New Mexico Agave is a spike wonder. Much more upright-growing than the species with sharp-tipped leaves that terminate in a blood red thorn. OW. Forms a very symmetrical plant with many leaves of steel blue. Full sun and VERY WELL-DRAINED soil. Excellent on hot slopes where it will tilt the rosette to avoid winter wet. Pups, heh, freely and you will soon have many rosettes. Amend the soil with pumice and gravel. Make sure there is plenty of air in the soil and no place where water could collect. Fantastic specimen plant for a dry garden/gravel garden. Water through the first summer to establish then none in subsequent years. Clean out the rosette when deciduous leaves collect in there- a shop vac works great. The leaves will cause rot when they decompose….so they must go. Great in containers- large, sturdy containers. Cold hardy. High deer resistance.
Consistently one of the most successful Agaves for gardens in our region. Soft gray rosettes have leaves with a distinct upright habit. At the tips of the wide leaves is a single (deadly) black thorn. Very nice. Full sun and very well drained soil with little to no summer water when established. This Agave requires soil that is never soggy- amend heavily with pumice and gravel to create air pockets. Plant this (and all) hardy Agaves in our climate on a tilt. The tilted rosette sheds rainwater and it keeps it much drier in winter. Ideally, this Agave should be sited on a hot, south facing slope. In autumn deciduous leaves from (everywhere) seem to blow into the rosette and collect. You must remove these immediately so that they do not rot the center of the plant. A shop vac works wonders…so do bar-B-Q tongs. Excellent in containers. Its best to plant hardy Agaves in early spring to early summer. They require a long season to develop a root system which ensures that they are cold hardy. No root system and not so hardy. Hardy below 0ºF when dry. Highly deer resistant.
Native to the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico and extreme west Texas this adorable columbine enchants us with its whimsical soft yellow flowers and fine blue foliage. To 18″ tall in bloom the petite flowers have long fantastic tails. They appear from April-June, and occasionally again if you remove spent flowers and prevent seed set. This smaller plant has wonderful finely divided blue green foliage that forms a fountain before and after bloom. Often self sows in open sites. The original plants live about 5 years but the distinctive leaves will give away the seedlings. They seem to favor cracks in pavement, stones. Full sun to very light shade in rich to average soil with regular summer water. Mix with our native Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) for a color echo on the yellow perianth of both. Very popular with pollinators including native pollinators. Winter deciduous. Moderate deer resistance. Charming and easy to grow wild flower.
Our employee Adinah spotted this distinct form of our native glandular manzanita in extreme SW Oregon. This form boasts very silver foliage with sharply pointed leaves and the conspicuous glands that identify the species. In mid winter to early spring clusters of pink buds open to pendant urn shaped white flowers. Loved by over wintering Anna’s hummingbirds. A low and spreading Manzanita to 4′ tall by 6′ wide in 7 years. Not as rapid of growth as other varieties. Full sun and average, well drained soil. Do not amend the soil but rely on our own native soils perfect fertility. To further enhance success double dig a wide area around the plants new home. This incorporates oxygen into the soil in a wide area and also allows the percolation of water. Mulch after planting with a coarse bark. Very pretty, very gray dome shaped shrub which eventually reveals contrasting mahogany glossy peeling trunks. A very pretty species that is uncommon in Oregon but whose range extends south all the way to Baja Norte. Once established, do not water- neglect and perfect climate adaptation will do the rest. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
Excellent garden-tolerant smaller Manzanita. New growth is blushed pink as are the winter flowers. Settling to soft gray, this dense rounded plant achieves about 5′ x 7′ in 7 years. The bark becomes reddish and shaggy with age. Full sun and very well drained soil with no supplemental water once established. Gray foliage is organized symmetrically around the thick stems. This is a good scale for smaller gardens and a handsome shrub at all times. Provide good air circulation in an uncrowded environment. Found, selected and named by Bart O’Brien. This has been a fantastic shrub in our climate and we’re proud to offer it.
Interesting and very handsome compact Manzanita that retains what appears to be juvenile foliage. Each rounded leaf has small indentations that give the plant a finer mein. Silver/ gray foliage is handsome all the time and the leaves clasp the stems in a symmetrical way. In January to April clusters of pinkish/ white urn shaped flowers appear at the branch tips. Not the heaviest blooming Manzanita. The mature trunks and stems revert to a solid mahogany glossy finish with time. Dense growing to 4′ x 4′ in 6 years- larger in time. Beautiful, architectural shrub for full sun and dry summer conditions. No supplemental water when established. Rounded good looking plant for hillsides, parking strips, dry shrub borders. This species is native to mid to higher elevations of the Bay area and has performed wonderfully in our gardens. A naturally dense growing plant.
Our very, very favorite Manzanita and one of the very rare ones in the wild. Occurs on two ridges in northern California- Horse Mountain was one of them and Greg’s dad just happened to have a cabin there. Not an easy Manzanita to cultivate. Low, dense, spreading, very gray shrub to 3′ x 5′ wide in time. The bark is a great glossy mahogany and the winter/spring flowers are white tinted pink. Russet berries are quickly consumed by wild life. Spectacular shrub for full sun, average to poor, well-drained soil and absolutely no summer water. Loathes the combination of water and heat. Neglect is its friend and you will reap great rewards with this beautiful shrub by strictly ignoring it once it is established. Ultra cold hardy- hailing from over 4500′ in elevation and recommended for cold gardens. This species is native to southern Oregon, and though not technically native to Oregon this is our favorite form of this species. Not the easiest to propagate so quantities are often limited. Absolutely NO summer water. Ever. Forms rounded balls of soft silver. Dynamic on slopes. Easily prone to death from soil pathogens if watered in summer. Absolute neglect.
This is a compact, dense growing form of Hairy Manzanita from the city of Manzanita on the coast. These are Greg’s collections. He chose several forms that had nice foliage, foliage color, habit, and resistance to disease. This form is one of the most compact of the three. Slightly smaller leaves are born densely on a more reserved growing plant. In late winter to spring clusters of white flowers followed by drupes that turn distinctly red. Inland forms of this Manzanita have maroon to russet berries so this is a distinct difference. Beautiful dark, glossy maroon bark as for the species. To 6′ x 6′ in 7 years. Adapted to average to poor soils which will allow it to grow at a more reserved rate. Arctostaphylos columbiana reacts to richer soils, even clay soils with exuberant growth. Best in our native soils that are unimproved. Dig a large hole and provide regular water until you see good new growth then taper off. In subsequent years only what falls from the sky. Arctostaphylos columbiana (Hairy Manzanita) is a proto species one of the first and it is the most widespread Manzanita in Oregon and Washington. Genetically it dominates and most of Calfiornia’s northern species are derived from ancient Hairy Manzanita. Provide full sun and good air circulation. Excellent underplanted with native annuals and Sedums. Good looking siver/ gray foliage year round. Extraordinarily drought adapted. Associated plants with the coastal species are Vaccinium ovatum, Pinus contorta ssp. contorta Garrya elliptica, Baccharis pilularis and Salal (Gaultheria shallon). Often found with Festuca rubra on stabilized sand dunes. Oregon native plant
Xera Plants Introduction
Immensely handsome dense rounded Manzanita that has smaller than average silver foliage and fantastic bark. Moderately fast growing shrub to 4′ tall x 5′ wide in 8 years. In late winter each branch tip is bedecked in clusters of small white flowers- they are born in profusion and expand from pink buds. Russet colored berries often follow and are consumed by wildlife. The black/mahogany glossy bark is beyond striking with the silver foliage. It splits, rolls up into ribbons, and exfoliates in late summer. In time it may be pruned to reveal trunks–for most of its youth they are hidden by dense almost formal looking foliage. Adaptable to many soils including clay soils- especially on slopes. Excellent long term landscape plant that looks great year round. Very good cold hardiness enduring 0ºF with no problem. Dig a hole 3x as big as the rootball in the pot to loosen the soil and allow the new roots to penetrate virgin soil. Water regularly through the first summer- then little to none in subsequent years. Combine with green leaved Arctos for great foliage contrast. Perfect on slopes, areas with intense reflected heat such as parking lot planter islands. Great urban shrub. Appreciates good air circulation.
Ghostly white fur covered foliage is almost too pale to believed and ‘Ghostly’ is an apt name. A distinctive Manzanita to 8’ tall and 4’ wide in 5 years. Fast growing in our climate. Do not be afraid to cut back lanky new growth for a more upright and sturdier plant. Tends to send out a lot of vertical stems, those may be cut to initiate denser branching. Prune in July. In late winter and early spring clusters of white urn shaped flowers appear at the branch tips and delight hummingbirds. There is no more silver/white foliaged Manzania that we have seen. Truly spectacular in well drained soil with good air circulation and little summer water once established. From a species native to the Santa Cruz Mtns. in California and surprisingly cold hardy.
Wonderful low spreading Manzanita that we have grown for more than 20 years. Silver/gray pointed leaves densely clothe the spreading stems of this adaptable shrub. In time the lax, decumbent stems point upward at the tips. In spring white flowers are a bonus. To 2′ tall and 6′ wide it may be employed as an informal ground cover. Full sun to light shade and well drained soil of average fertility. Little to no summer water when established. Nice looking plant year round. In time it develops glossy cinnamon colored trunks/stems. Excellent on slopes. Takes more shade than most cultivars. Excellent cold hardiness. Plant on 30″ centers for a large ground cover. Tips may be pruned in spring to encourage density, otherwise it covers the ground densely. A hybrid of obscure parentage that has been around for decades.
This is a mysterious Manzanita and one of the finest. We’ve driven by it for years on the highway to N. California and for years it captured our attention. A smaller rounded shrub of metallic silver gray with white flowers. So far it does not key out to any specific species so we’re pretty sure its a naturally occurring hybrid. And the silver gray foliage could be a result of a little bit of A. canescens. But the area where it lives has about 8 species and god knows how many hybrids in close vicinity. Either way its a stellar garden Manzanita with pointed metallic silver foliage and clusters of showy white flowers in winter/spring. The bark is a wonderful contrasting smooth deep mahogany- a great foil to the foliage. To 4′ x 4′ in 8 years. Moderately slow growing for an Arctostaphylos. In habitat it perches on a nearly vertical cliff of basalt. So, its adaptable. Not prone to black spot and it hails from an area with a naturally high rainfall. Avoid all supplemental water when established. It literally thrives on neglect. Silver foliage shines year round. Limited quantities. A Xera Plants favorite. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
Moroccan Pineapple Broom is a splendid, hardy NON-INVASIVE tree that we adore for its silver foliage and spicily scented cones of brilliant yellow flowers. Fast growing tree which may also be maintained as a shrub. In our climate with more rain than its native range it usually achieves tree like proportions. To 16′ tall by 10′ wide most often with one to three trunks. Best in poor to average soil with as little irrigation as possible once established. You must treat this plant with a bit of benign neglect. Overly enriched soil and too much supplemental irrigation leads to a rank growing and usually unstable plant that can go over easily in a wet gale. The flower fragrance is definitely pineapple with somewhat salty notes. Blooms appear May-July and are born on wood from the previous year. Prune-if needed AFTER flowering has ended. Full sun is ideal. Wonderful small tree for rough sites- compacted awful droughty soils. Almost always deciduous in our winters and surprisingly hardy taking temperatures just below 0ºF with no ill effects. Moderate deer resistance. Absorbs the blasting heat of south facing walls. Wonderful small tree. Beautiful espalier subject- see pruning above.
Lovely, soft gray curls make up the foliage of this low spreading perennial. Easy to grow and long lived plant for full sun and well drained soil. Little summer water when established. Takes the hottest aspects with aplomb and remains good looking all season. At the end of summer stems extend to produce small white flowers. Not really showy but it expands the overall texture of the plant. Completely winter deciduous. Cut back hard in early spring. Forms woody stems at the base and is a quite permanent plant. Flows in and around other plants gracefully. Moderate deer resistance. To 1′ x 3′ in a season.
This widespread species is native to the floor of the Willamette Valley and is locally common in the Columbia Gorge where it occupies dry rocky hillsides in full sun but tolerates heavy clay soil. In the best conditions (loam) it is huge spreading perennial that requires pre-planning and some real estate. Gray green stalks and leaves rise up to about 4’tall and bear deliciously fragrant pink orbicular flowers. These are irresistible to butterflies, including Monarchs, and if you want one to visit your garden this plant is good insurance. However, all butterflies find it irresistible. Spreads underground vigorously by stolons and can come up quite a way from the initial clump. Full sun and well drained soil. Completely winter deciduous and emerges relatively late in spring. Be patient. see video below. IMG 6323. Oregon native plant.
Silver Spear. Dramatic silver green monocot spikey plant that we adore for container culture. To 3′ tall and dense the rosettes produce long silvery spiky leaves at a moderate pace. Full sun to light shade in rich, well drained soil. Not completely hardy in Portland, it freezes out at about 18ºF- and containers should be protected over the winter- move into an unheated place. Rich, soil, regular irrigation which speeds growth. In the ground you must choose the most protected urban site possible. Then mulch and cover with an opaque sheeting when temperatures threaten to dip below 20ºF. In town that is about once every four years. It can freeze back quite a way but recovery is dubious and slow at best. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast where it is a permanent landscape plant.
Much hardier to cold but quite a bit smaller this Astelia has thrived in Portland gardens for decades. Part shade and rich, moisture retentive soil that drains well is ideal. It seems to adore unamended loam as well. Rosette forming monocot with silver leaves that have a distinct red tint. Avoid blasting hot dry situations- this species hates that. Spreads slowly to form showy evergreen patches. Mix in borders, among shrubs- which adds winter protection or in containers. Protect containers from temperatures below 10ºF. In the ground it is hardy below that. Excellent long term perennial for beds or containers. Little spikes of green flowers occasionally transfer into bright orange fruits. To 1′ x 2′ wide in 4 years. Regular summer water is ideal and will also speed growth. New Zealand
Excellent grey leaved evergreen low shrub for hot and sunny sites. To 3′ x 4′. Foliage is grey on the top of the rounded leaves with a distinct white undersides. In summer clusters of brilliant yellow daisies are showy and provide excellent contrast. Best in poor to average well drained soils – accepts clay soils with little summer water. Very drought tolerant. Best in the mildest gardens. Dry hillsides, shrub borders, hot aspects. Little to light summer water. Good deer resistance. Cold hardy to about 10ºF or a little lower if soil is strictly un-amended and summer water is sparse- neglect leads to a hardier plant in the long run. New Zealand. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Don’t be afraid to cut back this shrub after blooming has ending. Cut several inches into existing branches this will form a dense upright plant with more foliage and a tidier habit. Very good urban shrub.
Fun small shrub that we love for its wavy (undulate) gray foliage and compact habit. Evergreen shrub to 3′ x 3′ moderately fast. In summer it is topped by clusters of electric yellow daisies- nice contrast with the gray foliage. Full sun and well drained soil with light to little summer water once established. Avoid exposure to subfreezing east winds- site on a south or west facing aspect if you are in the wind zone. Excellent performance on hot dry slopes. Moderate deer resistance. Great at the Oregon Coast. Evergreen. New Zealand.
South African Buddleia that we are not concerned about escape, We’ve had this plant on our propagation hill for 15+ years, and there is even a rich stock bed right beside NEVER had a single seedling. Kind of wish I would. Thin tapered gray leaves are pure white underneath and along the stems. This downy appearance reads as light gray from a distance. Forms a rounded shrub to about 6′ tall x 4′ wide in 4 years. Blooms on wood from the previous year (important)- restrict pruning to directly after you are sick of the flowers. Large clusters of off white faintly fragrant flowers appear in late spring and remain in bloom to August, sometimes longer. Moderately fast growing evergreen for excellently drained soils to rich soils in full sun. I would err on the side of poor soil, its a tough shrub with great drought tolerance. Two ideal companions to our stock plant are Bupleurum fruticosum and Grevillea australis. Not only does it look good this 1/2 gravel 1/2 clay substrate is kind of rough and all three thrive. You may cut back very hard to refresh/resize- May skip a year of bloom but its a fantastic evergreen gray foliage plant on those merits. High deer resistance. Drought adapted and cold hardy. We’ve never irrigated ours. Pretty shrub for texture. Nice transitional shrub with Ozothamnus or Grevilleas and even Manzanitas.
This is a really good perennial that combines pretty evergreen foliage and wiry stems that rise to 8″ and open pale pink fluffy Bachelors Button flowers in late spring and early summer. The low mounding foliage is dense and remains good looking through most seasons. It requires full sun and rich, fast draining soils to establish and spread. Line paths, rock gardens, gravel gardens, hellstrips. Light consistent summer water- not at all shade tolerant. Spreads to 2′ wide in time. Perennial containers. Native to Turkey.
Most native Port Orford Cedars that are grown eventually die out of the root pathogen phytophthera so imagine our delight when this small shrub form with gorgeous white foliage has persisted. Not that its totally resistant but it doesn’t just up and die when it gets water on the first 85ºF day. Really at its best as a stunning container subject where one can appreciate the almost white foliage that slowly morphs to aqua green. A nice bicolor effect. Unlike other variegated conifers this one does not get nasty after exposure to an arctic winter and summer sun. Instead it remains fresh. To 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 7 years- in the form of a tear drop. No summer water once established. Regular water is safe in containers. Part shade to full sun and average, well drained soil. Slow growing conifer that always looks good. Oregon native plant.
We are so pleased with this useful and striking dwarf conifer. New growth is strongly tipped in white before settling to a sea green. Slow growth to 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Soft mein and compact habit make it a great versatile plant. Light summer water though tolerant of regular irrigation. Average soils with reasonable drainage .Good looking year round. Accepts regular irrigation and is wonderful in mixed borders. Easy to grow.
Cliff and rock dwelling elegant evergreen silver fern. Forms a tight clump and the silver gray fronds are slender and rise to about 8″ tall. It is capable of going summer or dry dormant when established. At its best in well drained rock gardens with some protection from blasting sun. In the wild the cliffs they occupy often shade them for half the day. Its a great container fern where it thrives and always looks nice. Best with consistent light moisture. Deer resistant.
Wooly Lipfern. yeah. This pretty and felty gray fern is widespread over North America. Clump forming gray fern that rises to about 10″ tall. Very elegant plant most often seen in very well drained somewhat dry sites. Full sun to part shade- protection from the most blasting heat. Light, consistent water in summer. Excellent in containers, troughs where it really does its best. Moderately deer resistant.
Western Thistle or Ghost Thistle is native to the mountainous regions of southern Oregon into California. Its frequently seen lining road cuts in recently disturbed very well drained soils. To 3′ tall and all white and cobwebby it produces deep magenta flowers on large candelabra type structures. Flowers appear in June and remain until August. Loved by pollinators as well as birds. Leave the structure to over winter and go to seed and you’ll get even more birds. Forms a rosette the first year and blooms the second. No summer water once established. Loves sharp drainage in average to slightly enriched soils. If you have clay amend the soil with pumice or plant on a steep slope. Avoid competition from other plants. Not a weed. Oregon native plant.
A tough, cold hardy, and spectacular rockrose in bloom. Gray foliage is a great backdrop to the huge (3″) pure white flowers with a central zone of yellow stamens. The flowers appear daily but en masse for weeks in April to early June. Moderate growing evergray shrub to 3′ x 5′ in any well drained soil. Extremely drought adapted and requires NO supplemental irrigation when established. Avoid overly enriched soils which will lead to rank growth and quite a bit less cold hardiness. At our wholesale nursery this wonderful shrub has not suffered cold damage down to 5ºF. Lean conditions increase hardiness. Hellstrips, low water garden sections. Hot dry biomes. A great rockrose.
Sport! We found a sport and it turned out to be a congested or actually more compact and dense form of Silver Morning Glory Shrub. Woody plant with the most metallic silver leaves possible. Each thin rounded leaf shines virtually like molten lead even in dark rainy conditions. In summer the tight silver foliage plays host to white (with pink stripes on the reverse) morning glory flowers. Full sun, very well drained poor to average soil. Little summer water once established. To 2′ x 2′ forming a perfectly round ball. Hardier to cold in well drained poor soil. Fertility and too much summer water leads to rank growth that does not harden for winter cold. Hillsides are ideal and all day sun and very little water once it has begun to put on growth in earnest. Moderate deer resistance. Mediterranean native.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Why, its not a Cotoneaster at all, in fact Corokia is a wildly architectural shrub and evolved its twisted zigzagging stems (the official term is divaricating) and tiny leaves to fend off grazing by giant Moa birds in New Zealand. The birds are now extinct and we are left with this shrub as an evolutionary natural bonsai. To 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 7 years. Average to enriched soil. Full sun to part shade. Flowers are more profuse in sun. Regular water. Great container plant. The yellow flowers in May are often followed by red /orange berries that don’t last long. I assume the brilliant color draws birds. Established plants accept both regular irrigation as well as summer drought. Irrigation encourages growth. Left to contend with summer drought the plant is naturally smaller. Cold hardy to 5ºF or lower for brief periods. Excellent landscape or garden plant that imparts a haze on the landscape from a distance but thrills with up close views of the zig zagging branches and tiny black shovel shaped leaves. Excellent long lived container subject and will thrive even with constricted roots. We love this shrub for its silvery winter appearance in containers and in container combinations. Mix with Sasanqua Camellias and Western Blue Fescue (Festuca californica) for months long entertainment. Seldom bothered by deer.
Compact hybrid Corokia that has larger leaves that turn from gray to bronze in cold weather. To 4′ x 3′ in 6 years. The upper parts of the stems are more like soft gray rushes before the foliage elongates. In late spring starry bright yellow flowers spangle the older growth. Occasionally its followed by orange berries. Very forgiving shrub that we have actually grown for years. It has good cold hardiness for a Corokia x virgata hybrid and its compact, dense and good looking year round. Avoid the coldest sites, gains cold hardiness with age, protect the smallest plants from temperatures below 20ºF, after several years it will be hardy to the upper single digits. Makes a great sheared hedge and its used for that purpose in its home New Zealand. Great performance at the Oregon coast. Very good in containers. especially winter containers. This shrub has a much more burgundy hue in winter as opposed to the all gray look of Corokia cotoneaster. Easy to grow. This shrub would be good to try where deer are profuse. Its excels in containers in the urban scape of down town.
Groovy container or rock garden perennial that is basically a silver bun of softness. Even water beads up on the hairy metallic fine leaves. 4″ stems rise to bear petal-less golden yellow disks. whimsical and wonderful and blooms repeatedly all summer in full sun and exceptionally well drained soil with consistent moisture. Let it dry between watering and give this little evergreen plant good air circulation. Very light watering. Actually, this adorable plants best application may be in modern seasonal containers. Improves hardiness too. Silver buns and dancing disks, damn. To 6″ wide.
Winter Cyclamen is a fantastic adaptable bulb that will form impressive colonies in time. The fabulous leaves are marked with silver and deep green designs. This form is known as the ‘Christmas Tree’ for its shape on the rounded leaves. From January to March small nodding purple/pink flowers form groups in concert with the foliage. A tonic for winter. To just 4″ tall in bloom and each corm gets bigger and bigger as years pass. Ants spread the seeds far and wide and new plants appear quite a distance a way. If you begin with a fancy leaved variety chances are most of your seedlings will mimic the parent. Part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil. Goes dormant and can tolerate completely dry conditions in summer. Excellent companion for winter Crocus, Hellebores, Snow drops.
Our seed strain of the fall blooming ivy leaved Cyclamen. After 15 years we’ve separated the best all silver leaf forms. Most have white or light pink flowers that appear from late summer through mid-autumn. In time the corms become enormous and they will seed with a large majority revealing silver or heavily silver marked leaves. Great plant for competition with dry tree roots or anywhere that is dust dry in summer. Leaves appear after blossoms and are showy all winter before going spring/summer dormant. Deer resistant. Excellently adapted to our climate. Mediterranean.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Love this small growing Cholla that has the most amazing luminescent white spines. Densely branching low plant to 2′ tall by 3′ wide in time. Not terribly fast growing. Fast draining soils that have been amended heavily with gravel and pumice and ideally on a slope will make this a focal point in the dry garden. Light summer water will speed growth. Extremely cold hardy and not terribly fussy. Give it an open position with sun all day long. Wonderful in rock gardens. Flowers we have not seen but we assume with this species that they will be pink/purple in summer. Highly deer resistant. Great container plant. Move to a dry position in winter just for extra protection from wet.
Fancy and beyond showy ornamental thistle/cardoon. Finely divided silver foliage lines a stem that elongates to bear multiple large violet blue flowers. The calyx (the mechanism that holds the flower (s)) is nothing more than fiercely and lethally armed with razor sharp spikes. They will cut you . Be careful. The violet blue and lower down, pink flowers are host to every pollinator in the neighborhood, Monarch Butterflies, Hummingbirds and even the post person is drawn to this remarkable flower. To 28″ tall for full sun and rich, well drained soil. Drainage must be sharp. Light summer water. Appreciates a hot position. Moderate deer resistance. Winter deciduous. N. Africa.
Cardoon. Big ol artichoke cousin that has amazing architectural bold, silver leaves that are up to 30″ long and half as wide. Forms a large rosette (4′ across) initially then the stem extends rising to 4′ tall bearing huge rich, violet blue flowers that are up to 5″ across held in a cylindrical calyx. Open call to all pollinators. Blooms begin in the second year in May and repeat to August. Full sun, rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Give it room to spread out horizontally because it inevitably will. Light deer resistance. Beautiful perennial in all of its parts. Lifespan (3-5 years ) on average.
Huge, stately, bold biennial that we kind of consider the king of all biennials. The first season it forms a huge rosette of thin silver foliage. Showy in its own right. If we have a mild winter (above 15ºF) the whole plant soars to 6′ tall the second year and is a tower of red/purple borage flowers. Pollinators lose their little collecting minds and even hummers show up. Not entirely hardy but we think its such an incredible foliage plant in its first year that is is definitely worth the risk. Following bloom it sets seed- man does it set seed and seedling will appear all over the garden. They are easy to identify- rosettes of thin leaves with a sandpapery texture. You can move them or mass them for a cool effect. Rich to average, well drained soil with light summer water. Full sun and position out of high winds which can topple the plant in its blooming stage. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Native to the Canary Islands.
California Fuchsia that is an excellent combination of hot orange tubular flowers set agains dusty gray foliage. To 18″ tall in bloom this Epilobium is a spreader especially in light to rich soil. Adapted to life on slopes and often between boulders on cliffs. There its roots penetrate the cool, wet cracks and that provides sustenance. Give this perennial at least 2′ x 3′ feet to roam. Wonderful performance in hell strips. Add a little compost and organic fertilizer and you’ll be off to the races. Most (Zauschnerias) require irrigation about once a month and no more than once a week to look and bloom their best. Though it is supremely drought adapted this occasional irrigation substantially improves looks. Loved by hummingbirds and bush tits too who play with the flowers and rip them apart- their goal I have no idea. Dies to the ground in winter- the only presence then is spent stems. Cut these away in early spring after a threat of a hard freeze has passed Companion plants in the wild are Diplaucus, Delphinium cardinalis, Sedum spathulifolium. California Fuchsias range into southern Oregon and technically they are native to our state. This is an excellent perennial with great contrast between the masses of hot flowers and gray foliage. Not bothered by deer. Loved by hummingbirds Oregon native plant.
No other California Fuchsia has foliage that even approaches being as ashy white as this cultivar. Its as if the foliage is covered in dense white powder. The 1″ long hot orange/red flowers absolutely shine against this ghostly backdrop. Vigorous perennial for well drained sites and just light summer water. Full sun. To 20″ tall in bloom which starts in early August and continues into October. Hummingbirds dive down for this vivid sweet treat. Expanding to a clump 2′ wide in just a few years. Dies completely away in winter…only the stoloniferous roots remain to regenerate this sexy perennial in spring. Moderate deer resistance.
California Fuchsias are known for their striking hot orange flowers. This variety takes it even further with profuse flowers that range to vermillion red. To 1′ tall and 3′ wide in rich, well drained soil with little summer moisture. Full sun. This spreading gray leaved perennial begins blooming in August and extends to October. Excellent perennial for dry hillsides, large rock gardens. Combines well with Arctostaphylos and other low water plants. Loved by hummingbirds. Completely deciduous in winter. Give it room to spread. The vermillion orange flowers are larger than other cultivars and its impressive.
Our most popular hummingbird fuchsia because of its low habit, dense silvery foliage and early and extended bloom period. To just 6″ tall and spreading to form a patch 2′ wide quickly. Well drained rich soil with little summer irrigation once established. Hot vermillion orange tubular flowers are born continuously and en masse from July to October. Completely drought adapted when established. Great on slopes. Light summer water to establish. Winter deciduous. Loved by Hummingbirds. This species is native to the northern California and SW Oregon redwood region. Clumps expand stoloniferously (underground). Light summer water improves bloom in very hot locations.
Our native Sulphur Buckwheat that is among the best for general garden culture in our climate. This ubiquitous creeping plant of alpine areas of Oregon celebrates spring with umbels of (sulphur) yellow flowers on long stalks. The low and spreading rosette of leaves are thick green on top with silver indumentum on the reverse. Full sun in fast draining conditions- ideally rock garden conditions because that is where you find it. Crevasses between rocks is where it lives. This is easily reenacted in your garden at the top of a porous rock wall. Blooms May-July for an extended time. The flowers go through a fascinating metamorphosis in color as they open, reach their peak of hot yellow and then turn to russet/red seed heads. These abandon the spike through autumn and spent flower spikes may be removed in winter. Water until you see the rosettes actively increasing. Then taper to once in a while. This species has a total of 13 (!) subspecies in Oregon alone. We have yet to delve into specific subspecies but if we did I would look for Eriogonum umbellatum var. modocensis and Eriogonum umbellatum var. umbellatum. Both are endemic to Mary’s Peak the tallest point in the Coast Range (4097′). So, I know that those (with immaculate drainage) can easily cope with higher rainfall. Rock garden staple and can also self sow in happy places. Very fun, sunny, satisfying native to grow. Associated plants in habitat are Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata and Achillea millefolium, Sedum oreganum, Castilleja minuta and Penstemon cardwelii. Excellently adapted to gravel, crevice, gardens with an arid aesthetic. Amend the soil as for Agaves and it will thrive. Pronounced Air-e-OG-oh-num. Rosettes to 3″ tall, blooming stems to 1′ tall. Spreads, give it room. Oregon native plant.
Oregon Sunshine is the cheery common name that greets this widespread native perennial. Silvery gray intricate foliage forms a spreading mat. In late spring and early summer brilliant golden yellow daisy flowers spangle 10″ stems. Loved by pollinators and we’ve been impressed with its draw to butterflies as well. To 2′ across and excellent on slopes where water never lingers. Add compost and this perennial will soar- give it room in that case.In the wild its a frequent of road cuts and other disturbed sites. It also competes admirably with exotic invasive weeds and will persist where other natives are swamped. Rock gardens, dry borders. Water to establish- the first season- but never boggy. The following year it will rely only on what falls from the sky. Full sun to light shade. Adapts to poor soils. Moderate deer resistance. Goes quickly dormant following bloom. Native to the Portland city limits. Very good planted beneath Pinus ponderosa var. benthamiana Pacific Ponderosa Pine this pair can frequently be found in the wild. Oregon native plant.
Cranesbills come in all colors but this is one of the most garden worthy, in fact its one of the best perennials for our climate. A GREAT PLANT PICK. Tightly clumping perennial with frilly silver intricate leaves. Beginning in spring and continuously to frost a constant supply of soft yellow cupped flowers on 5″ stems. They come in waves through the season. Pale yellow with silver. YUM. Full sun and rich to average WELL DRAINED soil. Light to little summer water- actually once its established I never water it and everything is just fine. Nice en mass. Rock gardens- thrives in the hellstrip. Not a fan of shade. Winter deciduous- unusual for an Erodium. Long lived.
If you’ve never grown any of these selections of Crane’s Bill- Erodiums which are close Geranium relatives you really are missing out. This cultivar is a Xera favorite. Low clumps of dense frilly gray foliage are evergreen and a cool canvas for the constant supply of outward facing luminous lavender purple flowers on 8″ stems. Continuously from March to October it produces these simple flowers that have a darker purple blotch on the bottom two petals. Much wilder looking than hardy Geraniums they are invaluable because they take up virtually no space- and again their bloom season is phenomenal. Not bothered by pests of any kind- including slugs and snails. Deer mostly over look them but they will dine if their attention goes that way. Full sun to quite a bit of shade which does not diminish their blooming power. Well drained soils of average to slightly enriched fertility. Remove spent flower spikes to to tidy and encourage more flowers. Forms a clump to 1′ wide in time. Fantastic plant. Come on join us in the world of Cranesbills.
Rattlesnake MASTER! Great common name for a wonderful perennial that fits the modern aesthetic perfectly. Low rosettes of silvery serrated pointed leaves are subtle. In summer 30″ branched spikes produce rounded clover-like white balls- these are the flowers and they remain showy for weeks and weeks before finally turning brown in late summer- that the time to remove them. This robust member of the carrot family is sure draw for pollinators and even works well as a huge architectural cut flowers ( the flowers up close kind of smell bad- never smell an Eryngium you’ll regret it) but the fragrance is only detectable up close. Amazing with ornamental grasses. A flower with great presence that makes everybody else look better. Photographs well. Full sun to very light shade in any well drained site. Light to little summer water. Completely winter deciduous. High deer resistance. Rosettes increase with time and so do blooms spikes. Long lived.
Spectacular mix of double flowered California Poppy in shades of pink, yellow, apricot, rose, red, orange, and yellow- and more colors than that. Easy to grow plants that can even be perennial if happily sited and cared for. Otherwise an incredibly showy annual that also makes a great cutflower- cut in bud and they will last several days. Sophisticated selection of our own native poppy and they will most likely reseed in open disturbed sites. Blooms May-August and sometimes longer. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Leave the final round of blooms to set seed for the following season. To 1′ x 1′ with beautiful lacy glaucous foliage. Rough areas in full sun with light summer H20. Highly deer resistant. Oregon native plant.
Cider gum. This is a very successful Eucalyptus in Western Oregon. Native to the high central plateau in Tasmania it forms a handsome tree to 35′ tall and 20′ wide in 10 years. As with many Eucalypts this species begins with very different juvenile foliage that is bright blue/gray with rounded leaves. After several years of vigorous growth foliage morphs to longer, greener leaves with a somewhat weeping habit. In order to retain juvenile foliage for cut material let the tree establish well for a year or two. In March to April 15 the whole tree may be coppiced to the ground. Re-growth is rapid with the arrival of truly warm weather and light applications of water. Left strictly alone Cider Gum becomes large and stately. One of its most striking features is blue/gray stems which are visible at quite a distance. Mature trees have clumps of foliage at the end of longer stems. A distinct look. Very fast growing in youth- 3′-5’per year. Growth slows with maturity but it achieves tree like stature very fast. Excellent in snow and ice. Cold hardy to about 5ºF – provide a warm microclimate in cold rural gardens. Excellent performance in urban areas. Not as messy of a Eucalyptus as some. As the tree matures the trunk exfoliates to smooth gray/tan with pink mottling. Excellent performance on the Oregon coast. Not bothered by deer or elk. A very pretty tree in a short amount of time. Drought adapted with age.
Jounama Snow Gum is repeatedly one of the cold hardiest Eucalypts and it is excellently adapted to our climate. Gray/blue scimitar shaped leaves are pendant on a spreading umbrella shaped frame of a tree. Often the trunk forks just after emerging from the ground into multiple handsome stems. This increases the surface area where you can enjoy the ravishing exfoliating bark. Bark drops in late summer to reveal python like patches of taupe/grey/green and is showy through winter. In autumn the upper branches are decorated with small fluffy white flowers. One of the few Eucalyptus that will endure subfreezing wind- in fact this tree has been hardy to brief dips to 0ºF (-18ºC). Explosively fast growing when young to 35′ tall in just 7 years. Give it room. Light summer water in virtually any well drained soil- including clay. Do not stake. Let it produce its own sturdy leader. Sheds ice and snow like a champion. Though this is a subspecies of Eucalyptus pauciflora- a snow gum just like E. p. ‘Niphophila’ there are several differences from that tree. The leaves on E. p. debeuzevillei tend to be wider and more substantial than ‘Niphophila’. Also, that gum nearly always forms several trunks. This is less common with Jounama Snow Gum and in my experience it is a slightly taller tree. It can also vary in its habit from being very wide and spreading to skinny and fastigiate- its simply the luck of the draw and you cannot decipher this future habit as a seedling. Avoid heavy watering in hot conditions and site in a well drained place. Its completely drought tolerant and should be treated that way. Winter water when its cool is irrelevant. Overall it is a fast, healthy, and easy to grow tree in just a short amount of time.
Snow gum is a wonderful cold hardy tree for the Pacific Northwest. Lance shaped gray foliage is pendant and handsome year round. This rapidly growing tree thrives in full sun and virtually any soil save for boggy conditions. In just a few years it develops amazing python mottled bark in tones of gray/tan/olive green. The bark sheds in mid-summer and can be a bit messy. Site accordingly. Grows 4′-5′ a year when young. Irrigation just increases this growth rate. Stake only when VERY young then let it form a sturdy trunk on its own. The vast majority of this Snow gum will form multiple trunks. Its possible to select one sturdy main trunk when young- pay close attention as they grow very fast. To 30′ tall and half as wide in 10 years. Snow gums have a weird habit of growing horizontally before reaching upwards. This is natural. Handles ice and snow no problem. Cold hardy to brief dips to 0ºF- but not lower. Mountains of Australia. White fluffy flowers in clusters in winter. Avoid all shade.
FANTASTIC long long blooming easy to grow and spectacular Euphorbia hybrid. Large clumps support wide umbels of electric gold flowers. They appear in spring and are effective on the plant well into summer. Foliage is fine, mid green and is a great backdrop to the never ending flowers. Semi-evergreen. A beautiful and valuable perennial for full sun and well drained soil. Little summer water required. Excellent heat tolerance and performance in hell strips. To 2′ tall and forming clumps a little wider. Mix with Salvias, Eryngiums for visual perfection and the same culture. Moderate deer resistance.
Pineapple Guava is a remarkable evergreen shrub that is cold hardy in the maritime PNW and is best used as a specimen in a warm position. Slow growing to 7′ tall and 5′ wide in 7 years it produces small but dramatic flowers in summer with bright red stamens and 4-6 swollen red petals that when eaten taste like fruity cotton-candy- excellent for children, fruit salads. These edible petals appeal to birds who unwittingly pollinate the flowers when they are noshing on the sweet treats. Handsome gray foliage. Full sun, regular soil and water. Occasionally fruits in our climate. The fruits are avacado green and about the size of a fuzzy kiwi. If they ripen by November into December they have a spicy sweet pulp- cherished by many. Becomes much more hardy to cold when established. Established shrubs take 5ºF with no damage. Good for hot aspects. Prune after flowering. Dynamic, handsome, and fun shrub to grow. High elevations in Brazil- other S. American countries. Must have full sun- completely intolerant of shade. Drought tolerant when established but regular summer water speeds growth/establishment. Syn. Acca sellowiana.
Silver foliage and purple flowers creates an unforgettable combination on this smaller hardy Geranium that likes to spread. The dense foliage is composed of metallic silver leaves and would be enough of a reason to plant this dry loving plant. In combination with the the 3/4″ purple flowers and you have a real show. To no more than 6″ high an individual happy plant will spread to 2′ wide in a season. Blooms continuously for us all summer. Full sun and very well drained soil with light summer water. Excellent rock wall candidate or growing over a wall. Very good in seasonal containers as well. Cut back hard in early spring. Not bothered by slugs/snails. South Africa.
This is a really pretty take on the more common form of Geranium tuberosum. Rather than brilliant deep purple flowers this very distinct variety makes due with the hues pink and lavender. The foliage on this spreading bulb is what really shines. Deeply incised palmate leaves are brushed with silver hairs. This pairs with the more pastel colors of the flowers in a very good way. Rich soil to average soil in part shade. Once established rely only on what falls from the sky. Bloom is 4-6 weeks April to early June and the flowers wave above 18″ stems. Vigorous and healthy and not bothered by any pests, that includes slugs and snails who will leave it strictly alone. Goes quickly dormant with summer heat- disappears entirely. Very easy and satisfying perennial to grow in Cottage gardens, spring borders, will flower gardens. Combine with spring ephemerals and bulbs. Sophisticated cultivar that improves the species.
GLADZILLA! Thats what we call this rambunctious, prolific and all too easy species Glad. Blue/gray foliage gives way to serpentine spikes lined with curiously colored cup shaped flowers. The exterior of the petals is best described as dove gray. The interior is more complicated with zones of yellow, purple, and brown. Lovely cut flower.. The scape rarely stands straight up- accept that, it makes cool arrangements. In the ground its kind of a monster. It lives to multiply and in soil that too rich you will end up with 100,000 in a short time. Don’t torture it just don’t pamper it. Great plant for the rough life of the back 40 or a forgotten corner of your yard. Don’t recommend putting it in a hellstrip as it would spread so fast you would soon find Gladzilla monoculture. Completely winter deciduous- nothing there. Emerges relatively late in spring but it goes fast. Excellent cut flower. Strong deer resistance. Water? Yeah.. if you want.
Royal Grevillea is one of the most handsome shrubs that we can grow in our climate. Native to the highest elevation in Australia and then down to the middle elevations this species has been grown in our climate successfully for many decades. Large, long gray foliage is handsome year round and a great backdrop to the masses of orange pendulous flowers which are most prolific during winter. Loved by hummingbirds – Anna’s will stake out this shrub as one of the few sources of nectar during winter. Full sun to light shade in average soil with light, consistent water to establish. Avoid baking hot locations as this plant forms and sets its flower buds in late spring and summer and they hold until the cool of autumn arrives to open. If this plant becomes too hot or stressed it can abort these flower buds diminishing the following seasons display. So, an average position away from reflected heat produces the best blooming. Very good performance in cold rural gardens, enduring 5ºF with no issue. Very large growing to 12′ x 12′ and sometimes larger with time. May be pruned hard in early spring to both limit the overall size but to increase density and blooming wood. Great performance at the Oregon coast and in Puget Sound as well as the coast range and Cascade foothills. In the Willamette Valley the hybrids ‘Neil Bell’, ‘Octopinky’, ‘Poorinda Queen’ and the species G. Juniperina do not abort their flower buds in the hottest weather- and seem to perform more satisfactorily. Moderately deer resistant. Long lived. This form is from the University of British Columbia.
We selected this seedling long ago for its vigor, it was culled from a batch of 50 as one of the best and it is. ‘Foxy Red’ is a mounding, low growing shrub that spreads. To 3′ tall x 8′ wide it produces a nearly year round parade of tomato red flowers. The elongated superior foliage is olive green on the upper surface and gray below and comes to sharp point. Fast growing in full sun to light shade. Average unimproved soils are ideal, dig a large hole and soften the soil on the outer edges. Water faithfully, once a week until good new growth commences then water less- once every two weeks/month depending on aridity. Nice looking winter blooming shrub that is ideal planted above rock walls where it can cascade down. Loved by hummingbirds, especially wintering Anna’s who see an out of season nectar source as gold. Mulch after planting- coarse bark, chips, gravel…. Established plants take summer drought without supplemental irrigation. Should be deer resistant. At some point we’ll test it for their consumption. Really nice looking shrub both in foliage and bright flower. May be pruned at any time of the year. Avoid strong subfreezing east wind. Protected site- south or west facing.
Xera Plants Introduction
Pretty and very large Grevillea that deserves the mildest parts of the garden. Small gray leaves are handsome and a great backdrop to the hot orange pendant clusters of flowers. Blooms year round with an especially large flush in spring. Loved by overwintering Anna’s Hummingbirds. Not the hardiest Grevillea- protect from subfreezing east wind- site on a south or west facing aspect. To 9′ x 9′ fast. Plant in UNAMENDED native soil- avoid compost and fertilizer. Supremely drought adapted. Avoid watering in summer. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast. Our stock plant which has thrived for 15 years in a very cold place is situated on a slope with the overhead protection of Douglas firs. Evergreen. High deer resistance.
The very best cultivar of Halimiums as judged by quantity and length of bloom. Golden yellow silky flowers have a deep maroon blotch at the base of each petal. Evergray, rounded shrub to 3′ x3′ in 5 years. Full sun and poor to average, well drained soil. Light summer water to establish then light water.. Blooms for an extended period from early May to early July. Prune after flowering to encourage a denser form and more flowering wood. Excellent wildflower display that pairs well with blue flowered plants. Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Victoria’ flowers simultaneously and appreciates the same cultural conditions. Moderate deer resistance. Average lifespan 6-8 years.
A very compact form of golden rockrose that is also an insanely heavy blooming machine. To barely 2′ tall and as wide in 5 years. Evergrey foliage is obscured in late spring to early summer with masses of daily golden flowers with a black center. Awesome wildflower effect that lasts for weeks. Full sun and average to poor well drained soil. Water to establish then no water or light water. Longer lived with neglect. Rock gardens, Hellstrips, etc.
Gray spreading upright evergreen shrub that celebrates late spring into summer with profuse 2″ wide bright yellow silky flowers with a conspicuous tomato red blotch at the base of each petal. Each flower lasts but a day but there is such a profusion of blooms waiting in the wings that they occur daily for 4-6 weeks from May to July. To 3′ tall and 4′ wide quickly in poor to average well drained soil. Water to establish then water lightly and infrequently during summer. Excellent performance in Hellstrips. Blooms simultaneously with Ceanothus ‘Victoria’ the blue and yellow blossoms a classic combination and both shrubs appreciate the same culture. Cold hardy to 5ºF.
Big spreading Halimium with arching furry gray stems lined with furry gray foliage. In May-July profuse 1″ wide silky yellow flowers with a basal blotch of deep brown appear massively each day. During the heaviest of bloom the foliage is completely obscured. Flowers last until about 4:00 pm and then the petals drop dramatically all at the same time. Full sun and average to poor soil with little summer water once established. One of the hardiest and easiest to grow. To 3′ x 6′ in just a few years. Very drought tolerant. Tolerates clay soils on a slope. Moderate deer resistance.
Golden rockrose (Halmium) is the other genus apart from Cistus. This dense rounded shrub to 2′ x 3′ is clad in evergray foliage and appreciates average, well drained soil in full, all day sun. Water to establish then only light occasional summer water. Blooms which are bright yellow and silky have a central zone of burgundy. One of the common monikers is ‘Black Eyed Susan Shrub’. Produces a great wildflower display for weeks in May to July. Lifespan is about 5-7 years but flowering is so profuse and long the risk is worth it. Cold hardy to 5ºF. Mediterranean native. Plant with Cistus, Grevilleas, Arctostaphylos, Pacific Coast Iris. Prune lightly after blooming has ended to shape, encourage a denser habit.
Cold hardy and very showy Hebe that is an excellent small scale ground cover. To just inches high it expands over time to up to 4′ wide. The gray evergreen foliage is handsome year round. In early summer the tips of the plant are ensconced in violet- blue colored flowers. This showy display draws pollinators and butterflies. One of the showiest of the very cold hardy varieties. Takes temperatures below 10ºF with no damage. Excellent on slopes. Expanding branches can root where they touch the ground, making this spreader excellent for erosion control. It also grows with such density to block weeds. Very easy to grow. Mix with perennials and in-between shrubs in full sun to very light shade. Light CONSISTENT summer irrigation. The small gray leaves line the black stems for more exquisite detail. Excellent at the top of a wall where it will trail and follow the contours exactly. Moderate deer resistance.
Fantastic Hebe that has stood the test of time. Large growing to 3′ x 3′ an upright shrub with fine silver/gray foliage held on black tinted stems. In summer spikes of white flowers appear. Cold hardy, low water, long lived Hebe that is a stunning focal point or even informal hedge. Moderately fast growing- about 6″- 10″ per year. Regular summer water speeds growth- low water when established. Full sun to light shade. A really pretty silver shrub that is elegant and easy to grow. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast- it tolerates strong winds well. Perfectly hardy to cold in Portland not bothered by temperatures near 5ºF- and it survived -2ºF at my parents house in December 2013 near Eugene. It was mangled but made a full recovery by late spring. Great texture that combines symmetry and silver.
One the best Hebes that we have grown that offers cold hardiness, showy flowers, and a useful low spreading habit. This ground cover Hebe with gray foliage and held on black stems spreads nearly prostrate to form a low dense shrub. In early summer the whole plant is smothered in deep violet purple flowers- among the showiest flowers of any cold hardy Hebe. Stems arch up and then immediately down cruising along at a moderate clip. To 6″ tall and 3′ wide in full sun and well drained soil. Light summer water when established. Excellent plant for slopes (the stems root where they touch the ground) as well as rock gardens. Placed near a wall or container edge and it will gracefully spill over the edge following closely the contour of any object. Plant density inhibits weeds effectively and it can make a useful ground cover placed on 2′ centers. Very tough little evergreen shrub and always good looking.
One of our favorite Hebes. This dome shaped dense plant has new foliage that goes through some pretty showy transitions. Emerging tinted pink it takes on coral and light blue as well as pink before ultimately settling down to soft gray. The transition begins in early spring and lasts for months. In June small spikes of violet blue flowers add contrast. Cold hardy with average water needs for full sun and well drained RICH soil- this Hebe prefers more nutrients than others to really shine. Don’t be afraid to scratch in a handful of all organic fertilizer in early spring. To 2′ x 3′ in 5 years. Give it good air circulation with little crowding from other plants. Avoid watering when its blazing hot. Perfectly hardy to cold. Spectacular shrub. Offered only early in the season. Sells very quickly.
Fascinating New Zealand Hebe that is native to higher montane areas and is therefore very hardy to cold. Many arch black stems cradle rows of symmetrical small gray foliage. The color effect is more machine than plant and this arching shrub gains density by shearing the tips after flowering has ended in June. 2″ spikes support rows of violet blue flowers that fade to white in the oldest blooms. This shrub is best in containers or new gardens. It tends not to age well after 5 or so it begins to look unkempt. You can stave this off with pruning- prune just under the base of the lowest flower spike in July. Excellent new garden or rock garden plant for fine silvery texture and contrast with black stems. It truly shine in winter containers where it looks its best. To 14″ tall x 16″ wide forming somewhat of an anvil shape. Consistent summer water during hot spells. Cold hardy to the single digits.
Sunroses are great flowery perennials for hillsides and the front of borders. Low growing gray evergreen foliage is a great foil to the 1″ pale pastel apricot flowers that obscure the whole plant for weeks in mid-late spring. To 8″ tall x 2′ wide. But back hard after flowering to encourage a denser more compact plant. Light, regular summer water is important- avoid total dust dry conditions. Mix with Pacific Coast iris and Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Electric Blue’ for a swoon worthy effect. Some deer resistance but not impervious. Each single flower lasts one day but masses of flowers appear opening in full sun, for weeks.
The combination of silver evergreen foliage and the clear white pristine flowers of this perennial is exceptional. To 6″ and spreading May to June the foliage is obscurred by a daily supply of flowers. Very showy. Full sun and light but consistent summer water. Cut back hard when blooming has ended. This yields a more compact tidier plant. Good deer resistance. Banks, hillsides, parking medians. To 3′ wide.
Useful and tough shrub that is the whitest gray that you can imagine. Evergreen plant that forms a rounded shrub to 2′ x 3′. In summer tall spikes carry umbels of striking soft yellow flowers. Very pretty and attractive to a host of pollinators. Adapted to the absolutely poorest soils and thrives without any appreciable irrigation. It may be cut back hard after flowering for a more compact plant. First rate foliage plant for contrast that does not rat out or go funky as older Lavender plants can. Extremely cold hardy and drought adapted.In fact this exotic competes very well with invasive weeds and no water landscapes. Native to Mongolia. Excellent plant for winter containers.
There are so many Hellebores flooding the market these days that this really good variety has been sidestepped. Bad move. It has so many great attributes that we can’t help but offer it. Large divided evergreen thick leaves are a scintillating metallic pewter. The undersides of the leaves are soft red. Great combination. In winter simple cupped celadon green flowers pop out of the top and remain fresh and showy for many weeks. To 2′ x 2′ and completely evergreen. Produces multiple stems as the years pass on. Excellently adapted to our climate and dry shade specifically. Light summer water in average to rich soil. Full sun to part shade to shade. High deer resistance. Long lived sturdy and pretty.
Alligator Juniper. So called for the rough pattern that develops on the trunk. A remarkable upright growing juniper that stuns with ghostly white foliage. Finely branching open habit on an 14′ tall by 6′ wide structure. Fast growing. POOR soil that has NOT been amended is ideal. In fact it thrives in heavy clay soils if on slopes. Enriched soil causes this shrub to grow prodigiously fast leaving it vulnerable to wind toss. Mixes well with other shrubs, makes a great light textured nearly white focal point. Good looking year round and ultra cold hardy. Little to no summer water once established. (Just makes it grow too fast) This is one elegant but tough shrub. Moderate deer resistance. This selection has extraordinarily blue foliage for the species. In time this forms a large tree- with a lot of years. Native to Texas and New Mexico into Mexico. Very difficult plant to root. So, we seldom have this tree/shrub in quantity. Even prior to developing the famous bark the over foliage is so brilliantly light blue that it is a first rate ghostly gray shrub.
You don’t often think of lavender flowers in the color of pink, but this compact heavily flowering selection produces masses of clear pink flower spikes for months in summer. Mixed with purple and white flowered varieties and you get much more depth of contrast. The purple and white both look better. Compact gray foliaged shrub for average, well drained soil and light summer water. Full sun. To 2′ tall in bloom the foliage usually maxes out at a globe 14″ x 14″ . Cut back hard after blooming for a denser more compact plant. Fragrant flowers, foliage. Moderate deer resistance. Very easy to grow. Hedges, specimen. Etc.
When you have a small garden you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Enter this great cultivar of English Lavender that blooms not just once but over and over again until frost. Medium lavender blue flowers cluster at the top of straight wiry stems to 10″ long. A naturally compact plant to about 2′ x 2′ ultimately. Silver evergreen aromatic foliage. Rich, to average well drained soil in full sun with light summer water. Somewhat drought adapted. Looks better , re-blooms better with light water. Saches, Lavender wands, potpourri- everblooming fragrant hedge. Very good Pastor. Very good.
Spanish lavender is a floriferous and easy to grow shrub for full sun, well drained soil and little to no summer water when established. In mid spring to mid summer thick purple flowers have two protruding purple petal-like bracts from the top. Great contrast with the silver foliage. to 2′ x 2′ in a season. Cut back hard after blooming. Often self sows, seedlings are easy to spot (and smell). Moderate deer resistance. Lifespan 3-5 years.
So many lavenders that we’ve decided to go with the very best. This hybrid is a cross between english lavender (L. angustifolia) and wooly lavender (L. lanata) and gives you wonderful almost white wooly foliage with deep purple thick flowers. To 2′ tall and 2′ wide in time this rounded evergreen shrub blooms for an incredibly long time beginning in early summer. Full sun and rich to average soil with light but consistent summer water. Very easy to grow in our climate. Shear the spent flower spikes and cut into about 1/2″ new growth for a compact and more densely blooming habit. Excellent landscape plant, informal hedge or specimen in a border. This Lavender looks good year round- better winter appearance than most. Lightly deer resistant. Not their first choice but not 100% immune to browse either. Aromatic foliage. Wonderful white foliage contrasts greatly with deep green foliage for depth in plantings. Bred and named by Andy VanHelvingen of Vanhelvingen Herbs.
Beautiful species of tea tree with tiny leaves of pure silver. Its been grown for eons in England- native to higher elevations in the Great Dividing Range. Great fine textured shrub for a dry and protected area. To 6′ x 5′ in 5 years one of the most silver evergreen shrubs in our climate. Blooms prolifically in June covering the whole shrub in white stars. Easy to grow in full sun and average, well drained soil. Light, consistent summer water. Will often have random flowers year round as well. Fast growing. Avoid the coldest sites- best in warm, sunny, gardens. Mix with other shrubs- especially yellow or chartreuse foliage which really makes this shrub pop. Listed as tender in some fairly famous publications…which don’t know what they are talking about. We’ve had this shrub planted at our very cold nursery in Wilsonville for more than 15 years….and there it still happily thrives. Moderate deer resistance.
Wooly tea tree is a cold hardy member of the myrtle family from Tasmania/Australia. The pewter gray small evergreen foliage creates a cloud like outline on billowing shrub. In June 1″ pure white single flowers spangle the boughs like snow. Woody seed capsules follow and persist. To 12′ tall and 4′ wide in 7 years. May be limbed into a small tree. Full sun and virtually any soil. Light summer water though very drought adapted. Excellent background shrub or screen or large informal hedge. Takes well to pruning which will not mangle the tiny foliage and becomes very dense as a result. Good bet where deer are a problem. Cold hardy to about 5ºF. Grows very fast with regular irrigation which is recommended for the first summer to establish. Does not tolerate shade of any kind. When using as a hedge plant about 2′ apart for a fast screen. Prune after flowering and again in autumn. Tasmania.
One of the naturally cold hardiest species of tea tree. This form of Alpine tea tree from Tasmania has a distinctly upright habit. Cinnamon red squiggly stems support tiny pewter colored evergreen foliage. In early summer pink buds spangle the stems opening to pure white single flowers. So prolific is the bloom that the plant appears covered in snow. Vigorous growth to 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. Full sun and virtually any soil. Summer water is tolerated but far from necessary. Takes pruning incredibly well, including shearing and the leaves are so small that they remain unmangled. It quickly forms a dense hedge that is tough, incredibly dense and drought and cold hardy. Strongly deer resistant. Excellent shrub or hedge for rural areas. It tolerates a wide variety of soils and aspects. Leaves are aromatic when bruised. You achieve a much shapelier plant with even a minimal amount of tip pruning. otherwise it has a very wild habit. It has been undamaged by cold to 0ºF. Drought adapted. Tasmania. Click on the green link below for a video of ‘Squiggly’ in full bloom. Excellent shrub with a number of uses.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Our locally native silver leaved lupine. A wildflower that beckons gardeners with incredible metallic silver foliage and spires of blue and white flowers from late spring into summer. It has some exacting requirements. Its best to know where you find it in the wild. Steep, steep cliffs and steep open road cuts. What do they have in common? Excellent drainage and little summer water. Spreading almost shrubby evergreen plant to 2′- 3′ wide on average. The very pretty fragrant flowers rise up to about 3′. It seems to resent a lot of competition from other plants- give it room, its own space and again, perfect drainage. Highly deer resistant also not as attractive to rabbits. Oregon native plant.
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.
Of all the big, huge Miscanthus on the market this one appeals to us the most. Fine vertical then arching blades have edges lined in white. It gives the whole mature clump (to 5′) a soft, texture and overall appearance. In late summer into autumn mahogany red feathery flower clusters decorate the stems tips. The rise another 10 inches above the clump. Easy to grow in full sun to very light shade in any rich to average soil with adequate summer moisture. Clumps expand quickly and can easily approach 3′ wide. Cut back in winter- this grass has a bad habit in winter dormancy of detaching in wind and blowing about. But you can also leave it skeleton for winter interest and cut it back in spring. Regular summer water improves appearance and leads to blooms. Fully hardy. Winter deciduous. Japan.
Very cool shrub that we raised from seed that we received from a friend in New Zealand and it has turned out to be a great garden plant. Resembling ephedra or even a rush it bears many many vertical stems that are a soft radiant gray. It spreads slowly underground to expand its range as well as above ground. Not a fast plant. In winter the gray stems take on purple and blue tints. In summer tiny curious white flowers change to tiny star shaped translucent white fruits which spangle the upright stems. Full sun and well drained average soil. Light summer water – but incredibly drought as well as heat tolerant. Mixes well both culturally and aesthetically with things like Cacti and Agave or other dry appearing southern hemisphere shrubs. To 30″ x 30″. Moderate deer resistance.
Impressive selection of this wonderful native annual. Leaves are brightly frosted in white and make a great backdrop to the sky blue nickel sized flowers. Blooms April-June in part shade to full sun. AKA Frosty Blue Baby Blue Eyes. To 4″ x 6″ forming a spreading plant. Very attractive and it will reseed in the autumn or early spring- the seedlings are immediately identifiable by the silver foliage. Likes to germinate among other small plants/grasses for overwintering protection. Water to establish then only lightly until bloom has ceased and seed is set. The whole plant dies and decomposes almost instantly in the real heat of summer. Excellent in early season containers. This form was found in California but this is also an Oregon native plant.
Tan bark oak or Tan Oak is native to the SW corner of Oregon south into the mountains of southern Califiornia. The large convex leaves emerge clad in gray fur as this wears off it reveals a mature deep green with an underside of silver. Moderately fast growing evergreen tree to 45′ tall x 25′ wide in 30 years. Grows on average 2′-4′ per year when young. This close relative of Oaks produces acorns that are light tan and born out of an indumentum covered prickly cup. In Oregon this tree mostly of mountains can be found most extensively from Douglas and Coos County south to the coastal border. It is found in the higher elevations of the mountains of northern California where quite a bit of heavy wet snow occurs. This tree will bend in snow and ice and it will not break. Conical and spreading crown. Tan Oak which was harvested in the 19th and early 20th century for the collection of commercial tannins. Full sun, it grows well but is slower and a bit spindly as an understory tree. The furrowed bark is dark brown to black. Its range is almost the same in Oregon as Canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis) and cold hardiness is equivalent too, hardy just below 0ºF. Wonderful, stately, native evergreen shade tree. Ours are raised from acorns collected at the northern extent of its range in Douglas County. Oregon native plant.
Excellent Rocky Mountain native that we love for its long long season of bloom. Large luminous light yellow flowers held against silvery fine foliage. Completely deciduous in winter it sprouts anew each spring to form a fairly compact spreading clump. In June and continuously for two months a parade of large flowers obscures the leaves. To just 10″ tall but spreading to about 1/1/2′ wide annually. Full sun, very well drained soil and little summer water when established. Give it an open exposure with little crowding from other plants. Impervious to the most enervating dry heat. Hellstrips, rock gardens, hillsides. Moderate deer resistance. Seed grown.
Excellent form of this sprawling Rocky Mountain native evening primrose. Super silver leaves are held upright on a spreading plant. Beginning in June huge 3″ wide shimmering, luminous light yellow fragrant flowers appear almost daily for months. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with little summer water once established. Excellent performance in rock gardens as well as parking strips. The flowers are a really good shade of yellow and harmonize brilliantly with the silver foliage. Winter deciduous.
We’ve grown this extraordinarily cold hardy european olive selection for years. And its performance in the city of Portland is stellar. Fast growing somewhat wild looking, ever-silver tree to 20′ tall and 15′ wide in 10 years. In time it develops a gnarled trunk adding to the trees character. This is a self fertile selection and sets fruit very heavily even on singular trees. The fleshy moderately sized fruits are most prized for oil. They may be brined. (Follow any recipe on the internet). Be aware of autumn and winter fruit drop- not for patios, instead plant a large ground cover at the base for the unwanted fruit to drop and hide. Birds will eat the olives too- especially larger birds. Overall, its a pretty tree when the thin blue gray leaves are tossed by the wind revealing their silvery undersides. Fast growing especially if watering is frequent and diligent during youth. Water like crazy for the first summer to spur growth and establishment. Olive trees gain cold hardiness with age/size. Small plants are tender to dead below 15ºF but a three year old, well watered of the same variety will be undamaged at much colder temperatures than that. Excellent performance in ice and snow (see picture below)- bends but does not break. Protect containerized plants from temperatures below 15ºF. Drought adapted when established. A warm position.
A wisp of a shrub that is very hard to photograph but makes a great hazy gray light texture in the garden. Large see through evergreen shrub with thin gray leaves that are only 1/3″ wide but 2″ long. One of the famed daisy bushes from New Zealand, it is also one of the cold hardiest for us. Fast growing willowy appearance to 8′ x 4′ in 5 years. Full sun and average to poor well drained soil. Incredibly drought tolerant when established. Tiny white daisies appear along the stems below the leaves. Easy to grow. And if it gets too out of control simply cut it back hard in mid-spring- recovery and more dense growth will quickly follow. Plant with ornamental grasses and Arctostaphylos for a scintillating dry landscape look.
Big silvery fine textured ever-silver shrub for the hottest driest locations. To 8′ tall and 6′ wide very quickly. Upright wands of needle like silver foliage line the stems. In spring flat clusters of white flowers appear at the branch tips. A nice effect. Full sun and well drained soil of average soil fertility. High deer resistance. New Zealand. Selection made in England. May be cut back hard after blooming to resize, reinvigorate. Forms a gnarled shredding trunk in time. It can be very wispy when young. Cutting back rank growth leads to a denser more compact shrub. Do this after blooming has ended.
Wonderful ever-silver plant for texture and low water environments. Fine silver/steel blue foliage lines very upright wand like stems. Dense shrub to 4′ x 4′ in 4 years. In early summer the tips of the plant are crowned with flat clusters of pink buds that open to tiny white flowers. In time the flowers go to seed and turn a tan hue. Fast growing shrub for full sun and any well drained soil of average to poor fertility. Avoid over amended soils- average native unimproved soils are ideal. Excellent on dry slopes, among other drought adapted plants. Light to little summer water. May be pruned back hard after blooming to resize, refresh the plant. High deer resistance. Flowers remain effective into autumn. This is a truly xeric plant going all summer with no irrigation once established, and looking great. New Zealand.
Marlborough Rock Daisy is a shrub that is a wonderful piece of architecture. This compact slow growing plant has large round leaves that are concave and steel gray on the upper surface and pure white underneath. In spring 6″ pure white stems elongate to pure white buds that open the most crisp white daisies you’ve ever seen. Each flower has a double set of white petals around a yellow center. Clean and wonderful plant that we find to be tender below 15ºF so it requires a very protected spot or makes a great, easy, long lived container subject. A beach plant in its native New Zealand it is excellently adapted to life on the milder coast. It is even somewhat tolerant of salt spray and will seldom be bothered by cold. Slow growing and dense to 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Protect containerized plants form temperatures in the teens. Drought tolerant, low water requirements.
The most sought after plant for native bees is varied leaf Phacelia. For anyone who has hiked and camped in Oregon you are likely already familiar with this silvery plant. The divided and rounded leaves are clad in silver fur and are the highlight of this widespread perennial. The flower which shows great promise as it rises from the cool leaves. It opens and then unfurls and you expect a purple or even red flower but no disappointly- dingy off white is what unfurls. Either way its a pollinator paradise. Size is dependent on the fertility of the soil. Often you see this plant in its early rosette forms along just about any path in the state. Western Oregon to Eastern Oregon this widespread plant is specific to our native pollinators. To 18″-3′ (in really rich soil). Short lived Oregon native perennial. About 3-5 years. Reliably reseeds. Seedlings are easy to spot as they mimic the parent plant. Full sun to a considerable amount of woodland shade. Associated plants in habitat are Sword ferns (Polystichum minutum) and Vancouveria hexandra. Moderately deer resistant. Native in the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant.
A really handsome and unique form of Jerusalem Sage. The large gray leaves are spongy and quilted and good looking all the time. This woody perennial forms a large spreading plant to 4′ tall and 5′ wide in full sun and rich to average well drained soil. Regular light summer water- to establish then drought adapted. Very drought adapted when established. Blooms June to August in our climate and makes a great paring with smaller low water full sun woody shrubs such as Cistus or Ceanothus. The whorls of soft yellow flowers born on upright stems have the sweet fragrance of cloves in close proximity. A very cool cut flower that lasts for more than a week in a vase. Loses some leaves in winter- gets them back quickly in spring. Wonderful on sunny hillsides. Moderate deer resistance. This form will often have a re-bloom with the return of fall rain. Give it room to spread out horizontally.
Gray Pine or Foothill Pine native almost exclusively to the mountains of California- but there are several outlying native populations in Douglas, Josephine and Jackson, Counties in Oregon so we can claim it as our own as well. Known as the tree that casts no shade, its almost completely true as the long gray needles allow almost all light through. Large pine tree with gray foliage- usually forks about 1/2 way up into two main trunks, these are buttressed to support the huge cones which can weigh 5lbs or more. Excellent performance in the Willamette Valley where many are seen around old farm houses and older neighborhoods. Perfectly hardy to cold in our climate and incredibly drought adapted. In fact it shuns all irrigation and is ideal for hot dry locations. Grows very fast in youth, settles down a little with age. Its ultimate height is around 35′-45′ in our climate. A smokey, silvery, shadeless skyline tree. Oregon native plant.
We’ve grown this stunning perennial for years but there has always been some question to the exact species. All we know is that for foliage there really is nothing like it. Large spreading rosettes of pure metallic silver pinnate leaves are gorgeous all season. In summer and not very prolifically sporadic spikes of small yellow flowers rise above the foliage. Not the point of this plant and they can be removed if they are a distraction. To 1′ tall and forming a large patch in RICH, moisture retentive soil in full sun to light shade. Established plants can get by with much less water. Performance is equally as good in either position. Completely deciduous in winter. Beautiful leaves.
Silver Leaf Oak from Arizona is a favorite tree at Xera. Tall, rounded evergreen tree with skinny but thick leaves that are sage green on top and silver white on the underside. Its handsome all the time and even prettier when the gold catkins protrude from the foliage in spring. Naturally develops a straight trunk. Fast growing tree in our climate to 35′ in 12 years. Casts dense shade but tolerates limited summer water. Extraordinarily cold hardy. It has endured subzero readings in Eugene without injury and I even encountered one in a garden in Denver. The leaves were kind of toasted from the previous winters -17ºF(!) but it was obviously thriving. Native to the mountains of SE Arizona at very high elevations and that translates to LOVE for our climate. Exceptional leaf form and shape. Be aware that in time this tree can cast quite dense shade. Wonderful on hot summer days but also inhibiting sun loving gardening. Makes you think. Wonderfully pest and disease resistant foliage- it always looks good.
Photo credit: Amy Campion
Rosemary willow from Europe is a fantastic fine textured shrub or small tree. The willowy (har!) thin silver tinged leaves create a haze and when the wind blows it sends flecks of white when you see the underside of the leaves. To 12′ tall and spreading to 8′ wide with a rounded crown. Full sun and rich, moist soil with ample summer moisture. Fast growing and reaches its ultimate size in just several years. In autumn the leaves turn into gold ribbons and barely hit the ground before they decompose. They leave bare twigs of vibrant red. Casts very light shade. Excellent next to natural waterways, damp swales,
Creamy stone crop is a common succulent of mid to higher elevations of the Oregon Cascades – it can also be found in the Siskiyous. This is a common plant on rocky slopes, scree its even adaptable to heavier soils. Gray white leaves are crowded into rosettes. In spring stems rise to 6″ tall and produce creamy light yellow colored flowers. Absolutely adored by pollinators this very easy to grow perennial adapts very well to gardens. Its useful in rock gardens, troughs, containers in full sun to very light shade. Light summer water to very little, A classic plant of the Oregon Cascades. Primarily above 2000′. Evergreen. 3″ tall out of bloom and spreading to form large clumps several feet across. Not bothered by deer or rabbits. Lovely Oregon native. The cream/ivory flowers are a welcome respite where all other Oregon sedums are bright yellow. . Oregon native plant.
An old standard form of our native and widespread Stonecrop. This form is unique for its very pale gray almost white rosettes of leaves. It spreads vigorously in rich to average well drained soil with light summer water. Soil should be light and not compacted. It makes a very good small scale ground cover. Also excellent in rock gardens and even winter containers. Great long lived and easy container subject. To just inches high a single plant can reproduce to several feet wide. In late spring 6″ stems grow upright to display masses of brilliant yellow flowers. Adored by all pollinators. When cold wet weather arrives the entire plant takes on red/raspberry tones. Very pretty. Easy to grow native perennial. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Oregon native plant.
Interesting form of Stone crop that has foliage that takes on brilliant red/purple tints in cold weather or with drought stress. Powdery blue foliage is arranged in rosettes at the end of 3″ stems. Starting with the outer most leaves the vivid tints become most apparent in mid-late summer through winter. Red stems support clusters of gold/yellow flowers in early summer. Excellent pollinator plant as are all Sedums. Easy to grow in any soil that drains reasonably well. In regular ground double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen into the soil and avoid compaction. It will spread to multiple feet across in short order. In rock gardens it can be a little rambunctious around delicate plantings. Give it room and plan for it to spread. Great in seasonal containers, troughs, rock walls. Light summer water speeds the growth rate- it also inhibits the bright color. Oregon native plant.
Fast multiplying Hens and Chicks that is covered in white fur. The silvery white fur covers new foliage in the center that is aqua changing to pink on the external rosette. In spring to autumn it can produce 5″ spikes of pink flowers. The rosette where the flower spike originates then dies but there are so many offsets you barely notice. Excellent in containers, rock walls, as a small scale ground cover. Good appearance in winter. Rich to average soil with regular summer irrigation to speed growth. Otherwise very tolerant of dry conditions – the rosettes shrink a bit in this phase. Sempervivums LOVE fertilizer. Enrich the soil with all purpose organic fertilizer before you plant and enjoy much LARGER plants. Rosettes to 3″ across.
I’m the one doing the descriptions so I get to choose which is my favorite. And this is my favorite ‘Hens and Chick’. Soft and downy with fine hairs that cover the entire rosette. Dove gray to pink coloration changes little throughout the years. To 3″ across it quickly multiplies to form colonies in rich to average soil in full sun to part shade. Regular summer water enhances the appearance as well as initiates faster growth. Rock walls, slopes, containers. Very easy to grow. Light pink flowers appear at the tips of 6″ stems spring-autumn. Soft and cuddly.
Collectively this handsome Hens and chicks is one of our favorites. Soft pink to lavender and tipped with purple in cold weather. Nice. Large rosettes to 5″ across when happy. Boisterous multiplier and forming large colonies quickly. Rich, well drained soil with regular water to keep up appearances. Containers, rock walls, rock gardens, as a small scale weed smothering ground cover. Full sun to light shade. Even dry shade when established. Detach the babies and give them to a friend. Or chuck them at a Trump voter. Pretty plant. High deer resistance.
Cob webs cover this adorable and fast multiplying Hens and chicks. The hairy webbing is a successful strategy to stop transpiration of liquid from the leaves and cool the surface as well. 2″ wide rosettes create many offsets in a short amount of time. It makes a good small scale ground cover From spring to autumn it may produce a 5″ stem directly from the center of the rosette and bear rows of rosy pink flowers. That rosette then dies but it produces prodigious amounts of babies. Full sun to part shade in enriched, well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Without irrigation it will survive but shrink. Containers, rock gardens, gravel gardens. Good appearance year round.
Big in every way this Golden Rod of the west rises on sturdy semi-woody stems to display a chalice of fragrant gold flowers. Better put in latin the broad flowers are pyramidal paniculiform arrays, That about says it. Large growing perennial that is found in specific wetland sites around the state (and the west). It spreads laterally by strong rhizomes with stems that rise to 4′ tall. The PYRAMIDAL PANICULIFORM gold flowers emit a sweet pollen fragrance. This and the fact that it is in the daisy family draws a broad amount of pollinators from far and wide. It dies down in winter and the previous years stems can be taken away then. Give it at least 5′ x 5′ to roam. Water to establish then a light consistent water in summer for best flowering. Full hot sun not tolerant of shade at all. A large, regal cut flowers for big displays July-September. This form was found in the Columbia River Gorge near the river. It can also be found around wetlands in arid parts of the state as well as river courses along the west side. The underside of the stems flashes silver with green on top. These incredibly sturdy vertical stems will never topple. Mix with Hall and Douglas Asters for similar space, bloom time and vigor and you’ll quadruple your pollinators. Oregon native plant.
Globe Mallow. Fun and easy to grow perennial that behaves like a sub-shrub. Semi woody wands of very silvery small maple shaped leaves wave to 3′ tall. Lining these silver stems are bowl shaped hot pink flowers. They begin as early as late May and continue unabated for months. As time goes on this perennial for dry, hot locations with good drainage becomes a showy hot pink mass of blooms. Excellent on hot slopes with light but consistent summer water. Very drought adapted but light water appears to improve the performance. Loved by bees, butterflies and other pollinators. By autumn this 3′ x 3′ shrub should be left intact to over winter. In spring when new growth is breaking from the base it may be cut back hard and recovery to bloom is rapid with the onset of warmer weather. Cold hardier if given very good drainage. As far as I can surmise it will take temperatures down to about 10ºF. A selection or possible hybrid from two southwestern globe mallows.
You can’t resist the finely divided feathery nearly white foliage of this great small scale ground cover. Foliage to 4″ tall and spreading to 2′ wide in full sun and well drained soil. Light summer water. Small flowers lacking petals have a center of off white/gold in early summer. Excellent performance on slopes as well as rock gardens. Evergreen. Loves life in the hellstrip.
Low ground cover Germander that is at home in hot sunny aspects in well drained conditions. The fine gray foliage rises to 5″ tall and forms a spreading plant. Beginning in early summer and extending to fall soft purple to lavender clusters of flowers cover the surface of the plant. Though small this plant is a huge hit with pollinators. Full, hot sun and light summer water to establish. Not a fan of heavy soils and sodden conditions In the wild this plant is primarily a resident of rocky sites and hillsides of the Mediterranean. This ever gray perennial is good looking in winter. Foliage is aromatic and has fruity tints to the fragrance. Mix with other smaller rock garden plants or develop a small area that acts as a groundcover. Loathes shade. Good container or trough plant. Grows up to 18″ wide in several years. Pollinator masterpiece. Moderate deer resistance.
Silver Germander is a wiry shrub with gray foliage and even lighter gray/white stems. All summer it bears pale blue small flowers with a prominent central lip. Traditionally used in topiary or as a trimmed hedge, it takes amazingly well to heavy shearing. It responds by becoming incredibly dense. Its malleability leads people to also trim it into any whimsical shape they can dream of. Full sun, average, well drained soil. Little to light summer water when established. Requires full sun and a hot position with protection from subfreezing wind. Classic mediterranean shrub. Grows as well at the cool coast as it does in the hot inland areas. To 4′ x 4′ if left unpruned.
Big ol magical biennial and we couldn’t imagine a garden without it. The first year it produces a large (2′ wide) rosette of huge furry white leaves. They lie flush with the ground. The following year total transformation occurs. A spike from the center of the rosette and soars to 6′ or taller. Its lined densely with furry white buds that pop open to reveal electric yellow soft looking flowers. The inflorescence will often wind this way and that. Even after bloom is through this tower remains spreading quantities of seed all over. Germinates best in open disturbed soil. Move them or thin them in spring. Snow white perennial with oodles of architecture. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. It makes due with less than perfect conditions but this way is the most impressive. Loved by pollinators. Light summer water if it looks like it needs it. Established plants get by with no water. Remember the first year is leaves, the second its flowers.