Symphyotrichum hallii

Hall’s Aster might as well be known as Willamette Valley Aster as this charming smaller perennial is found primarily there. To 20″ tall and spreading to form a wider clump this native aster begins blooming in August and continues into Autumn. The small daisy flowers have rays that are primarily white, though light pink and lavender are also seen. The reverse of the petals is always a darker color- primarily very light lavender. Excellent native pollinator plant for late in the season. Full sun to very light shade in rich to average soil. Adaptable to xeric clay soils that dry in summer. In the garden deep infrequent soaks will yield the healthiest and most floriferous plants. Spreads moderately underground by stolons. Not bothered by deer. Nice little cut flower as filler for bolder arrangements. Climate adapted perennial that is a native for a Willamette Valley prairie. Not as vigorous and space consuming as Symphyotrichum subspicatum – Douglas aster. Hall’s aster fits in much smaller spaces. Easy to grow, winter deciduous. Associated plants in the wild are Sidalcea m. ‘Virgata’, Eriophyllum lanatum, Achillea millefolium.  Takes intense dry conditions with establishment. Oregon native plant.

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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 over-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.

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Symphyotrichum subspicatum ‘Sauvie Star’

One of our color selections of the locally native Douglas Aster. This cultivar originates from seed collected on Sauvie Island. This is the predominant wild Aster of the Willamette Valley. 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.

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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 which change to white and finish with tints of pink. 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 which is mostly just ugly and I’ve never seen harm to the plant. 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. Often grows with Claytonia as seen below. Flowers emit a sweet fragrance.  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′.

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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. It may also be contained the same as bamboo. It is, however, easy to pull the suckers by hand. Wait until they grow several leaves and then grab it by the stem and wiggle, slowly at first then in wide arcs and pull. It will pull right up. Also, there is a conspicuous indumentum (brown fur) all over the plant and especially the leaves, these tiny hairs when rubbed off or disturbed can cause skin irritation in some people. Wear gloves and a rain coat while pruning.

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Trachelium caeruleum

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

 

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Trachelospermum 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. Adult foliage has leaves that are nearly circular and will produce a long season of ivory propeller shaped non-fragrant flowers June – August. 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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