When we receive a beautiful arrangement, the vase is usually filled with more than just pretty blooms tossed in an array of color. For many florists, the display is not complete without finishing it off with a few flecks of greenery such as leather leaf, lemon leaf, ruscus, palms, ivy or tropical foliage in order to fill in holes and create a bountiful presentation. Typically found in New England flower shops, these greens are imported from all around the world and even from some parts of the United States, particularly California where the weather is more formidable for this type of growing. The sunshine state is a major exporter for this product because there is no need for the crops to be cultivated within expensive greenhouses as well as the fact that many species are a natural part of the west coast landscape.
During a recent trip to Los Angeles, I was off on a morning run and was stunned by the eclectic assortment of greenery popping up from everywhere around me. Not only did I find clumps of plants such as variegated pit (an expensive floral foliage in Massachusetts) seen in front and back yards but I also spotted them growing wildly in unlikely areas. I was honestly impressed by the horticulture in the area and the fact that California foliage is so wonderfully different from what we commonly see here. Below are a few of my favorite species I snapped photos of during my trip which gave me a new appreciation of Los Angeles’ dynamic foliage development.