Tiarella x ‘Steam Punk’

This seedling of the millions of Tiarellas that we’ve grown over the years is a stand out. Found at the edge of a shade hoop house it thrived for years before I realized, this is a really good plant. Palmate leaves are widely divided and stamped on the center with black. An edging of green surrounds this imprint. From mid spring to summer a continuous supply of spears of flowers that are tinted pink and open to white. Spreads to form prodigious colonies in rich, moisture retentive soil with regular irrigation. Lovely plant that brightens woodland in part shade. An annual top dressing of compost is greatly appreciated. To 1′ tall in bloom and leafy clumps spread out to several feet wide. Excellent along stream banks, ponds spreading love in dappled light. Semi-evergreen in winter.

Xera Plants Introduction 

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Tibouchina urvilleana

Princess flower is a tender shrub that becomes a rapturous cloud of velvet purple flowers  for all of summer. Three inch wide flowers have the wonderful backdrop of velveteen clad deep green leaves. To 4′ x 4′ in a seasonal container. Full sun to very light shade and rich soil with regular water. Appreciates a handful of all organic fertilizer halfway through the season. Over winter containerized plants in an unheated garage. Cut back hard, fertilize and place outside when all danger of a freeze has passed. In very protected gardens near the beach this shrub may be grown in the ground. To 8′ tall x 4′ wide. Freezes back below 27ºF  and is root hardy to the low 20ºs. Mulch in autumn. Princess flower hails from the mountains of Brazil.

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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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Tolmiea menziesii ‘Taff’s Gold’

An exceptional variegated form of our native “pigaback” plant that is excellent as a groundcover in dense to light shade. Vigorous and evergreen it will spread to 4′ wide in 2 years but stay only 1′ tall. Very easy to grow, works well under established Rhododendrons. Pretty, but not conspicuous brown flowers. Regular water but will take drought if in the shade. Easy, indispensible native plant.  Forms new plants directly from the center of each leaf. Cool trick. Also grown as a houseplant. Good in containers. Oregon native plant.

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Trachelium caeruleum

Flossflower- this short lived perennial is a wonderful long blooming plant. Umbels of blue flowers rise to 20″ tall. Remove the first set of blooms and it will sprout vigorously from the sides, rows of flowers. Loved by butterflies and pollinators in general. This Mediterranean native has been raised as a cut flower forever, blooming continues to October if you remove spent flowers. They last in a vase for a week or more and deliver a light, sweet fragrance. Freezes to the ground below 20ºF, and is root hardy to about 10ºF. Typical lifespan for an individual plant is 3-5 years but it almost always guarantees seedlings which will sprout in adventitious places. Full sun to very light shade and rich soil with light consistent summer water. It may go very dry and recover from a deep soak. Very easy to grow plant for spectacular effects. Perennials borders, cutting gardens. Hummingbird manna. Forms arching clumps. A distant relative of Campanulas. Rich soil and regular water guarantees a much larger, bloomier plant that will have a longer lifespan.

 

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Trachelospermum jasminoides

Not a true Jasmine at all but Star Jasmine is a classic summer blooming evergreen vine in our region. One of the most popular vines and rightly so with its clouds of ivory colored propeller shaped sweetly fragrant flowers for all of summer. Twining vine, provide support- easily guided with the help of #4 gauge copper wire. It has the enviable trait of clothing itself to the ground in evergreen foliage- seldom has bare knees. Full sun to quite a bit of shade, including dry shade. To 12′ tall and 4′ wide in 6 years. Cold hardy to the single digits when established. Can be slightly tender when vines are young- hence the myth that it is not hardy. Regular water in summer speeds  growth measurably and should be applied for the first few years. Blooms on wood from the current season. Prune before or after blooming. In warmer climates this vine is only a spring bloomer. In our milder summers with cooler overnight lows in summer it spurs Star Jasmine to bloom for all of our summer. Lucky us. Moderate deer resistance. Drought adapted with age. See below- trained as a free standing hedge in Laurelhurst. Kind of cool.

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Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Madison’

Reputed to be a hardier form of Star Jasmine, we really haven’t witnessed that. It seems just as hardy as the commonly grown clone. But it has several important differences. The large deep green leaves are conspicuously convex and thick. In June to September it alights with tons of ivory colored sweetly fragrant pinwheel shaped flowers. These are slightly smaller but come in such fragrant abundance that it doesn’t seem to matter. Evergreen from the base to the top which is nice. No bare knees. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well drained soil. Summer water speeds both growth and early establishment. Then light regular summer water. Moderate deer resistance. Twining to 15′ provide support. Fences, pergolas.

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Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Pink Showers’

Exciting color variant of star jasmine. Soft pink propeller shaped flowers yield the same sweet perfume. Blooms June-August and prefers part shade and protection from hot sun. The intensity of pink in the flowers is more pronounced in cooler conditions. Strongly twining evergreen vine with deep green, glossy, undulate (wavy) leaves which are handsome year round. To 10′ tall and 4′ wide in 5 years. Good cold hardiness. Provide strong support. Water heavily after planting and for the first summer. This will speed both establishment and growth and lengthen the bloom season. If it never bloomed (and the flowers are beautiful and fragrant) it would be a top notch evergreen vine on those merits. Excellent recent introduction. See video below (img 6053). Just below the main picture. A really great vine.

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Trachelospermum mandianum

The apricot hued flowers of this Star Jasmine species are not the only difference in this elegant evergreen vine. The fragrance is different too with much more of a balmy citrus scent. Vigorous twining vine for part shade. Provide sturdy support. Very cold hardy and permanent. To 14′ tall and 8′ wide on trellis. Possible to use it as a small scale ground cover. Tolerates full sun but with some leaf discoloration. Regular summer water in well drained soil. Occasionally at the end of the season this species will form twin bean seed pods which are showy as well. Blooms earlier than Star Jasmine and finishes later as well. Evergreen foliage is light yellow green- lighter than other species of Star Jasmine.  Moderate deer resistance.

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