Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea

Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea

Kidney Vetch is a playful, short-lived perennial with shocking red flowers that come in clusters much like clover. Low, spreading plant that hugs the ground, all the better to see the piercing red flowers on this form. Seeds prolifically, and the seedlings are both easy to identify as well as move or dispatch. To 3″ tall by 18″ wide, when very happy. Loved by pollinators. Forms a vivid patch of color in the most unlikely places. Seeds germinate in autumn and bloom commences in spring. Excellent little nitrogen-fixing temporary plant for new gardens. Enriches soil in a wonderful way. Light to little summer water.  Mediterranean.

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Aquilegia formosa

Western Columbine is a wonderful native wildflower that forms almost permanent colonies in part shade. 20″ stems support pendant flowers of vivid orange and yellow. Blooms April-June. Rich, well-drained sites that retain moisture in part shade.Little summer water once established. Finely divided, blue-green leaves are pretty as well. Excellent perennial for naturalizing in part shade and cool environs. Often seen living in a basin of moss and this may be repeated in the garden. Self sows and blue green foliage is distinctive almost immediately. Long-lived when established. Associated plants are Sidalcea campestris, Symphoricarpos albus, Tellima grandiflora. Works well with smaller ferns too.  Oregon native plant.

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We’re intent on expanding our offerings of our cold hardy native Hairy Manzanita. This form we found in the Hood River Valley and it was conspicuous to us for several reasons. The plant which has long pointed blue leaves was exceptionally disease resistant. It also was tolerant of quite a bit of shade as well. Hairy Manzanita from this part of the state is exceptionally cold tolerant. It will happily live on both sides of the Cascades. The long blue/gray foliage is perpendicular to large stems. The bark becomes deep mahogany and glossy with age. Best in unimproved native soils. To establish water it regularly once a week until you see good new growth then set it free. Drought adapted. To 5′ x 6′ a large shrub that grows quickly to its ultimate size. Full sun to quite a bit of high overhead shade. Always good air circulation. The very early spring flowers are pure white and large on this cultivar. Russet berries that follow attract wildlife. Wonderful shrub, easier to grow than ‘Wolf Creek’.  Cold hardy well below 0ºF.  Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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This exceptional form of hairy manzanita we discovered on the north side of Mount Hood. The large foliage is distinctively blue and is held perpendicular to the stems. In very late winter to early spring pearl pink/white flowers decorate the branch tips and appeal to both hummingbirds and native bees. A large rounded shrub to 6′ x 8′ forming a wide dome. Its best attribute is its distinctive deep mahogany glossy bark which  contrasts with the blue foliage. Russet berries follow the flowers and are consumed by wildlife. Full sun to very high overhead shade in average to poor unimproved soil. Water once a week to establish, when new growth begins taper off then drought adaptation is exceptional. Its also exceptionally hardy to cold to at least -15ºF and is as happy in the Willamette Valley as Central Oregon. Moderately fast growing. Disease resistant, Best to grow Arctostaphylos columbiana as lean as possible. Give it just enough water to establish and then only bark/chip mulch.  A very pretty cultivar that is one of our favorite manzanitas. Oregon native plant

Xera Plants Introduction

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Arctostaphylos hookeri 'James Roof'

Arctostaphylos hookeri ‘James Roof’

Smaller growing Manzanita that assumes the twisted form of a bonsai with age. In fact this 2′ x 4′ wide decumbent shrub makes a wonderful, long lived container plant. In the ground it excels on slopes and other places where standing water never occurs. Full sun to high overhead shade (a high tree canopy). In late winter scattered smaller white urn shaped flowers decorate the branch tips. They morph into highly prized fruit for wildlife. Sage green  diamond shaped foliage it lightly twisted and terminates to a sharp tip. Twigs, branches, and trunks all have a glossy mahogany finish. Great shrub for covering low slopes. Effectively blocks weeds. Water to establish and then set it free. Several plants may be massed to produce a small scale, drought adapted ground cover.  Exceptionally garden tolerant selection that is exceptionally handsome. This species is native to the central CA coast and has been one of the best for garden culture in our region. Accepts light irrigation in summer. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast. It thrives on sandy soils. Nice smaller growing selection. Naturally summer drought adapted. Orange drupes are showy.

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Arctostaphylos x 'Pacific Mist'

Arctostaphylos x ‘Pacific Mist’

Wonderful low spreading Manzanita that we have grown for more than 20 years. Silver/gray pointed leaves densely clothe the spreading stems of this adaptable shrub. In time the lax, decumbent stems point upward at the tips. In spring white flowers are a bonus. To 2′ tall and 6′ wide in 5 years it may be employed as an informal ground cover. Full sun to light shade and well drained soil of average fertility. Little to no summer water when established. Nice looking plant year round. In time it develops glossy cinnamon colored trunks/stems.  Excellent on slopes. Takes more shade than most cultivars. Excellent cold hardiness. Plant on 30″ centers for a large ground cover.  Tips may be pruned in spring to encourage density, otherwise it covers the ground densely.  A hybrid of obscure parentage that has been around for decades.

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Asarum splendens

Asarum splendens

As a dry shade evergreen ground cover foliage plant this wonderful perennial excels. Large heart shaped leaves are marked with silver over a sage green background. Pretty. Spreads to form dense colonies in rich, well drained soil in part shade to full shade. Must have regular water for the best appearance but can endure very dry conditions by wilting and will quickly recover with a drink. Takes the most dense shade and is invaluable in planters, beds, containers that are sited under an overhanging roof. Great winter appearance- it should be used in all sorts of year round containers more often. Spreads underground by stolons but doesn’t travel far. Bait for snails and slugs. Small curious brown flowers occur at ground level under the foliage in summer. To 6″ tall and spreading in ideal conditions to several feet wide.

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Aucuba japonica 'Hosoba Hashifu'

Aucuba japonica ‘Hosoba Hashifu’

A dazzling female selection of Japanese Aucuba with long, thin, tapered leaves of deep green randomly splashed with yellow spots. Dense and slow growing evergreen to 5′ x 5′ in 7 years. This selection will produce clusters of large red berries if a male is present. Very showy. Tiny brown/green flowers in spring are not conspicuous. Part shade to quite a bit of shade in average to enriched well drained soil. Established plants are incredibly drought tolerant and this striking shrub adds light and texture to dry shade areas. It will take full sun with regular irrigation and the leaves will be not as dark lustrous green. A very handsome shrub year round with great cold hardiness. Regular water through the first season to establish. Then light water. Long lived, easy to grow shrub whose dense habit does not require pruning.

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Aucuba japonica 'Longifolia'

Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’

Tough and useful evergreen that is always at its shiny green best. Large growing for an Aucuba exceeding 6′ tall and as wide in 7 years. Moderate growth rate. Long glossy green leaves are slightly serrated and very pretty. Endures the deepest, densest dry shade conditions with no issues. Adaptable to full sun but not reflected heat. Tiny brown flowers are not conspicuous but this is a male and makes a great pollinator for female Aucuba (see A. ‘Rozannie). Established shrubs can get by with little to no summer water and not suffer. Pretty foliage shape is a great medium for contrast. Plant with Japanese Forest Grass or Dicentra formosa ‘Langtrees’. Incredibly cold tolerant- slightly below 0ºF. A good candidate for windy, cold gardens.

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Aucuba japonica 'Rozannie'

Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie’

Rosanna Rosanna Danna is what I think of when I see this cute tough and useful shrub. I have no explanation, I just do. Slow growing broadleaved evergreen with deep forest green leaves that are glossy and pretty at all times. A female that is pretty much self fertile- My kind of woman, yeah 2018. Small green/brown flowers make themselves into glossy red berries. Bring a man around and the crop multiplies. Best in part shade in rich, well drained soil with light summer water. In reality once established Rozannie can go all summer and not miss a drink. To 3′ x 3′ and dense. Avoid blasting hot exposures which will yellow the leaves and rob the whole plant of luster. Supremely adapted to dry shade. Super cold hardy to quite a bit below 0ºF without any tragedy. Japan.

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