So many amazing plants from South Africa, we love this as a fascinating container subject.  A wiry shrub with nobby gray green leaves on purely gray stems. It forms a rounded plant to 4′ x 4′ – smaller if kept in a container. The odd foliage becomes a fantastic back drop to straw flowers that open bright red and senesce to pink. The 1″ wide flowers pepper the shrub in July- August. Full sun to very light shade, its more dense and blooms better in full sun. Loved by pollinators this member of the diasy family calls them from afar. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer at the beginning of the season. Water when the surface of the soil is dry. Easy to grow plant that is definitely worth protecting. It also excels in mixed containers, the bloom period is a month but the fascinating foliage holds its own as well. Not hardy below 25ºF. Wonderful plant. It thrives at the Oregon coast and is adapted to sandy soils.

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A great perennial all around, with handsome pinnate foliage and 30″ spikes that hold furry upright magenta catkin-like flowers. Beautiful. Blooms June-August in rich soil with regular irrigation. Not a fussy perennial by any means but it hails from Japan a summer rainfall climate and if you mimic that watering regime in your garden its simple. Completely herbaceous (deciduous). Seems to respond to rich conditions very well. Match with other perennials of similar culture such as Echinacea, Agastache, Erigeron. Forms tight but expanding clumps.  Wonderful  cut flower. Excellent pollinator perennial as well as visitations from Butterflies. Long lived perennial. Full sun to very light shade. If you remove spent flowers you may get a second round of flowers Tolerates heavy soil, with irrigation.

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Mountain balm, snowbrush,  tobacco brush and var. laevigatus is the western Oregon form of this widespread aromatic evergreen species. Fast growing and not terribly long  lived this shrub has widely dispersed seed that germinates upon disturbance, especially fire. Large glossy aromatic foliage gives away its common names as it emits a sweet balsam some say tobacco fragrance. The heavily veined leaves are large and round and seem to be varnished with this sweet perfume.  Rapid growth to 12′ x 12′ in 10 years. The more fertile the soil the larger and shorter lived this pretty shrub will be. Give it average conditions and no supplemental summer water. In May to early June cones of frothy fragrant white flowers protrude from the glossy foliage. Black seeds follow and they are dispersed explosively as well as eaten by birds. These black seeds can remain dormant for generations until they wake. It is found locally in the northern Willamette valley especially around the Tonquin scablands a kolk remnant of the Bretz flood just south of Portland. Expect a lifespan of about 15 years, more with neglect. Blooms on wood from the previous season prune if needed after blooming in June. This is a large shrub and it will reach its ultimate size very quickly, Give it room. Ultra cold hardy to -5ºF on the west side of the Cascades. This fast growing shrub does not appreciate pot culture, plant from the smallest size possible  Oregon native plant.

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This treasured evergreen to semi evergreen asian dogwood is a wonderful tree for a protected location. New growth is copper colored and retains this hue for quite some time . To 26′ with a strongly pyramidal habit. In early summer true flowers with erupting chartreuse then light yellow very showy bracts.  These are followed by red edible berries that appeal to some and a lot to birds. The bloom period is exceptionally long for a dogwood and it blooms con currently with Korean Dogwood (Cornus kousa) to which it is closely related. Mostly evergreen expect leaves to drop below about 20ºF twig damage does not occur until 10ºF. Definitely site well out of subfreezing east wind. A south or western exposure. Very regal and elegant tree The more protected the location the more evergreen.  This fast growing tree would make an elegant espalier – flowers appear on wood from the previous season. Light, consistent irrigation in average to enriched soil. Himalayan dogwood. Thrives at the cool Oregon coast . Avoid  hot and dry locations..

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Bluff  Checkermallow. One of the very rarest Checkermallows native to Oregon. This bright pink flowering perennial can be found along the northern Oregon coast and up the Columbia to near Portland. The lush, glossy maple shaped leaves surround a turret of bright, light pink flowers. Often seen on bluffs overlooking the ocean this is a perennial that excels on slopes and in clay soils. Easy to grow checker mallow that can be watered to establish then set it free. To 2′ x 3′ forming large patches. The blunt spires of flowers appear anytime from May to October, with the largest show in early summer. Loved by pollinators as well as hummingbirds. Lovely mid border plant, though it does seek slightly drier conditions in late summer. Full sun to very light shade. Amend the soil with a little bit of compost and that is all. Nice cut flower. Occurs natively with Rubus ursinus, Ranunculus occidentalis, Polystichum minutum. Long lived.  Oregon native plant.

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Harford’s onion grass isn’t really an onion, its a true grass and is widespread in Western Oregon.  A handsome blue green clumping  grass on average to 2′ tall- bigger in rich soil with irrigation. smaller in natural rainfall only plants. The blue green blades which are up to 4.5 mm wide arch on a vase shaped plant. In mid spring to early summer infloresences that soar up and out with  the stems lined in larger seeds.  Superfically, they resemble.rice plants thought this is a drylands grass. Wonderful meadow component. Summer drought adapted, competes well with foreign invaders as well. Currently its most stable populations occur on the upper dry banks of rivers. This native grass goes summer dormant with drought. Self sows, best in an environment where this is not a problem. Handsome, graceful, useful native grass.  Combine with Sidalcea virgata and  Iris tenax. Oregon native plant.

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Western Wallflower is a very widespread biennial or short lived perennial. It occurs from Alaska to nearly Mexico and throughout the west coast. The first season is spent as a rosette of thin undulating leaves. In the second year it extends, forms branches and achieves multiple flower spikes. The species is best described as yellow/orange with some slight variation in these seed grown plants. In Oregon its is widespread but it has all but disappeared from some biomes, the Willamette Valley for instance, a victim of non native invasives. To 22″ tall in bloom. You  may get a third season but it is much less of a show.Best to let this plant set seed and die ensuring a new generation of plants. Leave open disturbed sites for re-sowing.  A gravel mulch will encourage this as well and it appreciates average to enriched soil and light consistent water to establish. The following year it can rely on only what fall from the  sky. Blooms appear for several weeks in late spring. Loved by pollinators with a special draw to butterflies. Common associates in the wild are Dodecatheon hendersonii,  Mitella , Ranunculus occidentalis, Nemophila. Oregon native plant

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This is the true Varnished leaf Spiraea that is  native in the Portland area. The large fluffy inflorescences – almost furry and true  tiny petals.   This too is a wonderful shrub that is tolerant of a host of situations. It is native in the Portland, city limits and knowing where it grows will lead to success with this easy going native. To about 3′ x 3′ and increasing laterally by stolons. This low deciduous shrub is primarily  a resident of high douglas fir overstory, but it can alsmost make appearance at the wetter end of oak savanna. The flowers appear from late spring to early summer. They are natural landing pads for butterflies even hummingbirds appear.  Best in an open north exposure with regular H20 then the following year less to none. Its naturally one of the most drought adapted of this genus. Give this plant room to spread, interweave its way around Holodiscus and Symphoricarpos, Gaulthria shallon. in rich soil ( to begin its life and establish)  Fall color can be yellow to peach and can also not really happen. Wonderful plant. Oregon native plant.

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Broad leaved Penstemon is one of the few species that is actually native in the Portland city limits. In fact it can still be located in its pristine feral state on the  bluff very near the University of Portland.  Its a steep slope on clay and loam with lots of rocks. The patches of this semi-evergreen perennial  are nestled underneath native Ponderosa and Madrone- don’t even try to go down there as the understory is pure poison oak. The broad rosettes produce tall flower trusses that are arranged in whorls on a 30″ stem.  Beautiful luminous blue with lavender mother of pearl tints. Full sun to high overhead shade in average to slightly amended soil. Water  for the first summer to establish , let the soil dry between irrigation.  Soil should never be soggy. Not really that difficult.  Its literally from here so if I ever fail with this perennial god help me. LOVED by all flying things  and an excellent back of the border plant for native beds. Combine with Adelinia , Pectinatia,  Iris tenax for a similar biome and culture. To 30″ tall in bloom the rosettes of broad leaves  expand to several feet wide. Seed grown.  Oregon native plant.

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Birds foot buttercup is one of the more common varieties in  Oregon. Larger (taller) than Ranunculus occidentalis it also has a darker almost maroon gray coloring on the back of each petal. Birds foot buttercup thrives in areas that are often submerged in winter Though it favors wet sites in will easily accommodate dry conditions as well and is happy in upland situations.  Short lived perennial (3-5 years). Blooms about three weeks after western buttercup.  in April to June. The whole plant goes quickly summer dormant after setting seed in conspicuous spiked capsules. Easy to grow in gardens as this species is used to regular moist soil. To 14″ x 18″wide. Very forgiving native that will happily reseed if given room. Excellent applications in a rain garden.   It makes a pleasant cut flower too with the same reflective inner petals. Not bothered by deer or rabbits. Rich to average soils and especially heavy clay soils. Good native pollinator plant.  Oregon native plant.

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