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Primary Colors: Three for the Hummingbirds

Articles: Primary Colors: Three for the Hummingbirds

One of the many benefits of gardening with California’s native plants is the pleasure derived from observing birds, lizards, butterflies, and other creatures that are attracted to our state’s flora. In fact, some people become gardeners in order to create habitat for wildlife. This artificial, yet valuable life support helps make up for the tremendous loss of natural habitat that has occurred since Europeans colonized the state. Whether motivated by this noble cause or simply to add more beauty to one’s garden, planting any of the three newest introductions from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will ensure the arrival of hummingbirds. On their own, the yellow, red, and blue flowers of Salvia spathacea ‘Avis Keedy’, Galvezia juncea ‘Gran Cañon’, and Salvia ‘Pacific Blue’ offer plenty of primary colors, with iridescent hummingbirds a dashing bonus.

Salvia spathacea ‘Avis Keedy’. Author’s photographs
An Unlikely Sport
As its common name of hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) would suggest, attracting these aerial wizards is practically guaranteed. Although still absent from mainstream nurseries, this beautifu...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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