Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Torrey Pines Landscape Company
As featured in Ranch & Coast Magazine ( design by )

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's Blooming but "Bites"?

Spring is in the air, and the question isn't what's may be 'What isn't blooming?'  The county is ablaze with glorious floral spring color. Some flowers and plants that have developed a defensive system for protection are better admired from afar however. When creating a planting plan for your garden, it's prudent to be aware of toxins and other possibly painful attributes that are inherent in each plant. The following blooming beauties are better seen than touched and we require our crews to wear heavy gloves for safety when working with them.

The Central American evergreen native Caracus wigandia, Wigandia caracasana  grows to 10ft, and has clusters of violet to lilac bell shaped flowers from spring to autumn.. The large ovate toothed leaves are covered with stinging hairs which secrete an 'ideal allergen' which is not only chemically unique in the plant kingdom but it can also cause severe contact dermatitis.


 Euphorbia milii, common name - Crown of Thorns, is an evergreen woody succulent species climbing shrub from Madagascar that can tolerate salt, making it an ideal choice for seaside planting. The stems are armed with a profusion of long, sharp thorns about 3 cm long, which make it less than ideal as a choice to plant  where it will spill over onto walkways within ankles reach.  These densely spiny stems actually aid the plant 'scramble over' other plants in its growth. (The bloom is technically a cyathium, consisting of fused bracts that form a cup around the much reduced true flower in the middle.)

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Company

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