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Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. floribundus
Santa Catalina Island Ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus spp. floribundus), a tall evergreen tree that once ranged throughout the western United States, now occurs only on Catalina. Lyonothamnus is endemic to the Channel Islands of California, where it grows in the chaparral and oak woodlands of the rocky coastal canyons. This is a tree growing up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall with peeling reddish gray or brown bark. The evergreen leaves are shiny, dark green with lighter undersides, and borne on short petioles. The two subspecies have leaves of different leaf shapes. The inflorescence is a cluster of woolly white flowers with many short, whiskery stamens. The fruit is a pair of hard follicles.
The Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens The idea for a garden came from Mr. Wrigley’s wife, Ada. In 1935, she supervised Pasadena horticulturalist Albert Conrad, who planted the original Desert Plant Collection. Catalina Island’s temperate marine climate made it possible to showcase plants from every corner of the earth. In 1969, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanded and revitalized the garden’s 37.85 acres. Along with the new plantings came a new attitude. In the same way that the Wrigley Memorial uses primarily native building materials, the Garden places a special emphasis on California island endemic plants. (Plants, which grow naturally on one or more of the California islands, but nowhere else in the world.) Many of these plants are extremely rare, and some are on the Endangered Species list. The Memorial Garden is particularly concerned with the six Catalina endemics – plants, which grow naturally only on Catalina Island. The Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation maintains a special interest in the preservation of all Catalina endemics, including the rare Catalina Ironwood.