A really interesting and wonderful vine that we grow as an annual but its a perennial in warmer climates and can be here too if you treat it right. Arrow shaped leaves have modified petioles that attach and hoists this climber to 8′ in a single season. A continuous supply of tubular (snapdragon shaped) purple blue flowers with a white throat. Loved by hummers this native of the driest parts of the mediterranean is adapted to being dry in the winter and wet in summer. If wet and saturated the whole vine is only hardy to about 26ºF. However, if the plant is kept dry in the winter it is hardy to MUCH colder. In a former garden I had it planted against the south facing side of my house under the eaves. It was bone dry in winter and to my shock it lived for 7 years with temperatures down to 10ºF. I offer this information as interesting but its a primo delicate vine with beautiful flowers that appear continuously all season which makes a lovely seasonal bower. Great on a tripod, or teutier in containers. Full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil. Excellent on spring blooming shrubs that are quiet in summer- its a fine textured plant that will never smother the host. Excellent plant.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
One of my favorite separate strains of CA poppy. ‘Purple’ gleam is a tiny bit of an over statement. More accurate its pink w/ purple overtones and a lighter center. Blooms from April August in a wave of big flowers that tossles over compact plants with filigree blue foliage. Full sun and average to even poor soil. Often potted Eschscholzia will perennialize and live for a year or two in the ground. Otherwise its an annual and will succumb when the whole plant blooms itself out. To 10″ x 12″ forming a spreading plant. Remove spent flowers to continue the show. Many plants will take a break over summer and then resume blooming w/ cooler autumn rains. Great pollinator plant. Containers, dry areas, borders. Reseeds reliably w/ about 80% true to parent type. Wonderful with Clarkia unguiculata ‘White’ and Collinsia grandiflora. High deer resistance. Leave open disturbed soil for it to reseed. Light summer H20. Oregon native plant
This is a strain of Agapanthus from the very cold hardiest varieties that we grow. Not only are these perfectly hardy to cold they are naturally completely deciduous. Even better they wait to emerge until all danger of frost has past. Many ‘hardy’ CA varieties leaf out in the false spring of late winter and then get nipped hard by possible late freezes. Not at all fussy about soil but best in enriched soil with light consistent summer irrigation. Large globes of rich sky blue flowers are bigger than a grapefruit and wave at the top of 3′-4′ stems. Quite a bit taller than other hardy varieties. Full sun to very light shade and not fussy. They will live in containers for eons and bloom like crazy. Flowers appear from late June to early August and are very showy. This is a very pretty tall strain that is reliable and kind of hard to F up. If you’ve lost Agapanthus in a cold garden or unfortunate freeze this is the one to try. Strappy clumps of mid-green leaves are handsome following bloom. As the plant multiplies it increases its blooms stem count markedly.
Xera Plants Introduction
Impressive new perennial black eyed susan with three inch wide flowers in firey sunset colors. The interior of the petals has a zone of orange red fading to yellow tips. To 34″ tall forming an increasing clump. 20 or more flower stalks display the flowers from mid-late summer. Loved by pollinators as well as cut flower enthusiasts. Flowers last a week or more in a vase. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Deep soaks every 10 days is sufficient. Great companion for Echinacea, Erigeron, ornamental grasses. Winter deciduous but the dead scaffolding left holds seeds for songbirds. Easy to grow perennial for full sun to the very lightest shade, Plants are very upright and seldom topple. Re-bloom will occur if spent flowers are removed. Moderate deer resistance.
Grass widows or Grass maidens is a beautiful and fascinating perennial bulb that is native over a wide but scattered part of our region. Most common east of the Cascades it finds a home in several drier portions of the Willamette Valley. The summit of Spencer’s Butte south of Eugene is one location as are appearances in dry prairie in Benton county. One of the very first conspicuous wildflowers to emerge in February/March. From shallow soils, it lifts to 8″ tall with a wide nodding purple flower- the exact hue of each plant is slightly different. A clump of leaves follows the flowers before going neatly summer dormant. Best in rock garden conditions where you rely only on natural rainfall. Spreads in time to form quaint colonies. Once a Sisyrinchium this member of the Iris family is one of the dearest wildflowers for our gardens. Full sun- no shade at all and amend the soil w/ a handful of pumice. Water after planting until summer heat induces dormancy. Then never again. Seed grown. Avoid crowding from other plants. It can and has been overwhelmed by invasive exotic grasses. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
There are SO MANY Echinaceas its hard to sort the best from the chaff. We love this unique coneflower with sophisticated flowers of pea green and pink with a central warm honey colored cone. To 2′ tall and forming expanding clumps. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with regular H20 for the first several years. After that it seems to be much more established and requires quite a bit less. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Very groovy, fragrant cut flower and removing spent flowers will lengthen the bloom season which begins in June and sputters out in September. Echinaceas can be a little tricky to establish. What they love is the combination of rich and WELL drained soil. So, incorporate ample amounts of compost and cut it w/ a lot of pumice. Water regularly but never boggy. Butterflies adore this flower and use the blooms as a conspicuous landing pad. Leave the spent flower seeds over the winter, mine have provided food for a number of species. Seedheads turn a handsome black. Moderate deer resistance.
Cute little perennial Society garlic with wonderfully sweet fragrant flowers, Best described as intense violets. To 10″ tall and forming expanding but diminutive clumps that are deciduous in hard freezes. Blooms May-August. Excellent for warm rock gardens or containers. Protect containers from temperatures below 20ºF. In the ground it has survived slightly below 10ºF in rich, well drained soil and full sun. Best in a warm position where you can catch a whiff of the wonderful soft lilac colored flowers. Wonderful and sweet cut flower. The foliage on this species lacks the pungency of the more common T. violacea. Moderate deer resistance. Light, consistent summer water. Mulch with leaves if extreme cold threatens. South Africa.
Western Buttercup is our own wonderful wildflower. This is the real thing and NOT the invasive Ranunculus ficaria. Traditionally it occupies open Oregon Oak woodlands and meadows including vernally wet meadows. Though it handles winter inundation it is also adapted to upland situations and in every biome it goes quickly summer dormant. Rosettes of pretty pinked leaves elongate in bloom to an airy spray of bright yellow flowers. Intimately, the petals have a glossy sheen. And growing up in the country it was traditional to put a picked flower under your chin and the reflected color yellow revealed that indeed you did like butter. Great cut flower that peaks on May Day and has made many a wild flower bouquet with purple Oregon Iris and purple Dodecatheon hendersonii- Shooting stars. Pictured here with Common Camas Camassia quamash at the Camassia reserve in West Linn, Oregon. Blooms from mid-April to early June. Vast meadows of western Oregon still harbor this sweet short lived perennial. Adapted to heavy clay soils- reseeds when happy. Suitable for mowed meadows as long as it has gone to seed by the time you mow. Wait until June. Good competitor with invasives and absolutely integral to a Willamette Valley meadow. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant
Lovely ubiquitous woodland flower that brings waves of glorious airy stars for weeks in late spring to mid summer. Occasionally pink the flowers most often are white. Handsome somewhat bold foliage provides a plant that is more than suited to competition on the forest floor. Often self sows and this is welcome. Plant containerized plants in spring and water faithfully through the first summer- but never boggy. Then it is yours. Let it romp among ferns, Hosta, Japanese Forest Grass for a sparkling NATIVE treat. Mix with other natives such as Vancouveria and deer fern. Very easy to grow. Blooms for a very long time and longer if we have a cool beginning to summer. AKA Candy flower. To 10″ x 10″ on average. Summer deciduous and emerges early in spring. Not bothered by pests. Forms spreading colonies in rich, humus enriched soil in part shade to shade. Locally native in the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant.
We took a break from Fuchsias for a few years, but its time to bring back some of the best. This compact, dense growing Fuchsia is a blooming workhorse. Sepals emerge green then take on terra cotta tints while the downward facing corolla is made of intense velvet plum petals. Cold hardy and it returns as a robust clump. To 2′ x 2′ forming a rounded outline. Excellent performance in full sun to part shade. It becomes a little less compact in shade. This Dutch selection has survived all of the 16 years that we’ve grown it. An open north exposure is the best- open to the sky but no direct heat. Very good in containers. Rich soil and regular summer water. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring. Then remove frost damaged material. Wonderful Dutch selection. Beautiful plant.
A wonderful relatively new Achillea (Yarrow) from Siberia. It brings not only larger chalk pink flowers in bold umbels it is cold hardy to USDA Zone 2. This plant will never freeze out. Forms expanding clumps with upright stems clothed in glossy long green leaves with small teeth. On 22″ stems umbels of flowers appear from May to August. After the first flush of flowers shear away and water and another round will commence. The long stems make great long lasting cut flowers too. Loved by a bazillion pollinators, hover flies, bees of all kinds swarm the flat landing pad. Full sun to very light shade in rich, soil that drains. Incorporate some oxygen in by double digging. Good companion plants are Agastaches and Penstemons as well as ornamental grasses. Completely deciduous in winter. Light consistent summer H20 to establish. Long lived perennial. Moderate deer resistance. Elegant perennial. Siberian Yarrow.
A wonderful garden perennial and by far our favorite mum for fall. Much more informal and relaxed in habit and flower form it puts on a stellar show for months in autumn. Soft, copper pink single flowers radiate from a soft yellow center. A bushy perennial to 28″ x 28″ in full sun to light shade. Best in enriched soil for a good start in life. Regular summer water propels growth and blooming which begins in September and stretches nearly to Thanksgiving. Cut back hard the previous years remnants in early spring – as per your tidying routine. Very pretty cut flower. Underplant with Ivy leaved hardy Cyclamen for a soft but showy display. Long lived perennial gaining scale each year. Moderate deer resistance. Aromatic curly foliage is classic Chrysanthemum.
Wonderful, large spreading hardy Fuchsia that falls in the aubergine clan. That means that at some point in its past the genes involved the deep purple black flowered Fuchsia excorticata. This lax growing plant sends curtains of slim flowers with a corolla of deep aubergine purple and sepals of merlot red. Established plants are about 30″ tall by 3′ wide for rich soil in light shade and regular summer moisture. This Fuchsia LOVES rich soil to perform at its peak. In full blooms its fairly spectacular. Blooms from June to frost. The pewter glinted leaves have deep wine red petioles. The whole plant is a good package. Freezes to the ground below about 25ºF. Mulch for the first winter and do not remove frost damaged growth until you see new growth emerge in spring. You’ll easily identify the material that has to go. Loved by hummingbirds. This cultivar lends itself to planting at the top of a shady wall where you can more easily view the curtains of rich flowers.
The bodaciously named Chilean Glory Vine is a great low weight, long and strong blooming perennial vine in our climate. Filligree intricately divided leaves and petioles wind this deciduous vine up to 10′ in a season. Most years it returns to the ground and resprouts in spring and that isn’t a bad thing. It gives you the opportunity to clear away the previous seasons chaff. If we have a mild enough winter it will retain some green but you may still cut it back in early spring. Waves of long stemmed tubular flowers are soft pink with a recurved lip tipped in yellow. Its an exquisite show that goes unabated from late May to September. We’re very attracted to this orchid like coloration of this form and we find it accommodating for mixing colors. It also comes in red, orange, yellow, and cream- in time we will offer those. Hummingbirds LOVE this vine and will immediately show up when flowering commences. Much easier than cleaning and refilling a feeder. Remove spent flowers and that will encourage more flowers. Blooms on new growth. As it grows it blooms. Fantastic on the wall of a chicken coop providing ample shade. Rich soil that drains and regular summer water. Mulch the base- protect the crown in the first winter.
Our own west coast form of Golden Rod which can be found in vernally wet locations or even fence rows. Vigorous, strong growing perennial that erupts in plumes of golden flowers from August to October. Spreading via runners it can take up quite a bit of space in lush environs. Best to grow it in un-amended soil with light summer water. Full sun to very light shade. Handsome mid-green leaves line nearly woody stems to 32″ tall. Spreads as far as you let it. Sleeps the first year- LEAPS the second and you have been warmed. That having been said its a wonderful romping native perennial for late season pollinators. Its very easy to grow and long blooming. I wouldn’t plant a Willamette Valley meadow without this plant. And my, do you get good bugs. VERY good bugs. Lightly fragrant flowers are great in late season arrangements. Best to pair it with a companion that is just as rambunctious- we select Symphyotrichum subspicatum our native Douglas Aster. Not only do they match each other they make a splendid floral complement and bloom concurrently. And it will triple the amount of pollinators. Foliage can take on orange/yellow tints in late fall. Cut back in early spring. – but fairly self sufficient. Oregon native plant.
Winter Honeysuckle is an often forgotten shrub. Its large and in our climate it doesn’t usually lose all of its leaves until mid-winter. But that is the time when this big girl shines. Small but powerfully fragrant off white honeysuckle flowers stud all of the stems. And remain sweet for weeks. To 9′ x 9′ as a free standing shrub. Flowers are born on wood from the previous year. Prune after flowering in spring. May be trained as a vine with diligence. The flower stems are also easy to force into bloom indoors. A great shrub for hedgerows and even hedges. In the garden it often does duty in the back 40- where it will thrive in anything from full sun to almost dense shade and little extra water once established. Loved by over wintering Anna’s hummingbirds. Don’t forget winter flowers. Underplant with winter flowering Cyclamen coum and Crocus tommasinianus. Very tough. Not bothered by disease or bugs. Consistent water to establish then VERY drought adapted.
A really cool form of Oak Leaf Hydrangea that I picked up in North Carolina. Full double thick, dense white flowers appear in place of the lacier form of the species. The dense cones of flowers appear on sturdy stems in late June and are effective until September. They are exceptionally showy as well as long lasting. Large, deciduous shrub for full sun to part shade in rich soil with consistent summer moisture. Very established plants can get by with less. Blooms on wood from the current season. If pruning is required do it in early spring. To 9′ x 9′ in 6 years. Fall color on the immense leaves is remarkable. For all the months of fall into mid-winter purple/red/orange tones wash over the whole plant. Leaves finally abandon the shrub in mid winter. Easy to grow wonderful multi-dimensional shrub that is cold hardy and durable. Give it room to spread, you won’t regret it. Yay ‘Turkey Heaven’. Limited supply. Native to the SE U.S.
Cool Indigo shrub that produces erect stems of light pink flowers w/ a touch of white. The flowers appear on new growth and as long as the plant is vigorous the display will be too. Deciduous woody shrub to 8′ tall by 8′ wide in a season. Established plants may be pruned to the ground in early spring and will vigorously rebound and bloom. Loved by pollinators. Not a dense shrub rather a light texture that is almost see-through. Very fun and flowery and easy to grow in full sun to light shade in average soil w/ regular summer water. I’ve never seen this species set seed in our climate. Cold hardy below 0ºF as a subshrub that can freeze to the ground below 10ºF. Pinnate leaves as for the species is a soft light green. Admirable cut flower- a whole branch yields many flower inflorescences. Remarkable shrub that can difficult to locate. Loved by butterflies. We grew this pretty shrub years ago and have brought it back.
True pink California poppy. Seed from this exceptional pink flowered selection comes true about 95% of the time. Deep rose pink semi-double flowers appear in late spring and continue sporadically until mid summer. A happy plant can become a short lived perennial but the majority will behave as bloomy annuals. Full sun and rich to average soil with good tilth (crumbly texture). It can even thrive in compacted soils. To 10″ x 10″ forming a compact plant with lacy blue foliage. The strident rose pink flowers are showy from a distance. Leave the last round of flowers to seed for the next several seasons. Excellent wildflower display in rough areas w/ low water. Water plants to establish then taper off. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Wonderful flower color. Mix with Eschscholzia c. ‘Alba’ the white form. Deer resistant and drought adapted native plant. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
This has turned into one of our favorite annuals. An ancient Nasturtium variety from the 1880’s it is a chameleon of a flower in color. Neat round, water lily leaves are distinctly blue on a compact cultivar. Almost instantly ruffled fragrant flower appear above the foliage. They take on various colors, often starting yellow sanguineous red will begin in the creases of the petals and spread throughout the flower. It appears to be dependent on the amount of heat. So, all matter of colors dominate on the flower as heat waxes and wanes. This selection appreciates full sun but not in a blazing position. Avoid the heat of reflected walls. An open north exposure is ideal. To 8″ tall x 1′ wide. Great in containers. Nice, exotic cut flower and fun to grow. Blooms all summer and cooler weather and fall rains re-invigorate the plant and sets an explosion of flowers that persist until a truly hard frost. Charming nasturtium that we love. Consistent summer moisture in AVERAGE, well drained soil.
Excellent selection of a long and fantastic summer blooming perennial. We’ve shied away from this genus because it does like regular water to look its best. That having been said, where you see our native Helenium bigelovii, it sits in riparian zones and along the edge of permanent and intermittent streams and in wet meadows. This selection is an exciting color break. Developed, chosen, and named at Rogerson Clematis Gardens here in Lake Oswego, OR. They obviously don’t just do Clematis- but if you have never been its one of the premier gardens in our area. Hardy perennial to 30″ tall from an expanding fairly dense clump. In a season or two it reaches about 1′ across at the base. Wonderful flower color that is sumptuous and it blooms for many weeks. 4-6 weeks in late July, August, and early September. Excellent cut flower and it has a perfect scale for the middle of a well irrigated border, in full sun and rich soil. Loved by pollinators- and perfect for butterflies to land and feed. Long lived and winter deciduous.
Xera Plants Introduction (Via Rogerson’s Clematis Garden)
Spring Gold or Biscuitroot is a widespread spring perennial from British Columbia south into northern California. In our area it occupies steep slopes and delights in mid-late spring with complex umbels of brilliant gold/yellow flowers. This tap rooted plant requires regular water for the first season- but never boggy, In enriched to average well drained soil. Excellent performance on slopes. Over time the rosette increases in width and spring flowers. An important native pollinator plant that was also used by native Americans as a food source. To 6″ tall in bloom a plant will achieve 2′ wide in half a dozen years. Strongly resents disturbance and a happy plant will live for decades. Not bothered by pests. Once native in the Portland area, its original range in W. Oregon has been substantially diminished. Great companion plant with Manzanita. Moderately deer resistant. Winter deciduous. Oregon Native Plant
PNW Orange Honeysuckle is one of our most showy native vines. Our region is sparse on native vines so this pretty plant is welcome. In late spring to summer clusters of brilliant orange tubular flowers decorate the branch tips. Loved by hummingbirds as well as other birds which is obvious, its also important for all native pollinators. The flowers change to brilliant red fruit which is consumed by wildlife and seldom lingers. Deciduous mid green foliage is verdant all through the season. As with the vast majority of Honeysuckle vines this plant nearly always goes leafless at the base. Expect this and plan for it. Strongly twining plant to 12′ tall and almost as wide. Provide strong support. Light consistent summer water to establish then very little necessary once established. (Also accepts regular summer H20). Excellent vine for country fences, decorating mailboxes etc. Protect from deer, otherwise it is pest and disease resistant- occasional mildew in the autumn is virtually harmless – great news for a honeysuckle. Blooms on wood from the previous season, prune if needed after flowering. Oregon native plant
Coast gooseberry or black gooseberry is an intricately branched native deciduous shrub that is incredibly important to wildlife as well as pollinators. Mounding and spreading with fine and prickly needles housed at each node. The maple shaped leaves have a fine skunk aroma up close. To 4′ x 6′ in the extreme this moderately fast growing plant is best in full sun but can handle quite a bit of shade-especially deciduous shade. This species is never common and its found mainly west of the Cascades The small pendulous flower feature red petals surrounding a white corolla. These morph into prickly sour fruits whose final color ripens to black. Fall color is soft yellow to orange and brief. Light consistent summer water in a average to enriched, well drained soil. The berries are edible but intensely sour and make fine food for a wide range of cool birds. Native to the Portland city limits. Excellent shrub for remediation of wild sites. This pretty shrub makes a great transitional plant for wild areas and has a wild look itself. Blooms on wood from the previous season. Prune if needed AFTER flowering. Oregon native plant
Mules Ears are our native sunflowers. These cheery bold perennials make the transition of our wild flowers from spring into real summer. So named for its long leaves it forms very permanent spreading colonies in clay soils in habitat. The brilliant yellow sun flower blossoms rise up on sturdy stems directly from the ground. Each ebullient large flower is about 4″ across. Blooms appear from late April to early June. This plant usually finishes blooming just as summer drought commences. Its a memorable sight in wild meadows where it blooms simultaneously with native Rosa nutkana and Farewell to spring (Clarkia amoena var. lindleyi) and Giant blue eyed mary (Collinsia grandiflora). Wonderful cut flower and immediate and popular pollinator perennial. This plant was once very common in the Willamette Valley but civilization has immensely shrunk its native range. Good, long lived garden plant that goes summer dormant quickly after blooming has ended. The leaves turn gray and brittle and can easily be removed then. Give it a summer rest w/ little to no summer water once established. Full sun to very light shade. Water to establish its first season then none in subsequent years. Fun to grow and LONG lived. To 14″ in bloom forming a plant several feet across. Moderate deer resistance. Native to the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant
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.
If shocking vermillion, red, and orange are a bit too vibrant for you enter this softly hued selection. Soft pink tubular flowers appear constantly from early August to October. Low spreading perennial to 8″ tall by 2′ wide in a short time. The very light green foliage is clad in soft hairs giving the whole plant a soft mien. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil is ideal. Slopes, rock gardens, walls, hellstrips all are appropriate for this low water plant. Water diligently to establish but never boggy. In subsequent years only light water on occasion is required. Spreads laterally underground by stolons. Long lived perennial if sited and somewhat cared for. Completely winter deciduous- cut away the previous years dead growth in February. Somewhat deer resistant. Mix with other late blooming perennial. Wonderful combined with Cuphea hirtella and the soft yellow flowers of Erodium chrysanthemum. West coast native plant that calls to hummingbirds far and wide. Takes blasting hot conditions in stride.
OH MY DARLING, OH MY DARLING, OH MY DARLING Clementine you are lost ….Not lost at all this wonderful Verbascum is delightful and blooms repeatedly from spring to late summer. To 3′ tall or taller in ideal conditions, spires of soft orange to pale yellow depending on the temperature have a central bee of lavender feathers. Adorable and conspicuous as when observed as a cut flower of which this flower is great. The spires of flowers erupt directly from the center of a basal rosette of flat green leaves. Full sun, average to enriched soil that drains with light, consistent summer water. Remove spent blooms and another round will begin. Does not seed around. Mix with other sun-loving perennials with similar cultural requirements. Agastache, Digitalis lanata, Penstemon ‘Enor’ for a LONG LONG flowering spectacle. Winter dormant. Cold hardy and easy to grow. Great flower color for mixing or for tone on tone continuity- for that try it combined with Digitalis x ‘Honey Trumpet’.
Cute flowering hyssop that makes a clump of strongly vertical stems clad at the tips with soft mauve/purple flowers. A boon to pollinators as well as hummingbirds. Blooms June to October continuously from the same spikes. To 18″ tall and barely half as wide. Agastaches like light soil. Double dig the soil well to incorporate oxygen and apply a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. This will establish the plant much faster. Excellent performance on slopes where it achieves the drainage that it likes. Middle of the border or massed in a meadow- this easy to grow perennial performs for a long time. Do not cut back until after Valentine’s Day. Consistent water for the first summer then light water in subsequent years. Excellent performance in mixed container plantings. Moderate deer resistance. Foliage is sweetly pungent.
With all the knock out, fleurshrubselekt® and every other patented type of rose its reassuring that this old gal still rocks them all. Betty bears clusters of slightly fragrant large single pink flowers. They are light pink w/ a slightly darker sheen to the surface of the petals which almost always open skyward. These upright facing groups of flowers yield not only a lot of color- it blooms constantly from May to frost, it gives the plant a wild appeal not seen in overly bred shrubs. The disease resistant foliage is mid green and handsome as well. To 4′ x 4′ forming a rounded shrub. It may be hard pruned in early spring if necessary. Remove spent flowers and more will quickly appear. Tough plant that gets by on a less than perfect watering regime. Regular, deep watering (once a week max) will yield great performance. Established plants can take drought at the expense of re-blooming. Very easy to grow charming rose. Ultra cold hardy.
Wonderful multi-use hardy annual that we love for its flowers, seed heads, and edible seeds. Love-in-a-Mist is the common name in reference to the mostly dark blue flowers that are ensconced in a haze of fine green stems. This is a charming cut flower. Upon finishing the ovaries transform to a ballon shaped structure full of yummy black seeds. You can then detach that as a cut flower as well. The dried black seeds have a peppery taste and are excellent sprinkled on salads. Be sure to sprinkle them on the ground where next year’s crop will be. Truth is once you plant this it is pretty much as permanent as a perennial, so reliable and prolific a re-seeding plant. The ferny seedlings are easy to spot, move or dispatch. Let them flow through your perennial borders. They make a wonderful addition to a cutting garden. Best in rich, open, disturbed soil with supplemental H20 all the way until seed are produced- though not entirely necessary it produces larger plants- and there fore stems, flowers, and more seeds. Blooms June-July. Full sun to light shade. VERY EASY.
We grow just a select few Dahlias now but over the decades we’ve been able to observe hardiness by cultivar. This is consistently one of the hardiest. And its a wonderful perennial. Finely divided foliage is dark, nearly black on a compact plant to 2′ x 2′ with stunning black/velvet red single flowers. These appear consistently from June to frost. Shorter stems lead to a smaller cut flower but it is still wonderful none-the-less. The intense deep flower color is a perfect match for the foliage yielding a dark tinted plant. Provide contrasting light to golden colored foliage for extra depth. Excellent border perennial for full sun and rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. This hardy perennial requires very little protection other than a layer of mulch in autumn. Even a layer of leaves will provide a modicum of cover. Emerges with truly warm weather in spring. Protect emerging plants from snails/slugs. Full grown plants seem less affected. Loved by pollinators and moderately deer resistant. Far from 100% but still one of the last they will munch.
Blue is an elusive color in Alliums but there are several that achieve that hue. This small bunch forming onion is a delight with clusters of nodding blue flower in mid-late summer. To 10″ tall a multiplying clump will spread to 1′ wide over time. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Excellent in rock gardens, the front of borders and even hellstrips. Very easy to grow herbaceous perennial that blooms for 4-6 weeks. Cute little cutflower and loved by pollinators. Winter decidiuous for full sun- no fudging here. Long lived and hardy in containers. Moderate deer resistance.
Probably one of our very favorite bulbs and a gift from a friend w/ VERY good taste and I’m happy to say we are going to have a steady supply in the future. For the moment quantities are limited. Why so special? This is the enormously huge version of that precious blue allium caeruleum. Flower size on the species which is very available are comparable to a nickel to a quarter size. This form cranks it up w/ flowerheads the size of golf balls and larger. Spectacular. This very rare form is so superior and still charming that I’ve put it all over my garden. It needs full sun and rich soil that drains. Not difficult by any stretch- though full sun is required. and I suspect more water than I give mine. I put one in then 3, then like 9 and I had to stop myself. Sky blue orbs. This plant needs to build up some bulk to bloom, which means you need a certain amount of leaves and bulb heft for them to bloom. I say this because its possible to sell them out of bloom because they are that freaking cool. <pant, pant> Semi evergreen leaves are low, thin and pungent. Possibly deer resistant- I don’t know yet. And bunnies. Well, Bunnies suck.
Is this hardy? Why, yes, yes it is. Mexican Shellflower or just Tigridia is a fun bulb that produces large, immensely showy flowers that last but a day. Three large petals emanate from a wildly speckled center. White, red, orange, yellow, and pink flowers are all represented in this mix. Rich, well drained soil in a warm position- mine are on the south side of my house in average soil and they not only multiply year to year they self sow. The wonderful flowers appear individually for weeks in mid to late summer. Add a handful of all purpose fertilizer when planting and water consistently through bloom. Full sun- no fudging here. Very easy to grow. To 20″ tall in bloom on average. Flowers 3″ wide. -Emerges late in the spring- usually mid-May. Patience.
My half hardy perennial can kick your perennials ass. And this spiky creature is a damned fine plant. Large lobed leaves are fiercely armed with bright orange spikes down the midrib. Violent orange spikes also cover every stem and virtually glow when backlit. All summer long this large tender plant (to 3′ x 2′) bears large solanaceous 5 petalled purple flowers with a central orange beak. The overall effect is beyond charming, its a fierce plant with attitude and we adore it. Great in containers but mind that this sucker does have a bite, locate away from traffic. Very fun to grow in the ground as well. Hardy to the low 20’s and sometimes makes it through a mild winter. Orange fruits follow the flowers but are not assured. One of the amazing plants native to Madagascar. Full sun and rich soil with regular water. Basically grow it just like a tomato. Highly deer resistant.
Groovy Cuphea that we grow as an annual. In mild winters and with good drainage this rainbow of a plant may over winter. Either way its a long, long blooming plant from June to frost. Spikes appear continuously holding tubular shaped flowers- they begin yellow and age to orange for a multicolor effect that yields a dramatic show. To 10″ x 1′ forming an expanding clump. Full sun and rich well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Best on the edge of a container where the spikes which protrude nearly horizontally will showcase the flowers. Loved by hummingbirds, bumble bees and just about any pollinator. Remove spent flower spikes to encourage more. Very easy to grow. Mexico.
Serpentine Sunflower or Bolander’s Sunflower. Who doesn’t like sunflowers? I don’t know about you but they make me smile. There are several native sunflowers but this one is the cream of the crop. Native to extreme S. Oregon and extreme N. California this wonderful plant shines on the most difficult soils. Known as Serpentine Sunflower – Serpentine soil is a special substrate full of heavy metals- zinc, iron, copper. It prevents many plants from growing. These conditions are widespread in Southern Oregon into California, where this soil reaches the surface it produces zones of very specialized plants- they LOVE the harsh conditions and poor nutrients and tolerate the toxic elements. It can be quite a transition in plant communities from normal soil to serpentine- in just a few steps. This lovely annual sunflower though is EASY to grow in average to enriched soil- It handles just about everything so long as there is full sun. To 3′ tall and forming multiple spikes of 3″ electric yellow flowers with a contrasting black center. Amazing cut flower and if you remove flowers it will encourage more . Nice long stems for summer bouquets- they appear floppy but are in fact wiry and stiff- perfect for arranging. And a pollinator madhouse. Blooms June- October- one of our longest blooming native annuals. Forms a multibranched plant with shining flowers sticking out in all directions. Light consistent irrigation in summer. Makes a fantastic hedge of flowers. Re-seeds in open disturbed sites. Moderate deer resistance. Easy to grow. Oregon native plant.
We love ultra hardy Fuchsias, they are so carefree and they bloom and bloom. We found this Fuchsia in a garden near our shop. It was identified by our friend Annie Hayes at Annie’s annuals. Large growing subshrub to 5′ x 6′ in time. Red sepals surround a deep purple corolla with each petal marked with a strip of hot pink. Lovely. Flowers are large for a hardy Fuchsia and are profuse from June to frost. Fuchsia mite resistant. Very easy to grow in light shade to full sun. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water is ideal. Very established plants can make due with less. Freezes to the ground in the low 20’s- but not every year. Wait until new growth emerges then remove the frozen material. Loved by hummingbirds as well as gardeners. Lustrous deep green foliage outlines the pendant flowers. You’ll never lose this long lived plant to winter. Good to try where rabbits are a problem.
Bare stem biscuit root is a locally native perennial that is found in rocky dry areas among clumping native grasses. The stemless rosette bears upright entire glabrous blue leaves. 6″ stems rise up in late spring to earl summer with umbels of sulphur yellow flowers (sometimes purple). To establish, water thoroughly through the first month in the ground. Winter deciduous it emerges very early in spring. Loved by pollinators of all kinds. In the Willamette Valley this biscuit root grows in various biomes but is most common on dry hillsides. Festuca californica and Festuca roemeri are two native grasses seen with this plant in the wild. Full sun to light deciduous shade. Avoid standing water in winter. Long lived perennial once established. Excellent in gravel gardens. Leaves remain handsome after blooming. Spreads slowly to form colonies. Locally native in the Portland city limits. Drought adapted when established. Moderate deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
Farewell to Spring is so called because it is one of the last conspicuous native wildflowers to bloom before the onset of summer drought. And bloom it does often all the way to late August. Often seen in mass populations waving above the already cere grass. Little water is needed but a little supplemental water and removing spent flowers will extend the show. Otherwise it will die upon setting seed. The 2′ tall stems support multiple luminous pink cup shaped flowers. They appear superficially like a poppy. This is the variety that is locally native in the Portland area. The distinctly lavender pink flowers fade to a lighter interior near the center. But it will also appear with a darker pink/red blotch in the center of each petal on a minority of seedlings. These assist in guiding pollinators and this plant is a prime source for all native bees and butterflies. Excellent cut flower that lasts for quite a while in a vase. This is the source species of all the fancy cultivars that are raised in the cut flower trade. Reseeds happily in open disturbed sites. Excellent plant for wild areas and is often employed on road cuts and freeway embankments in deliberately sown wild flower mixtures. I’ve noticed that this local subspecies re-sows itself annually where other subspecies and especially the showy florist varieties are shy to do so. If you want a robust, climate adapted wildflower then go with this subspecies. It comes back strong. Probably our showiest and longest blooming native annual. Reseeds- leave stems to dry and disperse seed and remember to leave open spaces for next years show. Wonderful with yellow Madia elegans for a months long display of brilliant native annuals. A Xera favorite plant. Oregon native plant.
Locally native annual that occupies (or occupied) sunny dry hillsides in selected regions of the western part of the state. Elegant tarweed is the common name, referencing both the light tar like fragrance of the sticky 2′ stems and the elegance of the 1″ wide flowers that are the most showy of the genus. Daisy-like flowers range from pure yellow to yellow with a ring of maroon, white, or red around the center. One of our longest blooming annuals flowers appear from April to November. Remove spent flowers apply light irrigation and it will happily continue its show. Nice cut flower- but remember flowers take an afternoon nap and revive with darkness- kind of cool. The dried seeds of this species were a very important food source for native people. They would grind the oily seeds to make a kind of flour or press them to extract oil. To 2′ tall forming multi branched clumps. Re-seeds in places that it likes, mostly sunny, open places with good drainage. Native to the city limits of Portland, though no longer likely present. Fix that. An ebullient pretty native. Moderate deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
Sea Blush, or more commonly Rosy Plectritis is a locally native hardy annual in the Valerian family. In April-June it swarms meadows and glens with orbicular globes of dense fragrant pink flowers. They rise on average to about 10″ tall. Rich soil will yield larger plants. Excellent bulb cover for late narcissus, tulips etc. Fun to grow heavily reseeding annual that also makes a sweet cut flower. It can be found in the western third of the state. Also wonderful with Pacific Coast Iris as they bloom concurrently. Sets seed and dies by mid summer when the spent carcasses may be removed- when doing that give them a shake where you want next years display to occur. Water to establish then none. Full sun to very light shade. New seedlings have diamond shaped true leaves with a rubbery texture. High deer resistance. Native in the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant.
Mountain garland is a hardy annual native to the mountains of southern Oregon south into the Sierra Nevada in California. Sparkling white crape-like flowers line tall upright stems on this plant that can be small in poor soil and soar in rich conditions. Size can be difficult to determine based on this…an average of 1′ tall is probably safe. Blooms continuously from May to as late as August if supplemental light water is supplied. Excellent among perennials such as Penstemons, Erodiums, Salvias, Cupheas. Sets copious seed for the following season and these will be white as well. Leave open disturbed sites in your garden to supply next years crop. Excellent cut flower as well and loved by Butterflies. Very easy to grow.
Oregon native plant
Native annuals often get over looked in our gardens. They occupied vast stretches of the Willamette Valley and civilization has caused those displays to suffer. In our gardens they are precious reminders that we should include every category of native plant. Giant Blue Eyed Mary is one of our most delicate looking and stunning in floral detail, It makes a hazy cloud of beautiful blue and white small snapdragon flowers from late April to Mid June. A true annual that dies once the floral display is done. But leave the skeletons of the plant for several weeks longer to form and shed seeds for next years display. This 20″ tall grassy plant occupies open sunny sites as well as the margins of forests. In our gardens it appreciates open slightly disturbed soil. Seedlings germinate in autumn and over winter as small plants. Excellent plant to succeed mid and late spring bulbs. Water lightly after planting and to establish then none required. Native to the Portland city limits as well. Fantastic displays of this plant can be seen at Camassia in West Linn all through late spring. This is a very reliable re-seeder if you give it some open ground and check for slugs. Seedlings germinate quickly following the first rains and are incredibly cold hardy and drought tolerant. Don’t worry, they are from here, they know what to do. Attracts a wide variety of native pollinators including a wealth of smaller hover flies. Oregon native plant.
Curious climbing rose that puts on a non-stop display of sprays of intensely fragrant flowers that are diminuitive, white, and semi-double. The anise/fruit scented flowers begin in mid-spring and continue unabated until autumn. A large growing rose to 12′ tall and 8′ wide in time. Excellent trained on a trellis or pergola. Blooms on wood from the current season and may be hard pruned in early spring. This rose seedling was discovered in a garden in Eugene and its popularity has spread throughout the globe. The sweet fragrance will perfume an entire garden on a warm summer day. Captivating cut flower. Disease resistant and very tough rose that gets by on a minimum amount of summer water and still blooms. Regular water in rich soil amplifies this roses performance dramatically. Winter deciduous. Extremely cold hardy.
We choose the Dahlia varieties that we grow very carefully. Time has taught us that all Dahlia cultivars do not share the same cold hardiness. What we’ve whittled down is a list of Dahlias that have never frozen away for us. This marvelous selection boasts large single firey orange flowers on tall waving stems. The intensity of the flower color is shocking and it make a great denouement to summer blooming well into autumn. To 5′ tall in the ground this robust perennial requires some protection as it first emerges to deter slugs/snails. Once its up and growing fast this is less of an issue. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Excellent and lurid cut flower. Excellent hardiness to cold- it is not necessary to dig and store the tuber so long as the soil is well drained. Mulch in autumn post first frost adds insurance. Moderately deer resistant.
Underused beautiful disease resistant Crape Myrtle that is free blooming with enormous pendulous trusses of pure white flowers. To 15′ tall with a somewhat weeping habit- especially in bloom. It creates a spreading crown on a small easy to grow tree for full, all day sun and regular summer water. The crystal white large flowers appear often as early as late July in hot summers and continues unabated to about the first of October. Fall color is yellow/orange and pretty. The sinuous trunks display taupe/beige glossy bark which is just as showy. Give this wide spreading small tree room to grow. Regular summer water and rich soil yields a growth rate approaching 3′ per year when young. As with almost all Crape trees it grows quickly to its ultimate size and then it slows considerably. Excellent garden tree. National arboretum selection.
Crape myrtles aren’t just about flowers we actually are even more attracted to the handsome, exfoliating bark. This selection from the disease resistant Japanese species has some of the best bark in the vegetable kingdom. Swaths of muscular mahogany, cinnamon red smooth regions create a fantastic tapestry. This is a very large growing Crape Myrtle with profuse but smaller trusses of FRAGRANT white flowers in mid- late summer. Fall color is bright orange/yellow/red and is very striking in its somewhat brief display. To 35′ tall in great age it grows approximately 3′-4′ per year when young. Bark begins to develop coloration in 2-3 years. Most often multi-trunked this gives the gardener even more beauty to stare at. Forms a spreading umbrella shape. Completely disease resistant. Best with consistent summer moisture for the first few years then only occasional deep soaks. Deciduous. A fantastic street tree with great dimensions and form. This selection – chosen for bark coloration can be difficult to locate. Beautiful tree.
Not all vines are climbers and this amazing Clematis makes its way sprawling through life. All the better to display the masses of nodding small deep blue/purple flowers. The fluted petals are a lighter blue/ivory on the interior. Blooms non-stop from May to frost. Exhausted canes can be cut back midseason and regeneration and bloom is rapid. Wonderful 6′ tall clamberer that can find a home in large shrub or over the top of robust plant. Prune hard in early spring to the two buds just above soil level. Regular water through summer in rich, well drained soil. Clematis do best when given a good start in life. Double dig the soil in a large circle around the intended home. Amend the soil with liberal amounts of organic fertilizer. A demure little cut flower. May be adhered to vertical supports. Does not form modified petioles to attach. This vine is very light and will seldom squash less sturdy plants. Decorate a Juniper hedge or spangle a Philadelphus. Light deer resistance.
Western Maiden Hair Fern is native from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska south mainly through shady wet spots in the west south as far as Chiahuahua, Mexico. Its even locally native from Maryland to New Foundland. Its a long lived and vigorous fully deciduous perennial for perpetually wet sites. To 2′ tall and spreading almost indefinitely where conditions suite it. Heavy clay soil that retains consistent moisture in part shade to shade. Often found lining water falls in Oregon or in deep cool moist gullies. The multi fingered leaves are a soft green and are held erect on jet black stems. Very good sited at the bottom of a downspout. Very easy to grow given consistent moisture. Oregon native plant.
This species is one of the progenitors of modern Tuberous- non-stop Begonias. In of itself a tough perennial that if you are patient will make an appearance year after year. To 1′ tall (slightly taller) angel wing shaped bold green leaves are a wonderful backdrop to the masses of striking orange/red flowers that appear from July to October. Each of five petals recurves as it opens to an elegant effect. Very easy to grow as a container plant. To over winter simply let the plant die back in late autumn and move the container to a sheltered site. Mine goes against the wall of a covered outside patio and in 15 years I’ve never lost a plant. Grows surprisingly well in the ground in well drained rich soil in part shade. Be aware that returning plants emerge late – Often not showing their presence above ground until mid-June. Best with an annual application of organic fertilizer. Regular water, but never permanently boggy. Excellent performance in our climate. The outrageous amount of flowers produced make this plant a regal winner.
Swamp sage is actually very tolerant of dry to average conditions. This special sage from South America is surprisingly cold hardy and is a large reliable perennial. 6′ tall wand-like stems terminate in rows of sky blue flowers. There is a white nectary guide on the lower lip. Forms semi-woody clumps that expand at a moderate rate to about 2′ across. Freezes to the ground below about 20ºF but is root hardy near 0ºF. Rich to average soil with regular irrigation through summer. Full sun to very light shade. Blooms appear from early June to early autumn. Excellent in the back of a border or swimming in a sea of large ornamental grass. The medium green leaves are elongated with indentation and rise up along the stem. One of the easiest and showiest of sages. Nice cut flower. Moderate deer resistance.
Obscure and exceptional tree type crape myrtle that was one of supreme breeder Donald Egolf’s favorite introductions from the National Arboretum. He introduced 30 Crape myrtles so thats saying a lot. Fast growing upright tree with phenomenal bark. Cinnamon red/mahogany/cream all are present on this 25′ tall arching tree. From late July to October a fantastic display of luminous soft pink flowers born on huge trusses. Fall color is vivid orange/yellow/red. In time it develops a spreading crown and makes a wonderful garden tree. Average to enriched soil with REGULAR summer water for the first few years. Deep soaks on established trees enhances bloom as well. Full, all day sun in a hot position. Excellent tree to garden with- roots are not intrusive and it happily accepts regular irrigation. Grows about 3′-5′ a year when young- slows down to its ultimate height. This is essentially an improved pink flowered form of ‘Natchez’. Limited quantities.
Everyone needs at least one fluffy rose in their garden and this one deserves a place. A true tea rose introduced in 1910 it is also very cold hardy for this class. Very double flowers emerge orange sherbet and age from the outside in to a soft pastel apricot- as per this class the petals are heavily scrolled. The nodding blossoms (a hallmark of a true tea rose) are somewhat loose with the powerful fragrance of dried black tea. Sweet and inviting. New foliage is maroon and transitions to deep glossy green. This is a wonderful backdrop to the ‘egg yolk’ colored flowers that virtually glow. Do not hard prune. Instead limit pruning to removing spent wood and the previous years spent blossoms. Blooms repeatedly from June to September- removing spent flowers encourages more. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water for best bloom. Roses are heavy feeders and this one is no different. Begin its life with a large amendment of organic fertilizer to ensure a large and vigorous root system. Top dress with Alfalfa Meal in March. To 5′ on average and about 1/2 as wide. For diligent gardeners it may be trained as a climber. Joke: This rose was often grown against warm walls in colder climates. Hence, the phrase: ‘Lady Hillingdon’ she’s bad in a bed but great against a wall. HARR! Thank you Marcella Garcia-Moore for this excellent rose. Available Spring 2019.
We selected this form of our locally native Douglas Aster for its snow white flowers. The species in our area ranges from blue/lavender/blue-white. So, this is a nice color break. One of the very best pollinator perennials that we grow. In bloom from July-October it is virtually swarmed by every flying insect you can imagine. A constant buzz of activity. This is a large, rambunctious perennial that is not good with delicate neighbors. Douglas Aster belongs in the wild where it can consort with other similarly overly adapted natives. Virtually any soil in full sun to light shade. In bloom it rises to nearly 30″ and the spread is nearly indefinite This is a rugged perennial for tough sites, even areas submerged during the wet season. Not a bad cut flower. Mix with large ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ or Panicum virgatum ‘ Heavy Metal’. Mix with native shrubs- Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon Grape and Holodiscus discolor ‘Ocean Spray’. Drought adapted when established but it appreciates a soak now and again to prolong the bloom period. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
A good Alstro is hard to find. The dwarf varieties are ever plagued by snails/slugs, Many of the most exquisite varieties (patented) are poor garden performers, lacking vigor or something. Enter this most fave cultivar. First of all its orange and many will confuse it with the more diminutively flowering A. aurantiacus which can become an ineradicable weed. THIS IS NOT THAT. Its a polite clumper with enough vigor to send up fully 30″ flowering stems repeatedly for up to 6 weeks in summer. Speaking of which the individual flower will last up to two weeks in a vase. Do not cut them (which injures the plant – it bleeds out) rather gently rock the base of the stem back and forth to detach. This will help and not hurt it. Regular summer irrigation in rich, moisture retentive soil. Winter deciduous. To 2′ wide..
LOVE this perennial. In July- September it produces electric pink 2″ long fat fluffy tassel like flowers- they fade after a few days to light pink/white for a fine multicolor effect that lasts quite a long time. The pinnate leaves are rounded and handsome and all around this long lived, cold hardy perennial is of regal quality. North Korean collection. To 30″ tall in bloom by a clump expanding to several feet wide. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer irrigation. The leaves are edible and taste faintly (to me) of cucumber. Excellent perennial.
We don’t grow many Day lilies. To be honest they are kind of done. But we have chosen a half dozen that we think add a lot to a garden. This variety is not only subtly beautiful with complex soft colors, it will often re-bloom through the summer if given ideal conditions. What are those? Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular, dependable irrigation through the hot months. The 3″ flowers have hints of cream, golden yellow, soft pink and even apricot. Delicious- as they are edible too. A long lived perennial that forms an expanding clump to 2′ tall and more than two feet wide. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Loved by butterflies. A good looking, long lived, trouble free plant. Completely deciduous in winter.
One thing we know about Betty, she was obviously something of a size queen. We LOVE this unusual dwarf daylily that exhibits HUGE outsized startlingly beautiful flowers for 4-6 weeks early to mid summer. To just 14″ tall the outrageous yellow/chartreuse and mauve flower explode open and stretch to 6″ across. Its unbelievable . Forms a spreading clump with mid-green arching strappy leaves. Screams to be at the front of a border or where the context of the huge flowers can be appreciated. Full sun to light shade and rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular water through the bloom period enhances the already outrageous display. Completely winter deciduous.
Bred and released from the National Arboretum this is perhaps one of the very best hardy Hibiscus shrubs for our climate. Enormous pure white flowers up to 4″ across begin in July and repeat until October. This cultivar was selected not only for its blooming power but for its lack of ugly seed heads. To 8′ tall by 4′ wide in 6 years. Full sun and deep but infrequent irrigation in summer improves performance. Moderately fast growing deciduous shrub that will handle quite a bit of drought once established. Fall color is yellow to non-existent. A very showy shrub at a great time of the year. Opulent large tropical like blossoms. Shrub borders, with Crape Myrtles whose bloom is simultaneous. This superior variety can be difficult to locate. We’re going to change that.
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.
Inside-Out-Flower is a commonly seen terrestrial component in dry to moderately moist woodlands in our region. The duck foot shaped leaves are conspicuous and pretty and in late spring to mid-summer a continuous supply of dainty downward pointing white flowers. Spreads in gardens very well in enriched soil with regular summer water where it will quickly assume the role of an intertwining ground cover. Winter deciduous- un-like its close and much more drought adapted relative Vancouveria chrysantha (Yellow inside-out-flower, Siskiyou Vancouveria). This perennial is perfect for life among shrubs or mixing with other woodland perennials in part shade to shade. Adapts well to garden culture and thrives on regular summer irrigation. Locally native in the city of Portland. To 10″ tall and spreading. Some deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
This plant has been a real surprise. Most Cupheas are decidedly tender to cold in our climate, however, this variety soars above the rest. Its been a long term reliable perennial for us. Perhaps just a smidge hardier than the species. This charming little bat flower delights with multicolor flowers- tubular and shades of pink and yellow. The petals that serve as the bats ears are maroon. Wonderful long blooming plant- flowers continuously all summer to autumn. To 1′ tall and as wide. As a perennial it excels in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water in full sun. Just when you think it won’t return in spring it quickly arrives with warm weather and commences blooming almost straight away. Loved by hummingbirds, butterflies and pollinators in general. Treat it well – water and establish and mulch for the first winter. As an annual it is wonderful as a continuous flowering container subject. Native to Mexico.
Such a long, long, blooming tough and dependable native this forgiving perennial outshines all other cultivars in the size of each flower. The many rows of glowing lavender petals that characterize this fabulous perennial outline nearly 2″ wide flowers. They begin in earnest in late May and proceed unabated until early autumn. If the flowers become tired or scorched simply cut it back and wham! You’re quickly back in business. Adaptable to many soil types and will subsist on only natural rainfall but occasional deep soaks in summer reaps rewards. To 10″ tall forming a round perennial to 18″ wide. Full sun, to very light shade. Pollinator masterpiece. Oregon native plant.
We believe this to be a cross inheriting some of the coloration of A. auranticus as well as A. cana. To 28″ tall this clump forming, everblooming perennial brings bright red buds that open to purple flowers. The colorful combination lasts all summer into autumn. New flowers are born on the same spikes so do not remove. Moderate consistent water through the first summer to establish. Double dig soil to incorporate oxygen into the soil and aid in irrigation to the roots. Established plants get by with a little less. Loved by hummers and pretty decent cutfower as well. Full all day sun for best performance, will not be quite as floriferous in part shade. Sweetly scented foliage is an extra benefit. To 18″ wide and slowly increasing. Excellent on berms as well as slopes. Mulch in fall. Small rosette of winter foliage is protected by the previous years defunct stems. Prune these away after all threat of a hard freeze has passed.
Xera Plants Introduction
Cool mediterranean annual that we love for its complex combination of bract and flower colors. To 14″ tall the nodding bell shaped flowers are blue with a white ring around the lip. The base of these flowers is yellow. Large bracts protect the flowers and turn from blue green to shades of indigo as they mature. A cool season annual that often self sows. These seedlings cruise through winter without much of a hitch and are up and blooming by mid spring. By the heat of july they quickly die setting profuse seed and disappearing. Light additional water besides rainfall will lengthen the show. Seedlings appear where they are happy- this can even be the cracks in the sidewalk. Seedlings are easy to spot and move or dispatch if unwanted. Nice in spring containers. Plant with early blooming Euphorbias for a real picture of yellow and blue contrast.
Sweet little blue eyed grass with a penchant for being different. Eschewing the purple and yellow and blue flowers commonly assigned to this genus this little freak puts out simple flowers with petals that alternate soft tan and purple. Its a groovy combination and adds a wild flower flare on long thin stalks to 18″ tall. Forms increasing clumps of grassy blue/green foliage. Deciduous in winter. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil with light but consistent summer water when established. A good sized clump can measure about 10″ across after several years. A charming perennial that we have found is excellently adapted to the open mindedness of the west coast as well as climate. Easy. Gay Iris relatives are few and far between. Treasure them. Moderate deer resistance.
We’ve found this remarkable perennial to be perfectly hardy in our climate and it offers several outstanding features. Columns of overlapping cupped pink flowers are profuse and as they age they take on ghostly blue tints. The effect is greater in hot weather and gives this spreading perennial bicolor pink/pale blue flowers for months. To 18″ tall and steadily spreading to more than one foot wide in time. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water is ideal, but we’ve noted its stellar performance in un-amended clay as well. Blooms continuously for months beginning in May and if the flowers become tired it may be sheared, watered well, and perhaps given a little all purpose fertilizer to start the show again. Winter deciduous. Excels in containers. Excellent on slopes, the front of borders, rock gardens, hell strips. Ethereal flowers combine deliciously with variegated moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’) and deep purple Penstemon ‘Enor’ for similar cultural requirements and a season long display.
We’ve been impressed with the performance of this striking very upright globe mallow. Spikes clad in soft orange flowers appear continuously for months in summer. To 4′ tall ultimately this forms a semi-woody clump to 2′ wide. Full, HOT sun and WELL DRAINED soil with light summer water. Freezes back in winter almost to the ground and vigorously resprouts for the base and grows quickly when hot weather arrives. Excellent on slopes, hot gravel gardens. Not bothered by rust or other diseases that can afflict mallows. Mulch lightly for the first winter for added protection. Stunning in bloom and carefree once established. Cut back dead top growth in mid-spring. Some deer resistance. Takes blasting reflected heat well. SW native plant.
Incredibly tough and beautiful deciduous shrub that is fantastic all summer with a continuous supply of spikes of deep pink pea flowers all summer. To 7′ x 5′ in 5 years in average to rich soil (where it will grow MUCH larger) and light summer water. Very drought adapted when established. Flowers are produced on new wood (growth from the current season) and as the plant grows it continually blooms. Loved by pollinators and it attracts the very coolest butterflies. Vivid flower color pairs well with dark foliaged plants. It may be cut back hard in early spring when established to provide more blooming wood, or to check the size. Very cold hardy. Purple Indigo. Moderate deer resistance.
Cool bicolored Hummingbird Mint that has masses of flowers that appear from orange buds which quickly change to luminous light lavender when open. To 30″ tall and forming a clump this very, very, long blooming perennial is delightful for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. A soft pastel coloration that pairs wonderfully with light yellow flowers and even blue. Great in seasonal containers. Blooms non-stop from June to October. Do not remove flower spikes as new flowers will appear continuously from the same spike. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light, consistent summer water. Its best to water Agastaches consistently during their first year in the ground- to establish a large root system. Ideal on slopes- to assist in drainage in winter. Double dig soil to incorporate lots of oxygen in the soil. One of our favorite introductions. An amazing combination of flower colors on a single plant. Do not cut back until new growth has flushed out in spring and all threat of a hard freeze has passed.
Xera Plants Introduction
Excellent seedling of ‘Playa Rosa’ with deep clear pink flowers for months and increased cold hardiness. To 20″ x 20″ in a season this is a ‘woody’ sage that forms a small shrub. The vivid pink flowers begin in late May and continue to frost. It takes a break from blooming in extreme heat (above 95ºF) but flowers return when cooler air arrives. Full hot sun to part shade in rich, WELL DRAINED soil. A slope is ideal- especially if it faces south. Light, consistent summer water, speeds growth, establishment and spurs rounds of bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and butterflies. Do not cut back until early spring- when all signs of a hard freeze have passed. It may be cut back hard then and will quickly erupt into a blooming machine. Great in seasonal containers. ‘Rossetto’ is lipstick in Italian. Thanks to my friend Ann Amato for the name.
Xera Plants Introduction
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.
Blood thorn rose. Justifiably famous for the sanguine glowing red hue of the thorns on new growth. Back lit by the sun it would make a vampire very very hungry. Large growing species rose that also features 1″ fragrant single white flowers en masse on wood from the previous season. Established plants (1-2 years in the ground) may be coppiced in early spring to emphasize and create new wood clad in thorns. If allowed to mature a year or two the thorns fade to gray but then you are rewarded with scintillating flowers in May/June. Full sun and virtually any soil, including heavy clay. But avoid standing water in winter. Average, regular irrigation in summer keeps it looking fresh. Old specimens can make do with little water. If you do coppice this plant for thorns make sure you follow up with a bit of fertilizer (a handful of all organic fertilizer 9.3.4) and regular water to ensure regrowth is robust. Winter deciduous- fall color is orange red and brief. Bright red, shiny hips follow a profuse blooming season. Long lived. To 8′ x 8′ if left unpruned. Regrowth on hard pruned shrubs in a season can be almost as big. Disease resistant, virus free and produced on its own roots. Light deer resistance.
This golden leaved form of our native Salmon Berry is an exciting variation for wild areas. The brilliantly colored foliage sparkles with deep pink flowers in spring. In summer it produces salmon colored sweet, edible berries. To 7′ tall and spreading as wide as it would like. Full sun (with irrigation) to quite a bit of high overhead shade. Give this colonizing plant room to spread. It appreciates moist soil but is very tough when established. Deciduous- though it is a short period and the brilliant new leaves begin emerging in late winter. Stream banks, the back area of woodlands, wild areas. Moderate deer resistance. Increases by suckering stolons. Easy native to brighten wild woods. Oregon native plant.
Nothing says I love you like a single red rose and this single red rose is perfect. Large 4″ single deep red flowers with a hint of magenta appear continuously from May to frost. Easy, disease free rose with dark foliage that cups the intensely hued flowers. To 6′ x 6′ in a season. May be pruned in early spring to resize, increase density and blooming wood. Rapid rebloom all season. Great landscape rose. Very nice as a component in a border. Simple and clean and colorful. Full sun to light shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Consistent summer water yields the best bloom but when established this tough rose can sail through a summer with very little water. Mostly deciduous. This, as all of our roses, is produced on its own roots.
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.
This charming true poppy relative is also known as Cream Cups. Easy to see when the cup shaped flowers open during the sunniest time of the day. The petals are various shades of yellow with cream veining. Or is it the other way around? Either way its adorable beyond measure as this little thread leaf clump forming true annual pops into bloom in our climate from late April to early June. Not a prolific self seeder but I’ve heard once you get it where it likes it then its yours. To 5″ tall when the flowers top out. Full sun and average to rich well drained soil. Not difficult. West coast annuals are wonderful not only for their color, texture, and forms but of their endearing nature. They are tough little plants with a delicate appearance. Light summer water extends the bloom before high heat finally ends the show and seeds go flying. No shade. Rock gardens, spring borders. High deer resistance. This little beauty though mainly found in California comes just into Oregon in Curry and Josephine counties. Oregon native plant.
Cool shrub in the rose family that is native to the state of Alabama. To 5′ x 5′ light green serrated leaves are pretty. In April/May the entire shrub is smothered in white flowers made up entirely of stamens. No petals here. Graceful and durable deciduous shrub for part shade to high overhead shade. Regular soil including heavy clay soils. Light, consistent summer water. Soak once every 2 weeks. Fall color is yellow to light orange. Long lived and easy to grow unusual shrub of great grace. Avoid blasting sun and extreme drought.
Curious and rare coastal native plant that can be found in permanently wet sites. This gives you a clue about how to grow this striking little pea. Wide stretching arms deliver pink and yellow flowers in clusters at the tips. Blooms April to July. Native along the immediate coast from the Bay Area in California north to British Columbia. Never common in its range. Stream banks, seeps, the margins of ponds for full sun and perpetually moist soil. Excellent for use in rain gardens (bioswales). Often short lived in gardens where it is dry. You must supply constant moisture. To 8″ tall by 4′ wide. Oregon native plant.
Nifty foliage perennial that can double as a terrestrial border plant (with regular water in rich, moisture-retentive soil) or submerged as a border perennial in a water pot or the edge of the pond. The majority of the spikey 3′ tall leaves are composed of cream/ivory streaks with dramatic stripes of deep green. The effect is ghostly and vivid from quite a distance away. Forms large spreading clumps in time. To 4′ wide when things are going well. Full sun to part shade. Flowers are not very conspicuous spikes that hide within the foliage. Completely winter deciduous- this is nice, it makes cleaning up in late winter/spring easy and and no fuss and the plant begins anew and fresh each season. Not bothered by pests. If sunk in a pond or water pot use heavy clay soil- like from the ground and mulch with a layer of gravel. Long lived plant. High deer resistance. AKA. Ghost Sweet Flag.
One of the great joys of spring. Vernal Pea erupts in a fountain of blue/purple/magenta pea flowers for many weeks in spring. New foliage and flowers emerge simultaneously in early spring but blooming continues for an extended period. As the plant expands it becomes a 2′ x 2′ round mound. Following flowers the deep green foliage remains handsome through summer. Full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Very, very long lived perennial. Not often available in great quantities as it is raised by seed and our crop is dependent on the viability of each years seed set. Very easy to grow. Not bothered by slugs/snails. Mix with early spring ephemerals, bulbs, Hellebores. Nice small cut flower.
Usually this old a fashioned species sends chills up our spines. No mind it has one of the best floral fragrances of all time its a known thug. Enter this MUCH more restrained variety with new foliage in a remarkably soft texture with gorgeous citrus/chartreuse foliage that darkens up a bit in summer. To 8″ tall and blooming in mid spring as it emerges. Fragrant! Glowing! Gorgeous! Part shade to shade with light consistent summer water. Handles clay soils with no problems. Very deer resistant.
Cobra lily or Jack in the Pulpit from Japan with exotic striped flowers in mid-spring but the bold and glossy foliage steals the show. Forming large patches in rich, WELL DRAINED soil with regular summer irrigation. Shade- protect the amazing leaves from blasting sun. They will stand prominently up to 2′ tall- triple lobed, glossy and good looking. One of the more reliable of the genus. Mix with other bold shade perennials. Mulch with compost annually. Disappears entirely in winter. A Xera favorite perennial.
Chinese Indigo is one of our favorite perennials/subshrubs. Arising from the ground in late spring the arching stems to 3′ support 6″ long pendant pale rose pink flowers for months and months. No intervention needed from the gardener. In time it suckers to form 4′ wide patches. Regular water to establish in average to rich, well drained soil. Full sun. Freezes completely to the ground in winter- cut back defunct stems from the previous year in early spring. When it does emerge its a very quick trip to up and blooming. Incredibly drought tolerant when established but light consistent watering seems to encourage new flowers- as it grows it blooms so you want to keep it growing. Incredibly elegant but tough plant that asks for so little but gives so much.
A cool sub shrub that covers itself for months in dime sized sky blue flowers. The intensity of the color is hard to capture- it must be experienced. Forms a rounded wiry shrub with diamond shaped wavy small green leaves. To 2′ x 2′ in a season. Full sun, and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Freezes to the ground below about 15ºF- re-sprouts form the base in spring. Great in containers. The better the drainage the hardier this extraordinary plant will be. Provide a warm position and mulch in autumn. Once it has been established through a winter it is a fairly permanent plant. Some deer resistance. Do not cut back until you see new growth in spring- then remove all damaged stems. Great in hot sunny borders. Regular summer water.
Xera Plants Introduction
This species of semi-woody Salvia has produced some of the best for our climate. Shocking pink, relatively large flowers decorate the upward stems of this vigorous and long blooming perennial. To 26″ tall and forming a semi-woody shrub. In essence it is a subshrub which is woody with time but capable of freezing to the ground and returning from the base. The vivid flowers appear from May to frost and are a delight for pollinators, hummingbirds and pink-o-philes. Full, hot sun in a warm position in rich, WELL DRAINED SOIL. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and make it easier for water to reach the roots. Do not prune back in spring until you see new growth. Either from the tips or the base depending on how cold the previous winter. Cut back hard then and it will zoom back to its former stature in no time. Hot sunny places, hell strips, containers. Excellent on hot slopes.
We’ve tried a lot of Passion Vines and to be honest the majority of hardy varieties are just basically a variation on that old house eating vine ‘Blue Crown Passion’ Vine (Passaflora caeulea). This guy is a surprise though. While it can freeze to the ground below about 20ºF it is evergreen in the majority of normal winters and its an early and heavy blooming vine- that is pretty as well. The white sepals surround a row of light purple filaments. Very delicate and intricate flower that we adore. Plant in a hot sunny aspect with support for its little tough twiners to adhere. And they will as the whole plant rises to 12′ tall in a single season. Blooms on new growth- as its growing it is constantly blooming. Loved my hummers, butterflies, pollinators in general. Mulch the base going into the first winter. Once it is established no arctic blast will affect the roots. Fast re-growth in in spring. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to speed growth. Flowers are approximately 4″ wide and very showy. Not a vine for cool shady gardens or arctic cold spaces.
Improved selection of the Chinese Lantern Plant- which is actually from South America, and this form has larger more flared yellow petals. They extend and recurve from the bold red calyx. This arching multi-stemmed shrub blooms almost non-stop from June to frost and often longer. Vigorous to 6′ tall and 4′ wide forming a large patch in time. The arching thin stems and skinny pointed leaves display the rows of flowers perfectly. A hummingbird delight. One of the hardiest to cold this behaves as a sub-shrub in the coldest winters- freezing back but returning boldly from the ground when the soil warms. Most winters, damage is restricted to burned tips and the majority of leaves which will drop. Plant with the base in a protected location- for instance between low shrubs to protect the crown, or near the base of a wall. Mulch if arctic (below 20ºF) weather threatens. Following a freeze the plant will look absolutely awful. Refrain from cutting it back until you see new growth emerge- either from the base or vertical stems. In any case water it consistently and heavily until you see vigorous new growth- the transformation with regular water is remarkable. So, don’t by any means give it up for dead. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. A bit tall and lanky for containers- just plan for this. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil improves both cold hardiness and speeds recovery. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.
Excellent improved form of the already popular white flowered Flowering Currant. This form sports foliage that is deeply divided- very pretty- and a more dense and compact habit. Its an incredibly heavy blooming form that has great garden application. To 4′ x 5′ in 7 years with a rounded mounded habit. In late February- April pendant clusters of pure white flowers glow in the early spring sunlight. The buds emerge chartreuse and then become pure sparkling white. This was bred and selected at OSU. And so far has been rare on the market. Full sun to quite a bit of shade with light consistent summer water to establish. Then- it can survive on all that falls from the sky. Takes light irrigation in gardens but never soggy and never soggy during hot weather. Fall color is yellow/orange and brief. Sour fruits are dusky blue in summer. Moderate deer resistance. Derivative of an Oregon native plant. PPAF.
This species has yielded some very good cold and wet tolerant cultivars. This selection from Monterey Bay Nursery in Watsonville, CA has proved to be one of the best performers. Masses of outward facing candy pink flowers swarm the stems of this large, semi-woody Salvia. The flowers begin in May and continue unabated to frost. This is a very good hue of pink, very mixeable with other colors without clashing. To 2′ tall x 2′ wide in a single season. Well drained soil of rich to average fertility. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and improve drainage as well as water permeability. It excels on slopes in full all day sun with just light summer water. Flowers continue through the hottest weather- good trait in our climate where many others take a break in in the mid to upper 90’s. Drought adapted when established. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring- then it can be taken back by 2/3rd. New growth will erupt from semi-woody stems around the base and you are up and running. Herbaceous below about 15ºF. Returns from the base if established. Hummers, butterflies, chicks without bras dancing around like nymphs. Its got it all. Moderate deer resistance.
Large growing tree type Crape Myrtle to 20’+ tall with a wide spreading crown. Reliable soft, luminous purple large trusses of flowers begin on average the first week of August in the city and repeat bloom until October. Fast growing shade tree that can achieve 3′-5′ a year when young in optimal conditions. Free blooming tree that displays glossy, muscular tan trunks when the bark sheds in mid-summer. These contrast greatly with the deep green foliage and sumptuous purple blooms. Long lived, cold hardy, disease resistant cultivar that has shown its merits for many decades in the southern U.S. but less often grown in our region. Fall color is bright red/ orange/ yellow. Moderate disease resistance. Good air circulation- proper cultivation eliminates this threat. As with all purple flowered Crape myrtles the flowers can fade a bit after opening. When a non-fading purple Crape myrtle becomes available we will be the first to let you know. Otherwise this is a great, dependable, garden tree. Deep, infrequent, summer irrigation. Six or more hours of hot sun per day.
Tidy Tips a SW american desert daisy that puts on massive displays in famous high rainfall years. In our climate this hardy annual continues blooming for months as our cool summer nights seem to trick into an eternal spring. To 10″ tall forming a spreading plant in full sun and rich to average, well drained soil. Good drainage assists it in setting seed and that seed over wintering for germination the following spring. Remove spent flowers to spur more. Light consistent summer water. Otherwise let it go to seed. Nice cut flower. Loved by butterflies. Easy to save seed and toss out in spring in open sites after all threat of frost has passed.
Globe Gilia or Bluefields is a widespread wildflower from British Columbia to Baja. To 30″ tall and forming a substantial plant very quickly. From April to July and sometimes longer these striking sky blue flowers appear and rise on tall stems displaying the orbs of flowers. If you apply light consistent water and remove the spent flowers they can re-bloom. Otherwise, they persist until hot weather and then set seed and die. Studies at OSU on native pollinators ranked this #1 as their source for pollen/nectar. That alone gives you reason to include this re-seeding plant in your garden. Rich, to average disturbed sites are ideal. It often grows and self sows in the disturbed slopes of road cuts, dry hillsides. In the garden it LOVES good conditions and will be much larger, bloom longer, with flowers of a darker hue of blue. A great wildflower for the garden that makes a sweet cut flower. Loved by pollinators of all kinds. Wild areas, hell strips, dry gardens. Easy to naturalize if you contain the competition from other plants. Locally native in the Portland city limits. New plants germinate in autumn and overwinter happily. Oregon native plant.
One of our earliest blooming perennial umbels. This sweet little wild flower can be found in the central to eastern Columbia Gorge – closest to us. Extremely frilly blue gray foliage emerges in late winter and not far behind are the 8″ spikes of golden umbel flowers. A boone to early pollinators and welcome color in spring. Very well drained soil- best on a slope. In full sun with little to no summer water. Blooms February-April. To 1′ wide. Excellent in rock gardens, troughs, dry gardens. It can go summer dormant if too dry. For the first summer water it lightly but consistently through summer, in subsequent years it will be sustained by natural rainfall. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
Perhaps there is no more blue flower than desert blue bells. An excellent and long blooming hardy annual that is at home in container as well as the ground. Often it will reseed prolifically from just one pot. To 6″ tall and as wide. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil. Light, consistent summer water keeps it going. Otherwise it will go away but not before setting seed for the following season. The vivid blue bell shaped flowers attract pollinators. Good western wildflower.
Yarrow Gilly Flower as the 49ers named this sweet little annual California wildflower. Frilly green foliage gives rise to 10″ stems supporting violet to sky blue flowers. Blooms May-July in our climate. Very easy to naturalize in open disturbed sites. A great reblooming pollinator wild flower. Makes sweet little bouquets as well. Full sun and lose un compacted soil- turn the soil to incorporate oxygen before planting. Light summer water keeps things going. Or it will finish with drought setting seed for the next years performance. A reliable and useful re-seeding plant for open, rocky places, where no sane plant can find purchase. Often comes up in the ‘Alba’ white form which is fantastic and makes the blue form seem more intense. Great little cut flower. Very light H20 extends the show.
These hybrids come in such wonderful colors. This dashing Sage displays light orange flowers on tall stems from spring well into autumn. Forms a semi-woody shrub and relishes good drainage and hot locations. Great seasonal container plant as well. Best way to grow this Salvia is to double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen and then berm it up a bit. Plant and water faithfully all summer to spur bloom as well as increase the plants mass and establishment. This will ensure a sturdy plant going into winter. I wait to prune it back in spring until all danger of frost has past. In these conditions it will endure our coldest winters with no problem. Hell strip loving plant to 30″ x 30″. Hummingbird plant. Long blooming. Light deer resistance.
Excellent, cold hardy, easy to grow, showy blue Salvia that can be hard to find. Forms a rosette of large felted deep green leaves and in summer multiple candelabras of rich blue flower spikes appear. They are wonderful for weeks. If you remove spent spikes more will appear. Blooms (re-blooms) until September. Full sun, in rich well drained soil. Rises to 30″ in bloom and forms spreading clumps to as wide in several years. Wonderful border Salvia as it accepts regular water and rich conditions. Completely deciduous in winter. Emerges mid-spring- protect new growth from marauding slugs. Once its up thats much less of a problem. Combine with Lobelia tupa, Kniphofia ‘Lightning Bug’. Easy and spectacular. Loved by hummingbirds and pollinators.
Excellent little selection of our locally native wildflower ‘Farewell to Spring’. To just 10″ tall this plant(s) become a solid dome of white flowers from May-August. Cute little cut flower. Full sun in rich, to average well drained soil with just light competition from other plants. Re-seeds reliably in open disturbed sites. A great native derivative for hell strips and even containers. Regular summer water – or it will shut down go dormant and think its time to set seed and then make its melon. Rough areas, cut flower. Oregon native plant.
Bird’s Eye Gilia is a showy and delicate appearing but tough hardy annual from the central valley of California into the Coast Ranges as well as Sierra Nevada foothills. To 6″ tall each stalk bears multiple gorgeous purple to white flowers with a distinct dark eye. Give your pollinators a treat this diminutive plant will bloom for 4-6 weeks in late spring to summer in our climate. Give it open disturbed soil without competition form invasive grasses to complete its life cycle, where it will reseed with abandon. Lovely little west coast native annual for sunny, wild sites. Good in containers for a brief but brilliant wildflower display. Excellent in parking strips where it will love the reflected heat. Light consistent water until its time to go quietly to sleep. Good drainage helps.
Sticky Phacelia is a hardy annual native to southern California chaparral into northern Baja. It bears intense blue flowers in late spring to early summer. It will often reseed in open disturbed sites if we have a mild winter. Incredibly attractive to bees and pollinators as all blue flowers seem to be. Full sun and well drained soil. Mixes well with summer perennials and if you give it a light shear and a drink when the first round of flowers are spent often more will erupt. To 11″ tall and spreading a bit. Fantastic wildflower effect. Native west coast annuals deserve a respected place in our gardens. Blue- scintillating blue. Works well in containers also. Light, consistent water to bloom.
Ocean Spray is a well known shrub west of the Cascades. It occupies dry woods in part shade to full sun. Large and spreading it displays foamy white clusters of flowers in early summer. They age to a tan color before falling apart. Handsome small scalloped leaves are very pretty and turn yellow to orange in autumn. To 9′ x 7′ very quickly in virtually any soil type. Extremely drought adapted when established- but amenable to light irrigation in summer. Wild look for wild areas, match with native perennials. Often suckers to form patches and it is common for seedlings to show up around the parent plant. These can be moved when young or dispatched. Birds adore the dried seeds in winter. Pretty native in the Rose family. Moderate deer resistance- but sometimes they attack it if it is newly planted so protect. Winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.
Big, Big, late blooming perennial that is very easy to grow and incredibly showy in bloom. 2″ catkin-like white flowers foam 5′-6′ above the plant in August-October. Excellent cut flower, Full sun and rich to average soil that is moisture retentive. Great in the back of a border where it will tower and wave its lovely pure white flowers in the breeze. Full sun leads to much more vertical plants. Regular summer water. Forms spreading patches. Completely winter deciduous.
Nodding Sage. There is no Salvia quite like this remarkable species from the mid-asian steppes. A basal rosette of large leaves supports towering 4′ stems that erupt from the center of leaves. In May-August each stem hosts multiple nodding clumps of extremely showy blue flowers. Elegant, beautiful and hardy. Forms increasing clumps in rich to average well drained soil in full sun to very light shade. Appreciates good drainage and light consistent summer water. The blue flowers are a magnet for pollinators and they swarm en masse. Excellent and groovy cut flower for large arrangements. Otherwise a stellar perennial for borders, even rock gardens. Completely winter deciduous. Blooms a long time. A Xera Plants favorite perennial.
Oregon Checker Mallow is a fantastic long lived native perennial that thrives in gardens. In May-July and sporadically later stems rise up from low foliage to 14″ and support many soft pink flowers. Loved by pollinators and very easy to grow. This perennial inhabits slopes around the Willamette Valley in very heavy clay soil that dries out to concrete in summer. Adaptable to richer conditions, it also encourages a longer bloom season. Full sun to part shade. Native in Oregon Oak woodlands with Oregon Iris, Shooting Stars (Primula hendersonii- formerly Dodecatheon). Pretty meadow flower that combines well with native grasses and the aforementioned perennials. Established plants can get by with very little water. Forms a spreading clump to 2′ wide. Winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.
Excellent Toad Lily that delights us with a long long season of orchid-like flowers that glow a smooth blue. To 2′ tall and forming an increasing clump the ends of the stems produce flowers from August well into autumn- often into November if there is not an intervening freeze. The wavy leaves that line the stems hold spots that appear like small drops of dark oil. Very pretty. Part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Excellent woodland performer. This variety as the other we grow (‘Spotted Toad’) seem to avoid a scorch that can afflict the leaves of many varieties. Don’t know why. We just got lucky. Pair with Japanese forest grass and Hosta. Easy, long lived perennial. Completely winter deciduous.
Variegated Bear’s Breeches or just plain old Acanthus with dramatically white-splashed leaves. There is great contrast between the white and the dark green sections of the leaves/stems. In summer this spreading perennial produces a 3′ spike with pure white flower bracts enclosing the pink flowers. Its a big ol party chalice of goodness. Not the hardiest Acanthus (yeah- that might be good). Plant in a protected location with RICH, well drained soil- add compost and all organic fertilizer. Completely deciduous in winter here. Each leaf extends to 2′ long with intricate indentation- aside from the variegation. To 3′ across eventually. Excellent plant for containers. Protect containers from temps below 15ºF (move to an unheated garage, porch). Emerges in mid-spring. Mulch the crown in autumn for the first few seasons.
Threadleaf Bluestar is a fantastic native North American perennial with many seasons of interest. To 4′ tall this strongly clump-forming perennial has thread-like green leaves that line the sturdy, very vertical stems. Upon rising in late spring they host clusters of star shaped, fragrant (yep) blue flowers. Very pretty. The green, fine-textured foliage holds space as a blowsy presence in borders, gravel gardens, hellstrips. In autumn the entire plant turns shocking yellow and stays that way for weeks. Fall color at ground level and it rocks. Light but consistent summer water to aid in establishment. Very drought tolerant then. Full sun in any soil type but for permanently boggy. Good deer resistance. They will try it once but not again- for what it’s worth. Completely deciduous in winter. Emerges mid-spring. Very long lived, no-fuss perennial. Mix with ornamental grasses, cacti, just about anything.
Winter Jasmine cheers us greatly when its shocking yellow (scentless) flowers erupt along the arching and climbing bare green stems of this shrub/vine in winter. Beginning in December it opens flowers continuously until a crescendo is reached in late February. To 9′ tall trained as vine. The lithe stems must be corralled and pegged or twiddled through a lattice. Be patient it will get there. Blooms occur on wood from the previous season. Prune directly after bloom has ended. Fast growing as a scandent ground cover. To 3′ tall x 8′ wide very quickly. Very nice trailing over banks, walls. This form has gold splashed leaves that appear in spring adding another dimension to this plant. Light summer water or none when established. Rich, well drained soil is ideal in full sun to part shade. Winter deciduous. Moderate deer resistance.
The largest triple hybrid from the National Arboretum has yielded an excellent true red flowered, disease resistant and reliable Crape Myrtle. Fast growing to 20′ tall but just 8′ wide it forms a very upright tree. The huge true red flower trusses begin in urban areas in late July and continue unabated for two months. New growth is maroon and still retains hints of that as it changes to green- giving this tree a darker look. We have found that it is slightly tender when young- freezes back in cold winters but it rebounds quickly in summer and established trees see no damage. Rich to average (including heavy clay) soils with regular deep summer irrigation for earlier and more prolific bloom. Bark is fair becoming a mottled patchwork of tan. Fall color is brilliant red. Fast growing- easily 3′-4′ per year in well irrigated trees. Mildew resistant. Full, hot sun in a hot position.
Cool, interesting and actually spectacular Kniphofia that has flowers more reminiscent of an Aloe. The 4′ spikes of blooms have tubular downward facing flowers that are not clustered together but rather separate. They range in electric hues from near red/orange to yellow. Forms a grassy clump of deciduous foliage that rises to just one foot high. Spreads by runners- NOT A CLUMPER- give it room to spread, a single plant will roam several feet in every direction. Full sun to very light shade and RICH, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Excellent cut flower and dearly loved by hummers. Emerges late in spring.
One of the most wonderful cold hardy Jasmines. This form of Poet’s Jasmine has leaves boldly edged in ivory. The interior of the pinnate leaves are soft green. Vigorous twining vine to 15′ tall and as wide. In June a massive display of pink buds opens to powerfully fragrant sugar white flowers. Bloom continues through August. Very pretty multidimensional vine for a large pergola, fence, or very large trellis. The flowers are most fragrant in the evenings and morning. Very stable variegation- I’ve never seen it revert. Winter deciduous. Adaptable to full sun to dappled shade. Mix with other vines or send this vine climbing with a good rose. Light summer water in rich to average soil including clay soil. Regular summer water speeds growth and establishment in the first summer. MMMMMM. Smells so good.
Vigorous, hardy twining vine that we love for its chartreuse foliage as well as profuse fragrant white flowers. Best in part shade- will take full shade with leaves a bit greener and less flowers. To 15′ tall and nearly as wide in 6 years. Rich soil to average soil- including clay soil. Takes quite a bit of summer drought when established. Blooms in clusters from June to August. Wonderful vine for contrast. Try it up a pergola with the light lavender blue flowers of a Clematis or an orange rose. Moderately deer resistant. Winter deciduous.
Santa Barbara Daisy or Mexican Fleabane. You choose. Either way its a great long long blooming perennial that thrives in our climate with good drainage. Masses of 3/4″ wide daisy flowers that open pink and then change to pure white. All the stages of color are present at once making it much more interesting. The fine, almost hazy texture that the daisies produce lightens borders, rock gardens and even containers. To 8″ tall x 2′ wide in a season. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light, regular summer irrigation. The more well drained the site the hardier to cold..thats why you often see it growing in walls or rock gardens. Its a fantastic long blooming carefree container plant as well. Completely winter deciduous. It also seeds around lightly. Very pretty, airy perennial native to Mexico. Full sun.
We don’t grow very many Cannas but this one got our attention. Smaller than most it rises to just 3′ tall. In all of summer it produces masses of curly hot orange open flowers. Very pretty and very vivid. The moderately sized leaves are bold but not the tour de force of most. No mind its pretty and easy to grow in RICH, well drained soil with ample summer moisture in a hot, protected position. Emerges late in spring (sometimes not until early May) be patient- Cannas adore heat and it takes a few warm days to warm the soil enough to wake them up. Spreads to form expanding clumps. Full hot sun.
A true red flowered Watsonia and one of the hardiest of the genus. Wide green spikey leaves rise to 2′ tall in spring. In late spring to early summer 3′ tall spikes of tubular true red flowers line the stems. Loved by hummingbirds and cut flower aficionados alike. Rich soil in full sun in a protected position- a south or west facing wall is ideal. Freezes to the ground below 20ºF- re-sprouts in spring. Forms an expanding clump to several feet across. A fun genus to experiment with in our climate. Rated as zone 7 in its native high elevation South Africa. We think its more like 10ºF in our climate. Plant with royal red Lobelia tupa and Rosa ‘Bengal Fire’ for a red extravaganza. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Somewhat deer resistant.
Farewell-to-spring is a common wildflower of meadows and glens in Western Oregon. It gets its name because it is often the last wildflower to bloom before the summer drought ends the show. This form differs by its pure pink profuse flowers on a dwarf plant. (The wild form is lavender with a red blotch in the center of each petal.). An amazing display of bloom that appears as if someone dropped a bouquet on the ground. You see no evidence of leaves when its in full fettle. Blooms June to October in a garden setting with regular summer water and rich soil and the gardeners diligence removing spent flowers. Reseeds in open disturbed soil. to 10″ tall and a little wider forming a dome. Nice cut flower. Fun variation on a native. Very attractive to native pollinators. True hardy annual. Oregon native plant.
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 and they will germinate. 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.
Toad lilies are the joy of late summer into autumn in the shade garden. This tall growing selection has leaves that are conspicuously spotted with maroon dots. In August to October 20″ stems support multiple orchid-like flowers. The flowers have three petals heavily marked with purple/blue dots. Very pretty. Surprisingly its a nice cut flower. Forms a spreading clump in time. Rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade to shade. It has the nice habit of winding through other plants and the cheery exotic flowers will show up quite far from the source. Very easy long lived perennial. Regular summer water. Avoid hot sun which will scorch the leaves. Completely deciduous in winter. Adapts to dry shade when established.
Not the hardiest Fuchsia but by all means one of the showiest. This improved form of ‘Gartenmeister’ is taller with longer brilliant orange red flowers. Tubular pendant flowers in groups to 3″ long. They appear in a massive and continuous display for months petering out around frost. To 30″ tall and very upright- just half as wide. The foliage is a distinct maroon/burgundy which sets off the hot colored flowers nicely. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Part shade to full sun (but not against a hot wall) with water. Incorporate a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. To over winter this more tender than normal beauty plant deeply, mulch in autumn heavily, and even pile some dry leaves around the crown. It may return from the base if we have a mild winter (above 20ºF). Otherwise its a stellar container constituent. Hummingbirds.
Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! This extraordinary hardy garden Fuchsia produces masses upon masses of long tubular flowers. The floral tube and sepals are white and corolla is deep rose with distinct orange tints. To 2.5′ tall and as wide in a single season. Heavy bloom begins almost immediately and continues unabated to frost. Excellent container Fuchsia and in the garden give it rich soil that is moisture retentive but drains. Incorporate plenty of compost into the soil and add a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. Mulch the first winter and plant deeply to protect the crown. Once established it is reliably hardy. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF. Returns in mid-spring from the base and almost immediately starts blooming. Regular summer water. Full sun to part shade. (Avoid the reflected heat of a wall). Excellent performance on open north exposures where there is bright light but protection from intense heat/sun.
Cool name for a cool garden Fuchsia. To 2′ x 3′ in a single season. The large, single flowers are “selfed”. That is both the sepals and corolla are the same color of soft red. Very profuse blooming and the large flowers have exceptional grace. Cold hardy, easy to grow Fuchsia that is also remarkably heat tolerant. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, moisture retentive soil that drains. Regular summer water speeds growth and enhances bloom. Plant deeply for added winter protection in the first season and mulch with compost the first autumn. Add a handful of all purpose organic fertilizer in spring- Fuchsias dearly love fertilizer. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF, resprouts vigorously from the base in spring. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring. Very cold hardy. Full sun only with regular summer water. Avoid reflected heat.
Excellent hardy Fuchsia with very pretty flowers. The sepals are white with a bit of green on the tips. The corolla emerges purple/blue and fades slightly to violet. Upon opening the sepals slowly open and then gracefully recurve over the top of the flower. It reminds me of origami. Very upright growing plant to 2.5′ tall and just 18″ wide in a season. Constant bloomer from June to frost and beyond. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF and returns vigorously from the base in spring. Plant deeply for extra winter protection for the first season. Mulch with compost in autumn. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. Regular summer water in full sun to part shade to quite a bit of shade. Easy garden Fuchsia with lovely flowers. Hummingbirds, bumblebees, be-sotted gardeners, big containers.
Striking hardy Fuchsia with stunning deeply hued flowers. Sepals are deep wine colored and a corolla of nearly black fading a bit upon opening to deep maroon. Very floriferous Fuchsia with masses of small flowers over a bushy upright growing sub-shrub. To 3′ x 3′ in rich, well drained soil in part shade. Regular summer water and give it a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. Dies to the ground in very hard freezes and resprouts vigorously in mid-spring. Wonderful plant for borders, the edge of woodlands and even containers. Glossy foliage is very handsome too. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring- then you’ll know what is dead and what to remove. Very hardy variety.
A really good free blooming tree sized Crape Myrtle with profuse huge white flower trusses and astonishing orange bark. This is a fast growing tree and if properly irrigated can achieve easily 4′ a year. To 22′ tall and half as wide. Very similar to ‘Natchez’ with several distinct differences. It is a little hardier to cold. For those in cooler rural regions where there is insufficient summer heat to harden the wood for winter this is a good choice. The flowers are primarily held upright as opposed to pendulous on ‘Natchez’, The bark tends more towards pure orange (like a madrone) rather than mottled. Full sun and rich to average soil with regular summer water. Blooms early July to September. Fall color is vivid orange and red. Very nice garden tree.
Adorable Fuchsia that is a prolific bloomer. Widely spreading diagonal stems support curtains of pendant small flowers. The sepals and floral tube are white and the corolla is violet purple. Each flower provides its own contrast but in masses they are beautiful. To 2′ x 3′ in a single season in rich, moisture retentive soil with good drainage. Regular summer water. Apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in mid-spring. Dies to the ground in the first hard freeze, resprouts from the base in mid-spring. Great container Fuchsia. Apply a thick mulch of compost for the first autumn and plant deeply for added winter protection.
We love North African Sage from the higher elevations of Morocco it performs beautifully in our climate. A rosette of low large sage green leaves is your first clue that this is a cool species. In summer 4′ spikes in whorls of blue and white flowers are spectacular. The blooms last a long time (6-8 weeks) and are awesome for cutting and including in huge, wild flower arrangements. Forms large clumps in time and there will be more and more flowers. Full sun, rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to establish after which light to little summer water is necessary in our climate. Very easy to grow and cold hardy. May self sow in open disturbed sites. Great Salvia but surprisingly difficult to find.
Clean, clear white pendant flowers face outward on a dense-growing upright flowering maple. To 4′ tall by 3′ wild in a season. Bloom is constant on new growth from May to frost. Dark green foliage is a good contrast to the blooms. Rich, moisture-retentive soil with regular summer water. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting time and you’ll be rewarded with a bigger more vigorous plant. Full sun to part shade. Great in containers- big containers. In the ground plant in a very protected location with shrubs or a wall for added protection. Freeze to the ground in the upper teens. Returns from the base with consistent summer water. Hummingbirds.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Deeply colored foliage and clusters of white umbel flowers combine to give this easy to grow biennial an important place in the garden. The finely divided leaves are almost black but have a bluish hue on the surface that reflects the light in opalescent waves. The first year it produces only this gorgeous foliage. Combine with chartreuse/gold leaved perennials and/or shrubs for excellent contrast. In the second season the foliage extends and masses of pure white umbels wave to 3′ tall above the plant. Light and airy which is cool for a plant with deep, brooding foliage. Self sows prolifically and the seedlings are easy to spot, move, thin, dispatch. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, moisture-retentive soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Excellent in woodlands or sunny borders. It makes a surprisingly good cut flower as well. Umbels…these days its all about umbels. Winter deciduous.
Columbines are a blast to grow in the garden. This form we initially selected for its bright, bright, bright chartreuse yellow foliage. The brightest we have seen. In April to June it’s topped with multiple white/green flowers that slowly age to a soft, luminous blue over several days. Very pretty contrast with the foliage and an excellent bold perennial for contrast in a border. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well-drained soil with consistent summer moisture. When flowers are over you can take advantage of the brilliant leaves. Solidly perennial and the original plant still survives. (We isolate this plant to ensure the babies are as true to the name as possible- and yes it does work). To 20″ tall and half as wide. Self sows and a large percentage of the seedlings are gold. Easy to spot.
Xera Plants Introduction.
One of our favorite garden Fuchsias for its unique flower color and prolific blooming habit. Sepals are terra cotta orange with green tips and the corolla is rich auburn red. Very nice. To 14″ x 2′ in a single season. Excellent container Fuchsia where you can match the cool flower colors for a great effect. Part shade to high overhead shade in a cool position. Rich, moisture retentive soil with mulch in fall. Dies to the ground with the first hard freeze and returns quickly from the roots in spring. Plant deeply to ensure greater winter protection for the first season. Fuchsias adore fertilizer- give ‘Thomasina’ a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. They also respond heartily to liquid fish emulsion. Blooms June to frost.
A very pretty intergeneric hybrid tree between Catalpa and Chilopsis (Desert Willow). We really like this small tree that forms an umbrella shaped crown in time. To 20′ tall and continuously producing opulent large white flower clusters- the interior of the flower is marked with purple veining- much like an exotic orchid. The flowers appear on new growth and are continuous from June to September. The long thin tapered light green leaves have a nice texture. They do not color up appreciably in fall- making due with light yellow to off green before abandoning the tree. Excellent garden tree. We prefer the white flowered form as the often planted pink variety …..well, lets just say Portland has a LOT of pink flowering trees. Fast growing in youth-especially if well watered in summer. Otherwise, supremely tolerant of drought as well as rough, hot urban conditions. Casts moderate shade in time. Breaks dormancy late- usually late April. Be patient.
Fuchsias don’t have to be over the top with huge double flowers the size of wadded up tissue. Nope. This is one of the very best and it makes due with profuse all white flowers- the tips of the sepals are dipped in green. Vigorous hardy Fuchsia that reaches 4′ x 4′ in a single season in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Full sun (but with regular water and no reflected heat) to part shade. Masses of pendulous flowers appear from June to October. Loved by hummingbirds. This light airy sub-shrub combines perfectly in lush borders or as a single stunning specimen. Dies to the ground below 20ºF- re-sprouts from the base vigorously in spring. Easy, hardy, beautiful.
For flowers in this genus this is THE plant. Upright growing plant from a clump that rises to 2′ and produces multiple spikes of bright coral colored flowers. They are arranged in symmetrical whorls up the stem. Loved by hummingbirds who constantly seek nectar from the flowers that appear from late spring to late summer. When flower spikes are spent simply cut them away and water and more will arrive. Very easy to grow long blooming perennial for full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Very drought adapted when established. Works well in borders and even seasonal containers. The leaves have a very familiar lemon lime aroma. Dies to a low clump of foliage in winter.
Locally native on our nursery site Fringe Cups or Fairy Bells as they are commonly known are a spreading perennial for moist shady sites. Low mounding maple shaped leaves cover the ground densely and in late spring vertical spikes appear to 18″ tall and sport rows of small green cup shaped flowers. Closely related to Heuchera and thrives in the same conditions. It will even take full sun in moist conditions. It is a background plant because it often suffers from powdery mildew late in summer. The drier the conditions the worse the affliction. Good air circulation helps but its best to just accept that this is how this native perennial rolls. Semi-evergreen in winter. Woodland borders, shady containers. Very easy to grow. Oregon Native Plant.
Extraordinary and rare form of hardy Poet’s Jasmine that we love for its dramatic bi-colored flowers. The buds and the outside of the tubular flowers are both bright red. The clusters of very fragrant flowers then open to an interior of pure white. The distinct bicolor effect reminds us of the much more tender Rose Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) Vigorous twining vine to 15′ very quickly. Provide strong support- such as #4 copper wire. Excellent on large pergolas or along fences where the clusters of deep red buds pre-bloom is just as showy as the open flowers. In fall this deciduous vine takes on amazing brilliant red tints before dropping its leaves. Full sun to part shade in average to enriched well drained soil. Regular summer water increases growth and spurs re-bloom. Usually there is a massive floral display in June with sporadic clusters of flowers into September. Easy, pretty vine. Sweetly fragrant from the evening to the early morning. Drought adapted when established. Moderate deer resistance.
One of Oregon’s greatest wildflowers. This native of the Siskiyous and the SW part of the state makes an outstanding garden plant. Ours are divisions from well marked leaves and flowers with a deep maroon/black hue. To 18″ tall in bloom it responds readily to rich, humus filled soil with regular summer water. In very dry conditions it will go happily summer dormant. And it usually does anyway by the end of the hot season. The black and green leaves are dramatic but a great collar to the tall upright dark flowers. Blooms appear in Portland in April/May and last for weeks. Part shade to shade- avoid blasting hot sun- it will grow in sun but go dormant very quickly. Roots very deep into the ground- difficult to move once established so pick its home carefully. Multiplies into a substantial patch with good care. One of our favorite native wildflowers. Limited quantities. Oregon native plant.
Fascinating daisy from South Africa with intensely thorny, conspicuously ridged stems and throughout summer a long display of large light purple to white daisies. The interior of the flower is much darker than the petals and provides great contrast. Each 4″ wide flower faces outwards and is easy to see. To 30″ tall from a slowly spreading clump. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Drainage is important but so is good care during summer to establish an extensive root system. Excellent on sunny slopes. Add a yearly application of compost to spur vigor and blooms. Full sun to very light shade. All together a very spectacular perennial. Worth the effort to make it happy. Very unusual cut flower. Completely winter deciduous. Rated as zone 6, In our observations over the years it is more like the low end of zone 7. Mulch in autumn. Moderate deer resistance.
Superb form of Burnet that is compact but supplies masses of deep maroon red lozenge shaped flowers on upright straight stems. The flowers appear from June to October and create a great hazy repetitive texture. Ideal in the front of a border or in a meadow with other plants that do not exceed its compact height. To 12″ tall and forming expanding clumps to several feet wide in time. Rich, moisture retentive soil in full sun is best. Very adaptable to heavy clay soils as long as there is regular summer irrigation. Wonderful combined with the grass Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’. Regular summer water. Blooms turn russet when they are spent but remain vertical. Leaves turn bright yellow in autumn before the whole plant disappears entirely for winter.
Beautiful summer blooming hardy perennial that fits nicely into the new meadow movement. Divided grass green pinnate leaves densely clothe the base of this clumping perennial. Above the foliage in June- August rise pink furry catkins like blooms on straight stems. The come in profusion and create a light repetitive texture that is ideal with such things as ornamental grasses and other spire perennials like Sidalcea (Checker Mallow). Spent flowers remain until autumn and change to a russet brown. In autumn the foliage turns yellow before disappearing entirely. Completely deciduous in winter. To 18″ tall and as wide in rich soil with regular summer water. Very adaptable to clay soils but requires more regular irrigation. Dried out clay is the worst thing to try and rehydrate. Pretty perennial. Butterfly heaven. Long lived perennial.
If ever there was the chance to ripen a Pomegrante in our climate this cultivar is the best bet. Large growing deciduous shrub for full hot sun and any well drained soil. Light to little summer water is necessary once established. Amenable to regular water as well. Beginning in June a continuous supply of red/vermillion/orange single flowers appear. If pollinated they will form fruit which would ordinarily (in a hot fall climate) ripen by October. In our much cooler climate it requires the hottest spot possible. Against a south facing wall would be ideal- for fruit to possibly ripen. Otherwise the large pomes with a blushed red outside are very ornamental. They can be left on the shrub or brought inside to dry where they will last for months in a dish. Very pretty. In autumn ‘Grenada’ turns a clear and luminous yellow before the small glossy leaves drop. Breaks dormancy late in spring- usually late April- be patient. Blooms on wood from the previous year- prune directly after flowering if needed. Avoid all shade. High deer resistance.
Beautiful Oregon Native Checker mallow that has handsome deep green glossy scalloped leaves and for all of summer a continuous supply of long stems clad in rows of cup shaped pink flowers. Adapted to heavy soils that dry out completely. But improves greatly under cultivation. Flowering stems stretch horizontally and wind their way through neighboring plants. Cute cut flower. Excellent in borders or no water landscapes alike. To 18″ tall in bloom and spreading to about 1′ wide. Long lived and easy to grow. Native to south western Oregon. Our selection of a deep pink and prolific bloomer. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
Rose Checker Mallow is a widespread wildflower in Oregon. In the Willamette Valley it occupies open meadows as well as disturbed road cuts. From a low rosette of glossy round leaves the inflorescences rise to 2′ tall. Each bears rows of cupped pink flowers with a serrated edge to the petals. Blooms appear for weeks in early to mid summer. This wild plant takes very well to cultivation and makes a very good border perennial in rich soil with average summer moisture. Conversely, in less cared for environments it will grow very well too. Native to heavy clay soils and adapted to no summer water- but bloom amount and length of bloom can be increased with irrigation. Spreads to forma colony in time to 2′ wide. Plant with other Willamette Valley Natives and looks wonderful combined with ornamental grasses. This is a great plant to recreate native meadows. Takes a fair amount of shade as well. Long lived. Easy. Good cut flower. Oregon Native Plant.
A fantastic grass that performs wonderfully well in our climate. A clumping grass with very upright blue foliage. In summer inflorescences rise above the leaves with fine fluffy whitish flowers- provides a dramatic hazy effect. In autumn the 28″ tall grass becomes a whole other color palette. Deep raspberry and purple with tints of red before going over to all all reddish orange. An excellent color trip not the way to dormancy. When dormant it remains a presence and looks nice through winter. Cut down to the ground in late winter/early spring to make way for fresh new foliage. Not evergreen. Average to enriched well drained soil with light summer water. Established plants in reasonably good soil will sale through summer drought with no ill effects. Clumps expand over time to 2′ wide. Full sun. Easy grass. May self sow in open disturbed soil.
Outrageous Bear’s Breeches for hot and sunny aspects. Forms large rosettes of spiked intricate leaves that almost lay flat on the ground. In summer, enormous chalice-like soft purple blooms rise to 2′ tall. Each flower opens to reveal yellow petals. A beautiful combination. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Give this plant room and air circulation. It does not like to be crowded. Fully cold hardy and completely winter deciduous. Established plants can get by on less water. Moderate deer resistance. To 2′ wide in several seasons. Spectacular cut flower.
True red crape myrtles that actually bloom well in our climate are at a premium. This is one of those cultivars and we like it for several specific reasons. The flower trusses are true cherry red and huge and are held straight up. (Hence the rocket). Its best grown as a large multi-trunked tree to 20′ tall. The trunks begin to exfoliate after several years in place and show an amazing mottled deep chestnut brown and taupe display that is smooth and glossy. Unusual for both a pure indica and a red flowered cultivar . The medium green foliage takes on amazing orange/red tints in autumn before dropping and once they are off the tree- as with all Crape myrtles there is no raking. They simply dry up and almost instantly decompose. Neat and tidy. Full, hot, all day sun in a hot position in average soil with regular summer water. You must irrigate this tree deeply at least once every two weeks in summer so that it will bloom. The first flowers appear in August and extend to the beginning of October. Cold hardy and disease resistant tree. Unauthorized propagation prohibited. Plant patent #11,342.
We selected this Cape Fuchsia for its compact habit and profuse display of pendant soft yellow to orange to red tubular flowers. To 3′ x 4′ and spreading it begins blooming in May and continues through September. Removing spent flower spikes will encourage more. Full sun and rich, moisture retentive soil for a plant that needs room- spreads underground by stolons. Do not plant delicate plants in the vicinity of this perennial, instead match vigor with vigor. Light summer water to none when established. Though water enhances bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and pollinators too. Great landscape plant. Cut back hard in mid-spring to refresh the plant and spur new blooming wood. Semi-evergreen.
Xera Plants Introduction.
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.
A poppy with chartreuse green flowers? Yes it exists. From a small rosette of blue green leaves a continuous supply of large flowers from May to August. The flowers are supported by 4″ stems and virtually glow against the blue foliage- also when backlit by the sun. Full sun and RICH, well drained soil with regular summer water. Excellent for a solitary ledge in a rock garden or in containers. Do not let this plant be crowded by others. It will die, instead leave it out in the open and give it the good stuff.
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 market is full of Crocosmia selections but we think this one is a classic. The foliage is a dramatic bronze color and the spikey leaves are a great backdrop to the apricot yellow flowers that occur in July to September. To 2.5′ tall and forming an expanding clump. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil with light but consistent summer water. It makes a very good cut flower that lasts in a vase. Combine with other sun loving late summer blooming perennials. Completely deciduous in winter. Moderate deer resistance.
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.
Our selection of a compact and free flowering cold hardy Hummingbird mint with intense dark orange flowers. Blooms June to October and they rise on spikes to 18″ tall. Does not flop- great for smaller spaces. Regular summer water in well drained, enriched soil. Excellent on slopes which improves winter drainage which increases cold hardiness. Full sun to very light shade. Irresistible to pollinators. Blooms appear from the same spikes all season- do not remove. Wait to cut it back until spring. Then remove dead top growth to make way for the new growth that is pushing from below.
Xera Plants Introduction.
An excellent cold hardy Lily-of-the-Nile that was bred in the PNW. To 3′ tall in bloom from a low basal presence of strappy green leaves. Each flower in the truss is light blue with darker blue stripes. They are pretty up close- from a distance it reads as glowing baby blue. And you can use this luminosity to your advantage. Easy to grow perennial for full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. This cultivar performs even without regular water but the blooms last longer and are larger with it. Completely deciduous in winter.
Nodding needlegrass is a clump forming species native to western California south to northern Baja CA. Fine, fine medium green foliage appears in spring and is bright and fresh. In late spring stems rise to display the metallic tan, long needle like awns. They gracefully bend in every direction and are magical when tussled by the wind. They wave and sway gracefully and the light catches glints off the flowers. Very wild looking west coast grass that is at home in any well drained soil in full sun. Adaptable to light summer water and this improves the appearance and amount of blooms. To 2′ tall in bloom the basal clumps spread to about 1′ wide. Winter deciduous. Cut back hard in early spring before new growth starts. Completely adapted to summer drought once established and is a graceful and integral part of dry plantings. Seeds around a bit- expect this. Full sun.
A purely awesome form of Moor grass that we find indispensable at Xera. A strongly clump forming grass that has comparatively wide leaf blades margined heavily in cream. The effect up close is alternative deep green and yellow/cream vertical stripes. Very handsome. In summer 2′ spike rise. The stems are the exact color of yellow/cream that appears on the leaves, it gives great continuity to the whole plant. At the tips of these bright vertical stems are deep tan inflorescences. Exciting. Forms a clump to 18″ wide fairly quickly. Responds best to enriched soil that is fertile, drains well and light, consistent summer water which will lead to a much less thirsty plant in the long run. Roots go down very very far, and an established clump is somewhat difficult to lift and divide. But it can go many, many years before this is needed. Completely winter deciduous- cut back the vertical stems any time it is dormant. A fine texture for great contrast in borders or massed. Long lived and very hardy grass.
Golden Millet grass we love for its bright and shining appearance in shady woodlands. The upright growing then strongly curled leaf blades appear very much like ribbons. In summer stems rise and then arch with little round seeds. The entire plant is the same shade of glowing chartreuse. To 2′ tall and forming slowly expanding clumps. Shade to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Avoid blasting hot sun- it will bleach horribly to an ugly appearance. The combination of the soft, ribbon-like foliage and the airy seed heads is a great texture to counter balance the bold appearance of Hosta or Bergenia ciliata. Completely winter deciduous. Seeds around- and seedling come true and are easy to spot and they move very well. Dies away to nothing by midwinter- seldom even have to cut it back.
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.
Native of the high grass prairies of the midwest this form of Switch Grass delights with soft blue foliage and foamy inflorescences and a staunchly upright habit. Blooms appear in early August and remain effective through winter. In autumn the whole plant is awash in tones of raspberry and red before going cere for winter. Surprisingly even in dry dormancy snow or ice and knock this grass over and when the thaw comes- pouf! It stands straight back up. Winter deciduous- but the clump does remain in place for the majority of winter. Cut back hard- to the ground in spring just before new growth appears. Full sun and rich, to average, well drained soil with consistent light summer water. Drought adapted when established- to an extent. Looks better with water. To 5′ tall and in bloom and forming an expanding clump to 2′ wide. Ultra hardy grass that can be planted en mass or alone as a vertical blue focal point.
Tufted Fairy Grass is an Oregon native that forms bright green fine clumps but is in its glory in bloom when tall vertical stems display hazy tan flowers at the tips. Easy to grow grass that improves under cultivation. Native to semi-shady to sunny aspects in rich soil that drains but also retains moisture. Adaptable to wet sites that dry in summer. To 10″ x 1′ as a clump of foliage but rises to 3′ tall in bloom. Very wild looking grass that can be massed for a hazy meadow effect, or placed in straight lines a modern aesthetic that combines a wild plant with spaced symmetry. Excellent among shrubs and with other wild looking meadow perennials. Winter deciduous. Cut back dead growth in spring. Relatively long lived. Native in the Portland city limits. Graceful. Oregon native plant.
Snowy woodrush is a great woodlander and has many seasons of interest. The thin arching blades on this clump forming plant are softly veiled in white hairs that gives a softness to the clump. To 10″ tall and as wide in a season. In late summer 2′ tall spikes appear and produce snowy white flowers. They sway in the breeze. A mass planting of this in bloom is magical. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains in part shade to shade. Takes sun with regular water but nothing hot. Excellent long lived perennial. Can self sow when very happy. The hairy seedlings are easy to spot and move- or give away.
Brilliant and tall and hardy (!) Salvia that blooms continuously from late June usually up until frost. Large spikes of large tubular flowers are a curious hue. We’ve decided on Melon Red. How’s that for marketing? Other people say orange and still others scream red. The picture we have is the true color. To 30″ tall from a woody base. Not a real dense plant- kind of airy actually and benefits by having a more handsome plant in front. Hummingbirds die for this plant. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun with regular summer water. If it gets tired looking in mid summer simply give it a hair cut and water it and boom! Back at ’em. Do not cut back the plant in fall or winter- that will make it much less hardy to cold. Instead remove dead top growth when new growth emerges- usually around mid-April. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.
Western Redbud is a wonderful showy spring blooming tree that gets by on no summer water. Native to California also Utah, Arizona this is primarily a large shrub in the wild. We have found in our climate with a longer rainy season it forms a small tree. In April this entire tree comes to life smothered in tiny but profuse magenta pink pea flowers. They line all the stems and even appear on the trunk. After three weeks of glory the handsome new leaves appear. Round and blue green they have a slight rubbery texture. To 14′-18′ tall and forming a spreading crown. Fall color is orange to yellow but not reliable. Large purple colored seed pods are showy and persist after the leaves have gone. Moderately fast growing (2′-3′) per year when happy. Full sun and well drained soil of average fertility. Water through the first summer to establish then no summer water in subsequent years. Thrives in our climate.
Our locally native blue elderberry makes a good very large shrub or small garden tree. It has beautiful pinnate foliage, large fragrant umbels of white flowers followed by large clumps of edible blue fruit. Incredibly fast growing in youth it responds in a robust way to extra water in summer. Adaptable to nearly any soil type. And very drought tolerant as it matures. Fall color is often yellow but also lacking. Birds feast on the berries through winter. Otherwise they hang ornamentally on the bare twigs- also very showy. To 14′-18′ tall and naturally forming a vase shape. Oregon native plant.
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,
Our native coneflower found in the Cascades. Look! It forgot the petals. Yup thats our boy. Clump forming tall perennial for moist sunny sites. Rich, soil with ample humus. Easy to grow in a perennial border where you can take advantage of the austere look of the flowers, when they come en masse at the end of 30″ stems they are something to behold. Very good cut flower and it goes with a very modern aesthetic. Full sun. Completely deciduous in winter. Oregon Native Plant.
Very showy ornamental Pomegranate that we love for the insanely double hot orange congested flowers. They are like you are on acid. Far out man. No other shrub that we grow has a flower color this intense. It blooms beginning in June and continue to September. Most years one or two or more ornamental pomegranate form. They rarely ripen in our climate but are very ornamental and can be detached and brought inside. Where they last for months in arrangements Full hot all day sun in rich, well drained soil. Water the first year regularly to establish then only once a month in summer from then on. To 9′ tall forming a multitrunked vase shaped outline. Glossy green leaves turn electric yellow in autumn before dropping. In spring it tends to break dormancy late, not until late April. Patience.
Adorable, tiny scaled dense growing ground cover from Chile. The most amazing component is the little pure white fully double flowers that appear all summer. They kind of hide in the foliage and its fun to search for them and pull them up above the leaves. Perfect little rosebuds. Slow spreading ground cover for part shade to full shade and rich, moisture retentive soil. Its not durable enough for life between pavers or hellstrips rather you plant it in a woodland under a shrub and notice how dainty and beautiful it is. Spreads out to about 1′ wide in 2 years. Deciduous in most winters- but it returns from the ground quickly in early spring. Protect from hot sun- it does not like. Lovely.
A tender abutilon that is best considered an annual but boy howdy is it one of the best flowering maples that we’ve ever seen. Compact growing to 3′ x 3′ in a season at the largest. Profuse, huge flared pendant flowers are the color of smoked salmon on the interior and a distinctively darker orange on the outside. Its a great effect. Full sun and rich well-drained soil with regular irrigation. Excellent container plant that blooms non-stop with little intervention. Not hardy below about 25ºF.
Xera Plants Introduction.
A relatively hardy and massive blooming Abutilon that we named for its small but vivid tangerine orange flowers. A tall grower, easily reaching 4′ in the ground in a single season. Excellent in containers in full sun but be warned it gets big, fast. In the ground it has been a great performer. It requires a very protected location- between shrubs that will protect the base or near a house wall- under those conditions it will freeze back below about 20ºF but will be able to return from the base. And don’t be discouraged in spring if this plant looks dead- just water, water, water, in April-June and you’d be surprised at the vigorous recovery that will take place. It helps if it is in rich, well drained soil. Hummingbirds love it. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast where it will seldom be bothered by cold and can bloom nearly year round.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Excellent smaller shrub with distinctive very small silver foliage and in June a plethora of single white flowers with the intense, penetrating fragrance of grape soda. To 5′ x 3′ forming an upright rounded deciduous shrub. Full sun and regular water to establish the first year then none in subsequent years. This may or may not be a hybrid- it really looks like the straight species. P. microphyllus which is native to the American Southwest. Tough and hardy and very drought tolerant shrub that is well scaled for smaller gardens. Fall color is bright yellow. Blooms appear on wood from the previous season. Prune directly after flowering is over- if needed. Selected by our friend garden designer Charles Price, he gave this to us and we thought it was distinct enough to deserve his name.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Pretty version of this hardy perennial impatiens. It forms mounds of lush foliage that has a light icy sheen on the surface of the leaves. If you look closely at this cultivar the leaves actually sparkle as if they were inlaid with crystals. Groovy. To 2′ x 3′ spreading in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil. Consistent summer moisture. In autumn the tops of the plant bears many tubular light yellow flowers that are surprisingly large. Completely winter deciduous.
Cute little perennial Snapdragon species native to the mountains adjacent to the Mediterranean. Gray-green, almost succulent foliage is lush and is great with the profuse white snapdragon flowers which appear from late spring to mid summer. Full sun and rich to average, well-drained soil. Light summer water. Gets by with none but doesn’t look as good. Dies completely to the ground in winter and quickly resprouts from the base in spring. Rock gardens, gravel gardens, borders, hellstrips.
No offense to natives but I’ve always found our native mock orange to be kind of a dull one note shrub. Sure, its showy in bloom and certain specimens can be sweetly fragrant but once its done blooming…yawn. What do you do with it? Instead plant this highly improved selection with enormous semi-double white sweetly fragrant flowers. Each blossom is fully 2″ across and they come in such abundance in June that whole 9′ x 8′ frame is flocked like an enormous wedding gown. Some repeat bloom through summer. Same wild habit as the species which is nice- but incredibly showy in bloom. Full sun to part shade in average, well drained soil. Drought adapted. Great scaffold for summer Clematis. Blooms on old wood, prune AFTER flowering if needed. Forms a distinctive large vase shape. Fall color is soft yellow and brief. Adaptable to both cultivated and feral/wild areas. Tough and climate adapted shrub. Oregon native plant.
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.
A very pretty British selection of this spring blooming perennial. Tall stems produce large single ruffly solid orange.flowers. Multiple flowers are born on one stem. To 2′ tall and forming a patch as wide. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Full sun to very light shade. Very easy long lived perennial. Wonderful flower color brightens spring borders beginning in April and extending to early July. Not bothered by pests or disease.
From one of our favorite mountain ranges in Oregon The Ochocos Greg spotted this great form of Prairie Smoke. Pretty spreading perennial with gray green divided leaves and in summer upright then nodding pink fur covered buds that mostly overlap small pink petals. Its glory shines when these flowers go to seed. The stems turn straight up and fluffy silver seed heads puff up and wave in the breeze like smoke. Full sun and well drained soil of average fertility. Light summer water. To 2′ x 2′ slowly. Completely deciduous in winter. Ultra cold hardy Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Gems are so useful for us because they virtually laugh at heavy clay soils and still perform. But better is rich amended soil and they will bloom- in the case of this cultivar almost non-stop through the heat of summer. 2′ tall divided spikes yield fully double large brilliant orange red flowers. Opulent but with a wildflower charm at the same time. A big ol branch of flowers makes a great cut flower that lasts for ore than a week. Full sun to light shade and regular summer water. Remove spent flowers to encourage more- and there will be quickly. Forms a substantial patch in a few years. Very long lived perennial. Match with blue flowered Salvias for a thrilling visual bonanza. Completely deciduous in winter.
Elegant spring blooming perennial that is very graceful, understated but beautiful. From rosette of lush leaves it sends up branched stems at the end of each is a soft primrose colored nodding flower from a madder red calyx. Wonderful. It remains in bloom and actually re-blooms from early April to early June. To 18″ tall in bloom and forming a patch several feet across. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular summer water is beneficial. Excellent and fun cut flower. Adapted to clay soils as many Geums are and a great reason to grow them in Western Oregon. Winter deciduous.
Hardy happy and elegant perennial gladiolus that is perhaps just a species but market…y’know. To 3′ tall it opens soft peach and yellow wild looking flowers up a sturdy scape. Multiplies quickly in rich well drained soil and a patch will form yielding multiple blooms and a great source of cut flowers. Nothing like hybrid garden gladiolus instead decidedly more wild looking and we LOVE that. Very easy to grow, tough and hardy. Emerges late often not until April be patient. Regular summer water and full sun will prevent the towers from falling over. If they do simply cut them and bring them in the house. Moderate deer resistance.
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.
A good friend of ours who is a day lily savant told us that we had to have this plant. So adamant was he that he sent us a good sized clump. Holy cow was he right on. This is a large elegant perennial with elongated light yellow flowers that have a POWERFUL sweet citrus blossom aroma. The scent ramps up greatly at night and can be detected many feet away. Tall growing species as the flower scapes rise to almost 5′ tall. Each one holds multiple flowers. They close a little during the day but in the afternoon they slowly yawn open and POW! Here comes the perfume. Grassy foliage rises to about 2′ and a clump gets very large in rich, well drained soil with ample summer moisture. Full sun to very light shade. Give this big guy room to shine. Blooms for us July to September. Completely deciduous in winter. Big thanks Duane.
People love this perennial (hardy) Impatiens- they are immediately drawn to its very pretty foliage and for most of the season thats all there is. Spreading as a low herbaceous perennial to just 16″ tall but many feet wide when happy. Rich, loose, hummusy rich soil that drains quickly with regular irrigation. Part shade to quite a bit of shade. Ideal under large shrubs, in shady spots. Each pointed leaf is minutely scalloped with a red to yellow central vein. The undersides of the leaves are madder red. In autumn relatively large tubular ( or police helmet shaped) flowers of soft yellow appear at the tips. The show is late and to be honest most people kind of miss it. Completely winter deciduous. Avoid blasting hot sun and compacted soils.
Precious! Amazing little spring blooming iris from the eastern U.S. Tiny green fans of leaves creep along the ground and form interconnected colonies with their long rhizomes. In late March into April 3″ wide soft blue and white flowers appear out of nowhere. The rise above the low foliage to 5″ high. PRECIOUS. The lower petals (the falls) have a zone of darker blue and orange. PRECIOUS. Part shade in rich woodland conditions- excellent under established shrubs or at the fore of borders in the forest. Regular summer water. High deer resistance. Completely disappears in the winter. PRECIOUS. Little spring wonder from the east.
We love this little multidimensional barrenwort that pairs fresh green leaves outlined in black in spring while simultaneously producing clouds of star shaped crystal white flowers. A compact smaller growing plant to 10′ tall and with good care spreading to 18″ wide. The remarkable new growth morphs to solid fresh green in summer. Blooms March to May in part to full shade (really doesn’t like sun so don’t fudge it). Regular summer water. Rich, moisture retentive hummus rich soil. Add an annual application of compost and even a handful of organic fertilizer in spring to increase vigor- give it a good life. Completely winter deciduous. Long lived perennial.
A really good purple flowering barrenwort with new foliage that emerges deep purple and accompanies the mid-violet colored flowers that have spurs tipped in white. A really good effect on a sophisticated long lived perennial. To 1′ tall and 2′ wide in rich, moisture retentive soil. Add a layer of compost annually and water regularly through the dry summer months. Completely winter deciduous. One of the best purples that we’ve grown. Easy plat.
A large growing deciduous barrenwort that bears large spectacular dark pink flowers in conspicuous clusters atop the bold foliage. New growth emerges soft amber pink before maturing to soft green. Foliage to 20″ high and up to 2 1/2′ wide and flowers taller than that. Rich, moisture retentive soil in woodland conditions. Blooms appear from March to May. Part shade to shade with regular summer water. A unique flower color for Epimediums. Completely winter deciduous.
Petite deciduous barrenwort that forms compact patches of low green foliage. It emerges tinted in amber and turns to green as the multiple wiry stems support clouds of opalescent lavender flowers. The spurs that radiate out are tipped in white- delicious. Part shade to shade in woodland conditions. Rich, hummusy soil and regular summer water. Blooms appear from late March to early May. Fall color is tawny orange. Completely winter deciduous.
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. 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.
Very blue, oh so blue shorter Sea Holly that has pretty unusual leaves as well as stunning flowers. Crinkly sage green leaves are prickly and outlined in fine white. From this batch of foliage the flowering spike attains about 20″ inches before producing the metallic sky blue star shaped flowers. Very pretty and it will instantly draw pollinators. Remains in bloom for 4-6 weeks from early to mid summer. Full sun, rich, well drained soil and little summer water when established. Tough but pretty perennial that is very long lived. Increases in width each year to 2′ wide. Excellent candidate for the hellstrip, the front of the border or gravel gardens. High deer resistance. Completely deciduous in winter.
Easy to grow, though short lived (2-3 years) this prolific seeder will never really disappear from your garden. A hybrid by two UNKNOWN species one from South America and the other one is anyones guess. First year its a rosette of spoon shaped green leaves. The following year it dramatically rises to 3′ in spring/summer and produces clouds of rounded steel blue flowers. Very pretty and airy and you must mix it with a nice tall ornamental grass for the ultimate effect. As I mentioned it then seeds around. Interesting cut flower. Drought tolerant and best in full sun. High deer resistance.
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.
Miss Wilmotts Ghost. As the legend goes Miss Wilmott would stealthily drop the seeds of this biennial into the gardens of those she visited. Sneaky girl. The plant would germinate and produce a low inconspicuous rosette of leaves the next year. The following year a tower of ghostly gray collared huge flowers on branched stems would appear- seemingly form nowhere. Freak. But my kind of freak. A really cool looking plant in bloom that photographs amazingly well by the way. To 3′ tall for full sun and open disturbed sites. It will reseed reliably in those conditions. The seedlings are easy to spot and move when they are very young if you desire a new spot. Makes a groovy large cut flower. This is the flower on our logo. High deer resistance. Drought adapted.
Bold cold hardy bulb that we cherish for its rosettes of huge wide deep purple foliage as it emerges in spring/early summer. By the middle of the season stems extend from the middle of the plant with unique columns of dense pink/white flowers. On top is a hat of leaves. Reminds me of a garden form of Carmen Miranda. The resemblance is where we get the common name of Pineapple lily. Give this big spreading perennial space. Following the flowers the wide, heavy leaves will turn more greenish and lay down. That means they will swamp any delicate neighbors nearby. At least 2′ of clearance on each side. Multiplies happily in rich, deep soil in full sun. Regular summer water restricts stress and keeps the leaves happily vertical. Long lived and hardy. South Africa.
Gold plants are so popular in our climate perhaps because they add light to the garden when the sky is leaden and dark. This brilliant handsome perennial does just that. Bright gold pinnate leaves are arranged in a circular rosette to 2′ across. In summer 20″ spikes rise and produce foamy white flowers. A good combination overall. Rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade to shade. It doesn’t go green in shade either- remains vibrant. Excellent woodland focal point and adaptable to permanently wet sites. Long lived easy to grow perennial.
Obscure large herbaceous perennial that finds a happy home in the rich soil and regular moisture of woodlands and margins. To 5′ tall the handsome palmate leaves are edged in white with occasional splashes in the interior. In mid summer plumes of foamy white flowers tower over the plant. Very pretty. Completely deciduous in winter. In time it forms large patches. Woodlands, the back of the border, perpetually wet areas.
Excellent strain of the delicious woodland strawberry. Forms clumping plants to 1′ x 1′ and a continuous parade of small white flowers means that the season of harvest of the small but sweet berries is equally as long. Line paths in a woodland or just stick one where ever so that when you get hot and hungry in the garden you have snack at arms length. Really easy to grow hardy perennial. Burns in full hot sites, happier with protection from blasting rays and dry soil. Rich soil with regular water leads to results. Semi-deciduous in winter. Not bothered by pests. Well, maybe dogs, Dogs will sneak some berries when you aren’t looking. I love dogs. Oregon native plant.
So so many new cultivars of this easy to grow free flowering perennial. And you know what? Some of them don’t even bloom that well and the color pink….a little nauseating. WE love the straight species and grow it from seed each year. Spreading rambunctious perennial with 3′ wands of five petalled white flowers. Full sun and virtually any soil- it can get really wild in rich soil, beware. Native to sand dunes on the barrier islands in Alabama/gulf coast but it loves it here. Begins blooming for us in late May and goes non-stop for months. If it gets tired or ratty simply cut the mother all the way to the ground, water it and wah lah there you go. Light summer water. Pollinator friendly perennial that has great drought adaptation when established. To 3′ wide.
Many hardy Geranium have lost favor because they are either huge and unwieldy perennials or they don’t bloom for long enough. This one does neither. A low compact tuft of silvery foliage mostly stays put. Beginning in spring and continuously through summer simple copious purple flowers appear with a lavender back drop and dramatic darker raspberry veining. Very pretty- in combination with the foliage its a winner. Floriferous enough to be used in seasonal containers. This hardy geranium appreciates full, hot sun and open site and well drained soil. Light but consistent summer water. The flowering stems will elongate and climb through nearby plants and flowers will show up where you least expect them. Foliage clump to about 18″ wide. Completely winter deciduous and not bothered by slugs or snails.
An older cultivar of the shade loving mourning widow geranium. Lily is set apart by deep purple blue large nodding flowers. To 28″ tall and forming an expanding clump of handsome serrated leaves this perennial requires protection from bright sun to really perform. But avoid dense shade, so we’ll say high overhead dappled shade or part shade. Grows in any soil but appreciates some amending to start out. Regular summer water. In rich soil it requires less. Blooms appear in late summer and pop off and on all summer. Really pretty color on an old fashioned but tough shade perennial. Not bothered by snails and slugs. Oh, thats why we love Geraniacae.
We originally grew this wonderful vivid free blooming bat flower as an annual. But after years of growing it in the ground we’ve found that its remarkably root hardy. To 20″ tall forming a semi-woody shrublet it produces sprays of small but vivid flowers from May to frost. Full sun and rich, WELL DRAINED soil in the ground and patience- it takes a while to come back in spring- usually not until truly hot days appear in May. Once up- with regular supplemental water it zooms and blooms and resumes its previous stature quickly. Good drainage in a hot position seems to be the key as a perennial. Mine has happily lived in the ground in my garden in North Portland for 7 years- returning from the coldest winters. It will freeze to the ground below about 28ºF- but it always returns. Great seasonal plant in containers and it will draw hummingbirds from 5 counties around. Nice plant. Blooms continuously without intervention. My kind of plant.
The so called Chocolate Daisy of the great plains we love for the sweet chocolate scented yellow daisy flowers in summer. Forms a rosette of humble green leaves and then repeatedly in summer it sends up the wonderfully scented flowers on long stems to 1′ high. Full sun and well drained soil of average to rich fertility. Regular summer water encourages more bloom but it takes dry conditions when established. Rock gardens, gravel gardens, borders, containers. To 18″ wide when happy. Full all day sun. Lifespan: 3-5 years in our experience in Oregon. The yellow petals surround a soft green center- makes a nice scented cut flower.
To be honest we had quite a bit of employee pushback when we said we were growing a Bergenia- I’m sure they immediately thought of that hulking, horrible looking, weevil notched ground cover with clouds of pepto pink flowers in winter/spring. That old horribly abused plant is definitely not this. HUGE round leaves have light fur on the reverse and make a wonderful statement in part shade to full sun (with water). In very early spring this cultivar named by Richie Steffan of the Elizabeth Miller Garden in Seattle- sends up wide inflorescences of pink tinted white flowers. Best with overhead protection of trees to ensure a late freeze doesn’t damage the flowers. This is a DECIDUOUS species and doesn’t seem to be root weevil food or suffer a bad looking period. New leaves ensure freshness all season. Give it a LOT of room to spread. Tropical looking foliage adds bold dimension to borders, woodlands. Regular summer water in well drained rich soil. Thanks Richie.
You don’t see this perennial from the middle east very often in our gardens. Its a great, low water long lived plant with dramatic, showy flowers. Spikes to 4′ tall are clouds of large starry yellow fragrant flowers. Blooms appear in May and June and are showy for weeks. Grassy blue green leaves form a clump at the base. Rich, well drained soil with little to no summer water once established. Mass for a very showy effect. Remove spent flowers and you are left with relatively good looking low arching blue green leaves. Must have full sun and a bit of patience to bloom. We try to sell them in bloom to avoid the wait. Moderate deer resistance. Winter deciduous. Long lived.
Soft looking creeping perennial for rich, well drained soils in light shade. Large furry leaves consort beautifully with the pale yellow snapdragon shaped flowers on this 6″ x 1′ wide herbaceous perennial. Excellent in rock gardens, containers with protection from the hottest sun. LOVES cultivation in rich, well drained soils. Admirably long lived container perennial that is also very long blooming June to frost. Regular summer water. Completely winter deciduous.
Elk Clover. Our native large herbaceous Aralia that forms large, tropical-looking clumps along moist places in the central southern part of the state. To 8′ tall and as wide when established in rich soil with an adequate summer moisture supply. A native plant that takes very well to cultivation. In summer 2′ long spikes reveal white orbs. Showy and a little exotic for a native as well. This is a great large scale plant for tropical effects- mix with Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) and you have got yourself a big bold look. Black berries follow the flowers and are somewhat showy as well. Completely winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.
AKA Arthropodium maculatum ‘Candidum’ New Zealand Rock Lily. Intersting clump forming lily relative that has fine strappy leaves in a dense configuration that are dotted with brown over a madder red overlay. Wonderful little foliage plant for part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. In summer masses of 4″ stems support clouds of tiny nodding white flowers. Fun. Rock gardens, the front of borders, massed together for a more profound effect. To about 10″ wide. Completely winter deciduous. Nice summer container plant.
This widespread species is native to selected spots in the Willamette Valley and occupies dry rocky hillsides in full sun. 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. Oregon native plant.
A great plant in all of its parts. Beautiful intricate large blue gray leaves with an underside of white form substantial clumps. In high summer flower spikes rise up to 3′ bearing dense sky blue orbs of flowers- the structure of the orbs gives them a metallic glint. Amazing. Obviously where it got its common name of globe thistle. Long lived herbaceous perennial for fast draining rich soils in full, hot sun. Spreads to form substantial clumps in time. Avoid sodden soils and heavy un-amended clay. Great on slopes. Completely deciduous in winter. These flowers seem to be made for butterflies- all sorts visit the flowers frequently. Light deer resistance. Plant with other large sun loving perennials to match the vigor and scale of this plant.
Immensely showy perennial that puts on a stellar mid summer show of soft blue relatively large flowers. Spreading to 2′ wide in full sun and rich well drained soil this mint relative sends 18″ spikes of outward facing light blue tubular flowers in June-July. Loved by pollinators and gardeners alike. Easy to grow plant that is cold hardy and long lived. Great for blazing hot hellstrips, sunny rock gardens, the front of borders. Light summer water- becomes surprisingly drought tolerant with age. Completely winter deciduous.
Shade plays by its own rules and to be honest flowers are often pretty modest. Therefore we rely on foliage to brighten dark corners and add texture and contrast. This elegant perennial is 18″ tall and arching stems have large opposite leaves delicately feathered in white. In spring small white bells droop gracefully along the stem. Deep, rich, hummus rich woodland soils that retain moisture. Regular summer water. Winter deciduous.
Dutch Man’s Breetches. One of the first wildflowers that I learned mostly because of the funny common name. Native to selected spots in Oregon- in the Columbia River Gorge as well as along parts of the Clackamas River. Adorable little thing closely related to bleeding hearts. Ferny blue foliage emerges in early spring and is followed by a precious display of two spurred upside down white flowers. Each patch holds many. By the time hot weather has arrived this true spring ephemeral has disappeared completely- a good rest during the summer drought. Part shade to high overhead shade in a protected location in rich, moisture retentive soil. Occasional summer water is good- even though it is dormant. Mix with other spring delights like Erythronium (Dog tooth violets) and mid spring small bulbs like Scilla or Chionodoxa. Moderate deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
Excellent form of our native bleeding heart that is an incredibly long blooming perennial for gardens. Remarkable blue foliage is beautiful if it never produced 1′ spikes of clear white pendant flowers. Blooms begin in spring and with regular summer water in rich soil continue throughout summer. Shade to full sun (with regular water). Forms widely spreading colonies. Give it room to spread. This tough, adaptable plant handles any soil situation from perpetually moist to quite dry. Resistant to pests- that includes slugs and snails as well as deer. (They will briefly browse it before ditching it for better things- it recovers quickly). Completely winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.
One of our fave foxgloves, this (sub)shrubby species forms large spreading plants with multiple spikes of the most amazing flowers. 2′ spikes support tubular orange flowers with an interior of russet brown and more intricate markings. An excellent candidate for hot sunny slopes as it is native to the Iberian peninsula. Full sun, well drained soil and light summer moisture. Reseeds happily in open disturbed sites and those seedlings can be dispatched, moved, or shared with friends. Spectacular flowers appear in spring and continue into summer. High deer resistance. Average lifespan of an individual plant is 3-5 years. Dry borders, gravel gardens, exposed areas with voracious deer. Wonderful plant.
The so called Chocolate Foxglove gets its moniker from the soft brown tubular flowers that densely line the stalks. They tower up to 4′-5′ when happy. A perennial foxglove with amazing architectural bloom spires. That remain effective for weeks. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. Regular summer water which can often lead to re-bloom. Nice corrugated foliage lined in fine white hairs. Strong deer resistance. The textures and combinations that this offers are mind boggling.
Delicate in appearance but actually pretty tough and long lived, this pale yellow-flowered Anemone spreads to form large colonies. To 5″ tall and blooming from March to April. Remains in bloom for several weeks. Rich, well drained soil that retains moisture. Goes completely dormant by the arrival of hot weather- still keep watering – Anemones appreciate that even though they are fast asleep. Very pretty as a color echo with golden foliage such as the acid yellow emerging foliage of Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass).
A little wacky columbine sex in our nursery between our native orange and yellow flowering Aquilegia formosa and the brown and green flowered (and fragrant) Aquilegia viridiflora. The color range of the flowers is truly insane. And many of them are fragrant. They also have inherited the very good leaves of A. formosa- which are decidedly blue and delicate looking. They appear to be long lived perennials just as their parents and you just know that these buggers are going to reseed themselves. Part shade to full sun with regular water.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Excellently climate adapted, there are many forms of Anemone nemorosa but this is by far our favorite. Pure white flowers with a congested bunch of petals in the center. Natures pin cushion. Blooms late March to early May. Spreads to form large colonies in rich well-drained soil with ample irrigation. The whole plant goes completely dormant by summer, cleanly disappearing before you have time to notice it. Part shade to full sun. Not bothered by pests or animals. Even though it goes summer dormant it’s still beneficial for these plants to receive regular water. You’ll notice the difference the following spring.
Legendary grass in the PNW. This striking form of Japanse forest grass has gold leaves striped in darker green. A clump forming perennial that arches gracefully. Lower growing than our other cultivar ‘All Gold’. Spreading to 3′ across in time this long lived deciduous beauty is indispensable in our climate. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Full sun (but not reflected heat and with water) to part shade to quite a bit of high overhead shade. Woodland, walkways, borders, everywhere really where you need a touch of graceful elegance and a vivid color to brighten up dark days. Turns russet tones before losing its leaves in the fall.
A sure sign that spring is on the way when this large interesting shrub’s buds begin to swell in January. First white, then silver and finally open sesame fragrant golden yellow. Its a fascinating procession. Large deciduous shrub with sweetly fragrant late winter flowers. Best in light shade with a bit of overhead protection so a late freeze doesn’t wreck the show. Truthfully, that rarely happens. Light shade and well drained, somewhat enriched soil. Overly rich soil can lead to a host of problems among which are fungal root diseases and rank huge growth which shortens the shrubs lifespan and leaves it vulnerable to tipping. Average soil- steady as she goes and regular summer water. Fascinating Daphne relative native to China thats been cultivated for so long its actually naturalized in Japan and is considered weedy. Ah, well. We still love it. Forms a framework of several trunks and then suckers like crazy. Do not prune the top half of this shrub- not that there is any legit reason too. It HATES being pruned. Remove the suckers and plant them around your yard. Have a whole freakin forest of this plant once used to manufacture paper. Size depends on the fertility of the soil.
Very good Salvia that blooms non-stop medium purple flowers for months in summer well into autumn. Tall growing to 3′ and somewhat wispy. A possible hybrid with the blue flowered Salvia chamaedryoides. Hummingbirds love this free blooming hardy perennial. Freezes to the ground below the mid 20’s. Returns from the base in spring. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil in full sun. Drainage in winter is the key. Add some pumice and gravel to the planting hole and water consistently to this plant good and established. Do not cut back in the spring until you actually see new growth pushing. Then remove all the dead material. Regains stature quickly in spring.
Sweet little bulb that multiplies to form big sheets of color in full sun and well drained soil. To 3″ tall and blooming non-stop beginning in May and through summer to autumn. Regular water encourage more flowers. Funny hot pink flowers that don’t seem to have a traditional center. Seeds around in time. Foliage is winter deciduous. Rock gardens, meadows, Easy, just make sure the drainage is good
I can’t imagine my garden in autumn now without this crazy late blooming blue, blue blue perennial. To 6 ‘x 6’ long stems terminate in clouds of bright blue guppy shaped flowers beginning in mid-October and continuing usually until the first hard freeze- often mid-December in the city. Part shade in deep rich moisture retentive soil. Kind of a quiet plant until autumn and then holy shit. Clouds of blue guppies people. Clouds of blue guppies. Often it gets yellow fall color simultaneously with this display. Incredible cut flower at a weird time of the year. Regular water all through summer. This plant gets big, big, big. Perfectly hardy to cold way below zero. So happy I found you Rabdosia now Isodon which sounds more like a freaking Dinosaur than a groovy late fall blooming perennial.
The most vividly colored flowers of the three cv of P. sieboldii. Hot pink on the reverse of the heavily frilled petals with an open front of white with distinctive hot pink striations shot right through. Blooms in-between the other two selections. First ‘Late Snow’ then ‘Lacy Lady’ and finally ‘Ice Princess’ Plant them all together and you get an extended show of one of the prettiest and most sophisticated species of Primula. Goes quickly summer dormant with heat. Continue to occasionally water through the dry summer. To 8″ high in bloom.
My personal favorite primrose. This sieboldii selection blooms later than others but the flowers which are soft blue on the back of the flower and have a pure clean white face on the front. Heavily frilled petals are elegant on 8″ stems. Blooms May to early June in cooler years. No other cv of P. sieboldii comes as close to true blue. Forms a clump in time in rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade. Goes quickly summer dormant with true heat. Still water the roots of the dormant plant- they like that and will reward you with a greater show the following spring.
Excellent, selection of this easy and graceful perennial Primrose. Grass green round leaves form a rosette from the middle 8″ spikes support masses of flat, heavily frilled pure white flowers from April to late May. This is the most vigorous selection that we grow and will quickly increase in size in rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade. Blooms heavily for 6 weeks then goes quickly but quietly summer dormant. Though it has disappeared its important to at least occasionally water the plants roots through summer. To 1 1/2′ wide in several years. Apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in early spring.
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.
Mexican Hats are iconic flowers of the southwest american prairies. Slender plants that rise up to 2′ feet with adorable flowers, red petals reflexed around a black prominent cone. The red petals are mostly outlined in yellow. Forgiving wildflower for full sun any well drained soil with regular summer water. Remove spent flowers to spur more- this will keep it in continuous bloom. Cute cut flower and the little flowers really do look like sombreros. Winter deciduous. Will often self sow in open disturbed soils.
The biggest black eyed susan daisy of them all. Towering to 7’+ the sturdy straight stems of this hardy American plains native perennial displays very large yellow flowers with drooping petals reflexed away from a prominent black central cone. The thick stems rise up from a low mound of foliage. Blooms all summer long and often into October. Loved by pollinators of all kinds it also makes a really cool and surprisingly long lasting cut flower. Put this beauty in the back of a border where its sunny yellow flowers can wave to the sky. Light summer water in any well drained soil. Full sun to avoid flopping.
These are seed grown Matilija Poppies. They are very vigorous and will produce 5″ wide pure white flowers with a yellow center from June to September. Soft blue-gray foliage rises on 7′ stems which support the flowers. Full sun and very well drained soil and room to roam. Can travel many tens of feet in unobstructed space. Dies to the ground in winter. Cut back dead stems in spring when new growth emerges. Fried Egg Flower from Southern California. Moderate deer resistance. Wild areas, hillsides, the back 40. Spectacular in bloom.
Asian Blue Star is so closely related to our American native Amsonias that many believe it should be in the same genus. Tough, elegant, cool perennial that rises to 2′ tall and is topped by clusters of NAVY BLUE starts in late spring. Bring on the bumblebees. Forms a slowly increasing clump in rich to average soil with regular summer water. Though established plants can easily handle drought. In autumn the whole plant turns from green to bright yellow and holds that color for an extended time. Very showy. Long lived, hardy perennial for full sun. No pests or disease. Winter deciduous.
From the middle East (Syria, Lebanon) this hop flowered species of Origanum has been a stalwart performer in our climate. Low and spreading stems create hop shaped structures that house the little protruding hot pink flowers. The hops are mostly light green but can take on pink tints. They are fully pendulous and the best way to display this plant is to site it on the edge of a precipice or wall or from the side of a container. To 8″ tall and 2′ wide when happy. Rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Begins blooming in May and continues unabated to September. One of the parents of several popular hybrids but we like the straight species quite a bit- it seems tougher. Graceful. Dies to a very low mound of foliage in winter. Cut back the previous seasons dead stems in early spring. Cold hardy and very showy.
Unusual hybrid that has created some striking effects for an ornamental oregano. Distinctly upright stems to 2′ tall, beginning in June groups of up and outwards facing pink small hope like structures bear tiny violet pink flowers. Bloom goes on virtually for months and even when officially done these “hops” remain and change to a deep madder red. A large plant with dozens of upright stems bearing these remnants of flowers is really cool. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. Consistent light watering. Detach the whole stem from the base as a long lasting unusual cut flower. Dies to a low rosette of leaves in winter. Cut back the dead remaining upright stems in spring. Cold hardy. Photo credit: Grace Peterson- thanks Grace.
A really multidimensional perennial for part shade, rich soil and light summer water. The sage green, almost rubbery textured leaves are emargined in creamy white. In summer, 2′ spikes support groups of tubular red and green flowers. The interior of the flower is decorated with black hatch marks on a white backdrop. Fantastic long lasting cut flower that should be pulled gently from the base to detach and never cut with a pruner. Spreads somewhat thinly to cover some ground. Posses the ability to compete with other plants and can happily coexist with shorter ground cover- flower spikes coming up right through. Completely winter deciduous. Bait for slugs when it first re-emerges in spring. Once its up a bit you are safe. Long lived cold hardy perennial that is pretty permanent. Hummingbirds love the flowers as much as stylish gardeners.
Not many Campanulas that we really taking a liking to but this one is distinctly different. Low mounds of scintillating gold foliage become a sea of light purple/blue star shaped flowers in May-June. Part shade to shade with protection from hot sun. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil that is fertile and regular summer water. Apply a handful of organic fertilizer around it in spring- this perks up vigor and ramps up bloom. Striking plant for a shady rock garden or the front of a woodland border. A great combination of colors in one compact plant. To 5″ tall x 1′ wide in a season.
We grow this species from seed because it produces such an opulent display of intense blue flowers late in the season. Whorls of flowers are absolutely irresistible to pollinators when it blooms from late July to September. A mostly herbaceous species that dies to the ground. Much more dense and compact plants than other Caryopteris which we find kind of sparse and weedy. To 2′ tall and as wide. Full sun, rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Takes drier conditions in rich soil. Mulch in fall. Cut back dead tops in spring when you see new growth begin. Aromatic. Bee’s, you plant it for the big ol black wooly bumble bees.
Big ass huge tall Scabiosa that is difficult to find. We’re remedying that. Large plant to 6′ tall with long wand-like stems support large (2″ wide ) pale yellow Scabiosa flowers. Full sun and rich well drained soil with regular water. Tough perennial for the back of a border or the back in general. Produces a constant cloud of glowing flowers that nod in the wind. Great cut flower. Blooms June to September. Soft yellow flowers match the color intensity of the gray foliage- a sophisticated match. Revels in hot and dry conditions when established. Dies down to nothing in the fall. Roars out of the ground in spring.
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.
Wonderful Iris relative from South America that we cherish for its daily large three petalled intricately marked blue flowers. Rising to 2′ tall, corrugated blue green leaves accompany the strong upright stem. Beginning in May a daily procession of flowers that open at sunrise and close and finish by 2 to 3 in the afternoon. Don’t remove the spent flower as curiously more (and more) flowers will appear from the same stem. Large seed pods will form. These may be snipped off to refocus on more blooming. Full sun and rich, well drained soil in a warm position with regular summer water. I add a handful of all organic fertilizer around the base just before blooming. This markedly increases vigor and even the size of the flowers. Freezes back almost to the ground below 20ºF. Moderate deer resistance.
LOCO WEED. We discovered this native SW perennial growing very high up east of the cost of the Sierra at above 6500′. Damn it gets chilly up there. Herbaceous perennial that emerges with large, bold, silver-blue leaves. Sprawling to several feet wide in a full, hot position with exceptional drainage. All summer huge white goblet like flowers unfurl from curiously colored gray buds. You can literally watch the flowers open in the evening. They glow in the moon light and emit a soft fragrance. By 2:00 the following day the flower has withered. <sad face> but more are in the wings. Begins blooming in late June and repeats to frost. Completely deciduous (gone) in winter. Good drainage in a hot position- where the soil warms early. Spectacular. Toxic- but what garden plants are not? High deer resistance.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Brilliant orange/red tubular flowers each with two spurs on the rear of the flower. They appear to be swarming around the green wiry stems that support them. To 20″ tall, blooms rising from a basal rosette of leaves. Blooms May-July in Portland. Somewhat tricky southern Oregon native wildflowers that needs a bit of care and correct siting to establish and become perennial. Rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Native to very steep slopes and cliffs with excellent drainage but with groundwater in the form of seeps near by. Wild areas, gravel gardens for the ultimate wildflower effect. Established plants will often re-bloom if spent flower spikes are removed. Hummingbirds. Moderate deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
When you want a wildflower effect why not turn to a true native wildflower- one that improves under cultivation. Blue flax is a native of prairies and hot hillsides on the East side of the Cascades. Thin multiple stems rise to 18″ tall and bear a succession of single sky blue flowers. Light and airy and blue and native. Easily grown perennial for full sun and rich well drained soil. Light summer water. Takes summer drought well but after the first round of flowers are spent give it a healthy haircut and the whole clump will bloom again and with irrigation it stays with us blooming until autumn. Drought adapted. Reseeds in open soil. Tiny rosette of leaves or none in winter. Oregon native plant.
Plume poppy is one of our favorite big bold perennials. A true poppy it rises to 8′ tall and spreads vigorously forming large stands. Give it room to spread in average well drained soil with light summer water. In summer at the top of blue deeply lobed leaves (with a white underside) foam with coral colored plumes of bloom. All around a good looking plant. Doubles as a lush tropical looking presence. Plant with such things as the hardy banana ‘Musa Basjoo’ and large leaf Cannas. Spectacular. Moderate deer resistance. Drought adapted when established. Long lived perennial that is totally herbaceous in winter.
WE LOVE white lace flower with its beautiful pristine white umbels held high above ferny green foliage. A true hardy annual native to the mediterranean. It makes a wonderful swath of lacey white to 18″-20″ tall. Long stems are ideal for cutting and this flowers lasts in vases wonderfully. Blooms repeatedly from late spring to mid summer.. Cut spent flowers and they re-bloom. Open disturbed soil that has been well dug- and a little organic fertilizer to spur vigor. Full sun. Borders, cutting gardens, cottage gardens- virtually anywhere. Re-seeds in open disturbed soils (no competition). Light summer water.
Fan plant is a nice looking spring blooming perennial that gets its common name from the fan shape of the leaves. They emerge light pink and then change to medium green with a sheen. To 20″ high and spreading in moist rich soil with regular irrigation. Part shade to shade. White flowers in March/April. Remarkably unmolested by slugs and snails. In fall the foliage turns bright red before going deciduous.
Something for the kitties! Beautiful form of catmint with rounded, and quilted sage green foliage and clusters of violet blue flowers held in a little deep purple calyx. Massive bloom in May and June, shear off spent flowers and water and wah lab a new batch of sublime blue erupts quickly. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil. In our climate it shuns dry heavy clay so drainage is an issue. Forms a clump that spreads considerably. To 2′ x 2′ in an average season. Light consistent summer moisture. Completely winter deciduous. Loved by cats who consume and then laugh and laugh.
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.
A wonderful, incredibly long blooming perennial with clouds of true blue flowers waving above substantial spreading foliage. Easy to grow, long lived and very hardy plant to just 8″ tall in bloom but spreading to several feet wide. Rich, moisture retentive, well drained soil is where this plant for woodland margins thrives. Regular summer water. Avoid drought and compacted soil but this is a forgiving perennial. Blooms March-June. Plant bulbs among the foliage for a great spring floral display. Winter deciduous.
Easy to grow, long lived spreading perennial that blooms for an incredibly long three months in spring. Fresh white forget-me-not flowers appear in clouds on wiry stems. The solid corrugated green foliage is an ideal foil. Creeping to several feet across in rich to average well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Thrives in part shade and finds a perfect home under large shrubs, at the base of trees. Fresh and white. To 8″ tall.
A chance hybrid announced itself in our nursery with these insanely long hop flowered blooms. A low spreading perennial with distinctively blue foliage. In summer many, many stems emerge bearing clusters of flowers. They are shaped like long skinny hop fruits with tiny violet flowers that protrude through the layers of the hop structure. That structure is remarkable. Taking on purple and blue tints it begins to elongate and doesn’t stop until its fully 4″ long. They come in multitudes- this plant lives to bloom. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with light summer water. To 1′ tall and 2 wide in a season. The floral display goes on well into fall. Place near a wall where it will happily cascade. Excellent in large containers. Hardy and easy to grow. Cut back old material in early spring. A new low batch of foliage will already be present.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Photo credit: Chris Hembree
Our friend Anna Kulgren shared this handy and pretty little perennial ground cover with us. Palmate grass green foliage is lined in fine silver fur- very pretty for this hardy deciduous plant. In spring clusters of chartreuse flowers foam above the plant. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. To just several inches high (if that) it spreads happily to several feet wide. Just aggressive enough to out compete weeds.This would be a great low plant between pavers. Also, at the foot of borders or along paths. Simple, easy to grow plant.
Several things about this sedge set it apart in this genus. Broad, wide leaves are soft green on the interior but lined boldly in cream. And its completely winter deciduous. Forms a spreading clump of great bolder texture that arches all in the same direction. Very nice. To 10″ tall and several feet across eventually. Rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade with consistent summer moisture. Excellent combined with the large leaves of Hosta. Line paths or use as a graceful punctuation in a woodland. Avoid really hot sunny dry locations- it will live but it won’t look so great. Completely deciduous in winter. Turns a tawny yellow in fall before leaves disappear.
Mosquito Grass or Gramma Grass is a widespread native of the interior west. Slowly spreading to form substantial clumps of fine light green/gray leaves. To 18″ tall the funny flowers born at the tips of the fine stems feature a horizontal inflorescence- to me it resembles a little blond mustache. Blooms appear in midsummer and are attractive well into fall. Full, hot sun and rich to average well drained sites. Mass for a fine textured effect of a blowsy low meadow. In autumn as it enters dormancy it retains a dried to cere presence deep through winter. It may be cut back hard in spring. Light summer water though extremely drought tolerant when established. Oregon native plant.
First rate, cold hardy and excellently adapted to permanently wet sites in part shade to shade. This larger form of the Ostrich Fern forms a large crown in time. It supports very vertical soft green fronds to 3′ tall. In time the clumps increase in size. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer irrigation. Creek margins, bogs, the edge of ponds. Completely deciduous in winter. Often turns showy russet orange before dying down. Returns in mid spring. Loathes drought and avoid hot sun. Opulent fern and a great selection. Moderate deer resistance.
Very pretty thin spreading Epimedium with soft amber new growth accompanying spikes of fairly large amber orange flowers with a soft yellow center. To 20″ tall in bloom the new foliage on this mostly deciduous perennial settles in at about 1′ tall. Spreads underground and not compactly. Give it room in a woodland to roam. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer water. Part shade to high overhead shade. Easy woodland perennial for spectacular early spring effects. Moderate deer resistance.
5′ spires of condensed tubular rusty orange/brown densely line the stems of this perennial foxglove in late spring into summer. From a basal rosette of corrugated mid green foliage they rise and delight pollinators and floral arrangers alike. Really cool mixed with wispy ornamental grasses. Full sun and average to rich soil with light, regular summer water. Long lived for a foxglove. I once had one persist in my garden for 15 years! Very dry adapted when established. Basal clumps increase annually and therefore so do the numbers of spikes. Supremely deer resistant as all Digitalis (we’ve expanded our offering of this genus for that very reason). Semi-evergreen. May reseed in open disturbed soils. Seedlings are easy to dispatch, move, or share with friends.
Himalayan Maidenhair fern is one of our favorite groundcovers for shade and rich, moist soil. The divided fronds in the shape of an arrow are always soft and fresh. In spring this deciduous variety emerges with tones of amber and soft pink before taking on a mature soft green hue. These delicate leaflets are held on thin, wiry black stems to 10″ tall and it spreads prodigiously to form vast colonies. It doesn’t smother neighboring plants however, instead it seems to just flow around such woodland neighbors as Epimedium, Hellebores, even woodland bulbs like Erythronium. Regular summer water. Avoid hard, compacted dry soils. High deer resistance.
Diminutive and flowery little Blue Eyed grass that forms dense colonies of grassy green foliage to just 5″ high and is topped with a non-stop display of single purple flowers. Full sun and rich soil with regular summer moisture. Blooms continuously. Forms spreading colonies quickly when happy. Seldom sets seed. Easy to grow long lived plant for a big floral display. Winter deciduous. This cultivar has been grown in England for more than 100 years. Pretty cool.
Remarkable and improved variety of this west coast blue eyed grass. Much larger flowers than the species are deep purple with a distinct yellow eye. Flowers appear continuously from spring into mid-summer. Rich, moist soil with regular irrigation in full sun prolongs the very showy flower display. To just 6″ tall and multiplying quickly to form colonies. This Blue Eyed Grass does NOT set seed and never becomes weedy Full sun. Good butterfly plant. Winter deciduous. The front of borders, rock gardens, hellstrips. Improves with regular irrigation. Oregon native plant.
Big huge perennial Lobelia from Chile that is one of the most exotic perennials that we can grow. Spires of 5′ blood red flowers appear for weeks in the middle of summer. Hummingbirds delight. Large pale green leaves provide added contrast. Spreads to form large colonies (does not run). Full sun and rich, well drained soil. Great on hillsides. Light summer water. Completely deciduous in winter. Returns from the base in mid-spring. Give it room to stretch out- new plants are deceptively small. Water regularly for the first summer to establish. Spectacular perennial.
We think this is the best form of this winter blooming shrub/tree. Large clusters of pink flowers change to white upon opening. Flowers begin in December and continue to open until March. A very long season of bloom at an important time of the year. The tubular flowers are sweetly fragrant. Tall growing vase shaped shrub to 12′ tall and half as wide. Fall color is soft peach and red and showy for quite a while. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich to average well drained soil with regular summer water. Great scaffold for summer blooming Clematis. Make this the star of your winter garden. Cut flowers last for a long time in a vase.
Underused native Spiraea from the western United States and native in Oregon including the immediate Portland area. Low mounding deciduous shrub to 2′ x 3′. This is the locally native form. Often the straight species is for sale- its from Asia and is 4 times the size of ours. Pink buds open to foamy white flat clusters of flowers appear in late spring. In autumn it turns amazingly vivid colors of red/orange/gold and it holds its color for weeks. One of the most drought tolerant of the genus requiring light summer water to very little. Full sun and rich soil. Spreads to form patches. Locally native and plentiful near the Columbia Gorge and throughout the mountains whose diminutive habit means that pruning is seldom necessary. Blooms on wood from the previous season. Long lived and an excellent landscape shrub. Birch Leaf Spiraea or glossy leaved Spiraea. Native in the Portland city limits. Oregon native plant.
Excellent California selection of Chaste tree with thicker, bluer flowers. Large growing shrub with aromatic finely divided leaves in mid-July in PDX spires of blue flowers erupt from each branch tip. It remains in bloom for 3-4 weeks. And if you remove spent flowers more will appear. Full sun and poor to average well drained soil. No summer water when established. Attains tree-like status with great age. May be pruned back hard in spring to contain the ultimate size. Blooms on new wood. Long lived and hardy below 0ºF. Leaves appear late in spring- often not until mid-May. Be patient.
The invaluable red or purple leaved rose. Beautiful foliage has hints of blue and with the single pink flowers in May/June its sublime. These are followed by clusters of showy orange hips. To 7′ x 7′ very quickly in full sun and well drained soil of average to rich fertility. Avoid standing water in winter. Very drought tolerant and easy to grow rose with a minimum of thorns. Large arching habit makes it a natural summer scaffold for smaller Clematis. Long lived, cold hardy. Orange fall color.
Butterfly Rose! One of the most popular roses for its multicolor effect and ease of culture. Single flowers open amber/cream and move to dark pink after several days. Great in combination with the maroon new foliage. Adaptable and will grow just about anywhere there is full sun. Rich soil sends this easy to grow plant soaring to 8′ x 8′ in just a few years. Judicious pruning will keep it in check. Rich, to average well drained soil Blooms continuously from May to frost. Best in warm sunny aspects. Disease resistant.
Adorable congested little shrubby Jasmine that is at home in rock gardens, shrub borders etc. To eventually close to 2′ tall it spreads slowly to 2′ wide in 7 years. In spring and then sporadically all summer a huge display of soft yellow flowers with a sweet fragrance. Full, hot sun and rich to average well drained soil. Little or a lot of summer water. Easy, hardy long lived deciduous shrub. Never needs pruning. Moderate deer resistance.
Good looking upright growing very floriferous Crape Myrtle. The large trusses of flowers born in August – October are a fascinating mix of colors. In cooler weather they are decidedly rose colored, The hotter the weather and the more consistently hot the flower color becomes a rich red. Either way this strong growing disease resistant Crape Myrtle is a winner in our climate. To 18′ tall and 9′ wide in full sun, virtually any soil with REGULAR deep irrigation in summer- without irrigation Crape Myrtles in our climate will stall and not grow or bloom. Fantastic garden tree. Fall color is red/orange and the bark exfoliates to a muscular soft tan/taupe. Grows 2′-3′ a year when well irrigated. Cold hardy. Not the best picture, but the truest flower color I could capture. Great Crape Myrtle.
One of the most popular tree type Crape Myrtles and it is frequently planted as a street tree in the city of Portland. Strongly upright growing tree- almost fastigiate that eventually forms a spreading crown. The silhouette is that of a hot air balloon. Full sun and rich to average soil including clay soils. REGULAR summer water not only ensures a huge flower display in August and September it rapidly speeds the growth rate. Well irrigated trees can put on up to 4′ a year. Otherwise it makes due with little summer water by blooming much later- September. Extremely large hot coral pink trusses are held vertically. They can appear the size of a beehive. Less re-bloom than other trees. Fall color is orange/yellow/soft red and lingers. The exfoliating bark takes on a champagne pink glossy sheen when mature. Good garden tree. Excellent street tree. To 22′ tall and 8′ wide at maturity.
We discovered this seedling Crape Myrtle years ago in North Portland and we were amazed that it burst into bright red bloom beginning in July every year- despite all sorts of weather conditions. Upright growing dense tree to 10′ tall and 5′ wide in 10 years. Large trusses of red flowers begin in July and peak in coverage on the tree in August. This crape myrtle must have regular irrigation to thrive/bloom and it favors richer soils than other cultivars. Water deeply once a week through its bloom period. In time the straight trunks exfoliate to glossy tan. Fall color is red/ orange. Moderately fast growing to 2′-3′ per year when young. Full hot sun and good air circulation. Avoid crowding with other plants. Pretty tree.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Smaller growing crape myrtle that we love for its opulent display of true red flowers in August to October. Slow growing to 8′ tall and 4′ wide in 8 years. Full hot sun and rich to average well drained soil with REGULAR deep summer irrigation to bloom. Loves heavy clay soils as long as they are irrigated. Fall color is red/orange and in time the stems exfoliate to glossy tan. Give this small tree/shrub the hottest site possible. Easy, disease resistant and cold hardy. Great for smaller gardens.
One of the first hybrid named cultivars released by the National Arboretum in 1978 and a fantastic cold hardy large free flowering tree. Fast growing tree to 25′ tall and half as wide in 10 years. Beginning in late June large trusses of lavender pink flowers appear. They increase in abundance and peak in a massive bloom in August. The tall trunks exfoliate to a glossy taupe/patches of tan. Very pretty and exotic looking tree when large. There is a 30′ specimen- one of the first hybrids planted on the west coast in 1974 in SE Portland. Its a spectacular shade tree. Fall color is a brilliant mix of orange and red. Exceptionally hardy to cold. Best with regular irrigation- which speeds growth markedly and improves bloom. Otherwise it takes summer drought in stride. Excellent for use as a street tree. Long, long, bloom season. Fantastic, well behaved large garden tree.
Society garlic. This form of the popular South African perennial has performed fantastically in our garden. Aromatic clump forming foliage that rises to 10″ tall and to 2’wide in time. In June and continuously until frost spikes emerge, to 2′ and hold clumps of luminous, soft lavender flowers. Each spike is in bloom for a week or more. New flowers are continuously produced. Remove spent spikes to tidy. Full sun and WELL DRAINED rich soil with regular summer water. Very drought adapted when established. In cold gardens its best on hot slopes. Freezes to the ground in winter, returns quickly in mid spring. Foliage is intensely aromatic of garlic when disturbed. Useful, pretty, long blooming. Moderate deer resistance.
Excellent ornamental Pomegranate for our climate. This heat loving (and tolerating) deciduous shrub is also incredibly tolerant of summer drought. To 5′ tall by 3′ wide it greets the heat of summer with electric orange small crape petalled flowers. Each is held in a thick calyx that is to become a small blushed ornamental fruit. Full, hot sun in a hot position with summer water to speed growth and establishment. Well drained soils of average fertility. Fall brings brilliant yellow foliage before it drops. Late to break dormancy in spring- waits until the first truly warm days. Be patient Cold hardy to near 0ºF.
Always on the lookout for cold and wet tolerant Salvias, this one has been a winner. Forms a woody structure topped by lush light green foliage. Beginning in July and continuing until frost hot magenta pink flowers appear again and again. Loved by hummingbirds and all sorts of pollinators. Incredibly long blooming plant that gets by on a minimum amount of water each summer. Very well drained rich soil. Regular summer water speeds growth and makes a bigger plant that is ultimately hardier to cold. Laughs at the reflected heat of hellstrips. To 2′ x 2′ in a season. Regenerates from the roots following a hard winter. Cut back in early spring.
Vigorous and floriferous perennial Verbena for tough areas. Spreading by underground stolons in rich to average well drained soil this deep purple flowering perennial covers ground in short order. Full sun and light summer water when established to lengthen bloom time. Even then it begins flowering in June and continue unabated for two months. To 2′ tall and 4′ wide. Give it room to spread and do not pair with delicate neighbors. Hellstrips, Insanely hot and dry south facing hillsides. Freezes to the ground in winter- returns from the ground when truly warm weather arrives. Moderately deer resistant.
Mist Maidens are an integral part of spring in western Oregon. These delicate looking beauties are actually iron tough. Clouds of white flowers sway above rubbery scalloped foliage beginning in early March and continuing to early June. They have the light fragrance of vanilla. Hot weather shuts them down and they quickly retreat to their bulbous roots to wait out summer in dormancy. Once established they require little interevention from humans. Let them romp around in the spring border with such similar perennials as Primula sieboldii and Viola corsica. Just don’t forget that they are there when they magically disappear. To 10″ tall and about as wide. In favored circumstances this Oregon native will happily self sow. Pretty and fresh as spring. Oregon native plant.
Extraordinary tree that displays HUGE trusses of almost double flowered glowing lavender blue flowers. Open spreading habit on a compact tree to 14′ tall and 8′ wide. The branching structure favors the huge opulent flower clusters which always begin in my garden in early August and continues well into September. Fall color is a vivid orange and yellow combination and is reliable. The sinuous trunk displays pink/tan coloration Smooth and very pretty. Its consistently one of the youngest to show bark coloration. Full hot sun and regular summer irrigation to bloom and thrive. Very cold hardy and disease resistant. An easy and spectacular tree that should be planted everywhere. Beautiful.
Striking crape myrtle with jet BLACK foliage that would be cool all by itself. The real kicker is intense true red flowers that smolder with the leaves. A naturally and reliably early blooming almost fastigiate tree. To 9′ tall but just 3′ wide in 7 years. Full hot sun and rich soil with regular summer irrigation for the best results. So far it has been completely mildew free as well. Imagine the late summer combinations? Blooms first appear in early August in urban areas- later in cooler hinterlands. If it never bloomed it would be a cool thing but that red. Wow. Fall color is non-existent.