Candytuft. The following are perennials grown for their decorative springtime flowers and their tidy, evergreen habits. Plant in full sun or part shade in well-drained soils. Use in containers, rock gardens, as an edging along walkways, or as a groundcover for small areas. Hardy to 0F. Southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.
gibraltarica: Tufted, evergreen perennial to 12" tall with spreading stems and narrow, dark green leaves. The white flowers are often tinged red or pink and appear in clusters during the summer months. Gibraltar.
The following are hardy perennials grown for their showy, tubular flowers in shades of magenta and dark pink. They prefer full sun and well-drained soils, and although they will tolerate cold temperatures, they resent the combination of cold and wet soil. Provide regular to moderate water during the growing season. Hardiness varies. Himalayas.
arguta: Evergreen subshrub with divided almost fern-like foliage and trumpet-shaped rich pink flowers. This species blooms throughout the summer and tolerates poor, rocky soils as well as moderate watering during the summer. Plants grow to 3’ tall with a lesser spread. Hardy to 10F.
delavayi: Hardy gloxinia. This stemless perennial with foot-long basal leaves divided into toothed leaflets grows to 3’ and is topped by 3" clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers bloom from May to July and are rosy-purple with a yellow throat. Plant in a warm position in full sun or light shade with regular water and deep, porous soil. Hardy to below 0F.
Upright, rhizomatous or bulbous perennials with sword-like foliage and distinctive flowers in a variety of colors. Hardiness and cultural requirements vary by species. Northern temperate zones.
douglasiana: Pacific Coast iris. Evergreen, rhizomatous, beardless iris to 2’ tall and spreading with leathery, dark green leaves and pale lavender to dark purple flowers in spring. Provide full sun along the coast and partial shade inland with reasonably well-drained soil and moderate to occasional water once established. Summer water will moderate seasonal dormancy. Hardy 0F. Southern Oregon and California.
innominata: Evergreen iris forming dense clumps 8-12" tall with narrow grass-like foliage. The flower colors vary from yellow to lavender, purple and even blended brown; many are attractively bicolored or streaked by darker venation. Plants bloom in spring and early summer, and perform best in regions with mild summer temperatures and some winter chill. Moderate water. Hardy to 10F. Western United States.
Pacific Coast Hybrids: A large group derived primarily from the two irises listed above, all form clumps of sword-like foliage ranging from 6-24" tall. Large flowers are borne in spring in numerous colorful shades; we recommend particularly vigorous cultivars such as ‘Canyon Snow’ with clean, white flowers. Provide sun or part shade in reasonably well-drained soil with moderate to occasional water once established. Hardy to 0F.
Climbing penstemon. A woody climber that when given the right setting, can reach 6’ high and 10’ across. Often found climbing through tall chaparral shrubs such as Ceanothus or Rhamnus, it produces a profusion of bright red-orange flowers that attract hummingbirds once the flowering branch tips reach sunlight. Plants flower once in spring and again in summer, and are quite durable once established, requiring only occasional summer water. Plant in full sun to light shade. Hardy to 10F. California.
Torch lily. Upright clump-forming perennials with short, thick rhizomes and grass-like foliage. Naked stalks carry torch-like clusters of red, orange, yellow or white tubular flowers in summer or in some cultivars year round. Full sun and well-drained conditions with regular summer moisture are best. Hardiness varies, but most will take 10F. Africa.
galpinii: A smaller species with bright green leaves to 2’ long and slender, wiry stems bearing terminal spikes of flame-red flowers in autumn. The clonal selection we have been growing has coral-colored flowers. Hardy to 18F.
triangularus: Another smaller selection to 2’ with narrow, grass-like leaves and small, densely held, bicolored flowers in shades of coral and golden yellow. Often confused in the trade, we may be growing a hybrid from this species as galpinii.
‘Little Maid’: Smaller selection to 2’ tall and 18" wide with pale, creamy-yellow flowers in summer and often again in autumn.
‘Shining Sceptre’: Golden-orange flowers on stalks to 3’ tall or more. Plants spread to 2’.