Teucrium fruticans

Silver Germander is a wiry shrub with gray foliage and even lighter gray/white stems. All summer it bears pale blue small flowers with a prominent central lip. Traditionally used in topiary or as a trimmed hedge, it takes amazingly well to heavy shearing. It responds by becoming incredibly dense. Its malleability  leads people to also trim it into any whimsical shape they can dream of. Full sun, average, well drained soil. Little to light summer water when established. Requires full sun and a hot position with protection from subfreezing wind. Classic mediterranean shrub. Grows as well at the cool coast as it does in the hot inland areas. To 4′ x 4′ if left unpruned.

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Elk Horn Cedar is originally from Japan but is grown around the globe This layered and refreshing glossy green conifer grows very slowly and looks fantastic year round. Slow growing to 3′ x 3′ in 10 years. Excellent in mixed borders or shrub borders. Water well to establish the first summer then occasional deep soaks in summer. Unlike any other comfier the name elk horn refers to the flat leaflets that look to me like a form of giant moss. Works well in winter containers. The flattened scales are glossy on the surface and dull beneath. This is the darker green of two varieties in the nursery trade. It would make a challenging bonsai. Full sun to light shade in rich to average soil .  Not often deer food, very worth trying. Cold hardy below 0ºF for short periods. Excellent performance in the Columbia Gorge.

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Thymus vulgaris ‘Peter Davis’

Form of the useful culinary herb that is also a nice looking little evergreen shrublet. To 6″ x 6″ the gray green foliage is aromatic and most useful before it blooms. In early summer it becomes a ball of light pink flowers- very pretty. Wait a bit until the blooms have receded to harvest again. A first rate, semi-woody evergreen garden plant that is good looking for most of the year. Average to rich, well drained soil in full sun. Light summer water. Very easy go grow. Takes quite a bit of drought when established.

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Tigrida x pavonia

Is this hardy? Why, yes, yes it is. Mexican Shellflower or just Tigridia is a fun bulb that produces large, immensely showy flowers that last but a day. Three large petals emanate from a wildly speckled center. White, red, orange, yellow, and pink flowers are all represented in this mix. Rich, well drained soil in a warm position- mine are on the south side of my house in average soil and they not only multiply year to year they self sow. The wonderful flowers appear individually for weeks in mid to late summer. Add a handful of all purpose fertilizer when planting and water consistently through bloom. Full sun- no fudging here. Very easy to grow. To 20″ tall in bloom on average. Flowers 3″ wide. -Emerges late in the spring- usually mid-May. Patience.

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Tolmiea menziesii

Piggy Back plant is what we called this moisture loving woodland plant. Its famous for its ability to sprout a new plant right from the leaf petiole, it forms roots and drops off the plant and roots into the ground. Its also commonly known as a very easy to grow houseplant. Native from Southern Alaska to Northern California. In moist, cool climates like the coast it can grow just about anywhere. The distinctly arrow shaped leaves cover the ground densely on a wide spreading perennial. In mid-spring 2′ spikes erupt with rows of brownish-red flowers. A member of the Saxafrage family  and closely related to Heucheras and Tiarellas. this is as superb a garden plant. Evergreen and consistently moist shady sites are where it thrives. Though with some supplemental water it can make its home in some pretty challenging dry shade. Foliage forms spreading mounds to 10″ tall and spreads laterally 2′-3′ when happy. Plants shrink somewhat in winter, and not as verdant but they do cover the ground and out compete weeds. Great container plant. Very nice naturalized among ferns of any kind. Native to the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant.

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Trachelium caeruleum ‘Dark Purple’

Florists variety of Flossflower that we think makes a nifty garden plant too. Large rich violet umbels repeat through summer. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. Lightly fragrant and a stupendous cut flower. To 30″ tall and 20″ wide. Deep green foliage and black stems are handsome. Short lived perennial- approximately 3-4 years per plant. Freezes to the ground below 20ºF- resprouts from the base if temperatures never drop below about 10ºF. Often self sows in open disturbed sites- even following hellacious winters that compromise the parent plant. Best in rich, soil that drains, double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen into the root zone and allow water to penetrate deeply.  Light summer water- extends bloom. If you cut the main bloom on each stem- and it will last for 10+ days in a vase, the sides of the plant will erupt in further bloom  and continue to autumn. Loved by butterflies who find an accommodating landing pad and copious amounts of nectar filled flowers. Iberian peninsula  and Mediterranean.

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Trachelospermum ‘Ogon’

A cute gold leaved form of asian star jasmine that makes a dainty evergreen vine for a trellis or arbor. Dense layered foliage is bright gold/chartruese and is best with some protection from hot afternoon sun. This is a slower growing Star Jasmine  with a smaller dimension over all. This makes it a great candidate for smaller trelliage that you don’t want to obscure or cover entirely. Bone colored lightly fragrant flowers occasionally occur in late spring on wood from the previous season.  To 9′ tall and 3′ wide in 7 years. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Part shade to shade or an open north exposure. May be self clinging in wind free situations. Very good cold hardiness and drought tolerant when established. Valuable little vine for shade. Lights up dark corners and even makes a handsome ground cover.

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Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Chirofu Chirimen’

Cool little Asian Star Jasmine with tiny variegated leaves that forms dense mounds as a ground cover or in time it can reach up as a cute and not strangling vine. Each leaf is margined and splashed with white. New growth has distinct pink tints for a distinct multicolor effect. Forms a fine textured plant but as a small scale ground cover it will block weeds. To 1′ tall x 30″ wide as a ground cover. To 8′ tall or higher as a self clinging vine in wind free places. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Definitely double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen as well as assist in absorption of water. Add organic fertilizer as well. Trachelospermums appreciate good drainage and regular summer irrigation to do their best. Otherwise drought tolerant but slow growing. Nice on fences or screens or up the trunk of a Trachycarpus (Windmill Palm). Good deer resistance. Evergreen.

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Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Fragrant Form’

About 30 years ago I was introduced to this form of Asian Star Jasmine in Eugene. It was passed around as a clone that survived the disastrous freezes of 1989 and 1990. Its also sweetly fragrant where most varieties of Asian Star Jasmine are not or faint. This is an actual pleasant aroma, not as heady as the more common Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides,  but pleasantly sweet. The parchment colored flowers appear for an extended period from June to September. A huge flush of flowers in early summer and then sporadically for  months. Rich to average soil with regular summer water to establish and speed growth. Asian Star Jasmine waits to grow until truly warm weather is consistent. Regular water + warmth leads to a spreading ground cover or in wind free places it can self attach to surfaces and climb. To 12′ tall as a vine 18″ tall x 3′ as a ground cover. Full sun to considerable shade but not competition from tree roots. Very cold hardy form tolerating temperatures below 5ºF for short periods. Glossy undulate leaves are handsome year round. Wonderful, durable, ground cover.  Establish this plant well before its first winter and mulch for added protection. One of our favorite forms of Asian Star Jasmine. This performs just as consistently as other clones that have proved their durability. Not bothered by deer. Tolerates dry shade when very well established. Both as a ground cover and as a vine it clothes itself densely in foliage never any bare knees. Roots along the ground as it goes, great on slopes.

Xera Plants Introduction 

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Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Ogon Nishiki’

This poor plant though spectacular has a bunch of silly marketing names attached to it. We stick with the original Japanese cultivar name- seems appropriate. No other evergreen vine/groundcover has a foliage display that matches this plant. New leaves emerge bright orange and then morph slowly to patches of light yellow surrounded by dark green. Delightful. We’ve never seen flowers on this cultivar and we don’t need to. Great small scale and vivid ground cover. Mounds and trails to 8″ tall and several feet wide in a single season. It has been surprisingly hardy to cold enduring temps below 10ºF with no harm. Best in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. This vine grows when its warm therefore you water it when its warm. Twins around thin objects and will eventually hoist itself skyward. Solidly evergreen. Excellent container plant. Moderate deer resistance.

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