In the lair of the mouse

Strelitzia reginae: a novelty in Kansas, ubiquitous in Anaheim

I spent most of the week before Christmas in California visiting family and seeing Disneyland. It was an excessively memorable experience, thanks to the blunders of United Airlines,1 the astonishing traffic in Los Angeles,2 Tracfone’s buggy website, and the 10,000 oblivious people wandering around Disneyland. It was worth it to see my sister and her family, but I’m not eager to repeat the experience.

Token Disneyland panorama. Right-click and open in a new window to see at full size.

If I had been ten years old, Disneyland would have been terrific. However, I’m several times older than that now, and roller coasters are less exciting, particularly when you have to make an appointment to ride or wait an hour and a half in line. I was more interested in the plants there, some of which are greenhouse exotics in Kansas but ordinary bedding plants in the subtropical climate of the southern California coast. These are mostly what I took pictures of.

I have no idea what this is. My first thought was some sort of hydrangea, but the flowers don’t look right.

Update: Dombeya wallichii, or Pink Ball. (Identified in the AoS gardening thread.)

Tree euphorbias are native to Africa. They’re not cacti, and they don’t belong next to a pseudo-Mexican restaurant.
How many different species of bromeliad can you spot?

There are more pictures here.


  1. Although my tickets had been purchased in August, it was not certain that there would be a seat for me on two of the four flights until shortly before the planes took off.
  2. It took as long to drive across Los Angeles to Anaheim as it took to drive from Fresno to LA.

4 thoughts on “In the lair of the mouse”

  1. Oh, picky, picky, picky about the big green cactus-thing. It looks beautiful for us non-botany peeps. The rest of the place is awash in flowers of a bazillion kinds, if it hasn’t changed from ten years ago when I visited. Age is no real barrier to enjoyment. I didn’t ride any of the… Well, other than Splash Mountain. Anyway, I didn’t ride any of the roller coasters… Oh, except Space Mountain, because I just had to see what all the fuss was about. Oh, and the Indiana Jones ride, which I was in past closing time and to be honest I should have skipped, because it was like riding a bucking bronco. Anyway, I turned 11 years old when I walked in the front gate, and didn’t say “Maybe I do wish my kids and my wife were here” until about 7pm. Then I promptly forgot about it when the fireworks started.

    I’m going back if I have to walk there. From Kansas. Wonderful place. I think I could ride Haunted Mansion about ten times back to back and not get bored.

  2. It’s almost like an the old joke about “What’s brown and sticky:”

    “What’s pink and has ball-shaped inflorescences?”
    “Pink ball.”

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