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

My Favorites

Plant type: , ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


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

My Favorites

Plant type: , ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Choisya x 'Goldfingers'

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Cryptomeria japonica 'Birodo'

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6a -5º to -10ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Elaeagnus pungens 'Glen St. Mary'

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Escallonia bifida 'Compact White'

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Escallonia x exoniensis 'Gold Brian'

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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Frangula (Rhamnus) californica 'Eve Case'

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

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


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

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: