Pacific Aster is a Xera favorite late blooming native perennial. Masses of thick soft periwinkle flowers with a yellow center on an upright growing plant to 30″ tall forming an expanding clump. Blooms which are loved by native pollinators – they instantly appear, you don’t even have to be patient- are a soft color and open on the plant first on top and then down the sides eventually filling in. Its a cloud of periwinkle. Sometime afflicted with harmless powdery mildew. This is more of a problem near winter and afflicted material can be cut away and disposed then. Otherwise leave it standing and dead to thrill bush tits or some creatures like that. Rich soil with deep infrequent irrigation during summer. Once established it can perform reliably on rainfall alone (it will happily accept regular irrigation as well). Excellent mid-border late perennial that is fantastic with the green flowered late blooming Kniphofia pumila, and  Golden rod Solidago canadensis elongate. Long lived. It may be divided after several years. This plant is common around the Pacific Rim in temperate to colder regions. Its natural range is enormous- notice the specific epithet refers to its Chilean origin,, it is just as native and prolific on the Oregon coast. Often found at the edge of woods or scrublands in the transition to grassland/ dune lands. Its common associates in habitat are Fragaria chilense (another Pacific Rim resident)- we grow the variety ‘Aulon’, as well as Pacific reed grass ( Calamagrostis nutkaenasis). Long blooming. ( AKA Chilean Aster- but that is confusing as it is native in Oregon as well. Great performance at its native Oregon coast on sand to clay soils.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


This has been a great performer in my garden and is one of my favorite smaller crape myrtles.  for the past 10 years it has become a slender, graceful shrub with a wavy branch pattern upright to 9′ tall. In early to mid August glossy black buds erupt into frilly saturated red flowers. The upright large trusses feature the flower color very well and its showy from quite a distance. Disease resistant and very cold hardy-it can be grown without fear in Zone 6b (-5ºF). Fall color is red orange and the slender stems exfoliate to patches of dark brown and lighter tan. Full (all day ) hot sun in rich soil with regular summer irrigation. Grows about 6″ per year. Works well in larger containers with regular irrigation and annual applications of fertilizer. Slow to produce because of its dwarf stature this fine small tree will always be limited in quantity. LOVE the saturated red flowers. Elegant small tree, the trusses of flowers are very large for the size of the tree. . Limited quantities.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6b 0º to -5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


We love this smaller growing crape myrtle for its vivid, opulent huge magenta purple flowers  The shocking color of the petals is amplified by being larger individually than normal. The flowers are born in large globose trusses  mid August to early October. 9′  tall in 10 years it is renowned not only for its vivid flower color but for exceptional cold hardiness – it resprouted from an epic -24ºF freeze in Topeka, Kansas, one of the very few to survive. It also possesses very good disease resistance and I’ve never seen a drop of powdery mildew. In the Southern U.S. it is commonly recommended for these attributes.  Upright then rounded habit. Fall color is red/ orange and brief and the slender but older stems exfoliate to a glossy tan. This is an exceptional flower color- excellent against a deep green backdrop. Full (all day) hot sun in rich soil with regular water beginning in May. It appreciates the hottest position you can give it. One tip if you want to maximize growth is to water it when its going to get hot – it should be well hydrated going into a heatwave. Glossy red buds release the vivid flower petals. This small, hardy excellent Crape Myrtle was bred by and then named for Mrs. Velma McDaniels a Wichita KS crape myrtle enthusiast.  She did a phenomenal job.  Crape myrtles are completely intolerant of shade- 6 or more hours of full sun per day. Delightful cultivar. Limited quantities.

My Favorites

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


Chilean Jasmine is not common in our region but it has been grown for many decades and it does well in warmer gardens, protected places. Large entire deep green leaves are 3″ long and  opposite on twining stems. This strongly growing vine requires heavy and reliable support (See #4 copper wire). Blooms on new growth, which is continuous, In rich soil it can achieve 15′ in a season. The 2″ long tubular white flowers have the familiar propeller petal configuration of this family the Apocynaceae . The fragrance to me is delicious on warm days and nights and close to the blossoms which appear in clusters. It is not a sweetly cloying scent but more sophisticated. I once had this vine around my front door. In full bloom on warm summer nights it would be a cloud of perfume. Deciduous and often freezes back either 1/2- 3/4 of the way in colder than normal winters. In horrendous winters (below 12ºF) it can freeze away. Choose a protected site in full sun with rich soil and ample water. The more verdant the growth the more profuse the display and fragrance. Blooms late May- October. Avoid, cold frosty sites, cold gardens. In rural areas place it against  south facing wall. Because it blooms on new wood and grows so prolifically it may be cut nearly to the ground for a fresh start to the year- do this in late March.  In most summers large two chamber connected bean pods are 8″ long and bright green. When they ripen to tan they will twist and release downy clad black seeds that sail on the wind. Several winters in a row and the seeds that germinate may survive. I almost always lose them but the climate is changing and don’t bet on self sowing any way -its rare  Root hardy to about 5ºF- mulch for added protection. Exquisite vine. Native to central southern Chile.

My Favorites

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


(California) Coffee Berry. Greg collected the berries/seed from this evergreen shrubby species in southwestern Oregon. In Josephine county it is a common dry shade understory component of both the forest and in open stands in chaparral. A light and gaunt  evergreen with slightly glossy convex leaves that hang on the tips of the gray branches. In spring/ summer tiny green flowers morph into the familiar berries. They start green move to red and arrive at black/brown. To 6′ tall x 6′ wide on average. Growth in rich soil is much more verdant and dense. In dry shade, its natural haunt, it assumes its most common form. Birds will spread this tough shrub that is ideal for wild scaping, xeric landscaping, rural areas. Perhaps its most wonderful characteristic is that it is deer resistant- they will munch but it will cause the plant to return twice as dense and verdant. Leaves are glossy on top and blue/gray on the reverse and persist for 3-5 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in average to slightly enriched soil. Water to establish, or ideally plant in fall then natural rainfall alone. It will tolerate quite a bit of shade as well as root competition but not low shade, high overstay shade is better. . Informal shrub- good year round appearance. Extreme drought adaptation when established. In habitat this shrub is found with Arctostaphylos canescens, viscida, and Rhododendron occidentale and macrophyllum. Overstory is Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Pseudotsuga, Pinus attentuata, Umbellularia californica. Quercus sp.  Cold hardy. Great for wildlife. Seed grown., Oregon native plant

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

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


Showy daisy- though that is far too vague for this tough and graceful wildflower. Native in separate parts of the state this summer blooming perennial inhabits meadows and fields of the Willamette Valley. Rows of very fine soft pink petals surround a green/yellow center on 18″ stems June-August. The pretty daisies come in a group and then appear sporadically until frost. Loved by pollinators this is an authentic component of Willamette Valley meadows. Average to enriched soil with regular water to establish, in subsequent years it can survive on rainfall alone. Plant with  Prunella vulgaris var, lanceolata,  and Erigeron glaucus for a midsummer blooming native vignette. Long lived low maintenance perennial that goes completely deciduous. Widespread in the northwestern states of the US. Our version is from seed native to the Willamette Valley. Loved by butterflies and even good beetles. Clump expands to 2′ wide in time. Not bothered by deer. Simple, tough, wonderful native perennial. Full sun. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4a -25º to -30ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


We selected this seedling long ago for its vigor, it was culled from a batch of 50 as one of the best and it is. ‘Foxy Red’ is a mounding, low growing shrub that spreads. To 3′ tall x 8′ wide it produces a nearly year round parade of tomato red flowers. The  elongated superior foliage is olive green on the upper surface and gray below and comes to sharp point. Fast growing in full sun to light shade. Average unimproved soils are ideal, dig a large hole and soften the soil on the outer edges.  Water faithfully, once a week until good new growth commences then water less- once every two weeks/month depending on aridity. Nice looking winter blooming shrub that is ideal planted above rock walls where it can cascade down. Loved by hummingbirds, especially wintering Anna’s who see an out of season nectar source as gold. Mulch after planting- coarse bark, chips, gravel…. Established plants take summer drought without supplemental irrigation. Should be deer resistant. At some point we’ll test it for their consumption. Really nice looking shrub both in foliage and bright flower. May be pruned at any time of the year. Avoid strong subfreezing east wind. Protected site- south or west facing.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

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


Outstanding form of New England Aster that has the most intense deep purple flowers on a non-splitting compact plant. To 18″ tall by 22″ wide, it arrives in bloom in September and continues through October. Rich soil with regular irrigation in full sun to very light shade. An excellent late border perennial and it would be located in the middle to the front of a border. The dense, compact habit of resists splitting in our first fall rains- not all cultivars do. Loved by pollinators including natives. Spent stems can be left erect through winter as food for birds and insects. A basal rosette of green leaves will just be emerging at the base. Easy, reliable, hardy perennial.  The flower stems last quite a while in a vase. Mix with the pink clouds of that outstanding fall blooming grass Muhlenbergia riverchonii. Very long lived. Mildew resistant. Good deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4a -25º to -30ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Grevilleas are interesting in that almost all species will cross. And you can end up with some really weird shit. In this instance I selected  this mounding evergreen shrub for the vividness of its orange flowers and superior cold hardiness from about 50 others. This cross between G. victorae and G. juniperina has thicker leaves than most cultivars (and seedlings) and that translates directly to improved cold hardiness and they end in a sharp tip. This variety has weathered 10ºF so far and could be hardier.  Larger, vivid orange flowers with a style stained melon red that quickly matches the orange of the perianth. (Pouch like petals that reflex when open). To 3′ tall x 8′ wide in 5 years. Full sun to very light shade in average to poor soil. Water weekly after planting and then as growth increases limit it to once a month- a deep soak. Blooms almost continually with a crescendo in late winter/early spring. Loved by hummingbirds, European honeybees, and native hover flies. Easy to grow. Mulch after planting. Its important that Grevilleas become well established by their first winter- this immediately increases cold hardiness. Once established its fairly care free except for occasional pruning. Established shrubs can go through summer without any supplemental water. Fun to grow shrub. Excellent at the Oregon coast, tolerates sandy substrates with additional water. Not bothered by deer. Elk? I have no idea- they will at least step on it so protect. Grevilleas all require good air circulation. Avoid plants that flop or lay on them- not only will it block the sun  it can even encourage rot. Site your Grevilleas where they are open and the wind can blow them dry.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

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


Abutilon (Callianthe) ‘Nectarine’

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

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

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