Too often, we hustle through our day shuttling our family or ourselves from place to place. How often do you take the time to enjoy Long Beach’s natural environment on your way to work or on your way home from baseball practice?
Take some time this week to marvel at the natural landscape that we call home. Notice how many different types of trees there are just on the corner of say, Bellflower Boulevard and Atherton Street.
Today, we challenge you to look beyond the road and find some of the best spring blooms that thrive this time of year in our beautiful Long Beach climate.
Bougainvillea: Yes, you’ve heard that it will really make your pergola pop or that it will be a great accent for that trellis you’ve been planning to build, but how often do you actually see these wonders in bloom around the city and how easy are they to maintain? To start, bougainvilleas are flowering machines with explosions of tissue paper-like, pinkish-hued blooms. In the warmth and full sun, some species can grow up to 30’ in height. Once established, Bougainvillea is a pretty drought-tolerant plant making it perfect for Southern California watering restrictions. Too much water for this plant will actually result in more green growth and fewer flowers, so do the city a solid and keep the watering to a minimum for this bloom. Best of all, bougainvillea are lush year round with radiant flowering during the spring.
Find it: You can find a beautiful cascade of Bougainvillea near the corner of Bellflower Boulevard and Conant Street.
Pride of Madeira (Echium Candicans): Big, bold and fast-growing, this ultimately massive shrub has a pinnacle of vibrancy in the spring and thrives in our warm, beachy climate. This plant is identifiable by its massive, cone-shaped spikes of iridescent clear blue to violet-blue flowers that can tower up to 8’ tall and wide. Pride of Madeira attracts LOTS of bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, so if you are out and happen to spot this beautiful plant, be mindful that honeybees will be nearby diligently doing their job to pollinate. This plant is perfect for our water-wise state and performs best in full sun with very little maintenance. Be on the lookout for this majestic, purple-coned wonder of a plant!
Find it: You can spot this beauty growing alongside a pool of lavender at Rosie the Riveter Park at the intersection of Clark Avenue and Conant Street.
Early Double Pink Flowering Peach (Prunus Persica): This show-stopping tree is identifiable by its many outward-shooting spears covered in vibrant pink blooms. Flowering Peach trees bloom in late April and through the month of May. During the winter months, this tree requires some chilling during the dormant season and requires clear, hot weather during the growing season. If properly pruned, the Prunus Persica can maintain a manageable height of 10-12 feet. Heavy pruning is required for good flower show.
Find it: Take a drive down Atherton and between Palo Verde and Bellflower in front of the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater and you will behold a small grove of this spectacular blooming peach tree.
You are now equipped with some basic spring bloom knowledge and ready to hit the roads of Long Beach with a fresh pair of eyes. Prepare to dazzle your carpool mates with your newfound perspective and floral facts. Which new blossoms have you spied about town?