Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

Echinaceas are irresistible and this pure white flowered seed grown plant even turns it up with a soft, sweet fragrance. Echinaceas in our climate thrive but they need to have the proper beginning and soil to really work their charms. To 30″ tall and forming spreading clumps, regular water – once a week for the first year is critical. Also, I’ve had great luck amending the soil with a little gravel added to the compost that I dig in. It seems they really need a good start to perennialize and expand. In subsequent years only occasional water is necessary. Also necessary is total and complete sunshine. That seems to gird them to establish too. So, no fudging with shade. This single flowered form is pollinator magnet and you’ll find a host of native bees and  bee friends visiting the flowers. It also makes a great container plant and will happily over winter no problem.  ‘White Swan’ has been a Xera favorite for years. Great, long lasting cut flowers (Surprise).  Long lived low care spectacular perennial.  Moderate deer resistance. July to mid September. Remove spent flowers and more will often follow.

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Big in every way this Golden Rod of the west rises on sturdy semi-woody stems to display a chalice of fragrant gold flowers. Better put in latin the broad flowers are pyramidal paniculiform arrays, That about says it. Large growing perennial that is found in specific wetland sites around the state (and the west). It spreads laterally by strong rhizomes with stems that rise to 4′ tall. The PYRAMIDAL PANICULIFORM gold flowers emit a sweet pollen fragrance. This and the fact that it is in the daisy family draws a broad amount of pollinators  from far and wide. It dies down in winter and the previous years stems can be taken away then. Give it at least 5′ x 5′ to roam. Water to establish then a light consistent water in summer for best flowering. Full hot sun not tolerant of shade at all. A large, regal cut flowers for big displays July-September. This form was found in the Columbia River Gorge near the river. It can also be found around wetlands in arid parts of the state as well as river courses along the west side. The underside of the stems flashes silver with green on top. These incredibly sturdy vertical stems will never topple. Mix with Hall and Douglas Asters for similar space, bloom time and vigor and you’ll quadruple your pollinators.   Oregon native plant.

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Silene laciniata

This is a showy perennial of pine woods in interior northern California. It comes within 10′ miles of the Oregon border. This gaudy little perennial is seen in full sun to the margins of Ponderosa woods. It forms a rosette of rough moss green basal set of leaves. In late spring to early summer 1′ tall wiry spikes hold shocking vermillion orange/red flowers that have a shredded edge to the petals. It blooms for an extended period and often if the first set of defunct flowers is removed it will set another round. Water to establish the wild flower and then none in subsequent years. Established plants are supremely drought adapted and any superfluous water can lead to rot. This is also a great resident of rock gardens where its smaller dimensions and shocking flower color will  be welcome. An obvious draw to hummingbirds and pollinators. Very good in gravel gardens. A slope is an added plus. Somewhat deer resistant. Adapted to coastal gardens as well.

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This is one of Andy’s selections and its an excellent Hebe. Arching in growth with canoe shaped bright green symmetrical foliage . In June and July the entire top third is clad in blue racemes that are thin and fade a little with age. The flowers arrive in profusion and are loved by bees and butterflies. To 30″ tall and eventually forming a dense dome to 3′ wide. Rich to average soil that drains, ideal on a slope. Avoid areas with direct exposure to subfreezing east wind. In those areas that are prone place it out of the wind- a west or south facing aspect. Great plant for courtayards or containers. Blooms are effective for a month or more, then its just a bright green dense evergreen shrub. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast. Light consistent summer irrigation. Mulch after planting. Moderately fast growing.

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Epilobium densiflorum

Spike primrose is a quiet but important long season hardy annual. It rises up to 2′ tall when happy. A dense thick spike of buds rises and the small pink flowers decorate the spike in a circle. Loved by pollinators and especially popular with butterflies. This drought adapted annual blooms from July to October. Mix with other hardy native annuals. Especially nice with Madia elegans as their bloom period are the same. Full sun in virtually any soil. Water in potted plants well and you will likely see seedlings in open disturbed sites in the spring. The seedlings of this Epilobium mimic several more weedy types (they are native but kind of rambunctious). This plant is never showy but its a primary nectar source for late in the summer. Very easy, climate adapted native hardy annual. Native in the Portland city limits. Found primarily in stable meadows on both sides of the Cascades.  Oregon native plant.

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Clematis ‘Rhapsody’

Possibly one of our favorite large flowered Clematis. This delightful 8′-10′ vine has intense sapphire blue flowers that open light and turn to a darker blue as they age. The petals surround a charming boss of creamy stamens. This very showy vine blooms continuously from July-Sept. Its a smaller scale Clematis that can happily climb large shrubs to small trees without smothering them. The flowers which are 5″ across are dramatic and showy from a distance. Easy to grow in our climate, in rich soil with regular summer irrigation. Full sun to the very lightest shade, but flowers are more vivid with sun. The petioles wrap around supports and hoists this plant up. May be hard pruned in early spring to just several buds. This vine which blooms on new wood will quickly regrow and produce a parade of flowers in just several months. Excellent climbing gold leaved shrubs for brilliant contrast. The flowers born on long stems also make a decent cut flower. Provide support such as a large trellis or #4 copper wire to send it climbing around a post. Beautiful Clematis.

 

 

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Sedum oregonense ‘McKenzie River’

Creamy stone crop is a common succulent of mid to higher elevations of the  Oregon Cascades – it can also be found in the Siskiyous. This is a common plant on rocky slopes, scree its  even adaptable to heavier soils. Gray white leaves are crowded into rosettes. In spring stems rise to 6″ tall and produce creamy light yellow colored flowers. Absolutely adored by pollinators this very easy to grow perennial adapts very well to gardens. Its useful in rock gardens, troughs, containers in full sun to very light shade. Light summer water to very little, A classic plant of the Oregon Cascades. Primarily above 2000′. Evergreen. 3″ tall out of bloom and spreading to form large clumps several feet across. Not bothered by deer or rabbits. Lovely Oregon native. The cream/ivory flowers are a welcome respite where all other Oregon sedums are bright yellow. .  Oregon native plant. 

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Achillea millefolium ‘Willamette Gray’

Greg got seed of this distinctive form of Yarrow near Oregon City. Unlike most garden varieties that are derived from European stock which very much appreciates rich soil and regular water to perform and those forms are also not pungent. We wanted our locally native yarrow that is incredibly durable, has gray foliage that is pleasantly aromatic with broad white flowers. This is a much more climate adapted perennial. Its found throughout all of the state, and can be found anywhere from meadows to surprisingly deep woods. This is a very thrifty plant and once established it really doesn’t need supplemental summer water. Spreads to form finely divided low gray foliage. The flat umbels of pure white flowers are very large and this is a landing pad for all pollinators as well as butterflies. To 20″ tall in bloom. Excellent meadow component with clumping grasses, annuals, and bulbs. A great plant for hell strips and hot aspects too. Very easy and forgiving perennial. Blooms May-August. Mostly evergreen save for the very harshest winters. Not bothered by deer.  Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Silene hookeri

Hooker’s Catchfly is a great Oregon native perennial that is one of the showiest in this genus. Native to dry woods and plains but never common this low spreading perennial produces large pink flowers in late spring to early summer. The nearly 1″ wide frilly flowers are produces on a diminutive plant that spreads. To 4″ tall and forming a mat about 1.5′ wide. Full sun to very light shade (deciduous shade) in average to slightly enriched soils that drain. Adaptable to clay soils on a slope. Water weekly after planting for the first season then none is necessary in subsequent years. Excellent small perennial that is ideal in a trough where you can view the beautiful large flowers up close. Best in rock garden conditions or in a meadow habitat in the ground.  Naturally adapted to life between clumping grasses. The slightly cupped leaves are large and encrusted in fine hairs. Native from just south of Portland to northern California. It was once much more widespread in the Willamette Valley. This range has been greatly diminished.  Beautiful native perennial. Often left alone by deer. Oregon native plant.

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Teucridium parviflorum

A stylish shrub/subshrub that is native to the drier parts of New Zealand, and offers great fine texture. The stems which are the only thing that differentiates this from the genus Coprosma- they are square. are golden orange woody stems that  rise up to about 4′ tall by 3′ wide.  Tiny round green leaves decorate these stems and in late spring and early summer small white flowers appear in the leaf axils. This plant can quickly return from the roots if chopped back severely or frozen to the ground. Established plants can regain their stature in several months. Average to enriched soil that is never boggy in summer. The fine foliage  common adaptation in New Zealand, most likely the fine texture of the shrub was to foil grazing giant moa birds and other predators. Very good in containers ( it will be less hardy in a container as with  everything) and it can be crowded heavily and still thrive. In the ground give it enriched soil and regular summer water for its first season. Let it grow as much as possible and develop a resilient root system- in the case of an arctic event it will be well prepared to regrow.. Mulch in fall for the first year. The luminous stems and see through appearance make it combine well with bolder textured plants. Regiar water in summer speeds growth and establishment the first year, in subsequent years it only requires irrigation once every two weeks. Freezes the ground at about 20ºF, returns quickly in spring when the soil warms. Not bothered by deer, not sure about rabbits. Excellent architectural plant. We took a break from growing this plant for years, we’re happy that its back.

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