Walking back to the hotel our first day in San Diego I spotted a tree that stopped me in my tracks. Instant plant lust! Never mind that I had no idea what I was lusting after.
by hotel 1

As I’ve written before travel induced plant lust is a malady I frequently suffer from. Identifying the new object of my affection becomes a game, will I spot it again…maybe in a nursery, or a botanical garden? Or perhaps a local gardener will walk by while I’m drooling, take pity on me and whisper the name in my ear?
by hotel 2
by hotel 3

At the time I remember thinking there was something vaguely Manihot-like about the leaves. Although now when I look at images of both plants I see that’s not the case.

Manihot grahamii - hardy form
Manihot grahamii, photographed at Cistus Nursery.

Maybe I was thinking of the Trevesia palmata my friend Peter has written about? Nothing gets my plant lust fired up like a big foliage rosette.

Trevesia palmata
Trevesia palmata, photo courtesy of Peter Herpst, The Outlaw Gardener.

Thankfully I solved the mystery when I spotted this later in the trip, at a San Diego-area nursery: Tupidanthus calyptratus aka Schefflera pueckleri.
Tupidanthus calyptratus RG

And at another nursery, also labeled Tupidanthus calyptratus.
Tupidanthus calyptratus WA

Only hard to USDA Zone 10 I will not be growing this one in my garden. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I feel tremendously lucky to be growing three other scheffleras, all of which seem perfectly happy here in USDA Zone 8. Why lust for that, when I can grow these?…