The Quiet Storm

|CU Dendromecon harfordii bloom detail|
|CU Dendromecon harfordii bloom detail|

Look at this image.  Let it transport you to another place and time.  Let it envelop you in its brilliant blaze of youthful yellows, hints of opulent orange, and the slightest glow of amber.  Welcome to the center of the Dendromecon universe.  It is a place where everything radiates beauty.  Let its color fill you up with energy and optimism. Dendromecon harfordii is also referred to as the Island Bush Poppy.  It is a California native plant that I call the quiet storm.

|Dendromecon harfordii bud + bush|

|Dendromecon harfordii bud + bush|

I call Dendromecon harfordii the quiet storm because this evergreen shrub adorns itself with the most elegant grey-green foliage.  The look is calming and subdued or you could say pleasantly quiet.  Dendromecon harfordii takes on a rounded form that can grow 10 to 20 feet tall and wide if you let it.  However, if provided with some occasional pruning, it can make a beautiful, drought-tolerant specimen in a garden setting.   Now for the storm part.

|Dendromecon harfordii in bloom|
|Dendromecon harfordii in bloom|

In spring, Dendromecon harfordii brings on a storm of exciting, blazing, poppy-like blooms that energize the calm of the quiet foliage.  It's as if the shrub is covered with flowering forms of sunshine.  The blooming will carry strongly through summer and then periodically throughout the rest of the year.  Some say the flowers emit a melon-like fragrance.  To keep Dendromecon harfordii looking good, prune it back after major bloom. The great thing about this shrub is that it has few pests.  It also likes full sun, low to no irrigation once established, well-draining soil, and can tolerate temps as low as 20 degrees fahrenheit/-6 degrees celsius.  So for those of you interested in California native plants or not, Dendromecon harfordii is a great garden plant for a blast of colorful class.