Bottlebrush. These evergreen shrubs or small trees are grown primarily for their showy flower spikes that distinctly resemble a bottlebrush. Flower colors range from white, cream, yellow, mauve, pink, and red to purple. They hybridize freely and some confusion exists with identification. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers which bloom spring to mid-summer. New growth emerges from the tips of flowers. They are found natively in areas that receive ample rainfall, often near the edges of marshes or streams. Most will tolerate poor soils, but do better in fertile, well-drained soils and full sun. These shrubs will suffer from chlorosis in iron-deficient soils. They respond well to pruning and are hardy to about 25F. Australia.
citrinus ‘Jeffersii’: Lemon bottlebrush. Tolerant of heat, cold and adverse soils, this shrub reaches 6’ tall by 4’ wide and features stiff branches accented by reddish-purple flowers that fade to lavender. Foliage is lemon-scented when crushed and new growth is coppery in color.
viminalis ‘Little John’: The soft, gray leaves provide an attractive contrast to the deep red flowers in winter and spring. Exhibits a dwarf form growing 3’ tall with a 5’ spread.
Incense cedar. As the common name implies, an evergreen conifer with fragrant foliage especially noticeable in warm weather. Upright, symmetrical and columnar it will grow from 50 to 150’ tall, producing short horizontal branches in flat sprays of dark green foliage. Crown shape varies with climate. Flaky, gray bark reveals maroon beneath. Slow growing in youth, it may then grow up to 2’ per year once established. Tolerant of poor soils, summer heat and extended periods of cold temperatures. Best grown in full sun, but shade tolerant in youth. Occasional water once established. John Muir said of the tree "makes fine mansions for storm-bound birds." Hardy to 0F. Oregon to Baja California, Western Nevada.
Spice bush. A deciduous shrub to 12’ with an 8’ spread. The bark is aromatic and the fragrant leaves turn a warm yellow in the fall. Reddish-brown flowers resembling small water lilies, 2" across, appear from April to August. Flowers smell like an aged wine barrel. Grows in full sun with some light shade in warm climates. Plant in deep, moist, humus-rich soil with moderate to occasional water. A tough, trouble-free native deserving of greater use in California gardens. Hardy to 0F. California.
This evergreen, low-growing perennial reaches less than 1’ tall and can spread to almost 3’. Bright yellow spring and summer blooming flowers accent the dark green, finely textured foliage. Plant in full sun and well-drained soils and provide moderate water. Best in dry conditions. Hardy to 0F. East and West Coasts of North America, Baja.
Bellflower is a large, variable genus of about 300 species containing annuals, biennials, and perennials. Most prefer moist but well-drained soil with full sun on the coast and filtered shade inland. Flowers are generally bell-shaped and come in a variety of colors. Regular to moderate water, hardiness varies. Temperate Northern Hemisphere.
alpestris: This perennial slowly forms a mat of creeping rhizomes 2-5" across. Leaves are 2" long in rosettes with 1-2" blue or white flowers, blooming in summer. Use for rock gardens, borders and edgings. Hardy to 0F. Western Alps.
cochleariifolia ‘Elizabeth Oliver’: Robust selection noted for its pale blue to lavender double blooms held just above small, tight foliage to 1’ tall. Sun or shade in moisture-retentive soils. Hardy to 0F. Europe.
isophylla ‘Variegata’: Italian bellflower. Low-growing, evergreen perennial with velvety-looking variegated foliage and rich blue, star-shaped blooms. Plants grow to 6" tall and spread up to 2’. Tolerates full sun or part shade and thrives with regular water in moist, well-drained soils. Blooms appear most heavily in summer, but will be scattered throughout the year especially in coastal climates. Excellent choice for containers. Hardy to 0F. Europe.
olympica: Open perennial (in our experience) with procumbent to erect stems, up to 20". Violet-blue flowers in panicles all season in coastal California. Great woven through the stems of Chondropetalum. Hardy to 10F. Mt. Olympus, Greece.
portenschlagiana (muralis): Dalmatian bellflower. A sturdy perennial forming low, mounding mats 4-10" high. Flared, bell-shaped flowers of violet-blue from May to August on finely pubescent stems holding deeply-toothed leaves. Hardy to below 0F. Southern Europe.
poscharskyana: Serbian bellflower. A spreading perennial with star-shaped blue-lilac flowers from spring to autumn. This vigorous perennial requires shade in inland gardens or full sun near the coast with moderate water. Useful as a spreading groundcover to 4-12" high. Fully hardy to well below 0F. Northern Yugoslavia.
takesimana: Bellflower. This spreading perennial sends up 3’ flower spikes that nod from the weight of profuse creamy white to lilac-pink pendulous bells. When viewed closely the flower throats reveal colorful maroon spots and a rosy blush. Flower color is best in shade, and plants develop a lush ground-hugging rosette of foliage with regular water. Hardy below 0F. Korea.
‘Dickson’s Gold’: A low spreading perennial to 6" with small ivy-shaped golden leaves. Clusters of star-shaped blue flowers bloom in summer. Hardy to 10F.
‘Samantha’: One of our favorite new Campanula cultivars to come along, this one has abundant blue-violet, saucer-shaped flowers and spreads slowly to form a vigorous, small-scale groundcover. Plants are repeat bloomers with periodic deadheading, and grow 8-10" high when in bloom. Must have well-drained soil.
Bush anemone. Stunning, shrub growing to 12’ with glossy evergreen foliage and fragrant white flowers that form in the late spring and early summer. Found naturally in chaparral communities on gentle granite slopes with thin and sharply drained soils. The flowers are anemone-like and up to 3" in diameter with brilliant yellow centers. Narrowly ovate leaves are a handsome dark green and have a clean polished appearance. Tolerant of regular garden conditions in both full sun or partial shade, it can be used as a hedge, foundation shrub or specimen. A light shearing after flowering is required for a tidier, more vigorous form. Hardy to 10F. Bush anemone is a narrow California endemic from the Sierran foothills northeast of Fresno.
‘Elizabeth’: A selected wild form, more compact than the species with smaller, more abundant blossoms. Mature plants reach 8’ high and 6’ across.
x clandonensis ‘Dark Night’ Bluebeard. Deciduous perennial or subshrub to 3’ tall and as wide. This cultivar is noted for its deep blue flowers in summer and fall and for the aromatic nature of its silvery foliage. Plant in full sun with moderate water in combinations with other gray-leafed plants like Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ and Stachys ‘Silver Carpet’. Hardy to 0F. Garden origin.
California lilac. A diverse group of evergreen and deciduous shrubs which vary in form and size from low groundcovers to large, upright shrubs or small trees. Although flower colors may be white or pink, Ceanothus is best known for its unrivalled range of blue-colored flowers. As Marjorie Schmidt said of the cultivar ‘Ray Hartman’, "Even in this favored land, where all types of plants grow readily, a blue-flowered tree is something to be cherished." Two distinct sections in the genus are recognized: Euceanothus, which have larger leaves and often grow more upright and to larger sizes, and Cerastes, bearing smaller, thicker leaves and usually growing into mounding or spreading forms. This second group is often better adapted to heat and drought stress once established. California lilacs are commonly grown for their showy, blue flower clusters that are often fragrant. They are best used in full sun with well-drained soils and occasional to infrequent water. Many cultivars are surprisingly shade tolerant although they tend to open up in these circumstances. Over watering, heavier soils and poor drainage lead to disease problems and early death. California lilacs grow quickly and are tolerant of sun, heat, and drought. Hardiness varies by species. North America.
arboreus ‘Cliff Schmidt’: Feltleaf ceanothus. Our selection from Santa Cruz Island featuring large felted leaves and a strong upright habit to 18’. Medium-blue flowers in early spring and again in fall. Fall-flowering in this cultivar is reliable in coastal California. Hardy to 10F.
arboreus ‘Trewithen Blue’: Feltleaf ceanothus. Vigorous, evergreen and bushy, this spreading shrub grows 20-30’ high and spreads to 25’. Large, pyramidal panicles of mildly fragrant, rich blue flowers bloom spring to early summer.
gloriosus ‘Anchor Bay’: Pt. Reyes ceanothus. Mounding selection to 3’ tall with an 8’ spread. A strong shrub for coastal gardens, it offers a dense habit and medium-blue flowers in early spring. Hardy to 15F.
gloriosus ‘Heart’s Desire’: Less than 1’ tall and widespreading with small bronze-highlighted leaves and pale blue flowers. Exceptional ground cover for coastal gardens. Hardy to 15F.
gloriosus var. exaltatus ‘Emily Brown’: Navarro ceanothus. Mature plants reach 3-4’ tall and 8’ wide with dark green, holly-like 1" leaves and dark violet blue, 1" flower clusters. More tolerant of heavy soils than most. Supplemental water will improve appearance. Hardy to 15F.
griseus ‘Bamico’: Mounding selection to 4’ with a 6’ spread. Similar to ‘Yankee Point’, but not as widespreading and with larger leaves. Flower buds are dark with silvery highlights and open into clear blue flowers. Hardy to 15F.
griseus ‘Kurt Zadnik’: Perhaps the darkest flowering Ceanothus we carry, with almost black flower buds highlighted by silvery bracts. Selected from the Sonoma County coast near Horseshoe Cove, it grows to 3’ tall with a wide spread, to 15’ or more. The dark flowers combined with the rich green foliage give ‘Kurt Zadnik’ a distinctive brooding appearance. Tolerant of coastal conditions, it has proven successful in Southern California gardens. Hardy to 15F.
griseus ‘Louis Edmunds’: Carmel ceanothus. Low-growing selection with a clean, spreading appearance. Plant this in well-drained soils where it has room to spread, and then stand back to admire the dark, glossy green foliage accented by violet-blue springtime flowers. Mature plants reach 3-4’ tall and 12-15’ wide with moderate water. Hardy to 10F.
griseus var. horizontalis: Carmel creeper. Spreading shrub to 4’ with glossy green leaves and pale blue flowers held in 1" clusters. Fast-growing, this Ceanothus responds well to pruning but needs a well-drained position in the garden, especially in heavier soils. Provide full sun in coastal regions and partial shade in Southern California interior gardens. Hardy to 10F.
griseus var. horizontalis ‘Yankee Point’: Rich, dark green leaves with medium-blue flowers in early spring. Spreading habit to 3’ high if not crowded. Yankee Point is dependable, tough, and tolerant of heat and heavier soils if they drain modestly. Good for warmer, drier sites though supplemental summer water is recommended. Hardy to 10F.
hearstiorum: Hearst’s ceanothus. Excellent groundcover choice for coastal gardens, this plant forms a dense mat of textured foliage blanketed by medium-blue flowers in spring. Plants reach 1’ tall and up to 6’ wide in well-drained soils. Native to San Luis Obispo County. Hardy to 10F.
impressus ‘Vandenberg’: Interesting selection by Austin Griffiths from the Burton Mesa in northern Santa Barbara County. Small black-green leaves are arranged densely on arching branches that create a tight, compact habit. Mature plants are 5’ high with an equal spread and produce medium-blue flowers in early spring.
impressus var. nipomensis ‘Mesa Lilac’: Santa Barbara ceanothus. Olive-green foliage is arranged densely on graceful, arching stems to 10’ tall. Does well with little or no supplemental water and is quite shade tolerant. This California lilac is native to our area, the Nipomo Mesa, and offers a dramatic display of 2" lavender flower clusters in both spring and fall. Well-drained soils are a must. Hardy to 0F.
maritimus ‘Frosty Dawn’: Maritime ceanothus. 2’ tall and up to 6’ wide. Slower growing than most and early flowering with dark smoky blue flowers, it does best in coastal climates with any soil that is reasonably well-drained. A compact, creeping shrub. Hardy to 10F. Southern California.
maritimus ‘Point Sierra’: Our selection from the magical Arroyo de la Cruz in northern San Luis Obispo County. A maritimus selection tolerant of interior heat if given modest shade. Compact and creeping with wisteria-blue flowers and cotoneaster-like foliage.
maritimus ‘Popcorn’: Larger leaves than the typical maritimus with clear white flowers.
ramulosus ‘Rodeo Lagoon’: Tight groundcover with a spreading habit to 10’ in ideal situations, this cultivar boasts amber bracts and clean white flowers on blue-green foliage. Even the stems have a silver-blue cast, giving this plant an overall dusty glow. Makes an excellent low (less than 2’ if not crowded) groundcover for well-drained slopes. Hardy to 10F.
rigidus ‘Snowball’: Monterey ceanothus. Grows 4’ tall and spreads to 10’ wide. A dense, mounding shrub with white puffs of flowers in early spring, this Ceanothus is best adapted to coastal locations in well-drained soil but can take heat and drought, as well as heavier soils. Mature plants tend to be woody and are best used as background subjects or replanted every 3 to 5 years. Hardy to 10F. Central California.
thyrsiflorus ‘El Dorado’: Another wonderful variegated selection, ‘El Dorado’ shines with large dark green leaves splashed boldly with vivid yellow. In springtime the rich blue blossoms contrast brilliantly with the year-round foliage. Mature specimens grow to 8’ with an equal spread. A bold choice for sophisticated gardens. Hardy to 10F.
thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’: Blue blossom. Featuring emerald green, leathery leaves and dark blue flower clusters in June, July and August, it will tolerate summer water and heavier soils. This cultivar grows 3-6’ tall and spreads to 6’ wide. Rugged and dependable in both heat and cold, but not tolerant of heat and drought conditions when used in warmer inland regions of Southern California. Hardy to 10F. California.
thyrsiflorus ‘Snow Flurry’: Whirling clouds of white flowers cover this large shrub in early spring. Standing 15’ tall and 25’ wide, it is adaptable, dependable, garden tolerant and well-suited to coastal situations. Prune to control the form of this rapidly growing cultivar. A selection from the Big Sur coast that is tolerant of heavier soils. Our mother plant lived for 18 years and developed into a charming small tree. Hardy to 15F.
thyrsiflorus ‘Variegata’: Variegated blue blossom. An upright evergreen shrub with a tall vase-like form, mature plants can reach up to 10’ tall and spread 3-6’ wide. Its most striking feature of course is the dazzling yellow and green variegated foliage, but don’t forget about the radiant blue flowers and how they sparkle against such an extraordinary backdrop. Requires well-drained soils and only moderate water once established. Hardy to 10F.
‘A.T. Johnson’: Medium-sized shrub to 5-6’ tall, this selection is believed to be of C. thyrsiflorus parentage and offers a staggering number of blooms in both spring and fall. Some plants may flower in summer as well. The flowers are a rich blue and are attractive to bees. Hardy to 10F.
‘Autumnal Blue’: Upright shrub to 6’ tall with an equal spread. This selection possesses large, glossy green leaves and pale blue to china blue blossoms from spring until autumn. Hardy to 0F.
‘Blue Jeans’: Large shrubby selection that reaches 8-10’ with dark green leathery leaves and pale powder blue blooms. Spring time blossoms attract honeybees by the dozens. Hardy to 10F.
‘Centennial’: Flat, creeping stems to 2’ tall and 5’ wide with tight, glossy, green leaves and brilliant violet-blue flowers in small clusters. Excellent Ceanothus for light shade at the edge of oaks. Hardy to 15F.
‘Concha’: Medium-sized shrub to 8’ with an equal spread. Magenta buds open into vibrant, cobalt blue flowers on arching branches. ‘Concha’ has dark foliage and a dense mounding habit. Although best suited to coastal environments, it will tolerate a wide range of garden conditions. One of the most reliable Ceanothus cultivars on the market. Hardy to 10F. Garden origin.
‘Cynthia Postan’: Promising new selection from Lady Cynthia Postan at Cambridge University, England. This ceanothus resembles the form of ‘Concha’ (though in our experience a slower grower) and the flowers of ‘Wheeler Canyon’. The small, glossy dark-green leaves cloak upright, spreading branches and rich blue, subtly sweet blooms open from magenta buds to dust the entire shrub through the spring. Mature plants reach a manageable height and width of 6-8’ making this an ideal choice for urban and suburban landscapes. Hardy to 10F.
‘Dark Star’: 6’ tall and equally wide with small, dark leaves that appear almost black-green from a distance. Flowers are a rich cobalt blue in spring. Sensitive to water molds, so best used in coastal gardens with well-drained soils. Upright and arching when young, it becomes more rounded in maturity. Hardy to 15F.
‘Far Horizons’: 5’ tall with an arching 8’ spread. Consistent early bloomer with warty green leaves and brilliant clear blue flowers in button-like clusters. It has performed well in both partial shade and full sun with minimal supplemental water. This strong Dara Emery selection is a dependable medium-sized shrub that deserves greater attention from California gardeners. Hardy to 15F.
‘Gentian Plume’: One of the largest Ceanothus cultivars available, this one reaches heights of 20’ or more and spreads even wider. The dark blue flowers are held in clusters that grow to 8" long and stand out dramatically against the dark green foliage. Plant as a specimen or background shrub where it can be showcased. We recommend periodic pruning to control the wild habit. Hardy to 10F.
‘Gloire de Versailles’: Broadly oval, green leaves and large 4-6" panicles of powder blue, scented flowers bloom mid-summer to Thanksgiving. Prune hard each spring in March or April, cutting back nearly to the base of previous year’s wood. Deciduous to semi-deciduous in Southern California, this bushy shrub grows to 8’ tall. In areas of California with mild winters, these plants can be pruned in late autumn rather than spring. They flower on current year’s wood. Colorful clusters of reddish seed-pods are frequently used in decorative arrangements. Excellent choice for colder climates. Hardy to 0F.
‘Golden Elan’: A Ceanothus pallidus hybrid with gold leaf variegation that offers a distinctive contrast to the ruby-colored stems. Carmine-pink flowers from June to October. Slower growing than other pallidus hybrids. A stunning selection from England. Hardy to 0F.
‘Henri Desfosse’: A hybrid that closely resembles ‘Gloire de Versailles’, but with a smaller habit and flowers of a deeper, almost violet-blue. Young stems are a wine-red and provide a rich contrast to the indigo flower buds. Hardy to 0F.
‘Joyce Coulter’: A mounding cultivar that is best used for covering large areas where its sprawling habit can be appreciated. However when used in small gardens it responds well to pruning. Flowers are medium-blue in 5" spike-like clusters that appear in mid-spring. It grows to 3’ tall and 12’ across with narrow, shiny, wrinkled green leaves. Tolerant of heavy soil and regular garden water. Plants actually prefer partial shade in warm inland locations with regular water. Hardy to 20F.
‘Julia Phelps’: A densely-branched shrub which develops into a mounded shape 7’ tall and 9’ across. Small, dark green, heavily wrinkled leaves and numerous dark indigo-blue flowers in 1" rounded clusters covering the plant in mid-spring. Grows in both coastal and inland locations and requires good drainage in all cases. Hardy to 15F.
‘Marie Simon’: Deciduous (or partially so in coastal California) and bushy, growing 5’ by 5’ with green, broadly oval leaves and wine-red young stems. Conical clusters of soft-pink flowers are carried in profusion from mid-summer to early autumn. Hardy to 5F.
‘Ray Hartman’: A large, upright shrub that can be trained as a small tree, rapidly reaching 18’ high by 20’ wide. It features branches of large, polished, rich green leaves with silver-blue flowers breaking from rose-pink buds in spike-like clusters early spring. Tolerates heavier soils, heat, and full sun in warmer inland locations. Dependably drought tolerant, established plants need only periodic deep watering, but responds well to supplemental summer water. One of the most reliable selections we offer. Hardy 10F. Garden origin.
‘Remote Blue’: Strong ceanothus selection grown primarily for its handsome glossy green rounded leaves and medium blue flowers held in ball-like inflorescences. The attractive lime-green branches spread in an outward fashion so that mature plants take on a rounded appearance. Plant where this cultivar has room to grow as it will ultimately reach 10’ tall with an equal spread. Distinguished for its clean, year-round appearance.
‘Sierra Blue’: Reaching 15’ high with a similar spread, ‘Sierra Blue’ offers open stems of glossy, medium-green leaves and hanging, 8" flower clusters. These large pendulous flower clusters appear each spring like blue lanterns the color of a "Sierran sky." Fast growing, it requires pruning to enhance its shape. An excellent selection for Southern California in both coastal and inland gardens, where it is useful as a screen or hedge and well-suited to pruning. In shady locations the foliage is open and sparse. Hardy to about 15F.
‘Topaz’: Deciduous shrub to 8’ with liquid-blue flowers from summer to fall.
A strong and vigorous selection from the delilianus x pallidus crosses, it is our favorite of this group of deciduous, hybrid Ceanothus. Hardy to 10F. Garden origin.
‘Wheeler Canyon’: Growing 6’ tall with an 8’ spread, ‘Wheeler Canyon’ tolerates heavier soils, routine watering and even drought. Bright blue blossoms in crowded clusters open in spring from sparkling buds of indigo and maroon. Hardy to 15F.
Woody-based perennials and small, low-growing shrubs, valued for their clusters of rich, deep blue, phlox-like flowers that bloom from summer to late fall. Require full sun to partial shade, moderately fertile and retentive soil with good drainage. Regular to moderate water, hardiness varies. Asia.
griffithii: Burmese plumbago. Evergreen and low, to 3’, with many-branching stems that feature dense, thick-textured ciliate leaves of dull green with purple tinged margins. Bright blue flowers appear in terminal clusters, somewhat later, from July into late fall. Hardy to 0F. Himalayas.
plumbaginoides: Dwarf plumbago. A compact perennial herb, 18" high, with bronzy green to dark green leaves turning reddish-brown with frosts. Intense blue, half-inch flowers bloom from July until the first frost. Hardy in extreme cold and fluctuating winter temperatures, but will not bloom well without a long growing season. Spreads quickly by rhizomes. Hardy below 0F. Western China.
Western redbud. A deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 20’ with an equal spread. In native situations it usually forms multi-stemmed thickets. The smooth, silver-gray bark adds year-round interest. Brilliant magenta, pea-like flowers in early spring are usually borne on bare stems, then followed by handsome blue-green, heart-shaped leaves. Leaf buds are often pinkish before they open. In frost prone areas, fall color can be outstanding. After the leaves have fallen coppery seed pods hang on the bare stems well into winter. An excellent choice for dry, seldom watered banks or as a carefully placed specimen. Flower production is stronger in colder climates. Classic combined with Ceanothus. The hard, beautifully grained wood of some Cercis has been used by cabinet makers for centuries to make veneers and inlays. The genus name Cercis is derived from the Greek kerkis, meaning "weaver’s shuttle." This description refers to the long, flat seed pods of Cercis siliquastrum, known commonly as the Judas tree. Legend has it that the pale flowers blushed red in shame when Judas hung himself from the limb of a Cercis siliquastrum. Former president George Washington was particularly fond of the eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis, and transplanted many of them from the wild to his estate in Mt. Vernon. Hardy to 0F. California.
Mountain mahogany. A small tree to 20’ with a wide spread, but commonly found in a shrubby form as a member of the chaparral. Leaves are dark olive-green above and pale beneath, with feathery veining and toothed edges. Old plants often become coarse and unattractive, but can be cut back to the base to resprout and regain a tighter form. Thrives in many soil types and is drought tolerant, but occasional summer irrigation will improve its appearance. The fruits bear a long, plumose, twisted, persistent style that adds to the plant’s garden appeal. Hardy to 20F. California.
‘Newellii’ Red cestrum. Possibly a hybrid between C. fasciculatum x C. elegans. Though this plant looks tough, its colorful waxy flowers give away its tropical origins. The clusters of unscented crimson flowers appear almost year round in mild climates against dark evergreen foliage and each blossom looks the perfect shape for a hummingbird’s slender bill. Mature plants generally have an upright form to 6’. Plant in full sun with regular garden water. Some texts warn that this plant may be considered a weed in mild climates. Hardy to 20F.
Aromatic shrubs valued for their fragrant flowers and attractive, evergreen foliage. A wonderful choice for containers, Choisya thrives in a variety of soils, full sun, good air circulation and moderate water. Useful as a screen or an informal hedge. Hardy to 15F. Northern Mexico, Southwestern North America.
ternata: Mexican orange. As the common name suggests, the clusters of fragrant white flowers look much like small orange blossoms, appearing in early spring and intermittently through summer and fall and attracting bees. Best in full sun or light shade inland, it can get rangy in heavy shade. Lustrous yellow-green leaves held toward the end of branches are divided into fans of 3 leaflets. Temperamental in alkaline soils. Mature plants reach 8-10’ tall.
ternata ‘Sundance’: To 8’ tall and wide. White, star-shaped flowers are produced in late spring and again in autumn. New foliage is chartreuse-yellow and gradually turns green with age.
‘Aztec Pearl’: An elegant, hybrid selection to 4’ high with finely-divided leaves and profuse, strongly-scented flowers. Budding flowers have a rose blush before opening to a clear white. Plants are stronger in full sun. Garden origin.
Rockrose. A group of small to medium-sized evergreen shrubs with interesting often sage-like leaves that may be fuzzy, aromatic or crinkled. The showy springtime flowers resemble single roses, and come in various colors. Adaptable in poor, dry soils and tolerant of ocean winds, salt spray or desert heat, plants require full sun and well-drained soils with occasional to infrequent water. Used for dry bank covers, informal screens and erosion control. Hardy to 15F. Mediterranean region.
x corbariensis: White rockrose. Spreading habit growing 2-5’ high and almost as wide. Leaves, which are fragrant on warm days, are 2" long, crinkly, dark green above and paler beneath. Flowers are 1-2" across, white with a yellow basal spot on each petal, and bloom in late spring. A reliable favorite in California gardens. Southern Europe.
x crispatus ‘Warley Rose’: A compact, dwarf shrub growing to 2’ tall and 4’ wide with rippled, dark green leaves and purplish-pink flowers.
ladanifer: Crimson-spot rockrose. A mid-sized shrub to 6’ with an equal spread and a compact habit. Leaves are 4" long, dark green above, lighter beneath, sticky and fragrant. Flowers are white, to 3" wide, with a dark maroon basal spot on each petal, and appear late spring and early summer. Adapted to periods of drought. Southwestern Europe to North Africa.
laurifolius: Laurel-leafed cistus. Upright selection that can reach 6’ in ideal situations. The stiff branches hold leathery, deep green leaves and papery white blossoms with yellow centers. Plants are generally free-flowering throughout the summer are remarkably hardy to 0F.
x pulverulentus ‘Sunset’: A spreading shrub with a compact habit, 3’ high and 8-12’ across. The sage green, wavy leaves are heavily textured. Flowers are vivid cerise with a long bloom period. A popular choice for a groundcover and on banks with other drought tolerant plants. Responds well to pruning and maintains good form and foliage character. Southwestern Europe.
x purpureus: Orchid rockrose. Evergreen shrub growing to 4’ tall and wide, often shorter in stressful situations. The rosy-crimson flowers to 3" wide exhibit a dark purple blotch at the base of each petal, and bloom early to mid-summer. The flowers also feature a contrasting yellow cluster of stamens in the center. A fine choice for a limiting environment of salt spray and cool winds. Relatively long-lived, tolerant of heat and aridity as well as accepting many soil conditions.
salviifolius ‘Prostratus’: Sageleaf rockrose. One of the more garden tolerant of the genus, this low growing rockrose has sage green leaves and a wide spreading habit of 6’ or more. Early spring flowers are white with a yellow basal stain. Southern Europe.
x skanbergii: A bushy evergreen shrub 4’ high and 6’ across with narrow, gray-green leaves and complimentary clear pink flowers. Flowers appear in great profusion in mid-spring and can continue well into summer. More refined in character than most other rockroses, and well-suited to smaller gardens. Greece.
‘Blanche’: Leaves are olive-green above and blue-gray beneath, lanceolate, aromatic and pubescent. The pure white flowers are 4" in diameter. A tough and durable selection that makes an effective screen.
‘Chelsea Bonnet’: Choice cultivar noted for its rounded, mounding form. Numerous pure white blooms are held against narrow, highly textured foliage through the summer. Plant on banks or in a dry garden. Hardy to 10F.
‘Peggy Sammons’: A mounding shrub to 4’ with a 6’ spread. Features downy gray-green stems and leaves, with pale-pink flowers that bloom in early summer. A heavy bloomer that combines well with rosemary.
‘Santa Cruz’: (incanus creticus) Bushy plant, 3-5’ tall and equally wide. The downy olive-green leaves have wavy margins and support 2" rose-pink flowers bearing petals marked with a yellow basal spot.
‘Victor Reiter’: Stiffly erect plants growing to 4’ with gray-green leaves and hot pink, pale-centered flowers 2-3" across.
Breath of heaven. Evergreen shrubs with an airy appearance and delicate character. The foliage has a delightful fragrance when brushed or rubbed, and plants are well used along paths and walkways for this reason. Plant in full sun (light shade produces taller, more open growth) and well-drained, neutral to acid soil. Miniature white or pink blooms are carried over a long season in winter and early spring, with scattered blooms appearing throughout the year. Avoid over watering and heavy soils. Light pruning after flowering will control size and shape. Hardy to 20F. South Africa.
album: White breath of heaven. Plants grow 3-5’ tall and as wide, branching from the base. Tiny white flowers are borne throughout the summer.
pulchrum: Pink breath of heaven. A dome-shaped shrub with wiry stems, growing to 5’ tall (occasionally 10’) and as wide. Plants bear soft needle-like, bright green leaves and pale pink flowers in winter and early spring.
pulchrum ‘Compacta’: Similar to the species, but with a smaller habit 2-4’ tall.
‘Sunset Gold’: Compact plants growing 2’ tall by 4’ wide with vivid yellow-gold foliage. Pink flowers appear in late winter. Plant in full sun along the coast and partial shade inland. Perfect combined with Carex testacea.
Summer holly. Small burl-forming tree to 20’ and often with an equal spread. Fragrant racemes of urn-shaped, white flowers appear from early spring to mid-summer. The clusters of red, warty berries that follow (similar to those of a madrone) are very attractive to birds. Leaves are glossy and dark green with inrolled margins. The grayish-brown bark shreds in thin strips, revealing a reddish inner bark beneath. Plants are best with full sun on the coast and partial shade inland. Adaptable to adverse conditions and tolerant of a variety of soils, summer holly is at its best in well-drained soils with occasional summer irrigation. Similar to Arbutus unedo but with a wild heart. Hardy to 10F. A component of chaparral communities, it is native to the coast of Southern California and Baja.
Morning glory. Group of annual or perennial herbs and shrubs with funnel-shaped flowers, preferring full sun or light shade in a sheltered position with well-drained soils. Deadhead regularly for extended flowering. Most are hardy to about 25F. Mediterranean.
cneorum: Bush morning glory. An evergreen shrub to 4’ tall and as wide, bearing sparkling silver-white foliage and delicate blossoms from May to September. The pink-tinged white flowers open from pink buds to reveal yellow throats. Prune annually to renew the plant and prevent legginess. In our experience this is a short-lived shrub. Southern Europe.
sabatius: Ground morning glory. Evergreen perennial to 2’ high with trailing branches spreading to 3’ across. Lavender-blue flowers 1-2" across bloom from June to November. Grows well in light, gravelly soil with good drainage, but will tolerate clay soil if not over watered. Can become woody unless trimmed in late winter. Use as a groundcover or in hanging baskets. Africa.
Tickseed. Annual and perennial members of the sunflower family, they are grown for their profusion of daisies in all shades from yellow to red. Individual species vary greatly in size, form and foliage. Most are winter deciduous, preferring full sun and well-drained soils. All species provide a rich nectar and pollen source for honeybees. Coreopsis Hill in the Guadalupe Dune Complex attracts groups of wildflower enthusiasts each spring as the dunes near Oso Flaco become dusted with the gold of the flowering Coreopsis gigantea. North and South America.
auriculata ‘Nana’: Generally evergreen (deciduous in cooler climates) this dwarf perennial grows to 10" high and spreads by stolons to form a 2’ wide clump. Bright orange-yellow flowers bloom from spring to fall, especially if faded flowers are removed periodically. Hardy to 0F. Southeastern North America.
gigantea: Giant coreopsis. Unusual subshrub with thick, succulent trunks usually to 3’ tall but occasionally even to 6’. Branches are tipped with clusters of bright green, fern-like leaves after the fall rain. Clusters of 3" yellow daisies blanket the plant in early spring. This is the most perfectly weird plant we carry and is sure to attract attention in the garden. Hardy to 10F. Coastal Southern California.
grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise’: Perennial to 18" tall and spreading to 3’ with bright yellow 3" flowers in spring, held high above the foliage. A tough and durable selection.
verticillata ‘Moonbeam’: A short, rhizomatous perennial with erect stems to 2’ carrying whorls of finely divided, narrow leaves. This selection features dark, purple-tinged stems and leaves and pale lemon-yellow flowers. Hardy to below 0F. Southeastern North America.
‘Tequila Sunrise’: For gardeners who love the dependability of Coreopsis but crave a bit more excitement, the answer has at last arrived. Perhaps the most eye-catching new selection of the year, this wild pleaser dazzles with yellow and green variegated foliage that blushes rosy-red in spring. The golden flowers are also decorated with a bright red eye that practically screams, "This selection is not for the meek!" Hardy to 0F.
Deciduous or sometimes evergreen perennials and shrubs distinguished by their clean, simple leaves, subtle to decorative blooms, and often colorful twigs and bark. We grow a species native to moist areas throughout California. Plant in dappled shade in a position where the showy red twigs can be appreciated each winter. Provide regular water and combine with other riparian species like Populus, sycamore or Juncus. Hardy to 0F.
stolonifera: Redtwig dogwood. Vigorous shrub with four-season interest, but especially resplendent in fall when a brilliant show of red leaves appear followed by bright red winter twigs. An erect, spreading, deciduous shrub, with procumbent branches that can grow to 15’. Small cream-colored flowers appear in 2" clusters from April to November and are followed by white to bluish-purple fruits. Plants spread widely by creeping underground stems and rooting branches.
stolonifera ‘Tilden Park’: Striking selection in our experience with an attractive architectural form and deep red stems. Our mature plants have grown to 6’ and seem to be less stoloniferous than the species. A specimen growing at the Leaning Pine Arboretum on the Cal Poly campus held its burgundy-red fall colors through the winter. Highly recommended.
Evergreen shrubs noted for their twisting, wiry, interlacing branches. Tiny yellow star-like flowers appear from spring to summer and are followed, in ideal conditions, by small variously colored fruits. Stems are ash gray to black with diminutive, sparse foliage. Most Corokias generally prefer full sun and well-drained soils that do not hold copious moisture particularly in winter. The unusual form can be used to dramatic effect when backlit by night lighting in the evening garden. Hardy to 10F. New Zealand.
cotoneaster: Wire netting bush. Slow-growing shrub to 8’ tall for full sun or partial shade. Tolerant of alkaline soil and seaside conditions. It has been argued that the reduced apical dominance and cage-like tangle of branches evolved to protect the tender leader from grazing moas, large flightless birds which have been extinct for over 100 years. Interesting container plant with fragrant, star-like yellow flowers in late spring.
cotoneaster ‘Little Prince’: A dwarf selection growing to 4’ with spreading, closely branched trunks. The stems are covered with grayish, silky hairs and the small, dark green leaves are gray and hairy beneath. Occasional berries are bright red.
X virgata ‘Bronze King’: Erect shrub to 7’ with small, dark green leaves marked with bronze highlights. The star-shaped yellow flowers appear in late spring.
Australian fuchsia. Evergreen, small to medium-sized shrubs noted for their tubular flowers in a variety of colors that hang like small bells from the branches. Valued for their long winter flowering season that normally lasts from November to April. The small, roundish leaves are green above and densely felted beneath. Plants require good drainage, moderate to occasional water and full sun to light shade in hotter interior regions. Hardy to 20F. Australia.
pulchella: Low, spreading shrub to 3’ tall and up to 8’ wide. Dusty-pink flowers appear summer to winter, but sporadic off-season blooms are common in California. Adapted to extended periods of drought and tolerant of either sun or shade. Southern Australia.
pulchella ‘Orange Flame’: Australian fuchsia. A compact selection of this evergreen Australian shrub, reaching 2’ tall with a 4’ spread. Plants are covered with tubular, rusty-orange flowers from December to February and provide valued color in the winter season. The olive-green leaves combine well with other Mediterranean shrubs and perennials. ‘Orange Flame’ does well in full sun or light shade and prefers well-drained soils.
schlechtendalii: Strong, upright shrub to 6’ tall with medium green, narrow leaves and long, tubular flowers in winter, sometimes year round. The flowers are red with chartreuse-green tips. More tolerant of heat, full sun, and drought in warmer regions than other species. Responds well to pruning if required. Southern Australia.
‘Dusky Bells’: Also known as ‘Carmine Bells’, this selection grows to 3’ tall and 6’ across. Flowers are dull red to carmine-pink, appearing fall through spring. Its dense, billowing habit makes it a useful groundcover. Tough and durable in our experience.
‘Ivory Bells’: Compact shrub, 3-6’ tall and as wide. Flowers are cream to white and star-shaped, blooming in fall and winter. This vigorous selection is best suited to well-drained soils and filtered light but it will tolerate full sun especially along the coast. Another dependable, versatile Correa for California gardens.
Named from the Greek, korydalis, for its flower which resembles the head of a crested lark. A stunning perennial for shady coastal gardens, similar to bleeding heart but with pendulous clusters of cobalt blue flowers through winter. Mature plants form small clumps to 12" and spread slowly. Plants are usually dormant in summer especially in warmer climates. Combine with primroses, bleeding hearts or columbines for a lovely woodland effect. Best in rich, acidic soils or containers with regular water. Hardy to 0F. China.
flexuosa ‘China Blue’: Vigorous selection with abundant sky-blue flowers (larger than those of ‘Blue Panda’) from spring until summer and often again in the fall. Described as "a bolder plant" than ‘Blue Panda’.
flexuosa ‘Purple Leaf’: The lowest growing (to 8") of the flexuosas we carry, ‘Purple Leaf’ has a bronzy cast to the delicate foliage and a smoky-violet appearance to the fragrant blooms. May assert itself as a rapid spreader, but who could tire of this beauty?
Chocolate cosmos. A tuberous perennial 2-3’ tall with coarsely cut foliage and intoxicating chocolate-scented flowers borne in summer. The flowers bear velvety petals of richest maroon and are highly attractive to birds. Regular to moderate water, hardy to 10F. Mexico.
Smoke tree or Smoke bush. A deciduous, wide spreading, urn-shaped shrub to 25’ tall and as wide. Roundish leaves are 3" long, with striking color changes from bluish-green in summer to yellow or orange-red in fall. Decorative puffs of purple to lavender "smoke" come from the large, loose clusters of fading flowers. The originally green blossoms fade in time, leaving stalks of long sterile flowers covered with downy purple hairs. Plants thrive in poor or rocky soil with fast drainage and infrequent watering. Usually multi-branched, this dramatic shrub is resistant to oak root fungus, likes full sun and performs admirably in the dry garden. Consider using the purple-leafed form as a focal point in a gray garden. Hardy to 0F. Southern Europe to Eastern Himalaya and Central China.
‘Royal Purple’: Retains dark wine-purple leaves through the spring and summer. Stunning used as a foil against gray-leafed shrubs.
A variable genus of woody groundcovers and upright shrubs grown for their prolific, white (or more rarely, pink) springtime flowers. The rich colors of the autumn foliage and abundant berries provide further appeal. Adaptable, but best in well-drained soil and full sun with occasional water. Useful on dry slopes for erosion control. The naturally graceful arching of the branches may be enhanced with light pruning. Give ample room to spread, keeping plants away from paths and walkways. The following are hardy to below 0F. Europe, North Africa, Asia.
dammeri ‘Coral Beauty’: Bearberry cotoneaster. Low-growing shrub to 6" and spreading widely, with abundant orange-red fruits in winter. Good on banks, as a groundcover, or cascading over walls. Evergreen in all but the coldest climates. China.
dammeri ‘Streib’s Findling’: Spreading over hill and dale, this evergreen groundcover features small, neatly arranged leaves and white star-like flowers in summer. China.
microphyllus thymifolius: Rockspray cotoneaster. An evergreen shrub with compact growth, less than 3’ tall. Exhibits tiny leaves with rolled edges rolled and dense, spreading branches. Features white flowers and red fruit. Himalayas.
salicifolius ‘Gnom’: Procumbent selection with shiny green leaves in a tight, orderly pattern. Spring flowers are followed by clusters of orange-red fruits. Provide full sun and well-drained soils.
salicifolius ‘Repens’: Willowleaf cotoneaster. Low-growing, evergreen shrub to 2’ tall. Branches bear narrow, dark green leaves, light red fruits, and white summer flowers. A good groundcover for large areas in sun or part shade. China.
Cotula ‘Silver Mound’
Brass buttons. This low, spreading perennial hugs the ground growing no more than 12-18" high but spreads 3-4’ horizontally like a silver carpet filling in rocky nooks. With full sun and regular water yellow button-like flowers will cover the soft, silver-gray foliage through spring and summer. Hardy to 0F. Cosmopolitan.
From the Greek krokus, meaning saffron, and osme, meaning smell. The name refers to the strong smell of saffron given off by dried flowers when immersed in water. Deciduous perennial monocots with flattened, circular corms borne on short, slender stolons. The linear leaves are sword-shaped and range from 2-4’ high. Grown for their brightly colored funnel-shaped flowers which are held above the leaves on branching spikes. Summer blooming in shades of red, yellow, and orange, often with darker markings. Plant in sun or light shade in open, well-drained soils with moderate or occasional water. Vigorous and once established in favorable conditions, they can be invasive. Provide shelter and mulch in colder climates. Hardy to 0F. South Africa.
‘Emberglow’: To 3’ tall with upward arching, orange-brown flowers.
‘Lucifer’: 4’ tall with brilliant flame-red flowers June and July.
Perennial herbs or subshrubs useful for summer color, borders or containers. Plant in full sun to part shade in any reasonably fertile soil. Flower colors vary. Water freely when in full growth and moderately the rest of the year. Hardy to 30F. South America and Southeast North America.
hyssopifolia: False heather or Elfin herb. Evergreen, rounded shrub with small, narrow, deep green leaves. Rose-purple to lilac or white flowers in summer and autumn. 1’ to 2’ tall. Mexico, Guatemala.
hyssopifolia ‘Golden Foliage’: Handsome subshrub noted for its brilliant golden foliage accented by seemingly ever-blooming magenta-pink blossoms. Use in the foreground of colorful borders with other showy selections like Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ or Armeria ‘Bloodstone’. Grows to 2’ with an equal spread.
hyssopifolia ‘White Whispers’: Popular selection offering the sturdy form and character of the species, but with abundant white blossoms throughout the summer and fall. Excellent choice in containers or for edging a perennial border.
llavea ‘Bat Face’: Shrubby perennial to 2’ with unique red and purple flowers resembling a small bat.
‘Allyson Purple’: A purple-flowered hyssopifolia selection.
‘Red Compact’: A hyssopifolia selection with red flowers and a tight, dense habit to 12".
Cypress. Evergreen conifers with tiny, scale-like leaves held closely on outspread branches and small, horned cones retained tightly along the stems. Require only infrequent watering once established. As a group, cypresses tend to be shallow rooted. The following are hardy to 10F. Western North America, Eurasia.
goveniana: Gowen cypress. A narrow endemic growing to 30’ in the wild and over 80’ in culture. Young plants grow rapidly with a narrow, pyramidal habit. Gray-brown, flaking bark and lime green foliage smelling strongly of citrus. Hardy to 10F. Monterey, California.
Cyclamen hederifolium (syn. C. neapolitanum)
Cyclamen. This charming woodland species is a favorite in our garden where the green and pewter variegated foliage provides fall to spring interest beneath the Katsura tree. Plants usually go dormant in summer and appreciate a break from regular watering, but reappear in the fall and winter with delicate blushing flowers on naked stalks. Over time the low-growing colonies will spread slowly creating lovely drifts to delight the eye. An excellent choice for dry shade. Hardy to 0F. Native to Europe and Turkey.
Pennywort. An aggressive, spreading perennial with small scalloped leaves and charming violet-blue flowers throughout the summer. Some consider this the ideal plant for quickly covering stone walls or filling crevices in a rock garden and others consider it a weed; whatever opinion you hold, it will astound you with its vigor! Plants stay less than 2’ tall and spread almost indefinitely. Provide sun or part shade in well-drained soils with moderate water. Withhold water to limit the spread. Hardy to 0F. Western Europe.