Arctostaphylos viscida ‘Sweet Adinah’

White leaved Manzanita is endemic to southern  Oregon into northern California. The leaves are large, round, and very pale blue/gray. This species which also grows on serpentine soil. is incredibly tough and requires special treatment. Adinah found this very pale selection just outside of Ashland, OR.. Extremely drought adapted this species is best in VERY WELL drained soil with light water to establish, Once up and going it will do best with NO SUMMER WATER. This is one of the most striking Manzanitas that we grow.Its also a little bit tough to cultivate, and can up and go away for no real reason, so keep that in the back of your mind- absolute neglect is its best friend. Having said that is easily one of the most striking shrubs native to Oregon. To on average 4′ x 4′ it should be planted in poor to average soil. Avoid all fertilizer,  and rich conditions. New growth emerges striking orange/red following clusters of white tinted pink flowers from January to March. Very cold hardy enduring temperatures near 0ºF with no issues. Rock gardens, dry shrub borders, drought adapted screen or specimen.  A mature shrub kind of gives me the impression of a big white bubble.  Extremely heat and drought adapted native shrub. Limited quantities  Some deer resistance.  Full sun to very light shade. Oregon native plant.

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Arctostaphylos x 'Pacific Mist'

Arctostaphylos x ‘Pacific Mist’

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 in 5 years 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.

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Arctostaphylos x 'Gunmetal'

Arctostaphylos x canescens ‘Gunmetal’

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.

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Argyrocytisus battandieri

Argyrocytisus battandieri

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.

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Artemesia versicolor 'Seafoam'

Artemesia versicolor ‘Seafoam’

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.

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Artemisia douglasiana

Many learn this plant as Douglas Mugwort but its more official common name is Douglas Sagewort.  This aromatic vigorous perennial is common throughout western Oregon. It happily inhabits everywhere from ditches to the headlands at the beach. The plant has medicinal qualities that were used by native Americans and they also used the pungent smoke to ward off the spirits of the dead. To 3′ tall and spreading underground by rhizomes. This is a very vigorous plant when established, give it room and the respect it requires. In improved situations it can swamp other plants so best to leave your patch of sagewort to its own devices. Mix with other plants of similar vigor- Spiraea x pyramidata or Rosa nutkana. Give it at least 5′  x  5′ feet to roam. In summer plumes of off-white flowers produce a haven for pollinators. This member of the daisy family brings them from long distances. Very long lived deciduous perennial with long indented leaves that are dark green on top with an underside of pure silver. This makes this almost woody perennial very easy to spot in breezy conditions  It appreciates average soil and light water to establish.. If it flags in drought you may give it a deep drink in summer to refresh. Loved by a host of butterflies. Doesn’t need much love to perform. Oregon native plant.

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Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa

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.

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Astelia chathamica

Astelia chathamica

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.

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Astelia nivicola 'Westland'

Astelia nivicola ‘Westland’

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

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Brachyglottis greyi

Brachyglottis greyi

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.

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