Grevillea x gaudichaudii

Impressive ground cover Grevillea that can be difficult to locate. To less than one foot tall it spreads out laterally easily 8′ wide in 7 years. The distinctly oak shaped leaves on this shrub emerge deep red before settling to green. All the while it is producing red upward facing “toothbrush” shaped flowers. These appear from February to August primarily but can pop off occasionally year round. All together it forms an amazing ground cover shrub that features fantastic foliage and flowers in a bold tapestry display. Cold hardy to a bit less than 10ºF- it appreciates successively colder frosts to harden off for its ultimate frost resistance. Full sun to part shade in average, well drained soil. Light summer water increases the growth rate- and it can zoom once established. Avoid crowding from other plants- it seems to require good air circulation. Excellent performance on gravel mulch. Large rock garden plant or hot slope cover. Protect young plants from temperatures below 15ºF- it can burn the foliage. Hardiness increases with establishment. The very short trunk emerging from the ground can be surprisingly stout- several inches in diameter. Cover with  frost cloth- held down for wind protection during extreme arctic events. Drought adapted when established. A protected location. One of the coolest shrubs we can grow. A naturally occurring hybrid from the Blue Mountains. Excellent around and over boulders which add radiant heat during extreme cold. Should only be attempted in the mildest gardens.

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Hakea epiglottis

Beaked Hakea. Out of this world wiry shrub from Tasmania that forms nearly a tree with modified stems that serve as leaves. Fast growing see through plant that casts no shade for full sun and average to poor well drained soil. Proteaceous- avoid fertilizers and compost. Completely drought adapted needing no supplemental water. Forms a large piece of architecture. In early spring tiny sulphur yellow flowers crowd the leaf axils and emit a sweet clove fragrance. Very easy to grow. Cold hardy to 5ºF but avoid blasting subfreezing winds from the gorge. Completely deer resistant. To 8′ x 6′ in 5 years. Specimen, unusual hedgerow. Excellent cut material for groovy bouquets. Very fun to grow. Pronounced HAY-kee-uh.

 

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Hakea microcarpa

Unusual tree/shrub from alpine areas of Australia into Tasmania with spiky modified phyllodes as leaves. The spiky leaves are blue green and it forms an airy conifer like large plant very quickly. In spring flossy white flowers crowd the blue green leaf axils and are showy for several weeks. Full sun and average to poor well drained soil. Little summer water once established. Fast growing in youth to its ultimate size. Cold hardy for us to 5ºF but avoid exposure to subfreezing winds. Proteaceous- do not fertilize or even add compost. Un amended native soils are ideal. To 9′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. Great on slopes. Casts no shade- great textural element year round. High deer resistance. Very unusual plant- out of the ordinary and cool. Pronounced HAY-kee-uh.

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Lomatia fraseri

Fascinating small tree that is one of the largest members in this genus. This Proteaceous tree harbors interesting irregularly toothed linear leaves and masses of  sweet anise scented curly, ivory colored flowers in mid summer. Moderately fast growing evergreen tree to 18′ tall and 7′ wide in 10 years in our climate. Full sun to high overstory shade is ideal in average, well drained soil. Light supplemental summer water speeds the growth of this elegant plant. Grows on average about 1′-3′ per year. Sophisticated in all its parts it resents soil that is overly enriched (avoid compost) and fertilizer, instead it relished our own unimproved native soils. Simply double dig a wide area before planting to allow oxygen and ease the travel of new roots into virgin soil. Very drought tolerant when established. Avoid exposure to blasting subfreezing east wind. In those zones locate on a west or south facing aspect. Grown for several decades it has never been common in our area. Native from the mountains to the rain forest verges in SE Australia. Cold hardiness increases substantially with age. In time it forms a handsome somewhat conical shaped tree of delightful texture.

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Lomatia myricoides

River Lomatia from the mountains of Australia is an elegant shrub in our gardens. Long irregularly toothed blue green leaves give the whole evergreen shrub a soft mein. In late spring clouds of ivory white fragrant flowers foam between the leaves. To 11′ tall and forming an arching vase shape. Full sun and average soil. Avoid fertilizers and compost as it is a Protea. Light summer water. Very graceful. Avoid blasting subfreezing winds with some protection, trees, house walls. Long grown in the PNW but still rare.

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Lomatia polymorpha

Wonderful and deliciously fragrant clusters of relatively large white flowers wave above long thin evergreen foliage in early summer on this tough shrub. Proteaceaous plant native to Tasmania where it is unoriginally known as Variable Leaf Lomatia or Mountain Guitar Plant. To 8′ tall in 7 years and about 4′ wide. Full sun and average to poor soil. Regular summer water for the first season to establish and spur growth. Little to no summer water when established. Grows quickly when established. Always handsome- the underside of the 1″-3″ long leaves are covered in rusty fur. Best on a warm south facing slope, mix with Arctostaphylos or Grevileas (which also appreciate NO supplemental fertilizer or compost). Best in unimproved native soils. Double dig a wide area around the hole incorporate oxygen into the soil and allow water and roots to penetrate. Lomatias are classy evergreen shrubs that we are lucky to be able to grow. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy to 5ºF. (Lo-MAY-shuh)

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Lomatia tinctoria

AKA Guitar Plant from Tasmania. Still can’t tell why its called that. Perhaps the shape of the finely divided leaves? I dunno. Awesome shrub though that only reaches about 4′ high and 3′ wide in 7 years. In mid-late spring amazing 1′ long spikes rise and unfurl a multitude of curly ivory colored flowers. The effect is pure Monet. Compact evergreen for poor to average well drained soil. Little to no summer water when established. Does not do shade, of any kind. Do not try. Best sited in a protected location- against a south or west facing wall for instance. Elegant thing. Thanks, Tasmania.

Photo credit: Loree Bohl (Danger Garden)

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Telopea x ‘Braidwood Seedlings’

Waratah of Australia, this extraordinary shrub produces some of the most alluring flowers in the flower kingdom. A tall growing evergreen shrub with handsome leaves. In spring and often again in late summer crown shaped flowers emerge purple and open to circular red flowers at the branch tips. These are seedlings of Telopea x ‘Braidwood Brilliant’ which is a hybrid selected for excellent cold hardiness for the cut flower trade. Protea- which means you should avoid fertilizer and too much compost. Rich to average soils- pure loam is ideal in a protected location in full sun to part shade. Avoid reflected heat. Light summer water. Not the easiest shrub to establish but the care and patience are worth it in the end. Cold hardy to approximately 5ºF. Protect from subfreezing wind. Amazing cut flower that lasts for weeks in a vase- if you can spare a stem. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.  To 12′ x 8′.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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