain.  It's a tree of many moods...I love that concept!

 |Albizia julibrissin buds|

|Albizia julibrissin buds|

I recently came across one of these trees in my neighborhood while walking Lulu.

 |The Late Lulu Chillin'|

|The Late Lulu Chillin'|

Ironically, it wasn't the display of candy floss flowers that immediately caught my attention.  It was the fragrance in the air that wrapped around me and lifted my senses upward.  You see the flowers have a very delicate, soft gardenia/jasmine like fragrance.  When they are blooming en masse the scent is absolutely captivating! Makes you feel like you're in mysterious locale a million miles away that smells exotically sensual; beckoning you to lose yourself in paradise.

 |Albizia julibrissin form + bud + flower|

|Albizia julibrissin form + bud + flower|

Albizia julibrissin can grow up to 40 feet tall, with a broad fleecy canopy reminiscent of the iconic trees one can see growing in the Serengeti.  This deciduous tree likes full sun or part shade conditions, summer heat, regular water, well-draining soil, and is hardy down to around 10 degrees fahrenheit/-12 degrees celsius.

Now, Albizia julibrissin can be weedy in some areas.  After flowering, it produces flattened bean-like pods filled with seeds.  If the conditions are favorable you can expect a lot of seedlings from fallen seed.  However, in a place like Los Angeles, this tree seems to be kept in check.  Discovering this tree the other day on my walk through the cityscape of Silver Lake was like stumbling into an oasis in paradise. Weed or wonder, the beautiful benefits of this tree are certainly worth experiencing.

The Pink Opaque Of Beauty And The Beast - Tamarix ramosissima

 |Tamarix ramosissima in bud|

|Tamarix ramosissima in bud|

Do you ever let your mind wonder?  If you don't, you should try it.  I find when I do... sometimes I discover the most amazing things.  Here is one such case.  In Los Angeles it is rare to have cloudy day, but when we have one and the clouds are big and fluffy, it puts me in a daydreamy mood.  On a recent cloudy day I was driving along, head in the clouds so-to-speak, when my attention was captured by a tree reaching skyward looking like a big ol' carnival serving of pink cotton candy.  It was a tree I had never seen before.  Excitedly, I parked my car and ran over to investigate. What I discovered was indeed something brand new to me!  I love those moments. The tree I was discovering for the first time is called Tamarix ramosissima commonly referred to as Tamarisk or Salt Cedar.  It was covered in delicate plumes of rosy pink buds and flowers that seemed to have the bees going wild and my senses stimulated!

 |Tamarix ramosissima floral detail|

|Tamarix ramosissima floral detail|

Tamarix ramosissima is considered a deciduous shrub or small tree.  It comes to us from Europe, Africa, and Asia where it is usually found thriving in dry desert or seaside conditions.  It can grow to 15 feet tall and wide or sometimes larger.  What makes this shrub/tree so distinctive is its foliage.  It's very conifer and scale-like. Reminds me of a juniper bush.

 |Tamarix ramosissima flower + foliage + form|

|Tamarix ramosissima flower + foliage + form|

In spring, at least here in L.A., it produces a bounty of buds that bloom and transform the shrub/tree into a dreamy 'draizy' cloud of pink cotton candy. Flowering is known to occur from spring through summer.  So that's the beauty part.  The beast part is that this plant is highly invasive in certain situations.  Tamarix ramosissima is resistant to salt, arid conditions, wind, and thrives in poor soils. When planted near waterways it can take over by reseeding and suckering up a storm.

On the plus side, this shrub/tree is tough!  It can be kept as a stunning specimen as long as it is pruned regularly, after flowering or before new spring growth emerges, and given some watchful maintenance.  It is great for desert gardens and can handle salty seaside conditions.  Makes a great windbreak.  It just needs full sun, well-draining soil, little to regular water, and is hardy down to -40 degrees fahrenheit and celsius!  Tough as nails and as beautiful as spun sugar.