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Wallichia densiflora  BHUTAN FISHTAIL PALM, DWARF FISHTAIL PALM  young plants   silvery underside   a dwarf, quickly-clustering species to about 5-6' tall and 6-8' wide, with robust, glossy, shiny, olive green, fish-tail style leaflets and conspicuously silvery undersides. This is a smaller, lusher version of the more familiar but still very uncommon Arenga engleri, and you can use it the same way. It likes regular watering and can be kept quite wet. Use it in the house or on the patio as a container plant as well. Part sun to full shade, rich, moist, peaty soils. Sunset zones 9, 17, 21-24/USDA zone 9a. Palmae/Arecaceae. Himalayas. rev 1/2013

Weberbauerocereus johnsonii  young ones  add some danger and excitement to that cozy, safe Echeveria collection with a real cactus! It is a worthy one, grows in a column and just glows with yellow spines. In cultivation it grows about 7' tall, 3" across. It wants a frost free location in well drained soil, some summer watering but a dry, sunny winter. The flowers come at night, in summer, after it has grown up. Very decorative and a choice specimen for a container that can be moved to shelter outside Sunset zones 23-24/USDA 10. Peru. Cactaceae. rev 4/2017-Suzy Brooks

Westringia fruticosa (rosmariniformis)    COAST ROSEMARY    closeup    habit    unpruned habit at UCSC Arboretum    soft, rounded growth to 4-6’ tall and wide, with grey green leaves, silvery underneath and on the new growth. Small white rosemary-like flowers are produced most heavily in spring, with scattered bloom throughout the year. Will tolerate salt-laden coastal winds. Foliage is used in floral arrangements. Sun or part shade, with little or no summer watering required. Damaged below 25°F. Southeastern Australia. Labiatae/Lamiaceae. rev 7/2012

'Amethyst'   first fall flowers   with a little more foliage    a seedling I found growing along the wild, downhill back-edge of a block of 5g 'Wynyabbie Gem. It's flowers are deeper lavender purple than those of its obvious parent, and this variety can be freely substituted for its stronger color. Overall appearance and growth parameters seem to be identical. rev 4/2017

'Blue Gem' PPAF   flowers   a typical rounded, upright variety with wispy branches, dark green leaves and silvery undersides. Medium lavender blue flowers provide color from late fall through spring. No definitive frost info yet, assume it will be cut to the ground at an honest 25F. rev1/2017

‘Mia’s Wonder’    flowers and foliage    a compact grey (not silver) form, with smaller foliage and lower overall height to only about 3' tall. Pale lilac flowers. rev 1/2003

‘Wynyabbie Gem’    closeup    trimmed up    nice clipped hedge    a hybrid of  W. eremicola x fruticosa. Compact shrub to 4’ tall and wide, with typical narrow, silky grey green leaves. Light mauve purple flowers are produced throughout the year. This shrub gives a nice touch to landscapes or gardens with its lavender flowers against grey foliage. Grows quickly, but retains its wispy character. Has taken heavy soils well. Tolerates direct coastal conditions. Sun, average drainage, little or no summer watering. Probably damaged below 25°F.

'Wynyabbie Highlight'  with Ten Lined June bug   nice 5g contiainer   this is the best variegated form of Westringia available, and nice not just for its foliage color, or flowers, but because it is so compact and restrained. The brighter yellow leaf margins stand out much better than the paler color of its cousins 'Morning Light' and 'Smokey,' which both have a dustier look, and white flowers. These pale lavender purple flowers look great against the warmer-colored leaves, plus it needs much less pruning and maintenance than its more vigorous green parent 'Wynyabbie Gem.' Full to half sun, or modest light shade, almost no summer watering required except in the driest zones. Dies to the ground around 25F but will usually survive 20F, resprouting vigorously from the roots. rev 4/2017

Woodwardia fimbriata    GIANT CHAIN FERN    coastal sun garden, Monterey    commercial    another commercial   this robust native evergreen fern bears coarsely divided sword-like fronds up to 8’ tall that are light to medium green color. Commercial-landscape-capable, it needs a couple of years of at least intermittent watering to become fully established. Forms round rosettes of fronds, eventually clumping as it forms new crowns, the bases covered with golden brown fuzz. Very drought tolerant when established but always found in nature growing where deep roots have access to some summer water. Part shade, most soils. Good in containers. California. Blechnaceae, or Polypodiaceae. rev 6/2017