Flowering maple. A group of evergreen shrubs featuring maple-shaped leaves and bold colored flowers that hang like festive ornaments from the stems. Fast growing, prone to insects and rather rangy, they require some work to look their best. Most reach 6-8’ tall with an equal spread. They need regular garden water and are not reliably hardy, perhaps to 25F. Cosmopolitan.
x hybridum ‘Apollo’: Medium yellow flowers in spring and summer. Upright and arching habit to 10’.
palmeri: A striking native species growing to about 5’ with a similar spread. Velvety gray leaves provide a strong contrast to the luminous gold flowers. Prefers well-drained soils and full sun. Southern California, Baja.
‘Moonchimes’: Soft yellow flowers bloom year round in Southern California. Dwarf.
‘Nabob’: Dark green leaves with large maroon flowers.
‘Souvenir de Bonn’: Variegated leaves edged in creamy white accompanied by large, salmon-orange blooms marked with dark central veins. Strong, erect habit to 10’.
‘Sunset’: A dwarf hybrid selection with smaller, arrow-like leaves and bright red and yellow flowers.
‘Vesuvius’: Small oval leaves and dark orange-red blooms on a semi-deciduous, upright shrub.
Dependable, mostly evergreen shrubs and trees that vary in foliage and growth habit, but always feature puffs of yellow flowers in early spring. The following appreciate full sun, tolerate drought and attract birds. Hardy to 20F. Australia.
boormanii: Snowy River wattle. A small tree or large shrub to 15’. Finely textured and open, with gray-green foliage and cheerful yellow flowers in late winter or early spring. Best in full sun to part shade and tolerant of seasonal extended wet periods.
cognata: (A. subporosa) River wattle. Pendulous branches with glossy lime-green foliage form the soft, graceful habit of this 25’ tree. Pale yellow flowers are produced in late winter. Well-drained soils are recommended but plants will tolerate heavier soils. Requires occasional summer water for best results.
Bigleaf maple. A deciduous, short-trunked tree growing to 60’ with a broad, dense and round-topped crown. The large palmate leaves offer rich fall colors of yellow and gold. Fast growing and shade tolerant when young, but needs open light for best growth. Prefers deep, rich, well-drained soils with occasional summer water. Intolerant of heavy valley soils, it is a better choice for Northern California. Lewis and Clark were the first to collect this specimen. Native Americans used the wood for canoe paddles. Hardy to 0F. Pacific slope from British Columbia to San Diego.
Yarrow. A large group of perennials grown for their showy flowers and feathery foliage. They are best suited to well-drained soils and full sun. Most of the cultivars and species we carry flower from spring through fall especially if spent flowers are removed. Many are rhizomatous, and a few can be invasive under ideal conditions. All of the selections respond to heavy pruning and are drought tolerant once established. All are fully hardy in California gardens. Cosmopolitan.
clavennae: Silver Yarrow. Tight, tufted perennial to 6" with deeply cut silver-gray foliage and clear white flowers. An excellent choice for rock gardens in full sun. Alps.
clypeolata: A soft, ferny perennial with green-gray tomentose foliage and yellow flowers in spring and summer. Plants reach 28" tall when blooming and make a fine addition to sunny meadows or flowering borders. Southeast Romania.
filipendulina ‘Coronation Gold’: Vigorous, spreading gray foliage with bright yellow flowers on 2’ stems. Exceptional cut flowers. Asia Minor.
filipendulina ‘Gold Plate’: Bright green foliage with sturdy stalks of deep golden-yellow flattened flower heads 3-4’ tall. Excellent for cut flowers and sunny borders. Asia Minor.
‘Apple Blossom’: Pink flowers on short stalks fade to white so that multiple shades of color are displayed simultaneously.
‘The Beacon’ (‘Fanal’): Scarlet flowers with white centers.
‘Paprika’: Burnt-orange salmon flowers.
‘Salmon Beauty’: Pale, salmon-colored flowers.
x lewisii ‘King Edward’: Forms neat, flat cushions of gray-green foliage topped with heads of lemon-yellow flowers in spring and early summer.
millefolium ‘Ann Gillette’: A native California selection from Wayne Roderick, with gray-green foliage and light pink flowers on 3’ stems. California.
millefolium ‘Calistoga’: A well-behaved selection, it features luminous white flowers against ash-gray foliage. Great in a rock garden mixed with Dudleya. Native selection from Mt. St. Helena. California.
millefolium ‘Lavender Beauty’: Deep lavender-pink fading to white.
millefolium ‘Lilac Queen’: Lush selection with green foliage topped by clusters of lavender blooms appearing summer and fall. Europe.
millefolium ‘Island Pink’: Dark green leaves with rich pink flowers blooming continually from spring to fall. A vigorous native selection by Wayne Roderick from Santa Cruz Island that forms tight, spreading mats. Useful in meadows or mixed borders. California.
millefolium ‘Madelein’: Soft apricot flowers rise 2’ above green ferny foliage in summer and fall. Europe.
tomentosa ‘King George’: A flat, dense, creeping perennial with short stalks of light yellow flowers borne in summer. Plant in rock gardens, placed in full sun. Europe and Asia.
‘Anthea’: Upright clumps of silvery gray foliage produce pastel yellow flowers on sturdy 2-3’ stems late spring to fall. A Blooms of Bressingham selection.
‘Feuerland’ (‘Fireland’): Flat heads of flowers open cherry-red with yellow centers slowly fading through shades of burnt orange to yellow-brown, all shades occurring together. Strong stems to 3’.
‘Moonshine’: Similar to A. taygetea but slightly larger with luminous yellow flowers spring to fall.
‘Summerwine’: A robust 2’ selection, probably from A. millefolium parentage, with feathery green foliage. Flowers are a dark red-burgundy and bloom later than most, summer to fall.
‘Taygetea’: A hybrid of uncertain origin and somewhat confused in the California nursery trade. Our plants have gray-green foliage with pale sulfur-yellow flowers and bloom almost continuously here on the Central Coast. Flower spike is 3’ tall on 18" foliage.
‘Walther Funcke’: Unusual selection tolerant of poor soils where it will bloom from spring through fall. The green fernlike foliage is topped by 2’ stalks with flattened clusters of tiny red flowers marked with yellow centers. Spreads agreeably by rhizomes.
‘Wilczekii’: A tight, mat-forming hybrid with silver-gray leaves in tight rosettes. Nodding flower stalks hold white flowers 2" above the foliage in summer. Excellent in rock or gravel gardens.
Jugflower or woolly bush. Small shrub 3-5’ tall and wide with delightful silver-gray foliage. The 1" scarlet flowers are somewhat hidden but offer a beautiful contrast to the soft foliage. Occurs primarily in sandy, low-nutrient soils and in areas that are dry in summer. Grown for the silver foliage and striking flowers which can be dried or used fresh in arrangements. Requires well-drained soils and some shade especially away from coast. Hardy to 20F. Australia.
Evergreen shrubs that tolerate heat, aridity and poor, rocky soils. Plants require full sun and infrequent water once established. The small linear leaves are heather-like and held tightly along the stems. Ivory-white flowers appear in clusters each spring. Hardy to 10F. California, Baja California.
fasciculatum: Chamise. This dominant member of our California foothill scrub community grows 5-10’ high and as wide. Valued for its twisted form and rugged appearance, it is best used as a ground cover on well-drained slopes. Use caution planting too near dwellings, as the resinous foliage is highly flammable. California.
fasciculatum ‘Santa Cruz Island’: Chamise. A mounding selection of one of our most enduring native shrubs. Useful on difficult slopes, this cultivar offers rich green foliage with contrasting cream-colored flowers in late spring. Our seven-year-old mother plants are 2’ high with a 4’ spread. Santa Cruz Island.
California buckeye. This multi-trunked deciduous tree is one of our most unusual native trees. A hardwood with smooth bark and oblong leaves, it grows up to 40’ tall with a broad crown. Early spring leaves open apple green, then darken to forest green, changing to yellow-brown in July and finally to rust before falling in August and September. These late season colors offer one of California’s most memorable sights, the silver-gray trunks with a few remaining cinnamon leaves and pear-shaped fruits, standing against buff-colored hills. The fruits, each containing a single inedible seed, continue to develop on bare stems into fall. Adaptable long-lived tree, requiring little care. Flowers are large and pinkish-white, appearing April to June. With occasional summer water the leaves will remain on the trees until fall but the winter silhouette is perhaps its most alluring feature. Adapts to most soils, but prefers full or part shade and room to accommodate its widespreading habit. Native Americans leached the seeds to obtain a starch for flour. Hardy to 0F. Siskiyou Mountains south to Los Angeles. More Information
Lily of the Nile. Stout South African perennials with basal leaves arising from thick, fleshy rootstocks. Although fairly drought-tolerant once established, plants look best in full sun with regular summer water and fertile soils. The following are evergreen in coastal California and hardy to 15F. South Africa.
‘Lilliput’: A dwarf selection to 18" with dark blue flowers and narrow grasslike leaves.
‘Peter Pan’: We grow a tight, clumping clonal selection of this variable cultivar with medium-blue flowers.
‘Storm Cloud’: A thick-leafed cultivar growing to 3’, with radiant dark blue flowers.
Giant hyssop. A group of perennials related to Salvias and handled in much the same manner. They prefer well-drained soils and full sun with some supplemental water. Flowers are produced from late spring to fall. Hardy to 10F. North America, China and Japan.
barberi ‘Tutti-Frutti’: Tall, upright stems branch to form a vase-shaped shrub with strongly scented gray-green leaves. Early buds are dusty-pink opening into 2" tubular mauve-pink flowers.
‘Apricot Sunrise’: Apricot-colored flowers on plants 18-30" tall.
‘Blue Fortune’: Dark green leaves with burgundy edges in dry situations. The blue flowers are held on a 7" inflorescence and rise to 3’.
‘Firebird’: Giant Anise hyssop. A perennial to 4’ with open spikes of orange-salmon flowers tinted copper, that turn a dark magenta with age. Prefers full sun and well-drained soils. Blooms mid-summer to November.
‘Pink Panther’: Dark greenish-purple foliage gives rise to tall stalks of rose pink blooms up to 30" tall.
‘Summer Breeze’: Dark gray-green, sweetly aromatic foliage and stems up to 3’ tall. Flowers are large, lavender-pink.
Bugle. Perennials generally used as flowering ground covers. Blue flowers appear in late spring and commonly continue through the summer. They require regular garden water and prefer rich soils. Plant in full sun near the coast and part shade to full shade when used in hot interior climates. Hardy to 0F. Europe, North Africa.
reptans ‘Bronze’: This vigorous selection spreads quickly by rhizomes and seems in some areas to be deer-resistant. Blue flowers are held above the bronzy foliage. Reaches 4-6" tall and spreads 8-12".
reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’: Leaves colored with rose and magenta, edged with cream on 6" stems. Bright blue flowers from late spring to early summer.
reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’: Burgundy-tinted large, glossy green leaves dwarf those of other Ajugas. The deep blue flowers are presented on 6-12" stems.
reptans ‘Mahogany’: Glossy, rich mahogany-colored leaves held in a flat, trailing growth pattern 3-6" tall. Bright blue flowers appear in spring. Foliage color is best in full sun along the coast.
reptans ‘Silver Queen’: Medium-blue flower spikes held 6" above tight, dusty green and white variegated foliage. Best in part shade even along the coast.
‘Chocolate Chip’: This natural dwarf offers narrow chocolate-colored foliage and lacy blue flowers held 3" above the tight, low foliage. Color is best in full sun or part-shade in mild climates. Excellent small-scale groundcover.
Lady’s mantle. Large group of herbaceous perennials ranging in size from 6-30" tall and wide, and grown primarily for their lovely palmate or lobed gray-green leaves accented by profuse yellow-green flowers in summer. Many species in the genus have medicinal or herbal uses. Their spreading nature is well adapted for use as a small-scale groundcover. Grow in well-drained soils in part shade with regular garden water.
mollis: The cupped leaves of this delicate looking, mounding perennial catch morning dew and will hold the drops as if in offering through early morning. Masses of small chartreuse blooms appear in summer to add further charm. Hardy to 0F.
Lemon verbena. Deciduous (evergreen in most California gardens) shrub or small tree 15’ by 20’ with lemon-scented foliage. White flowers appear in summer. Leggy without regular pruning. Plant in full sun with infrequent water. Hardy to 15F. Argentina, Chile.
Peruvian lily. A group of perennials grown for their colorful flowers, requiring rich, well-drained soil in full sun with regular to moderate water. Growing 2-5’ tall with leafy stems, the plants spread slowly by clustered tubers or creeping rhizomes. The flowers are azalea-like in shades of orange, yellow, pink, rose, red, lilac, cream to white, and often streaked or speckled with darker colors. Provide some shade in warmer climates to avoid bleaching of the flowers. The blooms have a long flowering season (May to mid-summer) and make exceptional cut flowers. The thick, fleshy roots are brittle and should be handled with care. Hardy to 15F. South America.
Inca Series: A collection of hardy, dwarf Alstroemerias selected for compact, bushy habits and brilliant colors.
Hibiscus. Evergreen shrubs with bright, hibiscus-like flowers and highly variable foliage. Best used in warm locations with good drainage and mild winter temperatures. Hardy to about 25F. Australia.
hakeifolia: Red-centered hibiscus. A medium-sized shrub growing to about 8’. Flowers are tubular, mauve to pale lilac with a dark red central spot. Excellent for use in warm, dry climates, but adaptable in the cool coastal climates of California. Fast-growing and may suffer from wind damage. Well-drained soils in a sunny or semi-shady position are preferable.
hakeifolia ‘Yellow’: Similar to the species, but with yellow flowers.
huegelii: Blue hibiscus. A rough-textured shrub to 10’ high with an equal spread and deeply lobed dark green leaves. Blue, 4" hibiscus-like flowers bloom most of the year in coastal climates. We carry the cultivar ‘Santa Cruz’ with dark blue flowers, and continue to experiment with other selections. Full sun or light shade is best, and care should be taken in colder climates as they are not particularly hardy. Drought tolerant when established but best with moderate garden water.
huegelii ‘Monterey Bay’: Blue hibiscus. 5-8’ tall with deeply cut, dark green foliage. Rich blue flowers bloom throughout the year. Full sun and little summer water. Western Australia.
Alyssum saxatile ‘Compacta’
Basket of gold. Bright and cheerful selection, with tight form, growing to 12". Clusters of brilliant yellow flowers cover this gray-leafed perennial in spring and early summer. Cut back after flowering. Plant in full sun with average garden water. Suitable for rock gardens and will tolerate light shade. Hardy to 0F and below. Europe, Asia Minor.
Anemone hybrids (A. hupehensis japonica)
Japanese anemone or Windflower. From the Greek anemos, meaning wind. Known for its graceful shallow-dished flowers, Anemone is one of the best fall-flowering perennials available and is surprisingly strong in California gardens. Effective in woodland plantings under mature trees where they appreciate the partial shade. Slow to establish but once started will spread quickly from fibrous rootstocks. Will tolerate dry conditions but not prolonged drought. Best used in filtered light or part shade with regular water. Hardy to 0F and below. North and south temperate regions.
‘Alice’: 2’ and strong growing, with double rose-pink flowers and a silvery edge.
‘Honorine Jobert’: Vigorous selection with slightly cupped white flowers and dark green leaves to 3’. Originally selected in 1858. Single with 6-9 petals.
‘Queen Charlotte’: An old standard with soft mid-pink, semi-double flowers with 6-8 petals and ruffled edges. Vigorous to 3’, this is the best of the large-flowered anemones in our opinion.
‘September Charm’: Reaches 2-3’ with drooping, cup-shaped rose-pink flowers.
‘Whirlwind’: Semi-double, 4" white flowers on 2-3’ stalks.
‘White’: Vigorous grower to 2-3’ with single white flowers.
Cape mallow. Fast-growing evergreen shrubs noted for multitudes of flowers over a long period. Plants are rounded, open and freely branching with small lobed leaves. Flowers throughout mild weather, often year round in California. Plant in full sun with occasional water once established. Hardy to 20F. South Africa.
‘Tara’s Pink’: 8’ tall by 6’ wide, this upright shrub has large green leaves and clear pink flowers. Best in full sun where it will tolerate dry conditions. Hybrid from Randy Baldwin’s garden.
‘Tara’s Wonder’: Tall, to 6’ or more, with dark narrowly-lobed leaves and exceptionally large, dark flowers. Hybrid from the garden of Randy Baldwin.
Dog fennel. Evergreen perennials for full sun with regular water. They feature daisy or button-like flowers with aromatic foliage divided into fine segments.
carpatica ‘Karpatenschnee’: Dwarf chamomile. A cushion forming perennial 6" high with light green leaves. Snow-white disc-shaped flowers appear in summer. Utilize in sunny rock gardens. Hardy to below 0F. Mediterranean and Turkey.
tinctoria ‘Moonlight’: Bears cream-colored flowers.
tinctoria ‘Sauce Hollandaise’: Tidy, fast-growing perennial that produces long-stemmed creamy-yellow daisies above rich green foliage. Reaches 2’ with equal spread at maturity.
Columbine. Perennials 2-4’ high with lacy, almost fernlike foliage. Spurred flowers in a variety of colors appear in spring and early summer. Especially attractive to hummingbirds. Roots are fibrous and require regular garden water. Full sun or filtered shade. Hardiness varies.
caerulea: Rocky Mountain columbine. 3’ high with blue and white flowers. Rocky Mountains.
‘Biedermeier Dwarf’: Tight, compact selection with mixed flowers in a range of blue.
‘Blue Jay’: Vigorous selection to 30" tall with dark blue and white flowers.
‘Grandmother’s Garden’: Bold steel-blue leaves offer appealing year-round color. Yellow flowers on 2’ stems in spring. A vigorous selection aptly named.
Rockcress. Low-growing, spreading perennials for full sun, requiring moderate water. Covered by attractive year-round foliage and clusters of white, pink, or rose-purple flowers in spring. Temperate North America, Europe and Asia.
blepharophylla ‘Spring Charm’: California rockcress. Tufted and vigorous, it reaches 4-8" high with fragrant rose-purple flowers in early spring. Needs sun and well-drained soils. Hardy to 10F. Marin to Monterey County, California.
caucasica ‘Variegata’: Wall rock cress. Hardy evergreen perennial forming dense clusters of green and white variegated foliage with an almost succulent look. Masses of white flowers appear in spring and summer. Hardy below 0F.
ferdinandi-coburgi ‘Variegata’: Leaves are green, edged and heavily splashed with ivory, often tinted purple in winter. Featuring a mat-forming habit to 4" with white flowers. Hardy to 0F. Eastern Europe.
Evergreen trees and shrubs with year-round interest. Small pink or white pitcher-shaped flowers in dangling ornamental clusters. Western North America, Southwestern Europe, and Asia Minor.
menziesii: Madrone. A truly stunning native tree though somewhat temperamental in the garden. Commonly found in the mixed evergreen forests of the Pacific slope, it exhibits a straight, clean trunk and broad crown to 60’. The deciduous bark peels in vertical strips to reveal a smooth, terracotta-colored inner layer that is luminous when wet with rain. Spring flowers are produced in compound, milk-white clusters, March to May. The large 3 to 5" leaves are bright green and glossy. Tolerant of shade and most soils, but they must be well-drained. Slow to moderate growth. Arguably the most attractive California broadleaf tree. Named in 1769 by Father Juan Crespi, chronicler of the Portola Expedition, the first Spanish land exploration of the California coast, for the similar "strawberry tree" in Spain. Red-orange berries attract robins and cedar waxwings. More successful when used in Northern California. Keeping the root zone cool will help with disease problems in warmer climates. Hardy to 0F. British Columbia to Southern California.
unedo: Strawberry tree. An evergreen shrub/tree growing to 30’ with dark green 6" leaves and red stems. Small, urn-shaped white flowers appear in fall and winter. Red-orange edible fruits resembling strawberries appear in the fall but are common most of the year in California. Prefers full sun but tolerant of light shade. Drought tolerant but much stronger with moderate summer water. Hardy to 0F. Southern Europe, Ireland.
unedo ‘Compacta’: Same as A. unedo, but to only 8’ tall.
unedo ‘Oktoberfest’: Grows to 5’ tall with dark rosy-pink flowers.
‘Marina’: A handsome evergreen tree with glossy, green leaves and rosy-pink flowers in winter. Mature plants can reach 50’ high with an equal spread. Large red fruits, like those of A. unedo, but much more flavorful. Plant in sun or part shade. Hardy to 0F. Garden origin.
Manzanita. A diverse genus of long-lived, evergreen shrubs centered in California, and ranging in size from low-growing groundcovers to small, upright trees. All are noted for their showy bark ranging wildly in color from gray through a spectrum of red, burgundy, saffron, and even lime-green before hardening each year, then shedding, only to reveal again the rich colors of amber, rust, or chocolate that have come to symbolize the California landscape. Leaf color and size vary widely as well, from small, dark green to large gray-white 2" leaves. The leaves are often waxy, thick and glossy. White to pink, urn-shaped flowers form in clusters from winter to early spring and are an important nectar source for hummingbirds. Red berries follow in late summer and fall. Most manzanitas do best in full sun and require only occasional water once established. Hardiness varies according to species. Though the genus is found throughout western North America, all the species we carry are California natives or hybrids of native species.
bakeri ‘Louis Edmunds’: 6’ tall and upright with small gray-green leaves and bright red, showy berries.
densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’: Sonoma manzanita. This mounding 6’ shrub is perhaps the most commonly used manzanita in California gardens. Dependable and garden tolerant, it can be utilized with confidence from Redding to San Diego. Profuse white flowers appear in mid-winter, then fall to form a thin snow-like layer beneath mature plants. Hummingbirds feed heavily on the winter flowers. Hardy to 10F. A. densiflora is a narrow endemic from Sonoma County.
densiflora ‘Sentinel’: Sonoma manzanita. An upright shrub to 6’ tall with an equal spread. Covered with gray-green leaves and pink flowers from February to March, the open habit reveals chocolate-colored bark beneath. Responds well to warmer inland climates. Hardy to 10F.
edmundsii ‘Carmel Sur’: Little Sur manzanita. This billowing 12" groundcover has a wide, spreading habit and responds well to shearing. A non-blooming selection with bronze-colored new growth, it has proven to be a dependable groundcover in coastal California.
edmundsii var. parvifolia ‘Bert Johnson’: Flat mat-like stems hold gray-green leaves that flush bronze in early spring. A compact mound forming selection to 2’ with shiny foliage and light pink flowers in spring, it is developing a deserved reputation for reliability in a range of garden situations. Excellent native ground cover. Hardy to 10F. A Tilden Botanic Garden introduction.
glauca: Bigberry manzanita. Selections of A. glauca can be temperamental in nursery and garden situations, but standing among a mature grove of bigberry manzanita will leave you breathless. It is little wonder we keep looking for a garden tolerant selection. Our experimental selections are from Figueroa Mountain. This upright shrub, growing to 15’, has large blue-gray leaves and dark brown bark that often peels on young stems, revealing a delicate lime green inner layer. Flowers are white. Plant in full sun and well-drained soils with little or no summer water.
hookeri ‘Monterey Carpet’: Monterey manzanita. With an undulating habit, this groundcover grows 2’ tall by 8’ across and features bright green, glossy leaves. Winter flowers are white with a delicate pink tinge. Hardy to 10F. Spreads by rooting branches.
hookeri ‘Wayside’: 4’ high and 10’ across, a mounding shrub with green foliage and white flowers from February to April. A strong garden-tolerant selection for coastal gardens. Hardy to 10F.
insularis: Island manzanita. Erect and multi-branched reaching 12’ tall, though usually smaller in the garden. An unusual species with smooth, ghost-like cinnamon-gray bark and brilliant green leaves. Mid-winter blooms are white. Hardy to 15F. Santa Cruz Island.
manzanita ‘Dr. Hurd’: 15’ and tree-like with upward branching, large pale green leaves, and dark mahogany-red bark. Clusters of white flowers in late winter are followed by red berries in fall. Best used away from the coast in gardens with good air circulation. Hardy to 10F. A Saratoga Horticultural Foundation selection.
manzanita ‘Hood Mountain’: A Nevin Smith introduction that may be a hybrid with A. canescens. Possesses gray-green leaves and purplish, cinnamon bark. Reaches approximately 10’ tall.
morroensis ‘Montaña de Oro’: A narrow endemic found only in the Los Osos/Montaña de Oro area of San Luis Obispo County. We continue to experiment with selections of this remarkably beautiful manzanita and currently offer an Austin Griffiths selection from Montaña de Oro State Park. It features gray-green leaves with contrasting rose-pink stems. The bark is a dark chocolate. Our ten-year-old mother plant is 6’ high with a 12’ spread. Best in coastal climates with full sun and well-drained soils. Hardy to 10F.
nummularia ‘Small Change’: Dwarf, mound-like and spreading to 2’ with deep green, shiny leaves and small white flowers. Perfect for the rock garden. Requires shade in warmer climates. Hardy to 0F.
pajaroensis ‘Paradise’: Pajaroensis manzanita. An open shrub to 10’ with a spreading habit. Bark exfoliates in thin shreds revealing a smooth, dark mahogany surface. Pink flowers bloom from December to February. New foliage unfolds a brilliant coppery-red giving the appearance of a fiery bush when backlit, then slowly fades to bronze tinted with green. This selection is not a reliable performer in heavy soils. Hardy to 15F.
pajaroensis ‘Warren Roberts’: Exhibits a tighter habit than ‘Paradise’ with darker tones in the new growth. White flowers appear later in winter. Arguably the most ornamental manzanita we grow. Hardy to 10F.
rudis ‘Greenheart’: Mounding shrub to 6’ with pale green leaves and ribbons of shaggy, peeling bark when mature. White flowers in late winter are followed by large, orange fruits in the fall. Good garden tolerance. This selection is from the Nipomo Mesa. Hardy to 5F.
uva-ursi ‘Pt. Reyes’: Pt. Reyes manzanita. Choice uva-ursi variety for coastal conditions, Pt. Reyes manzanita reaches 2’ tall and spreads up to 15’ wide. Plant where it can spill over a wall or slope creating a dark green curtain of glossy foliage.
uva-ursi ‘Woods Red’: 12" tall and 8’ wide. The most formal of the uva-ursi varieties, with neat, dark green leaves and large, red berries. Hardy to below 0F.
‘Austin Griffiths’: Named for Austin Griffiths, who guided us in our early years and opened our imaginations to the wonders of horticulture. He gave us a gift of transcendent value that is as "fragile and as difficult to extract as the color of a peach". This selection is a clean, neatly formed hybrid from our demonstration garden that we believe to be A. manzanita ‘Dr. Hurd’ crossed with A. densiflora ‘Sentinel’. It is a large, white-flowered shrub to perhaps 10’ with broad gray-green leaves and dark burgundy-brown bark. We have been encouraged by the positive response from those who have used this cultivar. It appears to be extremely garden tolerant. Hardy to 10F.
‘Canyon Blush’: An Arctostaphylos glauca hybrid with a mounding habit to about 3’. Light pink, winter flowers are followed by copper-colored new growth. A Santa Barbara Botanic Garden introduction.
‘Emerald Carpet’: Tough and dense, this evergreen groundcover forms tight mounds to 2’. Best with full sun near the coast and partial shade inland. Better used in acidic soils, as chlorosis is pronounced in alkaline situations. Retains a fresh green appearance throughout the summer. White flowers form in small clusters. Best with summer irrigation. Hardy 0-10 F. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden introduction.
‘Indian Hill’: 12" high and 4’ across, this compact groundcover has oval-shaped gray-green leaves with bronze-colored new growth. May take more water than other selections. Requires full sun near the coast and some shade inland. Hardy to 0F. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden introduction.
‘John Dourley’: One of the best new cultivars available with a mounding habit to 2’ tall and 6’ wide. It has an appealing saffron-red new growth that fades to gray-green in summer, and features pink flower clusters with a long blooming season. Berries are purple-red. Dependable ground cover with year-round interest. Hardy to 5F. Tree of Life Nursery introduction.
‘Pacific Mist’: Vigorous groundcover 3’ by 6’ with lanceolate gray-green foliage and pinkish-white flowers. Young pink stems turn brown with age. In our experience it is much stronger when used away from the coast. Hardy to 0F. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden introduction.
‘Sunset’: A strong, garden tolerant selection that is a colorful substitution for ‘Howard McMinn’. Upright to 5’ with an equal spread, its shiny green leaves appear bright copper when young. Flowers are white. Hardy to 5F.
Sandwort. 4" and mat-forming with small, narrowly oval leaves and large white flowers in summer. Hardy to below 0F. Southwestern Europe.
Thrift or Sea Pink. Hardy evergreen perennials for full sun with narrow, stiff leaves that form grasslike basal rosettes. Small, dense flowers form globes atop erect flower stems.
alliacea: Tidy perennial forming neat tussocks of needle-like leaves. Small, papery pink flowers from early spring into summer, especially when spent flowers are removed. Best used in full sun with moderate summer water. Useful in rock gardens, borders, and containers. Hardy to 0F. Spain, Portugal.
maritima ‘Compacta’: A compact maritima that stays to 4" tall. Dark pink blooms in spring and summer.
maritima ‘Rubrifolia’: Ruby sea thrift. Stunning burgundy-red winter foliage separates this Armeria from the rest. Individual plants reach 4" high (8" with bloom) with 6" spread and display hot magenta-pink flower heads in spring. Excellent small area groundcover, particularly along the coast where it is salt-spray resistant. Hardy to 0F.
tweedyi: Small, caespitose perennial with blue-green foliage and rose-pink flowers. Perfect for the rock garden. Hardy to 0F. Garden origin.
‘Apple Blossom’: Large pale pink blooms on plants 8-10" tall.
‘Nifty Thrifty’: Typical Armeria form and flower color, but selected for its atypical variegation of pale green edged vertically with warm yellow. Reaches 4-6" tall (8" with blooms) with an equal spread. Charming in containers where the variegation can be viewed up close. Hardy to 0F.
‘Small Fry’: Hybrid from Austin Griffiths’ garden that forms tufted mounds to 12" with thin grasslike leaves. Rose-pink flower clusters form on short stiff stems year round on the coast, in springtime elsewhere. Full sun with regular garden water. Hardy to 0F. Garden origin.
‘Victor Reiter’: Differs from other Armerias in the appearance of it foliage. It forms dense mounds of needle-like foliage giving the impression of an almost perfect ball. Reaches 4" tall and up to twice as wide.
Wormwood or Sagebrush. Aromatic shrubs and perennials with silver-gray foliage. "As moonlight unto sunlight is that desert sage to other greens," wrote Wallace Stegner when speaking of big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata. Exceptional plants for the dry garden as well as a common tool of the herbalist. Most are drought tolerant and prefer full sun, well-drained soils and occasional water. Hardiness varies according to species. North temperate, Western South America, and South Africa.
absinthium ‘Huntington’: A large shrub to 6’ or more from the Huntington Botanic Garden. Erect stems hold deeply cut, silver-gray leaves. Full sun, well-drained soils, and an annual pruning are required. Hardy to 10F. Garden origin.
arborescens: The feathery silver foliage of this classic Mediterranean shrub is elegant in the company of Ceanothus. Grows to be a 4’ shrub with a mounded form. An exceptional choice for dry gardens with well-drained soils. Hardy to 10F.
californica ‘Canyon Gray’: California sagebrush. Artemisia californica is a dominant element of California’s coastal scrub, a plant community full of the ripe, pungent smell of this wonderfully ubiquitous shrub. This selection from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is prostrate and wide-spreading to 6’ or more. Occasional pruning and a few deep summer waterings will suffice to counter its natural summer dormancy. Periodic hard pruning encourages a dense form. Hardy to 15F. California.
californica ‘Montara’: Compact selection by Roger Raiche from Montara Ridge in San Mateo county. Plants have typical silver-gray foliage and mound to 3’ with an equal spread, developing an almost formal look with age. Occasional summer water will help retain summer leaves but consider designing the dormancy into the garden to enjoy the muted colors of a California summer.
dracunculus var. sativa: French tarragon or Estragon. Widely cultivated as a culinary herb. Rhizomatous like many other wormwoods, it can reach a height of 3’ with narrow, dark green leaves. Small yellow flowers clustered in spikes, appear from June to August. Give full sun with regular garden water for best results. Hardy to below 0F. Russia.
ludoviciana ‘Silver King’: A well-known western perennial or subshrub that, in favorable conditions, will spread rapidly by rhizomes. Gray-white tomentose leaves are held on erect 3’ stems and provide excellent contrast to dark-leafed natives such as Ceanothus and Rhamnus. Best used in full sun with moderate water. Hardy to 0F. Western North America.
ludoviciana ‘Silver Queen’: White sage. Deciduous perennial with jagged-edged, silver leaves. Inconspicuous yellow-gray flowers appear in plumes each fall. Growing to 2.5’, it quickly forms a broad, dense mat. Hardy to 0F.
ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’: A low, spreading selection to 18" with felted gray, almost white leaves and stems. Give it full sun and a hard annual cutting for best results. Completely dormant in winter. Hardy to 0F.
pycnocephala ‘David’s Choice’: A compact selection of sandhill sage, this charming subshrub common to coastal dune complexes from Monterey to Oregon reaches 1’ high and 3’ across. Soft and woolly white, this choice plant is tolerant of both wind and salt spray, making it an excellent choice for coastal gardens. It requires well-drained soils but is not particularly receptive to hot interior climates. Remove the flowering heads in late summer to maintain a tidy form and provide moderate summer water in coastal climates. Combines perfectly with Fragaria chiloensis ‘Aulon’. Hardy to below 0F. Point Reyes, California.
schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’: Angel’s hair. A hardy, old favorite with finely-cut leaves that is fully deciduous even here on the Central Coast. As the name implies, it forms a silver mound to 18" with a compact base and spreads slowly by rhizomes. Widely garden tolerant but best in full sun with regular garden water. Charming herbaceous perennial for the rock garden or border. Hardy to below 0F. Japan.
stelleriana ‘Silver Brocade’: Beach wormwood. A superior, dense, mat-forming selection to 6" with lacy, silver-gray leaves. Yellow flowers in spike- forming clusters. Compact and semi-prostrate. Hardy to below 0F. Northeast Asia, and Eastern North America.
‘Powis Castle’: This hybrid import from Powis in Wales has become a staple in California gardens. It features dissected, silvery leaves on billowing plants to 4’ or more. Plants can (and should be) cut back to the ground every year or two to maintain vigor. A strong, dependable selection that complements many colors, offering a strong background for brightly-colored flowers or foliage. Similar to the feathery Artemisia arborescens. Best in full sun with well-drained soils and tough enough for hot, dry banks. Hardy to 10F. Garden origin.
Twining snapdragon. The genus contains one species of perennial herb cultivated for its trailing habit and abundant, pale yellow snapdragon-like flowers. The leaves are almost heart-shaped and slightly pubescent, and creep vigorously along the earth in well-drained soils. Use to excellent effect in rock gardens or containers, but beware its robust vigor as it may quickly outpace companion plants. Best in full sun to part shade with regular to moderate water. Hardy to 0F.
Wild ginger. Handsome native perennial found growing in large sweeps on the floor of California’s coast redwood forests usually in association with Oxalis oregana from the Santa Cruz Mountains north to British Columbia. Ginger-scented leaves are broad, dark green and heart-shaped, carefully hiding the wonderfully peculiar, bell-shaped burgundy flowers. Flowers appear in spring low to the ground beneath the leaves. Wild ginger will eventually form a low mat in protected, deep shade. Regular garden water is required to maintain a lush appearance. Protect from snails. Hardy to 0F. Western North America.
Milkweed. Widely varying genus of annuals, perennials and subshrubs distributed across the Americas and cultivated mainly for their colorful blooms which are highly attractive to butterflies. Best in full sun with well-drained soils and regular water. Hardiness varies by species.
curassavica: Blood flower. Often short-lived perennial subshrub to 3’ with an equal spread covered in summer and fall with clusters of unusual red and yellow blooms. Tender below 25F.
tuberosa: Butterfly weed. A tough, hardy North American perennial usually found in drier habitats accompanied by grasses. This selection has erect stems to 3’ with red-orange flowers that attract butterflies. Blooms appear from late spring to the first frost and are followed by horned pods. Best grown in full sun with moderate garden water. Hardy to below 0F. Eastern North America.
Michaelmas daisy. A large group of herbaceous perennials ranging from low-growing natives to taller border hybrids. Adapted to most soils and resistant to diseases and insects. They have rhizomatous or fibrous roots and require division every 2-3 years to maintain flower quality and good health. Most asters thrive in sun or semi-shade in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Flowers are daisy-like and range in color from dark blue to pink. Blooming period can be extended with continued supplemental watering. The following are generally hardy to 0F. Northern Hemisphere.
chilensis ‘Point St. George’: A low-growing selection of this ubiquitous California perennial. Extremely assertive rhizomatous selection bearing violet-colored flowers from June to December. Excellent addition to a meadow or coastal bluff garden for fast, complete coverage. Do not plant near less vigorous species that will be quickly and fully overrun. Hardy to 10F. California.
x frikartii ‘Monch’: Strong, long-blooming perennial to 3’ with violet-blue flowers.
Yellow daisy-like flowers that grow in full sun and well-drained, gritty soils with low fertility. Moderate or occasional water once established. Hardy to 0F. Mediterranean basin.
maritimus: Gold coin. Evergreen groundcover. Rich silvery-green foliage with yellow daisies throughout the summer. Very tolerant of dry soils but plant appearance improves with ample water. 10-12" tall and 4’ across. A generally tough plant tolerant of coastal conditions.
maritimus ‘Compacta’: Compact gold coin. Evergreen perennial similar to the species but spreading only to 12-18" across. Yellow daisies appear year round. Hardy to 10F.
Masterwort. This woodland herbaceous perennial forms loose mounds of handsome palmately-lobed foliage. Slender stems topped with unusual flowers surrounded by colorful, papery bracts rise from the basal mound. Best in fertile, moist soils in partial shade. Hardy to 0F. Europe.
‘Hadspen Blood’: Selected by Nori Pope at Hadspen House near Castle Cary in England for its crimson red flowers and purple-tinted foliage. Heaviest flowering in summer. Reaches 2-3’ tall with an equal spread.
Atriplex lentiformis ssp. lentiformis
Quail bush. Useful as a salt-tolerant hedge or windbreak. Erect to 10’ and spreading 12-15’, it has green-gray, heart-shaped leaves. Summer flowers are inconspicuous. Hardy to 10F. California.
Aurinia saxatilis ‘Tom Thumb’
Basket of gold. Evergreen and herbaceous, a perennial for full sun and well-drained soils. Pale yellow flowers are produced in spring above small gray leaves. ‘Tom Thumb’ grows to about 6" high and is suitable in rock gardens or against dry walls. Hardy to below 0F. Eastern Europe.