Abelia x grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’

Compact and very flowery this form of the dependable Abelia fits into smaller areas and perfumes the late summer to autumn gardens with masses of small white flowers. To just 4′ x 4′ in 7 years for full sun to light shade and most soils. Drought adapted when established, it will also accept regular summer irrigation. Slow growing and cold hardy evergreen. Following the massive bloom, the calyx of each flower remains and turns madder red. A second season of showiness. This dense shrub retains its good looks for year without needing much pruning. Pruning should be done in early spring. Blooms on wood from the current season.

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Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Marianne’

Improved selection of the Chinese Lantern Plant- which is actually from South America, and this form has larger more flared yellow petals. They extend and recurve from the bold red calyx. This arching multi-stemmed shrub blooms almost non-stop from June to frost and often longer. Vigorous to 6′ tall and 4′ wide forming a large patch in time. The arching thin stems and skinny pointed leaves display the rows of flowers perfectly. A hummingbird delight. One of the hardiest to cold this behaves as a sub-shrub in the coldest winters- freezing back but returning boldly from the ground when the soil warms. Most winters, damage is restricted to burned tips and the majority of leaves which will drop. Plant with the base in a protected location- for instance between low shrubs to protect the crown, or near the base of a wall. Mulch if arctic (below 20ºF) weather threatens. Following a freeze the plant will look absolutely awful. Refrain from cutting it back until you see new growth emerge- either from the base or vertical stems. In any case water it consistently and heavily until you see vigorous new growth- the transformation with regular water is remarkable. So, don’t by any means give it up for dead. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. A bit tall and lanky for containers- just plan for this. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil improves both cold hardiness and speeds recovery. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.

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Abutilon x ‘Jackie O’s Lipstick’

Our selection of a really good pink flowering maple. Tubular flowers are the most ethereal soft pink, with almost sparkly silver highlights. Long-blooming open lax shrub to 4′ tall and as wide in a season. Full sun to part shade. Rich, well drained soil, regular water. Relatively hardy selection. Hummingbirds and JackieOphiles. It’s Camelot in a pot. Heh.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Abutilon x ‘Nectarine’

Larger flowers and more of them appear in pendant chains on this strong-growing floriferous flowering maple. To 4′ tall and nearly as wide in a season. A continuous supply of orange/red veined flowers from June to frost. One of the more shade tolerant selections. Regular water and rich soil. Mulch heavily if in the ground.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Abutilon x ‘Smoked Salmon’

A tender abutilon that is best considered an annual but boy howdy is it one of the best flowering maples that we’ve ever seen. Compact growing to 3′ x 3′ in a season at the largest. Profuse, huge flared pendant flowers are the color of smoked salmon on the interior and a distinctively darker orange on the outside. Its a great effect. Full sun and rich well-drained soil with regular irrigation. Excellent container plant that blooms non-stop with little intervention.  Not hardy below about 25ºF.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Abutilon x ‘Tangerine Scream’

A relatively hardy and massive blooming Abutilon that we named for its small but vivid tangerine orange flowers. A tall grower, easily reaching 4′ in the ground in a single season. Excellent in containers in full sun but be warned it gets big, fast. In the ground it has been a great performer. It requires a very protected location- between shrubs that will protect the base or near a house wall- under those conditions it will freeze back below about 20ºF but will be able to return from the base. And don’t be discouraged in spring if this plant looks dead- just water, water, water, in April-June and you’d be surprised at the vigorous recovery that will take place. It helps if it is in rich, well drained soil. Hummingbirds love it. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast where it will seldom be bothered by cold and can bloom nearly year round.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Agapanthus ‘Xera’s Cobalt’

Our own seed strain taken from the very darkest blue flowers in the Agapanthus kingdom. Prolific blooming, long lived, cold hardy perennials that require rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Full sun to very light shade. Blooms of the deepest cobalt to black rise on average to 30″ tall for 4-6 weeks in mid-summer. Completely deciduous in winter. Wonderful in the middle/back of a border and a natural with ornamental grasses and Kniphofias. Hummingbird plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Agapanthus x ‘Summer Nights’

A northwest raised cold hardy selection with deciduous leaves and the most intense deep blue  flower spikes to 28″ tall in June and July. Full sun, well drained soil and regular water. Deciduous Agapanthus (REALLY) appreciate good soil. Combine with other perennials for love, joy. Best with regular summer irrigation and annual applications of organic fertilizer. Has been a long lived, long term performer in landscapes from Vancouver, BC to Medford , Oregon. Selected for intense deep blue flower color combined with excellent hardiness to cold.

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Agastache ‘Xera Flame’

Our selection of a compact and free flowering cold hardy Hummingbird mint with intense dark orange flowers. Blooms June to October and they rise on spikes to 18″ tall. Does not flop- great for smaller spaces. Regular summer water in well drained, enriched soil. Excellent on slopes which improves winter drainage which increases cold hardiness. Full sun to very light shade. Irresistible to pollinators. Blooms appear from the same spikes all season- do not remove. Wait to cut it back until spring. Then remove dead top growth to make way for the new growth that is pushing from below.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Probably one of our very favorite bulbs and a gift from a friend w/ VERY good taste and I’m happy to say we are going to have a steady supply in the future. For the moment quantities are limited. Why so special? This is the enormously huge version of that precious blue allium caeruleum. Flower size on the species which is very available are comparable to a nickel to a quarter size. This form cranks it up w/ flowerheads the size of golf balls and larger. Spectacular. This very rare form is so superior and still charming that I’ve put it all over my garden. It needs full sun and rich soil that drains. Not difficult by any stretch- though full sun is required. and I suspect more water than I give mine. I put one in then 3, then like 9 and I had to stop myself. Sky blue orbs. This plant needs to build up some bulk to bloom, which means you need a certain amount of leaves and bulb heft for them to bloom. I say this because its possible to sell them out of bloom because they are that freaking cool. <pant, pant> Semi evergreen leaves are low, thin and pungent. Possibly deer resistant- I don’t know yet. And bunnies. Well, Bunnies suck.

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Allium schoenoprasm

Chives! Everyone needs these easy to grow, long-blooming, edible perennials in their garden. Late spring brings stems clad in rich lavender/purple flowers that are spicy and wonderful in salads. Cut back at any time and a new crop of tasty leaves will appear. To 18″ tall and forming clumps. Full sun and virtually any soil with consistent summer water. Moderate deer resistance. Often seeds around. These are easy to identify and dispatch or share with friends. A first-rate flowering border perennial as well. Winter deciduous.

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Allium sikkimense

Blue is an elusive color in Alliums but there are several that achieve that hue. This small bunch forming onion is a delight with clusters of nodding blue flower in mid-late summer. To 10″ tall a multiplying clump will spread to 1′ wide over time. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Excellent in rock gardens, the front of borders and even hellstrips. Very easy to grow herbaceous perennial that blooms for 4-6 weeks. Cute little cutflower and loved by pollinators. Winter decidiuous for full sun- no fudging here. Long lived and hardy in containers. Moderate deer resistance.

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Amomyrtus meli

Unusual Myrtle from Chile that I’ve grown for many years and though it is difficult to root from cuttings we still offer it. Glossy small leaves have the distinct fragrance of citrus when bruised. A tall rainforest tree in its home, in my garden it is a columnar evergreen shrub to 8′ x 2′ in 7 years. In early summer it produces clusters of pretty off-white flowers that are lightly fragrant too. They often turn into clusters of black berries by autumn. Slow growing in youth it picks up a little with age. Full sun to part shade in a protected location. Mine is against an east facing wall and it’s never been damaged by cold – save for a few burned tips below 10ºF. Surprising. If you are a collector and you’d like something different give this handsome shrub/tree a try. It will thrive at the Oregon Coast and likely grow much, much bigger. A water loving tree that requires regular irrigation during summer- this encourages growth and lustrous foliage. Chile.

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Anemanthele lessoniana

Pheasant Tail Grass is a clumping large arching grass with colorful surprises throughout the year. To 30″ tall and a little wider the army green arching foliage takes on dramatic orange and red tints if given just a little stress. In summer fine tawny orange/brown glossy seedheads arch gracefully within the foliage. Full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture- a little dryness and wham! You get those fiery tints. Requires a protected location in gardens, avoid full on exposure and cold winds. Its best application though is as a large graceful container subject. And the drainage adds to cold hardiness. Remove seedheads before they mature as it does like to seed around. Mulch for arctic weather. Moderate deer resistance. New Zealand.

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Anemone x lipsiensis

Delicate in appearance but actually pretty tough and long lived, this pale yellow-flowered Anemone spreads to form large colonies. To 5″ tall and blooming from March to April. Remains in bloom for several weeks. Rich, well drained soil that retains moisture. Goes completely dormant by the arrival of hot weather- still keep watering – Anemones appreciate that even though they are fast asleep. Very pretty as a color echo with golden foliage such as the acid yellow emerging foliage of Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass).

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Angelica pachycarpa

A short-lived perennial that has definitely caught our attention. Impossibly glossy green foliage appears as if someone applied a layer of lacquer. The first season, it forms a rosette of these beautiful divided leaves. The following season the whole plant rises up to bloom to 3′ tall. Giant umbels of shocking acid green are produced. A beacon to pollinators, flower arrangers, garden designers and everyone who has impeccable taste. Remains in bloom for up to two months. Average lifespan 3-4 years. Full sun to part shade in rich soil with regular summer water. Sets a LOT of seed.

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Arbutus menziesii

Pacific Madrone, iconic tree of the Pacific Northwest. Famous for its glossy, russet orange, sinuous, exfoliating bark and round, evergreen foliage. In spring, clusters of white flowers are showy and turn into vivid red berries by autumn. These are loved by birds- especially western tanagers who will quickly strip a tree as flocks move from one to the next. Must be grown from seed and it must be transplanted when small. Just the way it is. Plant it in average, well drained soil. Water lightly through the first summer in subsequent years leave it strictly alone. Full sun is best- tends to wander towards the sun in shade. Underplant with low water natives such as Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Vancouveria. Slow at first it picks up speed after about 4 years- then it can grow 2′-4′ a year. Somewhat messy tree- loses leaves in summer and the bark exfoliates all over the place too. Know this and live with it. Ours are raised from seed of trees native to our wholesale nursery site- so its a local strain. Oregon native plant.

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Arbutus unedo

This is the standard small tree form of Strawberry Tree that is so important in PNW horticulture. A good looking evergreen tree that eventually forms a rounded dense crown. To 16′ tall and a third as wide in 10 years. Excellent small patio tree- as long as you account for the prodigious autumn fruit drop. Birds and squirrels consume the fruit which is alluded to in the specific name unedo- which means ‘I eat only one.’ I know people who eat them and claim to like them. So to each their own. No denying the electric neon yellow to bright red fruit is striking September to December. White urn shaped flowers appear simultaneously with the fruits in autumn. In time the bark develops to dark brown and shredding. Native to the Mediterranean with a disjunct population in southern Ireland. Drought tolerant when established.

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Arbutus unedo ‘Elfin King’

Compact, everblooming form of Strawberry Tree with a huge attendant crop of vivid fruit in autumn. To 9′ tall and 8′ wide in 10 years in any well drained soil with light summer irrigation- completely drought adapted when established. Good looking, climate adapted evergreen native to the Mediterranean as well as Ireland. Nice specimen or small garden tree. Avoid the coldest, windiest sites. Handsome shredded mid-brown/red bark. Provide good air circulation. Quite a bit slower growing than the species. In time it develops cinnamon colored shredding bark. Locate away from paths, patios as fruit drop can be messy. A great, easy, dependable broad leaved evergreen for our climate. Related to our native Madrone. Native to Ireland down to Portugal and in to the mediterranean.  Prune in early spring if needed.

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Arctostaphylos nummularia ‘Select Form’

Stunning glossy perfectly round leaves line wiry stems on this dense, mounding, very happy low-growing Manzanita. New growth is tinted red and settles to bright green. To 2′ tall and 4′ wide creating a dense weed-suppressing dome of foliage. White flowers in spring. Very garden tolerant for full sun to very light shade. Moderately fast growing. Excellent candidate for hellstrips, hillsides, etc. Great performance at the Oregon Coast. Little to no summer water once established. Very very good looking plant. Easy to grow. Cold hardy to 5ºF. Nummularia=  coin shaped, referring to the leaves Takes a little bit of shade- especially if there is a very high tree canopy. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. The glossy leaves and dense nature of this shrub make it hard to capture in photographs.

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Arctostaphylos rudis

This little known species of Manzanita from the central California coast has turned out to be a great garden plant. Nearly round leaves cling to the winding upward pointing stems. In a short amount of time it forms a rounded, spreading shrub to 3′ tall by 5′ wide (5 years). Late winter bring profuse white urn shaped flowers- seems not to form berries as frequently in our climate. Full sun and average, well drained soil with good air circulation. No summer water at all when established. This not only gives it the neglect it adores it increases hardiness to cold in winter. Avoid, exposure to subfreezing winds… not a Manzanita for Gresham or Troutdale but in milder parts a great landscape shrub. Group with other drought adapted shrubs. Handsome smaller scale shrub for hot sunny sites. Develops shredded cinnamon red bark with time.

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Arctostaphylos x ‘Sunset’

One of the very best landscape shrubs for western Oregon. Named for the 50th anniversary of Sunset Magazine way back in 1977- its an excellent, garden tolerant manzanita. Dense growth emerges orange/red before settling to a mature fashionable army green. The stems and leaf margins are outlined in fine white hairs- an elegant detail. In spring sporadic white flowers appear. Rounded dense shrub for full sun and average to poor soils, including the most compacted. This should be a basic landscape shrub in our climate- To 4′ x 6′ it covers the ground well. A perfect candidate for such places as frying hot circular planters in a sea of asphalt. This remarkable shrub will thrive and not flinch without a drop of supplemental irrigation- and it will still always look good. May be tip pruned to encourage density if required. The shredding cinnamon/brown bark is handsome with time but the foliage mostly obscures it. Excellent cold hardiness. A truly climate adapted shrub. A xera favorite shrub that we’ve grown for close to 20 years.

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Arctostaphylos x densiflora ‘Sentinel’

Consistently one of the very best performers in Western Oregon. ‘Sentinel’ accepts many soil types and aspects with superior cold hardiness as well as disease resistance. Fast growing rounded shrub to 7′ x 7′ in 4 years. Attractive sage green leaves are held perpendicular to the red stems to avoid moisture loss. The bark exfoliates to a smooth muscular deep mahogany with time. Excellent specimen or even informal hedge row. In late winter deep pink urn shaped flowers appear in clusters and turn to russet fruits consumed by birds. Little to no supplemental water ever. Easy to grow. Provide good air circulation.

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Arctostaphylos x densiflora ‘Harmony’

A handsome, easy, and adaptable Manzanita that is a great plant for beginning gardeners. Sharp tipped bright green rounded leaves clothe stems of smooth mahogany/orange. Fast growing evergreen to 7′ x 7′ in 7 years. Average, unimproved soil that has good drainage. Even adaptable to heavy clay soils if strictly unwatered in summer. Urn shaped pink flowers change to white upon opening and draw hummingbirds. The maroon berries that follow are gobbled by birds and seldom spend much time on the shrub. Full sun to light shade and little to NO summer water. Tip prune after blooming to limit size, encourage density. As with all Manzanita it abhors crowding and should be given excellent air circulation. Dependable, hardy and easy to grow.

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Arctostaphylos x densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’

A FANTASTIC Manzanita ‘Howard’ forms an extremely handsome evergreen shrub to 7’ tall and as wide in as many years.  Striking mahogany bark is smooth with dark glossy deep green leaves. Profuse clusters of pink urn-shaped flowers appear in late winter and change to white over a period of six weeks. Maroon berries follow in summer. One of the most adaptable to landscapes, tolerates some summer irrigation but absolutely avoid boggy conditions and heat.   A fantastic performer in our climate. Excellent as a specimen, basic landscaping shrub, or even informal hedge.  Tip prune in summer to limit size and shape if required. Somewhat formal appearance year round. Very nice as an informal hedge and wonderfully adapted to steep slopes. Very good black spot resistance. Verdant and healthy year round.

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Arisaema ringens

Cobra lily or Jack in the Pulpit from Japan with exotic striped flowers in mid-spring but the bold and glossy foliage steals the show. Forming large patches in rich, WELL DRAINED soil with regular summer irrigation. Shade- protect the amazing leaves from blasting sun. They will stand prominently up to 2′ tall- triple lobed, glossy and good looking. One of the more reliable of the genus. Mix with other bold shade perennials. Mulch with compost annually. Disappears entirely in winter. A Xera favorite perennial.

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Arisaema sikokianum ‘Silver Leaf Form’

We sowed the seed and I’ll be damned if hundreds came up. This remarkable form of one of our favorite Jack in the Pulpits. Deep brown hoods host an interior spathe of pure white It looks like a little ghost rising up. Adorable. The large trifoliate leaves on this form are marked on the interior with a zone of silver. All together a fantastic look for a woodland perennial that requires deep, rich, well drained soil and ample summer moisture. Shade. Emerges late in spring- be patient and the way the bulb grows underground it means that it can wander a bit each year. Multiples when happy to form clumps. Completely winter deciduous. To 20″ tall.

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Asclepias tuberosa

Common butterfly weed native to the central parts of the continent makes a striking long blooming perennial in our gardens. To 2′ tall flat cymes of brilliant orange flowers appear in July and re-bloom until frost. Emerges late – not until May and then rockets out of the ground and almost immediately commences blooming. Fantastic plant for all pollinators. Remarkably showy perennial for very well drained soil- try a slope and deep but infrequent irrigation or add a few handfuls of pumice to the planting hole. Mine thrives in the heat and rigors of my hellstrip. completely deciduous in winter.- its good to remember where you planted it. Butterflies, Oh the god damned butterflies.

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Begonia boliviensis

This species is one of the progenitors of modern Tuberous- non-stop Begonias. In of itself a tough perennial that if you are patient will make an appearance year after year. To 1′ tall (slightly taller) angel wing shaped bold green leaves are a wonderful backdrop to the masses of striking orange/red flowers that appear from July to October. Each of five petals recurves as it opens to an elegant effect. Very easy to grow as a container plant. To over winter simply let the plant die back in late autumn and move the container to a sheltered site. Mine goes against the wall of a covered outside patio and in 15 years I’ve never lost a plant. Grows surprisingly well in the ground in well drained rich soil in part shade. Be aware that returning plants emerge late – Often not showing their presence above ground until mid-June. Best with an annual application of organic fertilizer. Regular water, but never permanently boggy. Excellent performance in our climate. The outrageous amount of flowers produced make this plant a regal winner.

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Begonia grandis ‘Heron’s Piroutte’

Cold hardy Begonia that we love as a dependable and pretty late blooming perennial. Large wing shaped leaves have a reverse of light red. In late summer to early autumn to 30″ tall upright plants produce pendant clusters of pink/off white very showy flowers. Rich moisture retentive soil in part shade to shade. Great long lived plant for borders, shady glens. the shadows of ponds. Disappears entirely in winter. On occasion bulbils that appear in the leaf axils will detach and produce new plants. Move easily or share with friends. Not bothered by snails/slugs.

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Berkheya purpurea

Fascinating daisy from South Africa with intensely thorny, conspicuously ridged stems and throughout summer a long display of large light purple to white daisies. The interior of the flower is much darker than the petals and provides great contrast. Each 4″ wide flower faces outwards and is easy to see. To 30″ tall from a slowly spreading clump. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Drainage is important but so is good care during summer to establish an extensive root system. Excellent on sunny slopes. Add a yearly application of compost to spur vigor and blooms. Full sun to very light shade. All together a very spectacular perennial. Worth the effort to make it happy. Very unusual cut flower. Completely winter deciduous. Rated as zone 6, In our observations over the years it is more like the low end of zone 7. Mulch in autumn. Moderate deer resistance.

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Berlandiera lyrata

The so called Chocolate Daisy of the great plains we love for the sweet chocolate scented yellow daisy flowers in summer. Forms a rosette of humble green leaves and then repeatedly in summer it sends up the wonderfully scented flowers on long stems to 1′ high. Full sun and well drained soil of average to rich fertility. Regular summer water encourages more bloom but it takes dry conditions when established. Rock gardens, gravel gardens, borders, containers. To 18″ wide when happy. Full all day sun. Lifespan: 3-5 years in our experience in Oregon. The yellow petals surround a soft green center- makes a nice scented cut flower.

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Blechnum penna-marina

Antarctic Water Fern is a low creeping evergreen ground cover fern for moist shady sites. To just 5″ tall the new fronds emerge a bright red before settling to soft green. The pointed finely divided leaves overlap densely creating a cover that blocks weeds. Slowly expands up to 3′-4′ wide when really happy. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer water. Avoid compacted dry clay- does not like. Easy to grow in woodlands, Excellent performance under large shrubs. Avoid hot sun. Good small scale shady ground cover. High deer resistance. Chile.

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Blechnum spicant

Deer fern is a lovely native evergreen clumping perennial that is invaluable in wild areas. The tiered upright and then settling to horizontal mid green glossy fronds are handsome all the time. To 2′ wide and 2′ tall (when fronds are emerging). Rich, moisture retentive soil high in organic matter. Light summer water in part shade to shade. Familiar fern of the Oregon Cascades but very widespread. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.

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Boorinda angustissima

Little leaf clumping Bamboo has risen to the top as one of our favorite Bamboos. Rapid growing with culms shooting quickly to 10′ tall, they then become clad in masses of tiny mid-green leaves as the culms begin to leaf they slowly sink down. The effect is a a wide spreading fountain. The clump increases painfully slow though and the 1/2″ culms crowd together at the base. Part shade to shade in any well drained soil. Extremely drought adapted for a bamboo. Though it does not run you must give it a wide berth to arch. Amazing texture of green fountains. Culms are purple upon expanding. Light summer water. Protect from reflected heat of hot walls.

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Callistemon ‘Wetland’s Challenged Mutant’

A great great introduction from the Sequim, WA nursery Desert Northwest. Incredibly showy in bloom this easy to grow shrub produces 4″ long 1″ thick moonlight soft yellow colored brushes in late spring and early summer. Moderately fast growing shrub to 7′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. The pretty, fine foliage is an exceptional ochre green and contrasts beautifully with the light taupe colored bark.This is an exceptional shrub out of bloom as well and has a very upright, tidy habit for this genus. From a distance a mature shrub appears like a Podocarpus. Full sun and average to rich soil with light but consistent summer water. Drought adapted. Considering the size of the brushes this is an exceptionally hardy Callistemon taking 5ºF when established. If there is any confusion about which species this appears to be- the foliage is unlike C. pityoides. but the large brushes are dense and fragrant just like that species. A hybrid is likely. Great shrub, thanks Ian.

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Callistemon pityoides 'Excellent' xera plants

Callistemon pityoides ‘Excellent’

This form of alpine bottlebrush has flowers that truly are excellent. Fine grass green needle like foliage on a spreading shrub to 5’ tall and 6’ wide. In early summer to early autumn 3” yellow bottlebrush flowers decorate the stems. Woody seed capsules that follow persist on the branches. Blooms on wood from the previous year and then sporadically on new growth. May be damaged below 10ºF but has recovered fully from much lower and has actually bloomed fantastically the following spring. Full sun and adaptable to many kinds of soil including heavy clay. Occasional summer water encourages growth. Wonky twisting habit is fascinating. Like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Callistemon viridiflorus

One of our very favorite shrubs that combines unusual foliage, beautiful bark, and a great flower color. Upright growing with small scimitar shaped forest green leaves that  line the wand-like stems. In cold weather this unusual shrub takes on maroon and purple tones, a great foil to the very light tan stems and trunk. In May 4” long by 1” wide chartreuse/yellow bottlebrushes protrude from the tips of the branches shoot out at every angle. In Tasmania where it is native it follows cold air drainages, proving that it requires at least some cold for good flower set. This clone is from a specimen that survived 0ºF in 1989. FULL sun and any soil with occasional summer water. My own receives no irrigation and performs beautifully. Hardier to cold in full sun. Unusual shrub that seems to bridge the aesthetic gap between broad-leaved evergreen and conifer. (Syn. Melaleuca virens)

 

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Camellia x ‘Black Magic’

If you’ve never been to the Camellia festival at the Portland Japanese Garden in Feb/March you really wouldn’t know that there are fantastic Camellias out there (not just the raw hamburger colored doubles that you see in front of every house). We got this amazing cultivar there and we are always on the lookout for the very true reddest Camellia. This is one of those. Glossy bright green serrated leaves make a wonderful upright growing shrub to 8′ x 4′ in 7 years. In February-April semi double huge true deep red/black flowers appear- they are profuse over the whole plant. Full sun to shade in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer water to establish then a bona fide low water plant. Woodlands, Ann Amato’s garden. Wonderful color early in the season.

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Camellia 'Spring Mist' xera plants

Camellia x lutchuensis ‘Spring Mist’

Exceptional C. lutchuensis hybrid that imparts sweet fragrance to the profuse semi double blush flowers in late winter to early spring. Extremely heavy bloomer the smaller flower cluster in groups along the boughs- quite unlike other Camellias with a massive display . These sprays of fragrant flowers weigh down the boughs and the whole shrub is covered in blooms.  Grass green matte foliage is a handsome backdrop to the small (3″) but profuse bloom. Part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil with adequate drainage. Not as tolerant of full sun as other Camellias.  Consistent summer irrigation ensures a larger flower set. To 6′ x 4′ in 6 years. Tough and elegant. Takes dry shade very well and still blooms profusely.

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Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’

HUGE. The flowers on this Camellia are HUGE. Semi-double pink flowers are up to 5″ across. Don’t diss pink. No other flower does pink quite like Camellias. ‘Brigadoon’ is a spectacular hybrid that blooms for the last month of winter and the first two months of spring. Clean, glossy, deep green foliage is handsome at all times on a dense growing shrub to 8′ x 4′ in 6 years. Grows about 1′ per year. Full sun to part shade to quite a bit of overhead shade so long as it isn’t oppressive. Huge amounts of buds open to these voluptuous blossom. Excellent cold hardiness enduring temperatures just right below 0ºF with no damage. Excellent resistance to subfreezing gorge wind- it would be a great windbreak to stop that arctic blast. Flowers fall completely off of the shrub never clinging and turning brown. Easy, long lived, climate adapted shrub.

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Carex praegracilis

Meadow Sedge is found primarily in meadows and grasslands east of the Cascades. An evergreen fine textured clumping sedge that is gracefully employed in mass plantings, lawn substitutes even freeway margins. Very adaptable plant for average soil with regular water for best appearance. It will make due with conditions that are much less optimal. To 14″ tall but bending immediately in a cascading motion that mimics movement by wind – even when its still. Forest margins, riparian sites. Very useful plant with good winter presence. Full sun to very light shade. Oregon native plant.

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Carex tumicola

Foothill Sedge is commonly found from the central Willamette Valley south into California. A tightly clumping sedge with medium green foliage and 8″ wiry stems with attending flowers that are tan in spring/summer. In our region this plant can be found in upland situations where it is moist for at least half the year. Its also diminutive and almost hard to find in the wild. Under cultivation its an entirely different beast. Clumps are dense but expand with a pronounced weeping habit. To 8″ tall x 18″ wide for each individual plant. Good massed or as a lawn substitute. Takes mowing if its limited to once a year. Regular irrigation keeps it green and happy. Summer drought sees blades of tan as well as green and not so verdant. It does not run nor become a seeding pest- sticking surprisingly to itself. Plant on 1′ centers for a modern, mounding effect. Takes clay soils well. Water regularly to establish the first summer then taper off (continue watering if you want it to stay staunchly green).  Combines well with perennials including native perennials such as  Checkermallow (Sidalcea) and, Ranunculus occidentalis (Western Buttercup), as well as Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon) are found in closely related communities with this plant. Full sun to light shade, or high overhead shade. In California it is also known as Berkeley Sedge.  Oregon native plant.

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Caryopteris incana ‘Dark Blue’

We grow this species from seed because it produces such an opulent display of intense blue flowers late in the season. Whorls of flowers are absolutely irresistible to pollinators when it blooms from late July to September. A mostly herbaceous species that dies to the ground. Much more dense and compact plants than other Caryopteris which we find kind of sparse and weedy. To 2′ tall and as wide. Full sun, rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Takes drier conditions in rich soil. Mulch in fall. Cut back dead tops in spring when you see new growth begin. Aromatic. Bee’s, you plant it for the big ol black wooly bumble bees.

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Catananche caerulea

Cupid’s Dart is a simple to grow and wonderful perennial that blooms non-stop all summer long. The papery blue flowers with a deeper blue center attract all kinds of pollinators and are a specialty of Butterflies. Clump forming plant with tall wand like stems that support the flat flowers. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Full sun and a host of soils that are sharply drained. Regular summer water though it makes due with dry conditions when established. Highly deer resistant.

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Ceanothus ‘Concha’

Big and arching evergreen shrub that becomes an unbelievable sea of ultramarine blue flowers in April. To 8′ x 8′ very quickly in full sun and well drained soil. Amenable to clay if unwatered in summer. Once established NO summer water at all. Grows quickly to its ultimate size give it room. Leaves burn below about 12ºF but recovery is rapid in spring and seldom sacrifices blooms. Give this rapid growing shrub room to grow. Completely drought adapted in our climate. One of the most stunning wild lilacs ever released.

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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Oregon Mist’

Greg and I found this distinctive form of Coast Blue Blossom in the wild. This species ranges from Lane County, Oregon to Santa Barbara County, California. A fast growing seral species that follows fire and disturbance. Very near the location where we discovered this handsome small tree was to the largest Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ever discovered in 1925- it was nearly 30′ tall. This is a large and fast growing evergreen tree with copious amounts of scintillating flowers.  It has smaller deep green leaves and huge trusses of soft turquoise flowers in late April to early June. A tall growing tree/shrub that attains heights of 15′ very quickly if allowed. This drought tolerant native takes very well to pruning too- which should be done after blooming. Full sun and average well drained soil- including clay soils. Little to no summer water when established. Excellent for use as an instant screen or informal hedgerow. Pretty in the background of dry borders. Loved by bees and butterflies in bloom. Very easy to grow native evergreen shrub that should be used more. Life span 15-20 years. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Ceanothus var. roweanus ‘Cynthia Postan’

One of our favorite wild lilacs with flowers as deep blue as any and great glossy dark, evergreen foliage. Not as big as Concha it is a large shrub none-the-less. To 5′ x 7′ and spreading. In April to May masses of intense cobalt blue flowers open from showy red buds. Amazing floral display that draws bees and pollinators from 5 counties around. Full sun and average to poor well drained soil. No summer water when established. Hardy to 5ºF and any winter damage that occurs (below 10ºF) recovers quickly and still blooms prolifically in spring. Excellent for no-water wild areas, for large hellstrips, sunny hillsides. The roots fix nitrogen and though its lifespan is but 10 – 12 years on average it enriches the soil in a wonderful way. Great shrub for a new garden. Avoid subfreezing wind.

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Ceanothus x deslilianus ‘Topaz’

Possibly the darkest blue flowering cultivar that blooms in the summer. This hybrid is technically supposed to be deciduous but for us it never has been. Large panicles of cobalt blue flowers erupt from the current seasons growth in June to July. Remove spent flowers and more may follow. To 5′ x 3′ in average to enriched soil with REGULAR summer water. Good drainage. Easy to resize as it blooms on new wood, it may be cut to as low as 18″ in early spring. Black seed capsules follow the flowers and persist until birds relieve them of their contents in autumn. Excellent in borders, as a specimen, or informal hedge-row. Not as drought adapted as most of the genus. This plant is best with consistent moisture through its bloom period- not boggy (ever) but consistent. Remarkable flower color- moody, deep indigo.

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Ceratostigma willmottianum ‘Xera Sky’

A cool sub shrub that covers itself for months in dime sized sky blue flowers. The intensity of the color is hard to capture- it must be experienced. Forms a rounded wiry shrub with diamond shaped wavy small green leaves. To 2′ x 2′ in a season. Full sun, and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Freezes to the ground below about 15ºF- re-sprouts form the base in spring. Great in containers. The better the drainage the hardier this extraordinary plant will be. Provide a warm position and mulch in autumn. Once it has been established through a winter it is a fairly permanent plant. Some deer resistance. Do not cut back until you see new growth in spring- then remove all damaged stems. Great in hot sunny borders. Regular summer water.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Chionanthus virginicus

American fringe tree has never been common in our region. And to be honest I have never grown it and the experts that I know have given me conflicting reports. So, 3 years ago when my neighbors planted them as street trees, I was intrigued to see how they actually did in our climate- in a stressful situation too. The results are excellent. Not only does it cope with no summer water, it seems to get enough heating calories here to bloom, and bloom like crazy. Petaloid puffs of white foam above and below the branches in May/June. Its a spectacle. To 18′ tall and less than half as wide in 10 years. I’d certainly recommend not only full sun but a warm position AND reliable summer irrigation. Loves heat. Fall color is almost non-existent which will immediately damn it with landscape architects. I, however, heartily endorse this wonderful small, deciduous tree from the American S.E.

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Cinnamomum checkiangense

Excellent, sophisticated, graceful and cold hardy evergreen tree that thrives in our climate. Large, green pendant leaves are marked with  three prominent veins. New growth in spring emerges bright coral red before changing to mid green. Horizontal branching structure in tiers displays the handsome foliage very well. In late spring curious little white/green flowers amuse but are hard to spot. Fast growing straight trunked tree to 25′ tall with a spread half as wide. The crown is conical shaped but becomes more spreading in time. Excellent cold hardiness as well as adaptation to ice and snow. We love this unusual member of the Lauraceae. It should be planted often.

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Cistus x obtusifolius

Compact white rockrose is a fantastic hybrid that gives this shrub several outstanding attributes. A dense compact habit heavily clothed in small deep green leaves. To just 3′ tall and 4′ wide forming a dome. This dense habit resists splitting in ice and snow. From May to July a massive constant procession of pure white flowers. Often bloom is so heavy that it obscures the foliage. Each flower lasts just a day but is replaced by a seemingly never ending supply. In autumn the spent flower calyxes turn bright orange red and are showy- especially when backlit by the sun. Great landscape shrub for hot sites in any well drained soil that does not become boggy. Avoid overly enriched soils for a more cold hardy and dense growing plant. Easy Cold hardy to near 5ºF. Little to no summer water.

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Cistus x platysephalus

Excellent performance- including superior cold hardiness and incredibly floriferous is why we grow this moderately large spreading Rockrose. Grass green linear foliage in dense and always fresh on an upright and spreading shrub. Grows in tiers which is pretty and displays the copious single white flowers well. Flowers appear daily from May to July. To 3′ x 5′ and low and spreading initially then lifting itself up gradually. Excellent cold hardiness. We’ve tried many, many Cistus planted out at our Wholesale Nursery site in Wilsonville- at least one zone colder than the city of Portland. This carefree shrub has sailed through 5ºF multiple times with NO DAMAGE and thrives in clay soil on a hillside with absolutely no summer water. As with all Cistus avoid overly enriched soil and too much summer water. Neglect is this tough shrubs friend. Moderate deer resistance. This is confused in the trade and may also show up from time to time as ‘White Gem’- its not.

 

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Clarkia amoena ‘Dwarf Pink’

Farewell-to-spring is a common wildflower of meadows and glens in Western Oregon. It gets its name because it is often the last wildflower to bloom before the summer drought ends the show. This form differs by its pure pink profuse flowers on a dwarf plant. (The wild form is lavender with a red blotch in the center of each petal.). An amazing display of bloom that appears as if someone dropped a bouquet on the ground. You see no evidence of leaves when its in full fettle. Blooms June to October in a garden setting with regular summer water and rich soil and the gardeners diligence removing spent flowers. Reseeds in open disturbed soil.  to 10″ tall and a little wider forming a dome. Nice cut flower. Fun variation on a native. Very attractive to native pollinators. True hardy annual. Oregon native plant.

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Clarkia amoena ssp. lindleyi

Farewell to spring is so called as it is one of the last flowers to bloom before the onset of summer drought. 2′ tall strong stems support cupped pink flowers often with a darker pink to red blotch in the center of each petal- which is extra showy with a back drop of straw colored grass as it is going summer dormant. Found in open, sunny, somewhat dry meadows and fields throughout the Willamette Valley. Blooms appear in late May to July but a light application of water will keep the display going. Otherwise you can let it go to seed. A prolific reseeder in the right conditions. Often planted in wildflower mixes along streets/freeways. Excellent, excellent cut flower. A very important pollinator plant for native bees as well as most pollinators. This is the straight species (subspecies) that is found locally. The seed is from a Willamette Valley source. Very easy to grow. Locally native in the city of Portland. Oregon native plant.

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Farewell to Spring is so called because it is one of the last conspicuous native wildflowers to bloom before the onset of summer drought. Often seen in mass populations waving above the already cere grass. Blooms May-July normally, but a little supplemental water and removing spent flowers will continue the show. Otherwise it will die upon setting seed. The 2′ tall stems support multiple pink cup shaped flowers. Most often with a darker pink/red blotch in the center of each petal. These assist in guiding pollinators and this plant is a prime source for all native bees and butterflies. Excellent cut flower that lasts for quite a while in a vase. This is the sources species of all the fancy cultivars that are raised in the cut flower trade. Reseeds happily in open disturbed sites. Locally native in the city of Portland. Excellent plant for wild areas and is often employed on road cuts and freeway embankments in deliberately sown wild flower mixtures. Oregon native plant.

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Mountain garland is a hardy annual native to the mountains of southern Oregon south into the Sierra Nevada in California. Sparkling white crape-like flowers line tall upright stems on this plant that can be small in poor soil and soar in rich conditions.  Size can be difficult to determine based on this…an average of 1′ tall is probably safe. Blooms continuously from May to as late as August if supplemental light water is supplied. Excellent among perennials such as Penstemons, Erodiums, Salvias, Cupheas. Sets copious seed for the following season and these will be white as well. Leave open disturbed sites in your garden to supply next years crop. Excellent cut flower as well and loved by Butterflies. Very easy to grow.

Oregon native plant 

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Collomia grandiflora

Wild Phlox is a native hardy annual that occurs from the prairies of the Willamette Valley to the sage brush country east of the Cascades. Clusters of flowers open sherbet orange and then fade to white for a multi colored effect. Adaptable plant that will occupy any open disturbed site. Reseeds prolifically. To 2′ tall. Cute cut flower. Nice native to let wander your garden. Low water. Locally native in the city of Portland. Oregon native plant.

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Cotula ‘Tiffendel Gold’

Low evergreen South African ground cover with 3″ high ferny medium green foliage that densely covers the ground. Beginning in May and repeating heavily through summer wiry stems to 6″ tall are topped by petal free gold rayless disks. Little bobbles. These flowers age to a darker color giving a sea of these curious blossoms extra color depth. Cute little cutlfower that lasts. Vigorous grower that covers ground quickly in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Avoid compacted dry soils- it will die out. Excellent weed supresssing ground cover. Good looking year round. Cold hardy to 0ºF. One 4″ pot can cover 2′ x 2′ in a season and beyond. Moderate deer resistance. Not really a whole lot here they can even get to.

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Crinodendron patagua

Chilean Lily of the Valley Tree or Evergreen Snowbell- both descriptive common names for this unusual tree from South America. Fast growing evergreen tree that looks superficially like a live oak. In mid to late summer relatively large pure white waxy bells appear and line the stems like small bells. The bottom of the waxy bloom is deeply serrated. Cool. To 16′ tall and half as wide. Often forms multi-trunks if you don’t want this then diligently prune it until you get one sturdy trunk. Do not site in the direct path of subfreezing east wind- a south or west exposure will do in windy areas. Easy to grow tree that gets by with a minimum of water in summer once established.

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Cuphea micropetala

Groovy Cuphea that we grow as an annual. In mild winters and with good drainage this rainbow of a plant may over winter. Either way its a long, long blooming plant from June to frost. Spikes appear continuously holding tubular shaped flowers- they begin yellow and age to orange for a multicolor effect that yields a dramatic show. To 10″ x 1′ forming an expanding clump. Full sun and rich well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Best on the edge of a container where the spikes which protrude nearly horizontally will showcase the flowers. Loved by hummingbirds, bumble bees and just about any pollinator. Remove spent flower spikes to encourage more. Very easy to grow. Mexico.

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Cupressus sempervirens ‘Totem’

A superior form of Italian Cypress that is thinner and more resistant to ice and snow. The foliage is forest green eschewing the blue hue of the more common ‘Glauca’. To just 10″ wide it rises to 16′ tall in a fast growing spire. Full sun (which means all parts of the columnar tree from top to bottom should receive full sunlight) and poor to average, unimproved soil. Avoid overly enriched soil which causes fast rank growth which can make the tree unsteady. Its adapted to the very poorest soils which ensure measured, sturdy growth. Our favorite form of this useful disease and pest resistant columnar tree. Cold hardy.

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Cyrtomium falcatum

Japanese Holly fern we love as a great fairly large evergreen. Large glossy fronds extend to 2′ long in a substantial rosette. Part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Very heat tolerant- but requires shade. Excellent container fern- great winter appearance. High deer resistance. Mass under shrubs, in woodlands for a great texture and year round good form.

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Delphinium nudicaule

Brilliant orange/red tubular flowers each with  two spurs on the rear of the flower. They appear to be swarming around the green wiry stems that support them. To 20″ tall, blooms rising from a basal rosette of leaves. Blooms May-July in Portland. Somewhat tricky southern Oregon native wildflowers that needs a bit of care and correct siting to establish and become perennial. Rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Native to very steep slopes and cliffs with excellent drainage but with groundwater in the form of seeps near by. Wild areas, gravel gardens for the ultimate wildflower effect. Established plants will often re-bloom if spent flower spikes are removed. Hummingbirds. Moderate deer resistance. Oregon native plant.

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Diascia ‘Blue Bonnet’

We’ve found this remarkable perennial to be perfectly hardy in our climate and it offers several outstanding features. Columns of overlapping cupped pink flowers are profuse and as they age they take on ghostly blue tints. The effect is greater in hot weather and gives this spreading perennial bicolor pink/pale blue flowers for months. To 18″ tall and steadily spreading to more than one foot wide in time. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water is ideal, but we’ve noted its stellar performance in un-amended clay as well.  Blooms continuously for months beginning in May and if the flowers become tired it may be sheared, watered well, and perhaps given a little all purpose fertilizer to start the show again. Winter deciduous. Excels in containers. Excellent on slopes, the front of borders, rock gardens, hell strips. Ethereal flowers combine deliciously with variegated moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’) and deep purple Penstemon ‘Enor’ for similar cultural requirements and a season long display.

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Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gigantea’

5′ spires of condensed tubular rusty orange/brown densely line the stems of this perennial foxglove in late spring into summer. From a basal rosette of corrugated mid green foliage they rise and delight pollinators and floral arrangers alike. Really cool mixed with wispy ornamental grasses. Full sun and average to rich soil with light, regular summer water. Long lived for a foxglove. I once had one persist in my garden for 15 years! Very dry adapted when established. Basal clumps increase annually and therefore so do the numbers of spikes. Supremely deer resistant as all Digitalis (we’ve expanded our offering of this genus for that very reason). Semi-evergreen. May reseed in open disturbed soils. Seedlings are easy to dispatch, move, or share with friends.

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Digitalis lanata

Wooly foxglove is a vigorous and indispensable perennial for areas ravaged by deer. Native to the mountains of Greece it sends up remarkable 3′ spires with fascinating intricate flowers. Each spikes is tightly packed with small tubular flowers that have a brown/amber netting pattern on the outside. In the front of the flower a prominent white lip protrudes. The symmetrical effect of all these flowers is grand and individually reminiscent of an orchid. Part shade to full sun in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Forms spreading rosettes to 2′ across in a short amount of time. Semi-evergreen in winter. Supremely tolerant of deer browse- they rarely even mess with this stately easy to grow perennial. Average lifespan 5+ years. The mid green handsome leaves are finely coated in white fur.

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Digitalis obscura

One of our fave foxgloves, this (sub)shrubby species forms large spreading plants with multiple spikes of the most amazing flowers. 2′ spikes support tubular orange flowers with an interior of russet brown and more intricate markings. An excellent candidate for hot sunny slopes as it is native to the Iberian peninsula. Full sun, well drained soil and light summer moisture. Reseeds happily in open disturbed sites and those seedlings can be dispatched, moved, or shared with friends. Spectacular flowers appear in spring and continue into summer. High deer resistance. Average lifespan of an individual plant is 3-5 years. Dry borders, gravel gardens, exposed areas with voracious deer. Wonderful plant.

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Disporopsis pernyi

Handsome and useful evergreen lily relative for woodland gardens. To 20″ tall and arching each stem is lined with large green leaves. In early summer the whole stem is clad in white pendant bell shaped flowers. If you greet them up close they have the surprising fragrance of jasmine. Spreads slowly to form substantial colonies. Staunchly evergreen with great winter presence. Rich, moisture retentive woodland soils suit it. Its adaptable to very dense shade and there it can take remarkably dry conditions. Mix with Danae, Polystichum, Aspidistra. Not sure about deer resistance. Please let us know.

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Disporum cantonense ‘Night Heron’

Amazing perennial that is a great release from the former Heronswood Nursery. A tall growing evergreen fairy bells that emerges in spring with new growth dyed distinctly black- stems and leaves. They eventually turn to a medium green in summer. White the new growth unfurls its bearing small green/white bell shaped flowers. The effect is sublime. To 4′ tall ( or taller) it rises up to a finely divided scape of leaves in an arching fan construction. Excellent perennial that may be cut back to the ground in late winter to showcase the dramatic new growth. Woodland conditions, rich, humusy soil with regular summer water. Great in containers. Resistant to slugs and snails. I have not tried this perennial in deer land so I’m not sure how it would fare. Please let us know if you have experience with that.

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Dracocephalum austriacum ‘Fuji Blue’

Immensely showy perennial that puts on a stellar mid summer show of soft blue relatively large flowers. Spreading to 2′ wide in full sun and rich well drained soil this mint relative sends 18″ spikes of outward facing light blue tubular flowers in June-July. Loved by pollinators and gardeners alike. Easy to grow plant that is cold hardy and long lived. Great for blazing hot hellstrips, sunny rock gardens, the front of borders. Light summer water- becomes surprisingly drought tolerant with age. Completely winter deciduous.

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Epilobium (Zauschneria) ‘Bowman’

Possibly our second most popular California Fuchsia cultivar as it is more upright but also a free and early bloomer. To 20″ tall the fine green leaves that line the stems make the brilliant orange tubular flowers stand out. Blooms early August to October and spreading underground by stolons to form expanding colonies. To several feet wide- give it room. Ideal in full sun, well drained soil- or on a slope which will further assist in drainage. Brilliant flowers are a beacon to Hummingbirds. Completely drought adapted and requires little if any summer water. Long blooming western native perennial.

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Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’

Petite deciduous barrenwort that forms compact patches of low green foliage. It emerges tinted in amber and turns to green as the multiple wiry stems support clouds of opalescent lavender flowers. The spurs that radiate out are tipped in white- delicious. Part shade to shade in woodland conditions. Rich, hummusy soil and regular summer water. Blooms appear from late March to early May. Fall color is tawny orange. Completely winter deciduous.

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Epimedium x ‘Aurora’ (Xera)

One of our selections of a hybrid barrenwort with stunning sunset colored flowers for a long period in spring and often into early summer.  Pendant star shaped flowers are orange and red with white tipped spurs. Easy to grow evergreen clumping perennial for part shade to shade. Rich, moisture retentive soil with consistent summer water. Mulch annually with compost to drive vigor, health. New foliage emerges amber with darker red flecks throughout before settling in to medium green in summer. To 14″ x 14″.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Epimedium x ‘Domino’

Can’t help but love the excellent performance of this exceptional barrenwort. From pretty scimitar shaped green leaves rise wiry stems supporting clouds of star shaped flowers. The center of each flower is plum colored and the extending spurs are crystal white for a great bicolor effect. Extraordinarily long blooming from March well into summer- and sometimes longer if it feels like the weather has been perfect. Semi-evergreen to evergreen but we heavily advocate cutting the whole thing to the ground in February to make way for a fresh new year. New foliage is heavily mottled in red before settling to mid green. Part shade (open north exposure like the cool north side of your house is fantastic too) to shade in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Spreads to several feet wide in several years. A truly great, long lived Epimedium that is very pretty all around. Moderate deer resistance.

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Epimedium x ‘Golden Treasure’

One of our very best Epimedium introductions. Incredibly floriferous hybrid with golden yellow almost shiny flowers with a bright red cap on top. They appear in clouds above the foliage from March to June. New foliage is amber colored before settling in maturity to soft green. Evergreen but we think it looks much better if you remove the tattered foliage from the previous season in February- cut it to the ground to make way for a fresh new season. Blooms very heavily and they are vivid enough to spot from a distance. Vigorous clumping perennial for part shade to shade in rich, well drained hummusy soil. Regular summer water will spur repeat bloom  but once established it easily endures summer drought. Avoid hot sun. to 20″ tall in bloom making a clump about as wide. Moderate deer resistance.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Epimedium x ‘Hinode’

Our own selection of a barrenwort with amazing sunset colored flowers. In fact ‘Hinode’ is Japanese for sunrise. The orange/red/pink/yellow adorable nodding flowers are born above the foliage on slender wiry stems. Blooms March-May. New foliage is mottled in amber and madder red before settling to medium green. Evergreen selection. Remove the winter tattered leaves in February prior to new growth. Clump forming to 1′ wide after 5 years. Full shade to part shade, not fussy about soil- avoid compacted dry clay soils. Regular summer water increases growth and maintains the plants luster. Woodland wonder.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Epimedium x ‘Kym’s Gold’

This was found in the garden of our wonderful garden writer friend Kym Pokorny. Its a superior selection with profuse star shaped gold flowers with an amber collar around the lower petals. New growth is dramatic madder red  with darker splotches before settling to a soft medium green. The new foliage color in combination with the flowers yields a very sophisticated plant. Clump forming evergreen perennial for part shade to shade. Rich, well composted soil with regular summer irrigation sends this cultivar into a wonderful place. To 18″ across and 1′ tall in bloom. Remove winter tattered leaves in February to feature the new foliage/flowers. Epimedium are resistant to slugs and not often bothered by deer.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Epimedium x ‘Peter Rabbit’

Special barrenwort selection with some of the largest flowers in the genus that we grow. Arching flowers are pastel white and yellow and appear most profusely around easter time. Long long blooming from April into July. Tightly clumping perennial for RICH, well drained soil with regular moisture in part shade to full shade. New growth is mottled in red before settling to medium green handsome leaves. Plant with Omphalodes, Primula sieboldii cvs. and Vancouveria chrysantha.  To 10″ tall and clumping.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Epimedium x ‘Supernova’

Something about the clean lines of the hot yellow flowers topped with a symmetrical bright red cap recalls a miniature explosion in space. Wiry stems to 14″ support clouds of this starry flowers from late March for and extended period well into summer. New growth is mottled with maroon over an initial hue of amber before settling to soft glossy green. All together this is a great performer for part shade to shade in rich to average well drained soil. Regular summer water not only refreshes these tough shade plants it will spur them to increase. The rewards often are not apparent until the following spring. Cut away the evergreen foliage in late winter to reveal the new years flower as well as highlight the pretty new growth. Good deer resistance. Spreads moderately fast to form a clump 20″ wide in 5 years. Nice cut flower as well. Very easy to grow.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Epimedium x ‘Yubae’

A large growing deciduous barrenwort that bears large spectacular dark pink flowers in conspicuous clusters atop the bold foliage. New growth emerges soft amber pink before maturing to soft green. Foliage to 20″ high and up to 2 1/2′ wide and flowers taller than that. Rich, moisture retentive soil in woodland conditions. Blooms appear from March to May. Part shade to shade  with regular summer water. A unique flower color for Epimediums. Completely winter deciduous.

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Epimedium x grandiflorum ‘Pierre’s Purple’

A really good purple flowering barrenwort with new foliage that emerges deep purple and accompanies the mid-violet colored flowers that have spurs tipped in white. A really good effect on a sophisticated long lived perennial. To 1′ tall and 2′ wide in rich, moisture retentive soil. Add a layer of compost annually and water regularly through the dry summer months. Completely winter deciduous. One of the best purples that we’ve grown. Easy plat.

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Epimedium x warleyense

Very pretty thin spreading Epimedium with soft amber new growth accompanying spikes of fairly large amber orange flowers with a soft yellow center. To 20″ tall in bloom the new foliage on this mostly deciduous perennial settles in at about 1′ tall. Spreads underground and not compactly. Give it room in a woodland to roam. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer water. Part shade to high overhead shade. Easy woodland perennial for spectacular early spring effects. Moderate deer resistance.

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Erica terminalis

Tree heathers fascinate us and this widespread species of southern to northwestern Europe makes a fantastic, drought adapted garden plant. Fine needle like green foliage lines strongly vertical growth. In mid summer the tips of the stems produce many urn shaped pale pink blossoms that are showy for up to 6 weeks. Following the bloom period these remain on the shrub and turn a russet color adding to its charm. To 3′ x 3′ in 4 years. Full sun and well drained average soil with light summer water to establish. Once you have it going it requires no supplemental water. Great for dry areas, gravel borders, hellstrips. Excellent fine textured shrub that develops a shredded gnarled brown trunk with time. Moderate deer resistance.

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Erigeron glaucus ‘Bountiful’

Such a long, long, blooming tough and dependable native this forgiving perennial outshines all other cultivars in the size of each flower. The many rows of glowing lavender petals that characterize this fabulous perennial outline nearly 2″ wide flowers. They begin in earnest in late May and proceed unabated until early autumn. If the flowers become tired or scorched simply cut it back and wham! You’re quickly back in business. Adaptable to many soil types and will subsist on only natural rainfall but occasional deep soaks in summer reaps rewards. To 10″ tall forming a round perennial to 18″ wide. Full sun,  to very light shade. Pollinator masterpiece. Oregon native plant. 

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Erigeron karvinskianus

Santa Barbara Daisy or Mexican Fleabane. You choose. Either way its a great long long blooming perennial that thrives in our climate with good drainage. Masses of 3/4″ wide daisy flowers that open pink and then change to pure white. All the stages of color are present at once making it much more interesting. The fine, almost hazy texture that the daisies produce lightens borders, rock gardens and even containers. To 8″ tall x 2′ wide in a season. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light, regular summer irrigation. The more well drained the site the hardier to cold..thats why you often see it growing in walls or rock gardens. Its a fantastic long blooming carefree container plant as well. Completely winter deciduous. It also seeds around lightly. Very pretty, airy perennial native to Mexico. Full sun.

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Erodium x ‘Stephanie’

One of the most outstanding cultivars of the larger Cranesbills. Fine, dense, frilly aromatic grass green foliage makes a tight pie sized low clump. From spring and continuously to fall 6″ stems produce multiple pure white flowers. The upper two petals have a central blotch of inky black. Very cool effect. This is an easy to grow low maintenance perennial for full sun, well drained soil and light to little summer water. The front of borders, rock gardens even troughs. Seldom without flowers. Evergreen. A really pretty, floriferous perennial.

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Eucalyptus archeri

Alpine Cider Gum from high elevations in Tasmania has proven to be one of the reliable species of Eucalyptus for our region. Juvenile (young) growth is perfoliate and very very light gray blue- this is the foliage used as popular cut material. The tree may be cut back nearly to the ground regularly to retain this foliage- The tree must be established at least a year before you do this. Otherwise the adult foliage is totally different. Bright green and elongated leaves with a round tip hang densely on an upright growing nice looking tree. Eventually, the bark becomes amazing with pink and gray striations. Blooms in early spring with white flowers. Extremely fast growing tree to 35′ tall + that is a great evergreen garden tree. Good looking year round. Handles ice and snow like a champ- shedding snow and bending under ice without breaking. Full sun and rich to average soil with regular summer water through the first year. High deer resistance. Hardier to cold with age.

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Eucalyptus kybeanensis

Excellent little multi-trunked hardy Eucalyptus that we love for its height, graceful foliage, and handsome bark. To just 15′ tall after many years it grows quickly when young. The 3″ long medium green glossy leaves are thin and slightly curved. In winter the interior twigs are lined with wispy white flowers in clusters of six. Seldom sets seed in our climate.  Excellently adapted and scaled for urban gardens. Very graceful and pretty year round. The leaves are held by vivid red petioles and cut material from this tree is excellent- if somewhat limited from size and slower re-growth. This small tree forms multiple trunks- no single trunk ever happens, and the bark is a soft glossy taupe. Very pretty tree. Related to and included in the category Snow Gum. Hardy without damage to just below 10ºF- and likely much lower.

 

 

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Fabiana imbricata ‘Violacea’

Chilean heather is not a heather at all rather it is in the solanum family- its related to tomatoes. Tubular violet purple flowers smother the very fine scale like foliage from late spring well into summer. In bloom its a pretty effect that attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators alike. Fast growing evergreen shrub for poor, unimproved well drained sites. To 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 5 years. Prune after flowering if you need to resize contain. Cold hardy and adapted to the poorest soils….its native on sand. Very drought adapted, little summer water when established. Excellent deer resistance. Flowers have a pervasive honey-like fragrance- and they look like miniature purple honey combs too.

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Fatsia japonica

Classic PNW shrub False Japanese Aralia as it has been called is a bold, tough, evergreen shrub for part shade to shade. Moderately fast growing to 7′ x 7′ in 7 years. Part shade to shade in rich to average well drained soil. Regular summer irrigation or none when established. Takes dry shade like a champion. Long lived shrub for bold effects in woodlands, large landscapes. Cold hardy and good looking year round. In time it forms stretching trunks with the foliage clustered at the tips. Takes well to hard pruning which should be done in late spring- water well after doing so. Large divided spikes hold white orbicular flowers in autumn. Seldom sets seed in our climate. Moderate deer resistance.

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Filipendula palmata ‘Variegata’

Obscure large herbaceous perennial that finds a happy home in the rich soil and regular moisture of woodlands and margins. To 5′ tall the handsome palmate leaves are edged in white with occasional splashes in the interior. In mid summer plumes of foamy white flowers tower over the plant. Very pretty. Completely deciduous in winter. In time it forms large patches. Woodlands, the back of the border, perpetually wet areas.

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Fremontodendron x ‘San Gabriel’

For people with HUGE gardens that they don’t want to water but still require a floral show there is this west coast native Flannel Bush to occupy beautiful space. Fur covered maple shaped leaves are deep green on top with a reverse of tawny brown. Avoid this fur it causes dermatitis and you don’t need that. Rapid growing evergreen shrub for full sun and poor soils and absolutely NO summer water. That can lead to root molds and death and at the very least rank growth that does not harden for winter cold. Instead neglect and stand back as this 15′ x 15′ monster of the Chaparrel produces a two month parade of 4″ wide cupped gold flowers. A large specimen in full bloom causes the heart to stop. Nice espalier too. Moderate deer resistance. Neglect is the flannel bush’s friend.

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Fuchsia ‘Dancing Stars’

Adorable Fuchsia that is a prolific bloomer. Widely spreading diagonal stems support curtains of pendant small flowers. The sepals and floral tube are white and the corolla is violet purple. Each flower provides its own contrast but in masses they are beautiful. To 2′ x 3′ in a single season in rich, moisture retentive soil with good drainage. Regular summer water. Apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in mid-spring. Dies to the ground in the first hard freeze, resprouts from the base in mid-spring. Great container Fuchsia. Apply a thick mulch of compost for the first autumn and plant deeply for added winter protection.

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Fuchsia ‘Galfrey Lye’

Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! This extraordinary hardy garden Fuchsia produces masses upon masses of long tubular flowers. The floral tube and sepals are white and corolla is deep rose with distinct orange tints. To 2.5′ tall and as wide in a single season. Heavy bloom begins almost immediately and continues unabated to frost. Excellent container Fuchsia and in the garden give it rich soil that is moisture retentive but drains. Incorporate plenty of compost into the soil and add a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. Mulch the first winter and plant deeply to protect the crown. Once established it is reliably hardy. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF. Returns in mid-spring from the base and almost immediately starts blooming. Regular summer water. Full sun to part shade. (Avoid the reflected heat of a wall). Excellent performance on open north exposures where there is bright light but protection from intense heat/sun.

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Fuchsia ‘Preston Guild’

Excellent hardy Fuchsia with very pretty flowers. The sepals are white with a bit of green on the tips. The corolla emerges purple/blue and fades slightly to violet. Upon opening the sepals slowly open and then gracefully recurve over the top of the flower. It reminds me of origami. Very upright growing plant to 2.5′ tall and just 18″ wide in a season. Constant bloomer from June to frost and beyond. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF and returns vigorously from the base in spring. Plant deeply for extra winter protection for the first season. Mulch with compost in autumn. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. Regular summer water in full sun to part shade to quite a bit of shade. Easy garden Fuchsia with lovely flowers. Hummingbirds, bumblebees, be-sotted gardeners, big containers.

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Fuchsia ‘Ravenslaw’

Cool name for a cool garden Fuchsia. To 2′ x 3′ in a single season. The large, single flowers are “selfed”. That is both the sepals and corolla are the same color of soft red. Very profuse blooming and the large flowers have exceptional grace. Cold hardy, easy to grow Fuchsia that is also remarkably heat tolerant. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, moisture retentive soil that drains. Regular summer water speeds growth and enhances bloom. Plant deeply for added winter protection in the first season and mulch with compost the first autumn. Add a handful of all purpose organic fertilizer in spring- Fuchsias dearly love fertilizer. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF, resprouts vigorously from the base in spring. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring. Very cold hardy. Full sun only with regular summer water. Avoid reflected heat.

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Fuchsia ‘Thomasina’

One of our favorite garden Fuchsias for its unique flower color and prolific blooming habit. Sepals are terra cotta orange with green tips and the corolla is rich auburn red. Very nice. To 14″ x 2′ in a single season. Excellent container Fuchsia where you can match the cool flower colors for a great effect. Part shade to high overhead shade in a cool position. Rich, moisture retentive soil with mulch in fall. Dies to the ground with the first hard freeze and returns quickly from the roots in spring. Plant deeply to ensure greater winter protection for the first season. Fuchsias adore fertilizer- give ‘Thomasina’ a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. They also respond heartily to liquid fish emulsion. Blooms June to frost.

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Fuchsia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’

Fuchsias don’t have to be over the top with huge double flowers the size of wadded up tissue. Nope. This is one of the very best and it makes due with profuse all white flowers- the tips of the sepals are dipped in green. Vigorous hardy Fuchsia that reaches 4′ x 4′ in a single season in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Full sun (but with regular water and no reflected heat) to part shade. Masses of pendulous flowers appear from June to October. Loved by hummingbirds. This light airy sub-shrub combines perfectly in lush borders or as a single stunning specimen. Dies to the ground below 20ºF- re-sprouts from the base vigorously in spring. Easy, hardy, beautiful.

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Gaura lindheimeri

So so many new cultivars of this easy to grow free flowering perennial. And you know what? Some of them don’t even bloom that well and the color pink….a little nauseating. WE love the straight species and grow it from seed each year. Spreading rambunctious perennial with 3′ wands of five petalled white flowers. Full sun and virtually any soil- it can get really wild in rich soil, beware. Native to sand dunes on the barrier islands in Alabama/gulf coast but it loves it here. Begins blooming for us in late May and goes non-stop for months. If it gets tired or ratty simply cut the mother all the way to the ground, water it and wah lah there you go. Light summer water. Pollinator friendly perennial that has great drought adaptation when established. To 3′ wide.

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Geranium phaeum ‘Lily Lovell’

An older cultivar of the shade loving mourning widow geranium. Lily is set apart by deep purple blue large nodding flowers. To 28″ tall and forming an expanding clump of handsome serrated leaves this perennial requires protection from bright sun to really perform. But avoid dense shade, so we’ll say high overhead dappled shade or part shade. Grows in any soil but appreciates some amending to start out. Regular summer water. In rich soil it requires less. Blooms appear in late summer and pop off and on all summer. Really pretty color on an old fashioned but tough shade perennial. Not bothered by snails and slugs. Oh, thats why we love Geraniacae.

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Geum ‘Blazing Sunset’

Gems are so useful for us because they virtually laugh at heavy clay soils and still perform. But better is rich amended soil and they will bloom- in the case of this cultivar almost non-stop through the heat of summer. 2′ tall divided spikes yield fully double large brilliant orange red flowers. Opulent but with a wildflower charm at the same time. A big ol branch of flowers makes a great cut flower that lasts for ore than a week. Full sun to light shade and regular summer water. Remove spent flowers to encourage more- and there will be quickly. Forms a substantial patch in a few years. Very long lived perennial. Match with blue flowered Salvias for a thrilling visual bonanza. Completely deciduous in winter.

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Geum ‘Herterton Primrose’

Elegant spring blooming perennial that is very graceful, understated but beautiful. From rosette of lush leaves it sends up branched stems at the end of each is a soft primrose colored nodding flower from a madder red calyx. Wonderful. It remains in bloom and actually re-blooms from early April to early June. To 18″ tall in bloom and forming a patch several feet across. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular summer water is beneficial. Excellent and fun cut flower. Adapted to clay soils as many Geums are and a great reason to grow them in Western Oregon. Winter deciduous.

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Geum ‘Mandarin’

A very pretty British selection of this spring blooming perennial. Tall stems produce large single ruffly solid orange.flowers. Multiple flowers are born on one stem. To 2′ tall and forming  a patch as wide. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Full sun to very light shade. Very easy long lived perennial. Wonderful flower color brightens spring borders beginning in April and extending to early July. Not bothered by pests or disease.

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Gilia capitata

Globe Gilia or Bluefields is a widespread wildflower from British Columbia to Baja. To 20″ tall and forming a substantial plant very quickly. From April to July and sometimes longer  these striking sky blue flowers appear and rise on tall stems displaying the orbs of flowers.  If you apply light consistent water and remove the spent flowers they can re-bloom. Otherwise, they persist until hot weather and then set seed and die.  Studies at  OSU on native pollinators ranked this #1 as their source for pollen/nectar. That alone gives you reason to include this re-seeding plant in your garden. Rich, to average disturbed sites are ideal. It often grows and self sows in the disturbed slopes of road cuts, dry hillsides. In the garden it LOVES good conditions and will be much larger, bloom longer, with flowers of a darker hue of blue. A great wildflower for the garden that makes a sweet cut flower. Loved by pollinators of all kinds. Wild areas, hell strips, dry gardens. Easy to naturalize if you contain the competition from other plants. Locally native in the Portland city limits. New plants germinate in autumn and overwinter happily.  Oregon native plant.

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Gilia tricolor

Bird’s Eye Gilia is a showy and delicate appearing but tough hardy annual from the central valley of California into the Coast Ranges as well as Sierra Nevada foothills. To 6″ tall each stalk bears multiple gorgeous purple to white flowers with a distinct dark eye. Give your pollinators a treat this diminutive plant will bloom for 4-6 weeks in late spring to summer in our climate. Give it open disturbed soil without competition form invasive grasses to complete its life cycle, where it will reseed with abandon. Lovely little west coast native annual for sunny, wild sites. Good in containers for a brief but brilliant wildflower display. Excellent in parking strips where it will love the reflected heat. Light consistent water until its time to go quietly to sleep. Good drainage helps.

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Glumicalyx gosseliodes

Nodding Chocolate Flower. An unusual hardy perennial from very high elevations in South Africa. A spreading- trailing evergreen plant to 1′ x 1′ in a season. In summer above the rubbery stacked foliage dense groups of bud open to nodding orange flowers. The back of the slightly tubular flowers is pale cream- a nice dual color effect. Up close it pumps out the fine fragrance of chocolate. Blooms for about one month. Full sun and rich to average, well drained soil with regular summer water. Works well in containers and you have a better capacity to enjoy the flower fragrance. Easy to grow little perennial of great grace and it will often self sow when happy. Easy to grow.

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Grevillea x ‘Constance’

This is an important hybrid that is among the best known in the United States of G. victorae x G. juniperina. A wiry rounded shrub with thin twisted green leaves that are rolled at the margins. Throughout the year a constant procession of orange/red flowers decks the whole frame. Loved by hummingbirds. To 7′ x 7′ in 7 years in average, well drained soil in full sun with little water once established. Not the hardiest Grevillea and has been superseded by cold hardier and superior varieties- such as ‘Neil Bell’. It is, however, an excellent evergreen shrub for the milder coastal regions. In Portland it is relegated to the warmest urban areas in protected locations. Easy fast shrub that you should protect from subfreezing wind inland. There are enormous specimens on the northern Oregon coast that adore that climate and it is naturally adapted to sandy soils. High deer resistance. Loved by hummingbirds. Prune to contain and maintain a compact habit. Hardy to about 13ºF- or slightly less hardy than ‘Canberra Gem’. Very floriferous.

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I selected this seedling because it is  smaller growing but with relatively large VIVID orange flowers. To 4′ x 4′ in 6 years. Wavy curved leaves are olive green with a white underside. Blooms nearly year round once established. This selection requires a protected location in inland western Oregon but it absolutely thrives and loves the Oregon coast. Full sun and well drained soil with good air circulation. Water to establish then none required, very, very drought tolerant. An absolute magnet for hummingbirds and over wintering Anna’s find it a special treat. Do not amend the soil, native unimproved soils are ideal. For heavier soils plant on a slope. Established plants may have 1/3 of their mass removed following a blooming session. This will not only make a denser plant, it will also spur it to bloom even more. Moderately deer resistant.  All hail DAVID BOWIE!

Xera Plants Introduction

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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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Halimiocistus x wintonensis ‘Merrist Wood Cream’

For flowers alone this is the most spectacular Rockrose. A cross between Halium and Cistus produced this remarkable low spreading evergreen shrub to 2′ tall and 3′ wide. In April to June 2″ cream colored single flowers, the base of each petal is a maroon blotch Flowers appear daily for weeks. Attractive felted sage green/gray foliage is handsome even out of bloom.  Full sun and well drained lean soil.  Little or no water for established plants. Tip prune after flowering to shape. Protected location. Excellent performance in Hell strips. Amazing flowers.

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Hebe decumbens

Decumbens= decumbent which basically means crawling on the ground. Good looking decumbent Hebe with dark army green glossy round leaves outlined in red. They are attached to black stems- wonderful contrast and depth to this easy ground cover for full sun to part shade. Just 8″ high an individual plant can cover an areas 4′ x 4′ in several years. Rich, well drained soil with light consistent summer irrigation. Avoid boggy soils as well as dust dry and compacted. Loose and friable and this Hebe will surpass your expectations. Clusters of white tinted blue flowers appear in summer. Not a total all out floral display but more random which is kind of nice. Cold hardy, disease resistant and long lived for a Hebe. Great dense evergreen ground cover.

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Excellent selection of a long and fantastic summer blooming perennial. We’ve shied away from this genus because it does like regular water to look its best. That having been said, where you see our native Helenium bigelovii, it sits in riparian zones and along the edge of permanent and intermittent streams and in wet meadows. This selection is an exciting color break. Developed, chosen, and named at Rogerson Clematis Gardens here in Lake Oswego, OR. They obviously don’t just do Clematis- but if you have never been its one of the premier gardens in our area. Hardy perennial to 30″ tall from an expanding fairly dense clump.  In a season or two it reaches about 1′ across at the base. Wonderful flower color that is sumptuous and it blooms for many weeks. 4-6 weeks in late July, August, and early September. Excellent cut flower and it has a perfect scale for the middle of a well irrigated border, in full sun and rich soil. Loved by pollinators- and perfect for butterflies to land and feed. Long lived and winter deciduous.

Xera Plants Introduction (Via Rogerson’s Clematis Garden)

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Helianthus bolanderi

Serpentine Sunflower or Bolander’s Sunflower. Who doesn’t like sunflowers? I don’t know about you but they make me smile. There are several native sunflowers but this one is the cream of the crop. Native east of the Cascades in S. Oregon and extreme N. California this wonderful plant shines on the most difficult soils. Known as Serpentine Sunflower – Serpentine soil is a special substrate full of heavy metals- zinc, iron, copper. It prevents many plants from growing. Widespread especially in Southern Oregon into California, where this soil reaches the surface it produces zones of very specialized plants- they LOVE the harsh conditions and poor nutrients and tolerate the toxic elements. It can be quite a transition in plant communities from normal soil to serpentine- in just a few steps. This lovely annual sunflower though is EASY to grow in average to enriched soil- It handles just about everything so long as there is full sun. To 3′ tall and forming multiple spikes of 3″ electric yellow flowers with a contrasting black center. Amazing cut flower and if you remove flowers it will encourage more . Nice long stems for summer bouquets. And a pollinator madhouse. Blooms June- October- one of our longest blooming native annuals. Forms a mutibranched plant with shining flowers sticking out in all directions.  Light consistent irrigation in summer. Makes a fantastic hedge of flowers in summer. Re-seeds in open disturbed sites. Moderate deer resistance. Easy to grow. Oregon native plant.

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Helleborus x ‘Apricot Blush’ Winter Jewels ®

One of our favorite strains of Hellebore hybrids by the O’Byrnes at Northwest Garden Nursery. Single, large flowers are blushed apricot, russet, to almost orange. Blooms January-April. Vigorous plants. Regular summer water in well composted soil in shade to part shade. To 2′ x 2′.  Great deer resistance.

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Hemerocallis ‘Betty’s Pick’

One thing we know about Betty, she was obviously something of a size queen. We LOVE this unusual dwarf daylily that exhibits HUGE outsized startlingly beautiful flowers for 4-6 weeks early to mid summer. To just 14″ tall the outrageous yellow/chartreuse and mauve flower explode open and stretch to 6″ across. Its unbelievable . Forms a spreading clump with mid-green arching strappy leaves. Screams to be at the front of a border or where the context of the huge flowers can be appreciated. Full sun to light shade and rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular water through the bloom period enhances the already outrageous display. Completely winter deciduous.

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Hemerocallis ‘Demetrius’

HUGE pale yellow flowers are amazing on this re-blooming compact Day lily. Flowers are each 5″ wide and open born on a 2′ tall x as wide perennial. Blooms June-August. Winter deciduous. Full sun and regular summer water. Not deer resistant. But hardy and long lived.

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Hemerocallis ‘Elizabeth Salter’

Billed as a re-blooming Day lily it really does. Huge, opulent coral pink flowers to 4″ across open for weeks in midsummer. Compact growing cultivar to 30″ tall and forming a clump as wide. Amazingly soft flower color. Very showy in bloom. Huge flowers rise just above the foliage. I’ve had some re-bloom at the end of summer in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Drought adapted though and little water will likely not result in re-bloom. Semi-evergreen variety. Easy, long lived spectacular day lily for borders, general landscapes. The flowers are sweet and edible.

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Hemerocallis ‘Pearl Cove’

We don’t grow many Day lilies. To be honest they are kind of done. But we have chosen a half dozen that we think add a lot to a garden. This variety is not only subtly beautiful with complex soft colors, it will often re-bloom through the summer if given ideal conditions. What are those? Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular, dependable irrigation through the hot months. The 3″ flowers have hints of cream, golden yellow, soft pink and even apricot. Delicious- as they are edible too. A long lived perennial that forms an expanding clump to 2′ tall and more than two feet wide. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Loved by butterflies. A good looking, long lived, trouble free plant. Completely deciduous in winter.

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Hemerocallis citrina

A good friend of ours who is a day lily savant told us that we had to have this plant. So adamant was he that he sent us a good sized clump. Holy cow was he right on. This is a large elegant perennial with elongated light yellow flowers that have a POWERFUL sweet citrus blossom aroma. The scent ramps up greatly at night and can be detected many feet away. Tall growing species as the flower scapes rise to almost 5′ tall. Each one holds multiple flowers. They close a little during the day but in the afternoon they slowly yawn open and POW! Here comes the perfume. Grassy foliage rises to about 2′ and a clump gets very large in rich, well drained soil with ample summer moisture. Full sun to very light shade. Give this big guy room to shine. Blooms for us July to September. Completely deciduous in winter. Big thanks Duane.

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Heteromeles arbutifolia

Toyon. One of the most widespread shrubs in California this plant also known as Christmas berry ranges right up to the Oregon State line and appears just inside our border. Large evergreen shrub with finely serrated large green leaves. In late spring flat clusters of white flowers appear- they are pretty but nothing compared to the brilliant red berries that follow and ripen in early autumn- remaining showy through winter. Most often they are eaten by birds. AKA Hollywood this shrub is where that city got its name. heh. Fast growing to 13′ tall by 10′ wide in 10 years in our climate if left strictly unpruned. Slightly tender it requires a protected location. Most large established specimens I’ve seen around Portland are placed on the west or south side of large trees. They get the protection of the overstory and it shields them from the coldest winds. No water or regular water- either way, very adaptable shrub that really likes cultivation. Small tree in time. West coast native evergreen shrub for the mildest gardens. Oregon native plant.

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Hibiscus syriacus ‘Diana’

Bred and released from the National Arboretum this is perhaps one of the very best hardy Hibiscus shrubs for our climate. Enormous pure white flowers up to 4″ across  begin in July and repeat until October. This cultivar was selected not only for its blooming power but for its lack of ugly seed heads. To 8′ tall by 4′ wide in 6 years. Full sun and deep but infrequent irrigation in summer improves performance. Moderately fast growing deciduous shrub that will handle quite a bit of drought once established. Fall color is yellow to non-existent. A very showy shrub at a great time of the year. Opulent large tropical like blossoms. Shrub borders, with Crape Myrtles whose bloom is simultaneous. This superior variety can be difficult to locate. We’re going to change that.

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Holodiscus discolor

Ocean Spray is a well known shrub west of the Cascades. It occupies dry woods in part shade to full sun. Large and spreading it displays foamy white clusters of flowers in early summer. They age to a tan color before falling apart. Handsome small scalloped leaves are very pretty and turn yellow to orange in autumn. To 9′ x 7′ very quickly in virtually any soil type. Extremely drought adapted when established- but amenable to light irrigation in summer. Wild look for wild areas, match with native perennials. Often suckers to form patches and it is common for seedlings to show up around the parent plant. These can be moved when young or dispatched. Birds adore the dried seeds in winter. Pretty native in the Rose family. Moderate deer resistance- but sometimes they attack it if it is newly planted so protect. Winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.

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Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Excellent huge flowering Hydrangea that is the best selection of this species. Globular pure white flowerheads are up to 10″ wide. Upright growing shrub that blooms on NEW wood, which means it can be cut to the ground to resize in early spring. This will also increase the amount of blooming wood. To 5′ x 5′ in 5 years in part shade and rich, well composted soil with regular summer water. Flowers remain and fade to acid green for a continuing effect. Winter deciduous.

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Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Munchkin’

Fantastic smaller scale Oak Leaf Hydrangea that is also a very heavy bloomer with large cone shaped flowers that are up to a 1′ long and protrude in every direction. Densely branching plant to only 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Flowers have a light fragrance. Large leaves take on pink to red tints in late autumn. Flowers too that remain age to rich pink. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular summer water. This extraordinary release from the National Arboretum allows this wonderful multidimensional shrub for smaller gardens. Somewhat brittle when young. Site accordingly.

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Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sike’s Dwarf’

Useful smaller Oak Leaf Hydrangea that maxes out at 5′ x 5′ after 6 years. Large lobed leaves are medium green changing to maroon/red in fall and holding on to the foliage until mid-winter. Cones of true fuzzy cream flowers subtended by larger sterile white florets. Full sun to light shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Blooms on wood from the current season, may be cut back hard in early spring to control the size. Very easy to grow, long lived shrub with many seasons of interest.

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A really cool form of Oak Leaf Hydrangea that I picked up in North Carolina. Full double thick, dense white flowers appear in place of the lacier form of the species. The dense cones of flowers appear on sturdy stems in late June and are effective until September. They are exceptionally showy as well as long lasting. Large, deciduous shrub for full sun to part shade in rich soil with consistent summer moisture. Very established plants can get by with less. Blooms on wood from the current season. If pruning is required do it in early spring. To 9′ x 9′ in 6 years. Fall color on the immense leaves is remarkable. For all the months of fall into mid-winter purple/red/orange tones wash over the whole plant. Leaves finally abandon the shrub in mid winter. Easy to grow wonderful multi-dimensional shrub that is cold hardy and durable. Give it room to spread, you won’t regret it. Yay ‘Turkey Heaven’. Limited supply. Native to the SE U.S.

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Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Stars’

This form of the aromatic Florida Anise shrub which is native to the SE United states bears showy 2″, spidery star-like flowers of the palest pink. The entire large shrub displays these outward facing flowers in March to April and again in September to October. The flowers have an odd scent up close- mothballs or fish- but in our climate it blooms when it is cool and the odor does not carry. More importantly its a handsome broadleaf evergreen shrub with sharply pointed long leaves that have a sweet delicious anise flavor when bruised or brushed. Upright and then spreading shrub to 8′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best with light shade to shade for the deepest green foliage. Tolerates full sun as long as there is not the reflected heat of a wall. Flowers are showy from quite a distance. Excellent among rhododendrons, as an understory shrub for interest, joy. Very hardy to cold, enduring subzero readings with no damage. Nice hedge. Moderate deer resistance. Rare, cultivar. Light consistent summer moisture. Established plants are summer drought tolerant.  Easy.

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Illicium floridanum ‘Scarlet Skirts’

Florida Anise shrub is a cold hardy shade tolerant and aromatic broad leaved evergreen with exotic red flowers for long periods in spring and again in autumn.  To 8′ x 4′ in 7 years in rich to average well drained soil with regular summer water in full sun, drought tolerant in shade. Moderately fast growing and summer water speeds growth. Very hardy to cold native to SE United States. Highly deer resistant. Spidery black red flowers appear in early to mid spring and again in autumn. They turn into star shaped seed pods that become woody. Flowers have an odd scent which is barely detectable from a distance as it blooms here when the weather is cool. Hedges, specimens. Great companion for Rhododendrons in a woodland. A Xera Plants selection with larger, darker black/red flowers. Long lived.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Indigofera heterantha

Incredibly tough and beautiful deciduous shrub that is fantastic all summer with a continuous supply of spikes of deep pink pea flowers all summer. To 7′ x 5′ in 5 years in average to rich soil (where it will grow MUCH larger) and light summer water. Very drought adapted when established. Flowers are produced on new wood (growth from the current season) and as the plant grows it continually blooms. Loved by pollinators and it attracts the very coolest butterflies. Vivid flower color pairs well with dark foliaged plants. It may be cut back hard in early spring when established to provide more blooming wood, or to check the size. Very cold hardy. Purple Indigo. Moderate deer resistance.

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Iris douglasiana (Pacifica) ‘Canyon Snow’

Pretty, floriferous and reliable form of Pacific Iris that forms large impressive evergreen patches and in April/May large white flowers with a touch of yellow on the lower petal. To 18″ and spreading to form large colonies in full sun to quite a bit of shade. Virtually any soil. Tolerates summer irrigation if the drainage is excellent otherwise follow a dry summer regime. High deer resistance. Evergreen. Oregon native plant.

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Iris japonica ‘Eco Easter’

Superior form of this evergreen Japanese Iris species. Sprays of orchid like light blue/white/orange frilly flowers arch from the central clump in early to mid spring. Evergreen fan shaped foliage is good looking year round. To 18″ tall and 3′ wide. Part shade to high overhead shade in rich, well drained soil with regular consistent summer irrigation. Very long lived. This form is more floriferous with bigger flowers. Excellent cut flower. A natural for Japanese gardens. Easy to grow.

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iris lazica

Formerly lumped with the winter blooming Iris- I. unguicularis this larger form blooms later February into April. Large simple violet blue flowers appear within the large evergreen foliage. Foliage is large, one inch wide, rich green, and good looking all the time. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Very very drought tolererant when established. Low maintenance plant that works very well as a small scale year round ground cover. to 14″ tall and spreading several feet wide. High deer resistance. Long lived. Excellent in concert with Hellebores, Cardamine trifolia, and Cyclamen coum.

 

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Iris unguicularis

The winter blooming Iris or grass Iris makes us smile as the intense purple/blue flowers with intricate yellow and white markings appear sporadically from November to spring. Grassy upright green foliage offers some weather protection for the flowers which come off and on in mild stretches. Not over the top showy but the individual flowers are stunning at a time of the year when stunning is in short order. Spreads to form evergreen colonies in full sun and well drained soil. Little supplemental water once established. High deer resistance. Long, long lived perennial persisting in old gardens for decades. Place it where you can see it in the winter. Near an entrance for example

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Iris x pacifica ‘Baby Lilac’

I found this naturally occurring hybrid at the intersection of the species Iris tenax and Iris douglasiana in the southern Oregon coast range. This is a sturdy evergreen large clump forming Iris with large pale lilac flowers with intricate markings on each lower petal. Full sun to part shade in virtually any soil with little summer water. Excellent plant for wild areas. Cold hardy. Leaf clumps look excellent year round. Highly deer resistant. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Iris x pacifica ‘Big Wheel’

Astonishing flower color is one reason to love this large flowered Pacifica hybrid. Orange/coral/pink all morphed into one hue with a central zone of deep purple near the center. To 1′ tall and forming spreading clumps of evergreen foliage. Blooms April-June. The large flowers are showy from quite a distance. Part shade is ideal but endures full sun and tolerates total shade. Water regularly through the first summer to establish- the clump should increase by twice its size then none in subsequent years. Resents disturbance best left where it is to live. Great deer resistance. A very unusual color for a PCI.

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Iris x pacifica ‘Blue Moment’

How can you not fall in love with a blue iris? Its so classic. This vigorous and easy to grow Pacific Coast Iris does blue very well. The large sky blue flowers are marked in the center of the fall with more intricate yellow and black hatch marks. Large growing PCI to 16″ tall and forming imposing clumps of tall evergreen foliage. Blooms late April through May. Full sun to part shade in any soil that drains. Not fussy but dislikes standing water. Water though the first summer to establish then none in subsequent years. Evergreen foliage is nice looking- dies down a bit in winter and returns in spring. Highly deer resistant.

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Iris x pacifica ‘Meadow Pastels’

This is our own seed strain of Pacific Coast Iris. We save from specific plants and aim to include as many unusual colors as possible. Typically 1/3 are deep purple, 1/3 are amber/yellow and 1/3 are combinations of the two- whats left is the odd deep blue. Full sun to part shade in any reasonably well drained soil. Adaptable to clay. Regular summer water for the first year to establish then none in subsequent years. Blooms appear from late April through May. Height is variable but all make large clumps of grassy foliage over time. Do not disturb once established and remember that Pacific Coast Iris thrive on neglect. Excellent and wild looking cut flowers. Highly deer resistant. Xera Plants Introduction. The plant pictured is an example of an Amber seedling. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Iris x pacifica ‘Native Warrior’

Pacific Coast Iris can be dodgy to divide. You have to do it at the exact correct time in the fall just before they grow roots for the new year. Even then it takes a careful and gentle hand to produce viable divisions that will grow on and bloom. ‘Little Survivor’ must get its name from its ease of division. Either way its a fantastic PCI that begins blooming in late April and continues almost to June. Red and raspberry colored flowers are dramatic on a very compact plant to just 10″ tall. Grassy evergreen clumps of foliage do not obscure these precious flowers. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in any soil with reasonable drainage, including clay soils. Water for the first season to establish then none in subsequent years. Highly deer resistant. Long lived. Do not disturb once established. Neglect is its friend.

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Iris x pacifica ‘Rio Dorado’

Yellow is a special color for Pacific Coast Iris and this selection does a great job at producing profuse large luminous yellow flowers for an extended period. To 14″ tall and forming spreading clumps. The vivid flowers are showy from a distance and resonate with the candy-like colors of other Pacific Iris. Mix with ‘Blue Moment’ for a classic blue and yellow combination. This Iris also blooms simultaneously with the clouds of blue flowers of Ceanothus. And they appreciate the same cultural conditions- a late spring vignette that gets by on no summer water! Evergreen. Not fussy about soil. Water consistently through the first summer to establish (established Iris will double their clump size in the first summer). Then only what falls from the sky in subsequent years. Heavy bloomer in April-June. High deer resistance.

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Itea illicifolia

Holly Leaf Sweetspire is a gem of an evergreen in our climate. Holly like glossy round leaves are a wonderful backdrop to the 14″ long green chains that hold tiny flowers from July to September. Flowers are sweetly fragrant in close proximity.  Large growing spectacular shrub to 9′ tall and 6′ wide moderately fast. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Average to rich soil with regular summer water. Established plants can make due with less. A natural for an espalier. Remains in bloom for two months. Handsome shrub. SW China.

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Jasminum humile ‘Revolutum’

Amazing form of Himalayan Jasmine with larger everything. Larger leaves and clusters of larger yellow flowers with the fragrance of roses. Blooms heavily in late spring and sporadically into autumn. Fast growing to 10′ tall and 8′ wide in 10 years. It may also be trained as a vine and mixed on a trellis with blue Clematis for a wonderful combination. Train it as you would a climbing rose. Winter deciduous below about 20ºF otherwise evergreen/semi-evergreen. Full sun to part shade. Drought adapted when established. Little summer water. Moderate deer resistance. Fast and easy to grow.

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Jasminum humile ‘Sunshine’

This form of Himalayan Jasmine we chose from seed after its incredibly fragrant yellow flowers drew our attention. Smaller leaves than the species and many, many more flowers in a huge display in late spring and sporadically until frost. Fast, large growing deciduous shrub that is incredibly tough and drought adapted. Takes any amount of pruning. May be trained as vine if you are diligent. To 9′ tall and 5′ wide quickly. Excellent plant for hedgerows and tough conditions out back. Black berries follow the flowers.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Jasminum officinale ‘Affine’

Vigorous and improved selection of cold hardy Poet’s Jasmine. with new growth that emerges maroon and profuse buds that are pink that open to highly fragrant 3/4″ white flowers. Huge floral display in June and then sporadically until frost on new growth. Deciduous vine that develops leaf tones of peach before the leaves drop. Huge vine that is suitable for a pergola or very large trellis. To 15’+ tall in 5 years. Rich to average well drained soil with light summer water which helps it re-bloom. Flower fragrance is most notable in the evening and morning. Very sweet. Mix with climbing roses. Prune AFTER flowering. Cold hardy.

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Jasminum officinale ‘Devon Cream’

Amazing new color breakthrough for hardy Poet’s Jasmine. We love the clusters of pale moonlight yellow fragrant flowers that glow in clumps on this very vigorous deciduous vine. Fast growing to 15′ tall. Huge display of flowers in June followed by sporadic flowers until frost. The foliage has slight tints of gold as well. Deciduous and cold hardy to 0ºF. The soft flower color of this vine is exceptional. Very easy to grow. Powerfully fragrant flowers. A Xera Plants favorite. Twines, provide strong support.

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Jasminum officinale ‘Grandiflorum’

Vigorous form of Poets Jasmine thats distinct by having flowers that are entirely white and in larger clusters than the species. Fast growing twiner to 15’+ tall for a pergola or very very big trellis. Blooms June to frost. An initial large display in June. Medium green foliage is deciduous. In time the trunks become swollen and cork like. Powerfully fragrant flowers at night and in the morning. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy. Easy to grow vine.

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Kniphofia ‘Lightning Bug’

We selected this Kniphofia years ago for its nearly white flowers and habit of reblooming throughout summer. Flowers begin in late spring and rise to 30″ tall and continue to be produced periodically until fall rains arrive. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to re-bloom reliably. Apply an annual application of compost or all organic fertilizer to increase vigor, performance. Combines well with Agapanthus, Tulbaghia, Middle of the border. A nice contrasting bloom spike intermixed with subdued ornamental grasses. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Slowly increases its clump size. Semi-evergreen.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Kniphofia ‘Saffronvogel’

Superior re-blooming cultivar with glowing pale coral and cream flowers. Forms expanding clumps of grassy foliage and begins sending up 28″ spikes of flowers in early June. Quick repeat of flowering occurs for two more months in rich, moisture retentive soil with good drainage. Add an annual application of compost to increase vigor spur rapid re-bloom. Wonderful, ethereal flower color that is at home with pink/orange Agastache and the pale lilac flowers of Tulbaghia violacea ‘Big Violet’. Winter deciduous. Full sun to very light shade.

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Kniphofia ‘Toffee Nosed’

Stunning poker with unusually colored flowers that are a kaliedescope of colors all within one spike. Opening tinted russet brown the expanding tubular flowers senesce to pale cream. To 4′ tall in bloom and forming prodigious clumps in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer irrigation spurs rapid re-bloom which can extend well into autumn. A clump with multiple flower spikes is spell binding. Hummingbird food. A fantastic and dramatic large cut flower. Foliage is semi-deciduous. Apply an annual layer of compost and a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring to increase vigor, blooming spikes. Fantastic with the ornamental grass Pennesetum spatheolatum. And any ornamental grass for that matter. Full sun to partial shade.

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Kniphofia thompsonii var. snowdenii

Cool, interesting and actually spectacular Kniphofia that has flowers more reminiscent of an Aloe. The 4′ spikes of blooms have tubular downward facing flowers that are not clustered together but rather separate. They range in electric hues from near red/orange to yellow. Forms a grassy clump of deciduous foliage that rises to just one foot high. Spreads by runners- NOT A  CLUMPER- give it room to spread, a single plant will roam several feet in every direction. Full sun to very light shade and RICH, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Excellent cut flower and dearly loved by hummers. Emerges late in spring.

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Lagerstroemia fauriei ‘Townhouse’

Crape myrtles aren’t just about flowers we actually are even more attracted to the handsome, exfoliating bark. This selection from the disease resistant Japanese species has some of the best bark in the vegetable kingdom. Swaths of muscular mahogany, cinnamon red smooth regions create a fantastic tapestry. This is a very large growing Crape Myrtle with profuse but smaller trusses of FRAGRANT white flowers in mid- late summer. Fall color is bright orange/yellow/red and is very striking in its somewhat brief display. To 35′ tall in great age it grows approximately 3′-4′ per year when young. Bark begins to develop coloration in 2-3 years. Most often multi-trunked this gives the gardener even more beauty to stare at. Forms a spreading umbrella shape. Completely disease resistant. Best with consistent summer moisture for the first few years then only occasional deep soaks. Deciduous. A fantastic street tree with great dimensions and form. This selection – chosen for bark coloration can be difficult to locate. Beautiful tree.

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Lagerstroemia indica 'Catawba' xera plants

Lagerstroemia indica ‘Catawba’

One of the very first releases from the National Arboretum breeding program in 1967 and a fine purple flowered Crape Myrtle that has yet to be exceeded. Deep violet purple flowers occur en masse in August through October on this compact tree to just 12′ tall with a rounded crown. Full sun and rich soil with REGULAR summer irrigation to bloom. Water deeply once a week through the bloom period. In autumn the foliage takes on brilliant orange/red/yellow hues. Just as spectacular as the blooms. In time the bark exfoliates to a smooth tan. Moderately mildew resistant- give it good air circulation in an open exposure.

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Lagerstroemia indica ‘Dynamite’®

Extraordinary tree that has the truest red flowers of just about any crape myrtle. Fast growing upright then spreading tree to 20′ tall and half as wide in 10 years. Exfoliating smooth tan bark in time. New growth is deep maroon settling to mid green. In August to October this reliable bloomer is stunning with fire engine red huge trusses of flowers. This is a large tree and is already planted as a street tree in PDX. Fall color is a brilliant mix of orange/yellow/ red. Full all day sun in a hot position with regular deep irrigation to bloom. Disease resistant with good air circulation. Spectacular tree in all of its parts. Unauthorized propagation prohibited. Plant patent #10,296.

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Lagerstroemia indica ‘PDX Red’

We discovered this seedling Crape Myrtle years ago in North Portland and we were amazed that it burst into bright red bloom beginning in July every year- despite all sorts of weather conditions. Upright growing dense tree to 10′ tall and 5′ wide in 10 years. Large trusses of red flowers begin in July and peak in coverage on the tree in August. This crape myrtle must have regular irrigation to thrive/bloom and it favors richer soils than other cultivars. Water deeply once a week through its bloom period. In time the straight trunks exfoliate to glossy tan. Fall color is red/ orange. Moderately fast growing to 2′-3′ per year when young. Full hot sun and good air circulation. Avoid crowding with other plants. Pretty tree.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Lagerstroemia indica ‘Red Rocket’®

True red crape myrtles that actually bloom well in our climate are at a premium. This is one of those cultivars and we like it for several specific reasons. The flower trusses are true cherry red and huge and are held straight up. (Hence the rocket). Its best grown as a large multi-trunked tree to 20′ tall. The trunks begin to exfoliate after several years in place and show an amazing mottled deep chestnut brown and taupe display that is smooth and glossy. Unusual for both a pure indica and a red flowered cultivar . The medium green foliage takes on amazing orange/red tints in autumn before dropping and once they are off the tree- as with all Crape myrtles there is no raking. They simply dry up and almost instantly decompose. Neat and tidy. Full, hot, all day sun in a hot position in average soil with regular summer water. You must irrigate this tree deeply at least once every two weeks in summer so that it will bloom. The first flowers appear in August and extend to the beginning of October. Cold hardy and disease resistant tree. Unauthorized propagation prohibited. Plant patent #11,342.

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Lagerstroemia indica ‘Twilight’

Large growing tree type Crape Myrtle to 20’+ tall with a wide spreading crown. Reliable soft, luminous purple large trusses of flowers begin on average the first week of August in the city and repeat bloom until October. Fast growing shade tree that can achieve 3′-5′ a year when young in optimal conditions. Free blooming tree that displays glossy, muscular tan trunks when the bark sheds in mid-summer. These contrast greatly with the deep green foliage and sumptuous purple blooms. Long lived, cold hardy, disease resistant cultivar that has shown its merits for many decades in the southern U.S. but less often grown in our region. Fall color is bright red/ orange/ yellow.  Moderate disease resistance. Good air circulation- proper cultivation eliminates this threat. As with all purple flowered Crape myrtles the flowers can fade a bit after opening. When a non-fading purple Crape myrtle becomes available we will be the first to let you know. Otherwise this is a great, dependable, garden tree. Deep, infrequent, summer irrigation. Six or more hours of hot sun per day.

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Lagerstroemia x ‘Cheyenne’

One of the last National Arboretum releases in 2003 and a hybrid that includes three species.  This extraordinary small tree is perhaps the best adapted to our milder summers. To just 9′ tall after 10 years this globose tree begins blooming in urban areas as early as the 4th of July and repeat blooms all the way though September. The enormous flower trusses are a vibrant magenta/ruby red. Very free blooming with perhaps the lowest heat requirement of any Crape Myrtle we have grown. In time the bark exfoliates to a smooth chocolate brown. Fall color is  orange to red. Full, hot sun and rich soil with REGULAR irrigation (deep soaks at least once a week) until bloom. Brilliant bloomer with enormous trusses of vivid flowers. Excellent choice for cooler summer areas such as Puget Sound. Does not grow very fast as it is too busy blooming. Exceptionally disease resistant selection.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Acoma’

Underused beautiful disease resistant Crape Myrtle that is free blooming with enormous pendulous trusses of pure white flowers. To 15′ tall with a somewhat weeping habit- especially in bloom. It creates a spreading crown on a small easy to grow tree for full, all day sun and regular summer water. The crystal white large flowers appear often as early as late July in hot summers and continues unabated to about the first of October. Fall color is yellow/orange and pretty. The sinuous trunks display taupe/beige glossy bark which is just as showy. Give this wide spreading small tree room to grow. Regular summer water and rich soil yields a growth rate approaching 3′ per year when young. As with almost all Crape trees it grows quickly to its ultimate size and then it slows considerably. Excellent garden tree. National arboretum selection.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Muskogee’

One of the first hybrid named cultivars released by the National Arboretum in 1978 and a fantastic cold hardy large free flowering tree. Fast growing tree to 25′ tall and half as wide in 10 years. Beginning in late June large trusses of lavender pink flowers appear. They increase in abundance and peak in a massive bloom in August. The tall trunks exfoliate to a glossy taupe/patches of tan. Very pretty and exotic looking tree when large. There is a 30′ specimen- one of the first hybrids planted on the west coast in 1974 in SE Portland. Its a spectacular shade tree. Fall color is a brilliant mix of orange and red. Exceptionally hardy to cold. Best with regular irrigation- which speeds growth markedly and improves bloom. Otherwise it takes summer drought in stride. Excellent for use as a street tree. Long, long, bloom season. Fantastic, well behaved large garden tree.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Osage’

After almost two decades of growing Crape Myrtles we can honestly say that we’ve come to the conclusion that the bark on this tree size cultivar is among the most exceptional of the group. Cinnamon red background with amorphically shaped maroon patches outlined in white. Its natures ravishing puzzle and we love it. Way showier than ‘Natchez’. Wide spreading, semi-pendulous tree to 16′ tall and 10′ wide.  Enormous, loose trusses of light pink are early and reliable in our climate. Blooms on average from early August to October. In time it produces a spreading crown and makes an exceptional garden tree. Completely mildew resistant. In autumn the whole tree turns a uniform electric red. Stunning. A fantastic tree that should be known and grown more. Full hot sun, regular summer water.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Sarah’s Favorite’

A really good free blooming tree sized Crape Myrtle with profuse huge white flower trusses and astonishing orange bark. This is a fast growing tree and if properly irrigated can achieve easily 4′ a year. To 22′ tall and half as wide. Very similar to ‘Natchez’ with several distinct differences. It is a little hardier to cold. For those in cooler rural regions where there is insufficient summer heat to harden the wood for winter this is a good choice. The flowers are primarily held upright as opposed to pendulous on ‘Natchez’, The bark tends more towards pure orange (like a madrone) rather than mottled. Full sun and rich to average soil with regular summer water. Blooms early July to September. Fall color is vivid orange and red. Very nice garden tree.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Tonto’

Sweet little tree that has some of the most vivid fuchsia/magenta flowers in the Crape Myrtle universe. To 14′ tall with a rounded crown. In late August to October huge trusses of vivid magenta flowers are quite showy. In the waning light of summer this vivid display is welcome. The trunks eventually exfoliate to a soft sandalwood brown with taupe blotches. Very nice. Completely disease resistant. Excellent small garden tree. Fall color is boisterous red and orange. Regular deep irrigation and full all day sun in a hot position. Grows approximately 2′-3′ per year when young. Excellent National Arboretum hybrid.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Tuscarora’

One of the most popular tree type Crape Myrtles and it is frequently planted as a street tree in the city of Portland. Strongly upright growing tree- almost fastigiate that eventually forms a spreading crown. The silhouette is that of a hot air balloon. Full sun and rich to average soil including clay soils. REGULAR summer water not only ensures a huge flower display in August and September it rapidly speeds the growth rate. Well irrigated trees can put on up to 4′ a year. Otherwise it makes due with little summer water by blooming much later- September. Extremely large hot coral pink trusses are held vertically. They can appear the size of a beehive. Less re-bloom than other trees. Fall color is orange/yellow/soft red and lingers. The exfoliating bark takes on a champagne pink glossy sheen when mature. Good garden tree. Excellent street tree. To 22′ tall and 8′ wide at maturity.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei 'Wichita' xera plants

Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Wichita’

One of the very finest very large growing tree type Crape Myrtles from the National Arboretum breeding program. Tall and not very wide in time this very fast and upright growing tree sports a spreading crown. In late July to October huge panicles of bright lavender flowers remain showy for weeks. Its a soft color but the display is opulent. In time the bark exfoliates to patches of cinnamon red and mahogany. Very showy. Fall color is an intense display of reds/orange/purple. Full sun and virtually any soil- thrives in clay soils and the reflected heat of parking strips. Of all the Crape myrtle cultivars perhaps this free blooming 26′ tall tree is the best for a candidate as a street tree. Excellent cold hardiness as well as disease resistance. Well irrigated trees will easily put on 4′ of growth in a year.

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Lagerstroemia x fauriei ‘Natchez’

Well known as the queen of crape myrtles ‘Natchez’ is a magical tree with many different kinds of beauty. In mid-summer to October large trusses of pure white flowers bend twigs gracefully. Its bark is among the most striking of any tree. Swaths of cinnamon red and taupe mottled patterns envelope the trunk. In fall red to yellow fall color is showy for several weeks. To 22′ tall and half as wide in 10 years.  Average soil that drains as well as regular summer irrigation both speeds growth and encourages blossoming. A striking specimen and useful as a street tree that will never become entangled in overhead wires. Completely disease resistant. Fall leaves drop and decompose almost instantly. Very nice- no raking.  Fast growing in youth. Best with regular irrigation. 

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Layia platyglossa

Tidy Tips a SW american desert daisy that puts on massive displays in famous high rainfall years. In our climate this hardy annual continues blooming for months as our cool summer nights seem to trick into an eternal spring. To 10″ tall forming a spreading plant in full sun and rich to average, well drained soil. Good drainage assists it in setting seed and that seed over wintering for germination the following spring. Remove spent flowers to spur more. Light consistent summer water. Otherwise let it go to seed. Nice cut flower. Loved by butterflies. Easy to save seed and toss out in spring in open sites after all threat of frost has passed.

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This strain of our native Siskiyou Lewisia contains a stunning range of flower colors. Pink to orange to white to yellow and permutations in-between. One of our most cherished wild flowers this plant is found at high elevations in the southern part of the state. A succulent that forms an evergreen rosette it displays its flowers for literally months on end beginning in spring. Excellent, long blooming, easy to grow container plant but not difficult in the ground given rock garden conditions. Drainage is crucial, in average to enriched soil. Drought adapted but it blooms longer with light summer water. Full sun to very light shade. Excellent at the top of walls, spilling out of cliffs as it does in nature. To 6″ tall forming multiplying rosettes up to a foot across. Moderate deer resistance.  Oregon native plant.

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Limnanthes douglasii var. nivea

White meadow foam is a prolific native hardy annual that covers the bottom of inland west coast valleys in white in mid- late spring. Demure plants are actually a floral power house with tons of pure white flowers creating a foaming ivory carpet in bloom. By the heat of summer this true annual ends its life cycle but not before producing millions of seeds to renew the display for the next year. Takes all kinds of soil including compacted dry clay. No additional water is required once established. Each plant is 4″ tall by 6″ wide and they grow together to form an impenetrable layer. One planted potted plant yields hundreds of seedling. White meadow foam is a stunning western native that deserves more use. Native to the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant.

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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 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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Lonicera x standishii

Winter Honeysuckle is an often forgotten shrub. Its large and in our climate it doesn’t usually lose all of its leaves until mid-winter. But that is the time when this big girl shines. Small but powerfully fragrant off white honeysuckle flowers stud all of the stems. And remain sweet for weeks. To 9′ x 9′ as a free standing shrub. Flowers are born on wood from the previous year. Prune after flowering in spring. May be trained as a vine with diligence. The flower stems are also easy to force into bloom indoors. A great shrub for hedgerows and even hedges. In the garden it often does duty in the back 40- where it will thrive in anything from full sun to almost dense shade and little extra water once established. Loved by over wintering Anna’s hummingbirds. Don’t forget winter flowers. Underplant with winter flowering Cyclamen coum and Crocus tommasinianus.  Very tough. Not bothered by disease or bugs. Consistent water to establish then VERY drought adapted.

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Madia elegans

Locally native annual that occupies (or occupied) sunny dry hillsides in selected regions of the western part of the state. Elegant tarweed is the common name, referencing both the light tar like fragrance of the sticky 2′ stems and the elegance of the 1″ wide flowers that are the most showy of the genus. Daisy-like flowers range from pure yellow to yellow with a ring of maroon, white, or red around the center. One our longest blooming annuals flowers appear from April to November. Remove spent flowers apply light irrigation and it will happily continue its show. Nice cut flower. The dried seeds of this species were a very important food source for native people. They would grind the oily seeds to make a kind of flour or press them to extract oil. To 2′ tall forming multi branched clumps. Re-seeds in places that it likes, mostly sunny, open places with good drainage. Native to the city limits of Portland, though no longer likely present. Fix that. An ebullient pretty native. Moderate deer resistance.  Oregon native plant.

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Muehlenbeckia astonii

Wire shrub from alpine New Zealand is a fun and fascinating shrub for texture and interest. The fine zig-zagging stems hold onto tiny green mitten shaped leaves. These quietly go away in winter revealing  a cinnamon colored tracery of branches. So dense that you are at a loss to stick your hand through the center. Very dense and rounded in habit for full sun and poor to rich well drained soil Light summer water- though completely drought adapted. From a distance it creates a hazy effect rather than the bulk of a shrub. Perfectly hardy to cold. To 4′ x 4′ in 5 years.

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Mukdenia rossii

Fan plant is a nice looking spring blooming perennial that gets its common name from the fan shape of the leaves. They emerge light pink and then change to medium green with a sheen. To 20″ high and spreading in moist rich soil with regular irrigation. Part shade to shade. White flowers in March/April. Remarkably unmolested by slugs and snails. In fall the foliage turns bright red before going deciduous.

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Myrtus communis ‘Andy’s Hardy’

Dapper clean evergreen shrub for full hot sun and poor well drained soils. This cold hardy selection of Sweet Myrtle has endured temperatures to 5ºF once established. Formal looking evergreen with sweetly fragrant foliage when disturbed. In summer to early autumn simple white flowers with a protruding showy boss of white stamens appear like little bouquets followed by elongated black berries. Incredibly drought and heat tolerant. Protect from subfreezing east wind. Takes west aspects that are blasting hot – all day or just for part of the day.  Not often seen for sale this form grows moderately slowly to 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Takes very well to pruning which should only be done in late spring. Moderately deer resistant. Little water when established, light irrigation speeds growth.

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Nasella cernua

Nodding needlegrass is a clump forming species native to western California south to northern Baja CA. Fine, fine medium green foliage appears in spring and is bright and fresh. In late spring stems rise to display the metallic tan, long needle like awns. They gracefully bend in every direction and are magical when tussled by the wind. They wave and sway gracefully and the light catches glints off the flowers. Very wild looking west coast grass that is at home in any well drained soil in full sun. Adaptable to light summer water and this improves the appearance and amount of blooms. To 2′ tall in bloom the basal clumps spread to about 1′ wide. Winter deciduous. Cut back hard in early spring before new growth starts. Completely adapted to summer drought once established and is a graceful and integral part of dry plantings. Seeds around a bit- expect this. Full sun.

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Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Pink’

This is a relatively hardy selection of Oleander with profuse pale pink flowers at the end of summer. Not quite as cold hardy as ‘Hardy Red’- ‘Hardy Pink’ will show foliage damage at about 16ºF. Therefore, it should be placed in the most protected sites as possible. A south or west facing wall is ideal. Not recommended for gardens outside of the urban heat island – the city of Portland. To 5′ x 5′ and recovering quickly in spring if frozen over winter. Blooms from deep pink buds open to paler pink in August to September. High deer resistance. Thrives in the hottest sites possible.

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Nerium oleander ‘Mathilde Ferrier’

Who would have guessed that one of the hardiest Oleanders would be a double flowering light yellow? Not me, but here she is and yes she is hardy in the city of Portland. Tall growing vigorous evergreen shrub to 8′ x 4′ in 5 years. In summer clusters of FRAGRANT  double soft yellow flowers are profuse and sincerely beautiful. It blooms off and on until September. Full hot sun in a protected location- against a south  or west facing wall is ideal. Injured by cold at about 13ºF and below but it recovers remarkably fast in spring when truly warm weather arrives and it will still bloom (blooms on new wood). It really is a pretty flowering shrub for a protected spot. The more heat it gets in summer the hardier to cold in the winter. Makes sense.

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Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’

A hardy annual with exciting lime green flowers that are fragrant at night. Full sun to part shade in rich soil with regular water. Blooms May until frost.
Remove spent flower heads to encourage more. To 30″ tall. EXCELLENT container plant. Combines very nicely with light blue flowers such as Salvia patens ‘Cambridge Blue’. Reseeds somewhat in disturbed soil. Great en masse. May behave as a perennial in mild winters- above 20°F. Moderately deer resistant.

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Nigella sativa

Wonderful multi-use hardy annual that we love for its flowers, seed heads, and edible seeds. Love-in-a-Mist is the common name in reference to the mostly dark blue flowers that are ensconced in a haze of fine green stems. This is a charming cut flower.  Upon finishing the ovaries transform to a ballon shaped structure full of yummy black seeds. You can then detach that as a cut flower as well. The dried black seeds have a peppery taste and are excellent sprinkled on salads. Be sure to sprinkle them on the ground where next year’s crop will be. Truth is once you plant this it is pretty much as permanent as a perennial, so reliable and prolific a re-seeding plant. The ferny seedlings are easy to spot, move or dispatch. Let them flow through your perennial borders. They make a wonderful addition to a cutting garden. Best in rich, open, disturbed soil with supplemental H20 all the way until seed are produced- though not entirely necessary it produces larger plants- and there fore stems, flowers, and more seeds. Blooms June-July. Full sun to light shade. VERY EASY.

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Omphalodes cappadocica

The blue stars of this borage relative are unmistakenly breathtaking in spring. This European relative of forget me nots (Myosotis) forms spreading clumps which give rise to clouds of sky blue flowers from March to June. To 6″ tall and 15″ wide in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Very pretty with early blooming Epimediums and the pale primrose yellow flowers of Primula vulgaris. Nice looking corrugated foliage. Part shade. Regular summer water. Resistant to slugs/snails.

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Omphalodes verna

A wonderful, incredibly long blooming perennial with clouds of true blue flowers waving above substantial spreading foliage. Easy to grow, long lived and very hardy plant to just 8″ tall in bloom but spreading to several feet wide. Rich, moisture retentive, well drained soil is where this plant for woodland margins thrives. Regular summer water. Avoid drought and compacted soil but this is a forgiving perennial. Blooms March-June. Plant bulbs among the foliage for a great spring floral display. Winter deciduous.

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Omphalodes verna ‘Alba’

Easy to grow, long lived spreading perennial that blooms for an incredibly long three months in spring. Fresh white forget-me-not flowers appear in clouds on wiry stems. The solid corrugated green foliage is an ideal foil. Creeping to several feet across in rich to average well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Thrives in part shade and finds a perfect home under large shrubs, at the base of trees. Fresh and white. To 8″ tall.

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Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus

One of the coolest shrubs that we can grow and incredibly rare in our climate. Large evergreen shrub or small tree to 12′ tall and forming a dome. Prolifically nestled among each leaf axil clusters of vivid but small ORANGE flowers with the fragrance of juicy fruit gum  appear in October-November. A shrub in full bloom is detectable many many feet away. Handsome large leaves contrast with pale tan stems and bark. Full sun to part shade and rich to average well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Drought adapted when established. Grows 1′-2′ a year- picks up speed when older. Hardier to cold than most forms of regular Osmanthus fragrans. Protect from subfreezing winds. Seems to require summer heat to set flowers as well as harden off for winter weather. Unlikely to thrive in cool summer climates.

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Osmanthus fragrans

Long ago I dismissed this tall sweetly scented Tea Olive as hopelessly tender in our climate. Then in a garden in Lake Oswego under towering firs I ran head on into an 18′ tall perfectly happy specimen. Looks like it had never suffered damage. It was just a really nice broadleaved evergreen tree. Copious amounts of small off white flowers crowd the stems beginning in autumn in our climate and then sporadically until spring. The POWERFUL fragrance they emit is that of apricot/freesia/rose and it travels- detectable 20′ away when in full bloom. To 15′-20′ tall apparently. Requires protection as a young plant and it really should not be in an exposed site. Instead locate near a house wall- where you can open the windows and let the perfume flow- and gain added protection. Gains much, much, greater hardiness with age. Summer heat seems to play a role- the more heat in summer the hardier in winter. Full sun to high overhead shade. Grows 2′-3’/yr. when young- aided by consistent summer water. Otherwise established trees need little. Not a plant for cold gardens.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Fastigiata’

Fastigiata is very much a misnomer in the case of this excellent hardy Tea Olive. After growing it for 15 years we can tell you that it in fact forms a perfectly round dense ball. After all that time it is just 4′ x 4′ and perfectly round. In October-November tiny fragrant white flowers crowd the stems. Full sun to part shade in any well drained soil that does not harbor standing water in winter. Very drought tolerant when established. So useful as a NO PRUNE hedge. Perfect size for small gardens. Hardy below 0ºF. The leaves change from prickly to smooth and entire with age.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

Wonderful, useful, well scaled variegated hardy Tea Olive that is also incredibly hardy to cold. To 4′ x 4′ in 8 years this slow growing dense shrub has new leaves that emerge tinted pink, mostly cream and then settles to green leaves with splashes of cream. Excellent appearance year round. Great shrub where subfreezing winds are brutal. In October to November the tiny white flowers cluster around the leaf stems and crowd the twigs- they emit a sweet perfume detectable quite far away on mild days. Good deer resistance when established. Average to enriched, well drained soil. Light summer water. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Very drought tolerant when established. Pretty.

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Osmanthus x burkwoodii

An iron clad shrub for western Oregon. It endures heavy clay soils, summer drought and the coldest temperatures we can expect with no harm. Dapper evergreen shrub with handsome matte green leaves. In February and March masses of small tubular white fragrant flowers crowd the stems and emit the perfume of vanilla. Very drought tolerant but adaptable to regular irrigation as well. Avoid permanently wet sites. To 7′ x 7′ in 7 years. Tolerates subfreezing wind and is useful as a hedge/windbreak in areas exposed to gorge outflow. Blooms on wood from the previous season prune- if needed after flowering. Tolerates quite a bit of shade.

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Oxalis oregana ‘Klamath Ruby’

Far and away our most vigorous clone of our native Oregon Sorrel. So named for the bright red underside of the leaves. In spring and sporadically into summer pure white flowers peek over the foliage. This is a fast colonizing plant that goes by underground stolons and it can cover several feet in a year. In time it will cover anything in part shade to shade in rich, hummus laden, moisture retentive soil. Piles up to about 6″ deep in no time. This form is decidedly evergreen. Use for wild areas  to obstruct smaller weed growth- under decks, shady glens, other areas too dark for plants to grow. Oregon native plant.

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Oxalis oregana ‘Select Pink’

Not the most original cultivar name but its aptly descriptive. Vigorous evergreen ground cover with dramatic hot pink flowers for weeks in spring. Spreads by underground stolen in rich, fertile, woodland conditions with regular summer water. To 4″ high and spreading many feet across shortly (in ideal conditions) . Part shade to shade. Very easy native perennial to grow. This is the second most vigorous Oxalis o. clone that we have behind ‘Klamath Ruby’. Simple pink flowers are pretty and rise up just above the foliage. AKS Redwood Sorrel or Oregon Sorrel. Long lived. Edible. Oregon native plant.

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Oxalis oregana ‘Xera’s Blush’

I found this form of our native Redwood Sorrel in a drier and hotter part of the Siskiyous than what is normally the range for this woodland plant. Large soft green leaves have a silver chevron in the center of each leaflet. In spring very large pale pink/lavender flowers appear with a central yellow eye. Very showy. ideal candidate for dry shade- give it mulch and plenty of water to established then this form seems much more drought and heat adapted than the familiar forms on the market. Forms a semi-evergreen ground cover in shade. Edible. Part shade, shade, regular summer water. Spreads underground by stolons. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Pennisetum spatheolatum

Veldt grass from South Africa has easily turned into one of our favorite ornamental grasses. Spreads to form bright green evergreen foliage that rises to 20″ tall and spreads several feet wide. From late spring to early autumn a continuous supply of 3′ – 4′ stems that have a catkin like inflorescence at the tip. It begins white and slowly turns to to tan. They wave gracefully in the wind and point in every direction from the clump. Immensely graceful grass that has an incredibly long season of interest. Rich, well drained soil with little summer water once established. Remains good looking through winter. Cold hardy and easy for full sun. Creates and excellent instant meadow effect. Evergreen. Moderate deer resistance.

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Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Electric Blue’

An easy to cultivate blue flowered Penstemon that is a scintillating color and is incredibly showy for the 4-6 weeks it remains in bloom. Flowers begin in May and slack off with really hot weather. A semi-woody perennial native to the baking hot Sierra Nevada foothills of California. Full sun and fast draining soil with light summer water. Excellent performance in blazing hot hell strips. To 14″ tall and as wide. Cut back hard in early spring. Mulch annually with compost. Provide good air circulation.

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Penstemon kunthii

Native to Mexico its a shock that this large everblooming Penstemon thrives in our climate. Multiple bushy spikes support 1/2″ wine red tubular flowers- en masse. It remains in bloom from early June to frost- never quite knowing when to quit. To 2′ x 2′ making a semi-woody framework. Full sun and well drained soil with light, consistent summer irrigation. Remove spent flower spikes and they will quickly be replaced. Loved by hummingbirds. Cut back hard in early spring.

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Penstemon pinifolius

Pine leaved Penstemon is a native of the southern Rocky Mountains and its a long lived, easy to grow evergreen perennial for rock gardens, hot aspects and slopes. Well drained soil in full sun to very light shade in rich to average soil. Light but consistent summer moisture increases vigor which in turn increases the amount of flowers. Incredibly heavy blooming wildflower with masses of 7″ spikes holding tubular hot orange flowers. Very showy and irresistible to Hummingbirds. Blooms May to July. Cut back spent flowers to tidy. Low mat forming plant with grass green pine like foliage. Easy to grow perennial with a wonderful wildflower display. Very adapted to our climate. Photo credit: Bob Hyland. Hyland Garden Design.

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Penstemon pinifolius ‘Melon’

Excellent and very heavy blooming color form of Pine leaved Penstemon. Forming a spreading evergreen mat of bright green needle like foliage it erupts in a multitude of 8″ spikes with soft melon orange tubular flowers suspended on the wiry stems. Blooms begin in May and extend to July. Full sun and well drained sites in average to enriched soils. In clay soils add a handful of pumice to the planting hole. Full sun and light but consistent summer moisture. A wonderful flower color with a fantastic floral display on this easy to grow long lived perennial. Spreads eventually to about 18″ wide (foliage is low- goes no higher than 4″). Excellent hummingbird plant. Native to the southern Rocky mountains- it loves our climate as well.

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Petunia ‘Rainmaster’

We love this simple species Petunia not for just its prolific white and green flowers but the intense sweet fragrance that they emit. To 18″ tall and somewhat trailing for full sun and rich well drained soil with regular summer water. Ideal in containers where its fragrance, which intensifies at night, can be enjoyed. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Old fashioned plant with a new lease on life.

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Phacelia bolanderi

Native perennial with a comfy sophisticated look. In the wild it occupies the land just up the flood plain from rivers in part shade and rich moist soil. Its also found just up on the first bench of land past the beach where it grows among native Cow Parsley and Salal. Under dry conditions it simply  goes summer dormant. Large felted leaves form a dome from the top of which pale blue outward facing flowers appear in late spring to summer. To 16″ tall and as wide in part shade and well drained soil. This plant improves under cultivation.  Light summer moisture or none when established. Native in the central and southern Oregon coast range. Winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.

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Phacelia campanularia

Perhaps there is no more blue flower than desert blue bells. An excellent and long blooming hardy annual that is at home in container as well as the ground. Often it will reseed prolifically from just one pot. To 6″ tall and as wide. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil. Light, consistent summer water keeps it going. Otherwise it will go away but not before setting seed for the following season. The vivid blue bell shaped flowers attract pollinators. Good western wildflower.

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Phacelia viscida

Sticky Phacelia is a hardy annual native to southern California chaparral into northern Baja. It bears intense blue flowers in late spring to early summer. It will often reseed in open disturbed sites if we have a mild winter. Incredibly attractive to bees and pollinators as all blue flowers seem to be. Full sun and well drained soil. Mixes well with summer perennials and if you give it a light shear and a drink when the first round of flowers are spent often more will erupt. To 11″ tall and spreading a bit. Fantastic wildflower effect. Native west coast annuals deserve a respected place in our gardens. Blue- scintillating blue. Works well in containers also. Light, consistent water to bloom.

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Philadelphus lewisii ‘Snow Velvet’

No offense to natives but I’ve always found our native mock orange to be kind of a dull one note shrub. Sure, its showy in bloom and certain specimens can be sweetly fragrant but once its done blooming…yawn. What do you do with it? Instead plant this highly improved selection with enormous semi-double white sweetly fragrant flowers. Each blossom is fully 2″ across and they come in such abundance in June that whole 9′ x 8′ frame. Full sun to part shade in average, well drained soil. Drought adapted. Great scaffold for summer Clematis. Fall color is soft yellow and brief. Oregon native plant.

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Philadelphus x microphyllus ‘Charles Price’

Excellent smaller shrub with distinctive very small silver foliage and in June a plethora of single white flowers with the intense, penetrating fragrance of grape soda. To 5′ x 3′ forming an upright rounded deciduous shrub. Full sun and regular water to establish the first year then none in subsequent years. This may or may not be a hybrid- it really looks like the straight species. P. microphyllus  which is native to the American Southwest. Tough and hardy and very drought tolerant shrub that is well scaled for smaller gardens. Fall color is bright yellow. Blooms appear on wood from the previous season. Prune directly after flowering is over- if needed. Selected by our friend garden designer Charles Price, he gave this to us and we thought it was distinct enough to deserve his name.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Phillyrea angustifolia

Sometimes you need a large shrub or small tree that is evergreen but not dense and one that does not cast enervating shade. This incredibly drought adapted and cold hardy shrub fits that bill. Native to the Mediterranean region and closely related to Osmanthus this fast growing plant has never been injured by cold for us and sales through intense summer drought with not one ill effect. Always good looking the long thin opposite leaves have a nice symmetry on the stems. In spring tiny white flowers crowd the stems but are not fragrant or significant. It makes a great small tree- limbed up from the base with either one straight trunk or multiple. Grows about 2′-3′ per year. Tolerates summer water as well as dried out clay soils. Unique.

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Phygelius x ‘Native Sons’

There are so many Cape Fuchsia cultivars on the market and to be honest a lot of them are dogs. Winning flower colors but losing in vigor and hardiness. Or they flop hopelessly. Enter this remarkable form with beautiful dusty magenta red tubular flowers. A strong growing and blooming selection that provides spikes of the pendant vibrantly colored flowers continuously from June to frost. To 4′ tall and 4′ wide for rich to average soil. Regular summer water spurs repeat bloom but it can lead to a rather rambunctious plant. Give this big guy room to spread. It will happen quickly. Full sun to light shade. May be cut to the ground in early spring to resize and supply new wood for flowers. Recovery is rapid. Cold hardy and loved by hummingbirds. Easy

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Phygelius x rectus ‘Peach Trombone’

We selected this Cape Fuchsia for its compact habit and profuse display of pendant soft yellow to orange to red tubular flowers. To 3′ x 4′ and spreading it begins blooming in May and continues through September. Removing spent flower spikes will encourage more. Full sun and rich, moisture retentive soil for a plant that needs room- spreads underground by stolons. Do not plant delicate plants in the vicinity of this perennial, instead match vigor with vigor. Light summer water to none when established. Though water enhances bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and pollinators too. Great landscape plant. Cut back hard in mid-spring to refresh the plant and spur new blooming wood. Semi-evergreen.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Pittosporum heterophyllum

Large growing evergreen shrub that we love because in spring each branch tip is home to masses of tiny offwhite flowers that pump out a sweet and pervasive citrus blossom perfume. Fast growing to 8′ x 8′ in 6 years. Full sun and well drained soil. Incredibly drought tolerant when established. Totally cold hardy and an excellent hedge. Fantastic performance in tough urban environments.  Foliage is thin and glossy and good looking year round. Easy, fragrant shrub. Water to establish then little summer water when firmly happy. Prune AFTER blooming has ended in late spring.

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Pittosporum illicioides var. angustifolia

Groovy evergreen cold hardy Pittosporum that provides unusual textural effects. Long thin leaves are glossy and bright green and only 1/3″ wide they stretch to 5″ long. Wispy effect of a shrub to 8′ tall and 5′ wide in 6 years. Adaptable to any soil type aside from boggy. Incredibly drought tolerant- established plants need little summer water whatsoever. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Forms an umbrella shape in time and casts very light shade. In spring not very conspicuous little yellow flowers appear at the end of thread like stems. Cold hardy and long lived. Fantastically graceful. Prune after blooming in late spring. May be pruned hard as there are numerous dormant buds along the stems- and will re-sprout from bare trunks. Brush heavy snow off this shrub- its cold hardy enough not to require winter protection.  SW China.

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Pittosporum tobira ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’

Useful somewhat formal looking ground cover shrub that is always good looking . To 2′ x 3′ slowly the dense deep green foliage is arranged handsomely. In May/June clusters of off white fragrant flowers appear- Not as heavily as the species but pretty none-the-less. Excels in hot dry situations- including the reflected heat of walls. Hardier to cold than generally thought. My 10 year old plants have never been damaged by cold- down below 10ºF. Avoid freezing cold exposed sites, however. Useful as a massed weed smothering ground cover. Deep green uniform appearance of foliage is just what many people are seeking. Drought tolerant. Evergreen. Hardy to 5ºF when established. Excellent appearance year round.

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Polemonium carneum

Our native pink Jacob’s Ladder is a great plant for gardens. Hailing from valleys adjacent to the Cascades the finely divided foliage of this clumping perennial is attractivw but enhanced when the clusters of very pretty flowers open the palest pink aging to lavender over several days. Full sun to part shade in rich moisture retentive soil. To 28″ tall and somewhat spreading. Blooms for an extended period from April to June. Summer drought will bring dormancy. Mixes well at the margins of woodlands or the front of perennial borders. A really pretty native perennial. Adaptable to heavy clay soils. Soars in rich, amended soils and can be quite a bit larger than I listed.  Oregon native plant.

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Polystichum setiferum var. divisilobum

Soft Shield fern is native to Alaska- well points north in general. That means its bone hardy to cold but its also a fantastic evergreen fern for dry shade in our region. Finely divided fronds taper to 2′ long. The central stem is a soft furry brown- good contrast. Spreading colony creating fern to 3′ across. It has the unique habit of vivipary. It makes small new plants spontaneously right off the frond. Useful. Good looking appearance year round. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular water to establish. Incredibly drought adapted when older – as long as its in shade. High deer resistance. May be cut back hard in early spring to refreshen. Grows very quickly.

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Pratia (Lobelia) pedunculata ‘County Park’

Everyone is familiar with blue star creeper. Well what if one replaced the light blue flowers of that small plant with dark blue stars? You would get this magnificent small scale ground cover. Dense prostrate growth is a veritable pool of deep blue in May and June. Sporadic bloom until late summer. Just 1/2″ high at most it will spread to 1′-2′ in rich, aerated, well drained soil with regular summer water. Best performance is in part shade. Avoid the hottest driest sites. May be used among pavers. Dies out in heavy compacted soils- provide a top dress of compost annually to avoid this. Syn. Isotoma.

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Primula vulgaris

This is the wild primrose of Europe that lives in shady hedgerows and moist shady environs. Its the soft yellow flower color for which the hue ‘Primrose’ got its name. Smaller colony forming perennial for part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Bloom may begin as early as February and eventually peter out in May. Pale yellow single fragrant flowers with a brighter yellow eye are more than cheerful in our wet gray springs they are a bright tonic. It must have regular summer moisture in order to survive our summer drought and if it does it will come back in winter bigger and more bloomier than ever. Bait for slugs.

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Prunus mume ‘Kobai’

Sophisticated winter blooming tree that we love for its incredibly sweet spicy scented flowers.  Double pink flowers are conspicuous and perched perfectly on the green twigs of this asian flowering apricot. Flowers appear in December in mild years as late as February in the coldest. Flowers last forever in the cool winter air. Each spicily scented flower has a prominent boss of white stamens. Its the details man. Flowers are hardy to around 20ºF- closed buds are substantially hardier and will unfurl when the weather warms. Moderately fast growing tree to 18′ x12′ in 10 years. Appreciates deep, rich soil and definitely weekly summer water in its first few years. Fall color is pale yellow. Inedible ornamental fruits often follow the blossoms. Japan.

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Pyrrosia lingua ‘Variegata’

Variegated tongue fern. So called for the tall oblong shaped evergreen fronds that rise up vertically. This form has new growth marked with chartreuse stripes that fade a bit with maturity. Spreads to form colonies by furry stolons on the surface of the soil. Rich, well drained soil in part shade to dense shade. A great evergreen presence for really dry, dark spots. Avoid hot sun. Regular summer water increases the growth rate which is typically slow. May suffer some damage in the coldest winters (below 10ºF) remove those fronds and more will appear. Mix with other denizens of the dark- Aspidistra, Ophiopogon etc. Moderate deer resistance. Taiwan.

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Ratibida columnifera ‘Pulcherrima’

Mexican Hats are iconic flowers of the southwest american prairies. Slender plants that rise up to 2′ feet with adorable flowers, red petals reflexed around a black prominent cone. The red petals are mostly outlined in yellow. Forgiving wildflower for full sun any well drained soil with regular summer water. Remove spent flowers to spur more- this will keep it in continuous bloom. Cute cut flower and the little flowers really do look like sombreros. Winter deciduous. Will often self sow in open disturbed soils.

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Rhazya orientalis

Asian Blue Star is so closely related to our American native Amsonias that many believe it should be in the same genus. Tough, elegant, cool perennial that rises to 2′ tall and is topped by clusters of NAVY BLUE starts in late spring. Bring on the bumblebees. Forms a slowly increasing clump in rich to average soil with regular summer water. Though established plants can easily handle drought. In autumn the whole plant turns from green to bright yellow and holds that color for an extended time. Very showy. Long lived, hardy perennial for full sun. No pests or disease. Winter deciduous.

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Rhodohypoxis baurii ‘Venetia’

Sweet little bulb that multiplies to form big sheets of color in full sun and well drained soil. To 3″ tall and blooming non-stop beginning in May and through summer to autumn. Regular water encourage more flowers. Funny hot pink flowers that don’t seem to have a traditional center. Seeds around  in time. Foliage is winter deciduous. Rock gardens, meadows,  Easy, just make sure the drainage is good

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Ribes sanguineum ‘Oregon Snowflake’

Excellent improved form of the already popular white flowered Flowering Currant. This form sports foliage that is deeply divided- very pretty- and a more dense and compact habit. Its an incredibly heavy blooming form that has great garden application. To 4′ x 5′ in 7 years with a rounded mounded habit. In late February- April pendant clusters of pure white flowers glow in the early spring sunlight. The buds emerge chartreuse and then become pure sparkling white. This was bred and selected at OSU. And so far has been rare on the market. Full sun to quite a bit of shade with light consistent summer water to establish. Then- it can survive on all that falls from the sky. Takes light irrigation in gardens but never soggy and never soggy during hot weather. Fall color is yellow/orange and brief. Sour fruits are dusky blue in summer. Moderate deer resistance. Derivative of an Oregon native plant. PPAF.

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Romanzoffia californica

Mist Maidens are an integral part of spring in western Oregon. These delicate looking beauties are actually iron tough. Clouds of white flowers sway above rubbery scalloped foliage beginning in early March and continuing to early June. They have the light fragrance of vanilla. Hot weather shuts them down and they quickly retreat to their bulbous roots to wait out summer in dormancy. Once established they require little interevention from humans. Let them romp around in the spring border with such similar perennials as Primula sieboldii and Viola corsica. Just don’t forget that they are there when they magically disappear.  To 10″ tall and about as wide. In favored circumstances this Oregon native will happily self sow. Pretty and fresh as spring. Oregon native plant.

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With all the knock out, fleurshrubselekt® and every other patented type of rose its reassuring that this old gal still rocks them all. Betty bears clusters of slightly fragrant large single pink flowers. They are light pink w/ a slightly darker sheen to the surface of the petals which almost always open skyward. These upright facing groups of flowers yield not only a lot of color- it blooms constantly from May to frost, it gives the plant a wild appeal not seen in overly bred shrubs. The disease resistant foliage is mid green and handsome as well. To 4′ x 4′ forming a rounded shrub. It may be hard pruned in early spring if necessary. Remove spent flowers and more will quickly appear. Tough plant that gets by on a less than perfect watering regime.  Regular, deep watering (once a week max) will yield great performance. Established plants can take drought at the expense of re-blooming. Very easy to grow charming rose. Ultra cold hardy.

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Rosa ‘Darlow’s Enigma’

Curious climbing rose that puts on a non-stop display of sprays of intensely fragrant flowers that are diminuitive, white, and semi-double. The anise/fruit scented flowers begin in mid-spring and continue unabated until autumn. A large growing rose to 12′ tall and 8′ wide in time. Excellent trained on a trellis or pergola. Blooms on wood from the current season and may be hard pruned in early spring. This rose seedling was discovered in a garden in Eugene and its popularity has spread throughout the globe. The sweet fragrance will perfume an entire garden on a warm summer day. Captivating cut flower. Disease resistant and very tough rose that gets by on a minimum amount of summer water and still blooms. Regular water in rich soil amplifies this roses performance dramatically. Winter deciduous. Extremely cold hardy.

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Rosa ‘Radway Sunrise’

Years ago I was searching through old and obscure rose catalogs with one goal in mind. Find a single rose that changes color after it opens. The idea was to mimic Rosa x mutablilis  but in different color shades or on a hardier plant. Man did we score. If we could grow only one rose this would be it. ‘Radway Sunrise’ produces large single flowers in clusters that open pale yellow- change to orange and arrive at strong carmine pink. A brilliant multicolored effect on a strong growing virus free and disease resistant rose. Typically grows to 7′ tall in a single season and is amenable to life as a climber too. Rapid re-bloom all summer. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer water. Prune this shrub rose hard in mid-February. The fragrant flowers will form hips that ripen in autumn. Great, great rose.

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Rosa nutkana ‘Xera Pink’

Silently living its beautiful life in a seasonally flooded ditch near our wholesale nursery we spotted this deep pink flowering variant of our locally native Nootka rose. Even the stems carry a mahogany blush. Incredibly fragrant deep pink single flowers appear from May-July. followed by brilliant red hips that ripen in fall. An incredibly tough and adaptable native rose that can endure both seasonally flooded locations and desiccating summer drought. Even the foliage has a sweet fragrance. Carefree shrub that spreads to form colonies and rises to about 4′ tall on average. Laughs at the heaviest, driest clay soils. Red/orange fall color. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Hard to believe that Rosemary has been officially lumped into the genus Salvia. (Sigh). Its still a wonderful shrub and this variety delights us with the MOST luminous blue flowers that we’ve seen on a hardy variety. The effect is similar to the slightly tender cultivar ‘Tuscan Blue’. Each flower is luminous and they obscure the leaves for most of winter into spring. Upright growing cultivar that spreads with time. To 4′ tall x 4′ wide in short order. Full sun and soil that drains with little summer water once established. It will take moderate irrigation as well but we like to rely on the iron clad drought resistance of this culinary herb. Mix with Arctostaphylos, Grevilleas for a shrubby winter blooming party. Very easy to grow. Nice informal or even clipped dense hedge. Develops a handsome gnarled trunk with time. Moderate deer resistance.

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This beautiful, deep sky blue flowered rosemary we found planted at a 100 year old farmhouse in Milwauke, OR. The flowers are scintillating and this plant- installed in the early 1980’s, has proven longevity as well. To 3′ tall by 5′ wide eventually. Blooms appear unabated from autumn to summer. Vigorous evergreen shrub with an upright and then spreading habit. Full sun and no water necessary once established. It can take light, regular water in summer as well. Otherwise, it thrives on only what fall from the sky. A very showy winter blooming shrub for hot locations, south facing hillsides, adjacent to walls, asphalt anywhere another less heat durable plant would fry. Moderate deer resistance. Pungently aromatic and great for culinary use. Prune- if needed, in late spring following bloom. Blooms on wood from the previous season. This variety would make an admirable upright, clipped hedge. Named by and for our friend Carol. Thanks Carol.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Rudbeckia occidentale

Our native coneflower found in the Cascades. Look! It forgot the petals. Yup thats our boy. Clump forming tall perennial for moist sunny sites. Rich, soil with ample humus. Easy to grow in a perennial border where you can take advantage of the austere look of the flowers, when they come en masse at the end of 30″ stems they are something to behold. Very good cut flower and it goes with a very modern aesthetic. Full sun. Completely deciduous in winter. Oregon Native Plant.

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Salvia cohuilensis ‘Nuevo Leon’

This may be a simple species but since we acquired it with this cultivar name I am loathe to change it until I am perfectly sure. A hardy long blooming Salvia that can become fairly woody with time but also spreads underground by stolons to form expanding patches. Full sun, very well drained rich soil with regular summer water. Thrives in the reflected heat of the hellstrip. To 1′ tall and 2′ wide in 5 years. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring. Flowers are deep purple/blue and appear from spring to autumn taking a break during 100ºF stretches. Aromatic foliage. Hummingbird favorite. Light summer water.’

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Salvia gregii ‘ Rossetto’

Excellent seedling of ‘Playa Rosa’ with deep clear pink flowers for months and increased cold hardiness. To 20″ x 20″ in a season this is a ‘woody’ sage that forms a small shrub. The vivid pink flowers begin in late May and continue to frost. It takes a break from blooming in extreme heat (above 95ºF) but flowers return when cooler air arrives. Full hot sun to part shade in rich, WELL DRAINED soil. A slope is ideal- especially if it faces south. Light, consistent summer water, speeds growth, establishment and spurs rounds of bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and butterflies. Do not cut back until early spring- when all signs of a hard freeze have passed. It may be cut back hard then and will quickly erupt into a blooming machine. Great in seasonal containers. ‘Rossetto’ is lipstick in Italian. Thanks to my friend Ann Amato for the name.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Huge roaming and dramatic Salvia for full sun and VERY well drained conditions. Rich soil sends this 6′ tall by 4′ wide perennial soaring. Large clusters of royal blue flowers each held in a jet black calyx. Great affect. Full sun to light shade with regular summer water. Dies out in heavy cold soils. Locate in a warm site. Spreads by underground runners. Loved by hummingbirds. Blooms July to October or later if its frost free. Do not cut back until new growth appears in spring. Dies completely to the ground with the first hard freeze. Mulch in colder zones.

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Salvia microphylla ‘Flower Child’

This species has yielded some very good cold and wet tolerant cultivars. This selection from Monterey Bay Nursery in Watsonville, CA has proved to be one of the best performers. Masses of outward facing candy pink flowers swarm the stems of this large, semi-woody Salvia. The flowers begin in May and continue unabated to frost. This is a very good hue of pink, very mixeable with other colors without clashing. To 2′ tall x 2′ wide in a single season. Well drained soil of rich to average fertility. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and improve drainage as well as water permeability. It excels on slopes in full all day sun with just light summer water. Flowers continue through the hottest weather- good trait in our climate where many others take a break in in the mid to upper 90’s. Drought adapted when established. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring- then it can be taken back by 2/3rd. New growth will erupt from semi-woody stems around the base and you are up and running. Herbaceous below about 15ºF. Returns from the base if established. Hummers, butterflies, chicks without bras dancing around like nymphs. Its got it all. Moderate deer resistance.

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Salvia muelleri

This purple flowered royal sage has impressed us for years with its hardiness to cold, true purple flowers and tolerance of cold winter wet. A loose spreading perennial that adorns its tips with royal purple flower from June to frost. Never dense it prefers full hot sun and very well drained soils and light but consistent summer water. To 18″ tall by 2′ wide in time. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring. It needs a woody framework of branches to protect the overwintering crown. Takes blasting hot conditions. Moderate deer resistance.

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Salvia uliginosa

Swamp sage is actually very tolerant of dry to average conditions. This special sage from South America is surprisingly cold hardy and is a large reliable perennial. 6′ tall wand-like stems terminate in rows of sky blue flowers. There is a white nectary guide on the lower lip. Forms semi-woody clumps that expand at a moderate rate to about 2′ across. Freezes to the ground below about 20ºF but is root hardy near 0ºF. Rich to average soil with regular irrigation through summer. Full sun to very light shade. Blooms appear from early June to early autumn. Excellent in the back of a border or swimming in a sea of large ornamental grass. The medium green leaves are elongated with indentation and rise up along the stem. One of the easiest and showiest of sages. Nice cut flower. Moderate deer resistance.

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Salvia x ‘Christine Yeo’

Very good Salvia that blooms non-stop medium purple flowers for months in summer well into autumn. Tall growing to 3′ and somewhat wispy. A possible hybrid with the blue flowered Salvia chamaedryoides. Hummingbirds love this free blooming hardy perennial. Freezes to the ground below the mid 20’s. Returns from the base in spring. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun. Drainage in winter is the key. Add some pumice and gravel to the planting hole and water consistently to this plant good and established. Do not cut back in the spring until you actually see new growth pushing. Then remove all the dead material. Regains stature quickly in spring.

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Salvia x ‘Playa Rosa’

A chance seedling in our nursery has yielded a stupendous semi shrubby incredibly long blooming Salvia. Large soft lavender pink flowers are born en masse on a the 2′ x 2′ woody frame this plant produces in rich, well drained soil in a hot position. The flowers begin in May and continue through summer- including during the hottest temperatures (good job!) Loved by hummingbirds  butterflies and savvy gardeners. Seems to relish reflected heat + sharp drainage. Light summer water. Do not cut back until new growth pushes in spring.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Salvia x jamensis ‘California Sunset’

These hybrids come in such wonderful colors. This dashing Sage displays light orange flowers on tall stems from spring well into autumn. Forms a semi-woody shrub and relishes good drainage and hot locations. Great seasonal container plant as well. Best way to grow this Salvia is to double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen and then berm it up a bit. Plant and water faithfully all summer to spur bloom as well as increase the plants mass and establishment. This will ensure a sturdy plant going into winter. I wait to prune it back in spring until all danger of frost has past. In these conditions it will endure our coldest winters with no problem. Hell strip loving plant to 30″ x 30″. Hummingbird plant. Long blooming. Light deer resistance.

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Salvia x microphylla ‘La Trinidad Pink’

This species of semi-woody Salvia has produced some of the best for our climate. Shocking pink, relatively large flowers decorate the upward stems of this vigorous and long blooming perennial. To 26″ tall and forming a semi-woody shrub. In essence it is a subshrub which is woody with time but capable of freezing to the ground and returning from the base. The vivid flowers appear from May to frost and are a delight for pollinators, hummingbirds and pink-o-philes. Full, hot sun in a warm position in rich, WELL DRAINED SOIL. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and make it easier for water to reach the roots. Do not prune back in spring until you see new growth. Either from the tips or the base depending on how cold the previous winter. Cut back hard then and it will zoom back to its former stature in no time. Hot sunny places, hell strips, containers. Excellent on hot slopes.

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Sambucus caerulea

Our locally native blue elderberry makes a good very large shrub or small garden tree. It has beautiful pinnate foliage, large fragrant umbels of white flowers followed by large clumps of edible blue fruit. Incredibly fast growing in youth it responds in a robust way to extra water in summer. Adaptable to nearly any soil type. And very drought tolerant as it matures. Fall color is often yellow but also lacking. Birds feast on the berries through winter. Otherwise they hang ornamentally on the bare twigs- also very showy. To 14′-18′ tall and naturally forming a vase shape. Oregon native plant.

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Sanguisorba hasukanensis

LOVE this perennial. In July- September it produces electric pink 2″ long fat fluffy tassel like flowers- they fade after a few days to light pink/white for a fine multicolor effect that lasts quite a long time. The pinnate leaves are rounded and handsome and all around this long lived, cold hardy perennial is of regal quality. North Korean collection. To 30″ tall in bloom by a clump expanding to several feet wide. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer irrigation. The leaves are edible and taste faintly (to me) of cucumber. Excellent perennial.

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Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Pink Tanna’

Beautiful summer blooming hardy perennial that fits nicely into the new meadow movement. Divided grass green pinnate leaves densely clothe the base of this clumping perennial. Above the foliage in June- August rise pink furry catkins like blooms on straight stems. The come in profusion and create a light repetitive texture that is ideal with such things as ornamental grasses and other spire perennials like Sidalcea (Checker Mallow). Spent flowers remain until autumn and change to a russet brown. In autumn the foliage turns yellow before disappearing entirely. Completely deciduous in winter. To 18″ tall and as wide in rich soil with regular summer water. Very adaptable to clay soils but requires more regular irrigation. Dried out clay is the worst thing to try and rehydrate. Pretty perennial. Butterfly heaven. Long lived perennial.

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Sanguisorba tenuifolium ‘Korean Snow’

Big, Big, late blooming perennial that is very easy to grow and incredibly showy in bloom. 2″ catkin-like white flowers foam 5′-6′ above the plant in August-October. Excellent cut flower, Full sun and rich to average soil that is moisture retentive. Great in the back of a border where it will tower and wave its lovely pure white flowers in the breeze. Full sun leads to much more vertical plants. Regular summer water. Forms spreading patches. Completely winter deciduous.

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Scutellaria suffrutescens

Texas Cherry Skullcap is a wildflower with a mission. To conquer and bloom – not just a little but in sheets for all of summer with no supplemental irrigation. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t do that. Forms lows domes to 5″ high by 1′ wide and is smothered in cherry pink flowers from June well into autumn. Rich to average well drained soil and occasional  summer irrigation. Cut back in spring after new growth has commenced. Full all day sun, reflected heat and not much else.

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Sedum divergens

Oregon native Sedum that is found at mid and high elevations of the Cascades. It makes its home on recent road cuts and rocky, gravelly cliffs. Small rolly polely green succulent leaves line trailing stems. Very juicy. Forms a thick evergreen mat in full sun to part shade in well drained soil. Excels in enriched soil that also drains. Light to regular summer water to retain luster otherwise completely adapted to summer drought. Rock walls, containers, rock gardens. Easy to grow native that is one of our most attractive stone crops. In late spring 4″ stems rise with clusters of bright yellow/gold star shaped flowers. As with all Sedums they are coveted by pollinators. Takes on red tints in cold weather. Evergreen. Oregon Native Plant.

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Sesleria autumnalis ‘Campo Verde’

Crazy cool grass that is handsome year round- not entering dormancy in winter and they bloom on compact plants for several months. This mediterranean native grass forms lose but not unkempt bunches of arching evergreen foliage. The floral spikes rise another several inches above the foliage for a complicated texture. Full sun, well drained soil, little water once established. To 14″ tall and 20″ wide. 1′ tall in bloom. Very drought tolerant and does not really go through a down time remaining the same aesthetically all year. Accepts regular irrigation with excellent drainage.

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Sidalcea malviflora ‘Josephine’

Beautiful Oregon Native Checker mallow that has handsome deep green glossy scalloped leaves and for all of summer a continuous supply of long stems clad in rows of cup shaped pink flowers. Adapted to heavy soils that dry out completely. But improves greatly under cultivation. Flowering stems stretch horizontally and wind their way through neighboring plants. Cute cut flower. Excellent in borders or no water landscapes alike. To 18″ tall in bloom and spreading to about 1′ wide. Long lived and easy to grow. Native to south western Oregon. Our selection of a deep pink and prolific bloomer. Oregon Native Plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Sidalcea virgata

Rose Checker Mallow is a widespread wildflower in Oregon. In the Willamette Valley it occupies open meadows as well as disturbed road cuts. From a low rosette of glossy round leaves the inflorescences rise to 2′ tall. Each bears rows of cupped pink flowers with a serrated edge to the petals. Blooms appear for weeks in early to mid summer. This wild plant takes very well to cultivation and makes a very good border perennial in rich soil with average summer moisture. Conversely, in less cared for environments it will grow very well too. Native to heavy clay soils and adapted to no summer water- but bloom amount and length of bloom can be increased with irrigation. Spreads to forma colony in time to 2′ wide. Plant with other Willamette Valley Natives and looks wonderful combined with ornamental grasses. This is a great plant to recreate native meadows. Takes a fair amount of shade as well. Long lived. Easy. Good cut flower.  Oregon Native Plant.

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Silene alpestris ‘Flore Pleno’

I love the crisp detailed pure white flowers that float like little pieces of perfect oragami on 6″ stems. Forms continuous evergreen patches in well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Full sun to very light shade. Incredibly long bloom season, March to November. And sometimes longer. Excellent in rock gardens, as a trough plant, or container plant in general. Hardy and easy to grow. Makes a precious delicate cut flower. So white. So, crisp and white.

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Sisyrinchium bellum ‘Rocky Point’

Remarkable and improved variety of this west coast blue eyed grass. Much larger flowers than the species are deep purple with a distinct yellow eye. Flowers appear continuously from spring into mid-summer. Rich, moist soil with regular irrigation in full sun prolongs the very showy flower display. To just 6″ tall and multiplying quickly to form colonies. This Blue Eyed Grass does NOT set seed and never becomes weedy Full sun. Good butterfly plant. Winter deciduous. The front of borders, rock gardens, hellstrips. Improves with regular irrigation. Oregon native plant.

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Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’

Purple Chilean Potato Vine is a flowering powerhouse. It may be grown as a free standing shrub but its true habit lends it to the treatment of a vine. Fast growing huge canes soar up and then over all the while branching. At the tips dramatic deep purple/blue clusters of flowers each with a yellow central “Beak”. The effect is reminiscent of a hydrangea in form. to 12′ tall quickly. Blooms April to October. Large flush of flowers in late spring then sporadic clusters to autumn. Semi-evergreen to deciduous. Sometimes forms yellow berries. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Hardy to 5ºF and not below.

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Solanum pyracanthum

My half hardy perennial can kick your perennials ass. And this spiky creature is a damned fine plant. Large lobed leaves are fiercely armed with bright orange spikes down the midrib. Violent orange spikes also cover every stem and virtually glow when backlit. All summer long this large tender plant (to 3′ x 2′) bears large solanaceous 5 petalled purple flowers with a central orange beak. The overall effect is beyond charming, its a fierce plant with attitude and we adore it. Great in containers but mind that this sucker does have a bite, locate away from traffic.  Very fun to grow in the ground as well. Hardy to the low 20’s and sometimes makes it through a mild winter. Orange fruits follow the flowers but are not assured. One of the amazing plants native to Madagascar. Full sun and rich soil with regular water. Basically grow it just like a tomato. Highly deer resistant.

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Spiraea betulifolia var. lucida

Underused native Spiraea from the western United States and native in Oregon. Low mounding deciduous shrub to 2′ x 3′. Pink buds open to foamy white flat clusters of flowers appear in late spring. In autumn it turns amazingly vivid colors of red/orange/gold and it holds its color for weeks. One of the most drought tolerant of the genus requiring light summer water to very little. Full sun and rich soil. Spreads to form patches. Locally native in Multnomah county. Long lived and an excellent landscape shrub. Birch Leaf Spiraea or glossy leaved Spiraea.   Oregon native plant.

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Stipa gigantea ‘Little Giant’

As if a wonderful grass couldn’t get any better this smaller version thrills us with so many more applications. A low clump of arching dense dark green evergreen foliage has a nice presence year round. In spring and continuing all throughout summer into autumn 3′-4′ spikes terminate in clouds of metallic golden awns. They sparkle in full sun and sway in the breeze- but are determinedly upright. The basal clump of leaves spreads slowly to 2′ wide in 5 years. Full sun and well drained soil- bud adaptable to anything but a bog. Evergreen. Cut back spent flowers in winter- or let them stay and wave around beckoning birds and wildlife. Moderate deer resistance. Little to no summer water when established.

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Sycopsis sinensis

Rare and somewhat obscure evergreen tree that belongs in the Hamamelis family. Graceful medium green tapered leaves fold gracefully over each other in a pendant habit. The branching structure itself is graceful as well. To 18′ tall  with a columnar habit at first and then spreading a bit with time. In winter curious flowers look like little red brushes and occur profusely.  Nice looking cold hardy, shade tolerant and extremely drought adapted small tree. WE love this tree and have been incredibly impressed with how tough but beautiful it is. Accepts regular water in summer as well. Ideal sized tree for small gardens, or the space in-between the new close together construction. Not an oppressive evergreen but rather light. Moderately fast growing.

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Symphyotrichum subspicatum ‘Sauvie Sky’

One of our color selections of the locally native Douglas Aster. This cultivar originates from seed collected on Sauvie Island. A boisterous long blooming perennial at home in wild areas. Rich to average soil with light summer water. Blooms- in this case, periwinkle blue open in early August and continue unabated  to October. They are beacons to all pollinators and are constantly in motion as they bloom. To 32″ tall  forming wide patches. Runs by underground stolons. Nice cut flower. Wetland remediation, forest verges, denuded road cuts. Those are jobs for you Douglas Aster. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Symphyotrichum subspicatum ‘Sauvie Snow’

We selected this form of our locally native Douglas Aster for its snow white flowers. The species in our area ranges from blue/lavender/blue-white. So, this is a nice color break. One of the very best pollinator perennials that we grow. In bloom from July-October it is virtually swarmed by every flying insect you can imagine. A constant buzz of activity. This is a large, rambunctious perennial that is not good with delicate neighbors. Douglas Aster belongs in the wild where it can consort with other similarly overly adapted natives. Virtually any soil in full sun to light shade. In bloom it rises to nearly 30″ and the spread is nearly indefinite This is a rugged perennial for tough sites, even areas submerged during the wet season. Not a bad cut flower. Mix with large ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis  ‘Morning Light’ or Panicum virgatum ‘ Heavy Metal’. Mix with native shrubs- Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon Grape and Holodiscus discolor ‘Ocean Spray’. Drought adapted when established but it appreciates a soak now and again to prolong the bloom period.   Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Tellima grandiflora

Locally native on our nursery site Fringe Cups or Fairy Bells as they are commonly known are a spreading perennial for moist shady sites. Low mounding maple shaped leaves cover the ground densely and in late spring vertical spikes appear to 18″ tall and sport rows of small green cup shaped flowers. Closely related to Heuchera and thrives in the same conditions. It will even take full sun in moist conditions. It is a background plant because it often suffers from powdery mildew late in summer. The drier the conditions the worse the affliction. Good air circulation helps but its best to just accept that this is how this native perennial rolls. Semi-evergreen in winter. Woodland borders, shady containers. Very easy to grow. Oregon Native Plant.

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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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Tetrapanax papyifera ‘Steroidal Giant’

Big form of the already big Japanese Rice Paper plant. Enormous 3′ wide leaves look jurassic and erupt in spring from seemingly spindly bare stalks. Fast growing deciduous shrub/tree that also suckers to form wide colonies. To 18′ tall in 5 years with multiple trunks in deep rich soil with regular irrigation. Full sun to part shade. Be aware that this plant travels. It moves stealthily underground and can be many feet away from the parent plant before you notice it. The more root disturbance the more errant suckering. Give it room and respect. Light summer water. Almost blooms each autumn before running out of heat and daylength. Bare sticks in winter.

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Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Red Top’

We’ve grown this excellent small scale groundcover for 20 years and it never fails to find a useful place in gardens. ‘Red Top’ Asian Star Jasmine is named for its bright red new growth which settles down to green with  white veins. Each leaf is very pretty but as the plant mounds up and becomes dense its downright elegant. Thick growing ground cover for full sun to full shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Takes very dry conditions once it has rooted in a bit. Trailing stems will root as they touch the soil providing erosion control. In wind free places with support it will actually  climb as a vine and become self adhering to any rough surface. We’ve never seen it bloom and it doesn’t have to . Moderate deer resistance. To 10″ tall and 3′ wide as a ground cover. Regular water significantly speeds growth. Good winter appearance. Easy to grow plant.

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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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Trachycarpus fortunei

A classic palm in the PNW. Windmill Palm or Trachys as they are also known are extremely popular. And they should be. Moderately fast growing palm to about 18′ tall in 10 years. The trunk is covered in fur and this acts almost like insulation to protect the interior meristem from cold. Very cold hardy to near short dips to 0ºF- many venerable and ancient Windmill Palms can be found in old neighborhoods having gone through the very worst winters of the last 50 or more years. The fronds usually have drooping filifers on the species but that can vary. Male and female and requires one of each for viable fruit set. Following huge aromatic cream colored flower structures pollinated berries drop and will often germinate in open ground. Full sun to full shade. Drought tolerant but regular irrigation in rich soil will speed growth. Excellent performance in tight spaces. Occasionally young palms become nitrogen starved and turn yellowish. To correct simply feed with all organic fertilizer and mulch and water well through summer.

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Tricyrtis ‘Blu-Shing Toad’

Excellent Toad Lily that delights us with a long long season of orchid-like flowers that glow a smooth blue. To 2′ tall and forming an increasing clump the ends of the stems produce flowers from August well into autumn- often into November if there is not an intervening freeze. The wavy leaves that line the stems hold spots that appear like small drops of dark oil. Very pretty. Part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Excellent woodland performer. This variety as the other we grow (‘Spotted Toad’) seem to avoid a scorch that can afflict the leaves of many varieties. Don’t know why. We just got lucky. Pair with Japanese forest grass and Hosta. Easy, long lived perennial. Completely winter deciduous.

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Tricyrtis ‘Spotted Toad’

Toad lilies are the joy of late summer into autumn in the shade garden. This tall growing selection has leaves that are conspicuously spotted with maroon dots. In August to October 20″ stems support multiple orchid-like flowers. The flowers have three petals heavily marked with purple/blue dots. Very pretty. Surprisingly its a nice cut flower. Forms a spreading clump in time. Rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade to shade. It has the nice habit of winding through other plants and the cheery exotic flowers will show up quite far from the source. Very easy long lived perennial. Regular summer water. Avoid hot sun which will scorch the leaves. Completely deciduous in winter. Adapts to dry shade when established.

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Trillium kurabayashii

One of Oregon’s greatest wildflowers. This native of the Siskiyous and the SW part of the state makes an outstanding garden plant. Ours are divisions from well marked leaves and flowers with a deep maroon/black hue. To 18″ tall in bloom it responds readily to rich, humus filled soil with regular summer water. In very dry conditions it will go happily summer dormant. And it usually does anyway by the end of the hot season. The black and green leaves are dramatic but a  great collar to the tall upright dark flowers. Blooms appear in Portland in April/May and last for weeks. Part shade to shade- avoid blasting hot sun- it will grow in sun but go dormant very quickly. Roots very deep into the ground- difficult to move once established so pick its home carefully. Multiplies into a substantial patch with good care. One of our favorite native wildflowers. Limited quantities. Oregon native plant.

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Verbascum ‘Clementine’

OH MY DARLING, OH MY DARLING, OH MY DARLING Clementine you are lost ….Not lost at all this wonderful Verbascum is delightful and blooms repeatedly from spring to late summer. To 3′ tall or taller in ideal conditions, spires of soft orange to pale yellow depending on the temperature have a central bee of lavender feathers. Adorable and conspicuous as when observed as a cut flower of which this flower is great. The spires of flowers erupt directly from the center of a basal rosette of flat green leaves. Full sun, average to enriched soil that drains with light, consistent summer water. Remove spent blooms and another round will begin. Does not seed around. Mix with other sun-loving perennials with similar cultural requirements. Agastache, Digitalis lanata, Penstemon ‘Enor’ for a LONG LONG flowering spectacle. Winter dormant. Cold hardy and easy to grow. Great flower color for mixing or for tone on tone continuity- for that try it combined with Digitalis x ‘Honey Trumpet’.

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Verbena rigida

Vigorous and floriferous perennial Verbena for tough areas. Spreading by underground stolons in rich to average well drained soil this deep purple flowering perennial covers ground in short order. Full sun and light summer water when established to lengthen bloom time. Even then it begins flowering in June and continue unabated for two months. To 2′ tall and 4′ wide. Give it room to spread and do not pair with delicate neighbors. Hellstrips, Insanely hot and dry south facing hillsides. Freezes to the ground in winter- returns from the ground when truly warm weather arrives. Moderately deer resistant.

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Veronica liawanensis

Turkish speedwell is an excellent low water creeping ground cover that performs wonderfully in our climate. Flush with the ground this evergreen creeps in well drained average to enriched soil to several feet wide in several seasons. In April to May carpets of sky blue flowers obscure the entire plant. Very pretty. Roots as it grows, excellent for erosion control on a small scale on steep slopes. Regular summer water speeds growth but once established it takes summer drought very well. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Dies out in compacted soils- make sure to double dig the area around where it is to go to incorporate oxygen in the soil. For tired plantings simple overspread compost on top of it and let it settle between the leaves in early spring. Easy to grow hardy little ground cover. Moderate deer resistance.

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Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Adoration’

Sturdy spire of a perennial with symmetry in mind. Whorls of pointed foliage lines the stems on the 5 tall plants. At the top vertical spikes of fine periwinkle blue flowers appear and grow. They remain pretty for weeks. In fall the still standing stems take on bright yellow fall tones and holds it for several weeks. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation Becomes more tolerant of drought with age and establishment. This form is popular for its occasional tendency to fasciate. A harmless contortion of the flower spikes. Cool cut flower.

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Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Album’

The white flowered form of culvers root- but seldom called that in the PNW. Slender perennial with multiple vertical stems clad in symmetrically space pointed foliage surrounding the stem. At the tips in early summer multiple spires of pure white flowers give a really cool ethereal effect. Massed it is simply one of the coolest plants. Our form rises to just 4′ tall and forms slowly increasing clumps. In autumn the foliage that lines the stems often turns bright yellow and remains for a while- a second season of interest. Full sun to the very lightest shade in any soil of good fertility. Does well even in unamended clay as long as summer water is dependable. Long lived perennial that never requires division or fussing. Cool cut flower for big wild arrangements. Bees love it.

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Viburnum atrocyaneum var. harryanum

Unique and we think very pretty evergreen Viburnum. Small perfectly round leaves are placed in threes around the stems. In summer the terminal branches host clouds, or cymes I should say of tiny white flowers. They have no fragrance but are pretty  to look at.. Moderately growing rounded shrub of great symmetry to 4′ x 6′ in 7 years. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Takes very dry conditions when established. At first glance this does not look like a Viburnum- which is charming. Its a very pretty dense growing first rate evergreen.

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Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’

We think this is the best form of this winter blooming shrub/tree. Large clusters of pink flowers change to white upon opening. Flowers begin in December and continue to open until March. A very long season of bloom at an important time of the year. The tubular flowers are sweetly fragrant. Tall growing vase shaped shrub to 12′ tall and half as wide. Fall color is soft peach and red and showy for quite a while. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich to average well drained soil with regular summer water. Great scaffold for summer blooming Clematis. Make this the star of your winter garden. Cut flowers last for a long time in a vase.

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Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Anne Russell’

Really there is nothing like the clove/carnation/sweet fragrance of this shrub in late winter to early spring. The large clusters of flowers begin as pink buds and open to white. Nice bicolor effect along the way. Blooms 3-4 weeks. Evergreen to semi-evergreen to deciduous in arctic places. Large growing shrub that can attain tree like proportions with great age. To 8′ x 4′ in 7 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich to average well drained sites. Light consistent summer water speeds growth and increases spring flowering. Otherwise relatively drought adapted, especially in shade. Tolerate the most obnoxious sticky clay soils- especially on slopes. Plant where you can pass by the flowers and take a big ol whiff. Very easy to grow. Prune AFTER flowering.

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Viola ‘Tiger Eye’

We grew this just for fun last year and not only was it one of our most talked about plants it became one of our favorites as well. Each yellow/gold/burnt umber flower is intricately and completely marked in black lines. On very close inspection they almost look like a drawing of flowers. And its the most FRAGRANT viola we’ve ever smelled with a sweet perfume that carries quite a distance. Compact hardy annual to 6″ x 6″ for full sun to light shade. Excellent tolerance of cold (down to zone 7) as well as heat. All around its a winner of a viola, for containers, borders etc. Blooms non-stop, removing spent flowers does encourage more. Stop and smell the Violas and then stare at the patterns. Its a trip man.

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Viola corsica

One of the parents of modern violas this perennial is short lived but while its around its never out of bloom- year round. Slender indigo blue flowers are small but profuse on a compact plant to just 6″ tall and barely wider than that. Seeds itself around prolifically…how the seeds find their way so far from the parent plant is natures mystery. It will germinate anywhere – cracks, beneath rocks. Sun, Shade. Very hardy to way, way below 0ºF. Light summer water during the hottest weather. Part shade in nearly any texture soil. Mediterranean wild flower.

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Viola odorata (Parma) ‘Alba Plena’

This cool cultivar of Parma violet can be difficult to stumble upon. We love the plush double white flowers that sends its sweet perfume on the breeze in late winter to mid-spring. Parma violets are basically the Sicilian version of the common sweet violet (Viola odorata). They are not nearly as cold hardy or pernicious as the species and they tend to have much larger more opulent and fragrant flowers. Also, their leaves are distinctively glossy as opposed to matte. This little sweetie forms spreading patches and the long stems are a bit weak for the large double white flowers- they tend to bend. Excellent for small bouquets that you can sniff and sniff. In the garden they need a sheltered position away from the freeze and thaw and harsh conditions in the open. Instead coset them under large shrubs and among ephemeral early perennials such as Anemones, and small bulbs like species Crocus. Part shade- they bloom best with a bit of sun. Regular summer water encourages them to spread. This form seldom sets seed- I don’t think I’ve ever seen seed in fact. Pity. Rare plant.

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Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF
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Vitex agnus-castus ‘Sensational’

Excellent California selection of Chaste tree with thicker, bluer flowers. Large growing shrub with aromatic finely divided leaves in mid-July in PDX spires of blue flowers erupt from each branch tip. It remains in bloom for 3-4 weeks. And if you remove spent flowers more will appear. Full sun and poor to average well drained soil. No summer water when established. Attains tree-like status with great age. May be pruned back hard in spring to contain the ultimate size. Blooms on new wood. Long lived and hardy below 0ºF. Leaves appear late in spring- often not until mid-May. Be patient.

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Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6a -5º to -10ºF
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Watsonia latifolia

A true red flowered Watsonia and one of the hardiest of the genus. Wide green spikey leaves rise to 2′ tall in spring. In late spring to early summer 3′ tall spikes of tubular true red flowers line the stems. Loved by hummingbirds and cut flower aficionados alike. Rich soil in full sun in a protected position- a south or west facing wall is ideal. Freezes to the ground below 20ºF- re-sprouts in spring. Forms an expanding clump to several feet across. A fun genus to experiment with in our climate. Rated as zone 7 in its native high elevation South Africa.  We think its more like 10ºF in our climate. Plant with royal red Lobelia tupa and Rosa ‘Bengal Fire’ for a red extravaganza. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Somewhat deer resistant.

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Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
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Watsonia pillansii

This is one of the hardiest species of Watsonia Lily. It forms large evergreen clumps of spikey foliage to 3′ tall. In early summer 4′ spikes lines with brilliant orange flowers are stunning. They bloom for weeks. A protected location such as close to a south or west facing wall. Capable of freezing to the ground in extreme cold (below 20ºF) but regrowing vigorously and still blooming in late spring to early summer. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture. If allowed to go completely dry in summer this as with other Watsonias will go dry dormant. It returns with the first rains in autumn. Amazing cut flower. Mulch your clump in autumn. Wonderful South African perennial that is glorious at the Oregon Coast. To 3′ wide eventually.

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Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
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Mules Ears are our native sunflowers. These cheery bold perennials make the transition of our wild flowers from spring into real summer. So named for its long leaves it forms very permanent spreading colonies in clay soils in habitat. The brilliant yellow sun flower blossoms rise up on sturdy stems directly from the ground. Each ebullient large flower is about 4″ across. Blooms appear from late April to early June. This plant usually finishes blooming just as summer drought commences. Its a memorable sight in wild meadows where it blooms simultaneously with native Rosa nutkana and Farewell to spring (Clarkia amoena var. lindleyi) and Giant blue eyed mary (Collinsia grandiflora). Wonderful cut flower and immediate and popular pollinator perennial. This plant was once very common in the Willamette Valley but civilization has immensely shrunk its native range. Good, long lived garden plant that goes summer dormant quickly after blooming has ended. The leaves turn gray and brittle and can easily be removed then. Give it a summer rest w/ little to no summer water once established. Full sun to very light shade. Water to establish its first season then none in subsequent years. Fun to grow and LONG lived. To 14″ in bloom forming a plant several feet across. Moderate deer resistance. Native to the Portland city limits.  Oregon native plant

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Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
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