Mahonia aquifolium

Oregon Grape, our ubiquitous state flower. This evergreen shrub can be found almost anywhere aside from the immediate coast to high Cascades west of the mountains. Its native from B.C. to Southern California. Variable shrub to on average 5′ tall and suckering as wide. In rich, happy conditions it will soar to 8′ or more and in more impoverished conditions it makes its life as a spreading low plant. In late February-April the top of the plant erupts in golden yellow incredibly fragrant flowers that are one of the first joys of spring. By late summer these flowers have transformed into clusters of dusty blue incredibly sour fruits. Often employed in the toughest situations where its performance is some what rough. It thrives in cultivation with light, consistent summer moisture. Tolerates heavy clay soils and summer drought. The pinnate leaves often take on purple/maroon tints in winter. Ours are cuttings native to our wholesale nursery site. So its a local plant. Full sun to part shade to quite a bit of shade at the expense of blooming and a lankier outline. Excellent deer resistance when established. Oregon native plant.

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Mahonia nervosa var. mendocinoensis

Rare but excellent form of Cascades Mahonia that is actually found only in the redwoods of N. California to southern Oregon. A TALL upright growing shrub with thick trunks to 9′  eventually. It forms a clump of stems and can increase by suckering closely to the main clump and sending up new stems. Handsome foliage- pinnate dark green leaves to 1′ + long.  In winter the whole shrub takes on great plum purple tones. In mid-spring trailing clusters of yellow flowers are followed by blue berries. Moderately slow growing evergreen shrub for part shade to dense shade. Established plants take dust dry conditions in shade. Accepts regular summer water as well- in well drained soil that is not compacted. Mulch each year with a coarse bark. Easy to grow. Appearance is very much like the M. x media hybrids. New growth emerges red. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.

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Melianthus major ‘Purple Haze’

Nice selection of Honey Bush that shares tints of purple predominantly when new leaves are unfurling. The enormous blue/lavender serrated leaves are amazing. Lower growing than either the species or ‘Antonow’s Blue’. To 4′ tall (usually shorter) by at least 6′ wide. Red flowers are produced on the black scape that can follow mild winters. Technically a subshrub as it can freeze to the ground and fully recover from the root in a single season. IF it has been well established in its first season. For that reason we only sell Melianthus in 2 gallon sizes. A larger plant establishes faster and has more mass going into winter. Plant in a protected location- against a wall or with light overstory protection. Mulch for the first winter. Freezes to the ground at prolonged temperatures below about 20ºF. Re-sprouts in mid-late spring. Water and fertilize to speed the recovery. South Africa.

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Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’

Shockingly showy little perennial wildflower that display relatively huge brilliant red tubular flowers from a somewhat demure plant. Deep green/maroon foliage is aromatic but gives no hint at the ultimate showiness of the flowers. Blooms appear continuously from late spring to autumn. Very well drained soil of moderate fertility in full sun. Light summer water but occasional deep soaks spurs flowers. Hummingbirds actually get down to ground level for this 3″ tall by 14″ wide matt forming perennial. Good drainage aids in cold hardiness for this striking California native wildflower. Exceptional and long blooming in containers.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Purpureus’

Remarkable form of the holly leaf tea olive with new growth that emerges a deep purple black. It settles to dark green in summer on a large growing shrub to 8′ x 8′ in 7 years. Full sun to very light shade in all soils that drain well. Very drought adapted when established. Mature shrubs bear masses of tiny white flowers in the leaf axils in October-November that cast a sweet perfume. Excellent cold hardiness. This is one of the few broad leaf evergreens that is perfectly hardy to the subfreezing wind of the gorge. Troutdale, this shrubs for you. Great hedge as well as specimen. Flowers occur on wood from the previous year- prune in winter after flowering.

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Pelargonium ‘Black Boar’

Sumptuous zonal geranium with deep black and green foliage and vibrant coral pink flowers non-stop for months. To 20″ tall and as wide. Seems to go up for a while but always ends up with horizontal stems. Blooms heavily and constantly- Very pretty delicate appearing flowers. This is a fantastic zonal for containers, its thrives in rich soil with regular irrigation. Rich, soil that drains. Add a table spoon of all organic fertilizer at planting. This guy loves food. Tender to cold. Over winter in an unheated but not arctic garage or try something new next year. This plant has become a real favorite of ours. Its also a fantastic conservatory plant and might work as a houseplant in a very sunny window. Full sun to very light shade.

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Phormium tenax ‘Atropurpureum’

The most commonly seen New Zealand Flax in our climate and arguably one of the most hardy to cold. Deep maroon/purple evergreen foliage in a large clump to 5′ x 5′ ultimately in a hot position and full sun in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer water increases the growth rate which in turn establishes the plant more thoroughly. The more established the Flax the more vigorously it returns if it gets hit by cold. If it does, try not to cut the whole thing to the ground but leave as many viable leaves as possible for food to aid in the recovery. Great plant for hot hellstrips and containers. Borders. etc. Following mild winters (above 20ºF) it may send up 6′ spikes with duckbill shaped yellow flowers in summer. Thrives at the Oregon Coast where it seldom is ever bothered by cold and where it absorbs blasting salt laden winds happily. High deer resistance.

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Phormium tenax ‘Portland Night’

We selected this incredibly dark foliaged New Zealand Flax from a huge seed batch. It was the darkest maroon/black and exhibited great vigor. To 3′ x 3′ in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Soak once every two weeks once established. Full sun to light shade in a somewhat protected location. When established it is capable of freezing back in extreme winters and recovering fully by early summer. Following mild winters (above 20ºF) 6′ spikes may appear with tubular yellow flowers on a much branched inflorescence. If in containers move to a freeze free location in the event of an arctic blast (about once every four years). Arching stems are graceful. High deer resistance. Great performance on the Oregon Coast. Evergreen.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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Pittosporum divaricatum

Unless you look REALLY REALLY closely you would never even think this was a Pittosporum, let alone even in that family. But life was tough in alpine New Zealand and this baby would have none of the grazing by huge Moa Birds. So the twiggy, zig zaggy stems evolved (the official term is divarication). The tiny, tiny leaves are serrated if you look closely (you might even take out glass to amplify the details). Tiny white flowers line the stem and mostly go unnoticed in spring. What it does provide is a very architectural compact shrub with stunning black stems in winter that change to ashy grey in summer. Perfectly hardy to cold down to below 5ºF. Full sun and average to enriched soil with little summer water once established. Groovy, somewhat rare shrub for excellent effects. To 6′ x 3′ in 8 years. Moderate deer resistance. Great structural shrub for containers.

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Primula ‘Guinevere’

Good reliable perennial Primrose with dark maroon leaves and stems in great contrast to the simple lavender pink flowers. A nice yellow eye adorns the center of each flowers. Blooms February to early May. Low growing form that makes colonies over time in rich, moisture retentive soil with regular water. Must have regular summer water to survive the drought season and this one will without huge amounts of effort. Under shrubs in woodland glens. Easy perennial.

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