Raoulia australis    VEGETABLE SHEEP    UCSC Edward D. Landels New Zealand Garden     very close     wonderful Strybing Arboretum Mat Plants entry garden display     Strybing nursery stone sink     Strybing container combo 1    combo 2       an intriguing and unusual animal. Looks and feels like a bed of tiny, moist gravel. My first nursery boss, the great and current Herb Senft at Santa Cruz Lumber, gave up on it - chickens pecked it into oblivion thinking it was grit. Grows to only about 1/2" tall, at most, spreads outwards very slowly. A member of the sunflower/daisy family, but flowers are minute and insignificant flowers. Use it as a soil-level backdrop for other cute low but taller things, alpines, succulents, or just feature it by itself against rocks, wood edging, something colorful and artistic, you get the picture. It makes a spectacular solitary large container plant, believe it or not, especially if you have a really striking container. Like Scleranthus biflorus, is a member of the unusual "mat/moss/cushion communities" of New Zealand and Australia, found in windswept, miserable places, usually with very lean, sterile, sandy or gravelly soils. These communities are dominated by lichens, grasses and dwarf, clumping, moss-like alien plant creatures evolved from many families, whose competitive strategies are just to slowly inch up and over their most obnoxious neighbors. Needs excellent drainage, average watering, and likes peat moss in an undrained container beneath it in the pot or planting hole. Full sun to part shade. USDA zone 7/Sunset zones 2-9, 14-24. New Zealand. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 12/2018

subsericea   (not currently in production)   very close    a slow and low growing mat, comprised of tiny, green leaves that cover the ground to a height of 1/4". Grow in a very well-drained soil in a container or real, honest rockery-type situation in full to almost full sun. Try it mixed into succulent containers, or in troughs and stone sinks, or as a groundcover in large pots. Minute, white papery flowers appear in summer. USDA zone 6/Sunset 2-9, 14-24. rev 7/2017

Rhamnus (Frangula) californica    COFFEEBERRY    foliage, native, at our nursery site   a usually large, usually relatively open California native shrub, with dark green, oval leaves and noticeable clusters of large red berries which mature to shiny black. It is the dominant understory tree in our local Live Oak woodland, reaching up to 15' under the canopies of tall oaks in sandy soils and cool-summer conditions. In sunny, open, hot, dry situations it is substantiall smaller. This plant is very tough, very drought tolerant in most applications, frost hardy enough for all of California except for the High Sierras, can be used in sun or shade whether inland or coastal, is not picky about drainage or soil types, attracts many types of birds which dine on the fruit and is usually deer-resistant. It is now sold in the trade as selected varieties. Related to Wild Lilac (Ceanothus), Italian Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) and Hairy Golden Wonder (Phyllica). Native from southern Oregon into Baja and east to New Mexico, including higher elevation Jeffrey Pine Shrublands habitats in the Eastern Mojave mountain ranges in California and Nevada. Often regarded as Frangula in recent publications. USDA zone 8. Rhamnaceae. rev 6/2019

'Eve Case'  the original selected form, and for decades the only one available. Large, attractive dark green leaves with a bluish sheen, reddish stems, compact habit and medium height in most situations, reaching 5-8' tall or more by 6-10' wide. rev 6/2019

'Leatherleaf'  commercial planting, St. John's Church near Seacliff Beach   foliage closeup    St. John's Church II    St. John's Church III   spring foliage   a Roger Raiche selection from Montara Mountain in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains, and a most excellent find it was. Usually grows as a solid dome of dense, very dark dark green, shiny foliage. If it looks almost like a Pitt Tobira, with leaf edges partially rolled under, it's this variety. It often shows a silvery sheen when in new growth. Easily clipped and kept small, reaches about 5-8' tall and wide with age and good conditions. Easily the most formal appearing of all, and possibly the best for commercial installations due to its predictable response to shearing. We like it!! Found by Rorev 6/2019

'Mound San Bruno'  foliage   a compact grower with dense, small foliage, and that fine texture is a nice variation on the theme. It's not necessarily a small plant though, ranging from 4-8' in height by as much or more wide. Dark green foliage. rev 6/2019

Raspberry  (Rubus idaeus)   deciduous to semievergreen scandent shrubs. Well-adapted to producing fruit here in California, especially in the coastal areas of both Northern and Southern California where most of our population lives. Rosaceae. rev 7/2017

'Canby'  summer-ripening, and an almost thornless selection, bearing large, deep red, sweet fruit good for all applications. Flowers on mature growth which has vernalized, fruit is ripe midseason, plants are virus resistant. This is a very heavy bearer, which is unusual for any thornless berry, as that's usually the first compromise when you lose the thorns. rev 7/2017   

'Caroline' PP10,412    everbearing, a big producer of sweet, red fruit with excellent flavor. Producees a summer crop, and a larger crop in fall. More heat tolerance and disease resistance than many others. Since they do best in a long spring, in really hot areas try them in a bit of shade with a thick mulch underneath. Ripening two weeks before 'Heritage.' Regular watering. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 4. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks

'Cascade Gold'  a deep gold, almost-reaching-orange fruit, big, firm, sweet, midsummer-ripening release from Washington State University. Sweet-tart early, sweet-sweet later, adaptable, excellent by all reports! rev 12/2018

'Garden of Eatin'   mouth watering fruit   this is our own modern heirloom, an excellent but at one time experimental variety we inherited along with everything back when we bought our nursery in 1988. Before that, as a sales rep, if a worker saw me picking fruit they'd kindly warn me "it's been sprayed." Then every single piece would be gone when I went back. Hmmmm. This unidentified variety of typical dimensions and growth habit bears high quality dark red fruit of excellent flavor and sweetness, even here in our very cool climate. It is everbearing selection, flowering on mature stems if they experience any chill (plus daylight), and I have eaten good fruit into early December. The flavor is rich, spicy, very sweet at full, dark red maturity, a bit precocious, lusty, flinty, with hints of vanilla and musk. Overall it is a complex flavor that reminds me very much of a fine, sweet chardonnay mixed with sangria. The name comes a place our grower Jeffry Brooks knew only as a mythical place when he was a child. "We might just go over to the Garden of Eden for dinner one of these days," his dad would say, implying to little Jeffie and his brothers that heavenly meals were served in some lush, dream-like tropical paradise. Later in life he tracked it down and found it was a greasy drive-in burger joint with a dirt parking lot that was actually called Garden of Eatin'. Great name though, and still one of my favorite Young Jeff stories. Full sun, rich soils, average but regular watering, half shade in Central Valley or inland SoCal regions. They like a long, cool spring like those of Coastal and Inland Valley regions. Cut back canes once they have terminated with fruit. Older plants in the ground produce the best flavor. Sunset all zones/USDA 3? rev 7/2017

'Heritage'   fruit   an old variety, possibly still the best tasting. Large, sweet fruit are relatively low in acidity. Canes are strong and vigorous, it can be grown with little or no support. Needs good drainage, more sensitive to heavy soils than other varieties. rev 7/2017

'Raspberry' Shortcake® PP22141  actually that's its nickname, the true full legal name is Rubus 'NR7' PP22141/Bushel and Berry® Raspberry Shortcake® Raspberry. This was part of the BrazelBerry® line, now it has migrated over to another branch of the family. It's everbearing®, thornless®, compact and shrubby®, growing to just 2-3' tall. Fruit are regular® size and very sweet. This makes a wonderful container plant®, and should make a great row-planting variety with less care® required and easier work for the pickers. Select a site in full sun® with good® drainage. rev 12/2018

'Williamette'  summer ripening, early ripening. An old, dependable variety. Fruit is deep red, sweet-tart, rich in sprightly berry flavors. To 6-8' tall and wide. Needs full sun, average watering, training. Very tolerant of low-chill winters, breaking dormancy normally with no loss of vigor. rev 7/2017

Rehmannia elata    closeup    nice planting    a deciduous to semievergreen perennial that bears tall, impressively showy spikes bearing broadly tubular dark rose pink flowers to 3" long or more, with yellow throats, from spring through fall. Spreads slowly to eventually form large clumps. Sun to part shade, average watering. Most recently considered to belong to the parasitic family Orobanchacea, formerly Phyrmiaceae, and before that Gesneriaceae or Scrophulariaceae. rev 6/2019

'Tiger's Tongue' ('Tigerschlund')  flowers   generous production of very large, billowing medium pink flowers with very wide mouths and warm yellow throats on spikes to 3-5' tall in the best conditions. rev 6/2019

Restio    a genus of grass-like or rush-like plants, in its own family (Restionaceae) and order (Restionales) distributed mainly in the Southern Hemisphere. They are clumping growers, evergreen, often with feathery or exotically plumed leaves from jointed and usually sheathed culms or stems. They are found on poor mineral soils, often winter inundated but seasonally dry, but are quite variable in preference. The tops are drought adapted but the roots have air vesicles to help in inundated conditions. They vary from frost hardy to tender. They make dramatic focal point or accent plants or can be used in clumps or even massed. In South Africa they are often found growing in nature with Erica, and most in situ shots of South African heathers will show a stem or two of a Restionaceae member growing near it. They all make great cut foliage subjects and most are good container subjects as well. Most species of this family are dioecious, meaning males and females are separate plants, and their forms can vary by their sex. Males of different species can be hard to distinguish. Related genera are Chondropetalum, Rhodocoma, Thamnochortus, and Elegia. One genus of this family has an almost unpronounceable name, one of the most difficult in the plant kingdom: Ecdeiocolea. Some brilliant and alert systematist realized that he had a rare chance to create an even more unpronounceable name and didn't let the opportunity pass. The genus was thereby honored by being elevated to being a full family all on its own (in his own humble opinion), and so is now recognized by some as the magnificently monogeneric Ecdeiocoleaceae. rev 12/2002

multiflorus    large nursery plants    a dense grower, with bright green, very plumose juvenile foliage. To 6' tall by 3' across, the sparsely branched, essentially smooth, vertical flower stems arise fountain-like from the center, with dark brown bracts and white flowers (female) in winter. It is native to rocky places in mountain areas of southwestern Cape Region, which has a Mediterranean winter-rainfall/summer drought climate pattern. It is a winter grower (though never totally dormant), will take some frost, and likes well drained acidic soils. Give it as much sun as possible. rev 10/2005 (not currently in production)

tetraphyllus    TASSLE CORD RUSH    30+ year old "Mother of All Restios," Strybing Dwarf Conifer Garden    typical young plants, at UCSC    this is an outstanding Australian species, growing as an upright clump of stiff culms with feathery, more arching leaves. It is notably dense, vertical, and bright green. Mature stands can get to 4' tall by 6' across, growing best in damp areas but still growing fine in average soil with occasional water. Males and females differ in their flower presentation and males are more feathery; both are bright rusty brown and ornamental. The flowers appear in spring and last into summer. It will tolerate quite a bit of shade, can be grown in a container with adequate watering, and is quite frost hardy (probably surviving Sunset zone 5) but any time temperatures drop below 25-20F it is going to lose its tops and have to resprout from its underground rhizomes. That is not something you want to happen every year. Its plumes are used as cut foliage, as with many other Restios, but this species is the basis for a large industry. This was the first Restio I encountered, and probably was for many in the Bay Area, who like me first saw it in the Strybing Dwarf Conifer Garden. The original plant is still there. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA zone 9. rev 10/2005  (not currently in production)

Rhamnus  BUCKTHORNS   a genus of evergreen to deciduous shrubs, cosmopolitan in distribution, and including cascara sagrada (R. cathartica) as well as our own Coffeeberry (R. californica). More distantly the genus is related to Ceanothus, Phyllica, Cryptandra and Spyridium. Rhamnaceae. rev 7/2017
alaternus ‘John Edwards’    ITALIAN BUCKTHORN    foliage    this selected variety is longer-lived than seedlings as well as being resistant to branch dieback. Foliage is a uniform, bright glossy green. Growth is very fast to 15-18’ if unpruned, by 6-10’ wide or more. An excellent hedge for windy areas, especially as a fast, tall, dense visual screen. Plant will survive on little or no watering when established, needing only average to good drainage. Sun to part shade. Southern Europe. Rhamnaceae.rev 7/2017

alaternus ‘Variegata’    closeup    clipped hedge    leaves striped with creamy white. A much more restrained, compact grower. Difficult to propagate. rev 7/2017

californica   COFFEEBERRY   a California native species, ranging from prostrate groundcover forms through tall, upright open shrubs or small trees. It can live to be around 200 years old and can even sprout from the crown after wildfires. Trade forms include compact, mounding, prostrate and tomentose-foliaged selections. Some can be formal enough in appearance to be used in commercial landscapes. All bear large, shiny, reddish brown to black (at maturity) berries that are noticeable to modestly showy. Highly drought tolerant when established, most selections will tolerate a generous range of soil types and can be used in full sun to mostly shade. The berries are edible and were used by several native groups, the seeds are reportedly an excellent coffee substitute (I intend to document this!) and its leaves were used to treat poison oak. Can host Swallowtail Butterfly larvae. Now listed as Frangula by many authors, including CNPS on its website. USDA zone 7a. rev 8/2018

‘Eve Case’    closeup of foliage    berries    habit    a cutting-grown selection which offers uniform, dense, compact dark green foliage with a slight glaucous cast, on a rounded plant to 4-5’ tall and wide. The first trade selection to be regularly available, it is still a good choice where a medium-sized, tough, evergreen native is called for. rev 7/2017

'Leatherleaf'   mature leaves    natural form   spreading pair   low and slow   brighter green spring growth   it's shiny, it's tight, it's dense and very dark green. The leaves have nicely recurved margins, and it's moderately slow growing. It easily has the most formal presentation of any selection of this native species. And it's tough, excelling in difficult situations, summer-dry gardens, hardscapes and commercial installations, needing virtually no pruning to stay looking neat and clean-looking. It also copes well with bicycle parking-on-top, shopping cart ramming, pet -leashing-to and dense trash/needle accumulation. I haven't seen it's show of berries, I maybe just missed them in my travels. To about 4-5' tall by 5-7' wide in about 5-7 years, slowly. UCB Botanic Garden. rev 8/2018 

'Mound San Bruno'  COFFEEBERRY     compact, shiny foliage closeup  a native selection from just south of San Francisco, it is a very compact to prostrate evergreen shrub grown for its dense, leafy, weed-smothering appearance. Shiny black berries are modestly ornamental, appearing in late summer or fall. The tiny flowers that precede them attract bees, birds and beneficials to your garden. Tolerates almost any soil, needs little summer watering once established. To about 4-6' tall and wide, shapes well with pruning. USDA zone 7/Sunset 3a-10, 14-24. rev 8/2015-Suzy Brooks  

Rhaphiolepis umbellata ‘Minor’    Hotel Del Coronado    flowers    a very dense, compact, slow growing plant bearing hard, tough, very dark green leaves tinged dark burgundy on the tips and margins. New growth is brighter rosy burgundy. Stems are upright, and the plant grows as a tight mound to very compact short shrub to 2-4’ tall, 3-4’ wide, lower with a pruning every year, or two, or three. White flowers are produced in small clusters in spring, and can be quite showy, but they are almost always sterile - meaning fruit drop is rarely an issue with this variety. This form is the only one that is immune to the foliar leaf spot characteristically seen on Rhaphiolepis in Northern and Central California as a result of leves remaining wet from cold rains, or irrigation. It is the only form we grow, and for exactly that reason. Sun to part shade, little watering, frost hardy for most of California. Japan. Rosaceae. rev 7/2017

Rhipsalis   a tribe of tropical to subtropical epiphytic cacti grown for foliage effect, stunning flowers or both. Epiphytic or lithophytic, they grow as understory plants and so seldom want direct, unfiltered light. This genus along with Rhipsalidopsis, Epiphyllum, Schlumbergera and Hatiora have been the subject of classification arguments for generations. Recent genetic studies suggest that Rhipsalis would most likely survive along with Schlumbergera, and perhaps Hatiora and Rhipsalidopsis also if they aren't absorbed into Schlumbegera. Most species are rare and of restricted range, with the genus best represented in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.  rev 2/2013

baccifera v. baccifera  MISTLETOE CACTUS  little arms  a cactus for the hanging basket or tall pot, spilling down 5-6' or more. Bright green branching stems have pale flowers turning to white or pink fruit. Easy to grow in part sun, regular watering with well drained soil. Nice texture for something different in on the patio. No frost, house/patio plant anywhere or outside all the time in Sunset zones 23-24/USDA 10. rev 3/2013-Suzy Brooks  

baccifera (cassytha)   MISTLETOE CACTUS    whoa!!   need an easy to grow hanging basket for your patio? This one can trail 6-8'!  A friendly member of the cactus family, it has thin, branching stems with no spines. Give it part sun or bright shade and regular watering while it's growing in the warm months. Little white flowers in summer turn into pinkish white fruit. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. Cactaceae. Range is - catch this! - Florida to Brazil, Peru, Ceylon, Africa. rev 2/2013-Suzy Brooks 

cereuscula  mini-mini Opuntia?   another Mistletoe Cactus, this one sends up stems that explode into branches at the end. Can be grown upright for a while till it spills over with weight. White flowers turn into white berries. Part shade, well drained soil, average watering. Nice in a hanging basket where it can trail 3-4' or more. Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10.  rev 4

pilocarpa  detail   a tropical cactus from Brazil, with thin, round, branching, green stems, covered with soft white hairs, that grow up and then trail to 3-5' long. Scented little white flowers appear in summer and turn to red fruit. Sun or bright shade. This is a jungle species so water regularly during the growing season and protect from frost. Sunset zones 23, 24/USDA 10 or on patios and in houses all over the nation. rev 2/2013-Suzy Brooks 

pulchra  foliage maturing on young plants  finely and faintly hairy juvenile stems mature to long, smooth, narrow, round, pendant, forked cylinders, bearing a nice show of very nice, pure white, pendant flowers followed by small, translucent, oblong white fruits. Brazil. rev 1/2016

Rhodocoma a genus of South African plants that very much resemble bamboos, giant grasses or rushes. Two or three species are now commercially available in California. Restionaceae. rev 8/2018

foliosa    nursery plants    another genus of feathery, grass-like plant related to Chondropetalum and Restio. This is one of the very best Restios of all. It is a dense upright grower to about 3-4', with flower stems to 4-5' tall. It is dense, bright green, plumose, but compact and very well behaved. Teresa Aquino of the former Blue Bamboo Nursery on Ocean Street Extension in Santa Cruz called it her favorite species, because it was always neat and fresh-looking, never needed grooming, didn't arch over with age, is compact and well behaved, and has such great color. Male flower spikes are very tall, golden brown, and quite ornamental. Sun to half shade (the more sun the better), doesn't seem picky about soils. It also almost certainly withstands wet winter conditions but likes some summer watering. Another unbeatable container plant. Probably withstands frost to Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/ USDA zone 9. Restionaceae. South Africa. rev 1/2010

gigantea   DEKRIET  UCSC 2018, male    UCB, 2006, male   Santa Cruz City Hall   male flowers   female seedheads   a wonderful and dramatic statement of towering, billowing, ferny bright green foliage, approaching the magnificent but mood and demanding Cannamois virgata for stop-me-dead-in-my-tracks flamboyance but much easier to grow - and site as well. It's much larger than smaller, similar and also-wonderful R. foliosa, hitting 5-7' tall and wide with flower/seed stalks to 10' or more. The flower/seed stalks separate out much higher above the leaves as well. Very nice mature specimens can be viewed at the UCSC Arboretum, the UCB Botanic Garden and the Cabrillo College Horticulture Department Garden. For such a drama queen it's pretty easy, needing just average quality soils and drainage, infrequent to almost no no summer watering, depending on heat and humidity, and little or no care. It will withstand some winter inundation if not stagnant. Tops are frost hardy to around 25F and I know it comes back from the base down to about 20F, maybe even 15F if legends are to be believed. Finally reintroduced to our catalog after a long and unfortunate pause. South Africa. rev 8/2018

Rhopalostylis SHUTTLECOCK PALM, NIKAU PALM  compact pinnate-leaved species of New Zealand's North Island, with shaving brush shaped heads and clean, ringed trunks. Slow, stately, dramatic. Rare. They like cool to moderate summer climates and range in frost hardiness. These palms usually start life as an understory seedling, and seem to be much, much happier with at least some shade when young. New Zealand. Palmae/Arecaceae. rev 10/2010

baueri   NORFOLK ISLAND PALM, NIAU PALM    Richard Josephson's yard, 2001, Santa Cruz, Eastside     Richard Josephson's yard, 2018    broader-spreading fronds than R. sapida, though in full sun it will also be relatively narrow until it reaches reproductive maturity. rev 3/2019

baueri v. cheesemanii   KERMADEC ISLAND PALM, KERMADEC NIKAU PALM (not currently in production)  from Ben in NZ     MBN specimens     at Buena Creek Gardens, San Diego, 2006    Huntington Botanic Gardens, 2013     Huntington Botanic Gardens, 2011    the most desirable, most highly sought-after, and rarest of the "shaving brush" Nikau/Niau Palms, for its broadest, most horizontal crown and elegantly recurved tips. It is very rare, in the wild or in gardens, and found naturally only in the Kermadec Islands off New Zealand. It does like cooler summers. It is also sometimes considered synonymous with R. baueri, or separated into its own species. This species is faster than R. sapida but probably not as hardy. However my friend Clark Magruder survived a one gallon R. baueri through the 1990 frost. Against his house, it is true, but still we are talking a one gallon can-sized plant, and honest 19F temps in Santa Cruz. Don't be afraid to try it if you have the chance. Just so that when your picky and arrogant palm friend walks through your garden and says "the one you really want is cheesemanii" you can just casually mention, "yeah well that IS cheesemanii" and she will then treat you with proper respect. Plus this really is one seriously beautiful plant. I have two plants at my old house on Berkeley Way in Santa Cruz, but they're not being taken care of. To 30' over much time, but very nice even when young. USDA zone 9a/Sunset zones 16-17, 21-24. rev 3/2019

sapida Auckland form 
 NIKAU PALM   grove, Strybing Arboretum   San Diego   this is the stiffer and more regular of the two and a half species in the genus, with fronds held at relatively narrow, upright angles (30 degrees from vertical when young, 45-60 degrees when mature) and lacking any arch to the midrib. In shade the leaflets are also longer and more luxuriant at all stages. Short, compact flower clusters emerge from the leaf-base bulb on mature plants. These seedlings are the lusher, faster growing form from the North Island population. They like cooler summers, mineral to rich soils, and average watering. Very slow to 30' but can take years to form a respectable trunk, so its highest value is for foliage at eye level in gardens and landscapes, just like Blue Fan Palm (Brahea armata). This is the southernmost occuring palm but is from a relatively mild island climate. They should take frost to 25F without too much damage but are known to have survived the 1990 freeze to 20F or lower at several NorCal locations. There is a spectacular grove at Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco, and many beautiful examples can be found in the SF Bay Area and central San Diego region. Very rare, highly desirable. rev 3/2019

sapida South Island form 
grove, Strybing Arboretum   San Diego   derived from specimens planted out on the South Island, which gets colder than the North Island. There will be some additional frost hardiness in these specimens. Even rarer! rev 3/2019

Ribes sanguineum ‘Claremont’    FLOWERING CURRANT    closeup    habit    elegant deciduous shrub, growing to 6-8’ tall and wide, with vertical to upswept stems displaying very long, pendant clusters of two toned flowers. Blossoms emerge pale pink, age to rich plum pink. Flowers in winter and very early spring. This variety was introduced by the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens. It has a beautiful color, and is very floriferous. Best in part shade with little or no summer watering. Looks great and does well planted around native oaks. California. Saxifragaceae.

viburnifolium 'Spooner's Mesa'   CATALINA PERFUME,  FLOWERING CURRANT  what it does, at Cistus Nursery, Portland    fragrant flowers   a scandent to sprawling native evergreen groundcover, with pliable, light burgundy colored, woody stems, glossy dark green leaves and tiny but nicelyl fragrant dark rose pink flowers produced in airy sprays along the branches in late winter to early spring. This form was selected for its resistance to branch dieback, which can plague other forms. From Spooner's Mesa, San Diego, which is right on the border with Mexico, and was named for the ranchers who lived there. This is an oft-recommended species for dry shade under oaks, being drought tolerant, deer resistant, and shade tolerant (but not requiring). Birds like the berries. To about 2' tall and sprawling to 5-6', but also rooting in branch tips and spreading that way as well. Little summer watering required once established. Sunset zones 5, 7-9, 14-17, 19-24/USDA 8. rev 2/2014 

Romneya coulteri    MATILIJA POPPY    flower    cut    medium size plant    evergreen to deciduous perennial, growing upright stems to 10’ but usually lower, especially if pruned back in winter. Large, relatively smooth grey green leaves are partially divided. Huge, 6-8" wide white flowers have crinkly, crepe paper petals and a globular cluster of deep yellow stamens at the center. Makes a stunning cut flower. Sun, average to good drainage, little or no summer watering. Definitely looks best if cut back hard in winter. Southern California. Papaveraceae.

Rosa    deciduous shrubs and scandent climbers. Almost all are very tough and durable when established. Full to mostly full sun, not particularly fussy about drainage. Some are disease prone (mostly mildew in California), those are the ones we stay away from. Rosaceae. rev 12/2002

chinensis    flowers    habit    also known as R. chinensis ‘Mutabilis,’ this plant grows to 5’ tall and 7’ wide. It is an outstanding species, and bears single deep pink flowers, to 3" across, which age to salmon. Heaviest bloom is in spring, with flowers produced continuously through summer and fall.


'Brilliant Pink Iceberg'    mature flower    younger    same vigor, glossy foliage, disease resistance, outstanding bloom performance, repeat/everblooming habit, shape, you name it, but with flowers watercolored and blushed a deep cerise pink. Grows a little more openly than its parent. rev 5/2007
'Bull's Eye'  pastel petals  creamy colored, semi-double flowers with a cranberry eye rebloom atop shiny, dark green leaves that are very resistant to black spot. Easy to maintain and makes a fine hedge, 4-5' tall and wide. rev 4/2014-Suzy Brooks 
'Crimson Sky' PP18654   achy breaky eyes!   lots of non-fading bright red flowers will keep blooming into fall. A sister seedling of 'Red Eden' that blooms earlier, it can grow to 12' or more. Outstanding on a trellis or fence. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks
'Drift' series  low growing landscape groundcover varieties, with continuous bloom during the growing season. Glossy, very dark green, disease-resistant foliage with large doubled flowers. rev 4/2019

'Eyeconic Melon Lemondade'   the eye     one of the results of many years of hybridizing with the Hulthemia (Rosa persica), a thorny, weed from Afganistan that has a dark red eye. These dark, rich, pastel pink and orange, wavy petals open to a show such an eye.And it gives many opportunities to do so, blooming all season. Shiny dark green leaves are practically disease free in our western states. Grows 4' tall and 3' wide, making a beautiful hedge. rev 5/2013 
'Fired Up'  smokin'  only the really hot colors here! Red, yellow, and orange semi-double flowers that won't fade in the sun. A reblooming floribunda with dark green, glossy leaves growing 3-4' tall and wide. rev 4/2014-Suzy Brooks 
‘Iceberg’    why you plant it    Floribunda. Possibly still the best white rose of any class. Excellent flowers, excellent vigor, and excellent disease resistance. Continuous growing season bloom. Just an outstanding plant all around.
'Icecap'  pure white disease resistant, dark green foliage and continuous bloom of pure white flowers make a carefree hedge or low maintenance garden accent. About 30-36" tall and wide. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 
'Julia Child'  gorgeous  reblooming, scented, buttery gold flowers on disease resistant, dark glossy leaves. About 3' tall, wide and on its own roots. A perfect rose, just as sparkly as its namesake.  rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 
'Ketchup and Mustard'  intense  a bold new floribunda for 2012, dark red petals with a golden yellow reverse and shiny green leaves! 3-4' tall and wide, for hedges, borders, or containers. Mild fragrance, nearly thornless. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks 
'Livin' Easy'   deep, glowing orange   apricot-orange colored flowers come with a fruity fragrance, disease resistance, and bearing the AARS winner designation from 1996. An easy-care floribunda, to 4-5' tall and wide. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 
'Orange Crush'  blinding color   a double orange red flower that holds its color in the heat and blooms all season. Glossy dark green leaves, reaches 12-15' tall. Nice against an light stucco wall. Get crazy with a purple clematis growing through it. rev 5/2012-Suzy Brooks 
'Raspberry Cream Twirl' PP22,470   twirling raspberry and cream    gorgeous deep pink flowers with streaks of light pink and white look very much like and Austin type, with nested petals. And they're big, up to 3 1/2" across. Shows over a hundred petals on the plentiful and continuous flowers, with some light fragrance of apple. A vigorous plant with glossy, dark green leaves and great disease resistance, growing to 10-12' tall. rev 5/2013-Suzy Brooks 
'Take It Easy'   take-it-hard-on-your-eyes  red    velvety red flowers with a pink reverse on rich, dark green leaves on this shrub rose. Low maintenance bloomer can line a driveway or a path, accent a garden, or grow in containers. About 3' tall and wide. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 

CLIMBERS:  (none currently in production)

Cl. 'Altissimo’   (not currently in production)   flowers    against a house    velvety, brilliant single red flowers, with slightly lighter centers, held against glossy green foliage. A vigorous and heavy blooming climber.
Cl. 'America’   (not currently in production)    closeup    large, fully double, pure coral pink flowers appear late in spring. Blooms on old and new wood. Has a strong, spicy fragrance.
Cl. 'Autumn Sunset’
  (not currently in production)     single large flower    a scrambling climber to 8-12', with large, double warm apricot gold flowers held on shiny green, very disease resistant (especially black spot) foliage. Strong fruity fragrance, good vigor, free bloomer that starts the first year and produces flowers from old and new wood. Best color in cooler weather or locations. “Unbeatable.”
Cl. 'Brilliant Pink Iceberg'   (not currently in production)   just as awesome as the best white rose on the planet, a fantastic repeat bloomer, excellent disease resistance, vigor, gloss, shape, you name it, but with flowers a deep clear pink. rev 5/2006
Cl. 'Brite Eyes'   (not currently in production)      blooming    said to be highly disease resistant, to black spot in particular, and a particularly troublefree climbing/pillar rose. A compact grower to 8', prolific single flowers are almost clear pink with just a touch of salmon, lighter centers, a moderate fragrance, and a great repeat bloomer. rev 5/2006
Cl. 'Cloud 10'  (not currently in production)    get offa my cloud!    pure white, double flowers unfold from large buds for a brilliant show against dark green foliage and dark maroon stems on this climber. Not a huge one, 7-8' tall, enough to grow a clematis through it. Big bloom in spring and continues into fall. Fully resistant to black spot and good resistance to rust and mildew too. rev 4/2013-Suzy Brooks 
Cl. Eden®   (not currently in production)    blooming    rolled, very double pastel pink flowers have very pale outer petals. A fast, vigorous grower with great foliage, a light fragrance, and repeat bloom. rev 12/2018
Cl. 'Fourth of July’   (not currently in production)     striped flowers    the first climber to win an AARS award in 23 years. Medium pink single flowers to 4 1/2" are streaked with dark red, centers color to medium yellow with prominent yellow stamens. A real jamboree of color all spring and summer, with a slight fragrance.
Cl. 'Iceberg’
  (not currently in production)     closeup    older    all of the qualities of ‘Iceberg’ in a climber.
Cl. 'Joseph's Coat’   (not currently in production)     closeup    a swirl of colors; deep rose pink petals fade to lighter within, with a yellow center. Flowers age darker.
Cl. 'Morning Magic'   (not currently in production)     shell pink     from the same folks who brought us the Knockout roses comes this compact, disease resistant, constant bloomer of pale pink flowers. A climber, 6-8' tall. Good choice for a container and an obelisk with a dark clematis companion. USDA 5. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 
Cl. 'Polka’   (not currently in production)     perfect blossom    large, double, tawny apricot flowers fade to light peach. The wavy petals give the flowers a frilly appearance. Glossy, dark green disease free foliage forms the perfect backdrop for the flowers that appear through the growing season. Another Meilland rose.
Cl. 'Pretty in Pink' Eden®  PP20953 (not currently in production)    hard-on-your-eyes  pink    more petals, more fragrance, more pink than 'Eden'! This climber goes to 10-12' and would be stunning going up a trellis with its large flowes nodding down. Add a clematis! rev 12/2018-Suzy Brooks 
Cl. ' Purple Splash'    flowers  a climber with fragrant flowers attractively and chaotically marked with radial streaks of  dark violet purple against speckled white. Small yellow centers add to the package on this single rose to about 3-4" across, borne on broad panicles. Disease resistant, excellent rebloomer. rev 5/2011
Cl. 'Red' Eden
®   PP15052 (not currently in production)    just like 'Eden,' as far as growth, foliage, etc., but with bright red flowers. Nested double petals, moderate fragrance. Looks very old fashioned! rev 12/2018
Cl. 'Sally Holmes’   (not currently in production)     closeup    nice plant    why I like picket fences    a vigorous shrub with strong-growing upright canes to 6’, often treated as a climber. Light apricot to salmon buds open to 4-5" wide, the single to semidouble flowers held in clusters, pale salmon to almost white with a center flushed warm light yellow. Leaves are glossy. Another R. ‘Ballerina’ hybrid, this wonderful bush completely hides its foliage with flowers during its blinding mid-spring display, then offers a few flowers later in the year. Old, easy, but still one of the most spectacular. rev 12/2003
Cl. 'Smiley Face'   (not currently in production)    happy flowers   a reblooming climber with beautiful, clear yellow flowers on disease resistant, dark green foliage. Has a slight spicy  fragrance. Easy to combine with most any color of clematis. To about 12' tall. Sun, regular watering. rev 5/2011
Cl. 'Stormy Weather'   (not currently in production)    deep violet   a climber, smoky purple flowers with a great spicy scent, bloom in clusters on stems that reach 8-10' tall. Wonderful support for a clematis of just about any color! rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks 
Cl. 'White' Eden® PP16739   (not currently in production)    closeup    creamy white aging to blush pink, so not a true, pure white but a variant of  'Eden' with all of that cultivar's
attributes with flowers shifted in color. rev 12/2018

Rosmarinus officinalis    ROSEMARY    this amazingly though Mediterranean shrub ranges from upright to spreading in form, often with attractive, gnarly, sinewy trunks and stringy, peeling bark. Dark green needle-like leaves are used in seasoning, although the upright and semiupright varieties taste better than the prostrate types, which can have a flavor closer to turpentine. Light blue to dark blue flowers usually appear in a heavy wave in late winter or early spring, with some buds opening in late fall. Grow all in full to mostly sun exposures and in average to granular, mineral soils. They only need occasional summer watering in Mediterranean climates, but they should have some or else by August they will look like the very brown native plants growing on your nearest slope. I've even seen it do fine in the for-real desert - Joshua Tree/Twentynine Palms - it just needs to be watered. Zones 4-24/USDA zone 7. Labiatae/Lamiaceae.

    Some varieties grow more or less horizontally, such as ‘Prostratus’ and ‘Huntington Carpet.’ Others are semiupright, like ‘Ken Taylor’ and ‘Benenden Blue.’ Try recommending these latter two as ground covers also; they grow with vertical stems to 30", then sprout basal branches which spread outwards a short way before then turning upwards. They can cover large areas and their dark blue flowers are much showier than those of ‘Prostratus.’ The variety ‘Rentzel’s Irene’ is slow, but very prostrate, and is especially good cascading down a wall. All are good in containers.  rev 4/2012

‘Benenden Blue’ (‘Ingramii’)    flowers    habit    old, unmaintained plant at our nursery    semierect stems to 30", with dark blue flowers. Collingwood Ingram originally named this selection after his garden, Benenden. Probably the showiest variety, and mature specimens can be stunning in bloom. Good for flavoring too. rev 8/2003
‘Huntington Carpet’    pale flowers     Westside Santa Cruz    feet from the waves, West Cliff Drive    from the Huntington Botanic Gardens, this variety looks like ‘Prostratus,’ but about half as fast, gets about half as tall and wide, and has leaf internodes that are about half as long as ‘Prostratus.’ A lower ground cover variety, and very good for situations where it will cascade, but somewhat open on flat ground. Flowers are the same pale blue. An excellent, vertically cascading variety if given a wall to perform on. Legend has it that this plant is the same as the famous ‘Lockwood de Forest,’ a variety now lost to the trade, but who knows. rev 10/2014
‘Ken Taylor’    flower detail    distinctive low, arching habit     mother plant source at the Aromas Library    2-year-old Los Gatos landscape, minimal irrigation, bad drought year    another angle     same place, half shade     superficially similar to ‘Benenden Blue,’ but lower, slightly less robust, much more rounded and dome shaped versus short vertical stems that spread by sprouting from the base. Also eaves tend to clasp the stem more, and flowers are slightly darker and a shade more purple. Ken Taylor hisself, in the late 1970s, pointed to the actual, original plant in his front yard in Aromas and told me it was a seedling from the ‘Benenden Blue’ ('Ingramii') growing just above it. rev 12/2017
'Lavender Pink'   flowers   this is the best pink form I have found yet. It has a nicest combination of lavender pink flower color with durable, semiupright to horizontal growth. The old 'Majorica Pink' has a lackluster color, and is prone to die-out, and also gets too tall, weaknesses I have noticed in all other pink forms. This one has an alluring hue and is relatively low, and vigorous, and healthy. Plus its color mixes well with regular blue rosemaries. To about 3' tall, spreading. rev 2/2011
   closeup    habit    gnarly trunks    young commercial planting    to 24-30" tall, spreading or trailing outwards. Great cascading down rock walls. Pale blue flowers are subtle and nice. One of the biggest liabilities of this variety, and also one of its most endearing attributes, is its strong tendency to develop fantastic, bare, gnarled, ribbed and buttressed branches and trunks, festooned with shreds of ribbony bark. Solitary specimens trained and pruned to highlight this feature can be extremely effective if you can prevent landscaper from cutting it back to a stump. rev 8/2003
‘Rentzel’s Irene’PP9124    flower color    very prostrate, very compact, very pendant growth with darker blue flowers. Intensity of color improves after the plant has been in the ground a while. A slow grower. Patented, unlicensed propagation prohibited.  rev 5/2010
'Rose'  blooms   this is another form we fetched from Portland, with light pink flowers marked with deep rose red on the petals. The overall effect is of dark rose pink color. It is a dense, spreading, upright grower, slower than most, with fine textured, slightly golden-hued foliage. The leaf color is a nice change, and adds off-season interest. rev 3/2011
‘Tuscan Blue’    closeup    more flowers    habit    with cactus    even more flowers    a fast, tall shrub to 6-10’, with medium blue flowers. Probably the best variety for seasoning, with a sweeter, spicier, less turpentine-like flavor. rev 8/2003
'White'  deer and drought tolerant, evergreen and fragrant, here is the herb with white flowers instead of blue. For your moon garden! Upright spikes of foliage to about 4', loving sun and heat. Dark green leaves combine beautifully with its old friend, lavender, and they both make excellent subjects for big clay pots. Due to the attracting to bees, hedges in the orchard and kitchen garden make a lot of sense. rev 2/2012-Suzy Brooks

Rosularia  a large, diverse genus of rosetting succulents closely resembling Sempervivums but with flowers like those of Echeverias. Many are extremely cold hardy, to USDA zone 5 or lower. Some are difficult and demanding to grow, needing perfect drainage and often dry, cold winters. Those we grow are easy and forgiving. Native to Europe, N. Africa and the Himalayas. Crassulaceae. rev 10/2018

chrysantha   TURKISH HENS AND CHICKS   velvety leaves, tight clump    nice 6" pot specimen   this very easy and forgiving little Sempervivum relative and lookalike hails from Turkey. It slowly forms colonies of very small, silvery green rosettes that are just right for wall gardens, troughs, stone sinks, old hiking boots, birdhouse roofs, gnome-heads, broken down tractors, old rotten tires, any AMC Gremlin or Pacer, but especially those in lime green, especially the Pacer Wagon, and any Chevy Vega, any at all, in any color. As long as each of those spots is sunny, and well-drained, it will thrive. Oversized stalks of white, upward-facing, bell-shaped flowers come in summer and greatly resemble the flower displays of Echeverias. Takes plenty of cold, but not too keen on heat so give it part shade in hot areas. USDA zone 5/Sunset 1-24. rev 10/2018

muratdaghensis    compact rosette   forms a tightly clustered colony of small, green, slightly hairy rosettes, shading bronze on the older outer leaves when grown outside in cool conditions. Haven't seen it bloom so we're not sure about flower color yet. One of the easy and forgiving species, tolerant of wet winters. No info yet on its natural distribution. USDA zone 5. rev 10/2018  *New for 2019!*

rechingeri    young 4" pot specimen  narrow, slightly spathulate green leaves show burgundy tints on older leaves, especially in cool weather. With age and sun exposure mature leaves develop a silvery sheen. Typical tight, clumping rosettes. Short spikes hold upward-facing white flowers with petals lined pink in the center, summer bloom. Another easy, forgiving and very cold hardy variety. Grow in full sun to mostly shade with good drainage and some summer watering. Asia Minor. USDA zone 5. rev 10/2018  *New for 2019!* 

Rubus -Berries  see Blackberry

Rubus calycinoides    CREEPING RASPBERRY    foliage & habit    that's what we call it here, the real name is probably R. hayatakoidzumi. This deciduous to semievergreen raspberry relative has small, lobed, quilted dark green leaves with tomentose undersides. The foliage turns purplish in cool weather and drops quickly in cold climates but is retained until spring in mild climates. Large, single, white, 5-petaled flowers are nice but not spectacular. They do set wonderful, sweet, orange, salmonberry-like fruit that are quite ornamental in late summer until the birds (or you!) feast on them. Spreading stems quickly root in, forming a matted groundcover to 6-12" tall that can spread quickly with some irrigation. This is a good ground cover or erosion control plant for part shade as well, although it grows well for us in full sun along the coast. It looks good in woodland gardens, as well as used around hardscapes or shade gardens using such plants as azaleas and camellias. It is nice creeping around and defining the edges of large rocks, boulders, stumps, or even wood or stone path or raised bed edgings. USDA zone 7/Sunset zone 4-9, 14-24. Taiwan. Rosaceae. rev 4/2017

Rudbeckia hirta 'TigerEye'   closeup    mass display    nice edging concept  this is a great Goldsmith/Syngenta strain, the first F1 hybrid Black Eyed Susan. We've noticed this knockout two years running at our industry's Spring Pack Trials, where it puts on a stunning, mass flowering show. It is a very improved Gloriosa Daisy that offers bright golden yellow, semi-double flowers with brown button centers. It is very uniform, and you can count on each one growing 16-24" tall and wide, with low branching for a lot more flowers, and increased disease resistance (especially for mildew). One of the best for late spring through mid fall color, attracting butterflies, and making long lasting bouquets for those summer picnics. A worthwhile summer/fall annual for all zones. Use it with anything silver, anything blue, anything purple, or red, or white, or against any dark background where it is just stunning. Combines with both soft and hard colors. rev 6/2011

'Denver Daisy'    flowers  this daisy celebrates the 150th anniversary of the city of Denver, Colorado. It has huge flowers,  to 6-8" across, of yellow, brown, and maroon in various combinations against typical black-brown cones in the center. Very well branched, 22-26" tall, 10-18" wide. Blossoms are loved by bees and butterflies and their strong stems make for glorious cut flowers. Leave the flowers to finish their cycle and songbirds will enjoy the seed heads in winter. Provides easy color in the garden into fall for a sunny spot with average watering. All Sunset zones/USDA 4. rev 7/2014 

'Moreno'   flowers    a dwarf Blackeyed Susan with brown, orange, and yellow all in cheerful daisy faces, just the right size for planting in pumpkins. Grows to about a foot tall and branches from the bottom, offering autumn colors till frost. Good for a sunny spot with average watering, in the garden or pots. Usually turns out to be an annual, but may reseed or be a tender perennial in well-drained soil in Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 8/2014 

Rumohra adiantiformis    LEATHER LEAF FERN, SEVEN WEEK FERN    fronds    habit    old planting    an evergreen fern, bearing wide, glossy, light to deep green triangular fronds up to 3’ tall. Used by florists as filler or background with cut flowers, this fern is also an admirable garden or landscape performer that resists scuffing and abuse that would bruise more tender varieties. Thus it is often one used in commercial landscapes. Plant it in shade and give it average to infrequent watering, but always enough to keep it from drying. Damaged below 25°F. Found in many areas in the southern hemisphere. Polypodiaceae. rev 8/2003

'Iberia'    more compact. rev 8/2007 

Ruschia pulvinaris   with Sempervivum    from South Africa, a cold hardy, succulent iceplant with a tough constitution and tons of violet pink flowers in early summer. Blue green evergreen foliage makes a dense mound 3-4" tall and 12" wide. Beautiful trailing over in pots, growing against rocks, and as groundcover. Sun, little water once established, does like well drained soil. Aizoaceae  family.Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 5.  rev 4/2011

uncinata  flower   light  red violet flowers on trailing stems that will be an evergreen groundcover or element in a hanging basket or container that spills over the sides. Covered in blooms in spring, like iceplant. Sun, little watering. Grow in movable containers, or outside in Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9.

Rusellia equisetiformis  FIRECRACKER PLANT   flowers   as shrub, Rogers Gardens   Bali    a spreading, spilling, or scandent perennial shrub grown for its horsetail-like foliage and nice show of tubular red flowers. This is most often seen as a hanging basket or container plant, where its mostly sideways to pendant growth habit best displays the 2" flowers in termial sprays. But it can form a partially upright shrub to 3' or so if clipped. This can be found throughout the tropics and north to anywhere it gets a direct freeze. Hummingbirds love it, of course. Sunset zones 19-24/USDA zone 9. Central America, Carribean. Scrophulariaceae. rev 10/2010

'St. Elmo's Fire'   flowers    a new hybrid involving R. equisetiformis which grows larger and has more intense red flowers. To 4' tall by 6-8' wide, with a more erect yet still cascading habit. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 13-14, 16-17, 19-24. rev 11/2018 *New for 2019!*  
'Yellow'   tubular flowers   pale yellow flowers. Ideal for spilling over pots, raised beds, or walls. Same size. Sunset zones 14, 19-24/USDA 9.  rev 10/2010