Gardenia jasminoides ‘Radicans’   flowers   (not currently in production)   to 1’ tall, 3’ across, with 1" wide flowers produced from spring through fall. This variety regularly displays white and greyish streaks on its very narrow, shiny dark green leaves but the true "Radicans Variegata" is even more heavily marked. Likes full sun or part shade, rich, humusy soils (peat moss!),  relatively frequent watering and good drainage. Good looking plants always have soil that is quite acidic, use an acid-forming soluble fertilizer (blue Miracle-Gro, for example) and you will achieve greatness. As valuable as a container plant as it is in the ground, especially near doors, windows, walkways etc. USDA zone 7/Sunset 7-9, 12-16, 18-24/USDA 7. rev 1//2017

Gasteraloe hybrid
  cute little critters   this was something we got by mistake, and a fortunate mistake it was! Instead of Aloe variegata, we got this little gem, which may fool some of the people, some of the time, but not us never. Rounded leaves with bumps, not lines, you can barely feel them, and little pointy tips. In this picture, one of three is bigger and solitary, the other two have pupped madly. An excellent container plant. Part sun or all shade. Flowers every year, we'll see what these look like. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. This hybrid genus is also sometimes referred to as anagramic Gastrolea.
rev 2/2013-Suzy Brooks
'Green Ice'  more info coming soon! rev 10/2017 *New for 2018!*

'Midnight'  coral flowers    (not currently in production)  a slender, stiff, rough leaf, almost black, that comes from Gasteria x Aloe. This a great one to combine in a dish garden, seeing that it gets not much bigger that a foot tall and wide at full clumping maturity. This color would show off special gravel underneath, or colored glass, or polished pebbles. Stalks of orange flowers appear in summer. Sun or part shade, little watering, takes quite a bit of cold for this usually-tropical class of succulent, to 26-32F. USDA zone 9/Sunset 9, 16-24. rev 6/2017

Gasteria batesiana   dramatic   a handsome, easy-to-grow, slow succulent, indoors or out, with long, thick, green and white leaves with a cool to touch, bumpy texture. Starts out in a rosette but will turn into a spiral as it gets older. Blooms every year, stalks of salmon and green flowers. Low maintenance, great container subject. Will take shade all day or some morning sun. Little water, especially in winter. Gasteria is all the good looks of Sean Connery without the maintenance. Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10. Liliaceae. South Africa rev 3/2012-Suzy, Suzy, Suzy, Suzy.  All Suzy. 

bicolor liliputana      little alligators  a small clumping species, our form has shiny, light and dark green leaves with little sharp tips, and forms a tight clump. Those cute little coral colored balloon flowers appear in spring. Stays under a foot tall, so it's a nice one for the windowsill or small pots. My favorite, and one of my very favorite succulents of all. Part sun or shade. USDA 9a/Sunset zones 17-24. rev 8/2014 

glomerata  wonderful flowers    clustered leaves  a very cool, tight bunch of clustered puffy, cat-tongue-textured, grey green, stumpy leaves. They produce amazing sprays of little round lantern flowers on tall, thin, arching stalks that make a wonderful show. Slow growing, easy to grow, for morning sun or a bright, shady spot. Great in a container.House/patio plant, or outdoors USDA 10/Sunset zones 17-24. rev 8/2014 

'Litttle Warty'   clump    a little charmer, so easy and undemanding. A succulent for shade or as a houseplant. Small clump of green and white leaves with small bumps, feels smooth and cool like a reptile! Margins and tips are edged in pale jade, against dark green. Slow growing but steady. Flowers every year, little 'stomachs' on a stalk.  Sunset zones 17-23/USDA 10. rev 5/2013-Suzy Brooks 

maculata    upright    long, thick leaves of dark green with bumpy white dots. For now, to 6" tall, more later.  Plant in well drained soil in the garden or in containers. Interesting to behold and touch and so easy to grow. Part shade, water when dry, but protect from cold outside Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 9. rev 5/25014-Suzy Brooks

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Rainbow' PP17002  flowers  this plant is great for foliage as well as flowers, with dark leaves of green, pink, and cream that provide some nice contrast in the garden. Pink flowers cover the plant from summer to frost on dark stems. Makes a dense, compact mound, about 18" tall and 20" wide. Good choice for drifts of color but still small enough for a container. Easy to grow and maintain. Sunset zones 6-9, 14-24/USDA 7. rev 7/2011-Suzy Brooks 

Geranium  evergreen to deciduous clumping, running, or trailing perennials, mostly low growers, with flowers ranging from white through blue, purple, and red (no yellows). Mostly used in mixed gardens but occasionally as large scale ground covers. This is not where you will find the common red zonal geraniums, ivy geraniums, or Martha Washington geraniums, all of which are classified as Pelargonium. Geraniaceae. rev 2/2003

‘Brookside’  closeup, flowers and foliage  a clumping to scrambling deciduous perennial 18-30" tall with heavy spring through fall production of rich medium blue flowers, with minute but well defined violet red veins on the petals. This is the same color as the famous ‘Johnson’s Blue’ but the flower is smaller, and the latter lacks the well defined petal veins. Overall it looks like a more deeply colored, slightly more gracile G. himalayense, but is reportedly a hybrid of  G. pratense and G. clarkei ‘Kashmir Purple.’ This is a relatively recent hybrid, and a good one. It is showy, adaptable, and blooms a long time. The deeply cut, lacy leaves can reach 7" across on mature plants. rev 7/2004

x cantabrigense  CAMBRIDGE GERANIUM  closeup    habit  an evergreen perennial in our area, at least partly so, but deciduous with much cold. This is a vigorous, dependable hybrid involving G. macrorrhizum, it has a similar pungent, resinous smell just like that species, but weaker. To 12" tall, a single plant will clump to 3’ wide but it travels and multiple plantings will quickly intergrow to form drifts or banks of foliage and flower color.. Small, dense, rounded dark green leaves are slightly cut, with an exceptionally shiny, lustrous quality. Burgundy and bright red tones develop on the leaves with colder weather. Flowers are a deep lavender or mauve pink, borne over much of the year beginning in late winter. Sun to part shade, average to little summer watering, frost hardy. It overwinters well in areas of mild winters but likes a little direct sun or it tends to get rather thin. Likes rich soil, summer watering. Frost hardy, Sunset all zones. rev 4/2003

‘Biokovo’  closeup    habit    nice planting  very light pink flowers, almost white sometimes. Leaves are slightly larger and the plant is somewhat bigger than G. cantabrigense. This is considered to be a more desirable form than the regular, dark lavender pink form. It is stunning in used quantity when in bloom, has a rather formal appearance, and looks good either massed in borders or spotted in informal woodland gardens or loose perennial borders. The flowers are particularly nice when backlit and if so the plant should be sited to take advantage of this effect. Foliage has similar fall and winter tones. Also spelled ‘Biokova.’ Both versions seem to refer to a mountain range in Croatia, but my Croatian is rusty and I can't figure out which is correct, and both may be. rev 5/2006

'Crystal Rose' PP20,809    flowers   a shocking pink version, really lights up the landscape. Otherwise same habit/size/behavior etc. The best out there in one package for color, compact habit and neatness? rev 4/2016

'St. Ola'  flowers   this is the pure white form of G. cantabrigense, growing as the typical small mound with dark green, minty foliage, reddish stems, and dark buds. rev 4/2011 

‘Dusky Rose’  leaves and flowers  this was acquired under that name but is probably G. sessiliflorum ssp. novazealandii ‘Rubrum’ or ‘Nigricans.’ Grows as a low, matting clump to just about, 4-6" high and 12-18" across. Small leaves (1 1/2") are almost round; color is dusky burgundy with a slight glaucous or whitish bloom on the surface, margins are cut. Small solitary pale salmon pink flowers are scattered across the center of the clump from April through September. This is used primarily a reddish purple foliage perennial, for full or mostly full sun, average soils and average watering. It is very good with silver, gold, blue, or blackish foliage. Probably good for Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24, and probably hardy to USDA zone 8 or 7. rev 7/2003

‘Johnson’s Blue’  closeup    more flowers  much like G. himalayense, but with petals flatter on the outer edge and a slightly lighter central eye. Longer blooming and more evergreen, but G. himalayense is probably a better, more vigorous garden plant, in our opinion, due to a shorter bloom time. Culture like that of G. himalayense, including its strong preference for a good winter chill for best growth. Without good vernalization it will decline and eventually be overgrown. rev 4/2003

'Jolly Bee'  flowers   very similar to 'Rozanne,' but the flowers are slightly smaller sometimes. Basically identical performance and specs. A great variety and very warm-winter tolerant. rev 5/2008

'Katherine Adell'   flowers, with foliage   a low, mounding, clumping selection that bears cut foliage splashed with maroon on the leaf. Pale pink flowers are sprinkled across the top in spring and summer. Heavier bloom with age. Relatively tolerant of mild winters. Zones 14-9, 14-17/USDA zone 7. rev 1/2011

maderense      stand back - flower explosion!!   flowers up close    the unholy mother of big geraniums, growing into a 4-5' tall ball of pink flowers by mid-spring. A biennial, must be mature when going into short days in order to initiate flowers. The crown is supported by the main trunks as well as the heavily reflexed leaf stalks. Hundreds of pink flowers open from distincly fuzzy pink buds. Naturally an, understory plant, it does well in  full sun to part shade near the coast, requires shade inland. Plant dies after flowering and reseeds heavily. Drought tolerant. USDA 9/Sunset 14-24. rev 6/2015 

maderense white flower form
     just as spectacular, with white flowers, sporting a tiny red center.
rev 6/2015 

x magnificum    closeup    nice clump    more flowers    respectable fall color    a clumping deciduous perennial grown for its dark purple flowers produced from spring through fall. Spreads slowly from the base, and has hairy, dull, quilted leaves with coarsely cut margins. This is frost hardy, but prefers a strong vernalization period and often languishes in the mildest winter climates. Sunset zones 4-9, 14-17. rev 6/2011

‘Mavis Simpson’    closeup    clumping deciduous perennial spreading quickly from the base, to 18" tall. Bears shell pink flowers with darker purple veins intermittently all year, heaviest in late spring. Good in sun or part shade with regular watering. Frost hardy.

‘Phillipe Vapelle’    closeup    that would properly be "Feeleep Vapayay," except of course we here at the nursery are inherently lazy and so know it by something closer to "Phil Vappel." So much easier. A low clumping, semievergreen to evergreen grower to around 12", no more, with deeply veined, almost quilted, fuzzy, grey green leaves. Pale lavender flowers, lined with deeper purple, appear heavily in spring and then off and on until fall. This variety is well worth planting just for foliage alone, and the wonderful lavender flowers thrown in for free make it one of the best. It is tolerant of mild winters, unlike many other deciduous clumping varieties. Sun to part shade, average soils and drainage, relatively drought tolerant when established. rev 11/2014

'Pink Penny'   flowers   here's one to scramble through the garden, dotting the landscape with magenta pink flowers summer through fall. Also suitable for hanging baskets, spilling over walls or pots, groundcover, and as a rose companion. About 12-15" tall, 15-18" wide. Sun, part sun, or bright shade. Average watering. Sunset zones 2-11, 14-24/USDA 5. rev 6/2012-Suzy Brooks 

‘Rozanne’ PP 12175    Opal Cliffs    my yard    can't have too many of this one    this chance British garden hybrid (G. himalayense x G. wallichianum 'Buxton's Variety' ) gets to about 18" tall (slowly!) by 2' across. Large, 2 1/2" flowers are lavender blue and produced from early summer through fall. Essentially this one has flowers almost identical to G. ‘Brookside’ in size and color on a habit more like G. sanguineum but taller, and with nicer leaves, in this case dark green, coarsely cut and gently marbled with white. Likes good drainage and as much chill as you can provide (at least around here). This is a good one for combo containers also, with its forgiving, mounding habit. rev 7/2004 

‘Russell Prichard’    closeup    garden plant  a deciduous perennial to under 12" tall, with singly cut, light green leaves to 2" across. Leaf lobes are somewhat rounded, and the foliage has a very slight glaucous cast. This fine variety produces a long show of intense magenta rose pink flowers, to 3/4" across, from spring through fall. Sun to part shade, average watering, frost hardy. Zones 4-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 7. rev 2/2011

Gerbera    TRANSVAAL DAISY    clumping evergreen to mostly deciduous perennials. Typical large, daisy-like flowers are usually doubled and come in a wide range of colors, white through yellow, orange, red, and burgundy violet.

Festival Semidoubles   flowers   a broad range of colors in the 10-12" height range, with duplex (two rows) of petals and occasional center doubling. Good for containers, gardens, or cutting. rev 4/2011 

Geum Cocktail Series     'Alabama Slammer'    'Banana Daiqiuri'   'Mai Tai'   'Tequila Sunrise'    'Totally Tangerine'   semi-double, pastel blooms for weeks in early summer in this series. Mounds of easy care green foliage 8-10" tall, to 12" wide with flowers to 18" above, tempting butterflies and hummingbirds. Sun, good drainage, regular watering. Good choice for borders, walkways, or containers.  Perennial. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 5. Rosaceae. rev 5/2014-Suzy Brooks 

'Firestorm'   PP23179   clear, pure orange   soft and fuzzy, dark green leaves form a pleasing mound of foliage but then add these large, semi-double orange flowers and it's a knockout! Repeat bloomer, 12-14" tall. Spectacular in groups or spot them around the border or in pots. Sun, average watering. USDA 5. rev 5/2016-Suzy Brooks

Gibasis pellucida  BRIDAL VEIL   foliage and flowers   Stella's favorite bed!   the houseplant of the old days, hanging down to 2-3' from containers and blooming its tiny white flowers on wiry stems. Dark green leaves have purple undersides. Blooming is best with bright light, either outside in a protected place or indoors. Regular watering. USDA zone 9a (no frost!). Invasive in Southeastern US states, possibly here if you're adjacent to wetlands in Southern California. rev 6/2016-Suzy Brooks

Ginkgo biloba    MAIDENHAIR TREE    mature tree in fall color    'Autumn Gold' fall color closeup    young specimen of 'Autumn Gold'    ancient conifer, the oldest living seed bearing plant. Needles are flattened, blade-like. If pollinated, female trees bear fleshy, unpleasantly pungent fruits, with edible seeds within that have the flavor of pistachios or pine nuts. Most recommend planting only grafted trees, and seedling trees are grown by us primarily for use as grafting understock, or as bonsai plants. However this species has probably been extirpated from the wild, and is the last of its genus, family, order and class left on earth. Planting at least some female trees will help keep this species from going extinct and ensure its genetic diversity. Ginkgoaceae. China.

‘Autumn Gold’    has a reputation for wonderful gold color. It tends to not produce a leader, and grows as a multileadered, upright, rounded to swept shape tree. Introduced by Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation. rev 1/2003

Globularia 'Blue Eyes'   amazing flowers    possibly one of the parent species (G. indubia), Huntington Botanic Gardens  a semiwoody, shrubby perennial to about 24" tall by 4' or more across at full maturity. It produces amazing blue and white bicolored flower clusters in a very good display from early summer through late fall against grey green leaves held in a pleasantly open habit. This a natural to mix in with other Mediterranean landscape plants such as manzanita, rock rose and Grevilleas and should receive similar watering. It can survive in the fog belt on zero summer watering when established. We first received this from a grower who knew nothing about its origin, preferred conditions or parameters. It appears to be a hybrid involving Canary Island species (G. indubia, G. sarcophylla) but more as we learn it. Sun to half shade, moderate to very little summer watering when established, ultimate cold hardiness unknown but certainly good for USDA zone 9 (8?)/Sunset zones (5?) 8-9, 14-24. Plantaginaceae. rev 6/2014

Graptopetalum     succulents, great foliage and nice flowers. Mexico. Crassulaceae. rev 3/2013

pachyphyllum    foliage   a tiny treasure! Little rosettes of blue green with leaf tips colored pink to purple form dense, compact clusters that exclude weeds. Just the plant for a windowsill, in its own small pot or even better as one element in a dish garden. It is also nice used growing under other succulents asa  groundcover or filler. To only inches tall and spreads out, producing short, open spikes of pale yellow flowers with petals flushed red, in summer. This genus is very close to, and hybridizes with Echeveria. Sun or part shade, good drainage, average waterings in summer, less in winter. Protect from frost if kept outside in winter in Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 10. Mexico. Crassulaceae. rev 3/2013

paraguayense   GHOST PLANT   Lotusland    flowers up real close   striking landscape, Capitola Jewel Box neighborhood    as foliage contrast element   commercial tough: Westside Santa Cruz industrial park container   this chunky leaved succulent can be many colors(depending on exposure and water), tan, lavender, pink, and silvery blue. It grows up, 6-10" tall, spills, and then trails down, 2-3' long. The leaves are brittle, but will sprout into new plants very easily. Can live for many years in a hanging basket and even be a groundcover. Well drained soil, sun or part shade. This will realiably survive Portland conditions if kept as dry as possible during winter, right up until that wetter-than-normal cycle which will give you the opportunity to put something else in that container. Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 11/2013-Suzy Brooks 

pentandrum ssp. superbum  shockingly dramatic rosettes   shockingly perfect specimen    tiny flowers on wiry stems appear in spring above these soft, very flat, lilac pink to light amethyst rosettes, but the structure of the stems against the leaf faces is more interesting than the small flowers.  Faces remain flat as the plant grows to 12" or more. Dropped leaves easily grow a new plant, (I have 26 tiny ones at home from leaves picked up off the greenhouse floor! - don't worry Suzy I'll send you a bill  -Luen) Sun or shade. Water in spring and summer, sparingly in winter. This needs better drainage than most and will likely be lost outside in long, cold, wet winters.  It is by far best as a container plant where it can be moved to drier conditions in winter but you can try it in the garden in Sunset zones 9 and 21-24/dry USDA zone 10. Mexico. rev 3/2013-Suzy Brooks

'Silver Star'    ultra elegant!    this little, tight rosette of silvery green leaves with dark pink, almost stringy, pointy tips is a hybrid of Echeveria agavoides and Graptopetalum filiferum done by Myron Kinnach of the Huntington. Very tidy appearance, slow to pup, good choice for containers, maybe even its own pot, since it doesn't care for water too often. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 4/2014-Suzy Brooks 

Graptophyllum pictum  this is a typical fast, tender, foliage-color plant, with big, soft, delicate leaves in a range of color combinations that are produced quickly under warm conditions. Leaf size is largest with humidity, fertilizer, moist, friable soil mix and a little shade. It can reach up to a couple of feet here under warm conditions, especially if not cut back in winter, but expect it to sulk when dry or cold. This should probably be treated as a soft, fast summer annual anywhere in Northern California where it will be exposed to a freeze, and will need some wind/sun protection in the Central Valley or Southern California. It is very attractive when well grown. Its very highest use may be as a combo pot item, or displayed against an appropriate background or companion plant. It is described as reaching 8' but that would be in tropical regions. I haven't seen the flowers but they should resemble Justicia flowers, tubular trumpets 1 1/2" long, scarlet. I would think snails would love this but I haven't tested it personally. rev 10/2011 

'Black Magic'  closeup  black maroon leaves with a coral pink splash in the center. rev 8/2008 
'Chocolate'  light chocolate brown with a coral pink splash. rev 8/2008  

Graptosedum   cross a Graptopetalum with a Sedum and this is what you get. rev 8/2014

'Bronze'   close    wonderfully colored, rosy latte rosettes are a well behaved addition to well drained soil in the garden, spilling over walls or rocks, or in containers, being the wingman to other showier plants. Under a foot tall but goes sideways. Sun or part shade. Also known as 'Vera Higgins' in the trade. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 5/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'Francesco Baldi'    flowers against foliage  from parents, Sedum pachyphyllum and Graptoveria paraguayense comes rosettes of tan and silvery blue with yellow starry flowers. Growing up about a foot and then arching over, it's a natural for spilling from wall pots or as groundcover.  Give it soil that drains well, sun or part shade, little watering, and protect from cold and frost outside USDA 9a/Sunset zones16-24. rev 8/2014-Suzy Brooks 

Graptoveria hybrids between Graptopetalum and Echeveria. They range in form and hardiness. refv 1/2014

'Debbi'  rosette   flowering   note the spelling, this seems to be the correct form. Leaves are a chipper rosy pink when young, then amethyst with  lavender and pink tones when older. This is chunkier, narrower and rosier than the very similar 'Perle,' and also flower stalks are more branched. Flowers are also slightly darker. But they are close, very close, and we only identified and separated this variety recently. Protect from frost. rev 2/2011

'Fred Ives'   giant rosettes   interesting flowers   this is a Graptopetalum paraguayense x Echeveria gibbiflora hybrid, producing large (over 12" across) rosettes of rather narrow, blue green leaves that quickly sun-color to coppery plum, especially under cool conditions. It forms short branched plants to a foot or two tall. Tall, very tall, over 2' tall in fact, very open spikes hold small, starry, pale yellow flowers with soft apricot shading on the reverse, with bloom occuring in winter. This is a big, impressive specimen succulent that shows up a lot because it is a survivor. It tolerates commercial production well, meaning it isn't too picky about wet soils or humid environments and it can be sold into many areas of varying climates. It is also one that survives East Coast humidity better than most, and that speaks for its adaptability. Supposedly this is hardy to 25F (Sunset zones 8-9, 12-24, USDA zone 9) but occasional comments surface from the PNW and other areas suggesting it is much hardier (USDA 8a or 8b?). Crassulaceae. rev 2/2010

'Fred Ives' crested form   crest   this big, beautiful, dark lavender and tan succulent, in its crested form, may not get as large as its uncrested mama, and will grow slower, but it remains a handsome specimen! The new leaves grow in a line instead of in a rosette, looking intriguingly bunched up. This is a nice one to start off that collection of novelty succulents. A terrific choice for containers, in sun or part shade. Takes regular summer watering in well drained soil and much less in winter. rev 2/2012-Suzy Brooks

'Olivia'    flowers against background rosettes   a small, clumping, rich olive green rosette with russeted, coral pink leaf tips, it produces simple and elegant flowers in summer. Coral red buds open to pale yellow flowers against coral red stalks, petals are speckled with light maroon red. Always low, and a good pupper it will take sun in cooler areas, needs part shade inland to prevent scorching. Water spring through summer, taper off in fall. Deals with cold best when kept dry. USDA zone 9/Sunset 16-24. rev 7/2015 

Grevillea  this genus is one of the largest in Australia, and contains a very high percentage of valuable horticultural forms and hybrids. There is considerable variation of flowers, leaves, and growth habits, as befits  its family, the Proteaceae, named for Proteus, a Greek water-god who could change his shape at will. One of the best features of most Grevillea species and hybrids is their extended blooming periods. Most also attract hummingbirds, which feed gluttonously on the nectar just as their counterparts, native Honeycreepers, do in Australian gardens. Unlike their close relatives the Hakeas, the Grevilleas will bloom when young, or as container plants. They are easily separated by the fact that Hakeas retain their seed pods, Grevilleas do not. Their succulent, proteoid roots make them very forgiving as container plants, tolerating erratic or inadequate watering very well. Propagation on many Grevilleas is extremely difficult and unpredictable, which is most of the reason for inconsistent availability from year to year.

    Fertilizing   Almost all Grevilleas need little or no fertilizing in California soils. If used, fertilizers should be of moderate strength and low or completely lacking in phosphate. Phosphate toxicity shows up initially as yellowing foliage, progresses to blackened leaves, and can eventually kill the plant. Almost all will benefit from iron applications, especially the sawtooth or herringbone-leaf varieties. Easiest is to just make use of the iron almost always present by acidifying the soil when planting. In most cases a cup or two of sulfur or other pH-dropping agents, placed a couple of feet away from the new plant, will provide a permanent fix by offering the roots a hyper-acidified zone within which iron is always available. Most of what is seen as "chlorosis" has actually turned out to be virus, betrayed by occasional mosaic-break patterns, which true iron deficiency will not induce. Certainly this virus (or viruses) was  imported as resident when the varieties first arrived here, almost as certainly present at or soon after introduction to the trade there. Iron will suppress symptoms but probably doesn't cure or inhibit the causative agents. We have been able to select out what seem to be virus-free lines for some of the varieites, but others are not so easily cleaned. Assume this agent or agents can move between other members of the Proteaceae, and most likely will if your clippers and cutting tools aren't sterilized with 2% bleach between plants.

     Watering   Most selections need just occasional summer water once well established, which should be applied away from the immediate crown if at all possible. This is especially important in soils which might contain Oak Root Fungus (=California, almost everywhere there are gardens!). In the coolest coastal areas they may need no summer watering at all. Most will tolerate and benefit from irrigation at least once a month, a few absolutely need it, and some will tolerate substantial warm-season irrigation. Most trade forms can actually withstand complete winter inundation as long as the water is moving through the soil to some degree, and is never boggy, stagnant or sour. Almost all must dry down in summer though, at least at the crown. rev 2/2015

‘Austraflora Fanfare’  flowers   wonderfully silky buds    habit shot   a very showy, very low, very tough, very drought tolerant, very frost-hardy, weed-smothering evergreen groundcover that is disease and insect resistant, highly deer, rabbit and gopher resistant when established, and can be planted wide centers with discrete (vs. sprinkled) irrigation (for easier weed control). Planted from one or five gallon containers, this is how you cover a lot of ground at a relatively low price. Sound good? Well that's not all - it draws hummingbirds, pollinators and beneficial too! But wait, there's more! It is pretty enough to be used commercially as a cut flower and for cut foliage filler. The flowers are very showy and well-displayed, but the attractive sawtooth leaves are also quite striking, all year, and especially when emerging all bronzy and silky and sprinkled with flower buds. It is faster and more garden-tolerant alternate to the slower, more particular and more difficult to propagate G. gaudichaudii.  It is also very similar to its sister ‘Poorinda Royal Mantle,’ but 'Fanfare's'  leaves are longer, to 7", more deeply and evenly cut, and frost and drought tolerance are both slightly better. Habit is quite prostrate, usully under 12" tall if not crowded, by at least 10-15’ across, and very dense. The heavy show of dark red flowers in toothbrush clusters is displayed from winter late through mid-summer, into fall in cooler coastal areas. Make young plants denser with tip pruning. Full sun to full, bright shade, infrequent to little or no summer watering, takes heavy soils but needs average drainage. It was undamaged at 25°F, recovered from the crown at 20°F and will survive somewhat colder. Chlorosis is seen, as with all sawtooth types, and is best corrected by foliar sprays or spot-soil acidification treatments. A Leo Hodge ("Mr. Poorinda") hybrid of G. laurifolia x willisii. UC Santa Cruz. rev7/2016

'Bonfire'  flowers  much like a more compact, finer, smaller scale version of G. 'Long John,' this time G. wilsonii x johnsonii. Leaves are much more feathery and finely cut, and plant habit is lower, to about 4-6' tall by 6-8' across. Flowers are on short sub-terminal clusters, with about 8-10 to each cluster, and bloom is primarily spring with occasional bloom through fall. The flowers are a shiny deep rose red, are showy and well displayed, and are highly attractive to hummingbirds. Overall this is a showier plant than 'Long John,' because although the individual flowers are smaller there are many more of them and they are better displayed. This is about as frost hardy as G. 'Long John,' so figure about 25F and Sunset zones 8-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9.  rev 5/2007 

'Canberra Gem'  partly shaded plant a fast shrub to 6-10' depending on situation and pruning. Short, prickly needle-like green leaves get about an inch long and protect small, showy, condensed clusters of spidery rose red flowers, showing color from early winter through spring. It is used occasionally as a cut flower. Adaptable, tolerating both severe drought and summer watering, clay soils (if drainage is good), and reasonable cold. Hummingbirds like it, it is useful for detering foot traffic, it makes a good screen, gets broad enough to smother weeds, deer won't eat it almost ever, and of course uses very little water when established. What is sold here in California, usually as just "Canberra," is almost certainly 'Mrs. Clearview David.' Both were imported and trialed by Saratoga Hort in the 1950's. When both were re-imported by Ray Collett at UCSC in the 1970's it was clear that the real 'Canberra' was not in the trade here, but 'Clearview David' was - as 'Canberra'! The two are very close, and confusion at the cutting or liner stage is hard to avoid. As 'Pink Pearl' is considered a synonym (incorrectly applied) we continue to sell the real, Australian-version of 'Canberra,', but as 'Pink Pearl.' Got that? Sun to half shade, frost hardy to 12-20F. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA zone 8. rev 10/2016

dimorpha   FLAME GREVILLEA, OLIVE GREVILLEA    why you grow it     dark coral red against dark green     silky hairs, leaf reverse   we've sold this fine variety over the years, but it never received a "right proper" introduction. Also it got a slightly different name, as we're now using Peter Olde and Neil Mariott's The Grevillea Book as our reference (those two seem to know the subject best). As we've seem to have finally ironed out the prop/production problems we now have plenty in the pipeline. This form of the species grows into a very useful-sized shrub to 3-6' tall and wide, pleasantly open (so you can see all those intense flowers!), upright and vase-shaped in form, and capable of flowering from late summer through late spring under moderate summer conditions. Hummingbirds fight over the nectar, of course, one of the few times fighting is encouraged!. The brilliant coral red flowers are eye-catching from quite a distance. Full to half sun, average to very sharp drainage but like most of this genus it will probably - probably! - withstand actual winter inundation as long as the  site dries down at the crown in summer. USDA zone 9 (probably 8a as well)/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. Previously sold by us as G. speciosa dimoropha 'Fine Leaf Form'. UCSC Arboretum. rev 2/2015 

'Firesprite'  closeup  a fine textured bush to 10-15' tall by 6-8' wide, bearing loose, terminal, upright clusters of large, waxy, deep red flowers with yellow petal bases. The result of G. longistlya x venusta. It resembles G. 'Long John,' and shares a parent, but the flowers are a dark red orange, it grows with a more relaxed habit, and it has more luxuriant and horizontal foliage. For full sun to part shade with good drainage, infrequent watering. Hardy to Sunset zones 8-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9. rev 7/2007 

juniperina ‘Lava Cascade'  flowers    at Strybing Arboretum  formerly sold as 'Low Form.' A dense mounding to trailing shrub, with a slightly arching habit, to1- 2’ tall by 6-10’ wide. Dark green leaves are needle-like, 3/4" long by 1/8" wide, with light undersides, prickly. Short, rounded clusters of coral red flowers hang from the branches from fall through spring. This is a great low, tough, frost tolerant, weed smothering groundcover shrub that can be planted from large sizes and being woody, tolerates preemergents. It also covers a wide area and moves fast when planted from a 1g can, so it can be planted on widely spaced centers and established with discrete (drip, hose, etc) watering as opposed to weed-encouraging broadcast irrigation such as sprinklers. Plants with these qualifications fill a coveted spot in the landscape or garden designer's palette and this plant is beginning to see much wider use because of its great characteristics. Hardy to below 7°F without damage. UC Santa Cruz. USDA zone 7. rev 10/2016

‘Molonglo’  closeup  more flowers    with raindrops, even  habit  a fast, dense, flat to slowly mounding, dark green, weed smothering, hardy, tough, drought tolerant ground cover to 8-18" tall by at least 6’ and as much as 15' wide. Similar to 'Lava Cascade' but darker green and a much heavier bloomer, plus it lies much closer to the ground. The soft, needle-like leaves grow to 1/2" long and have with light undersides. This selection bears an extremely profuse show of light golden yellow, spidery flowers in short, condensed, slightly pendant clusters, in late winter and spring. It is a very neat, compact grower with a rather formal appearance for a Grevillea, and is just outstandingly showy when in bloom. It makes a wonderful show when combined with any of the Rosemaries, but especially selections such as 'Benenden Blue' ('Ingramii,' 'Collingwood Ingram'), 'Ken Taylor,' or 'Rentzel's Irene.' It will cascade down slopes or wall but can also be cut back hard to fit into more restrained places. If pruned, it should be cut before the end of July in order to not interfere with the formation of flowering the following winter. Takes frost to around 7°F without damage, and will probably survive lower. From UC Santa Cruz. USDA zone 7. rev 10/2016

lanigera ‘Coastal Gem’  closeup of flowers and buds  habit at UCSC Arboretum    another example of habit    another  a tight, low, dense, small leaved cultivar with light grey green foliage and tight clusters of rose red, salmon pink and creamy white flowers in winter and spring. This new introduction is lower and tighter than older G. lanigera ‘Jade Mound.’ It seems to want to get about 12-18" tall by 4-5' across fairly quickly, although its ultimate dimensions are still unknown. This appears to be a very showy selection, with masses of flowers borne at the tip of each short axillary branch from fall through spring. Should be hardy to around 25°F and should survive 20°F, probably with damage. An Australian Plant Introduction involving UC Santa Cruz and Koala Blooms. rev 11/2011

‘Jade Mound' (formerly 'Low Form’)  WOOLLY GREVILLEA  closeup   high summer heat + clay +  wet winter soil at the Huntington    at Sierra Azul Nursery    at UCSC Arboretum  a compact, low shrub to 2’ tall, 4’ wide with small, narrow, soft, recurved grey green leaves with woolly undersides and minutely hairy twigs and stems. Cream and pink flowers are displayed from the branch tips in winter and spring, with occasional flowers at other times of the year. It features attractive nodding stem tips as part of its signature look. It is never as showy as either 'Mt. Tamboritha' or 'Coastal Gem,' lacking a really profuse show of flowers at any season, but is probably the best weed-smothering groundcover of them all and has the best foliage. The stems and branches have a spiral symmetry similar to Asparagus densiflorus ‘Meyers.’ This is not the larger, more open, upright shrub form of  G. lanigera which has been in the trade here for 30 years, but a somewhat showier, denser, lower, spreading form. Makes a good container plant. Will grow in most soils in sun to part shade with infrequent summer watering. Tolerates frost to 20°F. Southern and southeastern Australia. Received from UC Santa Cruz in 1990 or 1991 as G. lanigera 'Low Form.' This is the same plant they now display and sell as 'Cream and Red,' just renamed by our Jeff Brooks to his loftier, more accurate and hopefully more exciting ("sales-enhancing"!) moniker. rev 10/2017

‘Mt. Tamboritha’  flowers  idea of habit    deeply colored flower buds  this name is supposedly derived from a nursery, not a collection site. It is reportedly a low coastal form. It resembles ‘Low Form’ but is a little more irregular in growth habit, has larger leaves, and is showier in bloom, with scattered flowers almost all the time. Tough, durable. rev 11/2011

lavandulacea ‘Penola’  closeup  clouds of flowers    young plant    dark buds    at Luis' house  usually seen as a 4-5’ tall shrub spreading to 8’ wide. This species was named for its foliage and habit. Can be kept smaller and very compact with pruning after bloom, or even reach 15’ across in favored situations if left untouched. Minutely tomentose grey foliage is held on spreading to arching branches. A heavy, dense, conspicuous display of deep rose red flowers, with cream bases, is seen from fall through spring. Taller and faster than ‘Billy Wing.’ This is one of the darkest cultivars of G. lavandulacea. It makes a good, long lived container plant. This variety is very similar if not identical to a hybrid named ‘Poorinda Illumina’. Seedlings of this variety can be very compact and quite grey or large, open, and dark green, suggesting that the proposed hybrid identity is correct. Sun, good drainage, very drought tolerant when established. This species is naturally found on sandy soils which become saturated in winter. This selection should tolerate around 20°F before being damaged. Southern and southeastern Australia. UC Santa Cruz. This variety is hardy to around 20°F. UC Santa Cruz. rev 2/2004

'Little Honey'   PP18489  lots o' honey!  yes, there is, in the flowers of this close approximation of the great and legendary 'Honey Gem,' a relatively old, larger, even more spectacular, but unfortunately very heat-loving and rather frost-sensitive cultivar that has never taken off here. Golden yellow flowers with orange anthers curled tightly in the core of the cluster "bring home the gold" to the 'Robyn Gordon'-type line, but clearly with the finer texture and more vigorous overall habit reminiscent of the toothbrush-flowering/herringbone leaf shrub varieties. It can reach 6-8' tall and up to 10' wide (if you are fortunate enough to have the climate), but with any frost expect it to freeze as quickly as 'RG' or 'Superb.' For Nor Cal that means a righteous banana-belt plus denial, or actual overhead protection, or be happy about cutting it back to the ground or even replacing it every 25-28F frost event. Of course hummingbirds will fight viciously over the right to own your plant. It is a commercial cut variety in Australia. Sun or part shade, little watering once established. Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 2/2014 

‘Long John’  flowers    habit    at the Mills Garden  an Australian hybrid of  G. longistyla and  G. johnsonii with a name assigned by our very own grower, the sublime Jeff Brooks. A bold upright to rounded shrub to 8’ tall, 12’ across, with a lush, dense appearance. The extremely long, thin, softly needle-like, divided leaves grow to 12" long by 1/8" wide. It is one of the showiest selections of the genus, bearing terminal spikes of large, waxy, dark rose pink and white flowers of heavy substance, each flower to 4" long. This is one of the few  Grevilleas which makes a good cut flower because it is resistant to shattering. Irresistible to hummingbirds. Probably begins to show damage at around 25°F. UC Santa Cruz. rev 11/2011

'Ned Kelly' ('Mason's Hybrid')    flowers    nice plants    25F freeze damage/recovery (rear) compared with 'Robyn Gordon' (front)    this redo of the cross that resulted in 'Robyn Gordon' is very close to it and its other sister hybrid 'Superb,' but is taller, faster, and slightly more frost tolerant than either, while falling about halfway in between for color. The first name bestowed was 'Mason's Hybrid,' but 'Ned Kelly' is such a much better handle, and also a much better story. Ned was one of the very few Australian bushrangers (outlaws) of the 1800's. He is famous because he and his mates got the bright idea to make suits and helmets of riveted sheet metal for a showdown with the police. But the police got the brighter idea of shooting at least two of them in the legs (d'oooooh!!!). He was tried, hanged, and then buried in an unmarked grave, and his remains were just recently located. The best thing about Ned Kelly was his iron suit, because if he hadn't made it he wouldn't be famous. rev 11/2011

     At one point near the turn of the millenium I spent a lot of time unmixing it from its sister hybrids, 'Robyn Gordon' and 'Superb.' At that time I felt there was no good reason to raise it, since it falls somewhere between those two in color and it seemed to produce fewer flowers. I also saw no evidence that it was any hardier than the other two, a claim of a few Australian growers. Well. Times change. In January of 2007 we experienced a moderate freeze, with one night at 25F followed by a second night at 26F. Our 'Robyn Gordon' and 'Superb' plants froze to the ground, no surprise, and we spent the next three years rebuilding stock. One of our sources for our cuttings was a landscape planting near Manuel's house. Turns out it was a mixed planting. Turns out most of the plants were actually 'Ned Kelly.' Turns out they either didn't freeze back, or were barely touched, or possibly even just grew back much faster, but the end result was that the 'Robyn Gordons' were too small to cut, and the 'Ned Kellys' not only were cut repeatedly, but continued to outgrow the 'Robyns' in spite of the prop harvesting. So 'Ned Kelly' has been rehabilitated. rev 11/2011

‘Noellii’  spidery flowers    Lighthouse neighborhood    large scale commercial  a seedling from Australian seed of unknown parentage (“mixed Grevillea seed”) originally raised and selected by the late Noel Morey of Santa Cruz, whom I worked with. In spite of not being as showy as all the glorious more recent introductions, this very adaptable variety is well-liked by landscapers and gardeners alike for its softly verdant green curtains of weeping, needly foliage. It has a light show of spidery rose and light red flowers that do attract hummingbirds, but its main value is for form and texture. Its high garden tolerance is a byproduct of being able to survive the standard American wholesale nursery practices of the 1950's, when little was known of the needs and dislikes of Australian plants. It can reach 4-5' tall by over 8' across unpruned and in a happy situation. It takes pruning, and even hedge shearing, very well as long as it isn't cut back too hard. It grows and looks best in part shade with good drainage and at least some summer watering. It still looks best with low levels of phosphate and fertilizer in general, even though it is tolerant of them. Hardy to around 20°F. rev 11/2011

'Peaches and Cream' PP 18,035   our own very first flower bud!   this is a recross of 'Superb,' which itself was a close recross of the original 'Robyn Gordon,' but here again using one differently colored parent (a white G. banksii instead of the original red). This selection is much paler than 'Superb,' being almost pastel yellow in bud and blush salmon with age. Like all the others this it produces loose skeins of large, grape-like clusters of large, honey-laden flowers that will be one of the strongest hummingbird attractors in your garden. Use it where you need a softer or quieter color than 'Superb' or 'Robyn Gordon,' otherwise size, culture and application are the same To  4-5' tall by 6-7' across. Average to good drainage, better in leaner mineral soils vs. rich, dense ones, no fertilizer especially phosphate, iron applications if yellow, and an almost frost-free climate. Or give it some overhead protection. Or be willing to grow it back from the roots now and then. rev 3/2013 

'Pink Midget'     cute little flowers    a very compact, dense, low bush with light green, broadly needle-like leaves with small clusters of spidery light pink flowers scattered over the plant over a very long season. This looks like a very small sport or seedling of G. sericea but it is probably not related. To just 1-2' tall by 2-3' wide, it is a very good small scale shrub or small groundcover for dry areas. Sun or part shade, little watering once established. Sunset zones 9, 16-24/USDA 9. rev 5/2014 

‘Pink Pearl’  closeup    neat hedge    snaky branches  a dense, mounding to spreading shrub to 4-8’ tall, 8-12’ wide with dark green, needle-like leaves and conspicuous, well displayed clusters of rose pink and cream flowers in winter and spring. It almost looks like a combination of the semiweeping habit of ‘Noellii,’ and the stiffer needles and habit of ‘Canberra Gem,’ but is showier in bloom than either variety. The flowers are borne in terminal clusters on axillary branches. This variety is prickly enough to be really unpleasant to stick your arm in or walk through, so it makes a good barrier plant: no real physical damage, but you don't want to cross it. Should be hardy to around 20°F. UC Santa Cruz. rev 11/2011

‘Poorinda Royal Mantle’    closeup    why you grow it    reverse angle    weed-smothering mat, fall rain    another patch, flat mat     this is easily the most popular groundcover in Australia, just check out the images to see why. It is very similar to 'Austraflora Fanfare,' but most obviously the leaves are essentially uncut and therefore more lush in appearance. It is also a little faster, moderately denser, a little less drought tolerant and very slightly less cold hardy, by perhaps a degree (F!) or two. Growing to less than 12" tall, and often under even 6", it can quite easily and quickly cover an area 10-15' across as a mat of dense, dark green leaves. New growth and stems are conspicuously and attractively colored, from starting bright pink then bronzy red. Dark red flowers with bright yellow stigma tips, in tight toothbrush clusters to 3" long, appear from early fall through late spring, with sporadic bloom popping off in between as waves of cool weather help initiate flowers under longer days. This variety is often displays symptoms of iron deficiency (see introductory notes, above. Undamaged at 25°F, it will explode from harder wood and roots from being cut back at 20°F, and it might tolerate lower even lower temps (15F?). Of course it attracts hummingbirds as well as any other plant, and bees, and beneficials, and etc. etc. You have to buy this to keep the Earth healthy! UC Santa Cruz. rev 2/2015

'Poorinda Signet'  flowers   new plant, UCSC  a new Koala Blooms introduction, this plant grows as a dense, spreading, low to medium height shrub to 4-6' tall and wide. Light and dark pink spider flowers in dense clusters line the branches from winter through spring. Overall color appearance ranges from medium light true pink through pale salmon. Dense, dark green foliage makes a great backdrop for the lighter colored flowers. Frost hardy to at least 20F, it should be tested in colder northern climates like Portland (Oregon, not Maine). Needs moderate to little summer watering and soil of average drainage or better. A treat for the hummingbirds!. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA 9. rev 2/2011 

‘Red Hooks’  closeup    more flowers    habit    another plant    new growth  this is a fast growing shrub or small tree to 8-12’ tall, 12-18’ wide, with horizontal to upwardly spreading branches. Pinnately herringbone patterned leaves to 5" long have very narrow, broadly separated leaflets, giving the plant a fine textured look. New growth is densely covered with minute, silky brown hairs. Coral red flowers in toothbrush clusters are produced from late winter through late spring, with some appearing throughout the year. Easily recognized by its very striking appearance, with very thick trunks and robust, wandering horizontal branches narrowing to the flat tier-like sprays of almost ferny foliage. Cut it back hard once to several times when young or it will probably blow over. Damaged below 25°F. UC Santa Cruz. rev 11/2011

rhyolitica 'Deua Flame'  flowers and leaves   this was formerly considered to be a subspecies of G. victoriae but is usually treated by itself nowadays. This named selection seems to be just the standard form of the species found in Deua National Park north of Melbourne. This is a rare and endangered plant. It is larger, faster, greener, and showier than its close cousin G. victoriae. It bears lance shaped, deep green leaves and blooms with long, pendant, moderately dense spikes of bright coral red flowers. Bloom is heaviest in late spring and early summer but it flowers all year. Hummingbirds love its heavy nectar production. This is a compact, dense, tough, easy to grow species that is quite heat and drought tolerant, is easy to shape, and is frost hardy enough to be used in most of lowland California. It grows moderately quickly, cuts back well, is quite showy, and has a lush appearance for a plant that doesn't use much water. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24, possibly zone 5 as well/USDA zone 9.rev 7/2009

‘Robyn Gordon’  flowers    UCSC Arboretum    another UCSC Arboretum plant  the most popular plant in Australia, at least recently. It is an exquisitely showy, long blooming hybrid of G. bipinnatifida with G. banksii. Large, terminal, pendant clusters, to 6" long, of deep salmon rose to light coral red flowers are borne for most of the year. Individual flowers are quite long, with large bases. Leaves are deeply cut, almost pinnate, habit is relatively dense. To 6-7’ tall and wide. Severely damaged or killed below 25°F. UC Santa Cruz. rev 11/2011

rosmarinifolia ‘Dwarf Form’  closeup    happy plant  a compact shrub to 3’ tall, 6’ wide at full maturity, bearing soft, broadly needle-like dark green leaves, light underneath, and very showy pink and cream flowers all over the outside of the bush from fall through spring. One of the most successful of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum introductions. This strain has become quite popular in California, since it is showier and much more compact than the type form. Tolerates partial shade, best with some summer watering, especially in hot areas. This selection is more tender than others of this species and can be damaged by frost below 25°F, and probably killed at 20°F. Southeastern Australia. UC Santa Cruz. rev 11/2011

‘Scarlet Sprite’  closeup  very close    nice young plant  a fast compact mounding to rounded plant to 4-5’ tall and 8’ wide, with relatively soft, fine textured, dark green needle-like leaves to 1" long. Showy clusters of spidery rose pink and cream flowers appear heavily in winter and spring. Like a denser, more rounded, softer, showier G. ‘Noellii.’ This one almost doesn't hurt at all if you stick your bare arm into it. Average Grevillea requirements. Hardy to around 20°F. UC Santa Cruz.  rev 11/2011

‘Ruby Clusters’  closeup  very old plant    new growth  a large, dense, rounded shrub to 6’ tall and 8-10’ wide with relatively hard, dark blue green, narrow lance shaped leaves to 1 1/2" long, with lighter undersides. Dark red flowers to 1" long, in small clusters of up to 25, hang below the branches and make a nice show from fall through spring, with some bloom occurring throughout the year. This is valuable and very attractive as a relatively formal screen or foliage plant, and very pretty when in bloom. However its best use is probably as a hummingbird feeder. The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz reports this variety to be probably the best hummingbird plant in their garden, and that is saying something. With their collection of Salvias, Ericas, and Grevilleas, I have never seen a higher concentration of hummingbirds anywhere in the world. They report that its everblooming habit, heavy nectar production, flower color and blossom availability make it the most heavily visited plant in their garden. Sun to mostly shade, average to no summer watering. Very adaptable to soils, and will tolerate wet, heavy soils. Damaged by frost at 20-25°F. UC Santa Cruz. rev 11/2011

sericea 'Collaroy Plateau'  PINK SPIDER FLOWER  at UCSC Arboretum  flowers    masses of flowers   known in the trade in Australia as simply "dark pink form," our handle is just derived from its natural area of origin This is an easy to grow Eastern Australian species that is highly garden tolerant compared to many other Australian natives. I would estimate it to be about as adaptable as G.'Canberra Gem' or 'Pink Pearl.' It grows as a moderately dense upright shrub to 5-6' tall and bears short, broadly needle-like, dark green, glossy leaves to about 1" long. Compact clusters of small, spidery, deep magenta rose pink flowers appear in from late summer through late spring, with heaviest displays in late fall and late spring. It grows a little more compactly than the more common light pink form, which we used to offer in the early 1990s, and is overall a nicer plant in my opinion just due to its stronger flower and foliage color. Sun to part shade, at least average drainage, but happiest, most compact and most attractive in lean, mineral soils with minimal summer watering. It will need moderate watering if used in very hot-summer or very dry climates. Also very garden tolerant if it has to be used in cooler climates with more watering than you think it wants. This form is frost hardy to at least 25F, probably will survive 20F, and should be reliable for USDA zone 9, probably 8a, maybe 8b/Sunset zones (5?) 8-9, 14-24. That makes it a good candidate for testing in colder regions such as the Portland area (Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8b). Southeastern Australia. rev 9/2014

‘Superb’  closeup   habit   silky buds    closeup salmon phase    more flowers  the most popular plant in Australia, deservedly. This is a close recross of the revolutionary  G. ‘Robyn Gordon,’ but with a white G. banksii parent instead of the usual red. It grows as a vigorous, somewhat open shrub to 4-6’ tall, spreading to 8’ or more at glorious, eye-popping maturity. It is very close to its sister except that for color, but is distinctly more vigorous, somewhat larger and its leaves are lighter green in color. Its distinctive flowers come in the same gigantic clusters but are light coral orange (cool) to pale apricot (warm) instead of rose to dark coral red, and they have large, showy, yellow styles. It is a phenomonal nectar producer, to the point that if you slap mature clusters against your palm it will fill with delicious, sweet fluid. I would rank it as the single best hummingbird plant we grow, very possibly the best in existence. Grow it in sun to part shade, with at least a little summer watering, in soils of average or better drainage. Expect it to severely damaged or killed below 25°F, site it with morning shade for best chances of survival. UC Santa Cruz. rev 10/2015

victoriae ‘Murray Valley Queen’  ROYAL GREVILLEA  closeup    habit    another nice plant at UCSC Arboretum  an upright to rounded shrub to 4-6’ tall and wide, with upright to spreading branches and lance shaped dark grey green leaves to 3" long. The flowers are orange red, and hang in short pendant clusters on axillary twigs among the branches. Twigs, flower buds, and new growth of this almost formal looking selection are heavily covered with a beautiful, silky, rust colored indumentum. This is the showiest and most distinctive selection of a very tough species. It blooms over a relatively long season, starting in late winter and lasting through spring. This species occurs at high elevation in eastern Australia, and is often covered with snow. Prefers sun to part shade, good drainage, with average to little summer watering. This form seems hardy to between  5-10°F, according to friends in Portland who have been observing it. From UC Santa Cruz. USDA zone 7. rev 10/2016

Guava, Strawberry (Psidium cattleianum, red form)   STRAWBERRY GUAVA  fruit    as hedge  a shrub, or very small tree, usually to about 8' tall, often seen as an informal or clipped hedge. but forming a very nice small tree with formal dark green leaves and quite attractive, crepe-myrtle-like bark, often displayed on picturesque, gnarly trunks, when mature. The small whitish flowers are produced in late summer and produce dark red fruit to about an inch across by late fall or early winter. It can also rebloom in late winter under warm conditions, and produce a second spring crop. The fruits have a sweet to strongly resinous flavor reminiscent of strawberry. This plant seems to be a cumulative (a.k.a. "facultative") short day initiator, and may respond to chill as well, which acts as another factor to break down bloom inhibitors. In most areas where it grows in California it will usually bloom in late summer or early fall, and bear by winter or early spring. I like these fruits very much as long as they are fully ripened. If underripe they tend to be astringent, and acidic enough to make your the back of your jaw ache. The best fruit come off the plant when you touch them, then are left to ripen and sweeten a day or two longer. Easiest is to clean all the fruit from under the plant then harvest what falls each day. They make an excellent jam. It is almost impossible from cuttings in my experience and so is raised from seed, so plants vary. In my experience a relatively large number of plants are sterile,  perhaps as high as 10%, even in mixed plantings. For good results plant at least two, and if a plant is a shy or non-bearer, "give it the axe! The axe! The axe! Right in the neck! The neck! The neck!" Show no pity. Most plants will even bear when young, and can mature and fruit as 1g production plants here at our nursery. Expect top damage any time temperatures drop below 28F. Many old plants around Santa Cruz were severely damaged, frozen to the ground or even frozen dead at 19F in 1990. Sun, average soils, quite drought tolerant when established (at the expense of fruit production). USDA zone 9/Sunset zone 9, 16-17, 21-24. Myrtaceae. Brazil. rev 1/2016

Lemon (Yellow Strawberry)     ripening fruit   at Ed Noffziger's house    not really lemon flavored, in fact it has the same flavor as the red form, but is slightly milder in the resinous tones and slightly more acidic. Many people greatly prefer this form, I think because they are attracted to the deep yellow color. Same size, habit, conditions, etc. rev 1/2016

Gunnera  herbaceous perennials, some gigantic in size. All seem to like moist but well-drained soils. Widely distributed, from Central and South America, Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Eastern Africa, Madagascar. Gunneraceae. rev 1/2016

monoica   teeny tiny  the smallest of the gunneras, coming from New Zealand. Little round, dark green leaves grow under 3-4" tall and spread in rich, moist soil. Use as a groundcover in containers or the garden. Sun or part shade. Flowers turn into little white fruit in winter. Sunset zones 4-6, 14-17, 20-24/USDA 8. rev 4/2014-Suzy Brooks 

tinctoria (chilensis)  leaf, at Richard Josephson's    emerging leaf, spring    6' high plants at Strybing Arboretum   a more familiar Strybing Arboretum view    flower spike    a nice young Santa Cruz plant in sun  this is a huge foliage plant, with leaves to 4' across on petioles to 4' long. The leaves are covered with like cone-like spines, not obtrusive enough to be dangerous but a little obnoxious. It is native to open coastal bluffs in cooler regions of the western edge of South America in Chile, and does well in coastal climates here in California. It is at its very, very happiest planted at the edge of a pond or stream where it can grow its white fibrous roots down into the water for uninhibited drinking. All the very best specimens I know are planted in this way, but it also does extremely well in regular garden soils as long as they are of at least adequate drainage and receive regular watering. I have had gardeners tell me it does well with little summer watering but they always wilt and die for me if I don't keep them regularly irrigated, so be forewarned. I know of many who have maintained large, impressive plantings for many years. It does well in containers but either needs to be stood in saucer of water or needs perfect attention to watering. Probably the best collection of specimens in the US are to be found around the pond at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. Don Mahoney informed me that a Gunnera expert examined their collection and said that all their plants are G. tinctoria with the exception of one plant at the edge of "Chile" and "South America" which is G. manicata. That species is very slightly larger, very marginally less stiff in habit and leaf presentation, and has minute differences in the petiole vascular bundles. The differences aren't obvious and without careful examination G. manicata would be mistaken for G. tinctoria. Sun to light shade. Sunset 4-6, 14-17, 20-24, USDA zone 8-9. rev 5/2006 

Gymnocalycium saglionis  CHIN CACTUS    imagining flowers   like monkey bread [suzy - what 'n heck is "monkey bread"?-Ed.], this is made up of chunky bits, but these are green bits and have a sparkler of dark spines in the center. A large, solitary barrel cactus, it is a giant for this genus. It grows slowly to an eventual 12" wide and up to 3' tall. Funnel shaped white flowers appear throughout the growing season, turning into large, inflated, showy pink fruit. A good choice for containers, or will take a sunny to part shade location with well-drained soil. House/patio plant, or outside with protection from cold and frost outside USDA zone 9/Sunset 9, 16-24. Northwestern Argentina. Cactaceae. rev 10/2014-Suzy Brooks

Gynura aurantiaca 'Purple Passion'  PURPLE VELVET PLANT, PURPLE PASSION  young growth   the ultimate in soft foliage, famous that outrageous purple fur covering the new growth (only). This is a houseplant or porch/patio container subject. The dark undersides of the leaves make it a great subject for hanging baskets, the fur on the new growth across the top make it good for other containers. It likes very bright, cool (60-70F) shade, and no direct sun, but if kept too dark the new growth will emerge without the purple. Doesn't like to sit in a dish of water, and use a light, relatively high perlite/pumice houseplant potting. Cut it back when it gets too much mature foliage to force that great fuzz and keep it from taking over your porch. Ray-less composite flowers are bright orange, initiate under short-day conditions (and so finally appear in winter and early spring), are about 1/2 - 1" across and smell like popcorn (generously) to something else. This grows as a fast, trailing to climbing/scandent vine in its native habitat. This was my very, very first house plant. I planted it in a clay pot filled with dirt, brought in inside to a dark location and watered it furiously. I think it lasted two weeks. Tropical Asia, escaped and weedy in many tropical areas. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 5/2017 *New for 2017!*  

Gypsypholia fastigiata 'Silverstar'  DWARF BABY'S BREATH  blooming plant   this falls between the old rock garden standby G. repens and the traditional cut flower Baby's Breath "gyp" as far as habit and flowers. It forms a compact perennial clump of grey green leaves, with a creeping to barely mounding habit, topped by short clusters of white flowers from spring through late summer. The buds and flower stems are burgundy and provide a nice background hue. Likes full sun, good drainage, average watering, and for best performance, just like its carnation relatives, a cup or two of dolomite or oystershell lime mixed into the planting hole to keep the soil on the sweet side . Caryophyllaceae. rev 5/2011