Abutilon (Callianthe) ‘Nectarine’

One of our very finest Flowering Maple selections. Relatively large pendulous flowers are soft citrus yellow/orange with darker red veining. As this variety blooms out the flowers expand and the petals reflex upward, a very charming look. Vigorous and surprisingly cold hardy Abutilon. To 4′ x 4′ in a season. Rich soil that drains with REGULAR H20. During the growing season Flowering maples very much appreciate at least one application of all purpose organic fertilizer to enhance vigor and blooming. Easy to grow in containers where it will likely perform as a tender annual. In the ground it is different. By the end of winter the plant will look absolutely horrible sticks and maybe a few pieces of tattered dead leaves. The secret to the spring resurrection  is to water heavily and consistently until you see new growth. Then you can let the soil dry between irrigation. Loved by Hummingbirds and birds in general.  Grows very fast in the correct conditions. Blooms June to October.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: ,


Abutilon x 'Searchlight'

Abutilon (Callianthe) x ‘Searchlight’

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.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Abutilon (Callianthe) x ‘Jackie O’s Lipstick’

Our selection of a really good pink flowering maple. Tubular flowers are the most ethereal soft pink, with almost sparkly silver highlights. Long-blooming open lax shrub to 4′ tall and as wide in a season. Full sun to part shade. Rich, well drained soil, regular water. Relatively hardy selection. Hummingbirds and JackieOphiles. It’s Camelot in a pot. Heh. Best in a protected site. Often Abutilons look pretty beat up by the end of winter. To revive them you must immediately start watering when truly warm weather arrives. The plant which initially looks like shit goes through a metamorphosis. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer to assist as well.

 

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Abutilon x 'Tangerine Scream'

Abutilon (Callianthe) x ‘Tangerine Scream’

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.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Acacia spectabilis

Mudgee Wattle or simply showy wattle this is an extremely pretty small tree that requires a very protected location to thrive. Blue/green bipinnate leaves are intricate and pretty. In very late winter to early spring a stunning show of electric yellow puff ball flowers. It covers the whole tree weighing down the limbs in full bloom. To 12′-15′ tall in rich to average soil and it absolutely requires full sun. Excellent against a south facing wall. The flowers truly are showy and glow from quite a distance. Native to New South Wales and southern Queensland on table lands. Cold hardy to at least 18ºF- it should take colder temperatures if sited correctly. As with all Acacias it is extremely fast growing when young. Consistent summer water. Loved by hummingbirds and insects in general. This special small tree can begin its life in a spindly way. Full sun and regular water strengthens this growth. Excellent, and best adapted for the Oregon coast. It adapts to life on sand (with supplemental water) as well as well developed soils. Not bothered by deer. The large delicate leaves are blue/gray and are pretty year round. This Acacia is not as cold hardy as Acacia covenyi and is hardier than Acacia pravissima. Following bloom long dusty purple seed pods contrast against the blue/gray foliate. Bark is black to dark brown. Inland it is considered experimental.  Eastern Australia.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Agave americana 'Medio Picta Alba'

Agave americana ‘Medio Picta Alba’

Tender <sigh> but perhaps the most spectacular variegated Agave. It makes a great container plant for LARGE containers. To 5′ x 5′, it grows a little slower in containers. Make sure it’s sturdy and well built too because this puppy has been known to grow so vigorously as to shatter its own home. Use well drained cactus mix and add a handful of all organic fertilizer. Move to a freeze free environment such as an unheated garage if temperatures threaten to drop below 20ºF. Otherwise move it to a dry place for winter- under a south facing eave is ideal. Move it back out in the open when rain dwindles.  Light summer water will speed growth. Leaves on this form are blue on the edges with a dramatic pure white stripe down the center. Wow.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Asarina scandens 'Sky Blue'

Asarina scandens ‘Sky Blue’

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Astelia chathamica

Astelia chathamica

Silver Spear. Dramatic silver green monocot spikey plant that we adore for container culture. To 3′ tall and dense the rosettes produce long silvery spiky leaves at a moderate pace. Full sun to light shade in rich, well drained soil. Not completely hardy in Portland, it freezes out at about 18ºF- and containers should be protected over the winter- move into an unheated place. Rich, soil, regular irrigation which speeds growth. In the ground you must choose the most protected urban site possible. Then mulch and cover with an opaque sheeting when temperatures threaten to dip below 20ºF. In town that is about once every four years. It can freeze back quite a way but recovery is dubious and slow at best. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast where it is a permanent landscape plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Begonia sutherlandii

Begonia sutherlandii

One of our all time favorite Begonias that is surprsingly hardy when established. Soft green angel wing shaped leaves fan out and are the great backdrop to masses of small, single soft orange flowers. Blooms continuously from late June to frost. Rich soil that drains in part shade to high overhead shade is ideal. Protect from blasting sun. Exquisite container subject that mixes well with other plants and adds a saucy orange to shade plantings. In the ground this plant requires a little more care. Rich soil in  protected location – under shrubs or near the house and a little patience. Returns slowly in the ground- not usually showing its face until Mothers Day or later. Once growth proceeds it goes quickly. Nice self cleaning  blooming plant. Spent flowers simple tumble off the plant and are replaced by a massive continual display. To 8″ x 8″ and wider with time. Winter deciduous. For plants growing in containers you’ll need to protect the container from excess wet and freezing. The best way to overwinter it is to put it under an eave or an unheated garage or greenhouse. Add organic fertilizer with the onset of growth. Lovely perennial that we adore at Xera.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Cosmos atrosanguineus

Cosmos atrosanguineus

Chocolate Cosmos – one of our favorite seasonal plants. It blooms non-stop from June to frost with copious single deep red/black/mahogany flowers that have the special fragrance of dark chocolate. Forms colonies in well drained, rich soil with regular summer water. Cold hardy to the upper teens it will overwinter most years in very well drained soil- try a hot south facing slope. Otherwise, it forms a tuberous root and may be lifted and stored like a Dahlia in autumn. A great tender perennial for containers, borders. Fantastic cut flower. To 20″ tall in bloom forming a clump to 2′ wide. Mulch in autumn with dry leaves. Best in the hottest possible aspect but with regular water in rich soil.  Easy to grow.  Mexico.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Echium wildprettii

Echium wildprettii

Huge, stately, bold biennial that we kind of consider the king of all biennials. The first season it forms a huge rosette of thin silver foliage. Showy in its own right. If we have a mild winter (above 15ºF) the whole plant soars to 6′ tall the second year and is a tower of red/purple borage flowers. Pollinators lose their little collecting minds and even hummers show up. Not entirely hardy but we think its such an incredible foliage plant in its first year that is is definitely worth the risk.  Following bloom it sets seed- man does it set seed and seedling will appear all over the garden. They are easy to identify- rosettes of thin leaves with a sandpapery texture. You can move them or mass them for a cool effect. Rich to average, well drained soil with light summer water. Full sun and position out of high winds which can topple the plant in its blooming stage. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Native to the Canary Islands.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Fuchsia 'Insulinde'

Fuchsia ‘Insulinde’

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Gilia tricolor

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.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Indigofera pendula

A very beautiful and obscure shrub that I obtained from Heronswood in the 90’s. Difficult to photograph this is one of the most spectacular False Indigos. Not entirely cold hardy it requires a warm location but is worth it. Soaring to 12′ tall in a single season in rich soil with regular water the tall wand-like stems support pendulous strings of rose pink flowers that extends to 2′ long or longer. Blooming all the way to the tips. As this shrub grows it continually produces these amazing flowers which are both graceful and somewhat modern. Loved by butterflies and bees. Seldom sets seed in our climate. Full all day sun. Excellent in large summer containers. Locate in a warm, protected location- against a south facing wall for instance. Prune back hard in spring after new growth commences. Often loses about 1/2 its wood during a normal winter. Cutting it back also results in more stems to display the fascinating and groovy flowers. Native to SW China. We grew this great plant years ago and have decided to bring it back into production. Cold hardy to 15ºF.  Very difficult to photograph as the pendulous flowers are so long. VERY FUN to grow.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Melaleuca squamea

Honey swamp myrtle hails from wet locations in Tasmania.  Its a tender shrub inland but it thrives in zone 9 on the Oregon coast. A fur clad fine leaved shrub that is a true myrtle. In April-May the whole plant is home to stamen dominated purple bottlebrush flowers.  Exquisite. Very easy container subject that can be moved to a protected place if severe cold (below 20ºF) threatens. Excellent shrub for sandy substrates though it takes well to heavy clay too. Light consistent summer water. To 5′ tall by 2′ wide in 7 years. Great plant for hummingbirds and butterflies. Inland we have yet to test the cold hardiness in the ground. It should easily take 15ºF but probably not lower. Evergreen foliage is fragrant when disturbed. Good deer and rabbit resistance. Absolutely titillating in bloom. Native to mid and high elevations of Tasmania. Seed grown.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Pink’

This is a relatively hardy selection of Oleander with profuse pale pink flowers at the end of summer. Not quite as cold hardy as ‘Hardy Red’- ‘Hardy Pink’ will show foliage damage at about 16ºF. Therefore, it should be placed in the most protected sites as possible. A south or west facing wall is ideal. Not recommended for gardens outside of the urban heat island – the city of Portland. To 5′ x 5′ and recovering quickly in spring if frozen over winter. Blooms from deep pink buds open to paler pink in August to September. High deer resistance. Thrives in the hottest sites possible. The more established the shrub the cold hardier it will be

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’

A hardy annual with exciting lime green flowers that are fragrant at night. Full sun to part shade in rich soil with regular water. Blooms May until frost.
Remove spent flower heads to encourage more. To 30″ tall. EXCELLENT container plant. Combines very nicely with light blue flowers such as Salvia patens ‘Cambridge Blue’. Reseeds somewhat in disturbed soil. Great en masse. May behave as a perennial in mild winters- above 20°F. Moderately deer resistant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Pachystegia insignis

Marlborough Rock Daisy is a shrub that is a wonderful piece of architecture. This compact slow growing plant has large round leaves that are concave and steel gray on the upper surface and pure white underneath. In spring 6″ pure white stems elongate to pure white buds that open the most crisp white daisies you’ve ever seen. Each flower has a double set of white petals around a yellow center. Clean and wonderful plant that we find to be tender below 15ºF so it requires a very protected spot or makes a great, easy, long lived container subject. A  beach plant in its native New Zealand it is excellently adapted to life on the milder coast. It is even somewhat tolerant of salt spray and will seldom be bothered by cold. Slow growing and dense to 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Protect containerized plants form temperatures in the teens. Drought tolerant, low water requirements.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phacelia campanularia

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.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phacelia viscida

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.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Restios are ancient plants native to South Africa their closest relative is conifers but they look like grass/reeds. None is perfectly hardy in our climate and you should only plant this spectacular evergreen perennial in a protected location. The 9′ stems are clad in curtains of soft fine leaves that hang down. The affect is brilliant. Green/ochre foliage looks good year round or until we drop to 16ºF which is fatal. That being said this spectacular plant can live in gardens for 10 years or more. Its fantastic at the milder Oregon coast. This clumping perennial gains width and height with every year. It prefers average to slightly enriched soil and mulch is beneficial- especially in autumn. Let the plant dry between watering. This bold plant also makes an exemplary container plant.  Definitely plan for it to double in size in a year. Not bothered by deer. Wonderful with other perennials or shrubs that are drought adapted. Inland locate this plant in the most protected spot in your garden preferably against a south or west facing wall. Not permanent but worth it as a risk. Able to freeze to the ground and return.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sedum rubrotinctum

One of our favorite trailing succulents for containers. This is a half hardy Sedum (Zn8b) that will persist in most gardens most winters. Rolly poly emerald green foliage takes on dramatic red tints- especially on the older leaves. To 6″ tall and 20″ wide in a season. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light summer water. Full sun to part shade. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it bloom and I don’t really care. Trails 1′ over the edge of containers. Mix with other succulents or low water perennials such as Erodium or Scutellaria. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Solanum (laxum) jasminoides

White Potato Vine is an incredibly floriferous plant. Large and profuse clusters of stunning star shaped flowers are clear white and appear continuously from May to frost and if winter fails to materialize even longer. Semi-tender in our climate it requires protection for the base and rich, well drained soil. Vigorous climber to 12′ in single season. If it freezes the ground- this happens below about 20ºF it can break from the base and regrow quickly. In Portland this happens about every 3-4 years. Climbs by modified leaf petiole and requires substantial support. Personally, I think the best way to grow this everblooming vine is in containers, even window boxes where the plant will become a trailing cloud of white stars for months. Blooms on new wood, it may be pruned at anytime. Mulch the base in fall with compost or leaves and place against a warm wall or in-between close shrubs that will bolster further protection. Loved by bees and bumbles. Regular deep summer water produces the best results. Full sun to very light shade.  Spectacular performance on the Oregon Coast. Native to Chile/Argentina.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: