Our 100 Species Challenge List

Post explaining this project.

Whose idea was this?

100 Species Challenge on Flickr.

List of participants.

Want to participate? Sign up at Sarah Sours’s blog.

(Victorian botanical art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.)

(More buttons for the grabbing here.)

Our list-in-progress (scroll down for photos and descriptions):

1. Chaparral Yucca

2. Lily of the Nile

3. Pelargonium

4. Grape soda lupine

5. Bush ice plant

6. Coulter pine

7. Mondale pine

8. Coastal live oak

9. California black oak

10. Manzanita

11. Prickly pear cactus

12. California poppy

13. King palm

14. Bird of paradise

15. Canterbury bells

16. California pepper tree (Schinus areiria)

17. Jade tree

18. Eucalyptus

19. Pomegranate

20. Jacaranda

21. Bottle-brush tree (Callistemon)

22. Jasmine

23. Morning glory

24. Blue plumbago (leadwort)

25. Salvia

26. Bougainvillea

27. Magnolia


1. Chaparral Yucca

Latin Name: Hesperoyucca whipplei

Other common names: Our Lord’s Candle, Spanish Bayonet, Chaparral Yucca

Where we first saw it and learned its name: Mission Trails. (Posted about it here.)

And now we see it all over town. Sometimes it is huge!

I love how the common names reflect local history. I like to imagine it was Father Junipero himself who named the magnificent white flower-spire “Our Lord’s Candle.” “Spanish Bayonet” speaks to some grimmer history!

2. Agapanthus, or Lily of the Nile

Also called African lilies, these lovely shrubs grow in our front yard and all over town. Their bloom season is just passing now, so the globes of purple or white blossoms at the top of each long stalk are looking a little bedraggled these days. But all summer long they were gorgeous. You see them often in median plantings and commercial landscaping, often intermingled with the earlier-blooming bird-of-paradise flowers (that’ll be a future entry).

Lily of the Nile and red geraniums

Lily of the Nile and red geraniums

3. Pelargonium

The red geraniums in the photo above give me a freebie for our challenge. Of course everybody knows what they are. Not that they are really geraniums—the correct name is pelargonium—but geranium is what everyone I’ve ever known has called them. On the east coast, we planted them as summer annuals or grew them in our windowsills. They’re still in my windows here, but they’re also in the ground, all over the place, sometimes in the form of huge bushes. I’ve adored them ever since Anne Shirley bestowed a kiss and a name (Bonny, of course!) on the red geranium blooming in Marilla’s kitchen.