Z

Zantedeschia aethiopica    CALLA LILY    blue house    with cactus and stairs    old fence    purple    I like purple!    a clumping winter evergreen perennial (unless cut back by frost), dormant and deciduous in summer, easily recognized by its large, dramatic, rather tropical looking arrow-shaped dark green leaves to 3' and giant funnel form white flowers on stalks to 4'. Full sun to mostly shade. Tolerates a complete lack of summer watering, going dormant and reappearing with winter rains but thrives under conditions of ample availability of water. Does best in soils that retain good moisture in winter. Invasive in wet, boggy habitats and naturalized in many places in coastal Central California. It seems to do very well under cool summer conditions. Blooms initiate with short days. A dramatic, first class and expensive cut flower! Hardy to around 15-20F. South Africa. Araceae. rev 3/2004

'White Giant'   garden    closeup   'gi-normous' fits this plant, with flower stalks up to 6' or more, and large, white-spotted green leaves to 4' making for a robust presence in the garden. Our collector strain features better-than-normal white markings on the leaves. This is a short day, cool weather species (unlike the long day flowering, colored hybrids), emerging in fall, blooming in winter, and going dormant with late spring heat and drought. Summer watering will keep it evergreen. Likes average soils and regular watering but will tolerate poor drainage and boggy, constantly wet conditions.Sun or part shade near the coast, more shade inland. Protect from severe cold. Sunset zones 5-9, 12-24/USDA 7.  rev 2/2011

Zauschneria   CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA   being related to, and also now usually classified as Epilobium. We retain this prior designation in homage to the humble, hardworking and hopelessly happy hummingbird, which is the pollinator for this Zauschneria-group, as opposed to the bees that work the Fireweed/Epilobium-group. These plants grow as low (a few inches) to upright, loose to compact, trailing to very (30"), winter deciduous perennials, spreading by underground runners, often quickly. They bear extremely showy terminal sprays of tubular, brilliant red flowers to 1 1/2" long starting in early to late summer, depending on the specific genetics, often becoming wildly colorful on impossibly dry, hot, exposed, rock or scree slopes and roadcuts. The best forms have strikingly silver, grey or almost white foliage. You would think this would be the archetypal California perennial, intolerant of much cold or summer watering. But my Aunt Pat once dug her fine mail-ordered plant completely out of her garden because it was doing so well it threatened to take over. Both cold-winter and hot/wet-summer hardy there. Go figure. Just goes to prove you have to kill a plant, several times, to be sure it won't grow for you. These all do well in containers with a bit of well-timed cutting back. Sun to part shade, little or no summer watering when established. Onagraceae. USDA zone 6? Lower? rev 6/2018

'El Tigre'  (Z. canumjust opening   this is an interesting selection, very different from most with its very narrow, almost needle-like, mostly greenish leaves, horizontal then arching, pendant branches and dense, compact growth habit. The tubular red flowers started late this year (August, 2018), we'll need more experience to say if that is usual. rev 8/2018  *New for 2018!* 

'Everett's Choice' (Z. californicaflower spikes    grey-green foliage, tall, open spikes of bright red flowers. To 1' tall by 3' across. rev 2/2016

'Hurricane Point' (Z. canumflowers and leaves   competing with Rumex on a recent burn site   mature leaves, no irrigation    originally brought in from the wild by the late Ray Collette of the UCSC Arboretum, along with his outstanding 'Cloverdale' and 'Select Matthole' and the rarely-seen 'San Andreas.' This Big Sur form grows extremely low to the ground (almost always under 4" tall) with very narrow, grey-green to grey-white leaves and shows a strongly stoloniferous habit. You can see it successfully competing with creeping dock (
Rumex sp.) in a couple of the images above. This could probably be successfully worked into a large-scale planting of a more stem-durable, semi-walk-on groundcover, like Dymondia or Zoysia tenuifolia. We recovered our line from a plant we recently discovered surviving in a 30-year-old abandoned landscape planting. It is the cleanest source we know of, being untouched by virus/viroid-infected cutting-instruments since planting. And you know it's very, very tough, having survived since planting on zero irrigation whatsoever, ever. rev 6/2018

'Marin Pink'  (Z. canumwonderful light pink flowers   spreader!!    fast, horizontal, spreading growth with flat, grey green, fuzzy leaves and light salmon pink flowers that flare at the mouth. To 12-18" tall by 2-3' across, slightly higher and much broader with age if unrestrained. rev 8/2018
*New for 2018!* 

'Schieffelin's Choice'
 reddest red   this is one of our favorite varieties, growing as a low, tightly arching mound of silver grey foliage. Typical spectacular red orange flowers in more condensed clusters than most. To only 8-12" tall and 2-3' wide, it's a real attention-getter, spilling over pots, or walls, or covering the ground. Sunset zones 2-11, 14-24/USDA 6.
rev 9/2013

'Sierra Salmon'  (Z. canumflowers  grey green foliage,  light salmon orange flowers barely flare at the mouth and start appearing in summer. Leaves are mostly green, with silver grey hairs, growth habit is compact, rounded, upright, to about 18" or more and spreading slowly. rev 8/2018

'Select Matthole' (Z. septentrionalis)   closeup    habit    my personal favorite, along with 'Cloverdale' and the amazing 'Silver Select.'  This is the most silvery variety, and the pickiest about siting. Forms a dense, low, mostly flat clump of very broad, silver leaves, to 2 wide, 8" tall topped with those startlingly brilliant red flowers beginning in summer. Needs very good drainage, especially in wet-winter climates, but tolerates ferociously hot, dry climates. Found on a dark, south-facing roadcut somewhere in the interior of Northern California by Ray Collette, then director of the Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz. rev 6/2018

seedlings ('Silver Select' parent, selfed)  (Z. californicaseedling variation    flowers (parent)    wonderful plant (parent)    so why grow seedlings? Because we like Jeff Rosendale's original selection so much we decided there might be something else good hiding in those chromosomes. These seedling plants all have the same spectacular summer and fall show of intensely red tubular flowers that draw annoying numbers of hummingbirds. All differ modestly, in size, habit, leaf size and color on both juvenile and mature foliage, and stem color. All are looking shorter than the often-tall parent so far, and a few are even looking like horizontal growers. Pick the one you like, name it after someone (me?) and bingo! you have your own, personal plant variety! Then you can stroll visitors around your garden and oh-so-casually mention "oh yes, and that Zauschneria is yet another of my numerous introductions." You might even end up famous. Full to half sun, moderate to zero summer watering when established, depending, average to good drainage. A good container plant for medium size pots, or in larger pots combined with other varieties. USDA zone 6-7. rev 8/2018

'Silver Select' (Z. californica)  silvery grey green juvenile or short daylength foliage on mounding to spreading stems, very white foliage on tall, vertical, mature blooming stems which eventually arch over with age and weight of the brilliant red flowers. One of the most striking varieties among a very striking group of plants. To 30-36" tall by 2-3' wide, much broader if unrestrained as with all these varieties. rev 8/2018

'Wayne's Silver' leaves and flowers  taller and more upright than 'Select Matthole,' leaves narrower and not quite as silvery, but still very close to that A-grade selection. Eventually forms a very dense dome of flowers and foliage, with a heavy show of those typical, intensely red flowers that can be hard on the eyes if viewed in full-sun conditions. rev 6/2018

Zoysia tenuifolia   KOREAN ZOYSIA GRASS  Richard Josefson's Yard - May    Richard Josefson's Yard - November   an evergreen to deciduous, very slowly-creeping grass, tight, dense and extremely fine-textured but also very tough and durable. It is much like a larger, darker green version of Scleranthus biflorus, and will eventually  form similar convoluted, brain-like swells and mounds. It is strictly a long-day grower, and shuts down from about October 1 through around March 10, becoming darker in color as well. Outstanding for use between stepping stones, to fill up spaces in rock walls or on difficult corners. As a lawn it is slow but can be mowed once or twice a year, and should have little foot traffic. With below-freezing temperatures it will turn brown but sprout from roots and resume growth in spring. Use this medium-scale ground cover in full to part sun. Very drought tolerant when established but summer dormant under extremely dry conditions. USDA zone 9. Eastern Asia. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 7/2016