Great Hounds Tongue or Giant Pacific Forget-me-Not is one of our most remarkable native perennials. On the property where I grew up near Eugene it was native. There was a clump of this majestic perennial that was there for nearly my whole life. Unfortunately, we sold the property but this plant was still there last I checked. In the Willamette Valley and out into the Columbia Gorge you see these enormous blue flowers on a sturdy spikes in the dry areas under oaks. Often seen with Wyethia -Mules ears. Large fleshy leaves form a substantial clump. In early to mid spring 2′ spikes reveal outrageously large versions of Forget-me-nots. Established plants will then go dormant with summer drought. Adapted to xeric clay soils that dry in summer. Not only does it not require it established plants can resent it and rot. Place in a wild, unwatered part of your garden. Amend the soil lightly with compost and water in well. Pairs well, of course with other native perennials such as Sidalceas. In the wild it is accompanied by Erythronium oreganum , Lathyrus nevadensis, Fritillaria lanceolata, Dodecatheon hendersonii, and Ranunculus occidentals. That is what grew with our patch, under white and black native oaks, with a madrone here and there. Impressive native perennial whose intense blue flowers are hard to convey in a photograph. Oregon native plant.

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Slender Cinquefoil is a common, somewhat quiet but easy to grow long lived native perennial. Palmate leaves are conspicuously serrated on long stems. In early to mid summer 20″ stems support multiple clumps of sunny single yellow flowers. Full sun to part shade in average to enriched soil. Water to establish the first season then let it go with seasonal rainfall. Wild looking perennial that shines in borders, among shrubs and along the urban wild lands interface. Very pretty clustered at the foot of Holodiscus whose bloom is simultaneous. Loved by pollinators and an important food source for  many butterflies. Native from SW. British Columbia south to San Diego County California. Often found in Ponderosa pine forests. Blooms much more heavily in full sun and improves under cultivation. Winter deciduous. Little deer resistance. Rose family. These are seed raised from Willamette Valley populations so it is the local form.  Oregon native plant.

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

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Our selection of a superior deep black leaved Dahlia. Finely divided leaves are symmetrical on towering stems to 4′ tall. In mid summer to fall a constant procession of vibrant red single flowers. They harmonize greatly with the leaf color. Full sun and enriched soil with regular summer water. Soil that does not become sodden and frozen in winter will yield the cold hardiest plants. Mulch in fall. Nice cut flower, arrangement material. Multiplies into large clumps in time. This selection has survived the coldest winters of the past 15 years. We’ve kind of let Jack frost do our selecting for us.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Cotinus obovatus

American smoke tree has a surprisingly limited natural range in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma but its an exceedingly adaptable tree. Large round leaves are soft green when they emerge. In mid summer the tips of the branches are covered in clouds of beige smoke- which is not as prolific as the hybrids or the species Cotinus coggygria. Rounded medium sized tree to 22′ tall and handsome. Moderately slow growing 1-2′ per year when young. Full sun and regular irrigation to established then fully summer drought established. Deep rich soils yield the best performance. Autumn is its time of true glory. The large soft leaves transform into electric shades of orange/red/yellow. It holds this color for weeks before dropping. An amazing show that outshines just about any other deciduous tree. Limited supply. Accepts some summer irrigation. It is being used as a street tree in Portland, where its arboreal habit is superior to Cotinus coggygria and its hybrids.

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Big, bold, and hardy, this is the cold hardiest Elephant’s ear that we’ve yet grown. Large (14″ long by 9″ wide) leaves with a distinct black dot in the center- the pearl. Large growing perennial to 4′ tall and running underground to spread as wide. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer water. Excellent companion for other bold leaved plants- such as gold leaved Acanthus. Excellent for tropical effects w/ no fear of freezing out. Root hardy below 10ºF when clumps are established Give this large plant room to spread. Easy to grow for the most part. Goes deciduous with the first frost and emerges late in spring when the soil truly warms. Be patient. Not bothered by pests. Mulch for the first autumn.  Great for big subtropical effects. Tolerates shallow water, but is not as hardy to cold.

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Rare native perennial that can be found in wet marginal areas along the coast from Oregon to S. Alaska. Never common it forms large clumps of verdant green scalloped foliage and towers of deep pink hollyhock-like flowers. The flowers are arranged densely on the stem. Blooms repeatedly from June to frost- remove spent flower spikes to encourage more. To 34″ tall in bloom The best Checkermallow for rich, amended borders with regular summer water. Excellent cutflower and a beacon to pollinators-especially natives. Mostly winter deciduous. Combine with other tall spired perennials of similar culture. Very good with border delphiniums or even Penstemons. Tough long lived plant given the correct site. Climate adapted perennial. Rare. Cut back spent stems in winter.  Oregon native plant.  

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Ipomea purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’s’

Can’t imagine summer without morning glories. This old time favorite we love for the intensity of the color as well as length of bloom. This rapidly twining vine gets going after truly warm weather arrives. Funnel shaped glories unfurl early in the morning and are resplendent until afternoon. Longer on cooler/ cloudier days. To 8′ in a single season for average to enriched soil in FULL SUN with regular summer H20. Easy to send scrambling a teutier, fence, lattice. Very fun to grow. Annual vine that is not so rambunctious as to smother even low perennials, to large shrubs. Remember that the flowers always point towards the strongest sun- which is south.

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This is red, no pink, very little orange, true blasting red. Our employee Chris thought we needed it and after observation I heartily agree. Bushy semi-woody perennial to 30″ x 30″ for full sun and rich well drained soil. A slope is best. Blooms unabated from May to frost. It takes a break in temperatures above 97º but resumes blooming with a cool down. This is redder ( with no white) than Hot lips with very large flowers in deeply colored calyxes. We have been impressed with the cold and wet tolerance of Salvia microphylla. Of utmost importance is to refrain from cutting them back until all danger of frost has passed, then you can go for it and regrowth to bloom is rapid. Obviously a hummingbird attractant. They stake them out, they fight and its all good fun. Long blooming Light deer resistance. Drought adapted when established.

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Lagerstroemia indica ‘Double Feature’®

Play it again is another trade name associated with this confusingly named but gorgeous shrubby crape myrtle. We’re very impressed with its performance, the first round of rich, cranberry red flowers appears in July- the color is deep and intense. In this selection no seed is ever formed and the plant will re-bloom continuously on the same flower stem. Watch the spent scape closely new buds seem to bubble out from no where. A compact growing shrub to 4′ x 4′ in 7 years. New foliage is deep wine red and retains the deep intensity of green. The small flower trusses completely obscures the plant in bloom. For the hottest, sunniest position in rich soil with REGULAR summer irrigation. Less over the years. It really does re-bloom continuously. Fall color is vibrant red/ orange. In time the thin stems/trunks exfoliates to a glossy tan sheen. Propagation prohibited. PP#22, 559

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