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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Bald hip rose or woodland rose or miniature rose- three names that describe this dainty inhabitant of woods.  A light textured small shrub to 2′-4′ depending on the fertility the soil. Spreads laterally by stolons and it can occupy a large area. Charming nickel sized flowers are pink and lightly fragrant when they appear from April to June. The hips that follow are diminutive and slick without prickles (bald). Slow growing plant that is ideal in shade to dense shade. One of the best native shrubs for shady locations. It will also tolerate full sun but it doesn’t look as happy. A big hit with pollinator and birds who distribute this little roses seeds all throughout western Oregon. Thorns are small and do not hurt. Associated plants in the wild are Polystichum minutum (western sword fern), Osmoronia cerasiformis (Oso plum) and Clinopodium douglasii (Satureja). Woodrose grw on our property near Eugene. It formed the understory layer beneath firs and oaks with Symphoricarpos alba (Snowberry) Not deer resistant but its not first on their list. Light orange fall color. 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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Elk Horn Cedar is originally from Japan but is grown around the globe This layered and refreshing glossy green conifer grows very slowly and looks fantastic year round. Slow growing to 3′ x 3′ in 10 years. Excellent in mixed borders or shrub borders. Water well to establish the first summer then occasional deep soaks in summer. Unlike any other comfier the name elk horn refers to the flat leaflets that look to me like a form of giant moss. Works well in winter containers. The flattened scales are glossy on the surface and dull beneath. This is the darker green of two varieties in the nursery trade. It would make a challenging bonsai. Full sun to light shade in rich to average soil .  Not often deer food, very worth trying. Cold hardy below 0ºF for short periods. Excellent performance in the Columbia Gorge.

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Timber sedge is an evergreen somewhat floppy Carex that is found extensively in western Oregon. It blooms in spring with  thin green spikes and upward facing catkin like flowers. The rich green smooth foliage is distinctively pleated and about 4mm wide. Forms a sprawling clump and will seed around, especially in moist locations. It is ideal under native oaks and firs where it is found in the wild. Often in clear cuts in the Coast range there is a distinct period when this sedge dominates before being succeeded out. Tolerant of full sun to high overhead shade. Best at the edge of a forest with half day sun Light consistent water to establish then you can set it free. Tolerates heavy clay soils well. To 1′ tall in bloom to 18″ wide and never tidy. Fairly good winter appearance but it can be cut back in early spring to refresh. Plant with Carex lepidota and Aster chilense. Oregon native plant.

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Fantastically  graceful Camellia of complex parentage. Large spreading and arching Camellia with small glossy leaves and from 1″ distinctly pointed flower buds open masses of 2″ wide yawning flowers. The interior of the pure white flower is decorated with the yellow stamens. Most of the flowers point downward in a dainty pose that adds to this Camellias grace. To 8′ tall x 8′ wide and branching in large divided boughs that give the impression of wings. The intensity of the white flower color is amplified in the darkness of winter. Blooms late January through March. Immensely graceful and floriferous this has none of the strict formal look of most other species. (C. tsaiiC. cuspidata) x C. fraterna )  Luckily this Camellia includes the ultra hardy C. cuspidata and is not tender in the slightest. Flowers are hardy into the upper 20’s and masses of incipient buds means that the show starts again post freeze. The small fluted flowers fall cleanly from the shrub and collect in a pure white carpet. Rich soil with regular irrigation. Takes less water as it gains establishment. Part shade to full sun. A protected location helps the flowers deal with the vagaries of winter weather. Wonderful Camellia that we love at Xera.

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This is a wonderful compact and shorter growing golden rod that we found from seed. To just 1′ tall  and spreading to form a colony this smaller version fits in tighter places. The large conical flowers are erect at the top of the plant. An excellent version of one of the best pollinator perennials for late summer and early autumn. Average soil with light water to establish. Occasional water after that speeds growth. Mix with other late season native perennials such as Douglas and Halls aster. Winter deciduous and the stems become semi woody and can be left to supply seeds for birds throughout winter. The woody stems can be removed in early spring. This well sized and showy perennial is not only climate adapted its a very long lived perennial. Adaptable to heavy clay soils and drought. Adorable native perennial. To 3′ wide in time. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants introduction

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Most of us associate Camellias with large shrubs to small trees but this is a true dwarf and it fits in very small sites.  Dwarf (slow growing) shrub with glossy green foliage and in autumn to mid-winter a constant supply of semi double rosy red flowers. To 4′ x 4′ in 10 years. Nice looking shrub that is an exceptionally heavy bloomer. This sport of  ‘Shi Shi Gashira’ which is a dark pink and very popular fall blooming Camellia. ‘Dwarf Shi shi’s ‘ flowers are closer to red than its sport parent. Full sun to very light shade. Occasional deep soaks in summer aids flower bud set.  Takes dry conditions when very established. Water regularly to establish and mulch. Sasanqua Camellias are hardier and bloom more heavily in full hot sun. Good performance at the Oregon coast where most Sasanqua Camellias languish. Not often bothered by deer. The entire floral tube detaches and falls never clinging and turning brown. Limited quantities.

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This seedling Mock Orange appeared in our nursery rooted right into our gravel substrate. It was either a seedling of a few Philadelphus from eastern Oregon that we raised  a several years ago or it is a seedling of a naturally occurring plant about 50 meters away on the forest margin of our wholesale nursery. Either way its an astonishing shrub in full bloom. Rather than small clusters of white flowers with a yellow center this shrub creates 6″ long stems with clusters of up to 10 on each. The effect is a billowing cloud of white flowers for many weeks in June to July. No other native Philadelphus we have seen compares in number of flowers. The foliage is literally obscured by the lightly orange blossom scented white flowers. Fast growing even in less than perfect conditions to 9′ tall by 4′ wide in 7 years. The parent plant gets no supplemental water whatsoever relying on only what falls from the sky. The handsome mid green leaves take on yellow tints in autumn but is not a show stopper. In bloom, however, it is. Loved by pollinators. Full sun to very light shade in average to enriched soil. Water consistently for the first season to establish then none in subsequent years. Wonderful specimen or hedgerow member . Extraordinary in full bloom. Blooms on wood from the previous season, prune if needed AFTER blooming . This form has a  nice sweet scent that becomes most apparent several years after being in the ground. Associated plants in the wild are Corylus cornuta californica and Oemleria cerasiformis in the Willamette Valley. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Arctostaphylos viscida ‘Sweet Adinah’

White leaved Manzanita is endemic to southern  Oregon into northern California. The leaves are large, round, and very pale blue/gray. This species which also grows on serpentine soil. is incredibly tough and requires special treatment. Adinah found this very pale selection just outside of Ashland, OR.. Extremely drought adapted this species is best in VERY WELL drained soil with light water to establish, Once up and going it will do best with NO SUMMER WATER. This is one of the most striking Manzanitas that we grow.Its also a little bit tough to cultivate, and can up and go away for no real reason, so keep that in the back of your mind- absolute neglect is its best friend. Having said that is easily one of the most striking shrubs native to Oregon. To on average 4′ x 4′ it should be planted in poor to average soil. Avoid all fertilizer,  and rich conditions. New growth emerges striking orange/red following clusters of white tinted pink flowers from January to March. Very cold hardy enduring temperatures near 0ºF with no issues. Rock gardens, dry shrub borders, drought adapted screen or specimen.  A mature shrub kind of gives me the impression of a big white bubble.  Extremely heat and drought adapted native shrub. Limited quantities  Some deer resistance.  Full sun to very light shade. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

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