Carex tumicola

Foothill Sedge is commonly found from the central Willamette Valley south into California. A tightly clumping sedge with medium green foliage and 8″ wiry stems with attending flowers that are tan in spring/summer. In our region this plant can be found in upland situations where it is moist for at least half the year. Its also diminutive and almost hard to find in the wild. Under cultivation its an entirely different beast. Clumps are dense but expand with a pronounced weeping habit. To 8″ tall x 18″ wide for each individual plant. Good massed or as a lawn substitute. Takes mowing if its limited to once a year. Regular irrigation keeps it green and happy. Summer drought sees blades of tan as well as green and not so verdant. It does not run nor become a seeding pest- sticking surprisingly to itself. Plant on 1′ centers for a modern, mounding effect. Takes clay soils well. Water regularly to establish the first summer then taper off (continue watering if you want it to stay staunchly green).  Combines well with perennials including native perennials such as  Checkermallow (Sidalcea) and, Ranunculus occidentalis (Western Buttercup), as well as Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon) are found in closely related communities with this plant. Full sun to light shade, or high overhead shade. In California it is also known as Berkeley Sedge.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


This form of Blueblossom we found on the southern Oregon coast in the far northern part of Curry County. There seems to be two forms of Ceanothus thyrsiflorus in Oregon. The immediate coastal species up to Lane county has broader leaves. Inland you find a much taller form with smaller juvenile leaves. An example of this is our large selection ‘Oregon Mist’. This is the standard broad leaved form  you find adjacent to the beach. Glossy rounded leaves are lustrous and deep green year round. In late April to early June an extended period of profuse sky blue flowers. Adored by pollinators and rolling in grateful bees.  A large native shrub with a rounded outline. To 8′ tall and possibly a little wider in AVERAGE soil in 5 years. Amended soil leads to prodigious growth and lack of hardiness.  Fast growing low water shrub for full sun to very light shade. This plant that we collected in the wild is actually very similar to the cultivar ‘Victoria’- the primary difference is earlier bloom by several weeks. And a slightly lighter blue flower. This is a good standard form of the beach species as found in our state. Its been cold hardy to 5ºF with good pest free foliage. Ceanothus fix nitrogen with their roots and improve the soil. Also, years of detritus from the shrub collects to form wonderful enriched soil as well. Average life span increases the less this plant is watered once established but expect 9-15 years. Durable shrub for urban to rural places. Extraordinarily drought adapted as well as tolerant of dry clay. Pretty and utilitarian. Available, autumn 2020. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction 

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Grevillea victorae ‘Murray Queen’

A vibrant form of Royal Grevillea that is slightly less hardy to cold than the species and requires a protected spot. Why grow this variety? It blooms, and blooms, and blooms. Rusty orange buds decorate pendant clusters that open to fresh orange. This plant sets tons of buds in summer and then releases them to the public through all the months of winter. Slightly smaller leaves are dusted in brown indumentum when young. To 8′ x 8′ very fast in average, unamended soil where water does not linger. Best in urban gardens with extra heat. It does not abort as many, if any flower buds in the summer drought. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast. Rounded upright and spreading evergreen shrub that remains handsome year round. Prune if needed after the last flush of flowers in spring. Winter flowers are a beacon to Anna’s Hummingbirds. Native to Australia where it was discovered near the Capital of Canberra. Nice cut flower. Water to establish then taper to once a month in summer. In colder gardens locate under the canopy of tall trees or near a warm wall. Full sun to light shade.

My Favorites

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


Lonicera x standishii

Winter Honeysuckle is an often forgotten shrub. Its large and in our climate it doesn’t usually lose all of its leaves until mid-winter. But that is the time when this big girl shines. Small but powerfully fragrant off white honeysuckle flowers stud all of the stems. And remain sweet for weeks. To 9′ x 9′ as a free standing shrub. Flowers are born on wood from the previous year. Prune after flowering in spring. May be trained as a vine with diligence. The flower stems are also easy to force into bloom indoors. A great shrub for hedgerows and even hedges. In the garden it often does duty in the back 40- where it will thrive in anything from full sun to almost dense shade and little extra water once established. Loved by over wintering Anna’s hummingbirds. Don’t forget winter flowers. Underplant with winter flowering Cyclamen coum and Crocus tommasinianus.  Very tough. Not bothered by disease or bugs. Consistent water to establish then VERY drought adapted.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


A really cool form of Oak Leaf Hydrangea that I picked up in North Carolina. Full double thick, dense white flowers appear in place of the lacier form of the species. The dense cones of flowers appear on sturdy stems in late June and are effective until September. They are exceptionally showy as well as long lasting. Large, deciduous shrub for full sun to part shade in rich soil with consistent summer moisture. Very established plants can get by with less. Blooms on wood from the current season. If pruning is required do it in early spring. To 9′ x 9′ in 6 years. Fall color on the immense leaves is remarkable. For all the months of fall into mid-winter purple/red/orange tones wash over the whole plant. Leaves finally abandon the shrub in mid winter. Easy to grow wonderful multi-dimensional shrub that is cold hardy and durable. Give it room to spread, you won’t regret it. Yay ‘Turkey Heaven’. Limited supply. Native to the SE U.S.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Indigofera amblyantha

Cool Indigo shrub that produces erect stems of light pink flowers w/ a touch of white. The flowers appear on new growth and as long as the plant is vigorous the display will be too. Deciduous woody shrub to 8′ tall by 8′ wide in a season. Established plants may be pruned to the ground in early spring and will vigorously rebound and bloom. Loved by pollinators. Not a dense shrub rather a light texture that is almost see-through. Very fun and flowery and easy to grow in full sun to light shade in average soil w/ regular summer water. I’ve never seen this species set seed in our climate. Cold hardy below 0ºF as a subshrub that can freeze to the ground below 10ºF. Pinnate leaves as for the species is a soft light green. Admirable cut flower- a whole branch yields many flower inflorescences. Remarkable shrub that can difficult to locate. Loved by butterflies. We grew this pretty shrub years ago and have brought it back.

My Favorites

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


Holboellia angustifolia (Heronswood)

We got this form of Holboellia from Heronswood eons ago. It has much larger leaves than those being sold as angustifolia, And it bears larger flowers too. A vigorous, hardy, evergreen vine applicable to a large pergola, fence, or sturdy arbor. Twining vine to 20′ or more over time. On wood from the previous year large clusters of pendant white flowers have a soft sweet fragrance in close proximity. We have yet to see fruit set on this particular cultivar. Good year round appearance, not roughed up by winter in most years. The large palmate leaves are held on sturdy petioles that separates the whole leaf. Full sun to shade in rich to average soil w/ regular summer irrigation. Takes very dry conditions when established. Provide STRONG support- established plants can put on many feet of growth per year. Elegant layered appearance of the leaves gives this plant a graceful mein. Prune AFTER flowering if needed. You can prune it hard in late winter – this will sacrifice many flowers but re-growth is vigorous, if not instant.  SW China.

My Favorites

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


Tropaeolum majus ‘Orchid Flame’

This has turned into one of our favorite annuals. An ancient Nasturtium variety from the 1880’s it is a chameleon of a flower in color. Neat round, water lily leaves are distinctly blue on a compact cultivar. Almost instantly ruffled fragrant flower appear above the foliage. They take on various colors, often starting yellow sanguineous red will begin in the creases of the petals and spread throughout the flower. It appears to be dependent on the amount of heat. So, all matter of colors dominate on the flower as heat waxes and wanes. This selection appreciates full sun but not in a blazing position. Avoid the heat of reflected walls. An open north exposure is ideal. To 8″ tall x 1′ wide. Great in containers. Nice, exotic cut flower and fun to grow. Blooms all summer and cooler weather and fall rains re-invigorate the plant and sets an explosion of flowers that persist until a truly hard frost. Charming nasturtium that we love. Consistent summer moisture in AVERAGE, well drained soil.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Our selection of the tough and adaptable evergreen Yeddo Hawthorne. Each glossy, thick rounded leaf on this cultivar is wavy (undulate) and gives this smaller shrub extra substance. In spring large clusters of pure white flowers cover the whole plant. Often showy blue berries follow. Great resistance to black spot- the best of any we’ve grown. Full sun to very light shade in average to enriched soil. To 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. A long lived shrub that tolerates a great amount of summer drought but greets regular irrigation with equanimity.  A frequent component of Japanese style gardens for its simple and clean habit. Takes blasting heat very well, including blazing western exposures that are shady for most of the day. Cold hardy to 5ºF or briefly lower. Great low water landscape plant. Rose family- not deer resistant. Japan.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Eriophyllum lanatum

Oregon Sunshine is the cheery common name that greets this widespread native perennial. Silvery gray intricate foliate forms a spreading mat. In late spring and early summer brilliant golden yellow daisy flowers spangle 10″ stems. Loved by pollinators and we’ve been impressed with its draw to butterflies as well. To 2′ across and excellent on slopes where water never lingers. In the wild its a frequent of road cuts and other disturbed sites. It also competes admirably with exotic invasive weeds and will persist where other natives are swamped. Rock gardens, dry borders. Water to establish- the first season- but never boggy. The following year it will rely only on what falls from the sky. Full sun to light shade. Adapts to poor soils. Moderate deer resistance. Semi-evergreen. Native to the Portland city limits.

Oregon native plant. 

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Iris x pacifica ‘Multiplicity’

One of the most striking pacific coast cultivars. Large somewhat flat flowers are a saturated orange/ rust color with contrasting purple nectary guides. Excellent plant that is not only extraordinarily heavy in bloom it blooms the LONGEST of any PCI that we grow. Often repeat blooming 1-3 times following the grand first display.  Grassy evergreen leaves form spreading clumps to several feet wide. The large flowers rise on 10″ stems. Loved by pollinators. This intense flower color and propensity for heavy bloom endears this wonderful cultivar to gardeners and its often on the list of favorites. Full sun to light shade- ideally it may be grown best in an open north exposure. Such as the north side of a house with no overhead shade. Blooms late April-early June. Very deer resistant. Water consistently through the first summer than none in subsequent years. And once established it resents disturbance.

My Favorites

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


PNW Orange Honeysuckle is one of our most showy native vines. Our region is sparse on native vines so this pretty plant is welcome. In late spring to summer clusters of brilliant orange tubular flowers decorate the branch tips. Loved by hummingbirds as well as other birds which is obvious, its also important for all native pollinators. The flowers change to brilliant red fruit which is consumed  by wildlife and seldom lingers.  Deciduous mid green foliage is verdant all through the season. As with the vast majority of Honeysuckle vines this plant nearly always goes leafless at the base. Expect this and plan for it. Strongly twining plant to 12′ tall and almost as wide. Provide strong support. Light consistent summer water to establish then very little necessary once established. (Also accepts regular summer H20). Excellent vine for country fences, decorating mailboxes etc. Protect from deer, otherwise it is pest and disease resistant – great news for a honeysuckle. Blooms on wood from the previous season, prune if needed after flowering.  Oregon Native Plant

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
 |  Foliage season:


Coast gooseberry or black gooseberry is an intricately branched native deciduous shrub that is incredibly important to wildlife as well as pollinators. Mounding and spreading with fine and prickly needles housed at each node. The maple shaped leaves have a fine skunk aroma up close. To 4′ x 6′ in the extreme this moderately fast growing plant is best in full sun but can handle quite a bit of shade-especially deciduous shade. This species is never common and its found mainly west of the Cascades The small pendulous flower feature red petals surrounding a white corolla. These morph into prickly sour fruits whose final color ripens to black. Fall color is soft yellow to orange and brief. Light consistent summer water in a average to enriched, well drained soil. The berries are edible but intensely sour and make fine food for a wide range of cool birds. Native to the Portland city limits. Excellent shrub for remediation of wild sites. This pretty shrub makes a great transitional plant for wild areas and has a wild look itself. Blooms on wood from the previous season. Prune if needed AFTER flowering.      Oregon Native Plant

My Favorites

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


Mules Ears are our native sunflowers. These cheery bold perennials make the transition of our wild flowers from spring into real summer. So named for its long leaves it forms very permanent spreading colonies in clay soils in habitat. The brilliant yellow sun flower blossoms rise up on sturdy stems directly from the ground. Each ebullient large flower is about 4″ across. Blooms appear from late April to early June. This plant usually finishes blooming just as summer drought commences. Its a memorable sight in wild meadows where it blooms simultaneously with native Rosa nutkana and Farewell to spring (Clarkia amoena var. lindleyi) and Giant blue eyed mary (Collinsia grandiflora). Wonderful cut flower and immediate and popular pollinator perennial. This plant was once very common in the Willamette Valley but civilization has immensely shrunk its native range. Good, long lived garden plant that goes summer dormant quickly after blooming has ended. The leaves turn gray and brittle and can easily be removed then. Give it a summer rest w/ little to no summer water once established. Full sun to very light shade. Water to establish its first season then none in subsequent years. Fun to grow and LONG lived. To 14″ in bloom forming a plant several feet across. Moderate deer resistance. Native to the Portland city limits.  Oregon native plant

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata

When you’ve given up all hope, When you think nothing will grow there enter this rugged, pioneering native to the rescue. Infamous for its weedy introduction have you ever had a close look at our own NATIVE populations? They yield truly showy flowers that are large cones with relatively large velvet purple flowers protruding. They make a great cut flower too. Found from the arctic to the tropics on North America. This form is genetically native stock. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in virtually any soil. Not as rambunctious as you would think but not a shrinking plant either. Very wild appearance and we like it. One of the first wildflowers that I recognized as a child, and when I was introduced much later to the weedy type I was sorely disappointed. Responds to regular water by blooming continuously. Reacts to withering drought by becoming limp and sometimes crisps. It always comes back. Mostly evergreen in our climate. To 6″ tall in bloom otherwise prostrate. Bees adore this plant. Aka Lanceleaf Selfheal. A good native weed. Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

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


With all the knock out, fleurshrubselekt® and every other patented type of rose its reassuring that this old gal still rocks them all. Betty bears clusters of slightly fragrant large single pink flowers. They are light pink w/ a slightly darker sheen to the surface of the petals which almost always open skyward. These upright facing groups of flowers yield not only a lot of color- it blooms constantly from May to frost, it gives the plant a wild appeal not seen in overly bred shrubs. The disease resistant foliage is mid green and handsome as well. To 4′ x 4′ forming a rounded shrub. It may be hard pruned in early spring if necessary. Remove spent flowers and more will quickly appear. Tough plant that gets by on a less than perfect watering regime.  Regular, deep watering (once a week max) will yield great performance. Established plants can take drought at the expense of re-blooming. Very easy to grow charming rose. Ultra cold hardy.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Nigella sativa

Wonderful multi-use hardy annual that we love for its flowers, seed heads, and edible seeds. Love-in-a-Mist is the common name in reference to the mostly dark blue flowers that are ensconced in a haze of fine green stems. This is a charming cut flower.  Upon finishing the ovaries transform to a ballon shaped structure full of yummy black seeds. You can then detach that as a cut flower as well. The dried black seeds have a peppery taste and are excellent sprinkled on salads. Be sure to sprinkle them on the ground where next year’s crop will be. Truth is once you plant this it is pretty much as permanent as a perennial, so reliable and prolific a re-seeding plant. The ferny seedlings are easy to spot, move or dispatch. Let them flow through your perennial borders. They make a wonderful addition to a cutting garden. Best in rich, open, disturbed soil with supplemental H20 all the way until seed are produced- though not entirely necessary it produces larger plants- and there fore stems, flowers, and more seeds. Blooms June-July. Full sun to light shade. VERY EASY.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


One of the very finest Pelargoniums or (Geranium- annual) with stupendous jagged foliage and vivid flowers. Each palmate leaf has a center of dramatic bronze and is outlined in bright chartreuse green. The star shaped hot orange flower is a bright and elegant contrast with this foliage. Compact growing habit. Excellent seasonal container subject or even bedded out. To 20″ x 20″ by the end of the summer. Rich, well drained soil with light consistent summer moisture. Remove spent flower spikes to tidy, encourage more. Moderately deer resistant. Avoid over watering. Easy, striking plant and our favorite Pelargonium.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn9a 25º to 20ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Dahlia ‘Bednall’s Beauty’

We grow just a select few Dahlias now but over the decades we’ve been able to observe hardiness by cultivar. This is consistently one of the hardiest. And its a wonderful perennial. Finely divided foliage is dark, nearly black on a compact plant to 2′ x 2′ with stunning black/velvet red single flowers. These appear consistently from June to frost. Shorter stems lead to a smaller cut flower but it is still wonderful none-the-less. The intense deep flower color is a perfect match for the foliage yielding a dark tinted plant. Provide contrasting light to golden colored foliage for extra depth. Excellent border perennial for full sun and rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. This hardy perennial requires very little protection other than a layer of mulch in autumn. Even a layer of leaves will provide a modicum of cover. Emerges with truly warm weather in spring. Protect emerging plants from snails/slugs. Full grown plants seem less affected. Loved by pollinators and moderately deer resistant. Far from 100% but still one of the last they will munch.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Achillea millefolium ‘Salmon Beauty’

Yarrow is an unbeatable native perennial that blooms for a LONG time with a minimum amount of effort from the gardener. Foamy, ferny gray green leaves creates a low carpet of evergreen foliage. Rising up on 2′ spikes flat umbels of soft salmon flower create landing pads for pollinators. The flowers fade lightly after opening for a wonderful multicolor effect. Remove spent flowers, apply a little water and it will repeat bloom until frost. Best in lighter soils that are enriched but drain quickly. Best floral displays occur with light consistent summer water though it is very drought tolerant when established. Tolerates the toughest, hottest sites. Admirable if a little pungent cut flower. LOVED by pollinators. Creates a growing patch to several feet wide quickly. Blooms spring- autumn. Moderately deer resistant. Borders, dry borders, hell strips, etc. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Solanum (laxum) jasminoides

White Potato Vine is an incredibly floriferous plant. Large and profuse clusters of stunning star shaped flowers are clear white and appear continuously from May to frost and if winter fails to materialize even longer. Semi-tender in our climate it requires protection for the base and rich, well drained soil. Vigorous climber to 12′ in single season. If it freezes the ground- this happens below about 20ºF it can break from the base and regrow quickly. In Portland this happens about every 3-4 years. Climbs by modified leaf petiole and requires substantial support. Personally, I think the best way to grow this everblooming vine is in containers, even window boxes where the plant will become a trailing cloud of white stars for months. Blooms on new wood, it may be pruned at anytime. Mulch the base in fall with compost or leaves and place against a warm wall or in-between close shrubs that will bolster further protection. Loved by bees and bumbles. Regular deep summer water produces the best results. Full sun to very light shade.  Spectacular performance on the Oregon Coast. Native to Chile/Argentina.

My Favorites

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


Viola ‘Tiger Eye’

We grew this just for fun last year and not only was it one of our most talked about plants it became one of our favorites as well. Each yellow/gold/burnt umber flower is intricately and completely marked in black lines. On very close inspection they almost look like a drawing of flowers. And its the most FRAGRANT viola we’ve ever smelled with a sweet perfume that carries quite a distance. Compact hardy annual to 6″ x 6″ for full sun to light shade. Excellent tolerance of cold (down to zone 7) as well as heat. All around its a winner of a viola, for containers, borders etc. Blooms non-stop, removing spent flowers does encourage more. Stop and smell the Violas and then stare at the patterns. Its a trip man.

My Favorites

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


We love ultra hardy Fuchsias, they are so carefree and they bloom and bloom. We found this Fuchsia in a garden near our shop. It was identified by our friend Annie Hayes at Annie’s annuals. Large growing subshrub to 5′ x 6′ in time. Red sepals surround a deep purple corolla with each petal marked with a strip of hot pink. Lovely. Flowers are large for a hardy Fuchsia and are profuse from June to frost. Fuchsia mite resistant. Very easy to grow in light shade to full sun. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water is ideal. Very established plants can make due with less. Freezes to the ground in the low 20’s- but not every year. Wait until new growth emerges then remove the frozen material. Loved by hummingbirds as well as gardeners. Lustrous  deep green foliage outlines the pendant flowers. You’ll never lose this long lived plant to winter. Good to try where rabbits are a problem.

My Favorites

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


This strain of our native Siskiyou Lewisia contains a stunning range of flower colors. Pink to orange to white to yellow and permutations in-between. One of our most cherished wild flowers this plant is found at high elevations in the southern part of the state. A succulent that forms an evergreen rosette it displays its flowers for literally months on end beginning in spring. Excellent, long blooming, easy to grow container plant but not difficult in the ground given rock garden conditions. Drainage is crucial, in average to enriched soil. Drought adapted but it blooms longer with light summer water. Full sun to very light shade. Excellent at the top of walls, spilling out of cliffs as it does in nature. To 6″ tall forming multiplying rosettes up to a foot across. Moderate deer resistance.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


California meadow sedge is native to stream banks, and vernally wet places at the beach from British Columbia south in to Baja. A deep green winter growing sedge which each plant reaches about 18″ across and 10″ or so inches high. It flops over gracefully and has a very uniform appearance through the year with light irrigation. This is a winter growing plant that resumes growing and greens up with winter rains. In very cold weather (below 20ºF) it can take on russet tints. A FANTASTIC LAWN SUBSTITUTE where it has been used extensively for that application in California. We should use it here too. Plant on 1′ centers for a lawn (faux lawn) cover from one gallons and water regularly through the first season. No water plantings can go summer dormant but in wetter environs this can be avoided and it will remain green and verdant. Water once a week in summer to remain green.  Fantastic ground cover, slope cover as it will out compete weeds and form a uniform cover. Tolerates clay soils well, but some amending will reap rewards with a faster growing plant. Tolerates mowing very well. Oregon native plant. 

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Bare stem biscuit root is a locally native perennial that is found in rocky dry areas among clumping native grasses. The stemless rosette bears upright entire glabrous blue leaves. 6″ stems rise up in late spring to earl summer with umbels of sulphur yellow flowers (sometimes purple). To establish, water thoroughly through the first month in the ground. Winter deciduous it emerges very early in spring. Loved by pollinators of all kinds. In the Willamette Valley this biscuit root grows in various biomes but is most common on dry hillsides. Festuca californica and Festuca roemeri are two native grasses seen with this plant in the wild. Full sun to light deciduous shade. Avoid standing water in winter. Long lived perennial once established. Excellent in gravel gardens.  Leaves remain handsome after blooming. Spreads slowly to form colonies. Locally native in the Portland city limits. Drought adapted when established. Moderate deer resistance.  Oregon native plant. 

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sea Blush, or more commonly Rosy Plectritis is a locally native hardy annual in the Valerian family. In April-June it swarms meadows and glens with orbicular globes of dense fragrant pink flowers. They rise on average to about 10″ tall.  Rich soil will yield larger plants. Excellent bulb cover for late narcissus, tulips etc. Fun to grow heavily reseeding annual that also makes  a sweet cut flower. It can be found in the western third of the state. Also wonderful with Pacific Coast Iris as they bloom concurrently.  Sets seed and dies by mid summer when the spent carcasses may be removed- when doing that give them a shake where you want next years display to occur. Water to establish then none. Full sun to very light shade. New seedlings have diamond shaped true leaves with a rubbery texture. High deer resistance. Native in the Portland city limits.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Mountain garland is a hardy annual native to the mountains of southern Oregon south into the Sierra Nevada in California. Sparkling white crape-like flowers line tall upright stems on this plant that can be small in poor soil and soar in rich conditions.  Size can be difficult to determine based on this…an average of 1′ tall is probably safe. Blooms continuously from May to as late as August if supplemental light water is supplied. Excellent among perennials such as Penstemons, Erodiums, Salvias, Cupheas. Sets copious seed for the following season and these will be white as well. Leave open disturbed sites in your garden to supply next years crop. Excellent cut flower as well and loved by Butterflies. Very easy to grow.

Oregon native plant 

My Favorites

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


Collinsia grandiflora

Native annuals often get over looked in our gardens. They occupied vast stretches of the Willamette Valley and civilization has caused those displays to suffer. In our gardens they are precious reminders that we should include every category of native plant. Giant Blue Eyed Mary is one of our most delicate looking and stunning in floral detail,  It makes a hazy cloud of beautiful blue and white small snapdragon flowers from late April to Mid June. A true annual that dies once the floral display is done. But leave the skeletons of the plant for several weeks longer to form and shed seeds for next years display. This 20″ tall grassy plant occupies open sunny sites as well as the margins of forests. In our gardens it appreciates open slightly disturbed soil. Seedlings germinate in autumn and over winter as small plants. Excellent plant to succeed mid and late spring bulbs. Water lightly after planting and  to establish then none required. Native to the Portland city limits as well. Fantastic displays of this plant can be seen at Camassia in West Linn all through late spring.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Camellia sasanqua ‘Li’l Rose’

Obscure and stunning DWARF Sasanqua Camellia. Beginning in October and opening blooms through December and sometimes even later. Smaller stature than a standard Sasanqua. The double glistening pink flowers decorate the shrub in a dense way. To 4′ x 4′ in 8 years- but growing larger. Deep, deep green glossy leaves are pretty on this open and lax evergreen shrub. Full sun to light shade in rich to average well drained soil; light consistent summer water increases fall bloom set. Excellent and dainty espalier subject.  Very pretty blooms.

My Favorites

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


Grevillea x ‘The Precious’

Excellent introduction from Desert Northwest Nursery in Sequim, WA. This seedling of ‘Leanne’ exceeds that cultivar in several ways. First, its a decidedly smaller shrub with tiny, needle like deep green foliage. Second, its profuse flowers are a brighter and lighter yellow that is showy from a distance and great contrast with the foliage. This brand new plant is likely to reach 3′ x 4′ in 8 years. Moderately slow growing. Blooms appear YEAR ROUND and are a beacon to hummingbirds as well as gardeners in the dead of winter. Full sun to very light shade in average, un-amended native soils. Good drainage is helpful. Very little to no water once established. Extremely drought adapted. Beautiful, free blooming shrub that has great promise. Thanks, Ian. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Rosa ‘Darlow’s Enigma’

Curious climbing rose that puts on a non-stop display of sprays of intensely fragrant flowers that are diminuitive, white, and semi-double. The anise/fruit scented flowers begin in mid-spring and continue unabated until autumn. A large growing rose to 12′ tall and 8′ wide in time. Excellent trained on a trellis or pergola. Blooms on wood from the current season and may be hard pruned in early spring. This rose seedling was discovered in a garden in Eugene and its popularity has spread throughout the globe. The sweet fragrance will perfume an entire garden on a warm summer day. Captivating cut flower. Disease resistant and very tough rose that gets by on a minimum amount of summer water and still blooms. Regular water in rich soil amplifies this roses performance dramatically. Winter deciduous. Extremely cold hardy.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Calamagrostis foliosa

Mendocino Reed grass is a regal plant from the northern California coast. Well scaled for gardens a 1′ x 2′ wide clump eventually forms with stiff, tidy blue green arching leaves that are blue with purple highlights. In spring to mid-summer 1′ tall spikes of flowers that begin russet and age to soft tan appear and are immensely showy and symmetrical. A back lit plant in bloom is a festival of brilliant tones. Best in light shade and average to rich, well drained soil with light summer water to improve vigor and appearance. A cool season grass that looks wonderful in winter as well as summer. Excellent garden plant that has proven to be easy and adaptable. Evergreen.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Famous for its hardiness to cold, this shrub eventually becomes very big with very large double, powerfully fragrant flowers. This fabulous Gardenia gains cold hardiness with age. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains- see- LOTS OF COMPOST and regular summer water. That will not only speed growth and establishment it will encourage a constant supply of blooms from on average early July to September. To 4′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best in a protected location- especially from east winds. Full sun to full shade. Excellent with some overhead protection- tree branches , eaves, or a pergola. This slight protection provides the plant with less dramatic swings in temperatures which helps it harden off to cold. REGULAR irrigation is crucial for the first few years. Never let a Gardenia dry out entirely- no like. All the leaves from the interior out will turn yellow and drop. Not pretty. But a well grown shrub is gorgeous with large, deep green glossy foliage ensconcing the 3″ wide flowers. The fragrance will waft in warm summer conditions. Lovely.  Excellent in containers – pay attention to irrigation and move the containerized Gardenia to an unheated garage or porch. Lucious and very tropical looking. Resprouts from the base if frozen.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Polypodium scouleri

Coast Polypody or creeping leather fern is an evergreen colony forming plant that is native from British Columbia south along the coast to even the Guadelupe Island off of Baja. It makes its home as an epiphyte trees, logs, rocks, the ground almost anywhere it finds adequate moisture and shade. During the summer it will take a surprising amount of dryness but we recommend light consistent irrigation for the best appearance and to spur multiplication. Fronds to 10″ long with rounded lobes. Excellent garden plant, grows very well in rich to average soil as well. Good year round appearance. A native fern that should be grown all the time. Great in winter containers- excellent winter appearance with little maintenance. Protect from hot sun. Highly deer resistant.  A natural for the Oregon coast  which is its native home.  Oregon native plant. 

My Favorites

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


Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

Not all vines are climbers and this amazing Clematis makes its way sprawling through life. All the better to display the masses of nodding small deep blue/purple flowers. The fluted petals are a lighter blue/ivory on the interior. Blooms non-stop from May to frost. Exhausted canes can be cut back midseason and regeneration and bloom is rapid. Wonderful 6′ tall clamberer that can find a home in large shrub or over the top of robust plant. Prune hard in early spring to the two buds just above soil level. Regular water through summer in rich, well drained soil. Clematis do best when given a good start in life. Double dig the soil in a large circle around the intended home. Amend the soil with liberal amounts of organic fertilizer. A demure little cut flower. May be adhered to vertical supports. Does not form modified petioles to attach. This vine is very light and will seldom squash less sturdy plants. Decorate a Juniper hedge or spangle a Philadelphus. Light deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Adiantum aleuticum

Western Maiden Hair Fern is native from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska south mainly through shady wet spots in the west south as far as Chiahuahua, Mexico. Its even locally native from Maryland to New Foundland. Its a long lived and vigorous fully deciduous perennial for perpetually wet sites. To 2′ tall and spreading almost indefinitely where conditions suite it. Heavy clay soil that retains consistent moisture in part shade to shade. Often found lining water falls in Oregon or in deep cool moist gullies. The multi fingered leaves are a soft green and are held erect on jet black stems. Very good sited at the bottom of a downspout. Very easy to grow given consistent moisture.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Gymnocarpium dryopteris

A fantastic, tough but elegant and demure fern known as the Northern Oak Fern and its native habitat is nearly circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere including right here in the state of Oregon. Finely incised, delicate looking lime green foliage has an affinity to paper lace doilies. Completely deciduous this fern creeps by stolons to form large patches in part shade to shade. Best in soils that are somewhat light but endures even heavy clay soil. Light consistent summer water is ideal but established plants withstand considerable drought. This fern with an appearance so delicate is actually a survivor of a plant and is very easy and satisfying to grow. Dies back in the darkness of autumn and emerges mid-spring. Excellent deer resistance. Competes well with tree roots. Surprisingly rare in commerce. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Begonia boliviensis

This species is one of the progenitors of modern Tuberous- non-stop Begonias. In of itself a tough perennial that if you are patient will make an appearance year after year. To 1′ tall (slightly taller) angel wing shaped bold green leaves are a wonderful backdrop to the masses of striking orange/red flowers that appear from July to October. Each of five petals recurves as it opens to an elegant effect. Very easy to grow as a container plant. To over winter simply let the plant die back in late autumn and move the container to a sheltered site. Mine goes against the wall of a covered outside patio and in 15 years I’ve never lost a plant. Grows surprisingly well in the ground in well drained rich soil in part shade. Be aware that returning plants emerge late – Often not showing their presence above ground until mid-June. Best with an annual application of organic fertilizer. Regular water, but never permanently boggy. Excellent performance in our climate. The outrageous amount of flowers produced make this plant a regal winner.

My Favorites

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


Salvia uliginosa

Swamp sage is actually very tolerant of dry to average conditions. This special sage from South America is surprisingly cold hardy and is a large reliable perennial. 6′ tall wand-like stems terminate in rows of sky blue flowers. There is a white nectary guide on the lower lip. Forms semi-woody clumps that expand at a moderate rate to about 2′ across. Freezes to the ground below about 20ºF but is root hardy near 0ºF. Rich to average soil with regular irrigation through summer. Full sun to very light shade. Blooms appear from early June to early autumn. Excellent in the back of a border or swimming in a sea of large ornamental grass. The medium green leaves are elongated with indentation and rise up along the stem. One of the easiest and showiest of sages. Nice cut flower. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Rosa ‘Lady Hillingdon’

Everyone needs at least one fluffy rose in their garden and this one deserves a place. A true tea rose introduced in 1910 it is also very cold hardy for this class.  Very double flowers emerge orange sherbet and age from the outside in to a soft pastel apricot- as per this class the petals are heavily scrolled. The nodding blossoms (a hallmark of a true tea rose) are somewhat loose with the powerful fragrance of dried black tea. Sweet and inviting. New foliage is maroon and transitions to deep glossy green. This is a wonderful backdrop to the ‘egg yolk’ colored flowers that virtually glow. Do not hard prune. Instead limit pruning to removing spent wood and the previous years spent blossoms. Blooms repeatedly from June to September- removing spent flowers encourages more. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water for best bloom. Roses are heavy feeders and this one is no different. Begin its life with a large amendment of organic fertilizer to ensure a large and vigorous root system. Top dress with Alfalfa Meal in March. To 5′ on average and about 1/2 as wide.  For diligent gardeners it may be trained as a climber. Joke: This rose was often grown against warm walls in colder climates. Hence, the phrase: ‘Lady Hillingdon’ she’s bad in a bed but great against a wall. HARR! Thank you Marcella Garcia-Moore for this excellent rose. Available Spring 2019.

My Favorites

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


Symphyotrichum subspicatum ‘Sauvie Snow’

We selected this form of our locally native Douglas Aster for its snow white flowers. The species in our area ranges from blue/lavender/blue-white. So, this is a nice color break. One of the very best pollinator perennials that we grow. In bloom from July-October it is virtually swarmed by every flying insect you can imagine. A constant buzz of activity. This is a large, rambunctious perennial that is not good with delicate neighbors. Douglas Aster belongs in the wild where it can consort with other similarly overly adapted natives. Virtually any soil in full sun to light shade. In bloom it rises to nearly 30″ and the spread is nearly indefinite This is a rugged perennial for tough sites, even areas submerged during the wet season. Not a bad cut flower. Mix with large ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis  ‘Morning Light’ or Panicum virgatum ‘ Heavy Metal’. Mix with native shrubs- Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon Grape and Holodiscus discolor ‘Ocean Spray’. Drought adapted when established but it appreciates a soak now and again to prolong the bloom period.   Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Alstroemeria ‘The Third Harmonic’

A good Alstro is hard to find. The dwarf varieties are ever plagued by snails/slugs, Many of the most exquisite varieties (patented) are poor garden performers, lacking vigor or something. Enter this most fave cultivar. First of all its orange and many will confuse it with the more diminutively flowering A. aurantiacus which can become an ineradicable weed. THIS IS NOT THAT. Its a polite clumper with enough vigor to send up fully 30″ flowering stems repeatedly for up to 6 weeks in summer. Speaking of which the individual flower will last up to two weeks in a vase. Do not cut them (which injures the plant – it bleeds out) rather gently rock the base of the stem back and forth to detach. This will help and not hurt it. Regular summer irrigation in rich, moisture retentive soil. Winter deciduous. To 2′ wide..

My Favorites

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


Hemerocallis ‘Pearl Cove’

We don’t grow many Day lilies. To be honest they are kind of done. But we have chosen a half dozen that we think add a lot to a garden. This variety is not only subtly beautiful with complex soft colors, it will often re-bloom through the summer if given ideal conditions. What are those? Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular, dependable irrigation through the hot months. The 3″ flowers have hints of cream, golden yellow, soft pink and even apricot. Delicious- as they are edible too. A long lived perennial that forms an expanding clump to 2′ tall and more than two feet wide. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Loved by butterflies. A good looking, long lived, trouble free plant. Completely deciduous in winter.

My Favorites

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


Hemerocallis ‘Betty’s Pick’

One thing we know about Betty, she was obviously something of a size queen. We LOVE this unusual dwarf daylily that exhibits HUGE outsized startlingly beautiful flowers for 4-6 weeks early to mid summer. To just 14″ tall the outrageous yellow/chartreuse and mauve flower explode open and stretch to 6″ across. Its unbelievable . Forms a spreading clump with mid-green arching strappy leaves. Screams to be at the front of a border or where the context of the huge flowers can be appreciated. Full sun to light shade and rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular water through the bloom period enhances the already outrageous display. Completely winter deciduous.

My Favorites

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


Vancouveria hexandra

Inside-Out-Flower is a commonly seen terrestrial component in dry to moderately moist woodlands in our region. The duck foot shaped leaves are conspicuous and pretty and in late spring to mid-summer a continuous supply of dainty downward pointing white flowers. Spreads in gardens very well in enriched soil with regular summer water where it will quickly assume the role of an intertwining ground cover. Winter deciduous- un-like its close and much more drought adapted relative Vancouveria chrysantha (Yellow inside-out-flower, Siskiyou Vancouveria). This perennial is perfect for life among shrubs or mixing with other woodland perennials in part shade to shade. Adapts well to garden culture and thrives on regular summer irrigation. Locally native in the city of Portland. To 10″ tall and spreading. Some deer resistance.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Erigeron glaucus ‘Bountiful’

Such a long, long, blooming tough and dependable native this forgiving perennial outshines all other cultivars in the size of each flower. The many rows of glowing lavender petals that characterize this fabulous perennial outline nearly 2″ wide flowers. They begin in earnest in late May and proceed unabated until early autumn. If the flowers become tired or scorched simply cut it back and wham! You’re quickly back in business. Adaptable to many soil types and will subsist on only natural rainfall but occasional deep soaks in summer reaps rewards. To 10″ tall forming a round perennial to 18″ wide. Full sun,  to very light shade. Pollinator masterpiece. Oregon native plant. 

My Favorites

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


Agastache ‘Berry Princess’

We believe this to be a cross inheriting some of the coloration of A. auranticus as well as A. cana. To 28″ tall this clump forming, everblooming perennial brings bright red buds that open to purple flowers. The colorful combination lasts all summer into autumn. New flowers are born on the same spikes so do not remove. Moderate consistent water through the first summer to establish. Double dig soil to incorporate oxygen into the soil and aid in irrigation to the roots. Established plants get by with a little less. Loved by hummers and  pretty decent cutfower as well. Full all day sun for best performance, will not be quite as floriferous in part shade. Sweetly scented foliage is an extra benefit. To 18″ wide and slowly increasing. Excellent on berms as well as slopes. Mulch in fall.  Small rosette of winter foliage is protected by the previous years defunct stems. Prune these away after all threat of a hard freeze has passed.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

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


Cerinthe major var. purpurescens

Cool mediterranean annual that we love for its complex combination of bract and flower colors. To 14″ tall the nodding bell shaped flowers are blue with a white ring around the lip. The base of these flowers is yellow. Large bracts protect the flowers and turn from blue green to shades of indigo as they mature. A cool season annual that often self sows. These seedlings cruise through winter without much of a hitch and are up and blooming by mid spring. By the heat of july they quickly die setting profuse seed and disappearing. Light additional water besides rainfall will lengthen the show. Seedlings appear where they are happy- this can even be the cracks in the sidewalk. Seedlings are easy to spot and move or dispatch if unwanted. Nice in spring containers. Plant with early blooming Euphorbias for a real picture of yellow and blue contrast.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Garnettii’

One of the cold hardiest selections of this species native to New Zealand. This stunning evergreen shrub of unknown origin shines in the garden with round leaves edged in white with an interior of soft green. And these bright leaves are held on dramatic black stems. In spring small black to maroon flowers decorate the leaf axils. Moderately fast growing pyramidal shrub to 8′ tall x 4 wide in 7 years- and gradually larger. In winter the leaves become even more colorful taking on bright pink tints. Requires a somewhat protected location- avoid exposure to subfreezing winds directly. Best sited with protection from east winds. Full sun to high over head shade. Accepts regular summer water which will increase the rate of growth- but established plants are remarkably summer drought tolerant. Excellent cut foliage for arrangements. A luminous shrub that virtually glows in the landscape. Cold damage begins at about 10ºF- but spring recovery is rapid.  Limited quantities.

My Favorites

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


Pittosporum tobira ‘Variegata’

An old shrub that deserves a new lease on life. Venerable old specimens are found throughout Portland proving its durability over time. The rounded evergreen leaves are edged in cream with an interior of soft sage green. In May/June masses of small white  deliciously citrus-blossom scented flowers perfume a wide area. Not as dense or fast growing as the species- and prone to losing older leaves in colder than normal winters- so it can have an open appearance. Excellent evergreen specimen shrub for a hot location. A south or west facing wall is ideal and it can withstand the most withering afternoon heat. Slow growing to 6′ x 6′ in 10 years. Very drought adapted when established, but it will happily take regular summer water. The foliage is so fetching that it is often seen for sale as cut material in bouquets. It lasts for several weeks in a vase. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Nice foundation shrub. Established shrubs are cold hardy to about 5ºF. Avoid exposure to strong subfreezing winds. Easy and pretty urban plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Luma apiculata

Chilean Myrtle is a very good looking dense evergreen shrub/tree in our climate. It requires a slightly protected location as it can be tender when young. Protect young plants from temperatures below 15ºF. With age and establishment it gains much, much more cold hardiness enduring 5ºF with just light leaf burn. The leaves are deep, dark green and rounded with a sharp tip. Almost formal looking. In protected gardens it can attain tree like status in about 8 years. Most often in our region its a shrub of about 12′. And perhaps the most impressive thing about this Chilean/Argentinian tree is the exfoliating orange to tan bark it achieves with age. In mid-summer masses of small white fragrant myrtle flowers with a central boss of exerted stamens smother the whole plant. These turn into sweetly edible if not a little mentholated black berries. They can be messy so locate away from paths, pavement. Birds almost always make off with the berries so that is helpful. Avoid direct exposure to subfreezing gorge winds. In gardens subject to that locate on a south or west facing wall. Very drought adapted when established, but consistent water and average soil will yield the best growth. Grows about 1′-3′ per year. Moderate deer resistance. Not a good plant for cold rural gardens. Tree size specimens are phenomenal and worth the effort to protect when young. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Ceanothus ‘Victoria’

This is one of the most popular shrubs in western Oregon of the last two decades. And rightfully so. This wild lilac sports excellent cold hardiness, prolific flowers, and glossy handsome evergreen foliage year round. A strong growing shrub that can literally explode in growth in rich soil but is much more restrained in poorer mediums. Remember this when planting it. It performs the best in average, un-amended soils in full sun with regular summer water for the first season to establish and then none in subsequent years. Sky blue flowers are profuse covering this dense shrub in a haze of color for 3-4 weeks in May to June. Later blooming that most other Ceanothus. This good looking shrub is so durable its made its way as  highway verge mass plantings but it is just as stellar of a garden plant as well. Cold hardy to about 5ºF- it survived -5ºF in the southern Willamette Valley in 2013 by freezing to the snow line and then vigorously re-sprouting. Durable, dependable Ceanothus. Avoid the summer heat + water that it abhors- it leaves it open to root water molds that can do it in and fairly quickly. Excellent shrub for the beginning gardener. Loved by pollinators of all kinds and is virtually rolling in bees during its fabulous bloom. NOT DEER RESISTANT. Most likely a hybrid with C. thyrsiflorus which must be responsible for at least half of its make up. Found in Victoria, Canada- hence the name. Likely it is the old cultivar ‘Skylark’ that was re-named upon its survival there of a hideous winter. The old name was forgotten and the glee of survival and discovery led to the renaming.  To be clear ‘Victoria’ and ‘Skylark’ are exactly the same thing. Very fast growing to on average 8′ x 8′. Excellent with all west coast natives. Blooms simultaneously with yellow Halimiums. A fantastic floral and cultural combination.

below photo credit: Jane Finch-Howell

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Diascia ‘Blue Bonnet’

We’ve found this remarkable perennial to be perfectly hardy in our climate and it offers several outstanding features. Columns of overlapping cupped pink flowers are profuse and as they age they take on ghostly blue tints. The effect is greater in hot weather and gives this spreading perennial bicolor pink/pale blue flowers for months. To 18″ tall and steadily spreading to more than one foot wide in time. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water is ideal, but we’ve noted its stellar performance in un-amended clay as well.  Blooms continuously for months beginning in May and if the flowers become tired it may be sheared, watered well, and perhaps given a little all purpose fertilizer to start the show again. Winter deciduous. Excels in containers. Excellent on slopes, the front of borders, rock gardens, hell strips. Ethereal flowers combine deliciously with variegated moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’) and deep purple Penstemon ‘Enor’ for similar cultural requirements and a season long display.

My Favorites

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


Quercus chrysolepis

Canyon live oak is a vastly underused, beautiful evergreen native tree. From Lane county, Oregon south through California, slight parts of Nevada around Lake Tahoe and sporadically in Arizona and even New Mexico. This venerable tree is found on the steepest slopes of canyons and mountain ridges. In Oregon it represents the northern most native Live Oak or evergreen oak in North America. Leaves are glossy army green on the the top with a conspicuous furry gold underside. This is a rugged, tough tree that should be used in both gardens and as a street tree. In the Alameda neighborhood in Portland there is an ancient specimen to 60′ tall and wide with a large trunk. This heritage tree was reportedly brought to the city from southern Oregon via horse and wagon. Slow growing in youth it picks up speed exponentially several years after planting. To 40′ x 20′ in 30 years with a broad spreading crown. In the wild it often forms a gnarled multi-trunked rounded outline. Its very possible to train this tree to a single trunk/leader to extend the crown skyward. Extraordinarily cold hardy enduring temperatures slightly below 0ºF with no difficulty. The large acorns are born in a showy golden hued furry cups- and are produced profusely in banner years. Water to establish for the first season then none in subsequent years. Full sun. Beautiful, native Oak that we cherish at Xera. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Rogue Sky’

A selection of Coast Blue Blossom or Ceanothus thyrsiflorus that we made very far inland from its natural range in SW Oregon. Typically relegated to the coastal strip we found this variety more than 35 miles inland. This improves cold hardiness. A rapidly growing shrub/tree to 16′ tall and 8′ wide in 7 years. Robin’s egg blue flowers smother the whole plant in May. Extremely drought tolerant this fast grower may be either used as a cool, evergreen, native, blue flowered tree or it may be pruned aggressively after blooming to limit the size- increase density create a screen or hedge. Loved by honey bees and all pollinators in general.  No summer water once established. Excellent background tree that delights in bloom but fades to a green screen the rest of the year. Plant with other drought tolerant plants- Arctostaphylos, Cistus, etc. Grows 3′-4′ per year when established. The flowers are a soothing blue- which is hard to capture in photographs. The effect in bloom is a blue cloud. Takes partial shade and the worst soils. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type: , ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


A dazzling female selection of Japanese Aucuba with long, thin, tapered leaves of deep green randomly splashed with yellow spots. Dense and slow growing evergreen to 5′ x 5′ in 7 years. This selection will produce clusters of large red berries of a male is present. Very showy. Tiny brown/green flowers in spring are not conspicuous. Part shade to quite a bit of shade in average to enriched well drained soil. Established plants are incredibly drought tolerant and this striking shrub adds light and texture to dry shade areas. It will take full sun with regular irrigation and the leaves will be not as dark lustrous green. A very handsome shrub year round with great cold hardiness. Regular water through the first season to establish. Then light water. Long lived, easy to grow shrub whose dense habit does not require pruning.

My Favorites

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


Salvia gregii ‘ Rossetto’

Excellent seedling of ‘Playa Rosa’ with deep clear pink flowers for months and increased cold hardiness. To 20″ x 20″ in a season this is a ‘woody’ sage that forms a small shrub. The vivid pink flowers begin in late May and continue to frost. It takes a break from blooming in extreme heat (above 95ºF) but flowers return when cooler air arrives. Full hot sun to part shade in rich, WELL DRAINED soil. A slope is ideal- especially if it faces south. Light, consistent summer water, speeds growth, establishment and spurs rounds of bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and butterflies. Do not cut back until early spring- when all signs of a hard freeze have passed. It may be cut back hard then and will quickly erupt into a blooming machine. Great in seasonal containers. ‘Rossetto’ is lipstick in Italian. Thanks to my friend Ann Amato for the name.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Melianthus major ‘Purple Haze’

Nice selection of Honey Bush that shares tints of purple predominantly when new leaves are unfurling. The enormous blue/lavender serrated leaves are amazing. Lower growing than either the species or ‘Antonow’s Blue’. To 4′ tall (usually shorter) by at least 6′ wide. Red flowers are produced on the black scape that can follow mild winters. Technically a subshrub as it can freeze to the ground and fully recover from the root in a single season. IF it has been well established in its first season. For that reason we only sell Melianthus in 2 gallon sizes. A larger plant establishes faster and has more mass going into winter. Plant in a protected location- against a wall or with light overstory protection. Mulch for the first winter. Freezes to the ground at prolonged temperatures below about 20ºF. Re-sprouts in mid-late spring. Water and fertilize to speed the recovery. South Africa.

My Favorites

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


Rosa sericea var. pteracantha

Blood thorn rose. Justifiably famous for the sanguine glowing red hue of the thorns on new growth. Back lit by the sun it would make a vampire very very hungry. Large growing species rose that also features 1″ fragrant single white flowers en masse on wood from the previous season. Established plants (1-2 years in the ground) may be coppiced in early spring to emphasize and create new wood clad in thorns. If allowed to mature a year  or two the thorns fade  to gray but then you are rewarded with scintillating flowers in May/June. Full sun and virtually any soil, including heavy clay. But avoid standing water in winter. Average, regular irrigation in summer keeps it looking fresh. Old specimens can make do with little water. If you do coppice this plant for thorns make sure you follow up with a bit of fertilizer (a handful of all organic fertilizer 9.3.4) and regular water to ensure regrowth is robust. Winter deciduous- fall color is orange red and brief. Bright red, shiny hips follow a profuse blooming season. Long lived. To 8′ x 8′ if left unpruned. Regrowth on hard pruned shrubs in a season can be almost as big. Disease resistant, virus free and produced on its own roots. Light deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Lomatia fraseri

Fascinating small tree that is one of the largest members in this genus. This Proteaceous tree harbors interesting irregularly toothed linear leaves and masses of  sweet anise scented curly, ivory colored flowers in mid summer. Moderately fast growing evergreen tree to 18′ tall and 7′ wide in 10 years in our climate. Full sun to high overstory shade is ideal in average, well drained soil. Light supplemental summer water speeds the growth of this elegant plant. Grows on average about 1′-3′ per year. Sophisticated in all its parts it resents soil that is overly enriched (avoid compost) and fertilizer, instead it relished our own unimproved native soils. Simply double dig a wide area before planting to allow oxygen and ease the travel of new roots into virgin soil. Very drought tolerant when established. Avoid exposure to blasting subfreezing east wind. In those zones locate on a west or south facing aspect. Grown for several decades it has never been common in our area. Native from the mountains to the rain forest verges in SE Australia. Cold hardiness increases substantially with age. In time it forms a handsome somewhat conical shaped tree of delightful texture.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Grevillea x gaudichaudii

Impressive ground cover Grevillea that can be difficult to locate. To less than one foot tall it spreads out laterally easily 8′ wide in 7 years. The distinctly oak shaped leaves on this shrub emerge deep red before settling to green. All the while it is producing red upward facing “toothbrush” shaped flowers. These appear from February to August primarily but can pop off occasionally year round. All together it forms an amazing ground cover shrub that features fantastic foliage and flowers in a bold tapestry display. Cold hardy to a bit less than 10ºF- it appreciates successively colder frosts to harden off for its ultimate frost resistance. Full sun to part shade in average, well drained soil. Light summer water increases the growth rate- and it can zoom once established. Avoid crowding from other plants- it seems to require good air circulation. Excellent performance on gravel mulch. Large rock garden plant or hot slope cover. Protect young plants from temperatures below 15ºF- it can burn the foliage. Hardiness increases with establishment. The very short trunk emerging from the ground can be surprisingly stout- several inches in diameter. Cover with  frost cloth- held down for wind protection during extreme arctic events. Drought adapted when established. A protected location. One of the coolest shrubs we can grow. A naturally occurring hybrid from the Blue Mountains. Excellent around and over boulders which add radiant heat during extreme cold. Should only be attempted in the mildest gardens.

My Favorites

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


Rubus spectabilis ‘Golden Ruby’

This golden leaved form of our native Salmon Berry is an exciting variation for wild areas. The brilliantly colored foliage sparkles with deep pink flowers in spring. In summer it produces salmon colored sweet, edible berries. To 7′ tall and spreading as wide as it would like. Full sun (with irrigation) to quite a bit of high overhead shade. Give this colonizing plant room to spread. It appreciates moist soil but is very tough when established. Deciduous- though it is a short period and the brilliant new leaves begin emerging in late winter.  Stream banks,  the back area of woodlands, wild areas. Moderate deer resistance. Increases by suckering stolons. Easy native to brighten wild woods. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Rosa x ‘Bengal Fire’

Nothing says I love you like a single red rose and this single red rose is perfect. Large 4″ single deep red flowers with a hint of magenta appear continuously from May to frost. Easy, disease free rose with dark foliage that cups the intensely hued flowers. To 6′ x 6′ in a season. May be pruned in early spring to resize, increase density and blooming wood. Rapid rebloom all season. Great landscape rose. Very nice as a component in a border. Simple and clean and colorful. Full sun to light shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Consistent summer water yields the best bloom but when established this tough rose can sail through a summer with very little water. Mostly deciduous. This, as all of our roses,  is produced on its own roots.

My Favorites

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


Phacelia californica

Scorpion weed is a beautiful native perennial found on rocky slopes/ hillsides/road cuts throughout California and western Oregon. Handsome corrugated trifoliate leaves are silver and have a pointed tip. In May-July curled flower inflorescences arise unfurling as they bloom to reveal rows of mauve/blue flowers. To 2′ tall in bloom it forms a handsome dome of evergreen foliage to 14″ across. The leaves are the most striking and conspicuous feature of this plant. Pollinators adore the flowers and its especially important for native bees. Full sun to very light shade, average, well drained soil. Light summer water.  Excellent in the front of borders. Wonderful bold contrast with other fine leaved silver beauties- it even shines with lavender. As you hike throughout the mountainous parts west of the Cascade Crest the incredibly handsome leaves are sure to catch your eye. Easy to grow and perfectly climate adapted. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Nemophila menziesii ‘Frosty Blue’

Impressive selection of this wonderful native annual. Leaves are brightly frosted in white and make a great backdrop to the sky blue nickel sized flowers. Blooms April-June in part shade to full sun. AKA Frosty Blue Baby Blue Eyes. To 4″ x 6″ forming a spreading plant. Very attractive and it will reseed in the autumn or early spring- the seedlings are immediately identifiable by the silver foliage. Likes to germinate among other small plants/grasses for overwintering protection. Water to establish then only lightly until bloom has ceased and seed is set. The whole plant dies and decomposes almost instantly in the real heat of summer. Excellent in early season containers. This form was found in California but this is also an Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Grevillea juniperina ‘Firewoman’

About 15 years ago we planted this tiny seedling at the top of our propagation hill behind our wholesale nursery in Sherwood. After all those years and two trips down to 5ºF, numerous ice, snow, wind events it has remained completely happy and unblemished. This is closer to the species in form. To 4′ tall x 6′ wide in 5 years. Very prickly needles pose as the leaves forming a very formidable shrub. From January to July flaming red/orange flowers are curly and lick the tips of the stems like flames. And LOVED by hummers. Full sun to part shade, the very poorest, most well drained soil with no summer water once established. Takes clay soils on slopes. Completely drought adapted and it likes it that way. Great deer resistance. Long season of bloom on a charming architectural evergreen shrub.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Solierolia soleirolii

Baby’s Tears is a useful and surprisingly hardy small scale ground cover. Famous for its role in terrariums its surprisingly hardy to cold as well. Tiny leaves overlap in a perfectly flat deep green ground cover. Part shade to shade but not terrible dry shade or compacted soils. Spreads to several feet wide in several seasons. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains is ideal. Mist or water once a week to increase humidity which it very much appreciates. Freezes to nothing below 15ºF- resprouts from bits of root vigorously in spring. Do not try to cover the whole planet with this diminuitive plant. Instead isolate it to cool pools of green several feet wide. Excellent in containers or as an easy houseplant.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Big Wheel’

Astonishing flower color is one reason to love this large flowered Pacifica hybrid. Orange/coral/pink all morphed into one hue with a central zone of deep purple near the center. To 1′ tall and forming spreading clumps of evergreen foliage. Blooms April-June. The large flowers are showy from quite a distance. Part shade is ideal but endures full sun and tolerates total shade. Water regularly through the first summer to establish- the clump should increase by twice its size then none in subsequent years. Resents disturbance best left where it is to live. Great deer resistance. A very unusual color for a PCI.

My Favorites

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


iris foetidissima ‘Variegata’

Useful, pretty foliage plant in a genus most known for flowers. The 1.5″ wide leaves are striped in white and dark green. Each evergreen leaf rises to 15″ and then arches over. In time it forms large showy clumps. In late spring small not very striking brown flowers appear and are followed by much more showy orange berries that appear in fall and persist. To 2′ wide in time. Part shade and rich soil with regular summer water. Avoid blasting hot locations and dry, compacted soils. Great winter appearance and totally hardy to cold. Limited quantities. Excellent deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Nevuisia alabamensis

Cool shrub in the rose family that is native to the state of Alabama. To 5′ x 5′ light green serrated leaves are pretty. In April/May the entire shrub is smothered in white flowers made up entirely of stamens. No petals here. Graceful and durable deciduous shrub for part shade to high overhead shade. Regular soil including heavy clay soils. Light, consistent summer water. Soak once every 2 weeks. Fall color is yellow to light orange. Long lived and easy to grow unusual shrub of great grace. Avoid blasting sun and extreme drought.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


What a sweet little version of Holly Tea Olive. Leaves are tiny compared to the species and the whole plant is a diminuitive version of the that plant. To just 4′ x 4′ in 10 years it eventually gets progressively larger. An extremely floriferous form that condenses hundreds of small white fragrant flowers along the stems in October to December. Slow to finish in a container because of its size- be patient.  Grows about 4″ per year. Foundations, rock gardens, hedges, specimen. Great cold hardiness for a broad leaved evergreen. Drought adapted when established otherwise it tolerates regular irrigation which will eventually speed growth. Cute. Really, freaking cute ancient cultivar from Japan.

My Favorites

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


Hosackia (Lotus) formosissimus

Curious and rare coastal native plant that can be found in permanently wet sites. This gives you a clue about how to grow this striking little pea. Wide stretching arms deliver pink and yellow flowers in clusters at the tips. Blooms April to July. Native along the immediate coast from the Bay Area in California north to British Columbia. Never common in its range. Stream banks, seeps, the margins of ponds for full sun and perpetually moist soil. Excellent for use in rain gardens (bioswales). Often short lived in gardens where it is dry. You must supply constant moisture. To 8″ tall by 4′ wide. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’

HUGE. The flowers on this Camellia are HUGE. Semi-double pink flowers are up to 5″ across. Don’t diss pink. No other flower does pink quite like Camellias. ‘Brigadoon’ is a spectacular hybrid that blooms for the last month of winter and the first two months of spring. Clean, glossy, deep green foliage is handsome at all times on a dense growing shrub to 8′ x 4′ in 6 years. Grows about 1′ per year. Full sun to part shade to quite a bit of overhead shade so long as it isn’t oppressive. Huge amounts of buds open to these voluptuous blossom. Excellent cold hardiness enduring temperatures just right below 0ºF with no damage. Excellent resistance to subfreezing gorge wind- it would be a great windbreak to stop that arctic blast. Flowers fall completely off of the shrub never clinging and turning brown. Easy, long lived, climate adapted shrub.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Rio Dorado’

Yellow is a special color for Pacific Coast Iris and this selection does a great job at producing profuse large luminous yellow flowers for an extended period. To 14″ tall and forming spreading clumps. The vivid flowers are showy from a distance and resonate with the candy-like colors of other Pacific Iris. Mix with ‘Blue Moment’ for a classic blue and yellow combination. This Iris also blooms simultaneously with the clouds of blue flowers of Ceanothus. And they appreciate the same cultural conditions- a late spring vignette that gets by on no summer water! Evergreen. Not fussy about soil. Water consistently through the first summer to establish (established Iris will double their clump size in the first summer). Then only what falls from the sky in subsequent years. Heavy bloomer in April-June. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Acorus calamus ‘Variegata’

Nifty foliage perennial that can double as a terrestrial border plant (with regular water in rich, moisture-retentive soil) or submerged as a border perennial in a water pot or the edge of the pond. The majority of the spikey 3′ tall leaves are composed of cream/ivory streaks with dramatic stripes of deep green. The effect is ghostly and vivid from quite a distance away. Forms large spreading clumps in time. To 4′ wide when things are going well. Full sun to part shade. Flowers are not very conspicuous spikes that hide within the foliage. Completely winter deciduous- this is nice, it makes cleaning up in late winter/spring easy and and no fuss and the plant begins anew and fresh each season. Not bothered by pests. If sunk in a pond or water pot use heavy clay soil- like from the ground and mulch with a layer of gravel. Long lived plant. High deer resistance. AKA. Ghost Sweet Flag.

My Favorites

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


Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea

Kidney Vetch is a playful, short-lived perennial with shocking red flowers that come in clusters much like clover. Low, spreading plant that hugs the ground, all the better to see the piercing red flowers on this form. Seeds prolifically, and the seedlings are both easy to identify as well as move or dispatch. To 3″ tall by 18″ wide, when very happy. Loved by pollinators. Forms a vivid patch of color in the most unlikely places. Seeds germinate in autumn and bloom commences in spring. Excellent little nitrogen-fixing temporary plant for new gardens. Enriches soil in a wonderful way. Light to little summer water.  Mediterranean.

My Favorites

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


Lathyrus vernus

One of the great joys of spring. Vernal Pea erupts in a fountain of blue/purple/magenta pea flowers for many weeks in spring. New foliage and flowers emerge simultaneously in early spring but blooming continues for an extended period. As the plant expands it becomes a 2′ x 2′ round mound. Following flowers the deep green foliage remains handsome through summer. Full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Very, very long lived perennial. Not often available in great quantities as it is raised by seed and our crop is dependent on the viability of each years seed set. Very easy to grow. Not bothered by slugs/snails. Mix with early spring ephemerals, bulbs, Hellebores. Nice small cut flower.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Convallaria majalis ‘Fernwood’s Golden Slippers’

Usually this old a fashioned species sends chills up our spines. No mind it has one of the best floral fragrances of all time its a known thug. Enter this MUCH more restrained variety with new foliage in a remarkably soft texture with gorgeous citrus/chartreuse foliage that darkens up a bit in summer. To 8″ tall and blooming in mid spring as it emerges. Fragrant! Glowing! Gorgeous! Part shade to shade with light consistent summer water. Handles clay soils with no problems. Very deer resistant.

My Favorites

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


Excellent cold hardiness as well as AMAZING  pink to lacquer white new growth. This would make a perfectly stunning hedge. By late summer it settles down to a rich dark green. In October – December tiny white flowers have a sweet perfume. Slow growing to 5′ x 5′ in 6 years. Rounded dense form. Easily clipped. Excellent use as a windbreak or hedge. Good looking at all times. Appreciates any well drained site. Avoid standing water. Very drought tolerant when established. In time the leaves lose their prickles, mature foliage is smooth and glossy.  Easy and long lived. Wonderful plant.

My Favorites

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


Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’

Its been around for a long time and its an introduction that has stood the test of time. This low mounding evergreen perennial is beyond delightful when it alights in masses of deep blue flowers from late February to late April. Each simple blue flower has a small white eye but the effect from a distance is a pool of blue. To 8″ tall and forming large 2′ x 2′ wide patches in full sun in rich to average well drained soil. It excels on slopes and in rock gardens. The new growth that follows is tinted mahogany before become strong glossy green. Cut back by 1/3rd after blooming to create a much denser and ultimately more floriferous plant. Light, consistent summer water. Excellent bold backdrop to early and mid blooming bulbs. We suggest large white Crocus vernus followed by Narcissus ‘Blushing Lady’. Very easy to grow. Long lived for a speedwell.

My Favorites

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


Epimedium x ‘Supernova’

Something about the clean lines of the hot yellow flowers topped with a symmetrical bright red cap recalls a miniature explosion in space. Wiry stems to 14″ support clouds of this starry flowers from late March for and extended period well into summer. New growth is mottled with maroon over an initial hue of amber before settling to soft glossy green. All together this is a great performer for part shade to shade in rich to average well drained soil. Regular summer water not only refreshes these tough shade plants it will spur them to increase. The rewards often are not apparent until the following spring. Cut away the evergreen foliage in late winter to reveal the new years flower as well as highlight the pretty new growth. Good deer resistance. Spreads moderately fast to form a clump 20″ wide in 5 years. Nice cut flower as well. Very easy to grow.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. griseus ‘Kurt Zadnick’

What a surprise this very dark, dark, dark blue flowered Ceanothus has turned out to have excellent cold hardiness.  In our climate it is a low and spreading evergreen shrub with glossy leaves. To 3′ tall  by 6′ wide in 6 years. In April/May a profuse display of the darkest cobalt blue flowers mass over the whole plant. Its so dark that it can seem like shadows over the plant but closer inspection reveals the intensity of the color blue. Full sun to light shade in average soil. Tolerates clay soil as well as withering summer drought. Prune if needed lightly after blooming has ended. This is a great drought tolerant, heat tolerant low shrub for hell strips. No summer water please. Well scaled for hell strips, low massing or a higher ground cover for hillsides. Fast growing to its ultimate size.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Grevillea rivularis

Surprisingly cold hardy and wonderful Grevillea that is threatened in the wild. Crinkly, prickily, finely divided leaves create a haze of a frame to 5′ x 6′ in 6 years. This “cage” of foliage is intermittently decorated with soft purple flowers from spring to early autumn. These are tipped with a bright green style that is released in bloom. The flowers are often described as toothbrush like. Full sun to very light shade in average soil. Light summer water speeds growth but that is the only reason it is necessary. A protected location. Hardy to about 10ºF- and suffering no damage in the wild winter of 2016/17. Protect from subfreezing wind. Easy to grow with neglect and good siting. Same hardiness to cold as ‘Canberra Gem’. Give it room as it will steadily and methodically increase before you know it. Moderate deer resistance. AKA Carrington Falls Grevillea. Avoid fertilizers. If it never bloomed this shrub is fantastic for texture alone. Not for cold gardens- best with some urban protection. Very limited quantities.

Photo credit: Loree Bohl

My Favorites

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


Rhaphiolepis umbellata ‘Blueberry Muffin’

Excellent release from the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raliegh, NC. This dense and rounded shrub is useful for its size- 3′ x 3′ in 7 years- or longer. But it has many other fine points. The leaves are thinner than normal with this species which is native to Japan. It is very very black spot resistant and the leathery glossy leaves turn from olive green/gray in summer to amazing stains of maroon and purple with cooler temperatures. New growth is light beige and coated in furry indumentum before becoming glossy.  A fascinating and beautiful display. White flowers appear in May and are followed by fairly showy blue berries. Extremely drought tolerant and tolerant of high heat. Excellent on south facing walls or exposed urban situations with reflected heat. Handsome at all times and very easy to grow. Grows about 4″ per year. Nice measured growth that forms a rounded upright shrub. Excellent companion for other drought adapted shrubs-landscapes. It also accepts regular irrigation in summer- a useful adaptation for an already useful shrub. Full sun to part shade.

My Favorites

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


Achillea millefolium ‘Calistoga’

A fine form of our native Yarrow that has leaves that are a striking gray with pure, clean white flowers. A great combination. Spreads to form a low wide plant that is evergreen (gray). The flat clusters of flowers appear continuously from May to frost. More consistently if you remove spent flowers. The umbels, unusual for the daisy family, are loved by butterflies. Well, actually all pollinators. They are given a flat landing pad and tons of flowers- what more could you want. Excellent for low care areas where this romping perennial will happily out compete weeds and hold ground with very light amounts of water. Full sun and well drained soil. its best to double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen and de-compact the soil. Does not like compacted soil. Light but consistent summer water speeds growth and vigor. Otherwise very drought tolerant. Excellent on slopes. To 20″ tall in bloom on a low spreading foliage plant to 2′ wide or wider. High deer resistance. Great cut flower. Mix with other low water plants. Pretty with other colors of yarrow. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Hydrangea integrifolia

Very good evergreen climbing Hydrangea that is a tough and reliable vine for shady walls. Large slightly indented leaves are glossy green year round. Self clinging vine that will adhere to virtually any surface- not for the walls of houses or porches- better on fences, rock walls and even as a ground cover. In June large white buds explode into a doily of 6″ wide white flowers. Blooms 2-3 years after planting. To 15′ tall and as wide. Part shade to shade- regular water in full sun. Rich, well drained soil. Excellent cold hardiness to 0ºF. Gains speed as it ages. Avoid blasting hot locations. Woodlands are ideal.

My Favorites

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


Selaginella braunii

We love this fantastic dense growing acid green moss. It finds its best home in containers- not quite tough enough for life in the ground. Slowly expanding rounded dense clumps are beautiful all the time. Excellent as the understory to potted plants where it inhabits the most constrained roots with no problem. To 3″ x 6″ in a season. Very easy container plant. Regular water in rich, well drained soil. Regular water. Smooth and modern.

My Favorites

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


Arisaema ringens

Cobra lily or Jack in the Pulpit from Japan with exotic striped flowers in mid-spring but the bold and glossy foliage steals the show. Forming large patches in rich, WELL DRAINED soil with regular summer irrigation. Shade- protect the amazing leaves from blasting sun. They will stand prominently up to 2′ tall- triple lobed, glossy and good looking. One of the more reliable of the genus. Mix with other bold shade perennials. Mulch with compost annually. Disappears entirely in winter. A Xera favorite perennial.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Parahebe cattaractae ‘Delight’

Cute little subshrub that is for the most part evergreen in our climate. Slightly toothed glossy deep green foliage is demure but sets a great stage for masses of violet blue small flowers with a more distinct red eye. Blooms continuously from Spring to late summer. To 8″ tall and about 2′ across for rich, well drained soil in full sun to light shade. Cute understory for Roses, mixes well in the front of a border, on sunny hillsides. Creates a haze of violet blue rather than a carpet. Cut back hard after blooming for an emergence of new handsome foliage for autumn/winter. Easy to grow long blooming plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Helleborus x ‘Blue Diamond’ Winter Jewels ®

Well, blue may be a stretch but this difficult to photograph hue at least attains hints of the color. More aptly its a luminous pewter shade that seems to reflect light in a metallic way. Strong growing perennial for part shade to shade in rich, well composted soils. Regular summer water- though it takes dry conditions in the shade. In extreme drought the leaves will simply lie on the ground- rising up almost immediately with water. Blooms appear from late January and are effective until April. To 2′ tall and as wide in several years. Excellent in combination with the yellow flowered series ‘Golden Sunrise’. Highly deer resistant and long lived. Remove self sown seedlings which will unlikely come true to the parent. A special color.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Ribes laurifolium

Curious low, evergreen, winter blooming shrub that erupts in 3″ long pale, ghost green flowers from January to March. To just 2′ tall and spreading twice as wide its large rubbery, dark evergreen leaves are a great backdrop to the flowers. Just as nice the leaf petioles are a dramatic madder red. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Part shade to high overhead shade. Excellent combined with Hellebores, Cardamine, Cyclamen coum- which all desire the same cultural requirements. Strongly horizontal habit. Blooms on wood from the previous year prune (very lightly) if needed after flowering has ended. Moderate deer resistance. AKA Laurel Leaf Currant. Wonderful on shady hillsides where it lights the winter months.

My Favorites

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


Arctostaphylos pajaroensis ‘Lester Roundtree’

Virtually the same as ‘Warren Roberts’ it is completely interchangeable with that cultivar. Why do we grow ‘Lester’? Aside from having amazing blue foliage and clusters of deep pink flowers from January to March we LOVE Lester Roundtree. She was an amazing, intrepid self-taught botanist who roamed California in the 1930’s in her simple pickup truck camping and botanizing throughout that state. Her seminal book ‘Flowering Shrubs of California’ is a must read for any gardener on the west coast. And its not just about plants- Check it out. This shrub is large in time to about 4′ tall by 8′ wide. The pink flowers born on the blue foliage is a sublime combination. Following bloom new spring growth is a fantastic red/ orange before settling to blue. Bark is a smooth mahogany with time and the trunks are sinuous and winding. This is an excellent shrub in our climate. Once established it requires absolutely no supplemental water- ever. Sailing through temps in the 100’s and bone dry with NO visible signs of stress. Our kind of shrub. It is cold hardy and completely climate adapted. Hell strips, dry borders, informal shrubberies. Mix with Ceanothus, Grevilleas, Halimiums. Very pretty year round.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Lomatia polymorpha

Wonderful and deliciously fragrant clusters of relatively large white flowers wave above long thin evergreen foliage in early summer on this tough shrub. Proteaceaous plant native to Tasmania where it is unoriginally known as Variable Leaf Lomatia or Mountain Guitar Plant. To 8′ tall in 7 years and about 4′ wide. Full sun and average to poor soil. Regular summer water for the first season to establish and spur growth. Little to no summer water when established. Grows quickly when established. Always handsome- the underside of the 1″-3″ long leaves are covered in rusty fur. Best on a warm south facing slope, mix with Arctostaphylos or Grevileas (which also appreciate NO supplemental fertilizer or compost). Best in unimproved native soils. Double dig a wide area around the hole incorporate oxygen into the soil and allow water and roots to penetrate. Lomatias are classy evergreen shrubs that we are lucky to be able to grow. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy to 5ºF. (Lo-MAY-shuh)

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’

Excellent cold hardy, drought tolerant shrub that reaches tree like proportions with great age. The pretty variegation presents as prickly leaves outlined in white. With age/maturity the leaves lose their prickles and become smooth and entire. The variegation on this plant is incredibly stable. I have yet to see a reversion of any consequence. Ancient specimens that are now 20′ trees can be found in old, old gardens. Its obviously been grown in this climate for eons. Very, very cold hardy evergreen that is not only hardy below 0ºF it makes a great hedge even near the Gorge where it endures subfreezing wind with no ill effects. Tolerates regular irrigation which increases the rate of growth- on average about 2′-3′ per year can be expected. 8′ x 6′ in 7 years is typical. Full sun to shade. Avoid permanently boggy soils- otherwise very adaptable- including heavy dry summertime clay. In October-December tiny fragrant white flowers crowd the stems. Moderate deer resistance. Long lived.

My Favorites

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


Pittosporum divaricatum

Unless you look REALLY REALLY closely you would never even think this was a Pittosporum, let alone even in that family. But life was tough in alpine New Zealand and this baby would have none of the grazing by huge Moa Birds. So the twiggy, zig zaggy stems evolved (the official term is divarication). The tiny, tiny leaves are serrated if you look closely (you might even take out glass to amplify the details). Tiny white flowers line the stem and mostly go unnoticed in spring. What it does provide is a very architectural compact shrub with stunning black stems in winter that change to ashy grey in summer. Perfectly hardy to cold down to below 5ºF. Full sun and average to enriched soil with little summer water once established. Groovy, somewhat rare shrub for excellent effects. To 6′ x 3′ in 8 years. Moderate deer resistance. Great structural shrub for containers.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Viola odorata (Parma) ‘Alba Plena’

This cool cultivar of Parma violet can be difficult to stumble upon. We love the plush double white flowers that sends its sweet perfume on the breeze in late winter to mid-spring. Parma violets are basically the Sicilian version of the common sweet violet (Viola odorata). They are not nearly as cold hardy or pernicious as the species and they tend to have much larger more opulent and fragrant flowers. Also, their leaves are distinctively glossy as opposed to matte. This little sweetie forms spreading patches and the long stems are a bit weak for the large double white flowers- they tend to bend. Excellent for small bouquets that you can sniff and sniff. In the garden they need a sheltered position away from the freeze and thaw and harsh conditions in the open. Instead coset them under large shrubs and among ephemeral early perennials such as Anemones, and small bulbs like species Crocus. Part shade- they bloom best with a bit of sun. Regular summer water encourages them to spread. This form seldom sets seed- I don’t think I’ve ever seen seed in fact. Pity. Rare plant.

My Favorites

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


Ceratostigma willmottianum ‘Xera Sky’

A cool sub shrub that covers itself for months in dime sized sky blue flowers. The intensity of the color is hard to capture- it must be experienced. Forms a rounded wiry shrub with diamond shaped wavy small green leaves. To 2′ x 2′ in a season. Full sun, and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Freezes to the ground below about 15ºF- re-sprouts form the base in spring. Great in containers. The better the drainage the hardier this extraordinary plant will be. Provide a warm position and mulch in autumn. Once it has been established through a winter it is a fairly permanent plant. Some deer resistance. Do not cut back until you see new growth in spring- then remove all damaged stems. Great in hot sunny borders. Regular summer water.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Salvia x microphylla ‘La Trinidad Pink’

This species of semi-woody Salvia has produced some of the best for our climate. Shocking pink, relatively large flowers decorate the upward stems of this vigorous and long blooming perennial. To 26″ tall and forming a semi-woody shrub. In essence it is a subshrub which is woody with time but capable of freezing to the ground and returning from the base. The vivid flowers appear from May to frost and are a delight for pollinators, hummingbirds and pink-o-philes. Full, hot sun in a warm position in rich, WELL DRAINED SOIL. Double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen and make it easier for water to reach the roots. Do not prune back in spring until you see new growth. Either from the tips or the base depending on how cold the previous winter. Cut back hard then and it will zoom back to its former stature in no time. Hot sunny places, hell strips, containers. Excellent on hot slopes.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Stars’

This form of the aromatic Florida Anise shrub which is native to the SE United states bears showy 2″, spidery star-like flowers of the palest pink. The entire large shrub displays these outward facing flowers in March to April and again in September to October. The flowers have an odd scent up close- mothballs or fish- but in our climate it blooms when it is cool and the odor does not carry. More importantly its a handsome broadleaf evergreen shrub with sharply pointed long leaves that have a sweet delicious anise flavor when bruised or brushed. Upright and then spreading shrub to 8′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best with light shade to shade for the deepest green foliage. Tolerates full sun as long as there is not the reflected heat of a wall. Flowers are showy from quite a distance. Excellent among rhododendrons, as an understory shrub for interest, joy. Very hardy to cold, enduring subzero readings with no damage. Nice hedge. Moderate deer resistance. Rare, cultivar. Light consistent summer moisture. Established plants are summer drought tolerant.  Easy.

My Favorites

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


Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Marianne’

Improved selection of the Chinese Lantern Plant- which is actually from South America, and this form has larger more flared yellow petals. They extend and recurve from the bold red calyx. This arching multi-stemmed shrub blooms almost non-stop from June to frost and often longer. Vigorous to 6′ tall and 4′ wide forming a large patch in time. The arching thin stems and skinny pointed leaves display the rows of flowers perfectly. A hummingbird delight. One of the hardiest to cold this behaves as a sub-shrub in the coldest winters- freezing back but returning boldly from the ground when the soil warms. Most winters, damage is restricted to burned tips and the majority of leaves which will drop. Plant with the base in a protected location- for instance between low shrubs to protect the crown, or near the base of a wall. Mulch if arctic (below 20ºF) weather threatens. Following a freeze the plant will look absolutely awful. Refrain from cutting it back until you see new growth emerge- either from the base or vertical stems. In any case water it consistently and heavily until you see vigorous new growth- the transformation with regular water is remarkable. So, don’t by any means give it up for dead. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. A bit tall and lanky for containers- just plan for this. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil improves both cold hardiness and speeds recovery. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.

My Favorites

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


Camellia sasanqua ‘Hugh Evans’

Rare, obscure, insanely heavy blooming fall and winter blooming Camellia sasanqua. Individual flowers are not formal or stiff, instead the the petals are separated, loose and vivid pink. They appear en masse from October to January and decorate the lithe arching stems in pretty cascades of flowers. Blooms are exceptionally cold tolerant for a sasanqua enduring temperatures into the low 20’s and still remaining fresh. No bother though as a parade of buds exists to replace spoiled blooms. Full sun to quite a bit of shade- without the expense of blooming. Fast growing, vigorous open shrub that takes well to pruning in spring to encourage density- build blooming wood. Rich, to average well drained soil with light consistent summer water.  A very wild and informal appearing Camellia and we love it. Glossy deep green foliage. To 5′ x 7′ and arching. Light flower fragrance.

My Favorites

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


Iris unguicularis ‘Walter Butt’

Not a very enchanting cultivar name but a useful and distinct flower color variant of Algerian Iris. This winter blooming species produces large pale lilac/ivory flowers from November-sporadically until March. The 4″ flowers are nestled in the grassy evergreen foliage but are a light enough color to read from quite a distance. This for is perhaps best planted with the species to produces contrasting flower colors for more depth. To 1′ tall and twice as wide in several years. Full sun to very light shade in well drained soil of average fertility. Not quite as cold hardy as the species but it has to get pretty damn cold (below 5ºF) for damage to occur and that just never happens. Long lived perennial. High deer resistance. Low summer water requirements.

My Favorites

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


Camellia x williamsii ‘Waterlily’

Extraordinary Camellia hybrid that combines all the great attributes of a Camellia with larger, more dramatic flowers and more of them, and excellent cold hardiness as well as garden adaptation. Large growing glossy evergreen shrub with fetching deep green leaves. In late January to early March- and often longer than that depending on the weather 5″ flat fully formal double clear pink flowers are stunning. You really have to see them up close to get a handle on the size and perfection of each flower. Upright growing shrub to 9′ tall by 7′ wide in 10 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in well drained soil that retains moisture. Light consistent summer moisture aids establishment and also increases the amount of flowers the following season.  Established plants can endure quite a bit of drought. Exceptional cold hardiness. Flowers shed cleanly- they shatter without clinging and discoloring.

My Favorites

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


Ribes sanguineum ‘Oregon Snowflake’

Excellent improved form of the already popular white flowered Flowering Currant. This form sports foliage that is deeply divided- very pretty- and a more dense and compact habit. Its an incredibly heavy blooming form that has great garden application. To 4′ x 5′ in 7 years with a rounded mounded habit. In late February- April pendant clusters of pure white flowers glow in the early spring sunlight. The buds emerge chartreuse and then become pure sparkling white. This was bred and selected at OSU. And so far has been rare on the market. Full sun to quite a bit of shade with light consistent summer water to establish. Then- it can survive on all that falls from the sky. Takes light irrigation in gardens but never soggy and never soggy during hot weather. Fall color is yellow/orange and brief. Sour fruits are dusky blue in summer. Moderate deer resistance. Derivative of an Oregon native plant. PPAF.

My Favorites

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


Camellia x williamsii ‘Buttermint’

Unusual, profuse and a great color for a Camellia, ‘Buttermint’ produces fully double, but small flowers that deck all the stems for months in mid-winter to spring. Moderately fast growing evergreen shrub to 6′ tall and 4′ wide in full sun- but not reflected heat, part shade to quite a bit of shade. Regular, consistent summer irrigation for the first few years to establish. Older plants can get by without summer irrigation- but bud set and flowering is improved with such. The flower color is aptly described by its name. Pale yellow to buff to off white as they unfurl. Flowers do not turn brown and cling when spent instead they drop cleanly so in bloom there is a uniform fresh appearance. Long lived shrub that grows about 1′ a year when young. Give it room in time. Exquisite winter blooming companion for Hellebores, Grevilleas, Iris lazica, Iris unguicularis. Small glossy deep green foliage is fetching year round. Sets many, many flower buds in autumn.

My Favorites

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


Podocarpus macrophyllus

Japanese Yew Pine is an uncommon conifer in our gardens. Its surprisingly hardy and in time forms a handsome, densely clad, deep green tree. Moderately fast growing in youth- to 1′-2′ per year in time its 4″ thin needles are arranged closely around horizontal stems. In summer small green matchstick shaped flowers transform into blue berries in autumn. This adds to the over all sophisticated, very Japanese flavor of this tree. To 20′ tall and 7′ wide in 12 years. Develops gnarled, rustic, deep gray shredding trunks. Excellent performance in urban environs. Laughs at the worst heat and accepts regular irrigation in summer happily which encourages speedier growth. A natural for Asian inspired gardens. Avoid blasting subfreezing wind- not a tree for very cold gardens but is undamaged down to about 5ºF. It has recovered from much lower. Excellent container subject- its roots take YEARS to fill a pot and it takes less than perfect care but maintains good looks. Tolerates quite a bit of shade and was often employed in the mid-20th Century as a closely clipped espalier on shady walls. Very popular in the South, Zone 7 and warmer.  Moderate deer resistance.  Takes any amount of pruning which increases density. Drought adapted when established.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Gilia capitata

Globe Gilia or Bluefields is a widespread wildflower from British Columbia to Baja. To 20″ tall and forming a substantial plant very quickly. From April to July and sometimes longer  these striking sky blue flowers appear and rise on tall stems displaying the orbs of flowers.  If you apply light consistent water and remove the spent flowers they can re-bloom. Otherwise, they persist until hot weather and then set seed and die.  Studies at  OSU on native pollinators ranked this #1 as their source for pollen/nectar. That alone gives you reason to include this re-seeding plant in your garden. Rich, to average disturbed sites are ideal. It often grows and self sows in the disturbed slopes of road cuts, dry hillsides. In the garden it LOVES good conditions and will be much larger, bloom longer, with flowers of a darker hue of blue. A great wildflower for the garden that makes a sweet cut flower. Loved by pollinators of all kinds. Wild areas, hell strips, dry gardens. Easy to naturalize if you contain the competition from other plants. Locally native in the Portland city limits. New plants germinate in autumn and overwinter happily.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Chirofu Chirimen’

Cool little Asian Star Jasmine with tiny variegated leaves that forms dense mounds as a ground cover or in time it can reach up as a cute and not strangling vine. Each leaf is margined and splashed with white. New growth has distinct pink tints for a distinct multicolor effect. Forms a fine textured plant but as a small scale ground cover it will block weeds. To 1′ tall x 30″ wide as a ground cover. To 8′ tall or higher as a self clinging vine in wind free places. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Definitely double dig the soil before planting to incorporate oxygen as well as assist in absorption of water. Add organic fertilizer as well. Trachelospermums appreciate good drainage and regular summer irrigation to do their best. Otherwise drought tolerant but slow growing. Nice on fences or screens or up the trunk of a Trachycarpus (Windmill Palm). Good deer resistance. Evergreen.

My Favorites

Plant type: , ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Salvia transylvanica

Excellent, cold hardy, easy to grow, showy blue Salvia that can be hard to find. Forms a rosette of large felted deep green leaves and in summer multiple candelabras of rich blue flower spikes appear. They are wonderful for weeks. If you remove spent spikes more will appear. Blooms (re-blooms) until September. Full sun, in rich well drained soil. Rises to 30″ in bloom and forms spreading clumps to as wide in several years. Wonderful border Salvia as it accepts regular water and rich conditions. Completely deciduous in winter. Emerges mid-spring- protect new growth from marauding slugs. Once its up thats much less of a problem. Combine with Lobelia tupa, Kniphofia ‘Lightning Bug’. Easy and spectacular. Loved by hummingbirds and pollinators.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Viburnum japonicum ‘Variegatum’

Unusual and actually superior form of this species with large glossy evergreen leaves splashed with yellow. In spring flat corymbs of flowers appear and remind me of lace. Red berries follow but are consumed by birds. This form is not prone to mildew which can afflict the green leaved form. So, we love it for it’s bold leaves that look good year round and easy demeanor. To 8′ x 8′ in 10 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Doesn’t burn in sun. Adaptable. Light summer water once established. Very old specimens get by with no summer water. Excellent year round appearance. Take out  green reversions if they occur. Blooms on wood from the previous season- prune if needed after flowering. Specimen. Nice shrub.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Mahonia euryobracteata ‘Silver Seedlings’

This form of this wonderful Mahonia has leaves that are more silver and a little bit larger than the more commonly seen and finer textured selections of this species. It has also exhibited excellent cold resistance. To 5′ tall moderately fast the finely divided leaves shine. In spring clusters of fragrant yellow flowers are followed by dusty purple/blue berries. Full sun to part shade in average to enriched, well drained sites. Very easy to grow and gorgeous, long lived shrub that consorts with perennials or adds a light texture massed with bolder evergreens. Light consistent summer water speeds growth but established plants are more than drought adapted. Excellent in containers and wonderful winter appearance. Great deer resistance. Forms multiple stems in time to a width almost as tall as it is. These are seedlings from a particularly gray and cold hardy specimen. Easy.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Marjory Channon’

Surprisingly hardy and spectacular variegated evergreen shrub for protected locations. Each sage green glossy leaf is margined in white and held on contrasting black stems. Very very pretty shrub to 5′ x 4′ in 7 years. In spring small jet black flowers emerge from the leaf axils. Best surrounded by other evergreen shrubs against a wall or with light overhead protection. This cultivar has come through low’s below 10ºF with only light tip damage and recovery was complete in spring. Slightly tender when a young plant it gains cold hardiness with establishment. Takes pruning very well which will increase the plants density. Great in containers that you protect from lows below about 18ºF. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Do not plant this in a location exposed to strong subfreezing east wind- keep it close with friends. New Zealand. Extremely drought tolerant in full sun to part shade.

My Favorites

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


Mahonia aquifolium

Oregon Grape, our ubiquitous state flower. This evergreen shrub can be found almost anywhere aside from the immediate coast to high Cascades west of the mountains. Its native from B.C. to Southern California. Variable shrub to on average 5′ tall and suckering as wide. In rich, happy conditions it will soar to 8′ or more and in more impoverished conditions it makes its life as a spreading low plant. In late February-April the top of the plant erupts in golden yellow incredibly fragrant flowers that are one of the first joys of spring. By late summer this flowers have transformed into clusters of dusty blue incredibly sour fruits. Often employed in the toughest situations where its performance is some what rough. It thrives in cultivation with light, consistent summer moisture. Tolerates heavy clay soils and summer drought. The pinnate leaves often take on purple/maroon tints in winter. Ours are cuttings native to our wholesale nursery site. So its a local plant. Full sun to part shade to quite a bit of shade at the expense of blooming and a lankier outline. Excellent deer resistance when established. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Phacelia viscida

Sticky Phacelia is a hardy annual native to southern California chaparral into northern Baja. It bears intense blue flowers in late spring to early summer. It will often reseed in open disturbed sites if we have a mild winter. Incredibly attractive to bees and pollinators as all blue flowers seem to be. Full sun and well drained soil. Mixes well with summer perennials and if you give it a light shear and a drink when the first round of flowers are spent often more will erupt. To 11″ tall and spreading a bit. Fantastic wildflower effect. Native west coast annuals deserve a respected place in our gardens. Blue- scintillating blue. Works well in containers also. Light, consistent water to bloom.

My Favorites

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


Holodiscus discolor

Ocean Spray is a well known shrub west of the Cascades. It occupies dry woods in part shade to full sun. Large and spreading it displays foamy white clusters of flowers in early summer. They age to a tan color before falling apart. Handsome small scalloped leaves are very pretty and turn yellow to orange in autumn. To 9′ x 7′ very quickly in virtually any soil type. Extremely drought adapted when established- but amenable to light irrigation in summer. Wild look for wild areas, match with native perennials. Often suckers to form patches and it is common for seedlings to show up around the parent plant. These can be moved when young or dispatched. Birds adore the dried seeds in winter. Pretty native in the Rose family. Moderate deer resistance- but sometimes they attack it if it is newly planted so protect. Winter deciduous. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Ribes odoratum ‘Crandall’

This form of the famous eastern U.S. clove currant is fabulous not only because it is resistant to White Pine Blister Rust – and won’t transmit it to those trees- it bears large black, sweet edible fruit in summer. The chains of yellow flowers in March/April emit the adored fragrance of powerful cloves. Detectable quite a way away. To 4′ x 3′ in 5 years. Full sun to shade in rich to average well drained soil. Light summer water. Very adaptable and extremely hardy to cold. Fall color in our climate is yellow to orange. Self fertile. Protect fruit from birds. They really are a good quality black currant.

My Favorites

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


Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Anne Russell’

Really there is nothing like the clove/carnation/sweet fragrance of this shrub in late winter to early spring. The large clusters of flowers begin as pink buds and open to white. Nice bicolor effect along the way. Blooms 3-4 weeks. Evergreen to semi-evergreen to deciduous in arctic places. Large growing shrub that can attain tree like proportions with great age. To 8′ x 4′ in 7 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich to average well drained sites. Light consistent summer water speeds growth and increases spring flowering. Otherwise relatively drought adapted, especially in shade. Tolerate the most obnoxious sticky clay soils- especially on slopes. Plant where you can pass by the flowers and take a big ol whiff. Very easy to grow. Prune AFTER flowering.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Zantedeschia aethiopica

Calla Lily- the dream of many gardeners and an heirloom perennial that has been grown in our region for eons. Large clump forming perennial with dramatic pure white flowers with the familiar form. They begin in early spring with a large flush of bloom and then sporadically until frost. The large boisterous foliage is mostly evergreen and rises to 2′ tall with flower spikes twice as tall. Deer resistant. In cold gardens it is traditionally grown agains warm foundations. But I have seen it thrive in the wide open in the coldest parts of the Willamette  Valley. Amenable to saturated soils and can reside as a marginal plant in a pond. Rich, well drained soil is ideal.  Water VERY heavily the first summer to establish- then light consistent water in summer. Full sun to quite a bit of shade but at the expense of flowering. Can be a little tricky to establish and ironically it can be a little hard to get rid of once you have it. Lives for many decades. South Africa.

My Favorites

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


Osmanthus armatus Suntime TM

Our own discovery of a variegated form of this fantastic shrub. New growth emerges bronze with a hint of what is to come. Fully unfurled leaves are edged in yellow. The variegation is EXTREMELY stable on a moderately fast growing evergreen shrub to 6′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best in full sun- the variegation becomes less distinct in shade. In autumn small white flowers crowd the stems. Cold hardy, drought tolerant shrub for virtually any soil that does not have standing water ever.  Slow growing to its ultimate height but then larger. Excellent year round appearance. Specimen, hedge, Very easy to grow and durable shrub that adores our climate. Light water to establish but completely drought adapted then. Also accepts regular summer irrigation. Adaptable.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

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


Elaeagnus pungens ‘Glen St. Mary’

Compact Silverthorn is a pretty, tough and useful evergreen in our climate. This form is compact with dense foliage that begins clad in brown fur and settles to silvery gray. The underside of the leaves are pure metallic gold. In autumn small pendant white flowers emit an intense sweet perfume. Noticeable many feet away. Hedges, specimens, barriers. Full sun to part shade with any soil that is never boggy. To 4′ x 5′ in 7 years. Flowers on old wood, prune AFTER flowering. Very drought tolerant when established. Fast growing and easy. Very cold hardy. Japan.

My Favorites

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


Salvia nutans

Nodding Sage. There is no Salvia quite like this remarkable species from the mid-asian steppes. A basal rosette of large leaves supports towering 4′ stems that erupt from the center of leaves. In May-August each stem hosts multiple nodding clumps of extremely showy blue flowers. Elegant, beautiful and hardy. Forms increasing clumps in rich to average well drained soil in full sun to very light shade. Appreciates good drainage and light consistent summer water. The blue flowers are a magnet for pollinators and they swarm en masse. Excellent and groovy cut flower for large arrangements. Otherwise a stellar perennial for borders, even rock gardens. Completely winter deciduous. Blooms a long time. A Xera Plants favorite perennial.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sidalcea campestris

Oregon Checker Mallow is a fantastic long lived native perennial that thrives in gardens. In May-July and sporadically later stems rise up from low foliage to 14″ and support many soft pink flowers. Loved by pollinators and very easy to grow. This perennial inhabits slopes around the Willamette Valley in very heavy clay soil that dries out to concrete in summer. Adaptable to richer conditions, it also encourages a longer bloom season. Full sun to part shade. Native in Oregon Oak woodlands with Oregon Iris, Shooting Stars (Primula hendersonii- formerly Dodecatheon). Pretty meadow flower that combines well with native grasses and the aforementioned perennials. Established plants can get by with very little water. Forms a spreading clump to 2′ wide. Winter deciduous. Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Helleborus x ‘Golden Lotus’ Winter Jewels ®

Spectacular strain of hybrids with fully double flowers. They range in color from lime green to vibrant chartreuse/light yellow. Blooms appear in January and remain showy and effective for several months. The flower retaining their form after they have released their pollen. To 2′ x 2′ forming an expanding clump in part shade to shade in well composted garden soil. Light consistent summer water. Highly deer resistant. Evergreen.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Ribes malvaceum ‘Dancing Tassels’

Really excellent form of Chaparral Currant with 3″ soft pink flowers that appear at any point during winter well into spring. An evergreen shrub to 8′ x 5′ in 7 years. Surprisingly hardy for its origin- California’s Channel Islands.  Full sun to part shade  and well drained average soil. Great on a slope. Loved by overwintering Anna’s hummingbirds. Flowers are surprisingly cold hardy and are undamaged to the upper teens. If those that are open are spoiled by frost more will follow after the thaw. Very very drought tolerant, No supplemental water required when established. Loses most of its leaves in summer drought. Grows fairly quickly and is never a dense shrub- all the better to see the pendant flowers. Dry borders, shrub borders, winter gardens. This shrub loves our climate and is supremely adapted to a winter wet/summer dry regime.  Moderate deer resistance. Excellent winter blooming shrub. A beacon to Anna’s Hummingbirds.

My Favorites

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


Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’

We adore this wickedly armed evergreen shrub. Its a piece of pure architecture. The sharply pointed leaves jut out like blades and are deep glossy green year round. Excellent, interesting evergreen for screen or specimen. Totally cold hardy- excellent performance in blasting subfreezing winds from the Gorge. Rounded, upright shrub to 9′ tall and 6′ wide in 8 years. In autumn the stems of older wood are crowded with tiny white flowers that emit a sweet perfume. Bloom Sept.-Nov. and sometimes later. The fragrance carries quite a distance on mild days. Light water to establish then completely drought tolerant in average, well drained soil. Also accepts the regular irrigation of borders. Good bet where deer are a menace. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Great barrier hedge.

My Favorites

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


Hebe ochracea ‘James Stirling’

Ochre colored whipcord Hebe that is delightful year round for its deep hue as well as arching swept look of the shrub. To 3′ x 3′ tall and arching for a cool position in full sun- an open north exposure is ideal or part shade. Dislikes hot soil. Best in rock garden positions with great drainage- use boulders to shade the soil. White flowers appear at the branch tips in summer. A true alpine plant from high elevations in New Zealand. Perfectly hardy to cold. Light summer water- never boggy. Grows moderately fast.

My Favorites

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


Laurus nobilis ‘Crispa’

Wavy Bay tree. Good, cold hardy form of this shrub/tree that is prized for culinary use. Fast growing pyramidal shaped dense shrub to 15′ tall and 8′ wide in 10 years. Full sun and rich, to average well drained soil. Little summer water when established- but tolerates regular water in gardens. Very easy and long lived in containers where you can observe the undulate, wavy edges of the leaves. Protect containerized plants from temperatures below 12ºF.  Avoid subfreezing wind. Otherwise a hardy easy to grow evergreen. Give this shrub room- it has greedy roots and is not a good neighbor. Aromatic foliage is also useful for holiday garlands and wreaths. Small yellow flowers are not conspicuous in spring. Moderate deer resistance. Mediterranean.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’

One of the best variegated Pieris on the market. This plant was brought to the U.S. by Gossler Farms in Springfield, Oregon and has gained great popularity. In our experience the ‘little’ refers not to the overall size of the plant- which is eventually large 5′ x 5′- but to the smaller size of the leaves. And each leaf is outlined in white with a darker green center. In full sun this shrub sets tons of chains of pink buds which open to white flowers in Feb/March. The overall fine texture combined with the white variegation gives this plant a very graceful mein. New growth emerges salmon and ages to light yellow before its final destination of green and white.  Occasionally shows all green reversions. Simply cut these away.  Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich to average well drained soil. Grows more quickly with regular summer irrigation but established plants sail through summer with a minimum. Very hardy to cold- and tolerates subfreezing wind well.

My Favorites

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


Trachycarpus fortunei

A classic palm in the PNW. Windmill Palm or Trachys as they are also known are extremely popular. And they should be. Moderately fast growing palm to about 18′ tall in 10 years. The trunk is covered in fur and this acts almost like insulation to protect the interior meristem from cold. Very cold hardy to near short dips to 0ºF- many venerable and ancient Windmill Palms can be found in old neighborhoods having gone through the very worst winters of the last 50 or more years. The fronds usually have drooping filifers on the species but that can vary. Male and female and requires one of each for viable fruit set. Following huge aromatic cream colored flower structures pollinated berries drop and will often germinate in open ground. Full sun to full shade. Drought tolerant but regular irrigation in rich soil will speed growth. Excellent performance in tight spaces. Occasionally young palms become nitrogen starved and turn yellowish. To correct simply feed with all organic fertilizer and mulch and water well through summer.

My Favorites

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


Tricyrtis ‘Blu-Shing Toad’

Excellent Toad Lily that delights us with a long long season of orchid-like flowers that glow a smooth blue. To 2′ tall and forming an increasing clump the ends of the stems produce flowers from August well into autumn- often into November if there is not an intervening freeze. The wavy leaves that line the stems hold spots that appear like small drops of dark oil. Very pretty. Part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Excellent woodland performer. This variety as the other we grow (‘Spotted Toad’) seem to avoid a scorch that can afflict the leaves of many varieties. Don’t know why. We just got lucky. Pair with Japanese forest grass and Hosta. Easy, long lived perennial. Completely winter deciduous.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Acanthus mollis ‘Tasmanian Angel’

Variegated Bear’s Breeches or just plain old Acanthus with dramatically white-splashed leaves. There is great contrast between the white and the dark green sections of the leaves/stems. In summer this spreading perennial produces a 3′ spike with pure white flower bracts enclosing the pink flowers. Its a big ol party chalice of goodness. Not the hardiest Acanthus (yeah- that might be good). Plant in a protected location with RICH, well drained soil- add compost and all organic fertilizer. Completely deciduous in winter here. Each leaf extends to 2′ long with intricate indentation- aside from the variegation. To 3′ across eventually. Excellent plant for containers. Protect containers from temps below 15ºF (move to an unheated garage, porch). Emerges in mid-spring. Mulch the crown in autumn for the first few seasons.

My Favorites

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


Amsonia hubrichtii

Threadleaf Bluestar is a fantastic native North American perennial with many seasons of interest. To 4′ tall this strongly clump-forming perennial has thread-like green leaves that line the sturdy, very vertical stems. Upon rising in late spring they host clusters of star shaped, fragrant (yep) blue flowers. Very pretty. The green, fine-textured foliage holds space as a blowsy presence in borders, gravel gardens, hellstrips. In autumn the entire plant turns shocking yellow and stays that way for weeks. Fall color at ground level and it rocks. Light but consistent summer water to aid in establishment. Very drought tolerant then. Full sun in any soil type but for permanently boggy. Good deer resistance. They will try it once but not again- for what it’s worth. Completely deciduous in winter.  Emerges mid-spring. Very long lived, no-fuss perennial. Mix with ornamental grasses, cacti, just about anything.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Jasminum nudiflorum ‘Aureum’

Winter Jasmine cheers us greatly when its shocking yellow (scentless) flowers erupt along the arching and climbing bare green stems of this shrub/vine in winter. Beginning in December it opens flowers continuously until a crescendo is reached in late February. To 9′ tall trained as vine. The lithe stems must be corralled and pegged or twiddled through a lattice. Be patient it will get there. Blooms occur on wood from the previous season. Prune directly after bloom has ended. Fast growing as a scandent ground cover. To 3′ tall x 8′ wide very quickly. Very nice trailing over banks, walls. This form has gold splashed leaves that appear in spring adding another dimension to this plant. Light summer water or none when established. Rich, well drained soil is ideal in full sun to part shade. Winter deciduous. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Sedum rubrotinctum

One of our favorite trailing succulents for containers. This is a half hardy Sedum (Zn8b) that will persist in most gardens most winters. Rolly poly emerald green foliage takes on dramatic red tints- especially on the older leaves. To 6″ tall and 20″ wide in a season. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with light summer water. Full sun to part shade. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it bloom and I don’t really care. Trails 1′ over the edge of containers. Mix with other succulents or low water perennials such as Erodium or Scutellaria. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast.

My Favorites

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


Juniperus ‘Daub’s Frosted’

If you are going to grow a juniper then it better be good. This useful selection has new growth tipped yellow before turning to blue/green. The outside of the plant is always bright and the interior softer and darker- a happy combination. Low and spreading to 18″ high by 4′ across. Excellent drought tolerant easy to grow evergreen for tough sites. Banks, hellstrips, places where you would rather not have the pets potty. Full sun to very light shade. Regular summer water to establish and then none is necessary. Grows faster in better soil- slower where its impoverished. Either way it will grow and thats what you want.

My Favorites

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


Lonicera ‘Lemon Beauty’

Dramatic yellow foliage with an interior of deep green on the small evenly spaced evergreen leaves of this low spreading shrub. To 3′ x 4′ and forming something of a mound. Spreads low at first- gains height with age. Rich soil with light summer water in full sun to part shade. Very drought tolerant when established. Lights up borders, is easily clipped- without mangling the small foliage. Flowers are tiny and cream colored often followed by translucent purple berries. Sometimes reverts to all green – just cut those reversions cleanly out. Very easy to grow plant for foundation plantings, tough sites, hedges. There is some confusion over the exact species…if you look it up half say L. nitida and half say L. pileata. I’m going to have to go with L. ??. Shrubby honeysuckle.

 

My Favorites

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


Kniphofia thompsonii var. snowdenii

Cool, interesting and actually spectacular Kniphofia that has flowers more reminiscent of an Aloe. The 4′ spikes of blooms have tubular downward facing flowers that are not clustered together but rather separate. They range in electric hues from near red/orange to yellow. Forms a grassy clump of deciduous foliage that rises to just one foot high. Spreads by runners- NOT A  CLUMPER- give it room to spread, a single plant will roam several feet in every direction. Full sun to very light shade and RICH, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Excellent cut flower and dearly loved by hummers. Emerges late in spring.

My Favorites

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


Jasminum officinale ‘Argenteovariegatum’

One of the most wonderful cold hardy Jasmines. This form of Poet’s Jasmine has leaves boldly edged in ivory. The interior of the pinnate leaves are soft green. Vigorous twining vine to 15′ tall and as wide. In June a massive display of pink buds opens to powerfully fragrant sugar white flowers. Bloom continues through August. Very pretty multidimensional vine for a large pergola, fence, or very large trellis. The flowers are most fragrant in the evenings and morning. Very stable variegation- I’ve never seen it revert. Winter deciduous. Adaptable to full sun to dappled shade. Mix with other vines or send this vine climbing with a good rose. Light summer water in rich to average soil including clay soil. Regular summer water speeds growth and establishment in the first summer. MMMMMM. Smells so good.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Jasminum officinale ‘Fiona’s Sunrise’

Vigorous, hardy twining vine that we love for its chartreuse foliage as well as profuse fragrant white flowers. Best in part shade- will take full shade with leaves a bit greener and less flowers. To 15′ tall and nearly as wide in 6 years. Rich soil to average soil- including clay soil. Takes quite a bit of summer drought when established. Blooms in clusters from June to August. Wonderful vine for contrast. Try it up a pergola with the light lavender blue flowers of a Clematis or an orange rose. Moderately deer resistant. Winter deciduous.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Variegatum’

Nice form of star jasmine with large sage green leaves edged in cream. New growth emerges a very pretty pink. From June to August a continuous supply of clusters of sweetly fragrant ivory flowers. To 12′ tall and twining. Provide sturdy support. A nice attribute of Star Jasmines is their habit of keeping their foliage densely to the ground- never any bare knees. Takes full sun to quite a bit of shade- and still blooms. Slightly more tender than the species it requires a protected location- against a wall is ideal. Regular summer water speeds growth and this intensifies the re-blooming. Evergreen. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Cryptomeria japonica ‘Birodo’

Wonderful easy to grow dwarf form of Japanese Cedar. This form has not scales but more like tiny needles. In summer the foliage is deep green. With cooler weather it takes on amazing russet tints. Very slow growing to 3′ x 2′ in 8 years. Incredibly dense growth habit gives the appearance of diligent pruning- but none is required. Extremely drought tolerant. For full sun and little summer water once established.  Rock gardens, containers, gravel gardens. With or without other dwarf conifers. High deer resistance. An excellent truly long term dwarf conifer that retains its good looks.

My Favorites

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


Mahonia nervosa var. mendocinoensis

Rare but excellent form of Cascades Mahonia that is actually found only in the redwoods of N. California to southern Oregon. A TALL upright growing shrub with thick trunks to 9′  eventually. It forms a clump of stems and can increase by suckering closely to the main clump and sending up new stems. Handsome foliage- pinnate dark green leaves to 1′ + long.  In winter the whole shrub takes on great plum purple tones. In mid-spring trailing clusters of yellow flowers are followed by blue berries. Moderately slow growing evergreen shrub for part shade to dense shade. Established plants take dust dry conditions in shade. Accepts regular summer water as well- in well drained soil that is not compacted. Mulch each year with a coarse bark. Easy to grow. Appearance is very much like the M. x media hybrids. New growth emerges red. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Grevillea x ‘Marshall Olbrich’

Pretty and very large Grevillea that deserves the mildest parts of the garden. Small gray leaves are handsome and a great backdrop to the hot orange pendant clusters of flowers. Blooms year round with an especially large flush in spring. Loved by overwintering Anna’s Hummingbirds. Not the hardiest Grevillea- protect from subfreezing east wind- site on a south or west facing aspect. To 9′ x 9′ fast. Plant in UNAMENDED native soil- avoid compost and fertilizer. Supremely drought adapted. Avoid watering in summer. Excellent performance at the Oregon coast. Our stock plant which has thrived for 15 years in a very cold place is situated on a slope with the overhead protection of Douglas firs. Evergreen. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Pamela Harper’

AKA ‘Pam Harper’. Nice lily turf that brightens up shady areas with ribbon like evergreen leaves outlined in white. The interior of the leaves is soft green. In early to mid summer 8″ spikes produce lavender flowers. To 10″ x 12″ forming a spreading clump. In time it will spread to form a small scale ground cover. Good appearance year round. Part shade to shade in rich to average soil- including clay soils. Avoid compacted soils and regular summer water speeds up the growth rate. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Juniperus horizontalis ‘Pancake’

So many junipers and so few that are really interesting. This guy caught our attention for its relatively soft growth (to the touch) that is incredibly dense and flat to the ground (prostrate).  In summer the foliage is a soft blue green and in winter it changes to soft lavender buff. Very pretty. Excellent solution for tough dry sites where you need to cover the ground completely. To just inches tall a single plant will spread 3′-4′ wide. Light to little summer water in full sun to very light shade. Easy to grow, useful plant. Nice looking year round. Growth flows around any obstruction- around, up and over. Excellent flowing over rock walls.  Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Eucryphia milliganii

A great little evergreen tree from Tasmania that grows to 10′ tall but just a few feet wide. This columnar tree is the cold hardiest variety from Tasmania and is found at the highest elevations there. In my own garden it has never been damaged by cold in the 8 years that I’ve grown it. In July/August it is covered in small thimble sized white flowers with a cute central boss of stamens tipped with raspberry pink pollen. Full sun and infrequent but deep summer water. Avoid the reflected heat of south facing walls. Best with some afternoon shade. Excellent tree for small gardens- it fits in the tiniest places and still looks fantastic. Evergreen foliage often starts 1′ from the ground on up. Nice texture. Can be susceptible to Phytophthera in saturated soils. Limited quantities.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Buxus sinica ‘Sunburst’

Useful and pretty and so tough this is a yellow variegated form of Korean Boxwood and its a fantastic dwarf shrub. To just 2′ x 2′ in 7 years this slow growing evergreen shrub is ideal as a hedge or trim it into a crazy shape and make a focal point. Adaptable to full hot sun to part shade. Great in winter containers. Hardy way below 0ºF. A good shrub or hedge in cold gardens or areas blasted by subfreezing east wind. Very good deer resistance. Light summer water in rich, well drained soil. Avoid crowding/shading from other plants in too close of proximity. Easy to grow- good looks year round. For a hedge plant on 2′ centers.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

Wonderful, useful, well scaled variegated hardy Tea Olive that is also incredibly hardy to cold. To 4′ x 4′ in 8 years this slow growing dense shrub has new leaves that emerge tinted pink, mostly cream and then settles to green leaves with splashes of cream. Excellent appearance year round. Great shrub where subfreezing winds are brutal. In October to November the tiny white flowers cluster around the leaf stems and crowd the twigs- they emit a sweet perfume detectable quite far away on mild days. Good deer resistance when established. Average to enriched, well drained soil. Light summer water. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Very drought tolerant when established. Pretty.

My Favorites

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


Selaginella krusseana ‘Aurea’

Shocking bright chartreuse moss that we love for containers and for sheltered moist shady spots in the garden. Easier to grow in containers where it makes a fantastic understory to containerized shrubs or trees. Part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil that is never compacted. Regular summer water in a humid environment. Excellent next to shady ponds. To 3″ deep and spreading as far as it feels like it.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Watsonia latifolia

A true red flowered Watsonia and one of the hardiest of the genus. Wide green spikey leaves rise to 2′ tall in spring. In late spring to early summer 3′ tall spikes of tubular true red flowers line the stems. Loved by hummingbirds and cut flower aficionados alike. Rich soil in full sun in a protected position- a south or west facing wall is ideal. Freezes to the ground below 20ºF- re-sprouts in spring. Forms an expanding clump to several feet across. A fun genus to experiment with in our climate. Rated as zone 7 in its native high elevation South Africa.  We think its more like 10ºF in our climate. Plant with royal red Lobelia tupa and Rosa ‘Bengal Fire’ for a red extravaganza. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast. Somewhat deer resistant.

My Favorites

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


Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Pippa’s Red’

Large growing cold hardy shrub/tree that we love for its deep purple/black foliage and masses of true red fringe flowers in spring. Fast growing shrub to 8′ x 6′ in 7 years. The flowers that appear en masse in spring occur sporadically at any time of the year. As far as we can tell this is the darkest foliage on a very cold hardy shrub. Loropetalums are somewhat tender when young but gain complete hardiness in a season or two. Loses some leaves in exposed locations below about 10ºF. Makes a great small tree in (a long) time. Very graceful the way the pointed leaves alternate on the arching stems. Worth growing for foliage alone. Full sun to part shade in a warm position. Regular summer water rapidly increases the growth rate. Otherwise once established requires only light summer irrigation. One of the most popular landscape shrubs in the world if you include China where it is native and has been grown ornamentally for eons. Prune AFTER flowering if needed.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’

Immensely useful, if rambunctious sedum that glows in vivid gold to chartreuse. The needle like leaves are vivid and line trailing stems. The stems root where they hit the ground- good local solution for erosion. Fast growing plant that spreads indefinitely in sun to quite a bit of shade. So easy to grow that I suggest you plant it in AVERAGE well drained soil. No need for amendments because the truth is once you have this plant you will always have it. Evergreen. Easy to remove from unwanted places. Simply pick it up off the ground and dispose. Or move it. I use this plant as a fast low water place holder when I’m deciding what to put in next. To plant simply toss it on the ground and water. You can bury it a little but its really not necessary. Avoid strongly compacted soil. Yellow flowers in early spring. Nice ground cover under trees. Hardy. Oh, so hardy.

My Favorites

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


Camellia x ‘Black Magic’

If you’ve never been to the Camellia festival at the Portland Japanese Garden in Feb/March you really wouldn’t know that there are fantastic Camellias out there (not just the raw hamburger colored doubles that you see in front of every house). We got this amazing cultivar there and we are always on the lookout for the very true reddest Camellia. This is one of those. Glossy bright green serrated leaves make a wonderful upright growing shrub to 8′ x 4′ in 7 years. In February-April semi double huge true deep red/black flowers appear- they are profuse over the whole plant. Full sun to shade in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer water to establish then a bona fide low water plant. Woodlands, Ann Amato’s garden. Wonderful color early in the season.

My Favorites

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


Rhaphiolepis x delacourii

Unusual hybrid India hawthorn that you rarely see anymore in our area. Its a great, tough, extremely drought tolerant evergreen shrub. To 4′ x 4′ in 7 years. Waxy deep green leaves emerge a soft pink/amber. In early to mid spring upright clusters of pink flowers are very pretty. They can then occur sporadically all year. Slow growing shrub for full sun and good air circulation. Excellent shrub to combat Rhododendron fatigue in spring. Good looking year round. Accepts regular summer water but thrives on none when established. Useful for blasting hot locations. Easy to grow long lived hardy broad leaved evergreen. Rhaphiolepis indica x Rhaphiolepis umbellata. Nice plant.

My Favorites

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


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.

My Favorites

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


Camellia sasanqua ‘French Vanilla’

A really cool winter blooming Camellia that has several surprises. The pure white single flowers that open from December to February are HUGE- up to 5″ across in full bloom. They have a boss of yellow stamens in the center that emit a light sweet scent. When blooming is over the new growth is the next surprise. Glossy deep black leaves emerge and fade slowly to deep green. Its a great foliage transition and gives the shrub extra depth. Large growing upright sasanqua to 8′ tall and 4′ wide in 7 years. Much wider with time. Great espalier subject with vigorous lithe growth. Sets tons of flower buds and if flowers are ruined by frost more will open in sequence. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil. Light but consistent summer moisture. Very easy to grow shrub with spectacular flowers at a good time of the year. Fast growing to 1′-3′ per year when young. Evergreen.

My Favorites

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


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.

My Favorites

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


Erodium x ‘Natasha’

A blooming marvel is this perennial. I’ve had it in bloom in every month of the year. Beginning in early spring a truly phenomenal constant show of soft lavender flowers with a deeper purple blotch on the upper two petals. Very wildflower looking and it forms a contained clump about the size of an apple pie. The flowers born on 6″ stems should be lifted away when spent to encourage more. Not that much encouragement is needed. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well drained soil. Little summer water once established. A little water in the heat of summer will promote bloom. Evergreen low finely divided foliage is gray green and pretty with the flowers. No cutting back, easy, everblooming. Low water. What more could you want?

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Clarkia amoena ‘Dwarf Pink’

Farewell-to-spring is a common wildflower of meadows and glens in Western Oregon. It gets its name because it is often the last wildflower to bloom before the summer drought ends the show. This form differs by its pure pink profuse flowers on a dwarf plant. (The wild form is lavender with a red blotch in the center of each petal.). An amazing display of bloom that appears as if someone dropped a bouquet on the ground. You see no evidence of leaves when its in full fettle. Blooms June to October in a garden setting with regular summer water and rich soil and the gardeners diligence removing spent flowers. Reseeds in open disturbed soil.  to 10″ tall and a little wider forming a dome. Nice cut flower. Fun variation on a native. Very attractive to native pollinators. True hardy annual. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Sempervivum ‘Saturn’

Probably the best standard red Sempervivum. Its been around forever and its a good cultivar. Given rich soil that drains well but is enriched with fertilizer a single rosette can swell to 6″ wide. its impressive. So fertilize your Hens and Chicks and turn up the scale. Forms prodigious offsets quickly. These can be stuck in the soil wherever you can’t get enough  of Sempervivum ‘Saturn’. Full sun give the best color red as well as a bit of stress. Red persists through winter which is useful for winter containers. Makes a good small scale ground cover that is dense enough to suppress weeds. Don’t try to cover an area more than a few square feet. This plant doesn’t do that. Living walls, crevice gardens, rock gardens, rock walls. Hot slopes. Drought stressed plants don’t die they shrink and plump back up quickly with irrigation. Pink flowers in summer.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum ‘Reinhard’

A really fun and rightfully famous cultivar. Celery green leaves are tipped in black. Very dramatic and the kind of contrast that makes a plant stand out. Rosettes are 4″ across and offsets are produced constantly. Very pretty dense small scale ground cover. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Deals with drought by shrinking. They rehydrate with the first rains. They look better and grow faster with water. Excellent in containers, crevice gardens, rock gardens, rock walls, troughs. I’ve never seen this variety bloom but I assume the flowers would be red or white…doesn’t matter thats not the point. Detach babies and give to neighbors with the official name. Increases its specialness, impresses the neighbor. This would be a good variety for a living wall.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum ‘Maria Laach’

Pretty Maria. Bloody Maria. We have no idea why they named this stunning blood red Semp after her but I’ll bet its quite a story. As this is quite an extraordinary Hens and Chicks. Blood red tipped leaves often fade to green near the center of the rosette. Redder in summer in full sun in average, well drained soil. Each 3″ wide plant is in a continuous color change so its a varied pattern. Forms expanding colonies quickly. Full sun to part shade. Light summer water. Very good for contrast in rock gardens, rock walls, crevice gardens. In summer 4″ stems display red flowers. Easy to detach and move babies. Tolerates drought by shrinking, puffs back up with the first rains.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum arachnoides var. pittonii

Cob webs cover this adorable and fast multiplying Hens and chicks. The hairy webbing is a successful strategy to stop transpiration of liquid from the leaves and cool the surface as well. 2″ wide rosettes create many offsets in a short amount of time. It makes a good small scale ground cover  From spring to autumn it may produce a 5″ stem directly from the center of the rosette and bear rows of rosy pink flowers. That rosette then dies but it produces prodigious amounts of babies. Full sun to part shade in enriched, well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Without irrigation it will survive but shrink. Containers, rock gardens, gravel gardens. Good appearance year round.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Tricyrtis ‘Spotted Toad’

Toad lilies are the joy of late summer into autumn in the shade garden. This tall growing selection has leaves that are conspicuously spotted with maroon dots. In August to October 20″ stems support multiple orchid-like flowers. The flowers have three petals heavily marked with purple/blue dots. Very pretty. Surprisingly its a nice cut flower. Forms a spreading clump in time. Rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade to shade. It has the nice habit of winding through other plants and the cheery exotic flowers will show up quite far from the source. Very easy long lived perennial. Regular summer water. Avoid hot sun which will scorch the leaves. Completely deciduous in winter. Adapts to dry shade when established.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Fuchsia ‘Insulinde’

Not the hardiest Fuchsia but by all means one of the showiest. This improved form of ‘Gartenmeister’ is taller  with longer brilliant orange red flowers. Tubular pendant flowers in groups to 3″ long. They appear in a massive and continuous display for months petering out around frost. To 30″ tall and very upright- just half as wide. The foliage is a distinct maroon/burgundy which sets off the hot colored flowers nicely. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Part shade to full sun (but not against a hot wall) with water. Incorporate a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. To over winter this more tender than normal beauty plant deeply, mulch in autumn heavily, and even pile some dry leaves around the crown. It may return from the base if we have a mild winter (above 20ºF). Otherwise its a stellar container constituent. Hummingbirds.

My Favorites

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


Sedum sediforme ‘Spanish Selection’

A really good Sedum that I got from a friend who collected it on the Iberian Peninsula in the Spanish mountains. Very soft blue gray foliage is shaped like pine needles lining trailing stems. Forms a good ground cover very fast. In summer 10″ vertical stems support clouds of soft off white flowers. Very different from so many other Sedums that bloom yellow. This soft color is very effective in the garden and of course draws pollinators from miles around. When spent the stems remain erect and turn gray- they may easily be collected by simply giving each a soft tug- or a whole a handful and they will break cleanly. Full sun to very light shade. Average to enriched soil that is not compacted. Good looking year round appearance. Not quite as dense or prolific as Sedum reflexum but still good. Slopes, between shrubs, as competition for weeds. Roots along the ground as it grows. Moves with ease and may be used as a temporary place holder while you think of what to plant next. Simply scoop up the foliage and move it to another place. Actual planting is not necessary. Share with friends. Great in seasonal as well as winter containers. To several feet wide. Light summer water or none when established. Easy plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

Plant type: , ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sedum spathulifolium ‘Carnea’

Interesting form of Stone crop that has foliage that takes on brilliant red/purple tints in cold weather or with drought stress. Powdery blue foliage is arranged in rosettes at the end of 3″ stems. Starting with the outer most leaves the vivid tints become most apparent in mid-late summer through winter. Red stems support clusters of gold/yellow flowers in early summer. Excellent pollinator plant as are all Sedums. Easy to grow in any soil that drains reasonably well. In regular ground double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen into the soil and avoid compaction. It will spread to multiple feet across in short order. In rock gardens it can be a little rambunctious around delicate plantings. Give it room and plan for it to spread. Great in seasonal containers, troughs, rock walls. Light summer water speeds the growth rate- it also inhibits the bright color. Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Sedum stenopetalum var. douglasii

Pine Sedum is common in the rocky outcrops of foothills and mid-elevation mountains throughout the state. You’ll find it clustered around crevices and on scree at the base of cliffs. Fine stems support clusters of deep green pine needle-like foliage. In summer its crowned by clusters of deep yellow flowers. Not as showy as other native Stone crops but pretty none-the-less. To just 3″ tall and forming clumps to 1′ wide. In the garden give it enriched, fast draining soil with light, consistent summer water- this improves the overall appearance. An interesting native Sedum for containers, rock gardens, borders, dry gardens. Evergreen. Very cold hardy. Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sesleria autumnalis ‘Campo de Azul’

An autumn moor grass with distinctive differences. Very blue upright, stiff foliage forms a large expanding clump. In mid summer through autumn (and beyond) 18″ straight vertical stems support gray/black flowers frosted with light yellow pollen. Excellent appearance year round for an evergreen grass to 1′ tall and 2′ wide in several seasons. Well drained average to enriched soil. Light, consistent summer water in full sun. Excellent massed, plant on 2′ centers. Flowers slowly decay over winter and spent stems may be cut away. Refrain from cutting this plant back to the ground. Winter damage will be covered quickly by new growth in late winter to early spring. Establishes quickly. Cold hardy below 0ºF. Native to Italy/Croatia- its adapted well to a summer dry climate. Nice looking grass.

My Favorites

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


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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Viola odorata (Parma) ‘Duchess du Parme’

There’s nothing like the smell of sweet violets in late winter and early spring. But the regular species in our climate is nothing less than a thug. It seeds and grows where you really would rather not have it. Well, forget that. Enter this exquisite fully double flowering Parma Violet. The rich violet blue flowers appear on long stems from January to April. Parma violets are the Mediterranean form of V. odorata and they are less hardy to cold and not so rampant. This form we have never seen set seed- but there are always exceptions. Very glossy green foliage frames the flowers well. Excellent in containers in an unheated greenhouse, conservatory. In the garden choose a protected spot (under evergreen shrubs for example) and give this violet rich soil with regular summer moisture. Tolerates full sun but looks better with some shade. Flowers tend to lean horizontally, they are great for cutting and making little fragrant winter posies. Spreads by runners to form a nice patch in time. Tolerates summer drought when established.

My Favorites

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


Fuchsia ‘Galfrey Lye’

Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! This extraordinary hardy garden Fuchsia produces masses upon masses of long tubular flowers. The floral tube and sepals are white and corolla is deep rose with distinct orange tints. To 2.5′ tall and as wide in a single season. Heavy bloom begins almost immediately and continues unabated to frost. Excellent container Fuchsia and in the garden give it rich soil that is moisture retentive but drains. Incorporate plenty of compost into the soil and add a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting. Mulch the first winter and plant deeply to protect the crown. Once established it is reliably hardy. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF. Returns in mid-spring from the base and almost immediately starts blooming. Regular summer water. Full sun to part shade. (Avoid the reflected heat of a wall). Excellent performance on open north exposures where there is bright light but protection from intense heat/sun.

My Favorites

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


Fuchsia ‘Ravenslaw’

Cool name for a cool garden Fuchsia. To 2′ x 3′ in a single season. The large, single flowers are “selfed”. That is both the sepals and corolla are the same color of soft red. Very profuse blooming and the large flowers have exceptional grace. Cold hardy, easy to grow Fuchsia that is also remarkably heat tolerant. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, moisture retentive soil that drains. Regular summer water speeds growth and enhances bloom. Plant deeply for added winter protection in the first season and mulch with compost the first autumn. Add a handful of all purpose organic fertilizer in spring- Fuchsias dearly love fertilizer. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF, resprouts vigorously from the base in spring. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring. Very cold hardy. Full sun only with regular summer water. Avoid reflected heat.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Fuchsia ‘Preston Guild’

Excellent hardy Fuchsia with very pretty flowers. The sepals are white with a bit of green on the tips. The corolla emerges purple/blue and fades slightly to violet. Upon opening the sepals slowly open and then gracefully recurve over the top of the flower. It reminds me of origami. Very upright growing plant to 2.5′ tall and just 18″ wide in a season. Constant bloomer from June to frost and beyond. Freezes to the ground below 26ºF and returns vigorously from the base in spring. Plant deeply for extra winter protection for the first season. Mulch with compost in autumn. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. Regular summer water in full sun to part shade to quite a bit of shade. Easy garden Fuchsia with lovely flowers. Hummingbirds, bumblebees, be-sotted gardeners, big containers.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Fuchsia ‘Dying Embers’

Striking hardy Fuchsia with stunning deeply hued flowers. Sepals are deep wine colored and a corolla of nearly black fading a bit upon opening to deep maroon. Very floriferous Fuchsia with masses of small flowers over a bushy upright growing sub-shrub. To 3′ x 3′ in rich, well drained soil in part shade. Regular summer water and give it a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. Dies to the ground in very hard freezes and resprouts vigorously in mid-spring. Wonderful plant for borders, the edge of woodlands and even containers. Glossy foliage is very handsome too. Do not cut back until new growth emerges in spring- then you’ll know what is dead and what to remove. Very hardy variety.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Azara microphylla ‘Variegata’

Pretty form of the normally deep green small leaved Azara. Tiny round, evergreen leaves are mostly cream with a light splash of dark green. Very pretty fine texture effect. Moderately fast growing tree to 12′ tall in 7 years. Part shade in a protected site. Protect from subfreezing east winds by siting on a south or west aspect.  Nice semi-weeping tree for woodland margins, urban courtyards. In March it is smothered in tiny yellow flowers with the powerful perfume of cocoa. Loses some leaves below 15ºF but recovers them quickly in spring. Light summer water. Takes dry shade very well.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Fuchsia ‘Dancing Stars’

Adorable Fuchsia that is a prolific bloomer. Widely spreading diagonal stems support curtains of pendant small flowers. The sepals and floral tube are white and the corolla is violet purple. Each flower provides its own contrast but in masses they are beautiful. To 2′ x 3′ in a single season in rich, moisture retentive soil with good drainage. Regular summer water. Apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in mid-spring. Dies to the ground in the first hard freeze, resprouts from the base in mid-spring. Great container Fuchsia. Apply a thick mulch of compost for the first autumn and plant deeply for added winter protection.

My Favorites

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


Agave americana ‘Medio Picta Alba’

Tender <sigh> but perhaps the most spectacular variegated Agave. It makes a great container plant for LARGE containers. To 5′ x 5′, it grows a little slower in containers. Make sure it’s sturdy and well built too because this puppy has been known to grow so vigorously as to shatter its own home. Use well drained cactus mix and add a handful of all organic fertilizer. Move to a freeze free environment such as an unheated garage if temperatures threaten to drop below 20ºF. Otherwise move it to a dry place for winter- under a south facing eave is ideal. Move it back out in the open when rain dwindles.  Light summer water will speed growth. Leaves on this form are blue on the edges with a dramatic pure white stripe down the center. Wow.

My Favorites

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


Schefflera delavayi

Big bold evergreen shrub that deserves a place in every garden. Tall growing cold hardy shrub with leaves that can be up to 18″ across- all three leaflets. New growth in spring emerges slowly clad in a showy taupe indumentum that clings to the new leaves for quite some time. The ultimate leaf color is deep green with a matte surface. To 12′ tall and branching. Moderately fast growth in rich soil that is well drained with consistent summer moisture- to speed growth. Otherwise established plants are remarkably drought adapted in part shade to shade. Takes full sun but leaves are smaller and the plant grows more slowly. An open north exposure is ideal with cool roots and the tops in the bright sun but not reflected heat. In autumn 3′ long pale yellow flower spikes appear and persist until frost. Excellent, refined shrub that has been perfectly hardy to cold for us for the past decade.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Abutilon x ‘Searchlight’

Clean, clear white pendant flowers face outward on a dense-growing upright flowering maple. To 4′ tall by 3′ wild in a season. Bloom is constant on new growth from May to frost. Dark green foliage is a good contrast to the blooms. Rich, moisture-retentive soil with regular summer water. Add a handful of all organic fertilizer at planting time and you’ll be rewarded with a bigger more vigorous plant. Full sun to part shade. Great in containers- big containers. In the ground plant in a very protected location with shrubs or a wall for added protection. Freeze to the ground in the upper teens. Returns from the base with consistent summer water. Hummingbirds.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Fargesia robusta

Excellent CLUMPING bamboo that is adaptable to a wide range of situations. Ultimately 15′ tall the 3/4″ culms rise up green with dramatic white culm sheaths before changing to a golden yellow. The foliage is dense and clusters around the top 3/4th of the canes. Easy to grow bamboo for redistricted sites in high overhead shade to full sun (but avoid the reflected heat of walls). Spreads moderately fast by a steadily increasing clump- each new culm is just inches from the other. Forming a grove to 4′ wide at the base in 6 years. Very upright growth makes it ideal for the thin space between houses, or for shading a courtyard. Regular summer water in rich, moisture retentive soil that drains. Drought adapted when established. Good performance in ice and snow. Hardy.

My Favorites

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


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.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum ‘Pacific Zofic’

Fast multiplying Hens and Chicks that is covered in white fur. The silvery white fur covers new foliage in the center that is aqua changing to pink on the external rosette. In spring to autumn it can produce 5″ spikes of pink flowers. The rosette where the flower spike originates then dies but there are so many offsets you barely notice. Excellent in containers, rock walls, as a small scale ground cover. Good appearance in winter. Rich to average soil with regular summer irrigation to speed growth. Otherwise very tolerant of dry conditions – the rosettes shrink a bit in this phase. Sempervivums LOVE fertilizer. Enrich the soil with all purpose organic fertilizer before you plant and enjoy much LARGER plants. Rosettes to 3″ across.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’

Deeply colored foliage and clusters of white umbel flowers combine to give this easy to grow biennial an important place in the garden. The finely divided leaves are almost black but have a bluish hue on the surface that reflects the light in opalescent waves. The first year it produces only this gorgeous foliage. Combine with chartreuse/gold leaved perennials and/or shrubs for excellent contrast. In the second season the foliage extends and masses of pure white umbels wave to 3′ tall above the plant. Light and airy which is cool for a plant with deep, brooding foliage. Self sows prolifically and the seedlings are easy to spot, move, thin, dispatch. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, moisture-retentive soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Excellent in woodlands or sunny borders. It makes a surprisingly good cut flower as well. Umbels…these days its all about umbels. Winter deciduous.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Icy Blue’

Columbines are a blast to grow in the garden. This form we initially selected for its bright, bright, bright chartreuse yellow foliage. The brightest we have seen. In April to June it’s topped with multiple white/green flowers that slowly age to a soft, luminous blue over several days. Very pretty contrast with the foliage and an excellent bold perennial for contrast in a border. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well-drained soil with consistent summer moisture. When flowers are over you can take advantage of the brilliant leaves. Solidly perennial and the original plant still survives. (We isolate this plant to ensure the babies are as true to the name as possible- and yes it does work).  To 20″ tall and half as wide. Self sows and a large percentage of the seedlings are gold. Easy to spot.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’

Tough and useful evergreen that is always at its shiny green best. Large growing for an Aucuba exceeding 6′ tall and as wide in 7 years. Moderate growth rate. Long glossy green leaves are slightly serrated and very pretty. Endures the deepest, densest dry shade conditions with no issues. Adaptable to full sun but not reflected heat. Tiny brown flowers are not conspicuous but this is a male and makes a great pollinator for female Aucuba (see A. ‘Rozannie). Established shrubs can get by with little to no summer water and not suffer. Pretty foliage shape is a great medium for contrast. Plant with Japanese Forest Grass or Dicentra formosa ‘Langtrees’. Incredibly cold tolerant- slightly below 0ºF. A good candidate for windy, cold gardens.

My Favorites

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


Fuchsia ‘Thomasina’

One of our favorite garden Fuchsias for its unique flower color and prolific blooming habit. Sepals are terra cotta orange with green tips and the corolla is rich auburn red. Very nice. To 14″ x 2′ in a single season. Excellent container Fuchsia where you can match the cool flower colors for a great effect. Part shade to high overhead shade in a cool position. Rich, moisture retentive soil with mulch in fall. Dies to the ground with the first hard freeze and returns quickly from the roots in spring. Plant deeply to ensure greater winter protection for the first season. Fuchsias adore fertilizer- give ‘Thomasina’ a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. They also respond heartily to liquid fish emulsion. Blooms June to frost.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Tawny Meadow’

Our first deliberate cross of two Pacifica species has yielded a real looker. Half Iris innominata and half Iris tenax. It inherits the incredible amount of flowers from the first parent which is yellow and more intricate markings and purple hues of the latter. Fun to grow colony producing grassy iris for full sun to part shade. Begins blooming in late April and continues for 3 to 4 weeks. Adaptable to many types of soil, including clay soils. Water regularly through the first summer to establish then none in subsequent years. This little iris ( to 8″ tall) is very wild looking and reminds us of natural hybrids that occur in the wild. In time when you have many flowers per clump it makes a charming cut flower. Two Oregon native perennials. Heh. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Chondropetalum tectorum ‘Dwarf’

A very nice person from a climate far colder than ours gifted us this cute dwarf Restio. And I have to say it has performed wonderfully in my garden. It froze to the ground at 9ºF- but returned in spring right away. Seems to be one of the hardiest and easiest to grow that we have encountered. Really shines in containers where you can see the sheaths on the blue green segmented stems. Rises to about 20″ tall with many stems. In summer they are topped by clustered brown flower structures. Very nice. Well drained somewhat enriched soil (for a Restio thats odd). Full sun to very light shade. Grows fairly quickly given the conditions stated above. Light summer water. Protect containerized plants from temperatures below about 20ºF. Evergreen most winters including the bummer winter of 16/17.  We’ll make as much as we possibly can. South Africa.

My Favorites

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


Phormium tenax ‘Atropurpureum’

The most commonly seen New Zealand Flax in our climate and arguably one of the most hardy to cold. Deep maroon/purple evergreen foliage in a large clump to 5′ x 5′ ultimately in a hot position and full sun in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer water increases the growth rate which in turn establishes the plant more thoroughly. The more established the Flax the more vigorously it returns if it gets hit by cold. If it does, try not to cut the whole thing to the ground but leave as many viable leaves as possible for food to aid in the recovery. Great plant for hot hellstrips and containers. Borders. etc. Following mild winters (above 20ºF) it may send up 6′ spikes with duckbill shaped yellow flowers in summer. Thrives at the Oregon Coast where it seldom is ever bothered by cold and where it absorbs blasting salt laden winds happily. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Sempervivum ‘Lotus’

OOOMMMMM. Large growing Hens and Chicks with pale lavender gray rosettes to 5″ across. Very showy and multiplies moderately fast. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil. Regular water speeds growth and size of the plants. Otherwise extremely drought tolerant..in really dry conditions the rosette will shrink and go to sleep- awakened by autumn rains. Nice small scale, dense ground cover. Striking in living walls and a natural for containers. 5″ spikes send up pink flowers spring – autumn. Good looking year round. This one is the size of a small Echeveria and would make a good replacement that is actually permanent. Easy.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum arachnoides ‘Robin’

RED Robin! Thats how we remember the name of this snappy Hens and Chicks. Tightly growing leaves in a medium sized rosette to 3″ across. The interior of the leaves are bright red with green leaf tips. Multiplies quickly. Retains these bright colors well throughout the year- where as some can become rather dull in winter. Spring – Autumn it may shoot up a 5″ spike bearing pink/red flowers. The rosette then dies but there are so many offsets that you would never know. Move them around the garden like furniture. Easy. Give them to friends, knock squirrels out of the tree with them. Fun to grow. Interact with your sempervivums and all will be good. Full sun and regular summer water to remain vigorous and bright and showy.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum ‘Virgil Ford’

Collectively this handsome Hens and chicks is one of our favorites. Soft pink to lavender and tipped with purple in cold weather. Nice. Large rosettes to 5″ across when happy. Boisterous multiplier and forming large colonies quickly. Rich, well drained soil with regular water to keep up appearances. Containers, rock walls, rock gardens, as a small scale weed smothering ground cover. Full sun to light shade. Even dry shade when established. Detach the babies and give them to a friend. Or chuck them at a Trump voter. Pretty plant. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color: , ,  |  Foliage season:


Sempervivum ‘Soft Line’

I’m the one doing the descriptions so I get to choose which is my favorite. And this is my favorite ‘Hens and Chick’. Soft and downy with fine hairs that cover the entire rosette. Dove gray to pink coloration changes little throughout the years. To 3″ across it quickly multiplies to form colonies in rich to average soil in full sun to part shade. Regular summer water enhances the appearance as well as initiates faster growth. Rock walls, slopes, containers. Very easy to grow. Light pink flowers appear at the tips of 6″ stems spring-autumn. Soft and cuddly.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Telopea x ‘Braidwood Seedlings’

Waratah of Australia, this extraordinary shrub produces some of the most alluring flowers in the flower kingdom. A tall growing evergreen shrub with handsome leaves. In spring and often again in late summer crown shaped flowers emerge purple and open to circular red flowers at the branch tips. These are seedlings of Telopea x ‘Braidwood Brilliant’ which is a hybrid selected for excellent cold hardiness for the cut flower trade. Protea- which means you should avoid fertilizer and too much compost. Rich to average soils- pure loam is ideal in a protected location in full sun to part shade. Avoid reflected heat. Light summer water. Not the easiest shrub to establish but the care and patience are worth it in the end. Cold hardy to approximately 5ºF. Protect from subfreezing wind. Amazing cut flower that lasts for weeks in a vase- if you can spare a stem. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast.  To 12′ x 8′.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Veronica liawanensis

Turkish speedwell is an excellent low water creeping ground cover that performs wonderfully in our climate. Flush with the ground this evergreen creeps in well drained average to enriched soil to several feet wide in several seasons. In April to May carpets of sky blue flowers obscure the entire plant. Very pretty. Roots as it grows, excellent for erosion control on a small scale on steep slopes. Regular summer water speeds growth but once established it takes summer drought very well. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Dies out in compacted soils- make sure to double dig the area around where it is to go to incorporate oxygen in the soil. For tired plantings simple overspread compost on top of it and let it settle between the leaves in early spring. Easy to grow hardy little ground cover. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phygelius x ‘Native Sons’

There are so many Cape Fuchsia cultivars on the market and to be honest a lot of them are dogs. Winning flower colors but losing in vigor and hardiness. Or they flop hopelessly. Enter this remarkable form with beautiful dusty magenta red tubular flowers. A strong growing and blooming selection that provides spikes of the pendant vibrantly colored flowers continuously from June to frost. To 4′ tall and 4′ wide for rich to average soil. Regular summer water spurs repeat bloom but it can lead to a rather rambunctious plant. Give this big guy room to spread. It will happen quickly. Full sun to light shade. May be cut to the ground in early spring to resize and supply new wood for flowers. Recovery is rapid. Cold hardy and loved by hummingbirds. Easy

My Favorites

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


Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘White Pygmy’

Always on the lookout for dwarf conifers that really are dwarf and that are easy to grow with a minimum amount of water. This little gem does just that. Forming a spreading and arching shape- much like an anvil, the new growth on this slow grower is tipped in white. It remains showy throughout the year. To 2′ x 3′ in 10 years. Full sun to light shade in any soil. Light summer water to none when established. Adaptable to dry shade conditions as long as the shade is not too deep. Excellent, easy to grow small evergreen. Fits in the smallest gardens. Great in containers, especially winter containers.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Toyon. One of the most widespread shrubs in California this plant also known as Christmas berry ranges right up to the Oregon State line and appears just inside our border. Large evergreen shrub with finely serrated large green leaves. In late spring flat clusters of white flowers appear- they are pretty but nothing compared to the brilliant red berries that follow and ripen in early autumn- remaining showy through winter. Most often they are eaten by birds. AKA Hollywood this shrub is where that city got its name. heh. Fast growing to 13′ tall by 10′ wide in 10 years in our climate if left strictly unpruned. Slightly tender it requires a protected location. Most large established specimens I’ve seen around Portland are placed on the west or south side of large trees. They get the protection of the overstory and it shields them from the coldest winds. No water or regular water- either way, very adaptable shrub that really likes cultivation. Small tree in time. West coast native evergreen shrub for the mildest gardens. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Leptospermum rupestre (Low Form)

Creeping form of Alpine tea tree from the highest mountains of Australia and Tasmania. Low evergreen shrub with deep green tiny leaves set densely on the stems. Forms a complete ground cover in time with the ability to inhibit weeds. The new stems are an attractive cinnamon red before switching to gray. In early summer tiny pink buds open to starry white flowers. For several weeks they obscure the foliage. To 1′ tall but usually much lower and spreading to 3′ x 3′ in several years. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer irrigation. Drought adapted when established. Best on warm south or west facing aspects. Avoid exposure to intense subfreezing east wind- in those areas plant it in a protected location. Always handsome ground cover shrub. Amazing at the edge of containers or near boulders as this plant will faithfully follow every contour. Cool.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Barry’s Silver’

Most native Port Orford Cedars that are grown eventually die out of the root pathogen phytophthera so imagine our delight when this small shrub form with gorgeous white foliage has persisted. Not that its totally resistant but it doesn’t just up and die when it gets water on the first 85ºF day. Really at its best as a stunning container subject where one can appreciate the almost white foliage that slowly morphs to aqua green. A nice bicolor effect. Unlike other variegated conifers this one does not get nasty after exposure to an arctic winter and summer sun. Instead it remains fresh. To 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 7 years- in the form of a tear drop. No summer water once established. Regular water is safe in containers. Part shade to full sun and average, well drained soil. Slow growing conifer that always looks good. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Azara microphylla (Upright form)

We’ve chosen this distinct form of Azara microphylla which has a much more upright habit and is also hardier to cold. Fast growing light textured evergreen tree. The tiny leaves are deep forest green and glossy and good looking year round. In March on old wood from the previous year and beyond alights with tiny yellow filament flowers. They have the intense and penetrating perfume of hot candy. Well, thats my take, others frequently chime in that it smells like Cocoa or Vanilla. Its an odd sweet fragrance that carries for many feet on mild early spring days. Explosively fast growing tree for any well drained site with regular deep watering. This speeds up early growth to 3′- 4′ a year. The dark, fine foliage provides a great contrast with the light taupe/tan colored bark. In time it exfoliates to reveal bright orange and tan patterns. Excellent urban tree that is incredibly drought tolerant when established. Locate out of the path of the most violent subfreezing east wind. Ultimate height in 10 years is about 22′ tall and less than half as wide. Easy, satisfying tree native to southern Chile. Great performance at the Oregon Coast as well. Casts very light shade.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Ogon Nishiki’

This poor plant though spectacular has a bunch of silly marketing names attached to it. We stick with the original Japanese cultivar name- seems appropriate. No other evergreen vine/groundcover has a foliage display that matches this plant. New leaves emerge bright orange and then morph slowly to patches of light yellow surrounded by dark green. Delightful. We’ve never seen flowers on this cultivar and we don’t need to. Great small scale and vivid ground cover. Mounds and trails to 8″ tall and several feet wide in a single season. It has been surprisingly hardy to cold enduring temps below 10ºF with no harm. Best in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. This vine grows when its warm therefore you water it when its warm. Twins around thin objects and will eventually hoist itself skyward. Solidly evergreen. Excellent container plant. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’

An old standard form of our native and widespread Stonecrop. This form is unique for its very pale gray almost white rosettes of leaves. It spreads vigorously in rich to average well drained soil with light summer water. Soil should be light and not compacted. It makes a very good small scale ground cover. Also excellent in rock gardens and even winter containers. Great long lived and easy container subject. To just inches high a single plant can reproduce to several feet wide. In late spring 6″ stems grow upright to display masses of brilliant yellow flowers. Adored by all pollinators. When cold wet weather arrives the entire plant takes on red/raspberry tones. Very pretty. Easy to grow native perennial. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sedum spathulifolium ‘Rogue River’

Would it surprise you that I found this form of native stonecrop on cliffs above the Rogue River? It fascinated me how tightly to the ground this spreading succulent occurred. Gray green foliage appears to be almost rubbery and it grows in a dense pile. Very nice. To just inches high it eventually makes large colonies in rich, to average well drained soil. Light to little summer water. In late spring 4″ stems support hot yellow sunny flowers for weeks. Loved by pollinators of all types. Evergreen and ever lovely form. Perennial borders, rock gardens, containers. Easy and climate adapted native succulent that loves to be in gardens. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Oxalis oregana ‘Select Pink’

Not the most original cultivar name but its aptly descriptive. Vigorous evergreen ground cover with dramatic hot pink flowers for weeks in spring. Spreads by underground stolen in rich, fertile, woodland conditions with regular summer water. To 4″ high and spreading many feet across shortly (in ideal conditions) . Part shade to shade. Very easy native perennial to grow. This is the second most vigorous Oxalis o. clone that we have behind ‘Klamath Ruby’. Simple pink flowers are pretty and rise up just above the foliage. AKS Redwood Sorrel or Oregon Sorrel. Long lived. Edible. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Festuca roemeri

Roemers Fescue is a native bunchgrass found on upland prairies and slopes throughout the PNW. In the Willamette Valley it survives on the upward margins of woods, often under Oaks and accompanying California fescue. Roemer’s Fescue has much finer leaves and a tighter clumps than Festuca californica. Its immediately identifiable by this thin blue green foliage. A cool season grower it spends the winter in its freshest and lushest state by the onset of summer drought it has already gone cere (dry dormant). To 8″ tall and spreading. 1′ spikes with tan flowers appear in late spring and remain erect until the entire plant goes summer dormant. With regular water and good drainage this grass will avoid summer sleep and remain green and lush. Excellent underplanting for drought adapted shrubs, or for the garden/wild lands interface. It spreads quickly by seed- its from here, you should expect that so keep it away from highly manicured areas. Its habitat in the Willamette Valley has shrunk to almost nothing. Bring this pretty native bunchgrass back to our gardens. Admirable lawn substitute. Evergreen. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Fuchsia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’

Fuchsias don’t have to be over the top with huge double flowers the size of wadded up tissue. Nope. This is one of the very best and it makes due with profuse all white flowers- the tips of the sepals are dipped in green. Vigorous hardy Fuchsia that reaches 4′ x 4′ in a single season in rich, well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Full sun (but with regular water and no reflected heat) to part shade. Masses of pendulous flowers appear from June to October. Loved by hummingbirds. This light airy sub-shrub combines perfectly in lush borders or as a single stunning specimen. Dies to the ground below 20ºF- re-sprouts from the base vigorously in spring. Easy, hardy, beautiful.

My Favorites

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


Sempervivum ‘Koko Flanel’

There are so many good Sempervivums (Hens and Chicks) but it seems that you only see the same 3 kinds over and over. We dug a little deeper and found a collection of exceptional cultivars. This girl/guy forms a very dense rosette with closely spaced leaves in a spiral arrangement. The older the leaves the more red as an under color with soft white hairs all throughout. New leaves have an aquamarine glow. Nice little symmetrical multicolor effect. Things go more towards green in the heat of summer. Pink flowers rise up on 6″ spikes spring to autumn- whenever it feels like it. Great container plant or small scale ground cover- this one multiplies very fast by offsets. Baby you’ve come a long way. Rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Rock walls, troughs, winter containers.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Stachys coccinea ‘Coral’

For flowers in this genus this is THE plant. Upright growing plant from a clump that rises to 2′ and produces multiple spikes of bright coral colored flowers. They are arranged in symmetrical whorls up the stem. Loved by hummingbirds who constantly seek nectar from the flowers that appear from late spring to late summer. When flower spikes are spent simply cut them away and water and more will arrive. Very easy to grow long blooming perennial for full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Very drought adapted when established. Works well in borders and even seasonal containers. The leaves have a very familiar lemon lime aroma. Dies to a low clump of foliage in winter.

My Favorites

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


Tellima grandiflora

Locally native on our nursery site Fringe Cups or Fairy Bells as they are commonly known are a spreading perennial for moist shady sites. Low mounding maple shaped leaves cover the ground densely and in late spring vertical spikes appear to 18″ tall and sport rows of small green cup shaped flowers. Closely related to Heuchera and thrives in the same conditions. It will even take full sun in moist conditions. It is a background plant because it often suffers from powdery mildew late in summer. The drier the conditions the worse the affliction. Good air circulation helps but its best to just accept that this is how this native perennial rolls. Semi-evergreen in winter. Woodland borders, shady containers. Very easy to grow. Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Acaena ‘Blue Haze’

The blue form of New Zealand Burr with finely divided pinnate evergreen foliage that forms a vigorous creeping ground cover. In summer 3″ stems support round white flowers that appear for several weeks. Easy to grow dense-growing plant to 3″ tall and covering up to 3 square feet in a year. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture to speed growth and keep the appearance fresh. Best in part shade to shade- seems to resent hot sun and permanently dry positions. Excellent for a fast cover that blocks weeds and roots as it grows- perfect erosion control for steep shady slopes. Plant on 1′ centers for a fast cover. Adaptable to dry conditions when established.

My Favorites

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


Muhlenbergia rigens

Deer grass is native to large areas of the west coast from west central Oregon south through California. Its a tough and wild looking grass that peaks in autumn with a crescendo of dramatic flowers. Dense and fountain forming evergreen grass. Foliage to 2′ x 3′ very quickly. In autumn spikes of light tan thin but feather columns emerge and point out in every direction. The rise to about 5′ tall and remain as stiff skeletons well into winter. Full sun to very light shade in any soil that drains. Excels on slopes and raised beds. Wonderful lining a path or mass planted. Water to establish the first season then none in subsequent years. Its fully adapted to our dust dry summers. Very wild looking grass which can be tamed somewhat by planting in rows or symmetrical pattern. Otherwise it fits in perfectly between drought tolerant native shrubs like Manzanita and Ceanothus. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Meadow Pastels’

This is our own seed strain of Pacific Coast Iris. We save from specific plants and aim to include as many unusual colors as possible. Typically 1/3 are deep purple, 1/3 are amber/yellow and 1/3 are combinations of the two- whats left is the odd deep blue. Full sun to part shade in any reasonably well drained soil. Adaptable to clay. Regular summer water for the first year to establish then none in subsequent years. Blooms appear from late April through May. Height is variable but all make large clumps of grassy foliage over time. Do not disturb once established and remember that Pacific Coast Iris thrive on neglect. Excellent and wild looking cut flowers. Highly deer resistant. Xera Plants Introduction. The plant pictured is an example of an Amber seedling. Oregon native plant.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Jasminum officinale ‘Inverleith’

Extraordinary and rare form of hardy Poet’s Jasmine that we love for its dramatic bi-colored flowers. The buds and the outside of the tubular flowers are both bright red. The clusters of very fragrant flowers then open to an interior of pure white. The distinct bicolor effect reminds us of the much more tender Rose Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) Vigorous twining vine to 15′ very quickly. Provide strong support- such as #4 copper wire. Excellent on large pergolas or along fences where the clusters of deep red buds pre-bloom is just as showy as the open flowers. In fall this deciduous vine takes on amazing brilliant red tints before dropping its leaves. Full sun to part shade in average to enriched well drained soil. Regular summer water increases growth and spurs re-bloom. Usually there is a massive floral display in June with sporadic clusters of flowers into September. Easy, pretty vine. Sweetly fragrant from the evening to the early morning. Drought adapted when established. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Saxafraga x geum ‘Dentata’

Really cool evergreen Saxafrage that has deep green spoon shaped leaves that are strongly serrated. The serrations are remarkably symmetrical and give the plant a very architectural appeal. In late spring wiry stems to 10″ supply clouds of small white flowers. If you look closely each flower is adorned with yellow and red polka dots. Spreads moderately fast to form large, dense colonies in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil with regular moisture in summer. Avoid blasting sun and dust dry soil. Not hard to grow in a cool position. Very hardy with a great year round appearance. Excellent lining woodland paths or as a pool of cool leaves beneath established shrub. Very good in winter containers. Easy to pick up and move if you need a new patch. Lovely.

My Favorites

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


Trillium kurabayashii

One of Oregon’s greatest wildflowers. This native of the Siskiyous and the SW part of the state makes an outstanding garden plant. Ours are divisions from well marked leaves and flowers with a deep maroon/black hue. To 18″ tall in bloom it responds readily to rich, humus filled soil with regular summer water. In very dry conditions it will go happily summer dormant. And it usually does anyway by the end of the hot season. The black and green leaves are dramatic but a  great collar to the tall upright dark flowers. Blooms appear in Portland in April/May and last for weeks. Part shade to shade- avoid blasting hot sun- it will grow in sun but go dormant very quickly. Roots very deep into the ground- difficult to move once established so pick its home carefully. Multiplies into a substantial patch with good care. One of our favorite native wildflowers. Limited quantities. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Berkheya purpurea

Fascinating daisy from South Africa with intensely thorny, conspicuously ridged stems and throughout summer a long display of large light purple to white daisies. The interior of the flower is much darker than the petals and provides great contrast. Each 4″ wide flower faces outwards and is easy to see. To 30″ tall from a slowly spreading clump. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Drainage is important but so is good care during summer to establish an extensive root system. Excellent on sunny slopes. Add a yearly application of compost to spur vigor and blooms. Full sun to very light shade. All together a very spectacular perennial. Worth the effort to make it happy. Very unusual cut flower. Completely winter deciduous. Rated as zone 6, In our observations over the years it is more like the low end of zone 7. Mulch in autumn. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Native Warrior’

Pacific Coast Iris can be dodgy to divide. You have to do it at the exact correct time in the fall just before they grow roots for the new year. Even then it takes a careful and gentle hand to produce viable divisions that will grow on and bloom. ‘Little Survivor’ must get its name from its ease of division. Either way its a fantastic PCI that begins blooming in late April and continues almost to June. Red and raspberry colored flowers are dramatic on a very compact plant to just 10″ tall. Grassy evergreen clumps of foliage do not obscure these precious flowers. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in any soil with reasonable drainage, including clay soils. Water for the first season to establish then none in subsequent years. Highly deer resistant. Long lived. Do not disturb once established. Neglect is its friend.

My Favorites

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


Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Tanna’

Superb form of Burnet that is compact but supplies masses of deep maroon red lozenge shaped flowers on upright straight stems. The flowers appear from June to October and create a great hazy repetitive texture. Ideal in the front of a border or in a meadow with other plants that do not exceed its compact height. To 12″ tall and forming expanding clumps to several feet wide in time. Rich, moisture retentive soil in full sun is best. Very adaptable to heavy clay soils as long as there is regular summer irrigation. Wonderful combined with the grass Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’. Regular summer water. Blooms turn russet when they are spent but remain vertical. Leaves turn bright yellow in autumn before the whole plant disappears entirely for winter.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Pink Tanna’

Beautiful summer blooming hardy perennial that fits nicely into the new meadow movement. Divided grass green pinnate leaves densely clothe the base of this clumping perennial. Above the foliage in June- August rise pink furry catkins like blooms on straight stems. The come in profusion and create a light repetitive texture that is ideal with such things as ornamental grasses and other spire perennials like Sidalcea (Checker Mallow). Spent flowers remain until autumn and change to a russet brown. In autumn the foliage turns yellow before disappearing entirely. Completely deciduous in winter. To 18″ tall and as wide in rich soil with regular summer water. Very adaptable to clay soils but requires more regular irrigation. Dried out clay is the worst thing to try and rehydrate. Pretty perennial. Butterfly heaven. Long lived perennial.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Blue Moment’

How can you not fall in love with a blue iris? Its so classic. This vigorous and easy to grow Pacific Coast Iris does blue very well. The large sky blue flowers are marked in the center of the fall with more intricate yellow and black hatch marks. Large growing PCI to 16″ tall and forming imposing clumps of tall evergreen foliage. Blooms late April through May. Full sun to part shade in any soil that drains. Not fussy but dislikes standing water. Water though the first summer to establish then none in subsequent years. Evergreen foliage is nice looking- dies down a bit in winter and returns in spring. Highly deer resistant.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Geoff’s’

Our good friend Geoff Beasley gave us this very easy to grow, pretty and floriferous selection of Pacific Coast Iris. The broad flowers are a combination of amber, maroon and even black hatch marks. To 14″ tall and produced from grassy spreading evergreen clumps. Full sun to part shade in virtually any soil with a modicum of drainage. Long lived perennial that is best left undisturbed once established. Blooms appear from late April through May. Highly deer resistant. Water for the first year to establish then none in subsequent years.

My Favorites

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


Iris x pacifica ‘Watercolor’

Of the 11 species of Pacifica species on the west coast the species I. munzii from the central Sierra Foothills imparts the best blue flower color. Typically a tall growing species to 16″ this cultivar creates amazing large flowers of soft washed blue with ivory edges. A very pleasant color that shows up well in gardens. Full sun  to part shade in rich to average soil. This cultivar likes a bit more drainage than others- a product of its I. munzii parentage. Blooms late April through May. Upright grassy deep green foliage is evergreen and forms large clumps over time. Best with a good amount of neglect as all Pacific Coast Iris demand. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Sidalcea malviflora ‘Josephine’

Beautiful Oregon Native Checker mallow that has handsome deep green glossy scalloped leaves and for all of summer a continuous supply of long stems clad in rows of cup shaped pink flowers. Adapted to heavy soils that dry out completely. But improves greatly under cultivation. Flowering stems stretch horizontally and wind their way through neighboring plants. Cute cut flower. Excellent in borders or no water landscapes alike. To 18″ tall in bloom and spreading to about 1′ wide. Long lived and easy to grow. Native to south western Oregon. Our selection of a deep pink and prolific bloomer. Oregon Native Plant.

Xera Plants Introduction

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sidalcea virgata

Rose Checker Mallow is a widespread wildflower in Oregon. In the Willamette Valley it occupies open meadows as well as disturbed road cuts. From a low rosette of glossy round leaves the inflorescences rise to 2′ tall. Each bears rows of cupped pink flowers with a serrated edge to the petals. Blooms appear for weeks in early to mid summer. This wild plant takes very well to cultivation and makes a very good border perennial in rich soil with average summer moisture. Conversely, in less cared for environments it will grow very well too. Native to heavy clay soils and adapted to no summer water- but bloom amount and length of bloom can be increased with irrigation. Spreads to forma colony in time to 2′ wide. Plant with other Willamette Valley Natives and looks wonderful combined with ornamental grasses. This is a great plant to recreate native meadows. Takes a fair amount of shade as well. Long lived. Easy. Good cut flower.  Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phygelius x rectus ‘Peach Trombone’

We selected this Cape Fuchsia for its compact habit and profuse display of pendant soft yellow to orange to red tubular flowers. To 3′ x 4′ and spreading it begins blooming in May and continues through September. Removing spent flower spikes will encourage more. Full sun and rich, moisture retentive soil for a plant that needs room- spreads underground by stolons. Do not plant delicate plants in the vicinity of this perennial, instead match vigor with vigor. Light summer water to none when established. Though water enhances bloom. Loved by hummingbirds and pollinators too. Great landscape plant. Cut back hard in mid-spring to refresh the plant and spur new blooming wood. Semi-evergreen.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Potentilla aff. gelida

We’ve grown this stunning perennial for years but there has always been some question to the exact species. All we know is that for foliage there really is nothing like it. Large spreading rosettes of pure metallic silver pinnate leaves are gorgeous all season. In summer and not very prolifically sporadic spikes of small yellow flowers rise above the foliage. Not the point of this plant and they can be removed if they are a distraction. To 1′ tall and forming a large patch in RICH, moisture retentive soil in full sun to light shade. Established plants can get by with much less water. Performance is equally as good in either position. Completely deciduous in winter. Beautiful leaves.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phormium tenax ‘Portland Night’

We selected this incredibly dark foliaged New Zealand Flax from a huge seed batch. It was the darkest maroon/black and exhibited great vigor. To 3′ x 3′ in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Soak once every two weeks once established. Full sun to light shade in a somewhat protected location. When established it is capable of freezing back in extreme winters and recovering fully by early summer. Following mild winters (above 20ºF) 6′ spikes may appear with tubular yellow flowers on a much branched inflorescence. If in containers move to a freeze free location in the event of an arctic blast (about once every four years). Arching stems are graceful. High deer resistance. Great performance on the Oregon Coast. Evergreen.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Crocosmia x crocosmiflora ‘Solfaterre’

The market is full of Crocosmia selections but we think this one is a classic. The foliage is a dramatic bronze color and the spikey leaves are a great backdrop to the apricot yellow flowers that occur in July to September. To 2.5′ tall and forming an expanding clump. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil with light but consistent summer water. It makes a very good cut flower that lasts in a vase. Combine with other sun loving late summer blooming perennials. Completely deciduous in winter. Moderate deer resistance.

My Favorites

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


Circium occidentale

Western Thistle or Ghost Thistle is native to the mountainous regions of southern Oregon into California. Its frequently seen lining road cuts in recently disturbed very well drained soils. To 3′ tall and all white and cobwebby it produces deep magenta flowers on large candelabra type structures. Flowers appear in June and remain until August. Loved by pollinators as well as birds. Leave the structure to over winter and go to seed and you’ll get even more birds. Forms a rosette the first year and blooms the second. No summer water once established. Loves sharp drainage in average to slightly enriched soils. If you have clay amend the soil with pumice or plant on a steep slope. Avoid competition from other plants. Not a weed. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Agastache ‘Xera Flame’

Our selection of a compact and free flowering cold hardy Hummingbird mint with intense dark orange flowers. Blooms June to October and they rise on spikes to 18″ tall. Does not flop- great for smaller spaces. Regular summer water in well drained, enriched soil. Excellent on slopes which improves winter drainage which increases cold hardiness. Full sun to very light shade. Irresistible to pollinators. Blooms appear from the same spikes all season- do not remove. Wait to cut it back until spring. Then remove dead top growth to make way for the new growth that is pushing from below.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Agapanthus x ‘Stripes’

An excellent cold hardy Lily-of-the-Nile that was bred in the PNW. To 3′ tall in bloom from a low basal presence of strappy green leaves. Each flower in the truss is light blue with darker blue stripes. They are pretty up close- from a distance it reads as glowing baby blue. And you can use this luminosity to your advantage. Easy to grow perennial for full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. This cultivar performs even without regular water but the blooms last longer and are larger with it. Completely deciduous in winter.

My Favorites

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


Viburnum atrocyaneum var. harryanum

Unique and we think very pretty evergreen Viburnum. Small perfectly round leaves are placed in threes around the stems. In summer the terminal branches host clouds, or cymes I should say of tiny white flowers. They have no fragrance but are pretty  to look at.. Moderately growing rounded shrub of great symmetry to 4′ x 6′ in 7 years. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer moisture. Takes very dry conditions when established. At first glance this does not look like a Viburnum- which is charming. Its a very pretty dense growing first rate evergreen.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phormium cookianum

Aka Phormium colensoi, Mountain Flax has a different habit than the more commonly seen and very upright Phormium tenax. This large clump forming plant has wide and DROOPING sea green foliage. It rises to about 4′ tall but spreads at least 7′ in time. Evergreen perennial for borders, containers, This inland species is said to be hardier to cold than P. tenax or its hybrids.. So far we have not observed that. It seems to be the same hardiness about 12ºF but will regrow if frozen to the ground. Rich, well drained, moisture retentive soil is ideal with regular summer irrigation- which spurs establishment and luster. Following mild winters (above 20ºF) 8′ spikes deliver yellow duck beak flowers on a stately and angular inflorescence. If frozen back by temperatures below 17ºF established plants are capable of recovering quickly and entirely by early summer. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast where it tolerates gale force salty winds and will never be injured by severe cold. Give it a protected spot in the Willamette Valley and shield it from subfreezing wind during arctic events. Very pretty evergreen perennial. High deer resistance. New Zealand mountains. Picture taken on the Oregon Coast.

My Favorites

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


Penstemon pinifolius

Pine leaved Penstemon is a native of the southern Rocky Mountains and its a long lived, easy to grow evergreen perennial for rock gardens, hot aspects and slopes. Well drained soil in full sun to very light shade in rich to average soil. Light but consistent summer moisture increases vigor which in turn increases the amount of flowers. Incredibly heavy blooming wildflower with masses of 7″ spikes holding tubular hot orange flowers. Very showy and irresistible to Hummingbirds. Blooms May to July. Cut back spent flowers to tidy. Low mat forming plant with grass green pine like foliage. Easy to grow perennial with a wonderful wildflower display. Very adapted to our climate. Photo credit: Bob Hyland. Hyland Garden Design.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Chionochloa rubra

Snow Tussock from alpine New Zealand is a clump forming grass of great grace and texture. The fine upright growing blades are a soft taupe color that shines in the sunlight. Most often the tips of this grass become cere and it gives it a wilder look. To 2′ x 2′ and a tightly clumping evergreen that increases very slowly. In summer stems clad in tan oat like flowers dangle in a pretty way from the plants top. Full sun to part shade in Well drained, rich soil with light consistent summer moisture. Appreciates an open exposure- avoid neighbors that are too rambunctious or close. Stunning in a mass planting. A great grass for our climate. Do not divide,  or move once established.

My Favorites

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


Luzula sylvatica ‘Aurea’

This! This is one of the coolest sedges for winter displays. It virtually glows in yellow/chartreuse and spreads to form large patches. Adaptable to both full sun (with water) to dense shade. it holds its gold coloring in shade but is more conspicuous in the cold months. In summer it turns lime green and can be site where it fades into the background. In early spring 1′ chartreuse stems display excellently contrasting warm, metallic brown flowers- they are quite showy and come in great quantity. Excellent in rich to average soil with regular summer water. Full sun (but not reflected heat) to dense shade. Very adaptable to dry shade conditions. We love this evergreen workhorse of a sedge that virtually glows. Great en masse or as  a simple single glowing patch.  This species of woodland sedge is native to Europe. Excellent plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’

This is the most common form of this tough and good looking woodland sedge. The wide curving leaves are finely lined in yellow on the margins. It give this useful plant extra dimension. To 18″ across and forming multiple rosettes. In spring 1′ spikes carrying showy tan flowers create a haze. Rich to average well drained soil with consistent summer moisture. Full sun (with regular summer water) to quite dense shade. Useful evergreen for winter containers. Excellent winter appearance. Long lived, easy to grow. Takes very dry shade when established.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Luzula sylvatica

Sylvatica- of the woodland and this woodland evergreen workhorse of a sedge is both easy to grow and always good looking. Forms bold rosettes of 1/2 wide deep green stems to about 2′ across. In early spring 1′ spikes hold metallic tan flowers. Very pretty. Full sun to dense shade in rich to average well drained soil with light summer water. More water will be needed the more sun it gets to remain deep green. Easy to grow and excellent massed for a uniform if somewhat wild look. Remove spent flower spikes to prevent seeding which will occur in open disturbed sites that you irrigate. These seedlings are easy to spot and move and it never becomes a pest. Long lived. Adaptable to very dry conditions in shade.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Festuca rubra ‘Patrick’s Point’

A west coast native grass that ranges from British Columbia to Southern California- usually near the beach. This form is exceptionally blue and so pretty as a year round evergreen presence. To 9″ tall and spreading at a measured rate by stolons slowly expanding the plant to several feet wide. Forms an incredibly dense cover and weeds will seldom compete with this climate adapted grass. In late summer and not profuse 8″ stems hold gray floral spikes. This is along lived, easy to grow grass that does not die out in the center or poop out after a few years. In fact it would make an admirable lawn substitute. This form is from Humboldt, County in CA and was named for the small town where Greg lived as a child- so we had to grow it. And damn it turned out to be a fine, evergreen, native grass. Full sun to light shade and little to no summer water once established. Not fussy about soil and not a rambunctious thug unless soil is overly enriched- instead give it oxygenated average soil.  Excellent among drought adapted shrubs and especially nice interplanted with Pacific Coast Iris. Fine dense foliage is bright blue in summer turning to more of a greenish hue during the cooler months. Excellent winter appearance. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’

A purely awesome form of Moor grass that we find indispensable at Xera. A strongly clump forming grass that has comparatively wide leaf blades margined heavily in cream. The effect up close is alternative deep green and yellow/cream vertical stripes. Very handsome. In summer 2′ spike rise. The stems are the exact color of yellow/cream that appears on the leaves, it gives great continuity to the whole plant. At the tips of these bright vertical stems are deep tan inflorescences. Exciting. Forms a clump to 18″ wide fairly quickly. Responds best to enriched soil that is fertile, drains well and light, consistent summer water which will lead to a much less thirsty plant in the long run. Roots go down very very far, and an established clump is somewhat difficult to lift and divide. But it can go many, many years before this is needed. Completely winter deciduous- cut back the vertical stems any time it is dormant. A fine texture for great contrast in borders or massed. Long lived and very hardy grass.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Millium effusum ‘Aureum’

Golden Millet grass we love for its bright and shining appearance in shady woodlands. The upright growing then strongly curled leaf blades appear very much like ribbons. In summer stems rise and then arch with little round seeds. The entire plant is the same shade of glowing chartreuse. To 2′ tall and forming slowly expanding clumps. Shade to part shade in rich, well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Avoid blasting hot sun- it will bleach horribly to an ugly appearance. The combination of the soft, ribbon-like foliage and the airy seed heads is a great texture to counter balance the bold appearance of Hosta or Bergenia ciliata. Completely winter deciduous. Seeds around- and seedling come true and are easy to spot and they move very well. Dies away to nothing by midwinter- seldom even have to cut it back.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’

Of all the big, huge Miscanthus on the market this one appeals to us the most. Fine vertical then arching blades have edges lined in white. It gives the whole mature clump (to 5′) a soft, texture and overall appearance. In late summer into autumn mahogany red feathery flower clusters decorate the stems tips. The rise another 10 inches above the clump. Easy to grow in full sun to very light shade in any rich to average soil with adequate summer moisture. Clumps expand quickly and can easily approach  3′ wide. Cut back in winter- this grass has a bad habit in winter dormancy of detaching in wind and blowing about. But you can also leave it skeleton for winter interest and cut it back in spring. Regular summer water improves appearance and leads to blooms. Fully hardy. Winter deciduous. Japan.

My Favorites

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


Deschampsia caespitosa

Tufted Fairy Grass is an Oregon native that forms bright green fine clumps but is in its glory in bloom when tall vertical stems display hazy tan flowers at the tips. Easy to grow grass that improves under cultivation. Native to semi-shady to sunny aspects in rich soil that drains but also retains moisture. Adaptable to wet sites that dry in summer. To 10″ x 1′ as a clump of foliage but rises to 3′ tall in bloom. Very wild looking grass that can be massed for a hazy meadow effect, or placed in straight lines a modern aesthetic that combines a wild plant with spaced symmetry. Excellent among shrubs and with other wild looking meadow perennials. Winter deciduous. Cut back dead growth in spring. Relatively long lived. Native in the Portland city limits. Graceful.  Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Festuca californica

Native to the Willamette Valley from Clackamas country south and once widespread before being pushed to the margins by exotics and development. The best place to find this clump forming cool season  evergreen grass now is on slopes, almost always underneath Oaks. As you go farther south it becomes more widespread. Our seed grown plants come from exceptionally blue foliaged plants. Grows during the winter and looks clean and fresh then. In spring 3′ tall inflorescences arrive and are straight and airy. Following bloom in summer the stems of these blooms take on raspberry tints and remain standing. Totally summer drought adapted  but a little irrigation will improve summer looks. To 1′ x 2′ as a clump of evergreen foliage. Full sun to part shade in average to enriched, well drained soil. Light summer water. Best in wild areas and margins. Looks a tad too wild for some. Check it out in person and see how you feel.  Excels around Manzanitas, Cistus, Ceanothus and in dry shade in woodlands. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Luzula nivea

Snowy woodrush is a great woodlander and has many seasons of interest. The thin arching blades on this clump forming plant are softly veiled in white hairs that gives a softness to the clump. To 10″ tall and as wide in a season. In late summer 2′ tall spikes appear and produce snowy white flowers. They sway in the breeze. A mass planting of this in bloom is magical. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains in part shade to shade. Takes sun with regular water  but nothing hot. Excellent long lived perennial. Can self sow when very happy. The hairy seedlings are easy to spot and move- or give away.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Luzula pilosa ‘Igel’

We’ve been impressed with this evergreen, ever lovely, ever symmetrical sedge from Europe. Tightly clumping deep green plant to 6″ tall x 11″ wide in time. Rich, moist, well drained soil is ideal. Protect from blasting sun and reflected heat. Excellent performance in woodlands, sunny, irrigated borders. Imparts both a natural look but its habit is so symmetrically round that it also gives a modern feel. May be massed for a profound soft effect. Regular summer water- especially during heatwaves. Excellent performance in containers. Easy to grow. Evergreen- but it can look a little burned if we have extreme cold- not to worry new growth quickly hides any tatty leaves in spring. Avoid dense, dry shade, dappled overhead shade is ideal. Deep green appearance year round.

My Favorites

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


Carex testacea

Wonderful orange Carex that is a great (if temporary] garden plant. Clumping and upright then broadly arching. Leaves take on intense copper tints for most of the year. Excellent plant for containers, winter containers. Evergreen and for full sun to light shade. Regular to rich, well drained soil- average summer water. Not drought tolerant over the long haul, so at least a soak once a week in summer. To 10″ tall x 20″ wide. Give it room to reach its full dimension. Containerized plants will drape gracefully over the edge. Do not cut back hard in spring- limit your tidying to removing dead/ratty leaves. If you do have to cut it back hard then make sure you apply some all organic fertilizer and water consistently to speed recovery. Average lifespan 3-5 years. Avoid full exposure to subfreezing wind. New Zealand.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Eucryphia x ‘Nymansay’

Columnar evergreen tree that is ideally sized for small urban gardens and blooms in mid to late summer. Large white flowers are profuse on every stem. There is a central boss of long stamens tipped with pink pollen. Blooms July-August. Full sun to light overstory shade and rich soil with regular summer water to establish. To 18′ + in  10 years and less than half as wide. The evergreen divided leaves are glossy and pretty year round. Grows about 2′- 3′ a year when established. Young trees are somewhat sparse but they  fill in significantly with age becoming very dense upright rounded trees with time. Locate out of the path of subfreezing east wind. If you are in a wind zone place the tree on the west or south side of a structure. In central Portland this is less of an issue. Gains tremendous cold hardiness with age. Protect young plants from temperatures below 15ºF- established plants can take brief drops to 0ºF. Amazing in bloom and wild life thinks so too. Cold damaged foliage recovers very quickly in spring- by May you would have no idea. Injury happens in cold gardens about once every 5 years. Majestic tree in age. South America.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Arbutus menziesii

Pacific Madrone, iconic tree of the Pacific Northwest. Famous for its glossy, russet orange, sinuous, exfoliating bark and round, evergreen foliage. In spring, clusters of white flowers are showy and turn into vivid red berries by autumn. These are loved by birds- especially western tanagers who will quickly strip a tree as flocks move from one to the next. Must be grown from seed and it must be transplanted when small. Just the way it is. Plant it in average, well drained soil. Water lightly through the first summer in subsequent years leave it strictly alone. Full sun is best- tends to wander towards the sun in shade. Underplant with low water natives such as Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Vancouveria. Slow at first it picks up speed after about 4 years- then it can grow 2′-4′ a year. Somewhat messy tree- loses leaves in summer and the bark exfoliates all over the place too. Know this and live with it. Ours are raised from seed of trees native to our wholesale nursery site- so its a local strain. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Sambucus caerulea

Our locally native blue elderberry makes a good very large shrub or small garden tree. It has beautiful pinnate foliage, large fragrant umbels of white flowers followed by large clumps of edible blue fruit. Incredibly fast growing in youth it responds in a robust way to extra water in summer. Adaptable to nearly any soil type. And very drought tolerant as it matures. Fall color is often yellow but also lacking. Birds feast on the berries through winter. Otherwise they hang ornamentally on the bare twigs- also very showy. To 14′-18′ tall and naturally forming a vase shape. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Rudbeckia occidentale

Our native coneflower found in the Cascades. Look! It forgot the petals. Yup thats our boy. Clump forming tall perennial for moist sunny sites. Rich, soil with ample humus. Easy to grow in a perennial border where you can take advantage of the austere look of the flowers, when they come en masse at the end of 30″ stems they are something to behold. Very good cut flower and it goes with a very modern aesthetic. Full sun. Completely deciduous in winter. Oregon Native Plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Oxalis magellanica ‘Nelson’

Adorable, tiny scaled dense growing ground cover from Chile. The most amazing component is the little pure white fully double flowers that appear all summer. They kind of hide in the foliage and its fun to search for them and pull them up above the leaves. Perfect little rosebuds. Slow spreading ground cover for part shade to full shade and rich, moisture retentive soil. Its not durable enough for life between pavers or hellstrips rather you plant it in a woodland under a shrub and notice  how dainty and beautiful it is. Spreads out to about 1′ wide in 2 years. Deciduous in most winters- but it returns from the ground quickly in early spring. Protect from hot sun- it does not like. Lovely.

My Favorites

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


Myrtus communis compacta ‘variegata’

We love Myrtles they are so drought tolerant and they smell so good and we’re finding more and more cultivars that are hardy in Portland. This one is a real surprise because the green form of ‘Compacta’ is not nearly as hardy as this charming variegated version. A slow growing perfectly round shrub with light green leaves edged in cream- brush them- they smell so good. To 3′ x 3′ in 8 years. In summer small white flowers have a sexy little brush of white stamens. CUTE. Full sun to very light shade in a warm protected position. Mine are against my house on the south side and they’ve grown into a little hedge. They have only had slight tip damage in the coldest winters, but spring recovery is rapid. In fact it can freeze to the ground and resprout and regain its stature in a season.  Don’t go planting this shrub out in the open, exposed to wind. It will fry. Instead keep it close and it will be fine. Extremely drought tolerant.

My Favorites

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


Vaccinium nummularia

Himalayan Whortleberry. Cool, compact, slow growing very nice looking evergreen blueberry relative from the Himalayas. Small round leaves are dense on the stem and very symmetrical. New growth arrives bright red before settling to deep green. In spring striking red and white striped pendant flowers arrive in clusters. If pollinated they produce small blue/black tasty berries ( so far this has been rare for us). To 3′ x 3′ in 6 years for full shade to part shade in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer moisture. Excellent performance in a woodland or along a margin. Avoid dry compact soils which it intensely dislikes. An annual application of mulch will keep the roots cool and moist during the heat of summer.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’

Shrubby Japanese Yew Pine is a dwarf form of what can become a large tree. The deep green needles are much shorter in length and held more densely along the stem. In our climate it is a slow growing conifer of wonderful texture rarely exceeding 7′ and usually just 3′ wide or less. In summer little pointed green flowers protrude from between the needles and turn into round blue fruits by autumn. Extremely drought tolerant shrub for tight spots. Takes very well to pruning. Excellent in containers for year round good looks. Tolerates regular irrigation as well and is not fussy about soil. It thrives in high heat and summer is when most of the growth takes place. An old fashioned plant that we’d like to give a new lease on life. Very pretty focal point in authentic Japanese gardens. This true dwarf form can be difficult to obtain in the trade. This is the true form. Adapted to the hottest reflected heat of walls- parking lot islands. Average water to none, when established. Prune in early spring if required.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Phillyrea angustifolia

Sometimes you need a large shrub or small tree that is evergreen but not dense and one that does not cast enervating shade. This incredibly drought adapted and cold hardy shrub fits that bill. Native to the Mediterranean region and closely related to Osmanthus this fast growing plant has never been injured by cold for us and sales through intense summer drought with not one ill effect. Always good looking the long thin opposite leaves have a nice symmetry on the stems. In spring tiny white flowers crowd the stems but are not fragrant or significant. It makes a great small tree- limbed up from the base with either one straight trunk or multiple. Grows about 2′-3′ per year. Tolerates summer water as well as dried out clay soils. Unique.

My Favorites

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


Sycopsis sinensis

Rare and somewhat obscure evergreen tree that belongs in the Hamamelis family. Graceful medium green tapered leaves fold gracefully over each other in a pendant habit. The branching structure itself is graceful as well. To 18′ tall  with a columnar habit at first and then spreading a bit with time. In winter curious flowers look like little red brushes and occur profusely.  Nice looking cold hardy, shade tolerant and extremely drought adapted small tree. WE love this tree and have been incredibly impressed with how tough but beautiful it is. Accepts regular water in summer as well. Ideal sized tree for small gardens, or the space in-between the new close together construction. Not an oppressive evergreen but rather light. Moderately fast growing.

My Favorites

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


Amomyrtus meli

Unusual Myrtle from Chile that I’ve grown for many years and though it is difficult to root from cuttings we still offer it. Glossy small leaves have the distinct fragrance of citrus when bruised. A tall rainforest tree in its home, in my garden it is a columnar evergreen shrub to 8′ x 2′ in 7 years. In early summer it produces clusters of pretty off-white flowers that are lightly fragrant too. They often turn into clusters of black berries by autumn. Slow growing in youth it picks up a little with age. Full sun to part shade in a protected location. Mine is against an east facing wall and it’s never been damaged by cold – save for a few burned tips below 10ºF. Surprising. If you are a collector and you’d like something different give this handsome shrub/tree a try. It will thrive at the Oregon Coast and likely grow much, much bigger. A water loving tree that requires regular irrigation during summer- this encourages growth and lustrous foliage. Chile.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Abutilon x ‘Smoked Salmon’

A tender abutilon that is best considered an annual but boy howdy is it one of the best flowering maples that we’ve ever seen. Compact growing to 3′ x 3′ in a season at the largest. Profuse, huge flared pendant flowers are the color of smoked salmon on the interior and a distinctively darker orange on the outside. Its a great effect. Full sun and rich well-drained soil with regular irrigation. Excellent container plant that blooms non-stop with little intervention.  Not hardy below about 25ºF.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn9a 25º to 20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Abutilon x ‘Tangerine Scream’

A relatively hardy and massive blooming Abutilon that we named for its small but vivid tangerine orange flowers. A tall grower, easily reaching 4′ in the ground in a single season. Excellent in containers in full sun but be warned it gets big, fast. In the ground it has been a great performer. It requires a very protected location- between shrubs that will protect the base or near a house wall- under those conditions it will freeze back below about 20ºF but will be able to return from the base. And don’t be discouraged in spring if this plant looks dead- just water, water, water, in April-June and you’d be surprised at the vigorous recovery that will take place. It helps if it is in rich, well drained soil. Hummingbirds love it. Excellent performance at the Oregon Coast where it will seldom be bothered by cold and can bloom nearly year round.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

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


Metapanax (Nothopanax) delavayi

Such a cool tree for small gardens. Upright growing and then branches that also turn vertical fairly quickly- kind of like an upside down candelabra. The lush evergreen foliage is composed of palmate divided leaves which droop gracefully and give the plant a lighter mein. In summer masses of orbicular off white aralia flowers appear en masse at the branch tips. They are pollinator heaven. And they turn into clusters of black berries consumed by birds. To 16′ tall and half as wide. Perfectly hardy to cold, but can become semi-deciduous below 10ºF. New leaves come quickly in spring. Fast growing tree for rich soil and regular summer water in full sun to high overhead shade in woodland conditions. This pretty tree has a promising future.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Mathasiella bupleuroides

Wow what an interesting plant. This perennial member of the carrot family from Mexico almost immediately recalls a Hellebore. Nope. Clumps of blue divided leaves are very pretty and surprisingly evergreen even through the coldest temperatures. In spring the stem elongates to carry acid green cupped shaped flowers on a circular arranged inflorescence. Part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil. There is only the male form on the market in the U.S. as far as we can tell so no seed set.  Tends to flop or lean on other plants…just what it does. To 30″ tall and as wide. Rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Looks absolutely nothing like a carrot.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºFZn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Impatiens omieana ‘Ice Storm’

Pretty version of this hardy perennial impatiens. It forms mounds of lush foliage that has a light icy sheen on the surface of the leaves. If you look closely at this cultivar the leaves actually sparkle as if they were inlaid with crystals. Groovy. To 2′ x 3′ spreading in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil. Consistent summer moisture. In autumn the tops of the plant bears many tubular light yellow flowers that are surprisingly large. Completely winter deciduous.

My Favorites

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


Iris douglasiana (Pacifica) ‘Burnt Sugar’

A groovy selection of our coastal native evergreen douglas iris. From spikey grassy clumps rise 2′ tall flower spikes topped with multiple blooms that are amber and maroon, intricately marked on the interior falls. Blooms April to June. Vigorous clump forming perennial for any soil type where there is not standing water. Regular water to establish the first season then none in subsequent years. Full sun. High deer resistance.  To 2′ wide in a few years. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

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


Epimedium x ‘Aurora’ (Xera)

One of our selections of a hybrid barrenwort with stunning sunset colored flowers for a long period in spring and often into early summer.  Pendant star shaped flowers are orange and red with white tipped spurs. Easy to grow evergreen clumping perennial for part shade to shade. Rich, moisture retentive soil with consistent summer water. Mulch annually with compost to drive vigor, health. New foliage emerges amber with darker red flecks throughout before settling in to medium green in summer. To 14″ x 14″.

Xera Plants Introduction.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Osmanthus fragrans

Long ago I dismissed this tall sweetly scented Tea Olive as hopelessly tender in our climate. Then in a garden in Lake Oswego under towering firs I ran head on into an 18′ tall perfectly happy specimen. Looks like it had never suffered damage. It was just a really nice broadleaved evergreen tree. Copious amounts of small off white flowers crowd the stems beginning in autumn in our climate and then sporadically until spring. The POWERFUL fragrance they emit is that of apricot/freesia/rose and it travels- detectable 20′ away when in full bloom. To 15′-20′ tall apparently. Requires protection as a young plant and it really should not be in an exposed site. Instead locate near a house wall- where you can open the windows and let the perfume flow- and gain added protection. Gains much, much, greater hardiness with age. Summer heat seems to play a role- the more heat in summer the hardier in winter. Full sun to high overhead shade. Grows 2′-3’/yr. when young- aided by consistent summer water. Otherwise established trees need little. Not a plant for cold gardens.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Osmanthus delavayi

Regal, tough, evergreen shrub that loves our climate and performs beautifully in a host of situations. Small holly like deep blue green leaves are completely obscured by masses of small, white, sweetly fragrant, tubular flowers that crowd the stems in April. Beautiful. To 4′ x 6′ in 6 years. Full sun to quite a bit of shade which doesn’t diminish bloom. Rich, to average soil including dry clay soils but never anywhere there is standing water. Extraordinarily drought tolerant when established and will still thrive and bloom with none. Elegant clipped hedge which will become dense and still bloom heavily. The leaves are small enough that shearing does not mangle them. Long lived and cold hardy to 0ºF. Easy, elegant broad leaved evergreen. AKA Delavay Tea Olive.

My Favorites

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


Helleborus x ‘Amethyst Glow’ Winter Jewels ®

Kind of a nifty color breakthrough for the breeding team Ernie and Marietta O’byrne. We’ve been delighted with this soft pewter purple color on a vigorous group of plants that produce enormous blooms. To 2′ x 2′ for shade to part shade in rich, well composted soil. Light summer water. High deer resistance.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Geranium x ‘Stanhoe’

Cute little spreading New Zealand Geranium with pewter brown leaves with  silver sheen and small off white/pink flowers all summer long. To 4″ tall but spreading to 11/2′ wide. Great in containers where the foliage provides contrast and the trailing stems clad in flowers arch over the edge of the pot. Very easy to grow and may self sow a bit. Easy to identify the seedlings to dispatch, transplant, or give away. Full sun to part shade and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Not bothered by slugs and snails.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Geum ‘Mandarin’

A very pretty British selection of this spring blooming perennial. Tall stems produce large single ruffly solid orange.flowers. Multiple flowers are born on one stem. To 2′ tall and forming  a patch as wide. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Full sun to very light shade. Very easy long lived perennial. Wonderful flower color brightens spring borders beginning in April and extending to early July. Not bothered by pests or disease.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Geum ‘Blazing Sunset’

Gems are so useful for us because they virtually laugh at heavy clay soils and still perform. But better is rich amended soil and they will bloom- in the case of this cultivar almost non-stop through the heat of summer. 2′ tall divided spikes yield fully double large brilliant orange red flowers. Opulent but with a wildflower charm at the same time. A big ol branch of flowers makes a great cut flower that lasts for ore than a week. Full sun to light shade and regular summer water. Remove spent flowers to encourage more- and there will be quickly. Forms a substantial patch in a few years. Very long lived perennial. Match with blue flowered Salvias for a thrilling visual bonanza. Completely deciduous in winter.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Geum ‘Herterton Primrose’

Elegant spring blooming perennial that is very graceful, understated but beautiful. From rosette of lush leaves it sends up branched stems at the end of each is a soft primrose colored nodding flower from a madder red calyx. Wonderful. It remains in bloom and actually re-blooms from early April to early June. To 18″ tall in bloom and forming a patch several feet across. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular summer water is beneficial. Excellent and fun cut flower. Adapted to clay soils as many Geums are and a great reason to grow them in Western Oregon. Winter deciduous.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Gladiolus papilio

GLADZILLA! Thats what we call this rambunctious, prolific and all too easy species Glad. Blue/gray foliage gives way to serpentine spikes lined with curiously colored cup shaped flowers. The exterior of the petals is best described as dove gray. The interior is more complicated with zones of yellow, purple, and brown. Lovely cut flower.. The scape rarely stands straight up- accept that, it makes cool arrangements. In the ground its kind of a monster. It lives to multiply and in soil that too rich you will end up with 100,000 in a short time. Don’t torture it just don’t pamper it. Great plant for the rough life of the back 40 or a forgotten corner of your yard. Don’t recommend putting it in a hellstrip as it would spread so fast you would soon find Gladzilla monoculture. Completely winter deciduous- nothing there. Emerges relatively late in spring but it goes fast. Excellent cut flower. Strong deer resistance. Water?  Yeah.. if you want.

My Favorites

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


Glumicalyx gosseliodes

Nodding Chocolate Flower. An unusual hardy perennial from very high elevations in South Africa. A spreading- trailing evergreen plant to 1′ x 1′ in a season. In summer above the rubbery stacked foliage dense groups of bud open to nodding orange flowers. The back of the slightly tubular flowers is pale cream- a nice dual color effect. Up close it pumps out the fine fragrance of chocolate. Blooms for about one month. Full sun and rich to average, well drained soil with regular summer water. Works well in containers and you have a better capacity to enjoy the flower fragrance. Easy to grow little perennial of great grace and it will often self sow when happy. Easy to grow.

My Favorites

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


Helleborus x sternii ‘Pewter Leaf’

There are so many Hellebores flooding the market these days that this really good variety has been sidestepped. Bad move. It has so many great attributes that we can’t help but offer it. Large divided evergreen thick leaves are a scintillating metallic pewter. The undersides of the leaves are soft red. Great combination. In winter simple cupped celadon green flowers pop out of the top and remain fresh and showy for many weeks. To 2′ x 2′ and completely evergreen. Produces multiple stems as the years pass on. Excellently adapted to our climate and dry shade specifically. Light summer water in average to rich soil. Full sun to part shade to shade. High deer resistance. Long lived sturdy and pretty.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: , ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Hemerocallis citrina

A good friend of ours who is a day lily savant told us that we had to have this plant. So adamant was he that he sent us a good sized clump. Holy cow was he right on. This is a large elegant perennial with elongated light yellow flowers that have a POWERFUL sweet citrus blossom aroma. The scent ramps up greatly at night and can be detected many feet away. Tall growing species as the flower scapes rise to almost 5′ tall. Each one holds multiple flowers. They close a little during the day but in the afternoon they slowly yawn open and POW! Here comes the perfume. Grassy foliage rises to about 2′ and a clump gets very large in rich, well drained soil with ample summer moisture. Full sun to very light shade. Give this big guy room to shine. Blooms for us July to September. Completely deciduous in winter. Big thanks Duane.

My Favorites

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


Heuchera x ‘Canyon Delight’

This is a really good garden Fairy Bells that has performed for years in our garden. Its derivative of two western species and boy does it know how to bloom. From a low evergreen matt of nice looking maple shaped green leaves it send many many 2′ stems bearing clouds of true red flowers. Each flower is clad minute fur giving the extra substance. A saturated color that appears in our climate for up to two months beginning in April. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Avoid boggy soils in summer. Its a carefree, long lived perennial that really performs in landscapes. Visited frequently by hummingbirds (yep). Create a clouds of rich red. Evergreen.

My Favorites

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