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In Bloom

Bomarea spp.
 
Bomarea spp. at SF Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor
Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp. Bomarea spp.

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Bomarea are mostly climbers or vines. There are up to 120 species that are endemic to limited areas from Mexico to Argentina. They are in the same family as Alstroemeria, both having resupinate leaves, twisting 180 degrees at the base. In fact, this is a distinguishing feature for the family. Lowland species are fast-growing climbers with stems that can reach 15-20 feet. At higher elevations, they can lose their climbing habit and start to resemble tall-growing Alstroemeria species. The flowers are gathered in a dense umbel, which in some species can have up to 60 flowers. The flowers are made up of three outer tepals (petals and sepals of the same color and/or shape) and three inner, in often dramatic contrasting colors.

Two particularly remarkable species now blooming in the garden include Bomarea caldasii, from Ecuador and Bomarea petraea, from Peru. B. caldasii is considered extremely rare in its native habitat. It has large clusters of vibrant orange flowers with the inner tepals yellow spotted with brown. Bomarea petraea, or Peruvian lily vine, has orange-red flowers. The inner tepals are spotted with maroon and are quite striking. Many Bomarea species thrive in the Bay Area's mediterranean climate. They need year round watering and protection from frost, snails and slugs.

Profile
Scientific Name Bomarea spp.
Family Alstroemericeae
Plant Type Vine or ground cover
Environment Protect from frost, snails and slugs; water year-round.
Bloom Clusters (umbels) of 30-45 flowers (umbels) often in orange, red, and yellow with inner tepals spotted or marked.
Uses Plant in a sunny location in the Bay Area and a more shady location in hotter areas. The ends of the climbers will need light to flower.
More Info Bomarea are pollinated mainly by hummingbirds; the flowers contain a sweet nectar.

They can reach flowering size in two to three years.

Bomarea are tuberous. A tuber is a thick, underground storage stem typically bearing outer buds.

Location

Bomarea can be found in the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest Garden (Bed 24A, 24H, 25A) and the Andean Cloud Forest (Bed 53I, 54A).

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Map (Bed Numbers) >>

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IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Photos by Docent Joanne Taylor; text and profile by Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler; additional photos provided by James Gaither.

 
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February

Bomaria spp.

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March

Rhododendron occidentale

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April

Polystichum munitum

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x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

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Salvia leucantha

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July

Hydrangea seemannii

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Garrya elliptica

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Magnolia x soulangeana

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Senecio glastifolius

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Ribes spp.

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Oxalis oregana

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Calandrinia grandiflora

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June

Taxus baccata

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July

Romneya coulteri

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Passiflora parritae

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Malvaviscus arboreus

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Monterey Cypress

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Aloe arborescens

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December

Aloe plicatilis

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January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

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Magnolia laevifolia

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April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

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Clarkia sp.

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February

Rojasianthe superba

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Echium spp.

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Iris douglasiana

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Digitalis purpurea

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Felicia amelloides

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Amaryllis belladonna

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Ginkgo biloba

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Acer morrisonense

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November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

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Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

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March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

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Lavandula spp.

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June

Pelargonium

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July

Fuchsia paniculata

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August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

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October

Arbutus unedo

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November

Cycads

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December

Restionaceae

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January

Hellebores

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February

Ceanothus

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March

Rhododendron

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April

Psoralea pinnata

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Fremontodendron californicum

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Crocosmia

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Fuchsia boliviana

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Camellia

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Acmena smithii

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Eschscholzia californica

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Dendromecon harfordii

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Romneya coulteri

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Eupatorium purpureum

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Grevillea spp.

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