Feeds:
Posts
Comments

High winds are prevailing in southern California and the Central Coast, reports my mother in her first, eyewitness contribution to Urban Plant Research. In Santa Barbara County, she can hardly venture outside because of winds over 25 miles per hour. She also read that over in Victorville, which lies between Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, the wind has residents trapped inside for another reason: it has swept mountains of tumbleweeds against their houses, blocking doors and windows! Check out these Google Image search results she sent over:

Screenshot of Google Image search results for "victorville ca + tumbleweed". Each photo in the search results shows high piles of tumbleweeds in the town streets or against houses.

We here at Urban Plant Research have long been interested in tumbleweeds and urban tumbleweeds (tumbling, windblown plastic bags). Are their tumbleweeds where you live?

A report on trees

Here are some unusual tree sightings from the last few months.

castro_tree

Continue Reading »

Summer cuts

It’s been one of the hottest weekends in San Francisco – reaching 102°F today. The neighborhood trees were feeling it too. A number of them were queued up to get a fresh cut. I didn’t get a shot of them in a row, but you can see the cut in progress and the finished look below. They’re reminiscent of a bowl cut – a haircut that I sported during my elementary school days.

090317_before

Before

090317_after

After

San Francisco stumps 

Marina District

West Portal

 

Japantown

terra1.jpg

Terra the titan arum has been the talk of the town this week. She is currently on view at the Conservatory of Flowers where she began to bloom earlier today. I had the chance to check out this rare sight and smell after work. This is what I learned from my visit:

Terra was donated by a San Francisco resident who raised her for four years until she became too big for her owner’s bathroom.

The titan arum is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world and native to Indonesia. A bloom occurs every 7-10 years and the flower emits a strong and foul odor that is often compared to rotting animal flesh in order to attract pollinators. Its putrid smell also gives the titan arum another name – corpse flower. I wonder how the smell compares to durian.

The bloom and smell is said to last for 48 hours and that Terra will be her stinkiest this evening. If you’re local, the conservatory’s hours have been extended for the next few days. There’s also a nice butterfly exhibit next door if the stench gets to be too much.

IMG_6632-ed

Plant reporter for scale

For those of you who cannot see Terra in person, you can watch the Corpse Flower Live Stream.

 

These suspended plants were seen on a recent trip to New York at Marlborough Contemporary. German artist Julius von Bismarck created this installation for the exhibit Good Weather. I found it humorous that the concrete column in the middle of the space could be mistaken for a tree trunk. If you look take a closer look, there are a few pressed chickens which I didn’t see until now. For those of you in New York, the show runs until tomorrow, May 20.


Hang in there 

A plant hangs between two apartment buildings in San Francisco, while grabbing onto a nearby telephone pole for support.