Grevillea x ‘The Precious’

Excellent introduction from Desert Northwest Nursery in Sequim, WA. This seedling of ‘Leanne’ exceeds that cultivar in several ways. First, its a decidedly smaller shrub with tiny, needle like deep green foliage. Second, its profuse flowers are a brighter and lighter yellow that is showy from a distance and great contrast with the foliage. This brand new plant is likely to reach 3′ x 4′ in 8 years. Moderately slow growing. Blooms appear YEAR ROUND and are a beacon to hummingbirds as well as gardeners in the dead of winter. Full sun to very light shade in average, un-amended native soils. Good drainage is helpful. Very little to no water once established. Extremely drought adapted. Beautiful, free blooming shrub that has great promise. Thanks, Ian. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Callistemon pallidus ‘Eleanor’

More than 25 years ago I raised some Callistemon from seed. This seedling with vivid magenta purple flowers has survived temperatures below 10ºF for all that time but requires a protected spot inland to thrive. Amazing performance at the Oregon Coast where the bright brushes may appear several times a year. To 6′ x 6′ and arching this willowy evergreen accepts light summer water and requires as much sun as possible. Best against a south facing wall in Portland. It may freeze back below about 12ºF, but recovery from the base is rapid. Virtually any soil. Moderate deer resistance. This seedling was planted at our then neighbor Eleanor’s house so it received that name.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Calamagrostis foliosa

Mendocino Reed grass is a regal plant from the northern California coast. Well scaled for gardens a 1′ x 2′ wide clump eventually forms with stiff, tidy blue green arching leaves that are blue with purple highlights. In spring to mid-summer 1′ tall spikes of flowers that begin russet and age to soft tan appear and are immensely showy and symmetrical. A back lit plant in bloom is a festival of brilliant tones. Best in light shade and average to rich, well drained soil with light summer water to improve vigor and appearance. A cool season grass that looks wonderful in winter as well as summer. Excellent garden plant that has proven to be easy and adaptable. Evergreen.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Famous for its hardiness to cold, this shrub eventually becomes very big with very large double, powerfully fragrant flowers. This fabulous Gardenia gains cold hardiness with age. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains- see- LOTS OF COMPOST and regular summer water. That will not only speed growth an establishment it will encourage a constant supply of blooms from on average early July to September. To 4′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best in a protected location- especially from east winds. Full sun to full shade. Excellent with some overhead protection- tree branches , eaves, or a pergola. This slight protection provides the plant with less dramatic swings in temperatures which helps it harden off to cold. REGULAR irrigation is crucial for the first few years. Never let a Gardenia dry out entirely- no like. All the leaves from the interior out will turn yellow and drop. Not pretty. But a well grown shrub is gorgeous with large, deep green glossy foliage ensconcing the 3″ wide flowers. The fragrance will waft in warm summer conditions. Lovely.  Excellent in containers – pay attention to irrigation and move the containerized Gardenia to an unheated garage or porch. Lucious and very tropical looking.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Polypodium scouleri

Coast Polypody or creeping leather fern is an evergreen colony forming plant that is native from British Columbia south along the coast to even the Guadelupe Island off of Baja. It makes its home on logs, rocks, the ground almost anywhere it finds adequate moisture and shade. During the summer it will take a surprising amount of dryness but we recommend light consistent irrigation for the best appearance and to spur multiplication. Fronds to 10″ long with rounded lobes. Excellent garden plant, grows very well in rich to average soil as well. Good year round appearance. A native fern that should be grown all the time. Great in winter containers- excellent winter appearance with little maintenance. Protect from hot sun. Highly deer resistant.  Oregon native plant. 

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6b 0º to -5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Eucalyptus dalrympleana

Mountain white gum or just Mountain gum is a wonderful cold hardy Eucalypt that can achieve the largest proportions of any that we grow. In Portland specimens of 60′ occur and it presents as a large spreading tree with sickle shaped leaves of deep green and glossy. Very aromatic when crushed and excellent material for wreaths. In time it develops fantastic powder white bark.  Fast growing in youth to 6′ a year in rich soil with regular irrigation. Once established it is very drought tolerant. In time it forms a large spreading crown on a majestic and easy to grow tree. Requires a large site. Eucalyptus are intolerant of all shade and should be hit from all sides by sunlight. Otherwise they will grow sparsely and lean towards the sun. White flowers occur in late winter and are more curious than showy. Does have some leaf drop- take note near patios. Cold hardy to 5ºF when established. Gains cold hardiness with age. Moderately deer resistant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Arctostaphylos pumila ‘Small Leaf Form’

Immensely handsome dense rounded Manzanita that has smaller than average silver foliage and fantastic bark.  Moderately fast  growing shrub to 6′ tall x 8′ 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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Garnettii’

One of the cold hardiest selections of this species native to New Zealand. This stunning evergreen shrub of unknown origin shines in the garden with round leaves edged in white with an interior of soft green. And these bright leaves are held on dramatic black stems. In spring small black to maroon flowers decorate the leaf axils. Moderately fast growing pyramidal shrub to 8′ tall x 4 wide in 7 years- and gradually larger. In winter the leaves become even more colorful taking on bright pink tints. Requires a somewhat protected location- avoid exposure to subfreezing winds directly. Best sited with protection from east winds. Full sun to high over head shade. Accepts regular summer water which will increase the rate of growth- but established plants are remarkably summer drought tolerant. Excellent cut foliage for arrangements. A luminous shrub that virtually glows in the landscape. Cold damage begins at about 10ºF- but spring recovery is rapid.  Limited quantities.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Pittosporum tobira ‘Variegata’

An old shrub that deserves a new lease on life. Venerable old specimens are found throughout Portland proving its durability over time. The rounded evergreen leaves are edged in cream with an interior of soft sage green. In May/June masses of small white  deliciously citrus-blossom scented flowers perfume a wide area. Not as dense or fast growing as the species- and prone to losing older leaves in colder than normal winters- so it can have an open appearance. Excellent evergreen specimen shrub for a hot location. A south or west facing wall is ideal and it can withstand the most withering afternoon heat. Slow growing to 6′ x 6′ in 10 years. Very drought adapted when established, but it will happily take regular summer water. The foliage is so fetching that it is often seen for sale as cut material in bouquets. It lasts for several weeks in a vase. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Nice foundation shrub. Established shrubs are cold hardy to about 5ºF. Avoid exposure to strong subfreezing winds. Easy and pretty urban plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Luma apiculata

Chilean Myrtle is a very good looking dense evergreen shrub/tree in our climate. It requires a slightly protected location as it can be tender when young. Protect young plants from temperatures below 15ºF. With age and establishment it gains much, much more cold hardiness enduring 5ºF with just light leaf burn. The leaves are deep, dark green and rounded with a sharp tip. Almost formal looking. In protected gardens it can attain tree like status in about 8 years. Most often in our region its a shrub of about 12′. And perhaps the most impressive thing about this Chilean/Argentinian tree is the exfoliating orange to tan bark it achieves with age. In mid-summer masses of small white fragrant myrtle flowers with a central boss of exerted stamens smother the whole plant. These turn into sweetly edible if not a little mentholated black berries. They can be messy so locate away from paths, pavement. Birds almost always make off with the berries so that is helpful. Avoid direct exposure to subfreezing gorge winds. In gardens subject to that locate on a south or west facing wall. Very drought adapted when established, but consistent water and average soil will yield the best growth. Grows about 1′-3′ per year. Moderate deer resistance. Not a good plant for cold rural gardens. Tree size specimens are phenomenal and worth the effort to protect when young. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: