Tough, durable, and pretty evergold shrub that becomes a fountain of crystal white tubular fragrant flowers from July to November. Fast growing to 4′ x 4′ in just three years. Gold foliage contrasts well with madder red stems and calyxes of the flowers. Adaptable to both full sun and to part shade. Leaves are more vivid in full sun. Regular water to establish then just occasional water. Amenable to all types of pruning. Sheared, chopped, lightly cut doesn’t matter, it regrows fast and blooms on new wood so you aren’t messing anything up. Hedges, specimens. The parking lot at Fred Meyers. Lovely shrub.
Plant Type: Hedge or Screen
Screens and hedges are two different things but many of the same plants are applicable. A screen can be blocking one particular view or angle. At its best it is informal and grows quickly to its intended height. A hedge is inherently more formal. Often clipped or sheared it professes a uniformity that imbues structure and form into gardens. Hedges can delineate space in a natural way and they don’t have to be formal. Shrubs with a similar habit in a row can be just as pleasing. It pays dividends to treat these plants well from the beginning.
Dig a large hole and develop a moat around each plant for irrigation. And absolutely mulch them. Treating a hedge well and uniformly affords you the best form and color and saves you the headache of having to replace a fallen soldier. We list screens and hedge plants varying in size. That gives the gardener as many applications as possible. One tip: When buying a row of hedge plants plant 1 or 2 more than you need in other parts of the garden, that way if one of them dies you’ll have a replacement of just the same size and you’ll save considerably too.
Climate adapted plants for gardeners in the PNW
Abelia (Linnaea) x grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’
Compact and very flowery this form of the dependable Abelia fits into smaller areas and perfumes the late summer to autumn gardens with masses of small white flowers. To just 4′ x 4′ in 7 years for full sun to light shade and most soils. Drought adapted when established, it will also accept regular summer irrigation. Slow growing and cold hardy evergreen. Following the massive bloom, the calyx of each flower remains and turns madder red. A second season of showiness that persists as a red glow through winter. This dense shrub retains its good looks for year without needing much pruning. Pruning should be done in early spring. Blooms on wood from the current season.
This is the standard small tree form of Strawberry Tree that is so important in PNW horticulture. A good looking evergreen tree that eventually forms a rounded dense crown. To 16′ tall and a third as wide in 10 years. Excellent small patio tree- as long as you account for the prodigious autumn fruit drop. Birds and squirrels consume the fruit which is alluded to in the specific name unedo- which means ‘I eat only one.’ I know people who eat them and claim to like them. So to each their own. No denying the electric neon yellow to bright red fruit is striking September to December. White urn shaped flowers appear simultaneously with the fruits in autumn. In time the bark develops to dark brown and shredding. Native to the Mediterranean with a disjunct population in southern Ireland. Drought tolerant when established.
Arctostaphylos columbiana ‘Pacific Coast’
This is a compact, dense growing form of Hairy Manzanita from the city of Manzanita on the coast. These are Greg’s collections. He chose several forms that had nice foliage, foliage color, habit, and resistance to disease. This form is one of the most compact of the three. Slightly smaller leaves are born densely on a more reserved growing plant. In late winter to spring clusters of white flowers followed by drupes that turn distinctly red. Inland forms of this Manzanita have maroon to russet berries so this is a distinct difference. Beautiful dark, glossy maroon bark as for the species. To 6′ x 6′ in 7 years. Adapted to average to poor soils which will allow it to grow at a more reserved rate. Arctostaphylos columbiana reacts to richer soils, even clay soils with exuberant growth. Best in our native soils that are unimproved. Dig a large hole and provide regular water until you see good new growth then taper off. In subsequent years only what falls from the sky. Arctostaphylos columbiana (Hairy Manzanita) is a proto species one of the first and it is the most widespread Manzanita in Oregon and Washington. Genetically it dominates and most of Calfiornia’s northern species are derived from ancient Hairy Manzanita. Provide full sun and good air circulation. Excellent underplanted with native annuals and Sedums. Good looking siver/ gray foliage year round. Extraordinarily drought adapted. Associated plants with the coastal species are Vaccinium ovatum, Pinus contorta ssp. contorta Garrya elliptica, Baccharis pilularis and Salal (Gaultheria shallon). Often found with Festuca rubra on stabilized sand dunes. Oregon native plant
Xera Plants Introduction
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Type Form’
This is the species that is an important parent in some of the most popular hybrid Manzanitas. From a very restricted range in Sonoma County CA this lovely Manzanita sports gray green sharp tipped foliage and wonderful glossy mahogany bark. Moderately fast growing evergreen shrub to 7′ x 7′. In winter white tinted pink urn shaped flowers occur in conspicuous clusters. Very pretty. Orange tinted glossy berries follow but are quickly consumed by wildlife. Easy shrub for full sun to very light shade and everage, un-amended native soil. Avoid anywhere that there is standing water in winter. Excellent on slopes and somewhat formal in appearance as opposed to many species. Very rare in commerce. Excellent shrub that is beautiful year round. No summer water when established. This species is critically endangered in Sonoma County, CA. In fact it is possible due to extensive fires recently that this plant is functionally extinct in the wild. Handsome shrub.
Arctostaphylos pumila ‘Grey Leaf Form’
Surprisingly happy in our climate in its native Monterey Bay area of California its known colloquially as Dune manzanita. Very gray blue leaves are not huge and hug the stems tightly on a compact moderately growing Manzanita. To 5′ tall and wider over time. In mid winter to early spring white flowers tinted pink appear in clusters at the tips of the plant. The trunk becomes deep mahogany brown over time and contrasts greatly with the light colored foliage. All around fantastic shrub for full sun and average, unimproved soils with little irrigation once established. Not as fast growing as other Manzanitas, usually less than 5″ per year.Very pretty plant that mixes wonderfully in droughty shrub borders, and even as a foundation shrub. Makes a nice life in a containers for years. Long lived. Probably harbors some deer resistance. Extraordinarily drought adapted. Native to a restricted range on the central California coast. Great performance on the Oregon coast.
Arctostaphylos pumila ‘Small Leaf Form’
Immensely handsome dense rounded Manzanita that has smaller than average silver foliage and fantastic bark. Moderately fast growing shrub to 4′ tall x 5′ wide in 8 years. In late winter each branch tip is bedecked in clusters of small white flowers- they are born in profusion and expand from pink buds. Russet colored berries often follow and are consumed by wildlife. The black/mahogany glossy bark is beyond striking with the silver foliage. It splits, rolls up into ribbons, and exfoliates in late summer. In time it may be pruned to reveal trunks–for most of its youth they are hidden by dense almost formal looking foliage. Adaptable to many soils including clay soils- especially on slopes. Excellent long term landscape plant that looks great year round. Very good cold hardiness enduring 0ºF with no problem. Dig a hole 3x as big as the rootball in the pot to loosen the soil and allow the new roots to penetrate virgin soil. Water regularly through the first summer- then little to none in subsequent years. Combine with green leaved Arctos for great foliage contrast. Perfect on slopes, areas with intense reflected heat such as parking lot planter islands. Great urban shrub. Appreciates good air circulation.
Arctostaphylos x ‘Pajaro Hybrid’
Amazingly showy Manzanita that is a delight when new growth emerges stained in raspberry red before settling to a soft gray mauve mature tone. A dense and spreading shrub that always seems to be in growth and therefore never without the colorful foliage. From December to March a non-stop copious display of white tinted pink flowers, in concert with the foliage color its a knockout. To 4′ tall and 8′ wide in 7 years. Best in poor soil or native soil that has NOT been amended. Its an adaptable plant. Let it adapt. No summer water once established. Striking colorful shrub year round. Ground cover, hedges, focal points, blasting hot hellstrips. Anna’s hummers are invariably drawn to this showy winter bloomer. Easy.
Arctostaphylos x densiflora ‘Sentinel’
Consistently one of the very best performers in Western Oregon. ‘Sentinel’ accepts many soil types and aspects with superior cold hardiness as well as disease resistance. Fast growing rounded shrub to 7′ x 7′ in 4 years. Attractive sage green leaves are held perpendicular to the red stems to avoid moisture loss. The bark exfoliates to a smooth muscular deep mahogany with time. Excellent specimen or even informal hedge row. In late winter pink urn shaped flowers appear in clusters and turn to russet fruits consumed by birds. Little to no supplemental water ever. Easy to grow. Provide good air circulation. A great Manzanita. ‘Sentinel’ can compete with invasive grasses and still grow and perform. Immensely drought adapted. It may be aggressively tip pruned or sheared carefully to produce a smaller, denser plant. First rate landscape evergreen shrub.
Arctostaphylos x densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’
A FANTASTIC Manzanita ‘Howard’ forms an extremely handsome evergreen shrub to 7’ tall and as wide in as many years. Striking mahogany bark is smooth with dark glossy deep green leaves. Profuse clusters of pink urn-shaped flowers appear in late winter and change to white over a period of six weeks. Maroon berries follow in summer. One of the most adaptable to landscapes, tolerates some summer irrigation but absolutely avoid boggy conditions and heat. A fantastic performer in our climate. Excellent as a specimen, basic landscaping shrub, or even informal hedge. Tip prune in summer to limit size and shape if required. Somewhat formal appearance year round. Very nice as an informal hedge and wonderfully adapted to steep slopes. Very good black spot resistance. Verdant and healthy year round. Adaptable to very HIGH overhead shade in woodlands. Avoid rich soils and do not improve. Best in un-amended native soils. Great formal looking shrub for rough conditions. Cold hardy to 5ºF. Exceptionally long lived in our climate.
Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’
Tough and useful evergreen that is always at its shiny green best. Large growing for an Aucuba exceeding 6′ tall and as wide in 7 years. Moderate growth rate. Long glossy green leaves are slightly serrated and very pretty. Endures the deepest, densest dry shade conditions with no issues. Adaptable to full sun but not reflected heat. Tiny brown flowers are not conspicuous but this is a male and makes a great pollinator for female Aucuba (see A. ‘Rozannie). Established shrubs can get by with little to no summer water and not suffer. Pretty foliage shape is a great medium for contrast. Plant with Japanese Forest Grass or Dicentra formosa ‘Langtrees’. Incredibly cold tolerant- slightly below 0ºF. A good candidate for windy, cold gardens.
Buxus sinica ‘Sunburst’
Useful and pretty and so tough this is a yellow variegated form of Korean Boxwood and its a fantastic dwarf shrub. To just 2′ x 2′ in 7 years this slow growing evergreen shrub is ideal as a hedge or trim it into a crazy shape and make a focal point. Adaptable to full hot sun to part shade. Great in winter containers. Hardy way below 0ºF. A good shrub or hedge in cold gardens or areas blasted by subfreezing east wind. Very good deer resistance. Light summer water in rich, well drained soil. Avoid crowding/shading from other plants in too close of proximity. Easy to grow- good looks year round. For a hedge plant on 2′ centers.
Callistemon ‘Wetland’s Challenged Mutant’
A great introduction from the Sequim, WA nursery Desert Northwest. Incredibly showy in bloom this easy to grow shrub produces 4″ long 1″ thick soft yellow colored sweetly scented brushes in late spring and early summer. Moderately fast growing shrub to 7′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. The pretty, fine foliage is handsome ochre green and contrasts beautifully with the light taupe colored bark.This is an exceptional shrub out of bloom as well and has a very upright, tidy habit for this genus. From a distance a mature shrub appears like a Podocarpus. Full sun and average to rich soil with light but consistent summer water. Drought adapted. Considering the size of the brushes this is an exceptionally hardy Callistemon taking 5ºF when established. If there is any confusion about which species this appears to be- the foliage is unlike C. pityoides but the large brushes are dense and fragrant just like that species. A hybrid is likely. This very upright shrub would make a fantastic informal hedge/screen with minimal pruning. Great shrub. Pollinated at night by moths who will literally glue themselves to the brushes for hours. Fascinating shrub.
Callistemon pityoides ‘Mt. Kosckuisko’
Dwarf alpine Bottlebrush that we like most as a clipped hedge. Dense rounded shrub composed of fine olive green needles. To 3′ x 3′ in time. Full sun and very little water when established. It can also tolerate regular summer irrigation. Sporadically, in late spring starry cream colored bottlebrush flowers appear. Extremely hardy to cold and very deer resistant evergreen. Alpine Australia. This durable shrub with a fine texture makes a fantastic clipped hedge. It can be trained as one solid shrub or separated into spheres. Pruning is done just once a year in early summer. This can sacrifice blooms but the effect is striking for a small cold hardy, drought tolerant, low prune hedge. In time it blooms more heavily. Give it a few years. The starry white stamens are tipped in yellow for a light yellow overall color. Highly deer resistant shrub. Great year round appearance.
Callistemon pityoides ‘Corvallis’
I found this Callistemon in a garden in Corvallis, OR over 20 years ago. For the previous 30 years it had thrived through the coldest (0ºF or -18ºc) winters. Upright growing fine textured evergreen shrub to 6′ tall and 3′ wide in 7 years. 2″ pale yellow fluffy brushes appear in late spring/summer and again in early autumn. Full sun, average soil – especially good in clay soils and regular summer water- though it can live on no supplemental water in summer irrigation improves fall bloom. Completely deer resistant. Perfectly hardy in all of Western Oregon. Long lived shrub that tolerates heavy snow and ice. Easy shrub. Moderately fast growing. Excellent performance on the Oregon coast. Prune if needed after bloom has ended. Excellent companion shrubs are Ceanothus x ‘Topaz’ and Myrtus communis ‘Andy’s Hardy’ which bloom simultaneously,
Xera Plants Introduction.
Mountain bottlebrush or Green bottlebrush is one of our very favorite shrubs that combines unusual foliage, beautiful bark, and a great flower color. Upright growing with small diamond shaped forest green leaves that line the wand-like stems. In cold weather this unusual shrub takes on maroon and purple tones, a great foil to the very light tan stems and trunk. To 8′ x 6′ in 6 years. In May 4” long by 1” wide chartreuse/yellow bottlebrushes protrude from the tips of the branches shoot out at every angle. In Tasmania where it is native it follows cold air drainages, proving that it requires at least some cold for good flower set. This clone is from a specimen that survived 0ºF in 1989. FULL sun and any soil with occasional summer water. My own receives no irrigation and performs beautifully. Hardier to cold in full sun. Unusual shrub that seems to bridge the aesthetic gap between broad-leaved evergreen and conifer. (Syn. Melaleuca virens)
Callistemon viridiflorus ‘Shamrock’
Our selection of a very compact, dense and tidy growing Mountain Bottlebrush. Moderately slow growing shrub to 5′ x 3′ in 7 years. In May-July 3″ acid green bottlebrush flowers decorate all the branch tips. A thrill for hummingbirds. In winter the small pointed deep green leaves take on dramatic maroon tints- great contrast with the white, cork-like bark.New growth is tinted red and is furry and with a silver sheen. Very tidy compared to the species which can be somewhat wild and unkempt. If you don’t want that try ‘Shamrock’. It fits in small sites well and is adaptable to all types of soil, including heavy clay. Great cold hardiness- suffering no injury at 5ºF. Excellent landscape shrub or foundation plant. Tidy and dense. Moderate deer resistance. Light water requirements. Very good as a hedge or screen with a uniform dense habit. Blooms when young.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Camellia japonica ‘Black Magic’
If you’ve never been to the Camellia festival at the Portland Japanese Garden in Feb/March you really wouldn’t know that there are fantastic Camellias out there (not just the raw hamburger colored doubles that you see in front of every house). We got this amazing cultivar there and we are always on the lookout for the very true reddest Camellia. This is one of those. Glossy bright green serrated leaves make a wonderful upright growing shrub to 8′ x 4′ in 7 years. In February-April semi double huge true deep red/black flowers appear- they are profuse over the whole plant. Full sun to shade in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer water to establish then a bona fide low water plant. Woodlands, Ann Amato’s garden. Wonderful color early in the season.
Camellia japonica ‘Yamoto Nishiki’
Extraordinary Higo Camellia that is wildly showy and fun to grow. Higo Camellias are a form where the stamens rather than being clustered together in the center are instead splayed out in the shape of a star against smaller flat petals. They are surprisingly rare in the United States. Its a different look for a japonica and we love it. Moderately fast growing handsome glossy evergreen shrub for full sun to shade. To 8′ x 5′ in 7 years. Regular summer water speeds growth and increases flower bud set. Mid-season bloomer with flowers opening from February on. Rich to average soil, definitely apply ample mulch when planting. Good looking shrub at all times- w/ a somewhat formal appearance until the blooms open. 4″ wide flowers have flat petals that are white striped and stippled in peppermint red. Takes low water conditions when established. Long lived.
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’
Brilliant flower color cast on huge semi-double flowers are but one advantage to this handsome evergreen shrub. An upright pillar shaped habit makes it a great plant for tight spots or as a hedge or screen. To 8′ tall by 3′ wide in 8 years. The enormous 5″ wide opulent flowers are a a clear and ringing coral. Showy from quite a distance and the entire shrub is clad in blooms from late January to March. Glossy pointed foliage is handsome year round. Somewhat formal dense habit lends it to small gardens, structural shrub. Full sun to quite bit of shade in rich to average soil with regular summer water for the first several seasons. Benefits greatly from a layer of mulch after planting. Tosses its spent flowers which do not cling and discolor. Excellent shrub for Japanese themed gardens. Long, period of bloom.
Camellia x cuspidata ‘Magi’s Mystery’
Our friend garden designer plantswoman extraordinaire Magi Treece spotted this Camellia and observed it over time. I too had noticed it around town- always large and VERY old. Its most conspicuous trait is to produce simple single fluted ivory flowers from pink buds. Up close these 3″ wide flowers have a decadent sweet scent. Its appearance is most like the species Camellia cuspidata which is a very cold hardy species known for its fragrant white flowers. Blooms appear from December (Often as early as November) and open until the end of February. The elegant flowers are tough and it takes some serious weather to impede or even damage the flowers. Deep green leaves are long and thin and very glossy/handsome with a sharp tip. The entire plant is good looking at all times. Ancient varieties around town are upwards of 15′ tall and 3/4 as wide. I’d say it would be an 8′ x 8′ shrub in 10 years. Regular water speeds growth and assists in bud set for the following season, this is only important in summer. Excellent specimen or hedge. This is one tough and beautiful Camellia. Dig a large hole to disturb the soil around the planting site and set the plant in the hole even with the soil horizon. Backfill, water and mulch. Magi queried Camellia Forest about this plant with no luck. I queried Nuccio’s and their best guess was that it was a form of C. cuspidata or a hybrid close with it. Either way its one of our most favorite Camellias and we have our sweet friend Magi to thank. This Camellia looks and acts very much like an evergreen Magnolia and it could be used as a smaller substitute. The flower fragrance on warm days is a bit like a Gardenia. Moderately fast growing.
Xera Plants Introduction
Camellia x williamsii ‘Waterlily’
Extraordinary hybrid that combines all the great attributes of a Camellia with larger, more dramatic flowers and more of them. It also possesses excellent cold hardiness as well as garden adaptation. Large growing glossy evergreen shrub with fetching deep green leaves. In late January to early March- and often longer than that depending on the weather 5″ flat fully formal double clear pink flowers are stunning. You really have to see them up close to get a handle on the size and perfection of each flower. Upright growing shrub to 9′ tall by 7′ wide in 10 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in well drained soil that retains moisture. Light consistent summer moisture aids establishment and also increases the amount of flowers the following season. Established plants can endure quite a bit of drought. Exceptional cold hardiness, slightly below 0ºF. . Flowers shed cleanly- they shatter without clinging and discoloring. Excellent candidate for a large espalier. Exquisite large shrub.
This is one of the most popular shrubs in western Oregon of the last two decades. And rightfully so. This wild lilac sports excellent cold hardiness, prolific flowers, and glossy handsome evergreen foliage year round. A strong growing shrub that can literally explode in growth in rich soil but is much more restrained in poorer mediums. Remember this when planting it. It performs the best in average, un-amended soils in full sun with regular summer water for the first season to establish and then none in subsequent years. Sky blue flowers are profuse covering this dense shrub in a haze of color for 3-4 weeks in May to June. Later blooming that most other Ceanothus. This good looking shrub is so durable its made its way as highway verge mass plantings but it is just as stellar of a garden plant as well. Cold hardy to about 5ºF- it survived -5ºF in the southern Willamette Valley in 2013 by freezing to the snow line and then vigorously re-sprouting. Durable, dependable Ceanothus. Avoid the summer heat + water that it abhors- it leaves it open to root water molds that can do it in and fairly quickly. Excellent shrub for the beginning gardener. Loved by pollinators of all kinds and is virtually rolling in bees during its fabulous bloom. NOT DEER RESISTANT. Most likely a hybrid with C. thyrsiflorus which must be responsible for at least half of its make up. Found in Victoria, Canada- hence the name. Likely it is the old cultivar ‘Skylark’ that was re-named upon its survival there of a hideous winter. The old name was forgotten and the glee of survival and discovery led to the renaming. To be clear ‘Victoria’ and ‘Skylark’ are exactly the same thing. Very fast growing to on average 8′ x 8′. Excellent with all west coast natives. Blooms simultaneously with yellow Halimiums. A fantastic floral and cultural combination.
Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’
One of the cold hardiest blue flowered cultivars and one of the earliest to bloom as well. An open spreading shrub with prickily deep green leaves. In March/April the whole shrub is obscured in violet blue clouds of flowers. Upon first viewing in bloom most people are shocked at how showy this evergreen shrub is. To 7′ x 5′ in five years in any well drained soil with little to no summer water. Very adaptable to clay soils, especially on slopes- as with all Ceanothus avoid boggy sites. One of the toughest cultivars that also takes very well to pruning which should be done after blooming to increase density if needed. Blooms on wood from the previous year and the button shaped flower clusters are so profuse that they obscure the foliage. Tolerates blasting reflected heat and is great in hot urban situations. Makes a wonderful informal hedge for wild areas but is just as at home clipped into urban scenes. Full sun. Moderately deer resistant- unusual for a Ceanothus. Cold hardy to 0ºF. The cultivar name might obliquely refer to the flower color but its an apt comparison to this tough , tough, shrub as well. No summer water. See clipped hedge below.
Ceanothus cuneatus ssp. cuneatus ‘Adair Villiage’
This is a Willamette Valley native form of Buckbrush found in the SW part of the Valley. This species is found historically from the Portland/Oregon City area in the Willamette Valley and throughout the southern half of the state well into California.Small isolated populations occur in central Washington- revealing a much larger range at some point. It has lost large areas of its northernmost natural range to development and fire suppression. It is a fire adapted species that requires disturbance to distribute. Thats a pity because this is a fantastic native shrub for hot dry sites. It is now employed by ODOT for freeway plantings and we are happy to see that. A large, angular evergreen shrub with small deep green paddle shaped leaves. In April the whole shrub is swarmed with pure white flowers.This is a beacon to all pollinators and the sweetly fragrant flowers will literally be buzzing in bloom. Fast growing incredibly tough shrub for areas of intense drought and reflected heat. To 8′ x 8′ very quickly in any soil that does not become boggy. Excellent performance in tough urban situations. Irresistible to bees and butterflies. Associated plants in the wild are Rubus ursinus, Dodecatheon hendersonii, Iris tenax and Ranunculus occidentalis. Extremely cold hardy to below 0ºF. No summer water. Moderate deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Oregon Mist’
Greg and I found this distinctive form of Coast Blue Blossom in the wild. This species ranges from Lane County, Oregon to Santa Barbara County, California. A fast growing seral species that follows fire and disturbance. Very near the location where we discovered this handsome small tree was to the largest Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ever discovered in 1925- it was nearly 30′ tall. This is a large and fast growing evergreen tree with copious amounts of scintillating flowers. It has smaller deep green leaves and huge trusses of soft turquoise flowers in late April to early June. A tall growing tree/shrub that attains heights of 15′ very quickly if allowed. This drought tolerant native takes very well to pruning too- which should be done after blooming. Full sun and average well drained soil- including clay soils. Little to no summer water when established. Excellent for use as an instant screen or informal hedgerow. Pretty in the background of dry borders. Loved by bees and butterflies in bloom. Very easy to grow native evergreen shrub that should be used more. Life span 15-20 years. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Rogue Sky’
A selection of Coast Blue Blossom or Ceanothus thyrsiflorus that we made very far inland from its natural range in SW Oregon. Typically relegated to the coastal strip we found this variety more than 35 miles inland. This improves cold hardiness. A rapidly growing shrub/tree to 16′ tall and 8′ wide in 7 years. Robin’s egg blue flowers smother the whole plant in May. Extremely drought tolerant this fast grower may be either used as a cool, evergreen, native, blue flowered tree or it may be pruned aggressively after blooming to limit the size- increase density create a screen or hedge. Loved by honey bees and all pollinators in general. No summer water once established. Excellent background tree that delights in bloom but fades to a green screen the rest of the year. Plant with other drought tolerant plants- Arctostaphylos, Cistus, etc. Grows 3′-4′ per year when established. The flowers are a soothing blue- which is hard to capture in photographs. The effect in bloom is a blue cloud. Takes partial shade and the worst soils. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Umpqua Sky’
A very large growing, vigorous and pretty tree type Ceanothus native to the extreme SW part of the state. This fast growing evergreen tree (3′-4′ per year) puts on a huge display of soft blue flowers in late April to early June. Full sun to light shade (high overhead shade) and average soil that drains. Adaptable to clay soils, especially on slopes and not watered at all in summer. Completely drought adapted, no water necessary once established. To 18′ tall and half as wide in 7 years. Great screen, blue flowered tree that is beautiful in bloom but fades to a background for the rest of the year. Prodigious pruning can keep it much lower and it makes a great large hedge in no time. Good cold hardiness to 5ºF. We chose this variety in the wild because it was found quite a bit away from the coast which increases cold hardiness and it was immensely heavy in bloom. Prune AFTER flowering if needed. As a hedge or smaller plant it only requires pruning once a year- especially if strictly unwatered. Extraordinarily heavy bloomer and the trusses of flowers are often divided into six or more sub-branches for a very full look in bloom. Pairs well with Madrone and Arctostaphylos. Oregon native plant.
Xera Plants Introduction
Ceanothus x ‘Xera Azul’
Very fortuitous, we planted 5 species/cvs of Ceanothus in our stock beds and they of course got a little frisky. We ended up with one stellar seedling that has impressed us so much that we showed it to Ceanothus Guru Dave Fross of Native Sons Nursery and he was impressed. In its 3rd year its produced copious blooms that are about the darkest blue that I’ve seen. Only the cultivar ‘Kurt Zadnick’ has deeper tones but this plant displays them differently. Large fluffily black/blue trusses of flowers on a lower and spreading plant. To 4′ tall by 6′ wide very fast. Glossy undulate leaves look nothing like their prospective parents. It has shown great cold hardiness as well as drought adaptation. Um…..we’ve never done anything to it. It hasn’t ever even had supplemental irrigation. So, extraordinarily climate adapted. Also, most Ceanothus seedlings require 3-4 years to commence bloom. This precocious little seedling bloomed its second year. All of this adds up to a great new cultivar. Full sun to very light shade and average soil. Water for the first season to establish then none in subsequent years. Blooms late March to late April and occasionally on new wood through summer. This would make a great bank cover with Cistus and Helianthemum, Eriogonums. So cool we named it Azul. The beginning of a GREAT Ceanothus.
Xera Plants Introduction
Choisya x ‘Goldfingers’
Excellent hybrid Mexican Orange selected for glowing golden foliage. The finely divided palmate leaves have the fine texture of bamboo. Tolerates full sun and becomes deeper green and less dense in more shade. In March and again in November fragrant clusters of pure white flowers appear. Drought tolerant when established but summer irrigation tolerant as well. Nice clipped hedge (not sheared but thoughtfully clipped) to let the patterns of the leaves layer and reveal themselves. Moderately deer resistant. To 4′ x 5′ in 5 years.
Cistus x dansereau ‘Jenkyn Place’
After growing a whole bunch of Cistus this variety has risen to the top. Upright growing deep green evergreen shrub to 5′ tall and 5′ wide. The thin deep green leaves have the sweet fragrance of balsam. Beginning in May a constant procession of 3″ white flowers with a red basal blotch on each petal. Each flower lasts a day but there is a constant supply waiting in the wings. Full sun and average well drained soil. Tolerates clay soils well. If you give it a touch of supplemental summer water it will often extend the bloom season all the way until September. Exceptionally cold hardy. One of the finest rock roses.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Birodo’
Wonderful easy to grow dwarf form of Japanese Cedar. This form has not scales but more like tiny needles. In summer the foliage is deep green. With cooler weather it takes on amazing russet tints. Very slow growing to 3′ x 2′ in 8 years. Incredibly dense growth habit gives the appearance of diligent pruning- but none is required. Extremely drought tolerant. For full sun and little summer water once established. Rock gardens, containers, gravel gardens. With or without other dwarf conifers. High deer resistance. An excellent truly long term dwarf conifer that retains its good looks. It would make a great no prune hedge that maxes out at 4′ tall but provides density. Very good resistance to subfreezing wind. This performs very well in the Columbia River Gorge and eastern suburbs of Portland. Static form but dynamic seasonal color shifts. Cool.
Elaeagnus pungens ‘Glen St. Mary’
Compact Silverthorn is a pretty, tough and useful evergreen in our climate. This form is compact with dense foliage that begins clad in brown fur and settles to silvery gray. The underside of the leaves are pure metallic gold. In autumn small pendant white flowers emit an intense sweet perfume. Noticeable many feet away. Hedges, specimens, barriers. Full sun to part shade with any soil that is never boggy. To 4′ x 5′ in 7 years. The juvenile stage of Eleagnus pungent is a shrub , with great age they can assume the figure of a vine, climbing by large canes that reach upward. These can easily be pruned off to retain a smaller shrub. This slower growing form takes many, many years to reach this stage. Flowers on old wood, prune AFTER flowering. Very drought tolerant when established. Fast growing and easy. Very cold hardy. Japan.
Escallonia bifida ‘Compact White’
Useful, tough and good looking evergreen shrub that has glossy deep green foliage and masses of small tubular white flowers for months beginning in June. To 5′ x 5′ in 12 years for virtually any well drained soil, including clay. Excellent cold hardiness and totally summer drought tolerant. No water necessary. Hedges, specimens, holding plant for rough areas. Takes any amount of pruning. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast This ever blooming shrub thrives with little care in the roughest situations. Not bad in a woodland and very tolerant of deer. Unmolested from pests or disease in general. Clean looking shrub. May be pruned very hard to resize, rejuvenate, but that is rarely necessary. Pretty clean white flowers. Excellent fast evergreen hedge. Chile.
Escallonia x exoniensis ‘Gold Brian’
Brilliant gold shrub that lights up borders and makes a pretty showy hedge as well. In late summer sporadic hot pink small flower clusters provide added contrast. Tough evergreen for nearly any soil type. Drought adapted. Foliage does not burn in full sun- in fact it takes the hottest aspects. Fast growing to 4′ x 5′ in 4 years. Cold hardy to about 5ºF- but has recovered from the roots from below 0ºF Native to Chile. Takes well to pruning. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.
Frangula (Rhamnus) californica ‘Eve Case’
Excellent evergreen west coast native shrub that is always at its best. Large, glossy deep green foliage clothes the stems densely on a compact but large growing form of California Coffeeberry. Insignficiant tiny green flowers in summer/autumn turn into crops of red then brown berries. Very showy until stripped by wildlife. This species is native from SW Oregon through Calfornia west of the mountains. Completely drought tolerant- in fact it resents summer water. To 8′ x 8′ in 5 years. Wild areas, informal low water hedges, blasting urban heat. We should take advantage of these climate adapted west coast plants for the toughest sites. Great deer resistance. Oregon native plant
Frangula (Rhamnus) californica ‘Leatherleaf’
A really cool version of California Coffeeberry which is also native to SW Oregon. Thick deep green rounded leaves clothe madder red stems densely on this large shrub that can achieve tree like status with time. Insignificant green flowers transform into brown then black berries eaten by wildlife. Incredibly drought adapted never needing ANY supplemental water. Well drained soils in full sun. To 9′ x 9′ in 8 years. Pruning can keep it lower and it would make an admirable hedge. Cold hardy to near 0ºF. Often not bothered by deer and one of the best deer resistant hedges for rural area- put a test plant out first to see if your deer are different It grows quickly with little to no irrigation.
Oregon native plant
Garrya x issaquahensis ‘Glasnevin Wine’
Large exceptional evergreen shrub that is a hybrid selection between two native west coast species. To 12′ tall and nearly as wide the merlot red stems support wavy deep green leaves. From December to April 3″ long wine red tassels are graceful and showy. Fast growing shrub for average to rich well drained sites in full sun to high overhead shade. Little water when established. Slightly hardier to cold than G. elliptical ‘James Roof’. Great low water hardy fast screening shrub. Easy to grow. Give it space to fill out. Prune AFTER flowering has ended in spring if needed. Appreciates good air circulation. An open exposure or this is also is a great plant for the high dry shade of native Oaks.
Oregon native plant
Beaked Hakea. Out of this world wiry shrub from Tasmania that forms nearly a tree with modified stems that serve as leaves. Fast growing see through plant that casts no shade for full sun and average to poor well drained soil. Proteaceous- avoid fertilizers and compost. Completely drought adapted needing no supplemental water once established. Water regularly until new growth commences . Forms a large piece of architecture. In early spring tiny sulphur yellow flowers crowd the leaf axils and emit a sweet clove fragrance. Very easy to grow. Cold hardy to 5ºF but avoid blasting subfreezing winds from the gorge. Completely deer resistant. Very inviting to small birds who will swarm the shrub to find protection in its wiry center- Bush tits adore this shrub To 8′ x 6′ in 5 years. Specimen, unusual hedgerow. Excellent cut material for groovy bouquets. Very fun to grow. Pronounced HAY-kee-uh.
Hebe ‘Western Hills’
Fantastic Hebe that has stood the test of time. Large growing to 3′ x 3′ an upright shrub with fine silver/gray foliage held on black tinted stems. In summer spikes of white flowers appear. Cold hardy, low water, long lived Hebe that is a stunning focal point or even informal hedge. Moderately fast growing- about 6″- 10″ per year. Regular summer water speeds growth- low water when established. Full sun to light shade. A really pretty silver shrub that is elegant and easy to grow. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast- it tolerates strong winds well. Perfectly hardy to cold in Portland not bothered by temperatures near 5ºF- and it survived -2ºF at my parents house in December 2013 near Eugene. It was mangled but made a full recovery by late spring. Great texture that combines symmetry and silver.
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’
Indispensible alpine cold hardy Hebe with an astonishingly uniform dense habit. Rounded to 30″ tall and up to 4′ wide in time. Blue gray foliage is handsome at all times. In summer sporadic white flower spikes dot the plant. Full sun to light shade in average to rich well drained soil Light, but consistent summer irrigation. Especially important for it to be well hydrated before extreme heat (above 100ºF). Excellent hedge, massed as a tall ground cover. Very cold hardy- not bothered by our coldest winters and of alpine derivation in its home in New Zealand. Formerly known as Hebe sutherlandii. Excellent as low informal hedge or even massed as a symmetrical ground cover.This form has been consistently hardy down to 0ºF. Excellent performance in cold rural gardens. Tolerates some subfreezing wind. Xera favorite shrub.
Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Stars’
This form of the aromatic Florida Anise shrub which is native to the SE United states bears showy 2″, spidery star-like flowers of the palest pink. The entire large shrub displays these outward facing flowers in March to April and again in September to October. The flowers have an odd scent up close- mothballs or fish- but in our climate it blooms when it is cool and the odor does not carry. More importantly its a handsome broadleaf evergreen shrub with sharply pointed long leaves that have a sweet delicious anise flavor when bruised or brushed. Upright and then spreading shrub to 8′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best with light shade to shade for the deepest green foliage. Tolerates full sun as long as there is not the reflected heat of a wall. Flowers are showy from quite a distance. Excellent among rhododendrons, as an understory shrub for interest, joy. Very hardy to cold, enduring subzero readings with no damage. Nice hedge. Moderate deer resistance. Rare, cultivar. Light consistent summer moisture. Established plants are summer drought tolerant. Easy.
Illicium floridanum ‘Scarlet Skirts’
Florida Anise shrub is a cold hardy shade tolerant and aromatic broad leaved evergreen with exotic red flowers for long periods in spring and again in autumn. To 8′ x 4′ in 7 years in rich to average well drained soil with regular summer water in full sun, drought tolerant in shade. Moderately fast growing and summer water speeds growth. Very hardy to cold native to SE United States. Highly deer resistant. Spidery black red flowers appear in early to mid spring and again in autumn. They turn into star shaped seed pods that become woody. Flowers have an odd scent which is barely detectable from a distance as it blooms here when the weather is cool. Hedges, specimens. Great companion for Rhododendrons in a woodland. A Xera Plants selection with larger, darker black/red flowers. Long lived.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Jasminum x humile ‘Sunshine’
This form of Himalayan Jasmine we chose from seed after its incredibly fragrant yellow flowers drew our attention. Rather than cloying and sweet its a sophisticated aroma that is never over bearing. I always wish it was a bit stronger. Smaller leaves than the species and many, many more flowers in a huge display in late spring and sporadically until frost. Fast, large growing deciduous shrub that is incredibly tough and drought adapted. Takes any amount of pruning. May be trained as vine if you are diligent. To 9′ tall and 5′ wide quickly. Excellent plant for hedgerows and tough conditions out back. Black berries follow the flowers.Jasminum humile x jasminum wallachianum. Thousands of yellow stars.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine’
You don’t often think of lavender flowers in the color of pink, but this compact heavily flowering selection produces masses of clear pink flower spikes for months in summer. Mixed with purple and white flowered varieties and you get much more depth of contrast. The purple and white both look better. Compact gray foliaged shrub for average, well drained soil and light summer water. Full sun. To 2′ tall in bloom the foliage usually maxes out at a globe 14″ x 14″ . Cut back hard after blooming for a denser more compact plant. Fragrant flowers, foliage. Moderate deer resistance. Very easy to grow. Hedges, specimen. Etc.
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Pastor’s Pride’
When you have a small garden you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Enter this great cultivar of English Lavender that blooms not just once but over and over again until frost. Medium lavender blue flowers cluster at the top of straight wiry stems to 10″ long. A naturally compact plant to about 2′ x 2′ ultimately. Silver evergreen aromatic foliage. Rich, to average well drained soil in full sun with light summer water. Somewhat drought adapted. Looks better , re-blooms better with light water. Saches, Lavender wands, potpourri- everblooming fragrant hedge. Very good Pastor. Very good.
Wooly tea tree is a cold hardy member of the myrtle family from Tasmania/Australia. The pewter gray small evergreen foliage creates a cloud like outline on billowing shrub. In June 1″ pure white single flowers spangle the boughs like snow. Woody seed capsules follow and persist. To 12′ tall and 4′ wide in 7 years. May be limbed into a small tree. Full sun and virtually any soil. Light summer water though very drought adapted. Excellent background shrub or screen or large informal hedge. Takes well to pruning which will not mangle the tiny foliage and becomes very dense as a result. Good bet where deer are a problem. Cold hardy to about 5ºF. Grows very fast with regular irrigation which is recommended for the first summer to establish. Does not tolerate shade of any kind. When using as a hedge plant about 2′ apart for a fast screen. Prune after flowering and again in autumn. Tasmania.
Leptospermum rupestre ‘Squiggly’
One of the naturally cold hardiest species of tea tree. This form of Alpine tea tree from Tasmania has a distinctly upright habit. Cinnamon red squiggly stems support tiny pewter colored evergreen foliage. In early summer pink buds spangle the stems opening to pure white single flowers. So prolific is the bloom that the plant appears covered in snow. Vigorous growth to 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. Full sun and virtually any soil. Summer water is tolerated but far from necessary. Takes pruning incredibly well, including shearing and the leaves are so small that they remain unmangled. It quickly forms a dense hedge that is tough, incredibly dense and drought and cold hardy. Strongly deer resistant. Excellent shrub or hedge for rural areas. It tolerates a wide variety of soils and aspects. Leaves are aromatic when bruised. You achieve a much shapelier plant with even a minimal amount of tip pruning. otherwise it has a very wild habit. It has been undamaged by cold to 0ºF. Drought adapted. Tasmania. Click on the green link below for a video of ‘Squiggly’ in full bloom. Excellent shrub with a number of uses.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Lonicera ‘Lemon Beauty’
Dramatic yellow foliage with an interior of deep green on the small evenly spaced evergreen leaves of this low spreading shrub. To 3′ x 4′ and forming something of a mound. Spreads low at first- gains height with age. Rich soil with light summer water in full sun to part shade. Very drought tolerant when established. Lights up borders, is easily clipped- without mangling the small foliage. Flowers are tiny and cream colored often followed by translucent purple berries. Sometimes reverts to all green – just cut those reversions cleanly out. Very easy to grow plant for foundation plantings, tough sites, hedges. There is some confusion over the exact species…if you look it up half say L. nitida and half say L. pileata. I’m going to have to go with L. ??. Shrubby honeysuckle.
Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesens Gold’
Useful fine textured golden evergreen shrub that brightens the landscape. This form of box leaf honeysuckle is popular as a sheared hedge but we think it makes a better focal point. The leaves can burn in the hottest locations and conversely turn a bit more green in the shade. Takes any amount of pruning. We have yet to notice flowers or berries on this cultivar. To 4′ x 4′ very quickly. Very drought tolerant when established. Cold hardy to 0ºF when established. May be pruned into any conceivable shape. The tiny leaves escape damage by shearing and the whole plant becomes immensely dense. Prune virtually any time of the year. Supposedly tiny yellow flowers are not very conspicuous but can transform into translucent purple berries if pollinated. Rare to see. Grows quickly.
Lonicera nitida ‘Twiggy’
British selection that is a golden dwarf form of L.n. ‘Baggesen’s Gold’. Low compact dense growing ever-gold shrub that is well scaled for small gardens. To 1′ tall and in a long time 1/1/2′ wide. Full sun to part shade in rich to average well drained soil. Leaf color is most vivid in full sun and hardiness to cold improves there too. We have never seen flowers on this cultivar of box leaf honeysuckle. Easy to grow. In very cold winters the foliage takes on maroon tints. Low hedges, massed as a ground cover.
Morella (Myrica) californica
Pacific Wax Myrtle is native along the direct coast from Santa Barbara California to near Tofino, on Vancouver Island, BC. It forms a large evergreen shrub to eventually a small tree in time and has thin, pretty dark green foliage. Aromatic if bruised the leaves are deep green and lustrous year round. Tiny brown flowers change to waxy gray berries that line the stems but are not terribly conspicuous. Fast growing to 12′ tall and 8′ wide in 7 years. Adaptable to a variety of soils, including winter inundation. Soil that is too rich can lead to prodigious growth and an unsteady plant until it bulks up. Judicious pruning can keep it much smaller. Prune at any time of the year. An excellent, drought tolerant, cold tolerant shrub for a hedge, screen or small garden tree. Our material is from locally cold hardy stock. Easy. Tolerates salt spray- including first line strand conditions. Recently changed from Myrica to Morella. In time it can become a handsome rounded evergreen tree with contrasting pretty white bark. Oregon native plant.
Olearia x haastii
Our most favorite New Zealand Daisy Bush this Olearia hybrid forms a large ever-gray rounded shrub. The small waxy thick leaves have a top of olive green and an underside of nearly white. Clusters of white daisy flowers in summer have a distinct vanilla fragrance that carries for some distance. And following those are fluffy tan seed heads. A tough and cold hardy Olearia – we’ve never seen it damaged by cold in PDX. To 6’x 7′ in 5 years for full sun and poor to average well drained soil. Completely summer drought tolerant- once established no water is required. Handsome shrub for wild areas, an informal hedge, coastal spray. In time the trunk becomes shreddy and gnarled. Prune after flowering if needed. Moderate deer resistance. Handsome plant.
Osmanthus armatus ‘Jim Porter’
Fantastic large evergreen shrub that always looks its glossy best. Finely serrated glossy, deep green leaves become less spiny as the shrub matures. In November and December tiny slightly fragrant white flowers crowd along the stems. Moderately fast growing to 12′ tall and 6′ wide in 7 years. Full sun to almost full shade in rich to average well drained soil. Handles clay soils with aplomb. Light summer water to none when established. A first rate large hedge or screen. A nice specimen as well. Very tough, cold hardy and easy. Grows 2′-3′ a year
Regal, tough, evergreen shrub that loves our climate and performs beautifully in a host of situations. Small holly like deep blue green leaves are completely obscured by masses of small, white, sweetly fragrant, tubular flowers that crowd the stems in April. Beautiful. To 4′ x 6′ in 6 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade which doesn’t diminish bloom. Rich, to average soil including dry clay soils but never anywhere there is standing water. Extraordinarily drought tolerant when established and will still thrive and bloom with none. Elegant clipped hedge which will become dense and still bloom heavily. The leaves are small enough that shearing does not mangle them. Long lived and cold hardy to 0ºF. Easy, elegant broad leaved evergreen. AKA Delavay Tea Olive.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Kaori Hime’
What a sweet little version of Holly Tea Olive. Leaves are tiny compared to the species and the whole plant is a diminuitive version of the that plant. To just 4′ x 4′ in 10 years it eventually gets progressively larger. An extremely floriferous form that condenses hundreds of small white fragrant flowers along the stems in October to December. Slow to finish in a container because of its size- be patient. Grows about 4″ per year. Foundations, rock gardens, hedges, specimen. Great cold hardiness for a broad leaved evergreen. Drought adapted when established otherwise it tolerates regular irrigation which will eventually speed growth. Cute. Really, freaking cute ancient cultivar from Japan. Rare plant that is slow to increase. Limited quantities.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Akebono’
An exceptional Tea Olive that we love. New growth emerges pink before changing to lacquer white and finally deep green. This period of transition lasts for months and is far showier than the small white flowers that cluster at the leaf axils in autumn. They do, however, emit a sweet perfume that is detectable for many yards. Great cold hardiness for a broad leaved evergreen enduring temps below 0ºF with no harm. Tolerates subfreezing wind and would be a fantastic and showy hedge to block the east wind. To 7′ tall in 7′ years eventually reaching small tree size. Full sun to part shade in average to enriched soil where there is never standing water in summer. Tolerates clay soils on slopes and it is best with about 3 deep soaks per summer once well established. Mulch when planting. Avoid reflected heat. Moderately deer resistant. Blooms on old wood. Prune if needed AFTER blooming has ended. Naturally dense habit. As the shrub matures the leaves which are mildly prickly in youth change to smooth edged entire leaves. Pretty, tough, dynamic shrub. Japan.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Fastigiata’
Fastigiata is very much a misnomer in the case of this excellent hardy Tea Olive. After growing it for 15 years we can tell you that it in fact forms a perfectly round dense ball. After all that time it is just 4′ x 4′ and perfectly round. In October-November tiny fragrant white flowers crowd the stems. Full sun to part shade in any well drained soil that does not harbor standing water in winter. Very drought tolerant when established. So useful as a NO PRUNE hedge. Perfect size for small gardens. Hardy below 0ºF. The leaves change from prickly to smooth and entire with age. Excellent hedge and very tolerant of subfreezing wind.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Purpureus’
Remarkable form of the holly leaf tea olive with new growth that emerges a deep purple black. It settles to dark green in summer on a large growing shrub to 8′ x 8′ in 7 years. Full sun to very light shade in all soils that drain well. Very drought adapted when established. Mature shrubs bear masses of tiny white flowers in the leaf axils in October-November that cast a sweet perfume. Excellent cold hardiness. This is one of the few broad leaf evergreens that is perfectly hardy to the subfreezing wind of the gorge. Troutdale, this shrubs for you. Great hedge as well as specimen. Flowers occur on wood from the previous year- prune in winter after flowering.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Rotundifolius’
A really cool looking broadleaved evergreen shrub with thick glossy leaves that are essentially square with undulate (wavy) margins. Dense growing shrub that can get quite large without pruning intervention. In October to November masses of tiny white flowers cast a hyacinth fragrance in the autumn air. Full sun to part shade in well drained soil of average fertility. No summer water necessary when established. Excellently adapted to our climate. Makes a novel hedge or a pretty specimen. Extraordinarily cold hardy – below 0ºF. 8′ x 8′ in 10 years. Grows 1′-2′ per year when well cultivated.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’
We adore this wickedly armed evergreen shrub. Its a piece of pure architecture. The sharply pointed leaves jut out like blades and are deep glossy green year round. Excellent, interesting evergreen for screen or specimen. Totally cold hardy- excellent performance in blasting subfreezing winds from the Gorge. Rounded, upright shrub to 9′ tall and 6′ wide in 8 years. In autumn the stems of older wood are crowded with tiny white flowers that emit a sweet perfume. Bloom Sept.-Nov. and sometimes later. The fragrance carries quite a distance on mild days. Light water to establish then completely drought tolerant in average, well drained soil. Also accepts the regular irrigation of borders. Good bet where deer are a menace. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Great barrier hedge.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’
Excellent cold hardy, drought tolerant shrub that reaches tree like proportions with great age. The pretty variegation presents as prickly leaves outlined in white. With age/maturity the leaves lose their prickles and become smooth and entire. The variegation on this plant is incredibly stable. I have yet to see a reversion of any consequence. Ancient specimens that are now 20′ trees can be found in old, old gardens. Its obviously been grown in this climate for eons. Very, very cold hardy evergreen that is not only hardy below 0ºF it makes a great hedge even near the Gorge where it endures subfreezing wind with no ill effects. Tolerates regular irrigation which increases the rate of growth- on average about 2′-3′ per year can be expected. 8′ x 6′ in 7 years is typical. Full sun to shade. Avoid permanently boggy soils- otherwise very adaptable- including heavy dry summertime clay. In October-December tiny fragrant white flowers crowd the stems. Moderate deer resistance. Long lived.
Osmanthus x burkwoodii
An iron clad shrub for western Oregon. It endures heavy clay soils, summer drought and the coldest temperatures we can expect with no harm. Dapper evergreen shrub with handsome matte green leaves. In February and March masses of small tubular white fragrant flowers crowd the stems and emit the perfume of vanilla. Very drought tolerant but adaptable to regular irrigation as well. Avoid permanently wet sites. To 7′ x 7′ in 7 years. Tolerates subfreezing wind and is useful as a hedge/windbreak in areas exposed to gorge outflow. Blooms on wood from the previous season prune- if needed after flowering. Tolerates quite a bit of shade. Very old specimens turn into exotic looking evergreen trees with umbrella shaped clouds of foliage.AKA Burkwood Tea Olive or Burkwood Osmanthus.
Osmanthus x fortunei ‘San Jose’
Amazing hybrid Tea olive that inherits the insane perfume of O. fragrans and cold hardiness from O. heterophyllus. Fast growing columnar broad leaved evergreen shrub to 16′ tall x 5′ wide in 7 years. In time it can make tree like status to 20’+ tall. Otherwise pruning easily keeps it much smaller. In Oct-Dec. tiny parchment colored flowers crowd the stems and emit the sweet penetrating perfume of Freesia and apricots. On mild days its detectable up to 20′ away. Juvenile foliage is prickly but as the shrub matures it develops entire leaves with a smooth margin. Young plants grow about 2′-5′ per year depending upon summer irrigation and soil fertility. This shrub is always at its most lustrous and healthy appearance. Average well drained soil with light but consistent summer irrigation. Totally summer drought tolerant when established. Excellent screen, hedge, or just as a large specimen if you love perfume. Bark/stems are a handsome pale tan- good contrast with the deep green leaves. Avoid direct exposure to subfreezing east wind. Long lived.
Large growing evergreen shrub that we love because in spring each branch tip is home to masses of tiny off white flowers that pump out a sweet and pervasive citrus blossom perfume. Bloom lasts for a month and in that time perfume will waft throughout your whole garden. Fast growing to 8′ x 8′ in 6 years. Full sun and well drained soil. Incredibly drought tolerant when established. Cold hardy to 5ºF or lower and an excellent hedge. Fantastic performance in tough urban environments. Foliage is thin and glossy and good looking year round. Easy, fragrant shrub. Water to establish then little summer water when firmly happy. Prune AFTER blooming has ended in late spring. Plant on 3′ centers for a fast dense hedge. Sometimes listed with the common name of Fragrant Pittosporum…which seems vague to me but there you go. Wonderful shrub. Avoid subfreezing wind.. Native to SW China.
Pittosporum tobira ‘Green Compact’
We found this very handsome form of Pittosporum tobira in the south where it is regarded as one of the cold hardiest forms. Upright and then spreading to 6′ tall and 6′ wide in 7 years. Much larger glossier deeper green leaves than the species. Reputedly hardy into central Tennessee. Pretty good. We’ve never had it damaged by cold. Extremely fragrant small off white flower clusters at the branch tips in May. A great hedge or specimen. Very, very drought and heat tolerant. Formal appearance year round. Prune after flowering if needed. Avoid standing water at any point. In very cold winters (below 15ºF) it may lose some of its interior leaves. They are replaced in spring. Protect from subfreezing wind. Very fragrant flowers. Authentic in Japanese themed gardens.
Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’
Shrubby Japanese Yew Pine is a dwarf form of what can become a large tree. The deep green needles are much shorter in length and held more densely along the stem. In our climate it is a slow growing conifer of wonderful texture rarely exceeding 7′ and usually just 3′ wide or less. In summer little pointed green flowers protrude from between the needles and turn into round blue fruits by autumn. Extremely drought tolerant shrub for tight spots. Takes very well to pruning. Excellent in containers for year round good looks. Tolerates regular irrigation as well and is not fussy about soil. It thrives in high heat and summer is when most of the growth takes place. An old fashioned plant that we’d like to give a new lease on life. Very pretty focal point in authentic Japanese gardens. This true dwarf form can be difficult to obtain in the trade. This is the true form. Adapted to the hottest reflected heat of walls- parking lot islands. Average water to none, when established. Prune in early spring if required.
Rosa ‘Betty Prior’
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 8′ x 4′ forming a tall bloomy shrub. left unpruned it makes a great climbing rose and will unobtrusively scale small trees, deck railings. 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.
Rubus nutkanus (parviflorus)
Western Thimble berry is a widespread relative of raspberries that grows in many biomes and is especially abundant west of the Cascades. The 5 petal pure white flowers that arrive in spring are among the largest of any Rubus. Thimble berry also does not have thorns. YAY. It forms imposing patches spreading by a creeping rhizome. The large maple shaped leaves can be up to 10 cm wide To 4′ tall and spreading – give it room and plan ahead. The sweet edible red berries appear in mid-late summer. They may be detached from a core on the end of the stem. It leaves a concave hollow berry- shaped like a thimble. Its fairly high in water content which means it does not ship well and its not big as a commercial crop. Nice looking large, opulent shrub for wild areas. Water to establish then none necessary in subsequent years. Thimble berry has a very long lifespan but it is also a seral species populating disturbed sites from fire, logging, roadsides. Full sun to quite a bit of shade with good air circulation- prone to powdery mildew in wet springs. It seldom causes permanent damage to the plant. Fall color is yellow to russet and lingers. Not bothered by deer but birds will predate the fruit and then poop out a whole new colony. Wild areas, margins of forests.
Oregon native plant
Sarcococca ruscifolia var. chinensis ‘Dragon’s Gate’
Graceful and formal at the same time. This low arching form of winter box is wonderful with uniform thin, deep green pointed foliage on arching stems. In mid-winter to early spring the undersides of the stems are clad in fine powerfully FRAGRANT white flowers at every leaf axil. The fragrance spreads for quite a distance on mild winter days. Following the flowers are berries that turn black and arrive at red. Handsome low shrub to 2′ tall and 3′ wide suckering to form patches with time. Moderately fast growing and easy to establish shrub in the BUXACEAE which means that this boxwood relative is also deer resistant. Excellent performance in part shade to shade but not low dense shade. Massed it performs as a large scale ground cover. Light consistent summer H20 for the best looks. Takes dry conditions in shade once established- especially if you apply mulch liberally. Unlike the species it does not lose leaves in bloom which is an important difference. Finds a home under dark stairwells and foundation plantings. Impressive relatively new selection. China.
Obscure but exceedingly handsome and reliable shrub for hedges, specimens, eventually a small tree. Rounded leaves are good looking year round and especially when they first emerge brilliant salmon red before settling to dark green. This is the most showy display on this plant and it lasts for weeks. In mid-late summer small pendant white/cream flowers are nestled among the leaves, you really have to look to see them. Clean evergreen whose foliage is never marred by fungus or cold. Full sun to high overhead shade. To 8′-10′ tall and about half as wide. With great age and no pruning it can achieve small tree status and it forms attractive cloud like crowns of foliage. As a hedge it excels. Plant 2 gallon plants on 3′ centers and mulch. Irrigate about once a week until you see good new growth. Established plants are very tolerant of dry conditions. Theaceae- Camellia family. Excellent cold hardiness to 0ºF, tolerates some subfreezing wind. Excellent companion plant for Rhododendrons, Pieris, Illicium. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Native to Japan. Good looking tough plant. Light deer resistance.
Silver Germander is a wiry shrub with gray foliage and even lighter gray/white stems. All summer it bears pale blue small flowers with a prominent central lip. Traditionally used in topiary or as a trimmed hedge, it takes amazingly well to heavy shearing. It responds by becoming incredibly dense. Its malleability leads people to also trim it into any whimsical shape they can dream of. Full sun, average, well drained soil. Little to light summer water when established. Requires full sun and a hot position with protection from subfreezing wind. Classic mediterranean shrub. Grows as well at the cool coast as it does in the hot inland areas. To 4′ x 4′ if left unpruned.
Evergreen huckleberry is a fantastic native broadleaf shrub. It is well adapted to shady sites and will accept full sun with regular irrigation. Well established shrubs require less water. Rich, humusy woodland soil is its favorite haunt and it will grow moderately fast to a rounded outline of 8′ tall and 6′ wide. The new growth is a beautiful salmon pink before changing to deep green. In spring and early summer small white urn shaped flowers are pretty and transform into tasty black fruits in autumn. Amazing in muffins, pies.It has an interesting natural distribution along the immediate coast in most of Oregon but veering inland at Douglas County to almost the Cascade foothills. In Puget Sound it seems to be most prominent within sight of salt water. Easy to grow good garden plant. Increase your chance of pollination by planting more than two shrubs. The theory is that berries like to party- and I’ve observed it to be true. Oregon native plant.
Spring bouquet viburnum or Laurusitinus is a common shrub in our climate. This form lightens up what can be a very pedestrian plant. The edges of the evergreen leaves are margined in cream with an interior of soft green. This makes a shrub that glows year round and can be used to lighten up dark corners. In autumn clusters of pink buds form and hold until mid winter. Then as the days begin to lengthen it opens these clusters which are lightly fragrant and white. Strong growing shrub that requires very little water once established. To 8′ tall and 5′ wide in 6 years. Full sun to part shade to high overhead shade. Nice looking, tough shrub native to the Mediterranean very easy to grow and long lived. If a green sport appears simply prune it off to the base to retain the variegated form. Water to establish. Not deer resistant. Excellent backdrop to a mixed border or trimmed into a contained hedge. Nice fast growing screen. Blue berries sometimes follow the flowers. Buds and flowers put on a show for months. Blooms on wood from the previous season prune after flowering if needed. Naturally dense and rounded.