Solanum pyracanthum

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.

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Cuphea micropetala

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.

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Helianthus bolanderi

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 east of the Cascades in 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. Widespread especially 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. And a pollinator madhouse. Blooms June- October- one of our longest blooming native annuals. Forms a mutibranched plant with shining flowers sticking out in all directions.  Light consistent irrigation in summer. Makes a fantastic hedge of flowers in summer. Re-seeds in open disturbed sites. Moderate deer resistance. Easy to grow. Oregon native plant.

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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.

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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. 

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Farewell to Spring is so called because it is one of the last conspicuous native wildflowers to bloom before the onset of summer drought. Often seen in mass populations waving above the already cere grass. Blooms May-July normally, but a little supplemental water and removing spent flowers will continue the show. Otherwise it will die upon setting seed. The 2′ tall stems support multiple pink cup shaped flowers. Most often with a darker pink/red blotch in the center of each petal. 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 sources species of all the fancy cultivars that are raised in the cut flower trade. Reseeds happily in open disturbed sites. Locally native in the city of Portland. Excellent plant for wild areas and is often employed on road cuts and freeway embankments in deliberately sown wild flower mixtures. Oregon native plant.

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Clarkia amoena ssp. lindleyi

Farewell to spring is so called as it is one of the last flowers to bloom before the onset of summer drought. 2′ tall strong stems support cupped pink flowers often with a darker pink to red blotch in the center of each petal- which is extra showy with a back drop of straw colored grass as it is going summer dormant. Found in open, sunny, somewhat dry meadows and fields throughout the Willamette Valley. Blooms appear in late May to July but a light application of water will keep the display going. Otherwise you can let it go to seed. A prolific reseeder in the right conditions. Often planted in wildflower mixes along streets/freeways. Excellent, excellent cut flower. A very important pollinator plant for native bees as well as most pollinators. This is the straight species (subspecies) that is found locally. The seed is from a Willamette Valley source. Very easy to grow. Locally native in the city of Portland. Oregon native plant.

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Madia elegans

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 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. 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.

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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.

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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 

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