California Hummingbirds–Cyanthus latirostris (Broad-billed Hummingbird)

5. Cyanthus latirostris -Broad-billed Hummingbird

The broad-billed hummingbird measures 3-1/4”-4” in length with 4.7” wingspan. Both sexes have usual bronze-green on top, and broad, blue-black forked tails. Vocalization is a rapid, chattering “chi-dit” or “ji-dit.”

Male Description

 Adult male glistens all over with iridescent feathers of green and blue, and has a metallic blue gorget, and a long, bright orange-red bill with black tip.

Female Description

Female has grayish underparts, white line over eye, clear-gray throat, and a dark grayish ear patch. The female’s long bill is black-tipped with a mostly black upper mandible and a dull red lower mandible.

Immature Description

Immature resemble adult female with buffy fringes on feathers of upperparts.

 Nesting

The male’s courtship display starts by hovering about a foot from the female and then flying repeatedly in arcs, much like a swinging pendulum. The female nests in April-August, and usually incubates 2-3 eggs. Nests in deciduous shrubs, vines, or low branches on trees, usually hanging a short distance above water, or 3-9 feet above the ground. Nest is camouflaged to resemble flood debris caught in branches. Does not cover the outside of nest with lichen.

 Range

Spring through the summer the broad-billed hummingbird nests in the Southwest. It migrates south into Mexico in the fall. Because of large numbers of hummingbird feeders and winter-blooming ornamental plants, increasing numbers of them may overwinter in Arizona and southern California. The broad-billed hummingbird has been observed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Ontario. Habitat Desert canyons, low oak woodlands, foothills, and streamsides with sycamores or cottonwoods, woodlands, scrublands, gardens, and mesquite thickets.

 Favorite Flowers

These birds frequent nectar plants and will eat the insects that are also attracted to the nectar plants. Some of their favorite plants include agave, butterfly weed, cactus, Fouqueria splendens (ocotillo), Lonicera (honeysuckle), Opuntia (prickly pears), paintbrush, penstemon, and scarlet bouvardia.

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California Hummingbirds–Lampornis clemenciae (Blue-throated Hummingbird)

4.  Lampornis clemenciae (Blue-throated Hummingbird)

The Blue-throated Hummingbird is a large hummingbird, almost the size of some sparrows, with its length at 4.5-5.5 inches, and an 8 inch wing span.  Both sexes have a long, thin bill, a prominent white stripe behind the eye,  a black stripe passing through the eye, a white cheek streak, bronze-green backs, gray belly and breast, and a long, broad, black rounded tail (occasionally washed with blue-black) with broad white tips on the outer two feathers.  Exhibits direct and hovering flight with very rapid wing beats.  When approaching other hummers at flowers or feeders, they aggressively flash their striking black and white tail feathers.  Vocalizations are unusually complex for both sexes (sharp “seeep!” which is repeated with frequency). 

Male Description 

Males have a bronze green back and crown with a gray underside, bronze-brown rump, and gorget that shimmers metallic blue (appears black in poor light). 

Female Description 

Females have a bronze green back and crown, with a gray throat, bronze-brown rump, and gray underside. 

Immature Description 

Resembles adult female with buffy edging on most feathers, particularly the crown and rump. 

Range 

The Blue-throated Hummingbird is found in Mexico, southeastern Arizona (a few are year-round residents), New Mexico, western Texas, and on rare occasion California.  Winters in Mexico.  It breeds in southwestern mountains, and may nest as late as October.  Males are frequently found at higher elevations. 

Nesting 

Typically nests from April-July.  Nests frequently in wooded canyons, and usually near streams.  Nests anywhere where overhead shelter is available (under rock ledges, eaves, bridges, water towers, beneath tree branches, and inside buildings).  The nests are composed of plant fibers, cotton materials, mosses, and weed stems bound with spiderweb. Uniquely, the outer covering consists of green moss.  The nest is larger than most North American hummingbird nests.  It is 3 inches high and 2.5 inches wide.  Female incubates two white eggs.  Three broods may be raised in one season; and it may last as late as October.  Females return to the same nesting sites each year and frequently will build new nests on top of old ones.  Males fan their tails during courtship, displaying the white tips on the tail.  Males utter complex squeaky songs during the breeding season. 

Favorite Plants 

The Blue-throated hummingbird feeds on insects and nectar.  Readily attracted to flower gardens and sugar-water feeders.  Commonly visits Agave (century plant), Aquilegia (columbine), Epilobium (California fuchsia), Gilia, Lobelia, Lonicera  (honeysuckle), Lupinus, Menthas (mints), Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco), Penstemon, Salvia splendens (scarlet sage), Salvias.

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California Hummingbirds–Archilochus alexandri (Black-chinned Hummingbird)

3.  Archilochus alexandri (Black-chinned Hummingbird) 

When compared to other hummingbirds, the black-chinned hummingbird has a smaller head, thinner neck, and a much more slender body.  The black-chinned hummingbird is about 3 inches in length, has long wings with blunt curved tips, and a short tail.  Both male and female have bright green backs and crown with greenish flanks and white under parts.  All ages and sexes have a long, straight, thin black bill.  It pumps its tail with great frequency when hovering. 

Male Description

The adult male has an iridescent purple gorget, a black face, chin, and upper throat, underlined with a wide purple band.  The entire head looks black.  The tail is dark. 

Female Description 

The adult female has a white chin, throat and rounded tail with white tips on the outer three feathers. 

Immature Description 

Young male black-chinned hummingbirds look like females but have dark streaking on the throat. 

Range 

The black-chinned hummingbird winters in Mexico.  They migrate out of Mexico into the United States in late May.  The male black-chinned hummingbirds migrate back to Mexico in late June.  The females and young migrate to Mexico by the end of July. 

Behavior 

The male black-chinned has a courtship dive that is a long, pendulum-like swoop above a perched female.  At the bottom of the dive, he produces a long drawn-out vocalization.   During the dive, the wing and tail feathers make a loud whistling sound.  The dive may take the shape of a narrow, horizontal figure eight.  While chasing other birds, they produce a variety of call notes.  A buzzing sound is produced by their rapid wing beats. 

Nesting 

Female black-chinned hummingbirds provide all parental care.  They have been observed feeding young while incubating eggs in a separate nest.  Black-chinned hummingbirds lay two eggs.  The nest is usually 3-10 feet off the ground in the fork or branch of a deciduous tree, usually sycamore, cottonwood, oak, willow, or alder; and frequently over a small creek bed.  Nests may also be built in ornamental trees and shrubs around human homes.  Nests consist of plant down such as yellowish down from the underside of sycamore leaves and the silky strands from milkweed seeds, held together with spider webbing, and studded on the outside with lichen, bud scales, and bark.  Two, and sometimes three, broods are raised each season.  Incubation lasts from 13-16 days.  The young are fed and cared for by the female 20-21 days. 

Favorite Plants 

Black-chinned hummingbirds will eat small insects, spiders, nectar from 90 species of plants, and sugar-water from feeders.  They will feed from close to the ground to high up in trees.  They will catch insects in the air, from the ground, from vegetation, or even rob spider webs.  Their favorite plants are Canna, Agave americana (Century plant), Justicia californica (Chuparosa), Aquilegia (Columbine), Impatiens balsamina (Garden balsam), Cercidium, (Paloverde), Justicia brandegeana (Shrimp plant), Nicotiana glauca (Tree tobacco), and Yucca.

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California Hummingbirds–Calypte Anna (Anna’s Hummingbird)

2.  Calypte anna, Anna’s Hummingbird.  This is a common backyard bird, and a year-round resident in most areas.  The Anna’s Hummingbird is one of only three species that are permanent residents of the United States (Allen’s and Costa’s are the other two). This bird’s length is 3.5 inches.  They will make a very high pitched, raspy buzz as well as “chip” and “pip” notes when perched or while chasing intruders.  All ages and sexes have a thin, long, straight black bill as well as a long-sloping forehead, and they hold their tail still while hovering. 

Male Description 

Adult males have a dark, iridescent rose-colored gorget, forehead, and crown.  The gorget has elongated feathers projecting to the sides.  There is a small white spot or streak behind the eye.  The breast is a grayish with some green spots.  The back, rump, and sides are a metallic bronze green.  There are white tufts on each side of the rump.  The dark gray tail is rounded at the tip with the middle pair of tail feathers green.  

Female Description 

Adult females have a dark grayish brown forehead, metallic bronze-green top of the head, white/grayish throat with a few dark rose feathers.  Also has a small white spot behind the eye.   The auricular region (part of bird’s head related to the ear) is dusky. The underparts are a dull grayish white or brownish gray with some green spots, and dark wing feathers.  The back is metallic bronze-green.  There are white tufts on each side of the rump.  The two central tail feathers are metallic bronze-green, and the three outer tail feathers on each side have broad white tips, black central portions, and bronzy green bases. 

Immature Description 

Immature birds resemble adult females without the throat markings. 

Behavior

One of the most distinctive behaviors of the Anna’s Hummingbird is the male’s courtship flight dive. He flies 120 feet in the air and then plummets at a speed up to 65 miles per hour. At the bottom of the dive, he makes a loud, distinctive popping noise, called the “dive noise.” The origin of the dive noise is not fully understood, but is thought to be mostly vocal. The vocalization may or may not be supplemented with noise from air rushing through the feathers. In addition to the dive noise, the very vocal Anna’s Hummingbird makes a variety of buzzes, chips, and chatters. Both males and females defend feeding territories, although males defend them more diligently and for a longer period of time. Anna’s hummingbirds are the carnivores of hummingbirds, and while they do feast on nectar, they typically eat more insects and spiders than other hummingbird species.  They will perch near spider webs to pluck off trapped insects.  They are solitary, but abundant birds.   

Nesting 

The earliest North American hummingbird to nest.  Eggs may be laid in December.  Males and females do not form lasting pair bonds. Females nest in yards, chapparal thickets, wooded canyons, and low, wooded slopes.  Females construct the nest, incubate the eggs, and feed the nestlings on their own. They build their nests on a wide variety of surfaces, most often on the branch of a shrub or tree at heights varying from 3-27 feet from the ground, situated near suitable food sources. Nests are cup-shaped, made of plant fibers, spider webs, and feathers, with a lichen exterior. The female incubates two eggs for 14-19 days. She feeds and cares for them by herself until they become independent at 18-23 days.  Raises two or three broods each season. 

Favorite Plants

Anna’s Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers and feeders, as well as small insects and spiders that they catch in the air or glean from tree trunks and branches. They also visit sapsucker holes and feed on sap and insects attracted to the holes.  Their favorite flowers include Heuchera (coral bells), Eucalyptus, Fuchsia, Chaenomeles (flowering quince), Ribes speciosum (fuchsia-flowered gooseberry), Penstemon, Salvia elegans (pineapple sage), Nicotiana (tree tobacco), Trichostema lanatum (woolly blue curls). 

Habitat

Anna’s Hummingbirds live in a wide variety of habitats, including open woods. Chaparal is their traditional habitat, although in recent years they have been found more often in suburban gardens where hummingbird feeders and exotic plantings provide them with food throughout the year.

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California Hummingbirds–Selashorus sasin (Allen’s Hummingbird)

While 27 species of hummingbirds have been documented in the United States, only 14 of those are documented in California. 

1.  Selashorus sasin (Allen’s Hummingbird)   About 3” long with long, straight, thin black bill. 

Male Description

Adult males have an iridescent copper-red (scarlet) gorget, or throat, with elongated feathers projecting slightly to the sides.  Dull metallic bronze or bronze-green back and top of head.  Chest white, belly and undertail coverts (feathers covering the bases of the longer main feathers) buffy.  Sides of chest, sides of face, and flanks plain cinnamon- rufous (a color described as reddish-brown or rust).  Forked, pointed orange tail feathers with dark tips.  The outermost tail feather is very narrow.  Wings, legs, and feet are dusky.  White spot behind black eye.  Sometimes orange in rump.

Female Description

Adult females have a few reddish gorget feathers.  Chin, throat, and chest are a dull white.  Sides and flanks are cinnamon-rufous.  Back is metallic bronze green.  The head is slightly duller.  Wings are dusky, and the tails are rounded.  The outermost three pairs of tail feathers are orange at bases, black in the middle, and white on the tips.  The middle pair of tail feathers are bronze green, dusky at tips, and orange edges to green base.  The next pair rufous base, then bronze green, and black tips.  Undertail coverts pale cinnamon.  Immatures resemble females. 

Immature Description 

Immatures resemble females, but with less spotting on throat and less rufous on flanks,  Males are more rusty in the base of the tail.

Some Allen’s Hummingbirds are year-round residents of California.  The migratory Allen’s Hummingbirds are smaller than the residential. 

Range

Frequents moist coastal areas, and in the spring migratory birds follow the coast north.  In the fall, migratory birds follow the mountain foothills south.  

Nesting 

Males attract females by displaying an aggressive J-curved flight pattern, posing, and making whistles, booms, and rattle sounds with their feathers and voice.  Males and females do not form lasting pair bonds  Females construct the nest, incubate the eggs, and feed the nestlings on their own.  Females build the nest prior to mating. 

Birds begin nesting in February usually in Monterey pines, live oaks, redwoods, eucalyptus, and sometimes near human habitations.  Nest is made up of fine rootlets, dry leaves, willow down, and hair held together with spiderweb and lichens camouflage the outside .  Two, white, small, oval-shaped eggs are laid and incubated 15-17 days.  Chicks are fed twelve times a day for a maximum of 65 days with regurgitated food from its crop.  One or two broods are raised in a season. 

Favorite Plants

Although the Allen’s Hummingbird will feed on a wide variety of wildflowers and garden plants, its favorite plants include Agave Americana (Century plant), Aquilegia Formosa (Western columbine), Arbutus menziesii (Madrone), Castilleja coccinea (Indian paintbrush), Epilobium canum (California fuchsia), Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet monkey flower), Nicotiana glauca (Tree tobacco), Salvia splendens (Scarlet sage), and Tecomaria capensis (Cape honeysuckle).

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More Hummingbird-Attracting Plants!

Abelia floribunda, Mexican abelia

Abelia grandiflora, Glossy abelia

Abelia species, Abelia

Abutilon x hybridum, Flowering maple

Abutilon megapotamicum, Trailing flowering maple

Acacia, Acacia

Aechmea, Aechmea

Aesculus californica, California buckeye

Aesculus carnea, Red horsechestnut

Aesculus glabra, Ohio Buckeye

Aesculus hippocastanum, Horsechestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum x carnea, Red horsechestnut

Aesculus pavia, Red Buckeye

Agapanthus orientalis, Lily of the nile

Agapetes serpens

Agastache beriberi, Giant hummingbird mint

Agastache cana, Giant hyssop

Agastache foeniculum, Anise hyssop

Agastache mexicana, Giant hyssop

Agave americana, Century plant

Agave, Agave

Ajuga reptans, Carpet bugle

Albizia julisbrissin, Silktree

Alcea rosea, Hollyhock

Aloe arborescens, Aloe tree

Aloe barbadensis, Aloe vera

Aloe species, Aloe

Alstroemeria psittacina, Peruvian lily

Anigozanthos species, Kangaroo paw

Anisacanthus thurberi, Desert honeysuckle

Anisacanthus wrightii, Flame acanthus

Antigonon leptopus, Rosa de Montana

Antirrhinum majus, Snapdragon

Aphelandra, Aphelandra

Aquilega Formosa, Crimson columbine

Aquilegia caerulea, Blue columbine

Aquilegia canadensis, Wild columbine

Aquilegia chrysantha, Golden columbine

Aquilegia formosa, Western columbine

Aquilegia triternata, Barrel columbine

Aquilegia, Columbine

Antirrhinum majus, Snapdragon

Arbutus menziesii, Madrone

Arbutus unedo, Strawberry tree

Arbutus xalapensis var. texana, Texas madrone

Arctostaphylos species, Manzanita

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Bearberry

Asarina antirrhinifolia, Snapdragon vine

Asclepias curassavica, Mexican milkweed

Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly weed

Astragalus coccineus, Crimson woolly pod

Bauhinia variegate, Orchid tree

Begonia, begonia

Beloperone californica, Chuparosa

Beschorneria yuccoides

Bignonia capreolata, Cross vine

Bougainvillea, Bougainvillea

Bouvardia glaberrima, Smooth bouvardia

Bouvardia ternifolia, Scarlet bouvardia

Brachychiton bidwillii, Australian bottle tree

Browallia, Amethyst flower

Buddleia davidii, Butterfly bush

Caesalpina pulcherrima, Dwarf Poinciana

Caesalpinia gilliessi, Bird of Paradise bush

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Barbados’ pride

 Caesalpina species, Bird of paradise bush

Calamintha coccinea, Red basil

Calliandra californica, Baja fairy duster

Calliandra eriophylla, Fairy duster

Calliandra haematocephala, Powder puff

Calliandra tweedii, Trinidad flame bush

Callistemon citrinus, Callistemon species, Bottlebrush

Callistemon viminalis, Weeping bottlebrush

Calothamnus species, Net bush

Camellia sasanqua, Camellia

Campanula medium, Canterbury bell

Campanula, Bellflower

Campsis radicans, Trumpet creeper

Canna species, Canna

Caragana arborescens, Siberian pea tree

Castilleja chromsa, Desert paintbrush

Castilleja coccinea, Indian paintbrush

Castilleja integra, Indian paintbrush

Castilleja miniata, Giant paintbrush

Castilleja sessiliflora, Great Plants paintbrush

Ceanothus americanus, New Jersey tea

Ceanothus arboreus, Mountain lilac

Ceanothus species, Ceanothus

Ceanothus fendleri, California lilac

Cephalanthus occidentalis, Buttonbush

Ceratostigma willmottianum, Chinese plumbago

Cercidium, Palo verde

Cercis Canadensis, Eastern redbud

Cercis occidentalis, Western redbud

Cestrum elegans, Cestrum

Cestrum parqui, Willow-leafed jessamine

Chaenomeles speciosa, Flowering quince

Chasmanthe aethiopica, Chasmanthe

Chelone glabra, Turtlehead

Chilopsis linearis, Desert willow

Chorisia speciosa, Floss silk tree

Cirsium arizonicum, Arizona thistle

Cirsium species, Cirsium

Cirsium vulgare, Bull thistle

Citrofortunella, Limequat

Citrus limon, Lemon

Citrus species, Citrus

Citrus, Orange

Clarkia species, Clarkia

Clematis dioscoreifolia, Clematis

Clematis ligusticifolia, Western virgin’s bower

Cleome serrulata, Rocky Mountain bee plant

Cleome, Spider flower

Clerodendrum speciosissimum, Glorybower

Clerodendrum thompsoniae, Bleeding heart

Cochemiea setispina, Cactus

Columnea species, Columnea

Cordia boissieri anacahuita, Texas olive

Cordia sebestena, Geiger tree

Correa pulchella, Correa neglecta, Correa reflexa, Australian fuchsia

Crataegus, Hawthorn

Crocosmia crocosmiiflora, Montbretia, Crocosmia

Crotolaria spectabilis, Showy rattlebox

Cuphea ignea, Cigar plant

Cuphea micropetala, Mexican cigar

Cynoglossum grande, Western hound’s tongue

Dahlia, Dahlia

Delonix regia, Royal Poinciana

Delphinium cardinale, Scarlet larkspur

Delphinium nudicaule, Orange larkspur

Delphinium occidentale, Western larkspur

Delphinium species, Delphinium

Dianthus barbatus, Sweet William

Dianthus, Pink

Dicentra chrysantha, Golden ear drops

Dicentra eximia, Bleeding heart

Dicentra spectabilis, Bleeding heart

Dichelostemma ida-maia, Firecracker flower

Dierama gracile, Dierama pendulum, Dierama pulcherrimum, Wandflower

Digitalis purpurea, Common foxglove

Digitalis species, Foxglove

Distictis buccinatoria, Blood-red trumpet vine

Dudleya, Dudleya

Duranta repens, Pigeon berry

Eccremocarpus scaber, Chilean glory flower

Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Hedgehog cactus

Echinops exaltatus, Globe thistle

Echium candicans, Pride of Madeira

Ehretia anacua, Anaqua

Elaeagnus umbellate, Autumn olive

Embothrium coccineum, Chilean flame tree

Epilobium angustifolium, Fireweed

Epilobium canum, California fuchsia

Epimedium grandiflorum, Bishop’s hat

Erica mammosa species, South African heath

Eriobotrya japonica, Loquat

Erysimum capitatum, Western wallflower

Erysiumum menziesii, Menzies’s wallflower

Erythrina crista-galli, Cry-baby tree

Erythrina flabelliformis, Western coral bean

Erythrina herbacea, Coral bean

Erythrina species, Coral tree

Escallonia exoniensis

Eucalyptus cladocalyx, Sugar gum

Eucalyptus ficifolia, Red-flowering gum

Eucalyptus globulus, Blue gum

Eucalyptus lehmannii, Lehmann’s gum

Eucalyptus leucoxylon, White ironbark

Eucalyptus maculata, Spotted gum

Eucalyptus mannifera, var. maculosa, Red spotted gum

Eucalyptus melliodora, Yellow box

Eucalyptus polyanthemos, Silver dollar gum

Eucalyptus robusta, Swamp mahogany

Eucalyptus sideroxylon, Red-ironbark

Eucalyptus species, Eucalyptus

Fatsia japonica, Japanese aralia

Feijoa sellowiana, Pineapple guava

Fortunella, Kumquat

Fouquieria splendens, Ocotillo

Fritillaria recurva, Scarlet fritillary

Fuchsia, Fuchsia species

Galvezia juncea, Galvezia

Galvesia speciosa, Island bush snapdragon

Gilia, Gilia

Gladiolus species, Gladiolus, Sword lily

Glechoma hederacea, Ground ivy

Grevillea robusta, Silk oak

Grevillea thelemannia, Hummingbird bush

Grevillea species, Grevillea

Guzmania, Guzmania

Hakea species

Hamamelis virginiana, Common witch hazel

Hamelia patens, Firebush

Hedychium cocineum x coronarium, Peach ginger

Hedysarum coronarium, French honeysuckle

Heliconia bihai, Macaw flower

Hemerocallis fulva, Hemerocallis, Daylily

Hesperaloe nocturna, White hesperaloe

Hesperaloe parviflora, Red yucca

Heuchera Americana, Coral bells

Heuchera maxima, Alum root

Heuchera micrantha, Crevice heuchera

Heuchera sanguinea, Coral bells

Heuchera versicolor, Coral bells

Hibiscus cardiophyllus, Heartleaf hibiscus

Hibiscus coccineus, Red star hibiscus

Hibiscus moscheutos, Rose mallow

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Chinese hibiscus

Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon

Hosta species, Plaintain lily

Impatiens balsamina, Balsam

Impatiens capensis, Jewelweed

Impatiens pallid, Spotted jewelweed

Impatiens wallerana, Impatiens

Impatiens, Impatiens

Iochroma cyameum, Iochroma

Ipomoea coccinea, Scarlet creeper, red morning glory

Ipomoea lobata, Spanish flag

Ipomoea multifida, Cardinal climber

Ipomoea quamoclit, Cypress vine

Ipomoea, Morning glory

Ipomopsis aggregata, Skyrocket gilia

Ipomopsis rubra, Scarlet gilia

Iris, Iris

Isomeris arborea, Bladderpod

Jasminum nudiflorum, Winter jasmine

Jasminum species, Jasmine

Jatropha integerrima, Jatropha

Justicia brandegeana, Shrimp plant

Justicia californica, Chuparosa

Justicia carnea, Brazilian plume

Justicia fulvicoma, Orange justicia

Justicia ovate, Red justicia

Justicia spicigera, Orange justicia

Kalanchoe, Kalanchoe

Kalmia latifolia, Mountain laurel

Kniphofia uvaria, Red hot poker

Kolkwitzia amabilis, Beautybush

Lablab purpureus, Hyacinth bean

Lagerstroemia indica, Crape myrtle

Lambertia formosa, Honey flower

Lantana camara, Lantana

Lantana montevidensis, Lantana

Lavandula angustifolia, Lavender

Lavatera assurgentiflora, Tree mallow

Leonotis leonurus, Lion’s tail

Leucophyllum frutescens, Texas silverleaf

Liatris species, Gay feather

Lilium lancifolium, Tiger lily

Lilium superbum, Turk’s cap lily

Lilium, Lily

Linaria marocanna, Toadflax

Liriodendron tulipifera, Tulip tree

Lobelia cardinalis, Cardinal flower

Lobelia erinus, Edging lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica, Great blue lobelia

Lobelia species, Lobelia

Lonicera arizonica, Arizona honeysuckle

Lonicera canadensis, Fly honeysuckle

Lonicera ciliosa, Orange honeysuckle

Lonicera interrupta, Chaparral honeysuckle

Lonicera involucrata, Twinberry honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica, Japanese honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens, Coral honeysuckle

Lonicera tatarica, Tartarian honeysuckle

Lonicera, Honeysuckle

Lotus berthelotti, Parrot’s beak

Lupinus texensis, Bluebonnet

Lupinus species, Lupine

Lychnis chalcedonia, Maltese cross

Lychnis coronaria, Rose campion

Lycium andersonii, Wolfberry

Lycopus americanus, Bugleweed

Macranthera flammea, Macrantera flammea

Macromeria viridflora, Green flowered macromeria

Mandevilla laxa, Chilean jasmine

Madronella macrantha, Scarlet monardella

Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon grape

Malus baccata Malus floribunda, Flowering crabapple

Malvaviscus arboreus var drummondii, Sleepy Mallow

Malvaviscus arboreus var. mesicanus, Giant turk’s cap

Mandevilla species, Mandevilla

Manettia cordifolia, M. inflate, Firecracker vine

Melaleuca species, Melaleuca

Melia azedarach, Chinaberry

Melianthus major, Honey bush

Mentha, Mint

Mertensia virginica, Virginia bluebells

Mimulus aurantiacus, Orange bush monkeyflower

Mimulus cardinalis, Crimson monkeyflower

Mimulus cardinalis, M. longiflorus, M. puniceus, M. brevipes. M. spp., Monkeyflower

Mirabilis jalapa, Four o’clock

Mirabilis multiflora, Desert four o’clock

Mirabilis oblongifolia, Four o’clock

Monarda didyma, M. citriodora, Bee balm

Monarda fistulosa, Wild bergamot

Monarda menthifolia, Bee balm

Monarda pectinata, Plains bee balm

Monardella macrantha, Monardella

Musa, Banana

Nepeta cataria, Catnip

Nepeta faassenii, Catmint

Nicotiana alata, Tree tobacco

Nicotiana glauca, Tree tobacco

Nicotiana, Nicotiana

Odontonema strictum, Firespike

Oenothera, Evening primrose

Opuntia imbricata, Chain-link cactus

Opuntia, cactus

Osmunda cinnamomea, Cinnamon fern

Oxydendrum arboretum, Sourwood

Pachystachys coccinea, Cardinal’s guard

Pachystachys lutea, Golden shrimp plant

Parkinsonia aculeate, Jerusalem thorn

Pedicularis Canadensis, Lousewort

Pedicularis densiflora, Indian warrior

Pedicularis semibarbata, Lousewort

Pedilanthus macrocarpus, Candelilla

Pelargonium species, Geranium; scented geranium

Penstemon baccharifolius, Bacchus’s penstemon

Penstemon barbatus, Scarlet bugler

Penstemon bridgesii

Penstemon cardinalis, Cardinal penstemon

Penstemon centranthifolius, Scarlet bugler

Penstemon cordifolius, Red bush penstemon

Penstemon corymbosus, Red shrubby penstemon

Penstemon digitalis, Foxglove beardstongue

Penstemon eatonii, Eaton’s firecracker

Penstemon gloxinioides, Firebird penstemon

Penstemon harvardii, Harvard penstemon

Penstemon labrosus, Scarlet penstemon

Penstemon murrayanus, Murray’s penstemon

Penstemon newberryi, Mountain pride

Penstemon ovatus

Penstemon palmeria, Palmer’s penstemon

Penstemon parryi, Parry penstemon

Penstemon pinifolius, Pineleaf penstemon

Penstemon procerus

Penstemon pseudospectabilis, Arizona penstemon

Penstemon rupicola, Cliff penstemon

Penstemon spectabilis, Royal penstemon

Penstemon strictus, Rocky Mountain penstemon

Penstemon subulatus

Penstemon superbus, Superb penstemon

Penstemon species, Penstemon

Penstemon ternatus

Penstemon virens, Blue-mist penstemon

Penstemon wrightii, Wright’s penstemon

Pentas lanceolata, Egyptian star

Petunia species, Petunia

Phacelia campanularia, Desert bell

Phacelia minor, California bell

Phaseolus coccineus, Scarlet runner bean

Phlox divaricata, Wild blue phlox

Phlox species, Phlox

Phormium tenax, New Zealand flax

Phygelius capensis, Cape fuchsia

Physotegia virginiana, Obedian plant

Pithecellobium flexicaule, Texas ebony

Platycodon grandiflorus, Balloon flower

Polianthes tuberose, Tuberose

Polygala dalmaisiana, Sweet pea shrub

Polygonatum biflorum, Solomon’s seal

Primula, Primrose

Prosopis glandulosa, Honey mesquite

Protea mellifera, Sugar bush

Prunus armeniaca, Apricot

Prunus autumnalis, Flowering cherry

Prunus persica, Peach

Prunus, Cherry

Prunus, Plum

Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides, Mexcan flame vine

Pulmonaria, Lungwort

Pyrostegia venusta, Flame vine

Rehmannia elata, Chinese floxglove

Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Easter cactus

Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame azaela

Rhododendron canescens, Wild azalea

Rhododendron catawbiense, Mountain rosebay

Rhodendron nudiflorum, Pinxter flower

Rhododendron maximum, Rosebay rhododendron

Rhododendron minus, Carolina rhododendron

Rhododendron occidentale, Western azalea

Rhododendron periclymenoides, Pinxterbloom azalea

Rhododendron viscosum, Swamp azalea

Rhododendron species, Azalea

Ribes cereum, Wax current

Ribes indecoru, White-flowered currant

Ribes laxiflorum, Trailing black current

Ribes lobbii

Ribes malvaceum, Chaparral

Ribes odoratum, Golden currant

Ribes sanguineum, Crimson-flowered currant

Ribes species, Currant

Ribes speciosum, Fuchsia-flowered currant

Robinia hispida, Rose acacia

Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico locust

Robinia pseudocacia, Black locust

Rosamarinus officinalis, Rosemary

Rubus parviflorus, Thimbleberry

Rubus procerus, Himalaya berry

Rubus species, Raspberry

Rubus spectabilis, Salmonberry

Russelia equisetiformis, Firecracker plant

Ruttya fructicosa ‘Lindau,’ Hummingbird bush

Salvia azurea, Blue sage

Salvia clevelandii, Cleveland sage

Salvia coccinea, Tropical sage

Salvia elegans, Pineapple sage

Salvia farinacea, Mealy cup sage

Salvia greggii, Rocky Mountainsage

Salvia guaranitica, Anise sage

Salvia henryi, Crimson sage

Salvia hispanica, Blue anise sage

Salvia lemmonii, Lemmon’s sage

Salvia leucantha, Mexican bush sage

Salvia lyrata, Lyre-leaved sage

Salvia Mexicana

Salvia miniata, Belize sage

Salvia officinalis, Culinary sage

Salvia regla, Mountain sage

Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird sage

Salvia splendens, Scarlet sage

Salvia, Salvia species

Salvia vanhouttii

Saponaria officinalis, Bouncing bet

Sarcodes sanguinea, Snow plant

Scabiosa, Pincushion flower

Scaevola species, Australian fan flower

Schlumbergera bridgesii, Christmas cactus

Schlumbergera truncata, Thanksgiving cactus

Scrophularia californica, Bee plant

Scrophularia coccinea, Figwort

Senecio confusus, Mexican flame vine

Silene laciniata, Indian pink

Silene californica, California Indian pink

Silene regia, Royal catchfly

Silene rotundifolia, Roundleaf catchfly

Silene virginica, Fire pink

Sinlene californica, Caifornia Indian pink

Solandra maxima, Cup-of-gold vine

Sophora tomentosa, Silverbush

Sphaeralcea ambigua, Desert globemallow

Spigelia marilandica, Indian pink

Spiraea bumalda, Spirea

Stachys albens, Whitestem hedge nettle

Stachys bullata, California hedge nettle

Stachys coccinea, Scarlet betony

Stachys cooleyae, Great hedge nettle

Stanleya pinnata, Desert plume

Strelitzia reginae, Bird of Paradise

Symphoricarpos albus, Snowberry

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Coralberry

Symphytum species, Comfrey

Syringa vulgaris, Lilac

Tecoma stans var. angustata, Yellow bells

Tecomaria capensis, Cape honeysuckle

Telopea oreades, Australian flame tree

Templetonia retusa, Coralbush

Thermopsis divaricata, Golden banner

Tilia Americana, Basswood

Tillandsia fasciculate, Wild pine

Tillandsia, Tillandsia

Tithonia diversifolia, T. rotundifolia, Torch tithonia

Torenia fournieri, Wishbone flower

Torricula peria, Sticky nama

Trichostema lanatum, Woolly blue curls

Tritonia, Tritonia

Tropaeolum majus,T. tuberosum, T. specisoum, Nasturtium

Tropaeolum peregrinum, Canary bird vine

Ungnadia speciosa, Mexican buckeye

Verbena, Verbena

Veronica species, Veronica

Vestia lyciodes, Vestia

Viburnum tinus, Viburnum

Vinca major, Periwinkle

Vitex agnus-castus, Chaste tree

Watsonia beatricis, Watsonia, bugle lily

Weigela florida, Cardinal shrub

Weigela species, Weigela

Wisteria, Wisteria

Yucca species, Yucca

Zaushneria californica, California fuchsia

  1. Zinnia elegans, Zinnia
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Evaluating Iris Seedlings

Even the amateur hybridizer should have some knowledge of what characteristics improve the quality of the iris flower.  This knowledge should assist the amateur in determining what to aim for and how to best evaluate the resulting seedlings.

 Color

The first that usually comes to mind is color.  The object is to produce clean, clear, and smooth colors.  There should be no muddy tones dulling the flower’s color clarity.

Texture

Closely related to color, light colors look frosty or waxy and dark colors look velvety or satiny.

 Substance

This determines the durability of the flower to maintain its form for three days or longer while at the same time withstanding environmental elements.  Poor substance is one of the most difficult traits to breed out; therefore, it is important to consider breeding only those flowers with good substance.

Fading

Strong sunlight causes many colors to fade or burn.   Many spot very badly in the rain, particularly those with velvety falls.  Selective breeding of fading flowers with unfading flowers to produce offspring with good unfading characteristics.

Form

Standards must be sufficiently strong to not open too far or to be prone to collapse.  Falls should have flare; the angle of the falls determines the shape of the fall.  Falls should have wide hafts with a pleasing round form.   Broad falls and hafts gives the flower the appearance of being twice as large as those lacking these characteristics.  Breeding should avoid the following fall faults:  (1) reflexed falls: falls slightly fold in toward the stem and have a slight outward curve at the tip; (2) recurved falls:  falls completely turn in toward the stem and have an abrupt curve near the tip; (3) incurved falls:  drooping falls that begin flared but the tips turn inward instead of out; (4) tucked falls:  bend immediately after the beard toward the stem.

Fragrance

This trait is recessive, so the parent may or may not pass it to the offspring.  However, it may occur with only one parent possessing fragrance; however, it is more likely to occur when both parents possess fragrance.  Many irises are odorless.  Other iris have many fragrance types:  sweet, spicy, scents of sweet peas, orange blossoms, lilacs, violets, grape juice, pineapple, and cloves.

Lace

Lace occurs at the edges of the petals.  This trait is incompletely recessive since there will occasionally be non-lacy offspring from crossing two lacy parents, and occasionally non-lacy parents will produce lacy offspring.

Size

Two large parents will result in larger offspring than a cross with one large parent and a smaller parent. 

Proportion

This trait must be taken into consideration with the size of the flower.  Tall, thin stalks do not belong with large flowers.

Branching

Ideal branching results in a strong stem in proportion to the height and size of the flower with a minimum of three, and preferably four or five, well-spaced branches with a sufficiently wide angle to present the flowers individually and devoid of crushing the flower against the stem.

Height

Flower size and height of stalk must be proportional to each other.

Longer Blooming Season

Irises with more branching and three or more buds per branch will provide a longer bloom time.

 Hardiness and Vigor

Select parents that are hardy and bloom well with fast increases and intercross them or cross with another that is even stronger.

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