Dwarf coyote brush. Dense, billowing and evergreen. When grown in windswept conditions, this common native shrub requires little pruning, but in most situations, a regular shearing will produce more luxuriant foliage. Commonly found growing in disturbed areas as a colonizing species. Coast live oaks frequently follow in the understory, the Baccharis providing an effective nurse environment for the young oaks. Adapts well to different soils and climates, thriving on little to no water near coast, and remaining vigorous with a good monthly watering inland. Best in full sun and well-drained soils. A useful choice for exposed or rugged areas, coastal gardens, dunes or dry soils and for controlling soil erosion. Interior plantings require occasional water. All Baccharis are subject to spider mites and care should be taken to prevent large infestations. The following are hardy to 10F. Coastal California, Sonoma to Monterey.
pilularis ssp. consanguinea: At 10’ this large shrub is used primarily for wildlife habitat and restoration efforts.
pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’: Lower growing than most other cultivars and better suited to coastal gardens, it has larger and lighter green leaves than the species. Fast growing, it can reach 9’ wide in 4 years. Can be utilized as an effective hedge.
pilularis ‘Twin Peaks No. 2’: Small, dark green leaves and a moderate growth rate characterize this cultivar. Older plantings mound to as much as 5’ and require a regular shearing.
Perennial herbs and subshrubs mostly from the Mediterranean Basin. Their shrubby forms are noted for their gray-green woolly leaves and whorls of flowers. Plant in full sun with well-drained soils. Tolerant of poor soils and warm, dry positions. Cut shrubby species back in spring before new growth appears. Generally untroubled by disease or pest. Hardy to 10F. Mediterranean, Europe and Western Asia.
‘All Hallows Green’: Offers great color for Mediterranean gardens, with its lime-green leaves and light green flowers. Produces low, tight clumps to 15".
Diminutive white daisies with yellow centers form over a low mat of glossy lime-green foliage. In mild climates it will spread slowly by runners and bloom nearly year round, otherwise it is a summer bloomer. Found on maritime rocks. Best utilized in full sun or part shade in hotter climates with regular garden water. Hardy to 10F. An enjoyable but generally weak perennial, originating from the Mediterranean Islands.
Barberry. Name derived from the Arabic berberys, for fruit. Evergreen and deciduous shrubs with handsome green, spiny foliage that resembles the leaves of holly. Consider using the spines as an advantage by carefully siting as an informal hedge. Yellow, red or blue berries appear from late spring to winter. The fruits of some have been used medicinally. A variety of sizes are available, many with striking autumn color. Will thrive with full sun to light shade in all soil types (thin, shallow, and even dry) except for those that become waterlogged. May need protection from barberry aphid, mildew and loopers. Its yellow wood is used to make natural dyes. Hardiness varies. Woodlands of Europe, Northern Asia and Americas.
aquifolium: Oregon grape. This tough and durable evergreen shrub bears the state flower of Oregon. Growing to 6’ and spreading 4-5’ wide, it features showy blue-black berries that attract birds. In colder climates the dark green glossy foliage turns red to purple in fall. Watch for various species of loopers that will skeletonize the leaves. Hardy to below 0F. California, Oregon.
aquifolium ‘Compacta’: Compact Oregon grape. An exceptional native groundcover growing 18-24" high. Well used in parking medians where the spiny leaves discourage foot-traffic.
darwinii: Darwin barberry. Blooming from fall to late spring with orange-gold flowers tinged with red, this evergreen bush stands 5-8’ with a 6-8’ spread. Showy plum-colored fruit appears abundantly in late summer and fall, attracting birds. Exhibits a fountain-like form spreading slowly by rhizomes. Hardy to 10F. Chile.
linearifolia ‘Orange King’: An evergreen shrub growing to 5’ tall with an open growth habit, narrow glossy green leaves and short clusters of deep orange flowers. Slow-growing but vigorous and trouble-free once established. Hardy to 10F. Chilean Andes.
nevinii: Nevin’s barberry. Unusual evergreen with small, tough ashen-colored leaves, often with rosy margins and always armed with intimidating spines. Growing 3-12’ with an almost arching form, it is well used as an attractive barrier plant bearing bright yellow springtime flowers and translucent red berries that attract western blue-birds mid-summer to fall. A native treasure with an astonishing range of tolerances, mature plants require only occasional water. Hardy to 0F and below. Southern California.
pinnata: Barberry. Evergreen shrub 6-8’ tall. Similar to Berberis aquifolium but with a more erect habit. The wavy-edged and spine-tipped leaves blush maroon in cold weather and are accented by yellow flowers in spring. Watch for suckering habit. Best in partial shade with moderate water. Hardy to 0F. California.
thunbergii ‘Royal Cloak’: The striking, dark cabernet foliage recommends this deciduous shrub for a prominent spot in the sophisticated garden. Growing to 6’ with an equal spread, the spiny branches of this hardy shrub make a handsome silhouette, particularly when sprinkled with pale yellow flowers in spring or bright red berries in the fall. Plant in full sun or part shade and provide moderate water in a well-drained soil. Hardy to 0F. Japan.
Saxifrage. Evergreen, clump-forming perennials with large, thick leaves that spread slowly by rhizomes. Useful in such difficult situations as dry shade. Some selections are remontant. Best used in part shade, but will take full sun in cool, coastal climates. Full exposure brings out the yellow and red winter coloring of the leaves. Tolerant of a wide range of garden conditions but best in a rich soil with regular garden water. Thick, leafless stalks bear graceful clusters of small white or pink flowers. Bait for snails and slugs. Hardy to 0F and below. Himalayas and the mountains of China.
cordifolia: Heartleaf bergenia. Leaves are heart-shaped with wavy, finely-toothed edges. Grows to 12" with rose or lilac flowers in late winter and spring. Heat and cold tolerant. Siberia.
‘Bressingham Ruby’: Burgundy blushed foliage in winter topped by rose-pink flowers in spring. Plants reach 14" tall and spread 12". The Blooms of Bressingham consider it the best red-leafed variety available.
‘Bressingham White’: 2’ tall with abundant pure white flowers, blooming earlier than most. Winter foliage remains a glossy green.
‘Evening Glow’ (‘Abenglut’): Deep purple flowers in spring that tend to be semi-double on shorter stems. Winter foliage turns a warm reddish-brown.
‘Silver Light’ (‘Silberlicht’): Pure white flowers tinged pink with age, bloom in late spring. Dark calyx.
Tickseed or Spanish needles. Common names derived from method of seed dispersal by use of hooked bristles on achenes. Perennial herbs or shrubs with flowers that have been likened to Cosmos in orange-yellow or purple with yellow centers. Grow in full sun with regular garden water. Hardiness varies by species. Temperate and tropical America, tropical Africa, Australia.
nudata: Airy perennial with fine, almost feathery foliage mounding to 24" tall and wide. Sprinkled with cheery yellow daisy-like flowers in spring. Drought tolerant once established. Hardy to 15F. Baja Mexico.
Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’
False chamomile. Upright perennial to 6’ tall grown for its aster-like blooms in summer. This selection bears plentiful white blossoms making it a choice plant for cut flower enthusiasts. Provide full sun, well-drained soil and regular water. Hardy to 0F. Eastern North America.
Boronia crenulata ‘Shark’s Bay’
Shark’s Bay boronia. Small, compact evergreen shrub 2-3’ tall and 3-4’ wide. Four-petalled pink, star-like flowers cover the branches year round and complement the small green leaves that are delightfully licorice-scented. Choice plant for containers in part shade. Provide well-drained soils, regular water and protection from frost. Hardy to 20F. Western Australia.
Butterfly bush or Summer lilac. Large grouping of evergreen or deciduous shrubs along with some trees and herbaceous perennials. Grown for their masses of often fragrant and nectar-rich flowers that attract birds and butterflies. Flowering usually occurs in summer and early autumn. Plant in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Plants may double in size when placed against a sunny wall. Ideal choice for rocky soils or near water courses. Cut back every year or two to maintain form and heavy flower production. Seasonal pruning will extend the flowering. Hardiness varies. Tropical and subtropical Asia, America.
davidii ‘Black Knight’: Deep violet clusters of fragrant, tubular flowers bloom from July to October on this vigorous, deciduous bush. Leaves are dark green with white, felted undersides. Growing 10-15’ high, it is adaptable to alkaline soils, and maritime conditions. Prune back hard either to ground or to woody framework annually in March. Hardy to 0F and below.
davidii ‘Harlequin’: Grown for its dusty green leaves variegated with creamy-white margins and of course, the fragrant red-purple flowers that appear in large fragrant spikes in summer and fall. Deciduous, arching, and lower- growing than most cultivars.
‘Lochinch’: This deciduous shrub offers a soft, green-gray cast of pubescent new leaves and stems, which later turn glabrous but remain felted along the undersides. Fragrant spikes of light lavender-blue flowers spotted with a deep orange eye appear over a long blooming period from summer to fall. Grows to 10’ tall. Hardy to 10F.
Perennial with tuberous rootstock grown best in full sun or partial shade in warmer interior valleys. Forms large clumps of 2’ narrow, floppy leaves topped from January to February with 4" spikes of clear yellow inflorescences. Individual flowers are bell-shaped. Best used in well-drained soils where it colonizes quickly. Provides handsome cut flowers. Hardy to 10F. New Zealand, South Africa.