Saturday, January 25, 2014

What is in Bloom in Victoria B.C.

These pictures were all taken on Thursday afternoon, January 23rd in Victoria, British Columbia. I was not able to identify all of the plants. Perhaps you can help me put a name to some of them. Most were growing in front yards, on private property so I was not able to do any of what photographers call "gardening" (remove spent blooms or dead leaves). 

Chaenomeles sp.
Chaenomeles sp.

Whereas there are snowdrops everywhere in Victoria just now, crocuses seem relatively rare. Perhaps the latter are too much appreciated by deer or rabbits?
Giant snowdrops (Elwesii)

For every clump of crocuses growing in the city, there are about 500 clumps of snowdrops.

 Cyclamen coum is at its best just now.

Cyclamen coum
The Witch-hazels (hamamelis) are also looking very good.

Two of the plants I was not able to identify were shrubs. The first one is quite tall, perhaps 5 metres high, and was just about to burst out in yellow blooms.

The second was much smaller, at most two metres, and produced white clusters of flowers with a strong heady perfume.

Iris unguicularis and camelia have been in bloom since early December, but whereas these irises are now blooming much more profusely, it is the other way around for camelias.

Iris unguicularis

Perhaps one of the nicest things was a Lithodora diffusa growing with Sedum rupestre "Angelina". The picture does not do either of these plants justice.

Lithodora diffusa growing with sedum rupestre "Angelina"

A last plant I was not able to identify was the following one which is about 30 to 40 cm high. It not only came in that attractive red, but also in orange.

I expect the following is a cultivar of Prunus x subhirtella. It has been blooming on and off for several weeks. They are large trees.

Prunus x subhirtella

The following azalea should be open next week. There are also a few rhododendrons that have begun blooming.


Many hellebores are in bloom, mostly the Christmas rose (H. niger), but also the Corsican helebore (H. argutifolius) and even some of the Lenten roses (H. orientalis).

I also have among others, photos of winter aconites, rosemary, aubrieta and calendula but let us end with a few primulas.


  1. Never can tell and I could be completely wrong, but I wonder if the first is acacia/mimosa and the second is a viburnum bodnantense "Dawn"? I didn't think it was because the flowers are usually more pink and bell shaped, but that'd be my guess. No idea about the last! Nothing in flower here yet - only Viburnum Tinus. It's a moist mire of a winter so far.

  2. Wow, those are just gorgeous!! I had the most beautiful Japanese Quince in my garden when I lived in B.C. I do miss that, and my wisteria and azaleas!

    thanks for the splash of colour on a cold winter day!

    1. You could have a Japanese Quince in Ontario. I have one in the Bruce, but of course it won't be in bloom for months.

  3. Those little iris should have ubiquitous tagged onto their name. How nice to see so much color on such a snowy day here.

  4. Things are certainly advanced there. My first thought for the white flowered shrub was a viburnum too. Hard to tell the yellow one being still in bud

  5. A far cry from the arctic landscape here!

  6. So many beautiful blooming plants at your end this time of year. Reminds me of the countryside in the summer where you get to see plants growing wildly.

  7. Lots in bloom! You're so lucky - we're actually frozen solid in North Carolina! I wonder if that yellow shrub you mention might be winter jasmine - it looks a bit like forsythia but blooms earlier and has a more weeping, scraggly habit.

  8. Beautiful what ever they are Alain ! .. We lived on Vancouver Island for a couple of years and early Springs were such a treat : ) Now I just accept that we are locked into winter for months and months yet .. BIG sigh !
    Sorry I can't help with an ID on this gorgeous bloom.

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  10. I used to live in BC and boy do I miss those early springs. Here on the east coast we have driving winds and plenty of snow for months yet to come. Unfortunately I'm terrible at IDing so completely unable to help but loved the peek at all the pretty blooms.

  11. The first one is Cornus mas, the second Viburnum x bodnantense possibly Deben as Dawn is dark pink. Lovely selection of spring flowers - it must be very mild where you are. Are the red ones scented? Best wishes

  12. Love these crocuses and cyclamens! For me they are first signs of spring. Have a nice day, Alain!

  13. Not sure I agree with that ratio of crocus to snowdrop - I actually prefer crocus, though the snowdrops come up earlier in my garden.

  14. The red plant is a snapdragon. :o) I'd love to see something in bloom but everything is still dormant here. I love all these spring pictures, through. It's a nice reminder that winter won't last forever.

  15. Annette is right the tree with yellow flowers is Cornus Max which has lovely yellow flowers in winter then edible red fruit in late summer. The white flowers are Viburnum farreri Candidissimum. You don't see it very often but I think it is one of the prettiest winter flowering Viburnums

  16. Thank you Chloris for identifying that second shrub. Living in a area that is a lot colder than Victoria, many of the plant here I do not know.


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