Hesperaloe parviflora

Red Yucca. Who would have thought that this remarkably adaptable plant would grow perfectly in such places as Phoenix, AZ AND Portland? We’re amazed and this excellent semi-succulent plant is one of our favorites for hot dry landscapes. The evergreen leaves form rosettes that spike up to about 2.5′ tall- blue green turning purple in colder weather. They are lined with little white hair filaments that add to the appeal. in summer flower spikes rise to 4′- many of them and hold tubular flowers that are succulent and red on the outside, when each yawns open it reveals a yellow center. Very cool. Full sun and average to poor well drained soil- though it does fine in any soil type that drains well. Excellently adapted to life in the blasting hot hellstrips. It can take any kind of reflected heat with no summer water and still perform beautifully. Clumps increase slowly in our climate. Excellent in containers as well. Loved by hummingbirds. Little to no supplemental water ever. Cold hardy below 0ºF. High deer resistance.

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Opuntia cycloides

Tall growing hardy Cactus native to cold New Mexico. The pads are armed with 2″ orange thorns that will make you think twice about messing around. To 5′ tall and 4′ wide in 5 years in our climate. Multiplies quickly and large erect pads build up to probably the tallest Opuntia in our climate. In early to mid summer 5″ brilliant yellow flowers are a show stopper. They open just when its hot and sunny enough- closing in any dim conditions. Full, hot, all day sun and very well drained appropriately amended soil. On a slope, double dig the soil to oxygenate it and incorporate hefty amounts of pumice and gravel in the soil. Water regularly through the first summer to establish growth and then none in subsequent years. Extremely cold hardy. Locate away from paths, anywhere you might get too close. Remove deciduous leaves that become ensconced in the pads in autumn. Otherwise it can lead to rot. Long lived. High deer resistance.

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Opuntia ellisiana

The thornless hardy Prickly Pear. Well, it still has fine glaucids on the pads that can painfully stab into your hands. They are fine like slivers or hairs and are a pain to remove. (Try duct tape- thats what I do and its successful). Large big round pads pile onto each other to 4′ tall and quickly forming multiplying patches up to 8′ across. In summer it displays large single yellow flowers. Smooth and good looking Cactus year round. It has some of the best ability to deal with our winter wet. However, I’d still amend the soil heavily with gravel and pumice- sharp drainage is key. Sharp drainage on sunny slopes is ideal. Excellent under the south facing eaves of a house. Works well in containers too that are protected from extreme winter wet. (Move under cover in winter). Cold hardy below 10ºF but the combination of wet and then arctic cold can shrivel some pads. Recovery in spring is rapid. Anticipate that it will spread quickly and allocate room. Moderate deer resistance.

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Opuntia macrocentra

Spectacular in bloom this is one of the easiest Opuntia (Prickily Pear Cactus) for our climate. Pads are fiercely armed and are blue/gray. The 2″ needles are formidable and begs that this plant be place away from paths. Spreading to 2′ tall x 4′ wide in very well drained poor soil with light summer water to establish. Avoid all shade- bright open conditions suite this native of the SW U.S. Avoid placing near deciduous trees where dropped leaves can collect on the plant- they are not only a pain in the ass to remove they must be to avoid rot in winter. Grows relatively fast- increasing before you know it. Amazing in large rock gardens as well as large containers. Amend the soil with pumice and gravel so that winter wet does not collect around the base. It will root through this deep into the ground. Once established it can get by with all that falls fro the sky. Huge yellow flowers with an orange center are 6″ wide an amazing when they appear in late spring to early summer. Highly deer resistant. Long lived.

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Ruschia pulvinaris

More of a shrub this branched ice plant species is one of the easiest to grow in our climate. To 10″ tall and as wide in a circular ball. The succulent gray foliage is densely attached to and obscures the stems. In early summer for several weeks hot pink feather daisy like flowers cover the plant. They open in full sun and close when its dim- including cloudy days. Loved by pollinators. Very pretty evergreen succulent shrublet for rock gardens, gravel gardens, slopes. Light summer water but completely drought adapted when established and growing. Very showy in containers, troughs. Double dig the soil and incorporate oxygen before planting. Avoid compacted soils. Very pretty.

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Sedum confusum

Useful and pretty evergreen Sedum that thrives in diverse biomes but always looks good. In dry dappled shade it will create a dense spreading deep green colony. To 5″ tall by several feet wide. In full sun it will grow a little slower but regular water will speed things up. The bright green rosettes of leaves are perched atop stems. In early spring the whole plant is awash in gold flowers and attending pollinators. Rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. The more shade the less water is required. Nice ground cover for small areas. Dense and evergreen. Surprisingly cold hardy and amenable to life in our climate. Mexico.

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Sedum divergens

Oregon native Sedum that is found at mid and high elevations of the Cascades. It makes its home on recent road cuts and rocky, gravelly cliffs. Small rolly polely green succulent leaves line trailing stems. Very juicy. Forms a thick evergreen mat in full sun to part shade in well drained soil. Excels in enriched soil that also drains. Light to regular summer water to retain luster otherwise completely adapted to summer drought. Rock walls, containers, rock gardens. Easy to grow native that is one of our most attractive stone crops. In late spring 4″ stems rise with clusters of bright yellow/gold star shaped flowers. As with all Sedums they are coveted by pollinators. Takes on red tints in cold weather. Evergreen. Oregon Native Plant.

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Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’

Interesting small yellow Sedum from Japan that is from a summer rainfall climate. That means that it likes consistent water in the summer. Good drainage is key and this plant performs a valuable role as the glowing understory to woodland perennials and shrubs. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation in part shade to shade. Bleaches to almost white in full sun. Early spring flowers are yellow and brief. Excellent as the lower level of a summer planting. Evergreen and easy. Aerate the soil well by double digging and incorporating oxygen into the soil before planting. To 3″ high and spreading to more than a foot wide in a season.

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Sedum oreganum

Not hard to tell where this stone crop is endemic. It resides mostly in the middle elevations of the western Cascades. Rocky slopes, cliffs, and road cuts is where you find the clusters of small green rosettes that makes large colonies. In summer 4″ stems arrive topped with bright gold/yellow flowers- a pollinators dream. Little spreading plant to just inches high but expanding to several feet wide in well drained, somewhat enriched soil with light summer water. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Forms a dense mat and may be used as a small scale weed blocking ground cover. Easy to grow plant. Roots into the ground as it spreads- evergreen. Oregon Native Plant.

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Sedum oregonense ‘McKenzie River’

There are so many great native Sedums that it can be hard to choose? But why choose when you can have them all. This little succulent creeper is most often seen on rocky slopes in the western Cascades. It occupies the hottest regions but sends its roots between the cracks in the rocks to absorb moisture. In summer 4″ spikes hold boisterous gold flowers- adored by pollinators. Spreads very slowly to about 3″ tall and 1′ wide. Adapts to rich, well drained sites with light to little summer moisture. Excellent in rock gardens, slopes, among small drought adapted shrubs. Very easy to grow. This form is from the central Oregon Cascades. Oregon native plant.

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