Tall Thalictrum or Many fruited Rue. A wonderful native perennial that will win you over with its great grace and tenacity. Many divided blue green leaves are composed like shelves along a tall blooming stem. The effect is that of a pastry tray with multiple levels. In early spring a group of these pretty and delicate looking leaves are arranged in a circle. As the spring advances so does the bloom stalk up to 4′ tall in rich soil with regular water. Best with an occasional deep soak in summer, native primarily to wet  areas. Its very common companion is Giant Larkspur Delphinium trolliifolium and both species of Camas. The flower that erupts from a  many branched scape holds mostly downward pointing stamens with very small modest petals. It perches on the end of the stem like a small chandelier. Winter deciduous. Found primarily in the moist areas west of the Cascades in the inland valleys. Very easy to grow native perennial that improves under cultivation but retains its feral tough habit. Long lived perennial for part shade to high over head shade. Not bothered by deer. Oregon native plant.

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Hosta ‘Variegated Blue Mouse Ears’

We found this sport in our batch of one of our favorite Hostas  ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. This dwarf Hosta has yielded a lovely form with interior leaves of blue green with a margin of chartreuse/light green and the variegation is remarkably stable. To just 6″ tall it spreads to form multiple rosettes several feet across. Always neat and tidy looking. The thicker than average leaves are somewhat resistant to slug/snail damage but protect just as they are emerging. In early summer a 10″ thick spike supports rows of dense dark lavender fragrant flowers. They add to this very smart looking little perennial that is long lived in part shade to shade in rich soil with regular water. Excellent container plant, it will be even easier to water and protect from gastropods. In the garden its a natural with Golden Japanese Forest Grass and Disporum flavescens. Very easy to grow.  Avoid hot sun and dry conditions.

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Disporum flavescens

Golden Flowered Solomon Seal.  When you see this as a small plant you’d never guess the pure grandeur a mature clump lends to shady gardens. To about 22″ tall on average the stems gain height each season. From a young age the unfurling foliage is topped with yellow bell shaped flowers. As the plant extends these lemon yellow bells bend over and become pendant. Blooms March-May. Spreads by slowly creeping rhizomes. Rich soil in part shade to shade with regular summer water. Excellent perennial accompaniment with Golden Japanese forest grass Hakenochloa macra ‘All Gold’ and Hosta ‘Variegated Mouse Ears’. Foliage remains handsome and erect all summer- it goes very cleanly dormant in fall, sometimes with accompanying yellow tints. To 30″ wide – give this plant room and good conditions to really shine. Protect emerging plants from snails/slugs- once they are several inches tall this is less of an issue. Excellent near ponds and creeks. Very easy to grow and always lovely long lived, cold hardy perennial. S. Korea. Mild deer resistance.

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Lupinus bicolor

Dwarf Lupine or Pacific Lupine is a widespread small hardy annual that is found all along the west coast from British Columbia to Mexico. In the Willamette Valley its most conspicuous home is along the disturbed soil and gravel of highways/roads. Thats where you see masses of this diminutive lupine that rises to just 1′ tall. The intricate flowers erupt from the top and are mostly blue with purple and the bottom has a white lip. These are displayed above very furry palmate leaves. It forms a small rounded plant. Loved by all pollinators this tough little plant can inhabit the worst, shallow soils and still thrive. If given richer conditions this nitrogen fixer will soar to 1′ tall with a much larger flowers. Excellent in annual containers – it blooms for a long time April-August or until the ground goes completely dry. Horizontal bean pods hold three seeds each. Self sows in open disturbed sites with little competition from other plants. Only water if it is planted from a container otherwise no supplemental irrigation necessary. Very beloved by hummingbirds and butterflies.  Mixes well with other long blooming hardy native annuals such as Madia elegans or Clarkia amoena. Seed that is released in summer germinates in autumn with the first fall rains. Easy to spot the palmate leaves. Oregon native plant.

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Hosta ‘White Feathers’

We think this is one of the most striking Hostas. In a world of white edges and interior gold this baby takes a whole different route. The leaves emerge completely cream- over a period of two months the leaves slowly morph into light green. A very long and striking effect. Forms increasing clumps in rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade. Protect foliage from late afternoon sun. In mid summer 2′ tall spikes of tubular lavender flowers rise above the 1′ tall foliage. Excellent plant for lightening up shady corners and it excels in containers. Hosta make great container subjects as its easier to control slugs/snails and they go cleanly dormant in autumn- and chances are you won’t forget to water it. Very striking combined with Pulmonaria ‘Benediction’ and Corydalis solida ‘Purple Bird’. No presence at all from late autumn to mid-spring. In time a large colony glows from a distance. Its best appearance is in high overhead shade provided by large deciduous trees. Fun to grow and long lived. Protect new growth from snails/slugs. Regular summer water.

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Ceanothus x ‘Julia Phelps’

Wonderful and extremely showy wild lilac that has shown superior performance in our area. Small deep green warty leaves are glossy and are the ideal back drop to the foaming cobalt blue flowers that erupt from red tinted buds in April. Fast growing  evergreen that is wider than tall. Typically 6′ tall and 8′ wide in 5 years.  This begs for its use on steep unwatered slopes or as a dramatic backdrop to a wildflower garden. Full sun to very light shade in average soil with water to establish then none in subsequent years. Loved by all pollinators and insects will  be rolling on the flowers to collect pollen.  Avoid direct exposure to subfreezing east wind. Very good in urban situations where it performs in poor soils, little irrigation and reflected heat. In colder gardens place near a south facing wall or at the top of a hill where cold air drains away. Blooms simultaneously with Pacifica Iris and they match each other well in cultural requirements. Remember Ceanothus do best in average unimproved soil. Rich soil can lead to prodigious growth and quite a bit less hardiness to cold. Wonderful cultivar. This and many cultivars will lose flower color with very heavy rain. It literally washes some of the blue color away. Ceanothus blossoms mixed with water will yield blue soap suds ( there are saponins in the flowers).

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Luzula subsessilis

Prairie wood rush is such poetic name for a sedge that is widespread on the west side of the Cascades from BC to N.California.The common name describes its love of both open conditions as well as woodlands. Its adapted to winter wet summer  dry conditions and is found in a lot of different biomes. Soft green leaves terminate in a blunt tip. The leaves are covered with fine hairs. In spring wiry stems grow to 11″ tall with tawny black flowers followed by seed heads. that are swollen and brown. A component of oak woodlands in part shade to the verge of wetlands where it is found in full sun. Forms a wispy clump that expands slowly. As with most sedges it will respond to better conditions vigorously. Excellent for insect and wildlife. Semi evergreen., especially if drought stressed,  (plants much be established well to do this  and survive). Part shade to full sun with regular irrigation to establish then little to none in subsequent years. Pretty wispy sedge with a poetic name. Oregon native plant. 

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Delphinium menziesii

Menzie’s Larkspur is one of the most widespread species west of the Cascades. That doesn’t mean it easy to grow, and as a crop it can be a pain, That said its one of the ultimate spring flowers and its lost immense amounts of its range in the Willamette Valley to development. This widespread perennial is a  grassland Delphinium that can be found in oak woodlands with Dodecatheon hendersonii, and Plectritis congesta and Romanzoffia californica. The soils that it inhabits run the gamut from sand near the beach to xeric clay in and around the Willamette Valley. This can be a tricky species to establish, my best advice is to double dig a wide area where there is very little competition from other plants. Add a small amount of all organic fertilizer to the hole. Water in well and water again once a week until June. Then you can permanently taper off. That means in subsequent years it will rely on natural rainfall alone. Upright perennial to 20″ tall multiple brilliant blue flowers often with a lighter bee. I’ve also seen them in a deep black/blue velvet purple. Sets seed and goes dormant in mid-summer. Its very very important to protect the emerging plant or seedling from snails and slugs. Bait heavily when you first see growth in late winter.  Though widespread but no longer common this Delphinium seems to adapt best to cultivation with a light gravel mulch. This protects the plant from slugs and provides a perfect medium to germinate the seeds. Very popular pollinator plant visited by all sorts of bees, fly bees, hover flies, butterflies and more. The seedlings are conspicuous and the leaves mimic the parent plant.  Full sun to light shade.  Oregon native plant.

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Mitella (Pectiantia) ovalis

Coastal (Yellow) mitrewort is a little seen but wonderful native primarily in Oregon- going to BC in the north to very far northern California to our south. In Oregon its found primarily on open north exposed aspects and steep hillsides, often near seeps. Glossy foliage is the same shape as Tellima grandilflora which has dull lighter green leaves. In spring to summer 12″ straight stems unfurl intricate chartreuse yellow flowers that line a scape. Evergreen to semi evergreen perennial for part shade to full sun. Closely related to Heuchera this member of the Saxifrage family improves greatly under cultivation. As a small scale ground cover in part shade its a good native for the dry areas around trees. Light summer supplemental water – but never boggy and hot. Established plants are robust and handsome and are NOT afflicted by powdery mildew. The vertical yellow flowers lined with little intricate 3-d flowers brings many tiny pollinators. To 18″ across forming an expanding clump. This is a very good native perennial that is almost never seen in gardens but is local and excellently adapted to our climate, again it also improves greatly under cultivation and it responds to enriched soil. Drought adapted in shade. Winter foliage is smaller and takes on bright red tints. Common in the Oregon Coast Range as well as the western Cascade foothills. Super saxifragaceae for your stumpery. Adorable in bloom. Associated plants in the wild are Oxalis oregana, Tellima grandiflora, Adiantum aleuticum, Heuchera chlorantha. A very handsome plant. Oregon native plant.

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Perideridia oregana

Eepah or Yampah is a native perennial in the carrot family that was used as an important food source for first nation people. To 20″ tall 1-3 stems emerge from swollen edible roots  and produce pure white umbels of flowers. All parts of this plant are edible and the roots are high in vitamin c, protein, and Potassium. Eaten fresh it has a juicy crispy texture and taste similar to a water chestnut. Cooking Eepah root yields a nutty flavor with a sweet consistency of sweet potato. The large green seeds have a flavor very similar to Caraway and were eaten fresh or dried. Simple looking perennial that is very similar in appearance to introduced wild carrot or Queen Ann’s Lace Daucus carota.  Oregon Eepah is native from extreme southwest Washington, much more common in Oregon and northern California. It has lost large amounts of its lowland population to invasive weeds and development. Where it occurs much more frequently is at higher elevations where there is less weed competition. Full sun to very light shade in average to rich soil. Irrigate for the first season, in subsequent years it can survive on rainfall alone. Winter deciduous. NEVER EAT A WILD PLANT unless you are 100% certain of its identity, if not ask an expert before consuming any unknown plant. Great plant for butterflies and pollinators. Its wild appearance lends it to cottage gardens, serious vegetable gardens.  Blooms May-july. Its a very pretty cut flower and was once a common component of Willamette Valley meadows (mainly on hillsides).      Oregon native plant

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