ISI 2010-23. Lampranthus ‘Sierra Sunrise’ Trager

Lampranthus cultivars are hard to miss in the Mediterranean climates where they are grown as ornamental groundcovers. Their vividly-colored flowers create carpets of color with a vibrancy and floriferousness rivaled by few other plants. In this new cultivar those qualities are found in a medium-sized shrub 3 to 4' tall and spreading to 6' or so. I have admired it for years while strolling my neighborhood during the 3 to 4 weeks spanning Easter, when it flowers gloriously without fail. The rest of the year its glaucous foliage complements a plant palette appropriate for Mediterranean climate regions. However, its long-lived, woody trunks could also make this a worthy subject for succulent bonsai as well as a landscape plant.

The cultivar name is derived from the name of the foothill town of Sierra Madre, California, where it grows as a single specimen. The homeowner recalled receiving a cutting from a friend, but its origin could not be traced further. The “sunrise” in the cultivar name alludes to multiple themes: the Easter season of bloom, the dawning of a new season and the abundance of linear petals that make up its vivid floral display when the flowers open to their full extent in full sun. Rooted cuts of HBG 74273, $6.

Photo © 2010 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 82 (2), March - April, 2010