Leucophyllum laevigatum
Chihuahuan sage

Scrophulariaceae (snapdragon family)
California
Leucophyllum laevigatum. John Rawlings, ca. 2005

The “old” Science and Engineering Quad (SEQ) – which was only recently constructed – linked half a dozen Engineering and Science buildings with a series of gardens, bike orchards, and tree-canopied areas of shade, enclosed by covered corridors of stone and fabric. This is now part of the zone transformed by the under-construction (2009) new Science and Engineering Quad.

Young Italian Stone Pines (Pinus pinea) shade a central turf bowl, ringed on two sides with black locust trees (Robinia ambigua ‘Idahoensis’). Bike orchards are enclosed with unique hedges of lovely blue-flowered, winter blooming Chihuahuan sage (Leucophyllum laevigatum) and licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolatum), and are shaded with fruitless olive (Olea europaea ‘Swan Hill’). Chihuahuan sage survives around the bike racks on Via Pueblo Mall located between Packard Electrical Engineering and the Hewlett Teaching Center. Licorice plant seems to have disappeared.

The SEQ landscape, designed by landscape architect Laurie Olin, extends the idea of the Main Quad conceptualized by Frederick Law Olmsted and Senator Stanford in the late nineteenth century. The axis connecting the two quads is lined with an allee of tall Mexican fan palms (Washingtonia robusta).

Google map for Leucophyllum laevigatum.

About this Entry: John Rawlings authored the main text of this entry ca. 2010, using material from Stanford Grounds Services Points of Interest document.