Intergeneric hybrids between Cistus and Halimium, the following are strongly reminiscent of both parents. Typically evergreen shrubs to 6’ tall, they are densely covered with narrow, elliptic leaves that are often pubescent. White to pale yellow flowers appear in slender-stalked, lax cymes (a flat or round-topped inflorescence) from early to late summer. Plants prefer full sun and excellent drainage with occasional water once established; they work well on dry berms, cascading over walls, or on sunny banks. Hardy to 10F. Southern Europe.
sahucii: Compact, mound forming shrub 1-3’ tall and 3-4’ across. The downy leaves are narrow and dark green and provide a handsome foil for the abundant pure white flowers with yellow centers in late spring and early summer. Southern France.
wintonensis: Bushy low-growing shrub to 2’ tall with a 4-5’ spread. The lanceolate, furry, gray-green leaves disappear behind saucer-shaped, 2" white flowers each marked by deep red bands and a yellow center. Blooms late spring to summer. Garden origin.
Evergreen shrubs and subshrubs closely related to Cistus and Helianthemum. Usually growing to 4’ high or lower, they bear gray-green, somewhat pubescent leaves and clusters of rose-like white to yellow blossoms in spring and early summer. Plants will reseed in ideal conditions. For best results plant in full sun and well-drained soil with occasional to infrequent supplemental water once established. Hardy to 10F. Mediterranean, Southwestern Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor.
atriplicifolium: Upright shrub to 6’ with muted gray leaves and clusters of rose-like yellow flowers. The flowers are ephemeral but produced in mass from late spring well into summer. Plants require full sun, well-drained soil, and little supplemental water once established. A Mediterranean version of our native Dendromecon hartfordii. Hardy to 10F. Mediterranean Europe.
commutatum: A low-growing shrub to 3’ with dark green leaves that are glabrous above and gray-pubescent beneath. The vivid yellow flowers are solitary in a terminal cyme and bloom from late spring through summer. Suitable in the company of rosemary, lavender, and rockrose. Southwestern Europe.
Evergreen shrubs grown for their form and foliage, Hebes are better utilized in cool, coastal gardens rather than in the hotter, interior regions. In all plantings, good drainage is essential. Provide full sun on the coast and at least partial shade if you must grow them inland. Some selections offer exceptional flowers and the smaller species make effective subjects in rock gardens, as edging plants or even as groundcovers. The taller selections are useful as shrubs near the coast where they tolerate salt-laden air. Hardy to 20F. New Zealand, Australia, temperate South America.
pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’: Small upright woody perennial, ‘Quicksilver’ grows to 2’ or less with an equal spread. The wiry black stems hold tiny silver-gray leaves creating a lovely form for the foreground of any sunny garden. Plants tolerate pruning well, and our Field Manager here at the nursery has created a lovely potted specimen that graces the entrance to our office.
topiaria: This sturdy hebe holds almost succulent, green leaves edged with creamy margins on upright stems to 3’. White flowers appear in summer. This is an excellent choice for containers or for the foreground of perennial beds.
‘Blue Elf’: A compact shrub bearing dense racemes of bright blue flowers. One of the hardiest selections and resistant to salt-laden winds, this is an excellent choice for low hedges.
‘Carl Teschner’: Compact evergreen shrub to 2’ with a 3-4’ spread. The small glossy green leaves are held on dark stems and are decorated in summer by numerous deep violet flowers that fade to white.
‘Little Gem’: A slow-growing dwarf form with bright green, highly polished leaves.
‘Red Edge’: A favorite Hebe here at the nursery, this plant makes an exceptional container subject where it holds a tight form, growing to no more than 2’. As the name so aptly describes, the pale gray-green, densely held leaves are edged smartly by a fine red margin. Coupled with Carex comans ‘Red’ or Uncinia uncinata, this reliable plant makes a subtle and handsome statement. Pale violet-blue flowers appear in summer.
Sun rose. From the Greek helios, meaning sun, and anthemon, meaning flower, to describe the flowers that open only in bright sunlight. Evergreen, mat-forming subshrubs 6-8" high with a 2-3’ spread. The leaves may be glossy green above and fuzzy gray beneath, or gray on both sides, and the rose-like flowers can be single or double, and exhibit a variety of warm colors. Individual blooms are short-lived, but appear continuously from April to June in California and from May to July in the Pacific Northwest. Shear plants lightly after blooming to encourage fall flowering. Provide full sun and only occasional water once established; the sunrose is useful tumbling over dry rock walls or backyard planters, on banks, in rock gardens and in perennial plantings. Hardy to 0F. Europe, Asia Minor.
‘Belgravia Rose’: Blue-green leaves and rose-pink blossoms.
‘Dazzler’: Glossy dark green leaves and magenta blossoms.
‘Henfield Brilliant’: Gray-green foliage and bright orange flowers with a yellow center.
‘Raspberry Ripple’: Dark green leaves and deep red-pink flowers tipped with white.
‘Roxburgh Gold’: Golden-yellow flowers held above dark green, glossy foliage unevenly marked by golden highlights.
‘The Bride’: Silver-gray leaves with creamy-white flowers marked by a vivid yellow center.
‘Wisely Pink’ (syn. ‘Rhodanthe Carneum’): Flashy pink flowers with an orange center against silver-gray foliage. Flowers are marked with an orange central blotch.
‘Wisely Primrose’: Pale gray-green leaves behind summertime primrose-yellow flowers exhibiting a deep yellow center.
Swamp sunflower. Upright perennial to 6’ bearing dark green glossy leaves and golden-yellow flowers that resemble small sunflowers. Plants bloom most heavily in autumn and naturalize in sunny areas with moisture-retentive soil. Provide regular garden water. Hardy to 0F. Southeastern North America.
Strawflower. Annuals, perennials, shrubs and subshrubs with unusual papery flowers that are often used in dried flower arrangements. Conspicuous straw-like rows of bracts surround the flower heads and hold their shape and color when dried. Plants require a sheltered position in sun with well-drained soil. Hardiness varies. Warm Old World, especially South Africa and Australia.
petiolare: Licorice plant. A sprawling subshrub reaching 2-4’ tall and grown primarily for its handsome foliage that occasionally emits a subtle licorice aroma. Both the silvery-gray stems and densely arranged heart-shaped leaves are covered with soft, velvety white hairs. The cream-colored bracts appearing in late spring do not always produce flowers. An excellent foliage plant, the licorice plant can unfortunately be invasive and has escaped into native systems in the Bay Area. Hardy to 32F. South Africa.
petiolare ‘Limelight’: Similar to the species, but with pale, golden-chartreuse foliage. Requires moderate to deep shade where it provides an outstanding splash of color. The plants in our garden have spread vigorously to perhaps twice as large as the species.
petiolare ‘Sean’s Select’: A compact, dwarf version of ‘Variegatum’. A mature specimen in our garden forms a tight 2’ mound in part shade.
petiolare ‘Variegatum’: Similar to the species, but with variegated gray-green and cream leaves.
Heliotrope. A tender, old-fashioned perennial or subshrub to 4’ high, grown for the delicate, sweet fragrance of its flowers. The deep purple blossoms are arranged in tight, rounded clusters, and the dark green leaves are heavily veined creating a quilted effect. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Prefers part shade in warmer summer climates, and full sun along the coast in moist, but well-drained soils. Prune annually to maintain a compact form. Hardy to 32F. Peru.
‘Atlantis’: Rich violet flowers that attract butterflies on compact plants.
‘Black Beauty’: Dark violet flowers against dark green, almost black foliage. Dramatic when combined with silver-leafed plants like Artemisia ‘Silver Brocade’.
Helleborus x sternii
Hellebore. A well-known garden perennial in many parts of the country, hellebore is noted for its charming bowl-shaped open flowers and for its bold, trifoliate leaves. Indeed if the flowers were less impressive the foliage would have merit enough on its own. This evergreen hybrid is a cross between two more common species, H. argutifolius and H. lividus. The rigid dark green leaves have a coarse, toothed appearance and are stained a deep reddish-purple beneath. The flowers of this cross are variable, often appearing peachy-cream though sometimes opening palest green. Plants form a mound to 2 or 3’ tall with an equal spread and perform best in part shade with regular water. Soil must be well-drained, as plants will not tolerate heavy soils, and the gardener must be vigilant against leaf spot disease. Otherwise a lovely perennial well suited to California gardens. Hardy to 10F. Garden origin.
Red yucca. A rugged succulent perennial looking like a cross between an aloe and a yucca, the red yucca makes an excellent container plant or dramatic specimen in the dry garden. Plants form an upright clump of stiff, linear dark green leaves bearing fine, white threads at the margins and tall stalks of fleshy red and gold flowers in summer. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil and provide only occasional to infrequent water once established. Hardy to 0F. Northern Mexico and southwest Texas.
Toyon, California holly. Evergreen shrub or small, multi-branched tree to 25’ tall bearing thick, leathery, dark green leaves 2-4" long with toothed margins. Small, white flowers produced in clusters from late May to July are followed by bright red berries in clusters that attract birds from November to January. The showy, holly-like berries are often used in holiday decorations and led to the naming of Hollywood, whose hills were once covered by this rugged, California native. Though often slow to establish, we feel strongly that this sturdy shrub is worth the wait. Plants crown sprout reliably after fire, making toyon a good choice for dry slopes where its impressive root structure performs the herculean task of holding the earth in place. Prefers full sun or partial shade and tolerates aridity and drought, though its appearance in the garden is improved with occasional summer water. Excellent as a screen, in bank plantings or mixed with oaks. Hardy to 10F or less. California.
‘Davis Gold’: A selection from U.C. Davis with rich, golden-yellow berries.
Heterotheca villosa (formerly Chrysopsis villosa)
Hairy golden aster. A clumping perennial with hairy leaves and golden, daisy-like flowers from early summer to fall. Plants appear as if crusted with gold, and are an excellent addition to natural borders, wild gardens and native plant collections. Adaptable and durable, this aster is best with a seasonal shearing. Hardy to 0F. Western North America, our parent material is from Pt. Reyes, California.
Coral bells. Compact, evergreen perennials forming basal clumps of roundish, scalloped leaves accented by wiry stems to 3’ bearing clusters of bell-shaped, nodding flowers in various shades of pink as well as white and green. Useful in borders, coral bells are especially well-suited for use as a groundcover among oaks. Plants prefer semi-shade though most will tolerate full sun near the coast. The delicate flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and are long-lasting in cut flower arrangements. Hardiness varies by species. North America.
maxima: Island alum root. The most robust Heuchera in our opinion, this reliable native grows to 2’ tall with a 2’ spread. The lobed, heart-shaped green leaves form a basal clump and are often mottled with gray or pale green markings. Numerous cream-colored flowers appear on tall stalks from February to April and move gracefully in the slightest breeze. Plants perform best with moderate summer water but are surprisingly drought tolerant in shady situations. An exceptional choice for naturalizing under native oak trees, we recommend it with enthusiasm. Hardy to 10F. Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Channel Islands.
micrantha ‘Martha Roderick’: Bright green leaves give rise to tall stems of delicate rose-pink blossoms. Hardy to 10F.
‘Canyon Belle’: One of the Quartet Series hybrids offered by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and bred by the late Dara Emery. This one grows to 16-18" tall with a 12-14" spread and bears deep brilliant magenta flowers above small, medium-green leaves. The flower stalks are a handsome mahogany color, adding further ornamental interest. ‘Canyon Belle’ has the darkest flowers of the Quartet Series. Hardy to 0F.
‘Canyon Chimes’: Another in the Quartet Series, this one bears fuchsia-colored blossoms and has a somewhat smaller stature than ‘Canyon Belle’. Mature plants reach 12" high with a 12-14" spread. Hardy to 10F.
‘Canyon Delight’: Small, shiny green leaves with short flower stems and tiny, rose-colored flowers. Hardy to 0F.
‘Canyon Duet’: From SBBG’s Quartet Series, ‘Canyon Duet’ charms with a bi-colored appearance to its delicate blossoms. The dark pink buds open to reveal a white or pale pink flower with buds and flowers appearing simultaneously. Plants grow to 12-14" tall and 10-12" wide with small, medium-green leaves. Hardy to 10F.
‘Canyon Melody’: The last of the Quartet Series, this cultivar bears medium pink and white blossoms on slender stalks 12-14" tall. The small leaves form a dense rosette with an equal spread. Hardy to 10F.
‘Canyon Pink’: Similar to ‘Canyon Delight’, but with bright pink flowers and lighter centers. Hardy to 0F.
‘Chiqui’: Strong newer selection noted for its large apricot-pink blooms and resilience in warm, interior climates. The rich green foliage grows to 12" and gives rise to 2-3’ flower spikes. Does well in full sun along the coast. Hardy to 0F.
‘Chiquita’: Another dwarf selection from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, this one hugs the ground and holds its flowers close to the foliage, so that mature plants are no more than 3" high. Individual flowers have white petals and a pink calyx, and bloom spring through summer. Hardy to 10F.
‘Dainty Bells’: Similar to ‘Blushing Bells’, but with rose-pink blossoms. Hardy to 0F.
‘Genevieve’: Lush 2-3" leaves are marbled with gray and give rise to 2-3’ stems bearing deep pink blossoms with white centers. Plants bloom from spring to fall, especially if deadheaded periodically. Hardy to 15F.
‘Harmonic Convergence’: A Blooms of Bressingham selection noted for its silver and purple marbled foliage and its ruby colored blossoms on slender purple stalks. Plants grow to 18-24" tall with an 18" spread and bloom from early spring to mid-summer. Must have constant moisture.
‘Lilian’s Pink’: Pink blossoms on 18" plants attract hummingbirds and make long-lasting cut flowers. The medium-green leaves look their best with regular watering. Hardy to 10F.
‘Mint Frost’: Another new Heuchera?! This one is turning heads with its mint green leaves overlaid with distinct silver patterns. In cool weather the foliage turns frosty purple adding even more charm to this cool beauty. Pale pink flowers emerge in spring and summer on stalks that reach up to 28" tall.
‘Monet’: A subtle variegated variety, ‘Monet’ blends cream and green in an artful fashion, then evokes wonder with its abundant vivid pink blossoms each spring. Plants spread to about 12" and flowers stand 16" high.
‘Old La Rochette’: Handsome, durable hybrid selection with dark green, heart-shaped leaves. Smoky, rose-colored flowers are produced in spring on 2’ stems. Compact habit to about 18". Best in shade with regular garden water. Hardy to 15F or less.
‘Opal’: Plants reach 18" with dark, emerald green foliage and clear white flowers on 2’ stems. Stunning selection when massed. Hardy to 15F.
‘Persian Carpet’: Silvery blooms held above dark purple, silver-streaked leaves. Hardy to 10F.
‘Pewter Veil’: Copper-pink spring foliage changes to silvery-pewter. The evergreen leaves reach up to 6". Hardy to 10F or less.
‘Plum Pudding’: Plants exhibit shimmering plum-purple leaves and a tight habit. Hardy to 10F or less. Also listed as ‘Plum Pudding’.
‘Rosada’: A robust selection bearing rose-pink blooms on stalks up to 3’ tall. Plants are surprisingly tolerant of full sun and require moderate water. One of the most reliable Heuchera selections.
‘Santa Ana Cardinal’: Multitudes of vibrant red flowers on 2’ stems bloom for 3-5 months, or year round in mild areas. Best with moderate summer water. Mature plants form vigorous, free-flowering clumps up to 4’ wide. Hardy to 15F.
‘Snow Angel’: This cream and green variegated coral bells bears dark pink flowers on 16" stalks beginning in spring and lasting in cool climates for several weeks.
‘Splish Splash’: Of all the great new Heuchera selections in the trade, this is a favorite. Strangely variegated green and white foliage gives rise to pink, springtime flowers on 12" stems. Cool winter temperatures turn the leaf veins pink, adding color to the season. Prefers shade and regular garden water. Hardy to 10F.
‘Susanna’: Much like ‘Santa Ana Cardinal’ with slightly darker flowers. Hardy to 15F or less.
‘Velvet Night’: One of our favorite purple-leafed Heucheras, the leaves of this elegant selection appear literally to be made of purple-black velvet. Plant in dappled shade and watch the sunlight sparkle devilishly off the iridescent foliage.
‘Wendy’: Large, light green leaves topped by stems to 2’ tall bearing hundreds of light, fleshy pink blossoms. This durable native hybrid is a favorite with garden designers. Hardy to 15F or less.
Foamy bells. A group of intergeneric hybrids between Heuchera and Tiarella made up mostly of evergreen perennials bearing spring and summertime flowers held in delicate-looking panicles on slender stems. The heart-shaped leaves are deeply lobed and mottled brown when young, turning dark green with age; fall foliage often takes on a bronzy cast. Best in semi-shade or full sun near the coast with well-drained soils and regular garden moisture. Hardy to 0F. Garden origin.
‘Burnished Bronze’: The rich chocolate-colored foliage of this aptly named selection dazzles even the most disinterested persons dragged yet again to another nursery by a beloved plant maniac. The deeply lobed leaves have an almost oak-like appearance and give rise in spring to slender stalks bearing delicate tawny blossoms. This selection, if deadheaded periodically, is noted also for being a repeat bloomer. Plant in containers, in woodland gardens, or in partly shaded borders. In flower plants reach 18" tall with a 14" spread.
‘Pink Frost’: Frosted foliage and pink blossoms that are held high on delicate stalks. Plants are 5" tall, 18" with flowers.
‘Quicksilver’: An unusual selection with rounded leaves more reminiscent of a Heuchera than a Heucherella, the color is quixotic and must be seen to be fully appreciated. Depending on the exposure, leaves can be almost purely silver with reddish-bronze highlights, or more bronze with just a smattering of silver overlay. The pink buds open to reveal white fringed flowers in spring and summer. A vigorous grower to 18" tall with an equal spread.
Guinea gold vine. Vining or matting evergreen shrubs grown for their handsome foliage and simple, brightly-colored flowers that bloom for several months in summer. Prefer full sun or partial shade and regular water. Good companions to Cistus and Helianthemum. Hardy to 25F. Madagascar, Australasia, Polynesia.
aspera: Low-growing evergreen shrub to 12" tall and spreading up to 5’ across. Plants bear small, dark green leaves and bright yellow flowers in spring and summer. In well-drained soils plants will form a dense groundcover. Australia.
Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’
A vigorous herbaceous perennial growing to 12" tall and spreading, in ideal conditions, indefinitely. The foliage is heart shaped and is festively decorated in shades of green, cream, red and pink. Small yellow flowers subtended by showy white bracts appear in summer. Plant in full sun to part shade and provide regular water; this is a plant that will perform admirably in damp or heavy soils. Hardy to below 0F. Eastern Asia.
Hunnemannia fumarifolia ‘Sunlite’
Mexican poppy. Perennial herb to 2’ with finely cut, feathery blue-green leaves and large, cupped yellow flowers. The cheery, summertime blossoms have the texture of crepe-paper. Related to the California poppy, Hunnemannia is best used in full sun and well-drained soil as it is intolerant of wet conditions. Showy in masses, it will reseed but in a pleasing manner. Hardy to 10F. Mexico.