Baccharis magellanica  (not currently in production)   low 'n green   who'd a thought a Coyote Brush could be cute? This one is! With its small round leaves and diminutive habit, it stays under a foot tall and slowly spreads, densely. Creamy yellow flowers are held on top of the mound in fall and winter. This form is only modestly drought tolerant, being native to the colder but wetter extreme southern tip of South America through the Falkland Islands. It will need moderate to infrequent watering. Full to almost full sun, average drainage at least. USDA zone 5. Compositae/Asteraceae. (not currently in production) rev 7/2017

pilularis ‘Twin Peaks #2’  DWARF COYOTE BRUSH  foliage    planting  a dense evergreen groundcover to 2’ tall, 10-12’ wide. This is a male form of a coastal selection and features relatively long, dark green leaves, toothed at the tips. Since it is male it won't form seed pods that release variable (including upright) seedlings. Flowers are cottony and occur in fall, usually maturing around Thanksgiving. Male flowers are scentless, but females (variety 'Pigeon Point,' or those growing in the wild) smell like sweet hay, or green tea with honey. Neither sex is showy, but male flowers are quite noticeable when massed due to their cottony appearance..Sun to part shade, little or no summer watering when established, except in hotter inland climates. Probably not frost hardy beyond 15°F. Can take very wet winter soils but needs to be drier in summer. California. (not currently in production) rev 7/2017

Bacopa (Sutera) cordata    BACOPA    a fast, tender evergreen tender perennial that can be used as a small scale color groundcover, but is by far most commonly seen as a combo-container element. It makes an especially nice hanging basket, alone or in combination with other colors or species of plants. Trailing stems have small green leaves closely held, with tiny white flowers held closely in the leaf axils. It can flower throughout the warm season. Sun to part sun, average watering. Leaves are usually lost below 32F but it can survive a short 25F freeze by resprouting from the roots. Any lower and the crowns will usually be killed. Properly speaking this plant was classified as Sutera, and is now proposed and mostly accepted as Chaenostoma. Bbut no one would ever find it if we listed it as either of those. USDA zone 9. South Africa. Scrophulariaceae. rev 5/2018

'MegaCopa'   (not currently in production)  white, blue, pink    a new Ball series, all are heavily branched, very heat tolerant, keep their centers noticeably filled-in better than others, a real improvement. They also boast of the largest flowers in the industry. To 4-6" tall by 18" across in full, display-specimen size. rev 5/201

'Scopia'  Gulliver Blue   Gulliver Pink   Gulliver White   heat tolerant, compact, dense, evenly shaped plants with extra large flowers produced spring through fall. Evergreen in frost-free or near frost-free regions, use as an annual elsewhere. USDA zone 9a. rev 7/2021

‘Snowflake’  (not currently in production)  one of the first really big, really good whites. Still really big, still really good. And still white. rev 5/2018

‘Snowstorm’  (not currently in production)  another superior selection, with even larger flowers and leaves and an even more compact habit. rev 5/2018

Bambusa  about 150 species of clumping bamboos, mostly medium to large in  size, sometimes very large. Being grasses they mostly react just like them as far as sun, water, and fertilizer are concerned. To push growth supply more, to restrict them just cut back on any or all. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 9/2020

beechyana    2013, my house    2020      why you grow it - mighty Huntington specimen   former propagator Anne Stocker   shedding sheaths, powdery white culms    more shedding   with former intern Chiqa, Huntington specimen    orange new culms    tallest culm was cut when it reached the height of the telephone pole - it was still growing   my personal favorite of all bamboos, and the unquestioned size champ for everywhere except truly tropical, frost-free climates. This amazing species can achieve spectacular dimensions here of both culm diameter (5-8"), height (50-80') and spread (up to 2/3 of height). As with all bamboos dimensions increase with maturity, and after 8 years in my Santa Cruz front yard, in shallow soil, with no irrigation, and none nearby (lawn goes dormant), my beautiful specimen had to come out or else the neighborhood power lines were going to be knocked out and I'd be paying for Kurt's house next door. (I'm still in recovery, donations are appreciated.) This is a fast grower, with beautiful orange new culms that can grow a foot a day even in our cool climate. As they reach 3-7' in height they head off at a 30° angle, increasing the width of the clump and clearly distinguishing this species from similar but very narrow, vertical growers such as B. oldhamii. The very large and ornamental sheaths soon shed to reveal blue green culms coated with a white powder, which disappears with time as the culms age and eventually mature to glossy dark green. Culm side walls are thick and dense, they have long, straight sections and they last well, making this is one of the very best species for construction and other applications. One side note is that every plant of this species in the US seems to be virused, except for specimens of v. pubescens. Almost certainly the original imported individual specimen arrived infected. Symptoms are minor, not noticed by most, and consist of lighter vertical streaks on the leaves. One does wonder how much bigger and more vigorous it would be without the virus - it must  certainly help keep it manageable. Full sun, a lot to very infrequent watering when established, doesn't seem picky about soil. Hardy to about 21°F, roughly the same as B. oldhamii. Southern China, Indochina, Taiwan. rev 7/2021
burmanica  (not currently in production)  large leaves   a clumping tropical timber bamboo, with glossy, dark green culms to a full 4" thick and growing to 30-50' tall. The leaves are especially lush and reach 2" across by over a foot long. It offers superb wood for construction, being hard and almost solid. This will need to be grown in the most frost free spots in California but it is choice, very rare, and beautiful. It can take some drought when established. It is listed to 32F only but I don't know if it has been definitively tested here in California. It may only suffer foliage damage, like most. Limited availability! USDA zone 10/Sunset zones  21-24. Burma, Thailand. rev 6/2010

   (not currently in production)   luxuriant foliage  bluish leaf undersides   older leaves color and fall in fall   a compact timber species, clumping (as are all Bambusa), with culms to 3" and growing to 30-40' in California, taller in more tropical climates. The crowns spread moderately and gracefully. On mature plants the new culms emerge powdery white contrast nicely with the dark bands of the culm sheaths. It forms minor thorns along the branches from undeveloped leaf buds, but they aren't very obnoxious. This is one of the more hardy species, tolerating 22-25F before defoliating. It is good for construction, with strong, hard, thick-walled culms, though they are usually curved. This is a good species for hot, dry environments, though it will need watering. Rare. Limited availability! Hardy to around 18F, USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. Temperate and tropical East Asia. rev 2/2019

   (not currently in production)   at Berghuis Nursery   young clump, Blue Bamboo Nursery   a dense, truly medium size species (for a bamboo!) that forms a dense clump to 15-20' in full sun. It has a particularly nice, green, plumose appearance, and the ends of the culms arch over nicely to display their dense foliage. Culms reach about 2 1/2 inches across. Stems will lean out at the top about as wide across as its culms are tall without restrictive pruning, so not as strictly vertical as B. textilis and not as aggressively horizontal as the California trade form of B. ventricosa. This is another superb variety for large display containers. Hardy to around 20F. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. rev 2/2019

  a small-textured clumping species, with a number of selections ranging from large to small in size, and all recognized by distinctive bluish leaf undersides. Most show very golden stems with age. All varieties seem to appreciate extra iron if they begin to yellow, most especially ‘Golden Goddess’ and ‘Fernleaf.’ All B. multiplex varieties make great container plants. Find more info on bamboo in general here. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. rev 2/2019

‘Alphonse Karr’  stems    typical lush, dense form, at Berghuis Nursery    foliage    clump showing golden orange stems  a clumping species, spreading very slowly by underground rhizomes. Grows to 15’ or a little  more. The culms are yellow with green stripes, often flushed coral on young plants. As the culms age the yellow stripes become much darker golden. This variety has neat, dark green foliage and a rather narrow, erect habit, spreading at the crown. One of the best features of all B. multiplex types is that the foliage is wonderfully blue on the undersides, especially on new stems. All  B. multiplex varieties like sun to part shade, average to infrequent watering, and respond well to fertilizing. Protect all from gophers, especially when young.Hardy to 20°F. China. rev 11/2003

'Eddie Gaedel'    distinctive dense, congested leaves at branch tips    early 5g crop outside, 'Alphonse Karr' behind    same outdoor crop a few years later, 'Alphonse Karr' behind     vigorous greenhouse crop in part shade, Alphones Karr behind     Molly's 1g back-porch plant, several years old   Molly's benefit auction donation planter, three new 1g plants    [note: no plants in these images were cut back or topped]    this is an excellent dwarf culm-sport I found within a block of 'Alphonse Karr.' Besides being much shorter, more compact and extremely dense it also appears to have a "Buddha's Belly" type of stem-base swelling with accompanying short internodes and similar zig-zag culms, especially near the base. Most plantings seem to reach 5-7' or so by about 4-5' across within a few years. The tops of the youngest fine stems heavy with dense plumes of new foliage arch slightly outwards as they mature, conspicuously and gracefully, eventually forming what looks like a very tall, very dense, very dark green clump grass, always with a few of those distinctive, typical bluish B. multiplex leaf-undersides showing. This makes an excellent and long-term container plant or short to medium screen, easily kept to 3-4' by pruning out a few taller culms once a year. Best in full sun but will take half shade, best with average watering but it's very tough and can survive on very little if necessary.  MBN INTRODUCTION-2010  rev 7/2019  

‘Fernleaf’ (not currently in production)  clump  foliage  dense, compact, arching growth to 6-8', with very fine-textured foliage and congested clusters of leaves. A small scale, formal looking bamboo when well tended. This plant becomes a dense, tangled, arching mass of green, golden yellow, and spent, bleached grey white dead stems and leaves within a few years. To keep it decent, consider sawing the whole mass off every three or four years in winter, right to the ground.  you should probably saw the whole mass off to the ground in late winter and give it a good fertilizing to allow it to renew itself. This variety is especially good in small containers and is one of the best bamboos of all for a very small, restrained clump in the landscape. It can be thinned if it becomes too dense in order to present the classic airy bamboo effect. rev 7/2017

‘Golden Goddess’  nice 16 year old stand at Blue Bamboo Nursery   golden culms  culms reach 8-15’ tall in good soils, with watering and fertilizing, though usually it will be around 6-7' at most if left mostly untended after established. Soft foliage is moderately fine-textured, about twice as large and open as ‘Fernleaf.’ Stems two years old or older usually turn a beautiful, bright golden yellow-orange where exposed to sun. Like other fine-stemmed selections of this species this can be cut completely to the ground, fed and regrown if it starts looking too yellow and runty. One of the best medium size clumping bamboos, it can be hedged, the stems don't lean out from the main clump very much and in my experience will reliably remain under 15', often more like 10' without a warm climate (SoCal), regular watering and fertilizing. rev 7/2017

'Monterey Bay'  (not currently in production)  plant   this is a non-striped reversion form (or 'One Stripe' version - MBN INTRODUCTION-2006) found here growing with our 'Alphonse Karr.' It's useful if you're looking for a dependably large, vigorous, standard, green form of B. multiplex. It is a good large substitute or replacement for 'Golden Goddess' in landscape plans because it actually gets what 'Golden Goddess' is supposed to reach but rarely does. Because the stems and leaves aren't marked like AK, and the leaves and scale are so much more robust than in GG, the bright blue undersides and clean presentation of the larger scale foliage leaves are more noticeable and valuable. It does not match published descriptions of other green B. multiplex forms but could turn out to be identical just due to its origin. It does seem to be the largest and most vigorous "green" form of this species we have seen. Grow this one as a very nice, dense, lush, bright green tall screen, or as a single specimen.  rev 2/2019 MBN INTRODUCTION-2010

'Silverstripe' (not currently in production) young clump  foliage  a relatively larger, faster grower, with green leaves variegated with clean white stripes, and striped green culms. Older culms become strikingly deep golden yellow to yellow orange. Grows to at least 10' in height, sometimes to 20' when kept happy with lots of water, fertilizer, sun and warm temperatures. Habit is more open and broad, plants spread wider as the older culms lean progressively farther out from  new stems in the core of the main clump. Prune out old wood selectively on this larger-scale variety. rev 7/2017

oldhamii  GIANT TIMBER BAMBOO  at Berghuis Nursery, Lindcove   mature clump at the Huntington   California Adventure   tight habit, powdery culms, wonderful sheaths  usually seen as a large impenetrable clump, spreading to 10’ or more across, with culms reaching to 40’. This is the most commonly encountered timber bamboo because it gets big, is the hardiest large form, doesn't run, and is relatively easy to propagate compared to others. Individual culms can reach 2-3" in diameter and age to a golden color. Foliage is dark green but often has an olive green tint. Same cultural requirements as  B. multiplex, with sun/part shade and regular watering/feeding required for best appearance. This is a large, stiff, coarse-textured timber bamboo. It can be left to grow as a dense thicket or carefully thinned to a very open, sparse stand. It does NOT make a good container plant for a long period, tending ultimately to resent attempts at restriction and eventually breaking the offending container, whatever the material, and the same goes for landscape barriers. But it can be used that way for a while. If you want to thin the clump remove some of the older culms for timber (for which they are well constructed) and leave the younger shoots and their more juvenile buds. Plant it where you want it to live for a long time without being disturbed too often. Hardy to 15°F. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA zone 9  China, Taiwan. rev 2/2010

textilis   WEAVER'S BAMBOO   Strybing    Seabright neighborhood, Santa Cruz   tight, dense culms   this intermediate timber type is easily recognized by its almost obsessively vertical habit and stiffly held, dark green to blue green leaves. It grows as a very tight, dense clump and is best used in applications where horizontal spread is strictly limited, both below and above. Culms reach 2 inches across, height ranges from 20' (sun, lean, shallow, or water-restricted soils) to 40' (some shade, deep, rich, moist soils, regular irrigation, feeding). The culms are thin and good for splitting and weaving into baskets, mats, furniture, even ropes and twines. With age the lower branches don't develop on new culms, resulting in a stately, towering clump with up to 3/4ths of the length being open and clear. Like most large diameter bamboos it sheds intriguing, beautiful, ornamental stem sheaths that are worth appreciating by themselves. It isa slow, difficult divider and is usually in short supply.China. rev 2/201

tuldoides  PUNTING POLE BAMBOO  very old clump at the Huntington    culms   a very useful, medium sized, clumping timber bamboo, growing to about 20-30' tall with an erect then partly nodding habit. The culms get about as big around as you could wrap your thumb and middle finger around, about 2" diameter. This is extremely close to B. ventricosa, and that species is now usually treated as just a selection of B. tuldoides. They differ in that B. tuldoides never "bellies" up, with swollen basal internodes in a zig zag growth pattern, and the leaf doesn't twist as much. The primary reason I think B. tuldoides is generally superior is that Buddha's Belly grows as much sideways, in all directions, as it does up. This means a 20' high plant can take up a 40' diameter circle in your garden, with culms tilting all the way down to the ground in all directions unless pruned out of the way. Coupled with the sad fact that the Buddha won't get a belly in Northern California, and it's the biggest no brainer in the history of man kind to see that B. tuldoides will eventually completely replace B. ventricosa for all applications, except in Southern California. rev 6/2011

ventricosa  BUDDHA'S BELLY BAMBOO, FO DU ZHU  at Berghuis Nursery  there are those who claim that this is simply a form of B. tuldoides. For us plants of B. tuldoides are stiffer and have leaves that don't twist. This is an arching, clumping species to about 20-25' tall and broad. It tends to spread widely at the crown and has very horizontal branches for a clumping type. It has much of the grace and peaceful, open appearance sought by those planting bamboo and found much more commonly in the running types as opposed to the rather stiff, chunky style of most clumpers. See bamboo.html for more info. A ten year old clump here at our nursery is about 4' across at the base, 20' tall, and spreads to 20' at the crown, with some branches arching over halfway to the ground. With age it can spread over 35 feet across. The common name comes from the swelling of the lower stems immediately above the joints. These can become quite swollen and show a strong zig zag pattern, or remain rather narrow, smooth and uniform, depending on reasons under disagreement. One possibility is that there are various strains, though this is doubted by most. Another suggestion is that the plants need to be stressed by heat and lack of water. Another says the plants must be crowded. Some say it will never swell in Northern California because we aren't hot and dry enough and something about the daylength or generally heavier rainfall makes it behave differently. They say the only way to make it “belly up” is to grow it in Southern California, cut it back in the middle of summer, and don't water it (the plants can take quite a bit of drought stress). We procured plants with swollen lower culms and watched them grow out narrow and smooth, so we are believers in the latter theory. This is a wonderful container variety, one of the best. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA zone 9. rev 7/2004

'Kimmei'  VARIEGATED BUDDHA'S BELLY BAMBOO  container trunks   the same swollen lower stems, moderate size clumping growth, and attractive appearance but with stems dramatically striped with green. What is interesting about this variation is that it is much more likely to get the alternating trunk angle and swollen nodes than the regular form, and we regularly see both develop here in our nursery. Very rare, choice. rev 3/2008

vulgaris 'Vittata'   (not currently in production)  amazing culms   average plant, Quail Botanic Gardens  this tender clumping species is grown here solely for its amazing culms, which are deep golden yellow to almost orange, broadly and consistently striped with clear green. It is at its best in the tropics and subtropics, where its culms can reach over 4" in diameter and 50' in height, but it can be grown successfully outdoors in Southern California and protected sites in the North. I have seen nice specimens thriving in the San Diego area and a few in the SF Bay Area. Elsewhere it will demand a patio, sunroom, great room, greenhouse, or large commercial space where it can display its colorful trunks and be protected from any temperature extending much below freezing. The foliage is light glossy green, and the young branches are brilliant yellow.  Pick out a nicely colored pot to display it in. USDA zone 10, maybe 9a/Sunset zones 21-24. rev 2/2019

Banana    EDIBLE BANANAS AND PLANTAINS (for ornamental bananas see Musa)    California Rare Fruit Growers planting at Quail Botanic Gardens     fruting Dwarf Orinoco mat, High Street, Santa Cruz      dwarf fruiting variety as an ornamental, Water St., Santa Cruz       tropical foliage at the Huntington   giant evergreen clumping perennials, with fruiting types ranging from 3' to 20' in height. About 65-70 species native to Southeast Asia and Australia. Musaceae. rev 9/2020

     QUICK GROWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR FRUITING YOUR PLANT:   a pre-bloom "paddle" leaf      buy a variety adapted for your climate (USDA zone 9, 8b with protection/Sunset zones 8-9, 15-24), plant in full or mostly full sun, in rich soil that is watered regularly to infrequently. Yes they can tolerate and even thrive on intermittent watering, that fat trunk acts as a water-storage structure. Feed as needed, keep it green not yellow. Most importantly keep the basal sprouts down to one or none until the primary stalk has finished setting and ripening the fruit. Stalks usually form mid to late summer and will usually ripen before cold weather (SoCal, Central Valley) but often need to hold through winter and finish ripening in spring (NorCal, foggy/coastal). If the latter happens take steps to protect the stalk and fruit from frost damage. Individual hands (wedges) of fruit are ready to remove for final ripening when the mother culm as shed most of its leaves and those remaining are turning yellow, the fruits have stopped enlarging, the angled edges have stopped rounding and the skin color has turned from dark green to a slightly lighter color. Each hand can be removed individually with the rest held on the stalk until needed, or the entire stalk can be cut off once all hands are ready. Leave the individual fruits on the detached hand or stalk until fruits begin to yellow. You can even cut individual fruits or portions of a hand separately.

     Other short, basic instructions for banana culture and other important info can be found in "the bible" (Sunset Western Garden Book), at bananas.org and Promusa. For the full sermon as I preach it, keep reading the MORE DETAILED CULTURAL INFORMATION link here..

     Much of the extensive information here has come from my own experience, educational resources, and discussion with other growers with direct hands-on experience, especially the irrepressible Jeff Earl, who regularly fruits several varieties at his home in Modesto, Calif., David Johnson, who does the same in nearby Waterford, and Ben McNeill, a small commercial grower in relatively cool New Zealand.

     History of Cultivation   in spite of its ubiquity and importance the exact botany and history of the modern edible banana is actually not well known. The exact role of the almost fifty wild species in its development is still being probed. With modern genetic analytic tools we may be able to trace the full historic path of its development. Derived from at least two and possibly several species, market bananas are sterile hybrids, usually polyploid (multiple sets of chromosomes). Recent genetic work indicates that highland New Guinea might be the origin of banana cultivation. Varieties long in cultivation there are still being discovered, and new species keep popping up in Southeast Asia and around the South Pacific.

     Bananas are an extremely important food crop worldwide, especially in developing and tropical countries, where they serve as an important source of starch, ranking fourth in worldwide importance after rice, wheat, and corn. For those of us in the First World bananas have been a commodity for over 100 years, but for many poor people in Third and Fourth Worlds they remain a critical staple. Besides being consumed fresh, in many societies they are important for cooking, roasting, and even brewing beer.

     Breeding    there are several efforts around the world aimed at improving banana fruit quality and growing characteristics. While none are specifically aimed at growers in climatically marginal areas such as ours, we benefit from these efforts to shorten the growing cycle, increase climatic adaptability and increase disease resistance. The best source of new varieties has been FHIA, the Fundacion Hondureña Investigación Agricola. Their primary mission is to reduce poverty through increasing yields and limiting losses. North American hobbyists pass information back and help the quest to better people's lives.

     Edible bananas are classed based on genetic parentage, with a letter-reference based on the two hybrid-parents, such as . Letter A is for Musa acuminata (sweet fruit, warm growing) and B for M. balbisiana (starchy, cooler growing). Our modern, sterile, seedless cultivated types arose eons ago as natural sterile hybrids or random mutations found growing in the endless, ungodly hot, dripping wet, dense, dark, insect-infested, crocodile-infested, snake-infested, rot-infested, chigger-infested, leech-infested, impenetrable jungles of New Guinea by innovative and creative humans living there. In Guns, Germs and Steel author Jared Diamond, who lived and worked in the highlands of New Guinea, gives a wonderful account of how this probably happened as well as giving us a look at how the modern inhabitants of those innumerable "island communities" alertly identify and exploit the natural variation in plants and animals in their world. Cultivation of the early sterile forms appears to have started at least 12,000 years ago and their descendants are everything grown today. 

     The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture divides the cultivars into the following primary groups:

AAA - dessert, highland beer and cooking bananas
AAB - plantains and dessert bananas
ABB - mostly cooking bananas

     Varieties within a group can still vary in cold tolerance, fresh/cooked qualities etc. Additional other groups are recognized however, and genetic combinations other than the above are common, as you will see below. Following are all the varieties we have ever sold, as far as my memory and sales record remember. rev 9/2020

'Aiuri'  this variety from the Society Islands (Tahiti) belongs to a distinctive and unusual group, the Fei (Fe'i, Fehi) bananas. These are the only cultivated, edible type derived from either one or two different, as yet unknown species, assumed to be a hybrid and referred to as M. x troglodytarum ever since Linnaeus himself bestowed that name. Flower/fruit stalks are erect, not pendant, subtending flower bracts are greenish versus purplish, plants exude pinkish or purplish-staining sap and plants do not pup freely. They also take longer to mature and begin producing fruit. Fei fruits in general are usually rotund when ripe, often astringent until cooked, usually bright orange to orange red when mature with yellow orange flesh and can be seeded or not, depending on variety. They are higher in starch as well as carotenoid precursors to Vitamin A. They are almost always cooked but are often sweet after heating like regular cooking bananas. Presumed to be from New Guinea like regular bananas but distributed prehistorically from the Moluccas to the west throughout much of Polynesia, then later east through Polynesia all the way to Tahiti and Hawaii. I have not grown this variety myself, nor eaten them yet. I can see from their performance here in our greenhouses that they will need a high-heat environment and will not like cold, wet winter soils, just like the Cavendish types. To 10-20'. rev 9/2020

'Belle'    flowering height    female flowers    ripening fruit   (not currently in production)    (AAB) This is a first class variety. A sport of Pisang Raja, which itself is a vigorous grower (15-20') with a moderately heavy crop of very sweet, high quality fruit that are ivory white (to supposedly orange!) inside and of moderate to large size. My plant, the first banana variety I successfully fruited, flowered at 5' trunk height. The fruit formed were 4" long by 1 1/2" across, and had a wonderful, typical banana flavor with an elusive, perfumy, flowery undertone, also somewhat apple-like. The fruit also have a respectable and quite wonderful acidity, which doesn't diminish much as they ripen, making them considerably zingier and more interesting than supermarket bananas. They hold very well after picking, to the point that they keep improving in flavor even past when the skins start to turn black and tough. This form has highly colored juvenile foliage with whitish undersides, a powdery white trunk and is a vigorous, early season grower. Plants in this group are wind resistant and cool tolerant. Pisang (or “Pysang”) types hail from Malaysia but aren't all related. Some Pisangs are AA while the Pisang Raja group itself is AAB. I have also eaten 'Belle' flowers as a cooked vegetable, as described above. We currently have no source for disease-free small plants and so this variety remains out of production for now, sadly. rev 9/2020

'Brazilian'  a very tall, very cold-hardy variety, one of the best for less-than-subtropical climates such as Central and Northern California. Mature trunks can reach 10-13' before leaf-stems branch off. Fruit is the same as 'Dwarf Brazilian,' described below, which is just a compact sport of this variety that is much less prone to toppling under fruit load and easier to site in most yards. rev 4/2019

'Dwarf Brazilian'   ('Dwarf Prata Ana', 'Santa Catarina Silver,' 'Santa Catarina Plata')   (AAB)  red-striped juvenile leaves  a dwarf pup sport found on 'Brazilian.' This is a sweet, fresh-eating dessert banana that is cold-resistant, shows good wind tolerance, and is one the best varieties to try outside the tropics. The fruit are smaller than market Cavendish-types, also slightly smaller than its parent 'Brazilian,' and are sweet plus mildly acidic. The male flowers are good cooked, they appear after the basal female flowers have finished setting fruit. Trunks reach 6-7' here, leaves to 10' but in the tropics plants are taller. I grew this myself on the Eastside in Santa Cruz, it grew and fruited well. rev 4/2019

‘Cardaba’   wonderful white leaf undersides    (BBB or ABB)    maybe a sport of ‘Saba,' this is an easy, fast, tall variety, reaching 15' with a nice blue green leaf with whitish undersides. It  is one of the very best eating varieties and can be eaten fresh or cooked, excellent either way. The large, rather rotund fruit is very white inside and often unevenly shaped and sized. They as usual are harvested green, when they have stopped filling, but this variety should be fully yellow-ripe before eating. They don't hold long at that stage, and they tend to get very soft and mushy near the skin but the flavor is incomparable when that ripe. Fast, wind tolerant, with a reputation for good cold tolerance and high resistance to choking. Good, consistent reports have been received from growers in cooler areas, and this was one of my best and fastest growing varieties when I lived on the Santa Cruz Eastside. It's also the #1 favorite of David Johnson in the heart of the Central Valley, who reports stalks in the 18-25 lb. range and "lemony, with undertones of other flavors." In tropical and subtropical commercial areas the clusters range between twenty and sixty pounds. rev 9/2020

'Dwarf Namwah' ('Pisang Awak' and others) (ABB)  flower cluster with young fruit, Quail BG   my crop, Santa Cruz  a short but rotund, sweet, fresh-eating banana (dessert type) that reaches 6-7' tall. Flavor is very sweet but it is still good cooked. The male flowers are a popular vegetable crop in Indonesia. A good cold-area producer, I successfully fruited it on the Santa Cruz Eastside. USDA zone 8. erv 9/2020

‘Dwarf Orinoco’    young summer fruit, Santa Cruz    overwintered fruit, February    typical plant    (ABB)  a compact sport of ‘Orinoco,’ also known as Burro or Blugoe. Almost always fruits by the time the trunk is 6-7' tall. The fruit is the same as that of the original ‘Orinoco,’ large, and heavily angled, usually with three edges. The flavor when fresh and fully ripe is similar to a young-ripe Cavendish type, being both moderately sweet and slightly starchy. When cooked it retains good firmness and becomes very sweet, somewhat like a very ripe Cavendish type but without any bitterness. This is a great one for small places and arguably the best one to start with in a hot summer/cool winter climate since it is small enough to be easily protected in real severe conditions. I have seen it grow and fruit many times in Santa Cruz, including once in my own yard on the Eastside. Reported to be quite shade tolerant. Leaves are whitish underneath, trunks have a waxy white coating. See ‘Orinoco’ for more growing and eating characteristics.The number one performer for most. rev 9/2017

'Dwarf Red'   (not currently in production)  supposedly a small grower with dark red fruit. We bought one 72-cell tray and sold half in mid-winter 2006 before the rest died of being too cold in our unheated greenhouses. Clearly a tropical/subtropical variety that should only be trialed in Southern California or in a greenhouse. rev 9/2020

'Eban Musak' (not currently in production)  our single fall-planted trial crop mostly failed over winter growing in 1g containers on the bench in our unheated greenhouses. Bad. Means it won't survive cold, wet winter soils. Supposedly gets big and is one of the few varieties which will ripen the fruit on the spike, as opposed to needing to be removed first. rev 9/2020

‘Ele Ele’  (not currently in production)  AAB. Also known as ‘Black Hawaiian,’ and according to legend a sacred plant of that island's royalty - commoners were forbidden to grow it! A big (20'), fast, colorful banana with great tasting fruit, usually cooked. Its best use is probably as a substantial, striking, semideciduous ornamental landscape specimen, due to its impressive height, dark burgundy to maroon black leaf undersides, and similarly marked trunks, which have the greatest girth of any edible banana known. It might be used in place of Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurellii’ - instead of dying with cold it may just send up pups. But it is only of “average cold hardiness” (i.e., not so good), so probably only good for such use in Southern California or very frost free, warm areas of Northern California. It tends to rot off under constant cold, wet conditions in our experience, and sat for 4-5 months in suspended animation in our greenhouses once temps got cold. That's a baaaad sign for cold-soil tolerance. rev 9/2020

'FHIA 01' see 'Goldfinger,' below.

'FHIA 02' see 'Mona Lisa,' below.

‘FHIA 17’  (not currently in production)  AAAA. A Cavendish type with fruit similar to ‘Goldfinger’ but faster producing and with much heavier production. In commercial production fruit stalks commonly weigh between 100 and 200 lbs. (note: a 200 lb. stalk is going to need propping. So is a 100 lb. stalk). Good for fresh eating or cooked with excellent flavor. One potential problem with this variety may be its longer ripening period, which may run into the onset of cold weather. Another is it showed enough cold sensitivity in production here (it is the same genetic type as ‘Cavendish’) that it is almost certainly best used in primarily in Southern California. rev 9/2020

'FHIA 18'  (not currently in production) a tall-growing dessert type that showed good cool-growing tolerance in field trials, at our own nursery and in my own Santa Cruz yard. It produced a small amount of fruit for me before a freeze cut the plant down and I removed it in order to trial another variety. It was good, subacid, sweet. Resistant to Fusarium races 1 and 4, also Sigatoka Leaf Spot. We will grow it again if available. rev 9/2020

‘FHIA 23’  (not currently in production)  AAAA. To 10-15', with decumbent foliage. Brand new, same parentage as FHIA 17 and very similar (slightly bigger). They both should be very similar to ‘Gros Michel,’ which was THE banana of commerce up until the early sixties when it was wiped out by Verticillium and replaced by Cavendish types. I am old enough to barely remember when bananas started tasting different, and I agree the "fat Mike" types had better flavor. This relatively new intro should have outstanding flavor and much better cool growing tendencies than the original warm growing ‘Gros Michel,’ plus it should have all the disease resistance and cold tolerance the FHIA varieties are famous for. Comes highly recommended from commercial growers in cool areas of South Africa, where they report up to twice the production as ‘Goldfinger’ with great flavor and similar cold hardiness. Clusters can range from 50-150 lbs so staking is usually necessary. Another one to watch for potential problems with slow ripening. This was the most dormant variety of all I grew in 2003-2004, but it didn't rot off and resumed growing nicely in spring without choking. Then I had to remove it for construction. rev 9/2020

'FHIA 25'  (not currently in production)  AAB. A tall-growing cooking banana, also good for dried chips, fries and other uses. It is resistant to Panama Disease race 1 (Fusarium) and highly resistant to Eumusa Black Leaf Spot. rev 9/2020

'Goldfinger' (FHIA-01)   young leaves with red markings     (AAAB)  a heavy yielding, sweet desert banana that is a good choice for home gardens, being cold-resistant and a reliable producer. Dwarf Brazilian was it's female parent, the male was FHIA-SH3142. It does better in subtropical climates than in the tropics. It is resistant to Black Sigatoka (or Black Leaf Streak, Mycosphaerella fijiensis), crown rots, Fusarium wilt, nematodes and all three strains of Panama Disease. Cold-resistant as well, it has better wind resistance (fruit-bearing trunks blown over) than most. It is a moderately dwarf variety, with trunks reaching to 7-8' and leaves reaching to about 12', but smaller here and in our drier Mediterranean climate than in the tropics or subtropics. Fruit are sweet, dense, and smaller than commercial bananas. The flavor is slightly different than market Cavendish-types, sweet and slightly acidic ("apple") and while popular in Australia they have never become popular in Europe or North America for some reason. The immature fruit can even be eaten green when cooked (becomes white with a yellow interior) or dried, and ripe fruit don't turn black when cut, nor lose firmness when cooked. In commercial production plants can yield bunches of 50-75 lbs, fruit are rather straight in shape. Hands are harvested sequentially off the stalk. rev 9/2017
‘Ice Cream’
(‘Blue Java’)    flower picture from Vallejo Mike     yield picture, Vallejo Mike   (ABB).  tastes like ice cream. I've had some, it does. They even say you can eat it with a spoon but mine was too firm at the time. May be a sport of 'Saba' (I seriously doubt it) or 'Orinoco' (more probably). Choke resistant, but reports are it is more sensitive to cold soil than 'Goldfinger’ or ‘Orinoco.’ A larger grower to 14-18' with beautiful silvery leaves, a stout, glaucous trunk, robust root system, and relatively fast production cycle. Silvery, blue green fruit are heavily produced and have pure white, very sweet, soft, cottony interiors with a vanilla-like fragrance and a slightly tangy aftertaste. Some say this one is the best of all, one source says it can sometimes get a spongy core. People who have tasted it personally (me!) tend to rave about it (me!). Leaves are silvery-whitish below, trunks have a waxy/powdery white coating. A great grower for me in Santa Cruz. Fruit on a plant in a shaded downtown commercial landscape survived a light but distinct freeze in December 2015 to finish ripening the following spring. A very good tall variety for the Central Valley, with high sun tolerance. It should be braced when it starts to spike or tied to a stiff support to prevent lodging in strong winds. rev 9/2020

'Kalela'  (not currently in production)  supposedly a sport of 'Dwarf Brazilian' distinguished by larger fruit but ours declined on the bench under cold-soil, unheated-winter-greenhouse conditions. That doesn't jive with being sprung from 'Dwarf Brazilian,' which is quite cold tolerant. If available I will try it again and try to sort it out, until then consider what we sell under this name to be a SoCal or greenhouse-assisted variety. It showed strong maroon markings on the juvenile leaves and was a small grower. rev 9/2020

  (not currently in production)   AAB, Iholena (Polynesian) group. A highland New Guinea dessert form but usually eaten cooked. Only a moderately strong grower for us, it stalled unacceptably in our unheated greenhouses over winter and did not respond well when temperatures recovered. It did show good choke resistance however so automatically makes the list of those worthy of being tried, especially in a warmer climate than ours. It has unusual yellow orange fruit of large size but I never personally grew it and haven't tasted the fruit. This vareity was only retrieved from its country of origin relatively recently. Leaves are irregularly blotched with maroon when young. rev 9/2020

‘Misi Luki’    short, rotund, 4" long lady finger-type bananas are very sweet and very white and very good. A large, skinny grower to 15-20', it is best in locations not exposed to hard winds. It was reportedly selected from a high elevation in Samoa, and it does seem to produce good quality fruit under cool conditions according to one commercial grower in New Zealand. Another Southern California grower in a warm location rates it among his best, as does David Johnson growing it near Modesto. For me in cool, wet Santa Cruz as well as in the more severe Central Valley it has consistently been one of the fastest, most vigorous growers and successfully produced fruit. It is also a beautiful ornamental, with blue green leaves that are silvery underneath and with a nice whitish powdery bloom on the petioles and crown. This plant would be great if it never bore a single fruit. Plus it has a nice, exotic name. rev 3/2020

'Mona Lisa' (FHIA-02)  a sweet-eating, dessert banana with a dwarf habit and apparently good cool-climate growth and production characteristics. My plant in Santa Cruz flowered at about 6' in height and produced a modest amount of very high quality fruit about two years after I planted it. It would be a good choice for Northern California in general I believe, though its degree of hard-freeze tolerance remains unknown and is probably poor as this was reported to be a Williams (Cavendish-type) hybrid. Doubt exists about that last fact. It has a reddish pseudostem and produces rather short, slightly rotund fruit which turn dark yellow when fully ripe. It is susceptible to Fusarium but resistant to Black Leaf Streak and Sigatoka Leaf Spot. rev 9/2020

‘Monkey Fingers’  (not currently in production)  also known as Pisang Jari Buaya. A yellow fleshed dessert type, with a large number of very small, recurved fruit that develop over a long period, but only of moderate quality. It is a skinny grower to up to 15' tall and a pendant spike to 6' long. It is wind resistant. This variety showed itself to be rather cold sensitive in our unheated greenhouses and should probably only be used south of the Transverse Ranges. From Papua New Guinea. rev 9/2020

'Mysore'  see 'Pisang Ceylon,' below.

'Namwah' ('Pisang Awak')  the full-size, parent version of it's compact sport 'Dwarf Namwah,' described above. To 9-10' plus leaves above. Also good in colder climates, USDA zone 8. rev 4/2019

'Orinico' the full-sized, standard version of the much more common 'Dwarf Orinoco,' above. We only offer it when we can't get the more useful 'Dwarf Orinoco.' rev 9/2020

'Pace'  (not currently in production) a variety we sold in the past but I never formally wrote up until now, and one I can find almost no info on now, Our old label stated it was bred for resistance to disease and tolerance of cool growing conditions but then I say that about most of them. We sold a single crop of ~300 plants back in 2003 and haven't seen it available since, I do remember it did well for us, I think I planted one but something happened, maybe gopher? A two-year Georgia field trial completed in 2004 listed it as a tall cultivar. rev 9/2020

‘Pisang Ceylon’  (not currently in production)   AAB, also known as ‘Mysore.' This is a moderately cold tolerant variety with high quality, white, sweet-fleshed fruit that have an excellent texture. It is the major variety grown in India. The trunk and leaves are highly colored with maroon and blackish markings and it makes a great ornamental. To 10-20'. This variety showed moderately good cold tolerance for us in winter, suffering from some funny looking leaves and a moderate case of Funky Chicken on the pseudostems. Our secret test agent in Waterford says it languished during his Eternal Fog winters and was not up to the standards of the typical cold hardy types. This is probably best limited to locations in Sunset zones 9, 21-24. rev 9/2020

'Poquito'  (not currently in production)    a 3' dwarf, primarily ornamental variety derived from a Cavendish-type banana, often used as a houseplant or  large container subject. Once mature these ultra-dwarf ornamental types seem better in the ground here than the production Cavendish types based on the few established examples I've seen. I know they can flower and produce fruit but know nothing about quantity or quality. rev 9/2020

'Praying Hands'  (not currently in production)  fruit are partially fused on the hand, only separating as they become fully ripe. Supposedly they taste great. Our entire crop failed over winter after being planted in fall. Bad juju, stay away unless you have a greenhouse or (sub)tropical climate. rev 9/2020

'Raja Puri'  (not currently in production)  a notoriously cold-hardy variety, regularly surviving climates as cold as USDA zone 7 if mulched in winter. However it suffers from a bad tendency to choke after cold winters, which means the collapsed cold-damage pseudotrunk constricts tighly and forms an impenetrable barrier to the emerging flower stalk or even subsequent pseudotrunk and foliage regrowth. Thus plants are used mostly as ornamentals in areas with frost and only produce regularly in those regions mostly free of freezing nights. For most of Northern California and almost all of the Central Valley except the warmest parts of Sunset zone 9 (thermal belts, i.e. lemon-growing regions) this is a poor performer unless additional winter protection is provided. This is a full-sized variety, capable of reaching 12-16' in total height (pseudotrunk plus leaves), often in one growing season if resprouting from a mature crown, and especially if fed and competing basal sprouts are removed. rev 9/2020

‘Saba’  (not currently in production)  ABB. A modestly cold tolerant, heat loving variety with HUGE glossy leaves, worth growing as a mondo tropical foliage plant alone, even more so than most of these other varieties. The trunk can reach 18" thick and the plant is very wind tolerant. This may be the only banana regularly planted as a shade tree. Small fruit are of excellent quality that are eaten fresh or cooked but it proved to be only moderately cold resistant, so it's a much better variety in warmer winter climates such as Southern California unless you want to grow it in a greenhouse. Phillipines. rev 9/2020

‘Thousand Finger’ (not currently in production)   a confused issue, several related and unrelated varieties get sold under this name. The most common form, the one you will most commonly see sold in supermarkets, is a large, 15-20' grower that likes a hot summer and bears a large bunches of very small fruit, each of which only grows about 2 1/2" to 3" long. The spike seems to continue to flower and form fruit for as long as the parent plant can nourish it. The fruits don't become bitter when very ripe and seem enormously resistant to bruising. Those with blackened skins can usually be peeled to reveal fruit that is essentially undamaged beneath except they sometimes get slightly corky directly under the worst areas. The texture is smooth, dense, and very creamy, creamy yellowish in color but sometimes with an orange tint. Flavor is very sweet, fragrant, and slightly acidic. It is supposed to be relative cold resistant but should probably be used in warmer summer areas. It might be interesting to experiment with this variety in cooler areas though by shortening the fruit stalk to concentrate plant energy for ripening. A small number of little fruit might be easier to ripen than the same number of larger fruit. Or the plant may simply need high heat units to thrive at all, we just don't know yet. This has been vigorous, reliable grower in my cool Santa Cruz garden though it didn't fruit before I removed it for picking up a virus I inadvertently transmitted via a contaminated shovel I had used it to remove a nearby virused clump of Naked Ladies. There's a lesson there, you should heed it. rev 9/2020

'Tropicana' (not currently in production)    colorful juvenile leaves   another ultra-dwarf Cavendish-type, it will produce edible fruit on a plant that only gets 4' tall. Usually used just for its foliage, it likes full to half sun, rich soil, heavy to surprisingly little watering (like all bananas it can drink heavily and store huge amounts of water in its thick pseudotrunk), no frost, and the warmest winter soil temperatures you can provide. Supposedly once established, and in adult-phase, it tolerates cold, wet soils much more easily than young, juvenile-phase plants. rev 9/2020

‘Valery’  (not currently in production)   AAA. A robust grower, usually fruiting at 9-10'. This is one of the few Cavendish types we willfully tried. It is the main variety now being grown commercially in Central America, and we received reports of it doing well in Southern California. It is reportedly considered stress resistant in the agricultural sector and it has been described as “semihardy.” In Hawaii it is grown at 1000' higher than ‘Williams,’ another improved Cavendish-type trade standard, implying greater cool growing tolerance. However in my yard in Santa Cruz it slowly went downhill over a very warm, freeze-free year and eventually failed in the slightly cooler than normal spring. Nearby a nearby Cardaba was busy packing on growth. It may have done better in the Central Valley but consider this one very experimental except for Southern California. Leaves are conspicuously striped red when young. It needs support as fruit develops and the flavor of the fruit is, well, what you get in the store. rev 9/2020

Banksia   groundcovers, small or large shrubs and trees, native to Australia, related to Grevillea, Hakea, Protea and Leucadendron, among many others. The cultivated Eastern species are relatively easy but all flower in the branch axils of the prior year's growth point. Except for a few notable exceptions they are not as showy as many of the Western species, which can be terminal-flowering and thus showier but are mostly pickier for soil and watering, besides all being more frost tender. Named by Linnaeus the Younger, for Sir Joseph Banks, who came this close to having the whole Australian province of New South Wales named after him as well. Proteaceae. rev 4/2019

ericifolia 'Compact Form'  HEATH LEAVED BANKSIA  closeup     habit     this outstanding form grows to 4-6' tall by 6-8' wide in a reasonable amount of time. Pliant, dark green, rolled needle-like leaves grow to only 1/2" long, and are light beneath. They are densely packed along the slender twigs. Perfect, cone-like spikes open to bottlebrush-like flower clusters, to 10" tall, composed of hard, wiry, shiny orange red flower styles and dark golden anthers. This greatly improved selection has yearly growth only about half as tall and open as the regular species form, which means the flowers are much more conspicuously displayed. The flowering period is also longer than the type form, occurring intermittently from fall through spring, at the junction of branches produced the preceding year or two. The dried flower heads remain on the plant and are attractive for about a season after bloom. Several flowers will usually be pollinated in each spike, resulting in interesting swollen seeds which are retained for years. This is one of the most adaptable  Banksias, and probably the most forgiving to grow along with the showy B. spinulosa and a number of large, leafy, not very showy Eastern species. It needs average to good drainage and occasional summer watering. It survived 25°F without damage, and should survive 20°F. Eastern Australia. rev 1/2013

integrifolia ssp. integrifolia  COAST BANKSIA, WHITE HONEYSUCKLE BANKSIA, WHITE BOTTLEBRUSH, HONEYSUCKLE OAK    flower about to open    mature foliage   brilliant reverse    our 30-year-old untended landscape specimen    attractive new growth    this variety of Banksia Men    not strictly "new,"  sold as "recently" as 2003. This is an interesting tall screening shrub or small/medium size trouble-free/maintenance-free street or patio tree, reaching 12-30' tall or more by about 8-15' wide. In its native Australia old specimens can reach 75' but I'm not aware of anything here close to that size. Seedlings will bloom at 4-6 years with several hundred light yellow flowers produced in  dense upright spikes to 3-4" tall scattered along the horizontal branches. Bloom occurs fall through spring (occasionally again in summer in cool areas), the clusters mature to decorative cone-like seed pods. Hummingbirds and other sweet-seekers adore the nectar-rich flowers. Leaves are the primary feature of this choice tree though. Juvenile-phase leaves are coarsely toothed, shiny, dark olive green upper surfaces contrasting with smooth, silvery white, reflective undersides. Viewed from underneath, or from the side on windy days, they are striking and beautiful. Old trunks are very oak-like, but also sport gnarly lignotubers and intriguing bark texture above. Site in full sun to partial or light shade, average drainage or better and all but the heaviest, most unforgiving clay soils. It is drought tolerant when established but will tolerate intermittent to infrequent watering. Frost hardy to around 20F depending on the source material. This species is native to the eastern coast of Australia, from close to the east-side Tropics to the coldest southeastern corner of the Australian continent, and from coastal dune-strands to ~5000' in mountainous regions. rev 3/2019

menziesii  FIREWOOD BANKSIA, STRAWBERRY BANKSIA, FLAME BANKSIA   flower cluster, half-open   new seed pod   maturing   seeds away!   one of the Banksia All-Stars, a very showy Western Australian species that bears 6" tall clusters of intense red styles with orange-yellow anthers opening from below. Flowering is mostly fall-winter but anywhere that experiences cool periods during the growing season can expect off-season color as well. This species has one of the most ornamental seed pods, typically one to a few very large, often greatly inflated fuzzy red capsules maturing to mottled brown and tall displayed against its fine-grained, diagonally-checkered column. Usually seen as a medium to large shrub, but depending on population source and planting site specifics it can be low groundcover through even tree-size, the latter with age and in favored sites (deep soils, accessible moisture, dry summers and light frosts). The leaves are long, dark green and glossy, round-tipped and usually coarsely toothed, with whitish undersides that contrast nicely - overall it has a . This one brings the whole package, from dramatic, captivatingly fuzzy red new growth to the intricate, long-lasting candle-like buds,silvery looking landscape foliage, big, showy flower clusters borne over a long season and again, those amazing pods. For happiness give it full to half sun, very moderate summer watering, average to good drainage and frost above 25F for the most part. It will survive down to 20F but expect it to lose top growth. Not a problem though, it will resprout vigorously from it's lignotuber. rev 4/2019

serrata   OLD MAN BANKSIA, SAW BANKSIA   a tall shrub to small-medium size tree with dense, dark green foliage, a narrow, columnar shape and light yellow to golden yellow flower clusters in terminal clusters. Reaching 20-50' with age it is a moderate-rate grower with an interesting, warty/knobby trunk and glossy, serrated leaves. It is fire adapted and can sprout from old wood when burned or cut back. Seed pods are highly ornamental and retained for years on the stems. Though it is most reliable in well-drained soils some populations are adapted to swampy conditions. Like many Australian and South African Proteaceae it is definitely worth trying in areas with cool-season inundation as long as it experiences a summer dry-down. This is an excellent coastal or windbreak subject. Frost hardy to 25-20°F. Eastern and Southeastern Australia. rev 10/2020

speciosa  SHOWY BANKSIA  an open, spreading shrub reportedly to 7-18' though I've never seen one over ~8' tall in this country. Terminal flower heads are large and conspicuously showy, varying in color from yellow green through deep orange. Long, narrow sawtooth leaves have alternate triangular leaflets and conspicuously white undersides. Seed pods are ornamental, with large individual capsules displayed nestled in wooly spent flower remnants. This species is very closely related to B. victoriae, and is easily confused with it. The two are distinguished by small differences in the leaves and positions of the stigma, extending well outside the flower head in B. speciosa but remaining close in B. victoriae. This Western Australia native is relatively tolerant of summer watering but looks best and lives longest with the bare minimum needed to get it through a typical California summer. Good drainage is a must, acidic conditions best but will tolerate neutral or alkaline soils, shouldn't need much except perhaps some iron as far as nutrients and then mostly in those neutral or alkaline sites [but a *little* nitrogen won't hurt]. Native to the south-facing coastline of Western Australia east to the edge of the Great Australian Bight. Hardy to ~25°F, USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9,16-17, 21-24. rev 2/2021

spinulosa ‘Schnapper Point’  flower   typical plants at UCSC   another couple  a compact growing form of this highly variable Eastern Australian species. Initially prostrate it will eventually reach a compact, dome-shaped 5' tall and wide in 10 years without pruning, even larger with age. It fills in quickly to become very dense, excluding weeds and providing rainfall dispersion over bare ground. The upright flower spikes are better displayed than in many other seedling forms of this species as the subtending branchlets, which develop before the flowers begin to open, splay widely outwards, leaving the spike well-presented against the background canvas of dark green needle-like leaves. In most other forms the flowers are usually clasped by subtending branches and usually aren't as well displayed. The flowers themselves are honey with black styles. Sun to half shade, average to good drainage, moderate summer watering at most, better applied late in spring or early in fall. Probably top hardy to at least 25°F, possibly 20°F, and likely surviving a freeze to the neighborhood of 15°F. UCSC Arboretum. rev 3/2021

Baumea rubiginosa 'Variegata'  STRIPED RUSH, SOFT TWIG RUSH, FLAT LEAF TWIG RUSH, PLASTIC RUSH   foliage    grass garden planting    water garden planting  a grass-like plant with flat, rather thick, glossy bright green leaves striped with yellow. The habit is strictly vertical, with stiff leaves usually to about 18" tall but reaching ~ 3' here in really happy, moist situations. In nature it can reach 12' when growing in ponds and similar persistently wet sites. It spreads by stolons just under the soil surface. The plant is essentially self-cleaning, old leaves dropping off cleanly when their time on this earth is over. Sun to part shade, tolerates intermittent summer watering at the expense of leaf density as well as complete inundation to 18", planted in containers or otherwise. It makes a good and very striking container plant, by itself or in a mixed combo as the vertical element. American nursery trade forms have been reported surviving to USDA zone 7a. Our race certainly derives from Australia or New Zealand, but some populations occur on tropical Pacific Islands, such as the Banten parkland swamp of coastal West Java. A reclassification to Machaerina rubiginosa has been proposed. Cyperaceae. rev 9/2018

Begonia  root hardy to completely tender herbaceous perennials, grown for flowers or foliage, with some in Mexico used for their edible roots. Almost all like part to full shade, light, rich soils, and regular watering. Begoniaceae. rev 4/2004

acetosa  RUBY BEGONIA  why you grow it   youngest leaf undersides   flowers   mature leaves   alien flower stalks developing  a rhizomatous type with medium size, round, dark green leaves are striking red underneath, with hairy red petioles. The young leaves and margins and undersides of mature leaves are heavily covered with iridescent pink to purplish hairs. House, greenhouse, porch, patio or indoor/outdoor, otherwise grow it in a cool (!) USDA zone 10. Brazil. rev 6/2018

albopicta   flowers and spots   vertical stems    more flowers, spots   obtained from the legendary Deepest Darkest Jungle of Outrageously Cool Earthly Delights (Glasshouse Works!! Mailorder!!) this name appears as a legitimately published species name (IPNI) but that may refer to something else. Most sources currently list this as a hybrid, with differential spelling, x's and -'s, etc. No time for research on the names now, just know that this is a nicely vigorous, perky, light-textured cane-stemmed type with narrow, dark green angel-wing leaves decorated with always-popular silvery-white oval spots. Flowers are large, showy, medium clear pink, in pendant umbels, probably short-day initiation. Very vertical habit, will easily reach 3' in a small container like a 1g pot, certainly much more when established and happy. Best with a light stake unless you want it to eventually arch over, it's natural habit. Tender. rev 12/2018

'Angel Glow'    new flowers, new leaves    mature flower spike, mature leaves   those wonderful leaves!!    contrast   very mature dark maroon red leaves, tightly whorled and accented by soft, wiry hairs along the very margin, mature to light copper and eventually olive green. A nice display of pink flowers are displayed well above the foliage. Easy, striking, really charming. Part shade/shade, indoor/outdoor/porch-patio, outdoor hardiness unknown. Light mixes, let dry between waterings. rev 6/2018

'Art Hodes'  massive, textured leaf   large, up to 12" wide, green, bumpy leaves with a red haze from the little hairs on the surface, this rhizomatous begonia grows up to 18" tall. Likes part sun or bright shade. Nice outside for summer but bring it in before winter comes outside of Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 10. rev 9/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'Benitchoba'  compact, cut leaves are mostly silver, with green veins. Maroon reverse. rev 6/2012

'Bewitched'   Lavender   Pink    Red-Black    White   Wintergreen  warm season Rex hybrids with high vigor that leads to increased garden and container performance. These do best as houseplants or outdoors under shady conditions and when night temps reach the sixties. They prefer slightly acidic soil mixes, liquid fertilizers and regular watering. Allow to dry somewhat between waterings. rev 7/2021

'Black Fancy'    another dark beauty!   dark, scalloped leaves with a light starry pattern of veins and a bit of a swirl.  Dark underneath and small pink flowers. Upright to 18" tall and wide. Sunset zones 16-22/USDA 9. rev 8/2013-Suzy Brooks 

boliviensis  (not currently in production)  a very large, open, spreading deciduous species with robuts canes and pendant, quite fuchsia-like orange red flowers produced from late spring through fall. It seems somewhat particular about soils and needs good drainage and rich, moist conditions. Its best application is as a container plant. Part sun, regular watering. Remember it will be fully deciduous in winter, and over time produce a huge dormant tuber so don't throw it away when the stems fall off in late fall. Ernie Wasson rescued a dormant plant being thrown out at as "dead" when he was working in a retail nursery. It remains a famous icon and spectacular display plant at the Cabrillo College Horticulture greenhouse. Protect it from hard freezes if planted outside, and maybe keep it somewhat dry if possible. However large plants overwinter just fine in containers here in our cold, wet Northern California coastal gardens, as long as protected from the occasional very hard freezes.USDA zone 9a/Sunset zones 16-77, 21-24 outside (container only?). rev 5/2018

'Bon Bon'   (not currently in production)   Cherry    Sherbert  a terrific choice for a hanging basket or tall container. Pointy green leaves with standout white veins look gorgeous with the double, cherry red or yellow flowers. Compact, to about 10-12" tall, filling out to 14-16" wide. Flowers all summer. rev 7/2014

'Million Kisses'  (not currently in production) a Ball Seed Co. breeding effort, these varieties flower early, are vigorous yet stay compact, have a mostly gracile form and a gently trailing habit closer to hanging tuberous types as opposed to the mostly vertical form of its original parent species. These also might not be as hardy as that wild species form either, so to be safe give them a little more protection from winter cold and wet. rev 9/2017
'Amour'   (not currently in production) closeup   deep orange red flowers against narrow, moderately dark bronzy green leaves. rev 9/2017

'Devotion'   (not currently in production) closeup   intense red flowers against green leaves. rev 4/2019

'Elegance'   (not currently in production)  clouds of white and pink flowers    close   makes a waterfall of blooms in hanging baskets, window boxes, or pots. Under a foot tall and spreading 2-3'. White and coral pink blend with the green leaves that match its elegant name. rev 5/2015-Suzy Brooks

'Honeymoon'  (not currently in production) happy yellow faces   a compact bushy to gently trailing mound of relatively broad lemony yellow flowers, set against nicely contrasting dark green leaves. rev 9/2017
'Sparkle Scarlet' (not currently in production)  'Scarlet' flowers   another hybrid derivation, but slightly more compact than the 'Bonfires.' This line reaches about 12" tall and 16" wide. 6/2011
'Sparkle Rose' (not currently in production) flower closeup   nice, big, rose pink flowers. rev 7/2011
'Sparkle Salmon' (not currently in production) perky flowers  closer to orange red than salmon, but I don't get to pick the names. rev 7/2011

'Del Rey Sunset'    why you grow it    Luis' office plant   growth habit, with juvenile/mature colors    deepest, most intense color    extra bonus - filaments!!   key feature - sparkling iridescence!  a wonderful, colorful, quite tall and robust Rex-type (mostly?), with very large leaves displaying fantastic color. The fast growth and forgiving nature make this a five-star variety. Young leaves emerge pearly white to light jade green, with a plum purple edge, then enlarge and lengthen considerablywhile changing to deep rosy burgundy with a dark maroon edge. Our largest stock plants are currently approaching 2' in height, leaves are around 10-12". Part shade/shade, indoor/outdoor/porch-patio, outdoor hardiness unknown. Light mixes, let dry between waterings, it won't mind at all! rev 6/2018

'Dragon Wing'   (not currently in production) red    pink   red in Molly's tall back porch combo   pink, in Molly's neglected other combo pot  this is a hybrid type about intermediate between a true cane-stem/Angel Wing type and a bedding type. It is very close to the old 'Glamour' begonias, which were a very nice strain sold back in the early eighties. They are lush, tropical looking, bloom their heads off, and so far have been totally mildew resistant here on the foggy coast. A real solid performer! Just spectacular in containers. With age they can form short cane trunks, to a couple of feet tall, and you can either leave them in that mini-tree configuration or cut them back, to which they respond beautifully. rev 9/2009

dregei    charming flowers   charming leaves   upright habit   a caudiciform (swollen base) species, one of the only truly succulent members of the genus. Tiny, narrow, maple-shaped leaves are streaked with silver, copious small white flowers peep out from each node summer through late winter (or on mature stems after chill? Dunno yet). Very vertical stems, the base quickly begins to swell once plants are established and growing. To 1-3', easily maintained in small containers though - makes a good houseplant faux-bonsai subject. Bright shade, good drainage, best kept under cover in wet-winter areas, on your porch/patio or inside. It tends to go backwards under cool/cold, wet, shaded, short-day conditions. Rare in nature, found in the summer-rainfall areas of the Eastern Cape Region and KwaZulu-Natal regions of South Africa. rev 2/2021

'Escargot'   you are getting sleepy! sleepy!   this Rex type was selected for its amazing heart-shaped leaf, which is coiled at the top-center. The green-silver-green bands become a wonderful rolled, snail shell-like pattern. With subtle other burgundy and pink tones, minute hairs,veins bumps etc. it all begs for closer study. To 6" tall, 12" wide, a container plant for house or indoor/outdoor patio application. Pink flowers. Rich, humusy soils, let it dry down a little between waterings, bright indirect light is best. Tender, doesn't even like cold, wet soils. rev 7/2014

'Fanny Moser'    spots and undersides   another study in bumpy silver freckles and glowing red undersides, this very compact grower reaches just 12-15" in height and produces short, compact clusters of blush pink to white flowers with yellow centers. Morning sun or bright shade, rich, moist well drained soil, average watering. Where it gets cold, enjoy it outside and then bring indoors for winter. Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 6/2013

'Firewoman'  high-contrast colors   a Kartuz Rex introduction, with a wildly colorful and contrasting shades of jade, plum, lilac and silky, velvety purple black. A biggie, up to 2' tall and wide and we like that particular fact very much. Nice white flowers. Containers, not at all frost hardy as far as we know - you can be surprised sometimes. Porch/patio container, indoor/outdoor, houseplant etc. rev 8/2018

'Fireworks'   dizzy   an older Kartuz creation, featuring leaves with a dizzying display of color and contrast. This Rex is an indoor/outdoor or houseplant type, typically almost indestructible despite its delicate appearance. The iridescent rainbow of colors look good against almost any backdrop. Very compact, to just 12" tall or less. Likes part direct sun to full bright to moderate indoor shade. USDA zone 10 for outdoor siting. rev 7/2018

'Flirty Girl' PP27307   those leaves   closer on those flowers  amiable and easy to talk to but always working an angle, her dangle earrings sparkling in the dim light. This is a nicely shrubby, semi-cane stemmed type with large, soft green angel-wing leaves overlaid with silvery white, then overlaid again with rosy to magenta pink, depending on conditions. Flowers are small but very nice and very pretty in (light) pink to bright magenta (again, conditions!). Seems to be short-day flower initiation from what we've seen so far. A decently vigorous variety, she reaches about 18-24" tall by 2' wide. Tender, best in containers on your porch, patio or indoors, else use as a seasonal garden item unless you are close to USDA zone 10. rev 12/2018

foliosa    FUCHSIA BEGONIA   charming flowers   typical plant, downtown Santa Cruz   high light, low water, Watsonville   Monterey? San Francisco?   small, oval leaves closely set with skeins of deep salmon pink to fuchsia red flowers hanging below the stem. The common name is apt. This is a cane-stemmed type, which is easy to overlook in smaller plants because of that dense, fine-textured foliage. Most cane-stemmed types have larger, angel-wing type foliage. Then you find stumble on one with vertical canes that reach the eves of a house .  .  .  That was in Aptos, near the beach, at Mrs. Anderson's house. It was a vertical column of coral pink flowers in cascading sprays, against neat, glossy, dark green leaves. Resets your concept of the plant if you've only seen it in smaller containers. Usually you'll see it cut back and rounded and covered with flowers. But if you get the chance and have the room, let it stretch up, it can be even more magnificent. Part sun, average water, appreciates overhead protection in winter to limit how cold and wet its roots stay. Needs frost protection of course, and even so when young and before it has developed a substantial root system it shows some tendency to act like B. boliviensis and go dormant during winter.. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16-17/21-24 but happiest in cooler, moister situations, whatever it is you have to do to get there. rev 5/2020

miniata red   red up close    the red version of the already incomparable pink form, slightly bigger in scale and slightly faster/taller. The fuchsia-like flowers begin in spring and last until it gets cold and crummy - November?  No reason to suspect that this one won't do the same except it seems just a leeeetle touchier about cold, a little more brittle, and both of those qualities suggest it is probably a hybrid. Mostly sun (very cool, very much fog) to mostly shade (summers hot, dry), with regular to infrequent watering. Overhead frost protection in winter is a must outside of frost-free zones, or use as a indoor/outdoor patio plant. USDA 9a/Sunset zones 17, 23-24. rev 5/2020

'Garden Angel Blush'   flower bud peeking     those big, silvery, maple-shaped leaves are sure nice, but the intense magenta pink flowers are worth talking about too. They appear in late summer and last through most of fall. To further impress it's completely garden-hardy down to  .  .  .  USDA ZONE 7 (!!)  Mon dieu! But of course it's fabulous in containers too, after all it's a Begonia. Part sun to full shade, etc. etc.  rev 3/2019

'Gary Hunt'  (formerly "Inland Empire")  along Richard Josephson's pathway    flowers   leaf detail  originally purchased by our grower Jeff Brooks from Lotusland under the name "Inland Empire," we've been informed this has long been confused in the trade with two other similar hybrids, 'Gary Hunt' and 'Ramirez.' From the looks we're guessing ours is 'Gary Hunt.' We no longer propagate it so these notes are for those who purchased it from us previously. Whatever its name this upright, shrubby cane-stem type is a good garden plant, in the ground or in containers. Olive green leaves hang mostly vertically and show deep burgundy reverses, with both sides covered in dense fuzz. Single flowers are white opening from rose pink buds, displayed in branched sprays above the leaves, short-day initiation. Part sun to full shade. USDA zone 9 with protection. rev 2/2020

gehrtii 'Comet'    young leaves  very young 5g    white flowers    my personal favorite in the Begonia Universe. Our first stock plant grew leaves too large to wrap my arms around. As I'm six feet tall, we're talking about that much around at least, the biggest I've ever seen. Mature leaves are glossy and retain most of that crazy brain-like, ultra-crinkled, waffled texture that the new foliage emerges with. Single flowers are white, on short, branched stalks, short days. This cool grower dislikes hot, dry conditions. A great and impressive porch/patio container specimen, indoor/outdoor, or house plant. Or a cool (!) USDA zone 10. Brazil. rev 6/2018

grandis 'Heron's Pirouette'  HARDY BEGONIA  flowers  a deciduous, hardy, cane-stem type, a Japanese species, brought in by Dan Hinkley, grown for the facts that it is hardy and has nice pink flowers. It grows to about 18' tall and begins to flower in May, continuing until frost. It is root hardy to Sunset zone 4/USDA zone 6 at least, but also does well in warmer-winter areas. It will seed or spread by stem bulbils. rev 6/2010

'Grey Feather'  foliage close   foliage mass effect   this is a wonderful foliage variety, tall, fast, durable, with dark blue green leaves accented by bold iridescent silver veins. The leaf-reverses are bright maroon red, foliage hangs neatly at an almost perfectly vertical angle. We've never seen it bloom here, in fact I couldn't even find an image on the Internet, which is telling us something. It is described as clusters of white or light pink flowers but we'll see. Judging from it's vigor and strong, speckled, burgundy canes I expect this could easily reach the eves of your house in a good, frost-protected location. It is a spectacular, dramatic large container plant for your porch, patio or walkway. Otherwise expect 3-6' tall by about as much wide in part sun to full shade, rich, moist soil, average water use but allow to dry a little between irrigations, no hard freezes. USDA zone 9 (with overhead protection). rev 2/2019

'Gryphon'  Molly's plant   cut, maple-shaped leaves with mostly silver between green veins. A good patio container subject, easy and disease free. rev 6/2012

'Harmony's Red Robin II'  juvenile leaves   mature leaves    its very first step! I mean, first flower!    juvenile foliage is black at the base then very glossy ruby red then comes a black edge. In mature leaves the black edge becomes clearly defined and is separated from the red/black centers by a broad silvery zone. Flowers are intense rose pink with showy orange & yellow stigmas/stamens. Rex hybrid. rev 3/2019

'Immense'   cloud of pink flowers   flowers close   big leaves    mature leaf fibers    juvenile fibers   can't get enough of those wild and crazy hairs!   immense, cloud-like spikes of small light pink flowers, immense petioles, immense hairs on the petioles and leaf-reverses, and almost-immense leaf size. Not an immense grower though, staying around 2' tall since the stem crawls along the ground with the leaves above. This rhizomatous type tends to cheerfully defoliate in our unheated greenhouses by the end of winter, resprouting vigorously when temperature begin to warm in spring. That's been a reliable indication it should do fine as an outdoor porch/patio specimen with close-to freezing temps (or lower) as long as it has good overhead protection. Great houseplant too, of course. In either application as it sizes up it becomes a real show-stopper. rev 3/2019

"Inland Empire" see 'Gary Hunt'

‘Irene Nuss’   flowers    Molly's plant   this variety is the showiest of the cane stemmed/angel wing types we have seen, as far as flower show. The bracts are extra large, light pink, turning dark rose pink when exposed to sunlight. They are so nice you almost want to eat them! (hmmm) The leaves are smooth, dark green above, sometimes with a few very faint silver spots, and burgundy red underneath. To 3-4’ or more. Use in part shade to full shade with average watering and protection from frost. This is probably best used in containers, for superior winter drainage, and is one of the very best of all begonias for that application. It mostly stops moving during winter, and certainly can't take any frost. I have been told we are slightly off in our identification of this variety, and I believe it, but I haven't been able to get the definitive replacement name. This is the closest I can get right now. rev 2/2020

'Joe Hayden'    green bronze leaves   a brazen display of dark foliage, definitely not your grandmother's begonia! Neat, dark green leaves stand upright to 12" tall and display the usual dark red bronze reverse. Dramatic is the word! Small pink flowers are produced in sprays in summer. Bright diffuse light to full, medium shade outside, or try it inside as a houseplant. Let the soil surface dry a little between waterings. Protect from cold in winter, we don't know its soil temperature minimum yet. Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10. rev 7/2013

karwinskiana   our stock plant flowering   bat-wing foliage  a real winner! Probably not a valid scientific name, though possibly described-but-not-yet-cited-by-two-authors, as required for inclusion in IPNI. It also apparently is not B. karwinskYana, which does appear. In fact I found only one online reference to this name, at an Ecuadorian nursery website showing leaves of the same plant. Our small, humble stock plant put on a spectacular show of small, rich pink flowers in condensed heads on really tall stalks, displayed well above the foliage. Thick, somewhat iridescent, very dark olive green leaves are angularly lobed, almost bat-wing in overall shape, with a nice, striking chartreuse green eye and typical rich maroon red undersides. This variety probably initiates from either chill and/or short daylength, time will tell. Besides indoor use it's great for  porch/patio containers or in very protected outdoor planting sites in the warmest parts of California. Typical Begonia growing conditions. USDA zone 9 with protection. rev 2/2019

'King Tut'
    single flowers   whorled leaves    intriguing flower stalks   this is a tentative ID for a very easy, rewarding rhizomatous type for containers. It puts on a noteworthy show of enchanting, elegant, single light pink flowers in spring. This is one of the few outside the bedding types that flowers heavily then - most are either ending or just starting. Hairy-scary flower stalks sport diagonal maroon bands and often exceed 18" in height, separating the flower show from the dense mound of shiny, light green, eventually black-margined foliage by 14" or more. A mature front porch specimen might reach 16" by 2' across, but when blooming could top 30" overall. Bright shade to part sun, moist but not saturated, drier in winter, no frost. All zones as porch/patio or indoor/outdoor plant, USDA zone 10 or higher outside when naked and afraid. rev 4/2018

'Lil' Dilly'   hypnotizing leaf color   more golden  nice 2g order   a sport of 'Angel Glow' (!!) found by our grower Raleigh Parrott, this is a charmer - an easy grower and bloomer with glowing light chartreuse to pale golden yellow leaves, up to 4" across and long. The eventually-whorled leaves are often marked with dark color along and across the veins, and around the margin, from the deep burgundy red markings on the reverse. Small light pink flowers are held on stalks above the foliage in early spring and make a great display. An outstanding indoor or porch/patio variety, I suspect it won't like real cold/wet conditions so keep it at least partially protected in winter but it has consistently overwintered just fine for us.  MBN INTRODUCTION-2020  rev 3/2021

'Little Brother Montgomery'   topsides   undersides, backlit   a fast,somewhat relaxed growing rhizomatous hybrid, with star-like leaves zoned deepest maroon with silver, plus red veins for accent. Especially nice bright red color lights up the undersides when hit by shafts of sunlight, definitely better than most and part of its charm. Mature, protected plants can reach over 3' tall by as wide, you'll keep it a little smaller though. Flowers are rose pink/light, held in small branched clusters extending beyond the leaves. Besides making a pretty nice show they're fragrant too. Frost tender, and tends to fall apart in cold, wet, miserable winter weather, but will resprout with warm spring temperatures if not exposed to freezing. rev 4/2019

'Little Darling'  dazzling!  it is a little darling of a plant, only 5-6" tall, forming with dark green leaves neatly marked with lighter patches between the veins. The hairs defining the edge and burgundy undersides just add to the effect. Blush pink to white flowers are produced in open sprays on stalks held above the foliage in spring and make a nice show. Fast, easy, rewarding, and makes a forgiving houseplant for windowsills or terrariums. Also nice as a warm season porch or patio container. Bright light, let soil surface dry a little between waterings, protect from real cold and frost. Outdoors only in the warmest climates and with overhead protection, USDA zone 10/Sunset zones 17-27. rev 7/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'Looking Glass'   definitely silver   a real show stopper, this one, silver leaves with green veins and red underneath. Easy to grow in bright light, loose, well drained soil, and watering when the soil surface dries out. Makes a nice houseplant too. Protect from cold and frost outside Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 9a-10. rev  6/2013-Suzy Brooks 

luxurians  with flower  this is a highly lusted-after species that forms an impressive column of luxuriant (yes!), tropical, almost sinister-appearing foliage, with the deeply cut, palmate leaves reaching over 16" across on mature specimens. It can reach 6-8' or more from mature rhizomes, and grows best in warm, partly shaded conditions with rich, moist soil and regular watering. The dense clusters of yellow and white flowers are very nice and show up in summer, but they are a secondary benefit to the foliage. This is a nice choice for a narrow spot with morning sun, like a porch entry, or is quite effective against a dramatic background (painted wall, bamboo fence, etc.). It is hardier than most realize, behaving much like B. boliviensis by going fall/winter dormant to a large rhizome under cool conditions. But if the soil freezes so will the bulb. The important point is that it is relatively resistant to cold, wet soils. Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9, as a patio, houseplant, or indoor/outdoor anywhere. rev 3/2012

maculata 'Wightii'    upright habit, upright leaves    a compact, very upright grower with closely held upright leaves that are conspicuously, attractively and uniquely marked with big, white polka dots. White flowers peek out in summer. This needs protection from frost and really long, cold, wet winters. It is fabulous as a patio or porch container, indoor/outdoor subject or house plant. To 3-4' tall, more if staked higher. Part sun to full shade, rich, moist soil, regular watering. rev 12/2018

masoniana    closeup     container  IRON CROSS BEGONIA  IRON CROSS BEGONIA  this highly sought-after rhizomatous variety is grown for its strong 5-armed bronze cross in the center of the amazingly textured, jade green to light olive green leaves. The edges are highlighted by rusty red hairs and coloring and each micro-mammose tubercle on the surface has a bronzy hair at the center. The closer you get, the better it looks. Flowers are small, white, in small panicles, and nice, but not the reason for having it. The winner of an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Roots need to stay above about 50F or it dies, so it needs either a minimally heated cold frame or a climate where winter soil temperatures stay above that. In California, that happens mostly only south of LA or inside your house, where it likes high winter light or medium light the rest of the year. To about 10" high and 18" across. China or India. rev 10/2013

'Miss Milly'   furry flowers   leaves and habit   a compact charmer, with dense, small, dark green leaves and dark rose pink/light pink flowers. To maybe 6-12" tall by 12" wide, maybe larger with age. No frost. rev 2/2021

Mocha   see Non Stops, below

'Nokomis'   leaves   flower clusters   cute new leaf    a large-scale angel wing variety with silvery-spotted light green leaves, and flat, light pink flowers in dense clusters. Can be very fast in warm conditions with good root room. To 4-5', more under warm/frost free conditions, with thick, chunky stalks and long internodes. Spring-summer bloom. rev 5/2020

Non Stop   Orange     Rose    Scarlet    White     Yellow  the original compact tuberous hybrid seed strain, still one of the best. Hard primary colors, soft pastels, now against dark foliage, if you'd like. Just the ticket for containers, baskets, window boxes. Flowers from about June until mid or late fall. Part sun to shade, light but rich soil, average watering. rev 7/2014

Mocha    red    attractive dark red to burgundy foliage, flowers in the same range of colors. rev 4/2016

odorata 'Alba'     flowers, leaves    a soft-textured, shrubby fountain of large, lush, shiny green leaves, with sprays of white, slightly fragrant flowers during the warm season. A good choice for a container plant for outdoors, patio or house in morning or dappled sun, or shade. Typical watering/feeding. USDA zone 10/Sunset 17, 23-24. rev 9/2014

paleata    textured leaves   deep, rich green, quilted leaves show reddish veins at maturity. White flowers are held in a small, open cluster atop a tall, slender spike, well above the leaves in winter. This is a low, cold-sensitive, subtropical "shrubby" species, to maybe a foot or two tall and wide, that just glows with rich green color. Good sited in dapples sun or bright shade on your porch, patio or inside. Shade, rich, moist, humusy but well-drained and aerated potting mix, water as needed but let dry between, and never let it stand in water. Brazil rev 8/2017

'Paul Hernandez'   our original stock plant    Strybing entry garden, Roger Raiche    garden of Richard Joseph, Santa Cruz    closer to those flowers   yet another amazing begonia, very maybe the largest one of all! It formed itself in 1981 when Patrick Worley of Kartuz Greenhouses crossed the amazing B. luxurians with the even more amazing B. gehrtii. The plant in the Strybing entry garden reached the eves of the office about 8' tall, and supposedly the old and well-loved local Antonelli Begonia Gardens in Capitola had a specimen about the same size which I somehow missed seeing before it burned up along with their greenhouses. Our original stock plant had massive clusters approaching 2' across, on stems over 2' long, just covered with small white flowers. Those intriguing leaves can reach about 2' long. Other top-notch features are its fabulous leaf texture, nice leaf gloss, interesting stem/rhizome fibers and burgundy leaf coloration on the leaf undersides. This can survive winters to about  outside if kept somewhat dry (container that can be moved, under the eves, elevated position, etc.). Fast, easy, but likes cooler conditions, at least coolish nights, which almost all of California enjoys to some degree. rev 7/2018

'Plum Paisley'  beauty  beautiful new leaves of purple, green, and silver that age to dark plum. About a foot or two tall and wide, a splendid choice for a container in morning sun or bright light all day. Let the soil surface dry between waterings. Try it as a houseplant. Sunset zones 14-24/USDA 10.  rev 7/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'River Nile'  spiral green   just as brilliant green in color as the lime-colored algae mats that grow in warm, shallow water! Corkscrew leaf centers and dark ruffly edges make it even better. With foliage like this you don't even need flowers but you'll get some pink ones anywat. Enjoy it in dappled or bright shade. About 24" tall and wide. Protect from cold. Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 6/2012-Suzy Brooks 

'Soli-Mututa'  SUNTAN BEGONIA  wonderful leaves  a strange name for a strange and very beautiful foliage form. Round, textured leaves of rich olive to bright chartreuse green are dark burgundy-brown between the veins and show red undersides along wavy, upcurled edges. They grow closely nestled against one another to make a really compact package. The top surface of the leaf is most beautiful, being deeply pebbled and quilted then covered with felty red hairs. Plus if you put a penny on the leaf surface, within 10-30 minutes you can see a shadow remaining when it is removed! Magical. Flower are small, white, in small open sprays, on long stalks well above the foliage. Pretty, elegant, classy, but not an overwhelming display. An easy to grow foliage plant for house or patio in bright light. Rhizomatous, and tends to grow out more than up. Protect from and real cold and frost. Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10. rev 7/2013

'Sophie Cecile'  leaves and flowers   a compact angel wing type, with a few silvery spots, maroon brown leaf undersides and deep clear pink flowers. To 2-3' tall at full maturity. rev 1/2013

'Sparks Will Fly'    orange, and more orange   well named for its many tangerine colored flowers exploding out of pale green veined, bronze leaves. About 15-18" tall and wide for hanging baskets or tall pots. Morning sun or bright shade with average watering for bright orange 'sparks' until cold weather. rev 5/2015-Suzy Brooks 

'Torch'  typical plant    flower skeins    closeup   a shrubby Angel Wing in the finest 'Irene Nuss' tradition, but smaller, broader, with more flowers that are smaller in size and just slightly oranger in color. The leaves are a really dark olive green with red reverse. A great grower and bloomer, really first class for containers, porches, well-protected planting sites, etc. Rewarding and easy. rev 10/2011

'Venepi'   amazing foliage   old 5g stock plants, all derived from one Glasshouse Works liner   humble, respectful flower   spring push   according to the ABS this is B. venosa x epipsila. It's also described as a "shrub," but not around here - a low foliage plant only. Maybe in Hanalei? The leaf reverses must be the brightest red of anything we've grown, truly amazing. Flowers are small, white and humble, start appearing in spring. A spectacular container variety, display it high so we can appreciate that incredible red. rev 1/2020

'White Dove'  blooming   white flowers against dark olive green leaves, with burgundy leaves. Low, slow, nicely fuzzy. rev 4/2010

'Wild Pony'  swirls   very attractive leaves with a swirl on both sides of the stem, dark veins looking like deltas on a green map. Some lively foliage for the patio, deck, or even indoors, growing about 12-15" tall and wide. Summer time flowers are white. Regular watering, bright light, and well drained soil will make it happy. Shelter from frost outside of Sunset zones 17-27/USDA 10. rev 5/2013-Suzy Brooks 

Bellium minutum   MINATURE ENGLISH DAISY  nice container plant   an ultra-compact, cheery little green mat of very dense foliage topped by miniature white daisies sporting bright yellow centers. Use it in between stepping stones, tucked into small places in rock walls or mounds, or featured in small containers or combined with similar growers. Frost hardy and deciduous to USDA zone 5, usually evergreen here in our zone 9. Northeastern Mediterranean. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 1/2018

Berberis   a large genus, with roughly 500 species of woody shrubs when distinguished from Mahonia by being single leaved (actually unifoliolate) versus pinnate. Distributed worldwide in temperate and subtropical climates except for Australia, highest diversity is found in Asia and South America. All our California native barberries are pinnate-leaved Mahonias. Berberidaceae. Horticultural varieties almost all have spines. Flowers are yellow or orangerev 10/2020

darwinii  flowers    habit    clipped  evergreen shrub to 8’ tall and wide with small, spiny dark green leaves and conspicuous terminal clusters of small, bright orange yellow flowers from spring through fall. Sets heavy crops of ornamental blue black berries. This plant makes an excellent companion plant for California natives such as  Ceanothus and manzanitas. It tends towards an open, arching habit, and attempts to keep its shape too regular or dense are doomed to defeat. Sun to part shade, little or no summer watering when established, hardy to 10°F. Chile, Argentina. Berberidaceae. USDA zone 7. rev 5/2018

thunbergii  JAPANESE BARBERRY  thorny deciduous shrubs valued for their thorns, leaf color (some forms), wonderful red orange fall color, deep red ornamental berries that remain on intricate, bare branches in winter, and growth habit and form. All are frost hardy enough for all of California. It is almost always seen here as one of its selected forms:

‘Crimson Pygmy’  DWARF PURPLE LEAF BARBERRY  flowers    fall color closeup    fall color  habit  deciduous shrub to 2’ tall and wide bears dark reddish foliage in spring and summer, turning beautiful red orange in fall. Will grow in shade, but color is darkest in sun. Fall color is often a little lighter and more luminous with a bit of shade, though. Average to little summer watering. Frost hardy. Excellent in containers or for bonsai. USDA zone 8. rev 5/25018

'Orange Rocket' PP18411  against 'Orange Torch'  all dark red color, matches the edge-highlights of 'Orange Torch' but no yellow leaves showing at all except where fully shaded from all direct sunlight. Upright stems spread slightly to the sides, to about 4-5' tall by 3-4' wide. Part of the Sunset Program. rev 6/2019

'Orange Torch' PPAF   mature-plant foliage color, June    first-year foliage color, June   very wonderful, a short, compact brilliantly noticeable column of golden orange with red stems and orange red tones flushed across swaths of the foliage. To about 3-5' tall, 2-3' wide. Color is more chartreuse in shade, deeper golden orange in full light or with cool weather. When true chill arrives. USDA zone 5. rev 6/2019

‘Rose Glow’  planted    foliage close up  to 6’ tall, 7’ wide, with dark burgundy leaves irregularly streaked with light pink. Excellent fall color. Best foliage color in full sun. USDA zone 8. rev 5/2018

Bergenia clumping perennials native to Eastern Asia. Useful for foliage and flowers. They're all mixed up in the trade, see B. crassifolia, below. Saxifragaceae. rev 8/2017

cordifolia  foliage  upright, rounded leaves, flowers spring through fall. Often mislabeled and/or misidentified, see B. crassifolia below. rev 8/2017

crassifolia (x schmidtii?)  WINTER BERGENIA  closeup    untended patch   this is a great plant! This is the really ubiquitous, colorful, lavender pink Bergenia we see blooming heavily and continuously all over yards during fall, winter, and spring, from at least Portland all the way down through San Diego. I suspect what we are seeing is actualy a hybrid called B. x schmidtii, because I have seen it labeled as such at Strybing Arboretum. In support of that "hybrid" theory I never seen it set seed. I had wanted to sell it for years, but could never find the genuine article, so eventually I just peeled up a patch from my own back yard and started working up the numbers. Some vendors say they list this, but the whole issue is completely and hopelessly confused in the trade. What is really offered is always B. cordifolia in its various selections. That is an okay plant, but clearly inferior for much of the West Coast to this, the genuine article. They are easy to tell apart, since B. cordifolia is a chunkier plant that blooms only in spring and summer, and it almost always sets seed. The real deal blooms reliably through our often continuously cold, wet, soggy winter weather, and generally brings cheer and color when little else in the garden. sterile. It is drought tolerant enough to thrive along the coast with no summer watering, and will expand slowly by extending coarse, above-ground stems to form large colonies in old heirloom gardens when undisturbed. Divisions have been passed over back fences for generations. It grows to about 12" tall and spreads at a slow to moderate pace. Full sun to mostly shade, not picky about soil, very drought tolerant. Incredibly, snails and slugs mostly leave it alone, which is probably why there is so much of it. Limited quantities, always! Buy it when you see it available. Bloom time is usually September-October through April but flowers can initiate on mature rosettes at any time of year given enough time at ~50F temps with any amount of daylight. Frost hardy to Sunset zone 5 or lower/USDA zone 8b. rev 8/2017

'Harzkristall'  (not currently in production)  PIG SQUEAK  flowering   from the sound it makes when you rub the leaf with your fingers. Try it! It's a cute little grunting noise. This easy to grow perennial forms clumps of dark green, leathery leaves edged in red and blooms in early summer. The flowers are white with a bit of pink, more color in shade. Growing about 12" tall. Takes sun or shade. Likes well drained soil but will do with less. Average watering. Sunset zones 1-9, 12-24/USDA 5. rev 7/2013-Suzy Brooks

'Winter Glow' (not currently in production) PIGSQUEAK  just lush foliage for now   you have to have this just so you can tell people that you have Pigsqueak in the garden, especially as the parting word! Thick, rounded, wonderful green leaves, it gets its name from the noise it makes when you rub your fingers on them. Low maintenance, carefree, evergreen perennial for some sun or shade. The 'Winter Glow' is from the reddish bronzey colors it turns in fall and winter. It also sends up thick, stout stems of reddish pink flowers in early spring, one of the first to cut for bouquets. A big, bold texture to add to the garden or containers. About 12-15" tall and slowly clumping. Sun or shade, moist or dry soil. Sunset zones 1-9, 12-24/USDA 3. rev 7/2011-Suzy Brooks

Berzelia lanuginosa  BUTTONBUSH    new stems   covered in flower buds    those buds, close   those pods   this outstanding shrub features soft, wonderfully tiny, needle-like bright, bright green leaves closely hugging its whipcord stems. Miniature ball-like flower buds in terminal spikes cover the plant, opening to clusters of brushy, creamy white flowers in late winter and early spring. The resulting round seed pods enlarge and are retained for 1-2 years below on older wood. This plant always attracts attention for its lush green foliage, buds, pods or all at once. To 4-6' tall and wide, full to part sun, needs at least intermittent dry-season watering as well as non-alkaline soils, will tolerate always-moist sites. It performs very well as a cut product and is often seen in mixed boquets as stems with buds, pods or both, as well as a pure foliage filler. Damaged below about 25F, USDA zone 9. Endemic to the Cape South Africa. Bruniaceae. rev 11/2018 

Beschorneria  evergreen, perennial, yucca-like or agave-like plants, forming rosettes of soft and unarmed foliage, which makes them immensely useful in landscapes. You get that dramatic form and useful focal-point effect without the hassle of trying to weed around the spines or worry about children playing near it. All species have reddish flower spikes and bloom annually to every few years, then the rosettes which flowered are replaced by pups which will sprout from its base. None are very frost hardy, and crowns likely die somewhere between 20-25F. USDA zone 9, 8 with protection. Asparagaceae. rev 8/2017

albiflora  UC Berkeley Botanic Garden     this species looks very much like a lush Agave, with its soft, green, flat, basal leaves spread wide to 2-3' across. It gets 1-2' tall, and much wider and taller in warm, humid, more tropical climates. Its showy, dark raspberry-coral flower spike stem emerges after the rosette is several years old. This tall, robust, often heavily branched structure bears long, pendant, tubular greenish-white flowers that might be the showiest of the genus. They slowly open over many months, providing a very long season of color. When the parent rosette has finished flowering cut off the declining spike but otherwise leave it alone until the replacement pups appear, after which the old top can be removed entirely. Central America. rev 9/2017

wrightii   nice clump at Strybing  a smaller-scale species, with very narrow, grassy, succulent, upright, medium green foliage, and bearing bright coral red stalks to 4-5' tall in late spring and early summer. This is more discrete and easier to site in the landscape than B. yuccoides, which needs some room for its tall, lax leaves. USDA zone 9. rev 4/2021

yuccoides  commercial landscape    flowers closeup a larger form, with greyish green, slightly glaucous foliage, and robust shiny coral red flower stalks to 6-8' tall. Hardy to at least 25F without damage, possibly surviving 20F, and grown by a few gardeners in USDA zone 8 (Portland!). rev 8/2017

'Flamingo'  first leaves  another useful form of an already useful plant (easy to grow, relatively hardy, drought tolerant,  looks like an Agave but soft and no thorns!). This new intro has a broad creamy white center leaf stripe that makes an arguably nicer backdrop for its eventual primary showy feature, which is the coral pink flower spike. I don't know yet if it will leaf-scorch in the really bright, furnace-like summer areas. rev 8/2017

Bidens ferulifolia 'Sun Drop' (not currently in production)   flowers   a powerhouse dome of larger than usual deep golden yellow flowers against compact, ferny green  foliage. To just 10-12" tall by 16-18" wide, flowering from spring through mid fall. Southwestern US. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 3/2014

triplinervia 'Hawaiian Flare' series   (not currently in production)   Orange Drop    Orange Yellow Brush    Red Drop  the first Bidens that are not yellow! Also not growing as the usual compact, tidy little mound, these fast sprawlers go to 2-3' wide, and are open until trimmed back, when they break from the nodes to fill in nicely. The first thing you notice with this one is the distinctive bronzy plus bluish cast to the leaves against their dark stems. Then when the flowers emerge you see the striking banded zones of color near the center. These are good for groundcovers, as hanging baskets, or spilling over the edge of containers or down walls. They would complement Agaves and other blue or grey-toned succulents well because of the foliage color and dark stems. Reblooms and is self cleaning. Sun, water when the soil surface is dry, hardy to around 25F so treat as an annual outside Sunset zones 8-9, 12-24/USDA 9. rev 5/2014

Blackberry (Rubus sp.)  we are offering a variety of new and improved varieties from various university breeding programs, offering sweeter, larger fruit and heavier crops. Our nativeCalifornia wild blackberry (R. ursinus, three leaflets, thin stems, tiny thorns), produces a single light crop in early June of narrow, rather small black fruit with intense flavored but only mild sweetness. Its relative, the giant-leaved, overwhelmingly vigorous Himalayan invader (R armeniacus, five leaflets, thick stems, big thorns) which is usually what you'll find in roadside verges, starts about a month later (starting midsummer) and bears heavy crops of jet-black fruit which become very sweet but are actually almost completely lacking in berry-essence flavor. For all varieties grow in full sun, average to rich soil, moderate summer watering, frost hardy. For most varieties, cool temperatures of fall and early winter will initiate flower buds, which wait to develop with the warmth and longer days of the following spring. After stems have borne fruit leave until winter, then cut back completely to the ground. Give all as much sun as possible, as rich a soil or planting mix as possible, average to good drainage and regular (new) to infrequent or moderate irrigation (established). USDA zone 6/Sunset zones 1-24. Rosaceae. rev 11/2018

'Apache'   getting close  this previously-patented variety breaks the mold for thornless berries, not only vigorous and fast growing but with loads of large fruit! About 4-6' tall, train against a fence or grow it in a pot with cane-support. Clusters of big, sweet, deep black berries in summer that you can pick in the morning for breakfast and nibble on while watering the garden.  rev 11/2018-Suzy Brooks

'Baby' Cakes®  PP27032   a Bushel and Berry® party member, it brings game with its semidwarf habit, thornless canes (yay!), big, showy white flowers, really big really sweet really tasty black berries on looooong pendant stems (and usually two crops per year - double yay!), and a relatively low chill requirement. Targeted towards container applications, which is new ground for blackberries. rev 12/2018

'Boysenberry'   ripening berries    a  hybrid of uncertain parentage, first found by Ralph Boysen of Napa in 1923. This long, dark maroon-black fruit is reportedly a cross of a hexaploid dewberry/loganberry parent and a blackberry, or a raspberry, or one then the other, or maybe neither. It is grown for its unmatched, intense wild berry flavor but is usually only marginally sweet enough to eat fresh. When cooked into pies, made into jam or just by adding sugar to fresh fruit, the sweet/sour ratio improves and this variety truly shines. Eating fully-ripe boysenberries is the closest you will come to enjoying our native California blackberry (see above). rev 8/2014

'Marion'    the standard of blackberry excellence all others are measured against, rich, intense flavor and properly sweet when fully ripe. Old variety, reliable, still relevant and competitive with all the newfangled newcomers. rev 12/2018

'Natchez' PP 20,891 (not currently in production)  very sweet!   from the University of Arkansas, this is a thornless, summer fruiting, upright to semi-upright plant that is adaptable to most well drained soils and is disease resistant. Produces large, dark, tasty berries the year after planting.  This one does not require trellising, but can be a free-standing plant. Makes a wonderful container plant and a good reason to buy that obelisk to grow it on. Likes well drained soil on the acid side, regular watering, and sun. rev 5/2011

'Olallie'  (not currently in production)  big flowers first!   from these big flowers come those big, firm, wonderfullyw sweet, intensely-flavored berries, one third raspberry, two thirds blackberry. rev 11/2018

Prime Series  new varieties bred and developed by the University of Arkansas which will bear fruit right away on first-year canes, instead of having to mature and vernalize (chill over winter) like traditional varieties. These have excellent, heavy yields, especially in areas with cooler summers such as coastal California and the nearby inland valleys, or the Pacific Northwest. Quality in trial grows in all areas was excellent, and in California berries were usually 7-9 grams (big!!). Besides the obvious advantage of bigger-better-faster fruit, these also bear over a longer season, lagging older traditional-cane varieties only in commercial storage qualities. For culture, if some old canes are left they also will bear early season fruit from canes growing from undeveloped buds near the base. Early plantings can result in a June harvest with another crop in August. Second-year canes produce also, resulting in heavy crops and often steady, intermittent bearing. If desired you can mow your plants to the ground annually, though you will lose the fruit from late canes which didn't mature and bear before going dormant. rev 11/2018

'Prim-Ark 45'  PP 22,449    big, sweet, early and often. rev 11/2018
'Prime-Ark Freedom' PPAF  thornless - honest!    big, sweet, prolific, early and often - and thornless! rev 2/2019
'Prime-Jan' 15,788  (no longer in production)  berries  one of the first varieties released, now superseded by later developments. rev 11/2018

'Thornless Boysenberry'   all the sweet-tart, fragrant, berry goodness without the suspense of thorns! Needs support, so create a trellis in full sun, plants can get 5-6' or more tall and wide. Nothing like a fresh berry on vanilla ice cream in summer! Regular watering. Sunset zones 2-24/USDA 5. rev 4/2013-Suzy Brooks 

Blechnum  a genus of evergreen ferns, creeping or developing short trunks. Many are very nice but there are few species grown. Almost all are relatively tender. Some are colonizing, some are solitary and often form short trunks for a minature tree fern look. Blechnaceae. rev 8/201

brasiliense  BRAZILIAN TREE FERN  fronds  a striking, formal looking, mostly solitary, rosette-forming species that can develop a short trunk with age. It is most recognizable by its deep bronze-red new fronds, which are produced in flushes, which age to a glossy dark green. The simply cut sword-like fronds reach about 2' and are usually rather upright, forming a shuttlecock or vase shape and getting to about 5' tall. It needs frost protection and should be sited where it won't get a severe freeze if possible (below 28F) but I have also seen references that it will actually tolerate much lower temps (close to 20F) and that it is simply facultatively deciduous. Not having had the chance to actually kill it myself yet I am reluctant to say. It makes a superb container plant and is tough enough for commercial landscapes, malls, etc. Brazil. Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9. rev 6/2019

'Cristata'   silly young fronds    pinnate blades are branched, forked and crested, a frivolous study in frolicking frond frilliness. Habit is more compact, new growth is bright green not bronzy like the regular form of this species and it doesn't really extend its trunk at all. USDA zone 9a, protect from any hard freezes. rev 6/2019

'Volcano'   mo' betta, mo' redder. Yes but only starting in the second year, which most websites won't tell you because they're just parroting what they read on whatever the first search result page said. But then that's why you're here!! Very nice, same spec's, same conditions. rev 2/2018

chilense   CHILEAN HARDY FERN, COSTILLA DE VACA ("cow's rib")   nice commercial container   Strybing Primtive Plant Garden, with fertile fronds    fertile frond  a dramatic, imposing, premium, slow-growing, creeping/clumping species for landscapes or large containers, bearing long, arching, broad, cut, sword-like fronds. Those wonderful leaves can reach 5' (very cool but not really cold, very shady, very wet!) but are usually more like 2-3' long under California conditions. When new they emerge a beautiful, outrageously shiny, coppery red color, then age to very dark green as they mature. Fertile fronds are quite different, being very narrow, with short, narrow leaflets, and growing vertically from the center of each mature rosette in summer. This species can eventually form large specimens or stands in favored sites, expanding slowly by robust underground rhizomes. Part sun to full, deep shade, humusy, organic soils, average fern watering but surprisingly drought tolerant when established by virtue of their tough leaf texture and thick, flesh rhizomes. Chile, Argentina, Juan Fernandez Island. rev 10-20208/2016

gibbum  DWARF TREE FERN  Marty's Paradise Park yard, guarded by Mattie   another angle  very slowly forms a short trunk to 3-4’ tall. The narrow, sword-like, sterile evergreen fronds have long, very narrow pinnae (leaflets) that are not divided. New growth emerges pink. Fertile fronds are finer and more vertical. Shade, average watering, protect from severe freezes. While usually listed as "frost tender" there are some who claim it is rather frost tolerant, merely shedding its fronds in all but the coldest of USDA zone 9 (Sunset zones 8-9, 15-24). It remains evergreen if it has any overhead protection at all. Excellent in containers or protected landscape situations. Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9. New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Fiji. rev 9/2009

‘Silver Lady’  fronds   Sea World   an especially vigorous, large form. About twice the scale of the regular species. I don't see anything silver about it. rev 11/2007

occidentale   Strybing Arboretum new growth   my redwood forest new growth   Karl's yard   more new growth look   more Karl's yard   a very choice short, spreading fern, to about 12" tall in our climate, with clean fronds deeply cut with narrow leaflets. It runs slowly by short underground stolons to form dense carpets and clumps of dark green foliage as a solid, weed-smothering groundcover in shade or part sun. Its best feature is its wonderfully showy coral pink new growth, produced heaviest in spring and fall, or other time of year it experiences cool, moist weather. It will do well anywhere it has shade, good soil, at least infrequent watering and room to move. It is frost hardy to around 20F and can resprout from the roots with lower temps. It makes a great, tidy container plant and even a good houseplant if you can keep the relative humidity high enough (bathroom, kitchen, etc.). Good stands can be seen at  Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco, across the bay at the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden and in Karl Dobler's epic and storied botanic garden I mean yard in Ventura. Widely distributed in the warmer parts of the Western Hemisphere, ranging from Hawaii to the Gulf Coast, Caribbean and South America to northern Argentina and Chile. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 15-17, 21-24. rev 4/2019

penna-marina   ALPINE WATER FERN  dark green leaves   a small-textured, evergreen groundcover fern, spreading moderately quickly by rhizomes to form a dense carpet of dark green, upright leaves to 6-8" tall. Delightful between pavers, near your after-commute meditation pond (you do have one, don't you?), or in dappled shade under shrubs and trees. It looks really nice in containers with rocks or small logs - or hey maybe a nice hunk of petrified wood! New growth emerges salmon pink to bronze and matures to dark green. In more sun it needs regular watering but will take moderately dry shade well once established. Original wild-strain selections were famous for requiring cool (but not too cold) climates, and needing moist, gritty, humusy soil mixes. With many generations of domestication selection it is now a much easier subject for warmer, drier climates. USDA zone 7/Sunset 5-6, 14-17, 23-24. rev 8/2015

spicant  DEER TONGUE FERN    Henry Cowell Redwoods, southernmost known plant    shade commercial landscape     sun commercial landscape    blue leaf color in deep shade   a small to medium size rosetting to slowly clumping native species found in California growing primarily with redwoods in areas with cooler air and moister soils or marginal streamside locations. It is not as drought tolerant as either Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) or Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata) but it does well in shaded sites with infrequent but regular irrigation. In cool, humid, favored locations near the coast north of Mendocino (northwestern California) with longer wet seasons and higher rainfall totals I have whole forests of mini-tree ferns that have developed short trunks of 1-2', meaning the 4' fronds reached about my height of 6'. Inland or south it is always smaller and more compact, often 18-24" tall and wide. However the southernmost-know specimen in California, growing along a trickle/seep in Henry Cowell SP (see image above) is about 3' tall by 5' wide, displays fronds to 30-36" long and also has a short trunk. In very deep shade this is yet another fern which develops a distinct bluish sheen, reportedly an adaptation to capturing photons under very low light levels. It likes acidic, mineral, moist yet well drained soil, or some root-access to dependable deep moisture (thus its "drought tolerance") and tolerates deep shade. Keep this out of almost all direct sunlight and water well until fully established if it is expected to tolerate any dry-summer conditions. This plant has a curiously split distribution across the Northern Hemisphere, with wide gaps across most of North America and the whole of continental Asia. Japan has one population, possibly linked to our second Alaskan/West Coast population and a third European population ranges from Iceland (!) and Scandinavia south through Europe into Iran and Syria (!!), Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco (!!!) as well as the Madeira, Canary and Azore Islands (!!!!). A classification change to Struthiopteris has been proposed. rev 7/2020

Blueberry     NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY   modern varieties are much easier to grow than the old high-chill Northern types, being either improved or reselected Northern types (V. corymbosum) or Southern Highbush varieties, hybrids involving native Southern species. Most sold today are reliable, tough, bear more heavily and reliably and often need little chill. Most berries available in California markets today are varieties like these, successfully farmed in the hot, middle sections of the Central Valley or even Mexico at low to high elevation. Hybrid flavor now approaches that of the best traditional Northern types. In many California climates plants can bear from late spring through late summer, depending on the variety, microclimate and the particular year, often with a few fruit available almost all year. Coastal plantings of many varieties can be almost everbearing, with new growth initiating flowers with every cool spell, sometimes right through warm winters. All need mostly sun, rich, acid soil (plant with lots of peat moss - 50% of a planting hole as big as you can dig, plus a couple of cups of soil  sulfur) and regular watering, though a few can take much drier conditions and Southern types won't need or sometimes even tolerate the almost boggy conditions necessary for older Northern types. The most important factor is soil pH, which has to be between 4 and 5 for them to grow right and can take 4-6 months to fall to optimum levels as the sulfur does its job. Heavy textured soils will likely take more acidification than you first realize, due to greater density and surface area. Another important factor is that they need a thick surface mulch, since the roots will only grow a couple of inches down and they easily overheat. Over time the pH will tend to drift up (more alkaline) as the buffering capacity of the soil begins to kick in and minerals begin to decompose in the higher acidity and neutralize it. Also, all city water supplies are limed to prevent corrosion of pipes and this alkalinity accumulates in the soil from evaporation. So if your plants start looking sad, most likely more acidity is in order. If you are growing organically, you will need to use water treated with citric or acetic (vinegar) acid on a regular basis. Experimental plantings into pure organic matter (wood waste, peat moss) have done very well.

     They DON'T like strong nitrogen fertilizer ever, but they respond well to feeding and you can feed them after they are established with regular light applications beginning about April. End your feeding in July or August to minimize Lilac Blight, a bacterial branch disease (Pseudomonas bacteria) that causes early spring stem dieback problems. Also, excess nitrogen will lower bearing on mature, established plants. Plant from 2 1/2 - 6' apart, with rows from 4-6' apart, or use as single specimens, but plant as multiples because most are not self fertile and will need another variety nearby for adequate fruit set. They will greatly appreciate thick, coarse mulch over the top except right against the base, and mounding the rows slightly is usually recommended. Watering is best as sprinkling or surface application that thoroughly wets the mulch. Plants bear on young branches produced the previous year, so thin out the dense twiggy growth to about 5 major branches every year in order to flush new growth. If you are having problems with plant vigor, they probably will trace back to too-high soil pH or inadequate watering. A wonderful feature of many varieties is their outstanding fall color, hot, luminous reds, pinks, and oranges that really light up with fall rains. Then most offer striking coral red stems in winter. Even those without striking fall color at least get smoky wine red leaves with a glaucous cast in cool weather. Plant them where you can see them through your window. In mild winters expect them to hold quite a bit of foliage until they releaf in spring. Temperatures in the mid twenties will cause plants to abort flowers and fruit. All these varieties have excellent flavor. rev 1/201

'Biloxi'   January crop!!    a very heavy bearing hybrid with excellent flavor. Considered "no-chill," with excellent commercial production even in very warm tropical or subtropical conditions (Mexico from 1000' elevation and higher). My guess is that it might just initiate at very warm "cool" temps (maybe ~60F vs. the usual 40-55F?) under daylight skies, or have a very low threshold in the normal temperature range. It definitely does very poorly with any below-freezing cold, with friut production dropping off noticeably. Very dense habit, covered with flowers and berries all year here at our nursery, including all winter. Best planted with other varieties for better pollination. rev 2/2019

'Blueberry' Glaze® PP25467     part of the Bushel and Berry® program, this is a very compact, dense, small-leaved hybrid that should top out at around 2-3'. It is highly self-fertile, and bears dark blue fruit with a nice "wild-berry" character. Growth is upright, dense, with an appearance much like boxwood. It is far better as a featured container plant than as a garden-production variety. USDA zone 5. rev 12/2018

'Bluecrop'   fruit   an easy, forgiving Northern type, possibly the best tasting blueberry generally available, as well as being a very heavy bearing, mostly self-pollinating producer. Berries are big, hold well (don't abort or drop immediately when ripe), and skins don't split, which is a really valuable trait if you have the high day-night temperature differences and large humidity swings we experience throughout California. Adaptable and easy to grow, it needs more chill than Southern types, perhaps 400-800 hours depending on how you calculate. However it certainly does fine in the cooler-summer coastal and Bay Area climates of Northern California and should be tried anywhere there, plus near the cooler coastal regions of SoCal as well. This variety showed good performance at the Santa Clara County Ag Extension Office trial done by Nancy Garrison. We have seen fruit ripen as soon as early February here at the nursery and it will repeat crops in cool areas. Excellent Northern-style fall color most years, with really hot pinks, reds, oranges and gold. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 12/2019

'Blueray'  (not currently in production)  another storied, self-fertile Northern variety, it can often be grown right along with Southern types as it does so well in hot climates, especially compared to other Northerners. Just remember that as a Northern type it will need more chill, about 800 hours. Berries are large, quite firm, have great Northern flavor, and come in heavy crops.  USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'Emerald'  mid-season bearing, 4-5' tall bush with especially good fall color for a Southern Hybrid variety. Heaviest crops with another variety for cross-pollination. Estimated 150-250 chill hours required but variable. rev 12/2019

'Herbert'  (not currently in production)   Northern type, with huge, dark blue, sweet berries are slightly tart, have a strong blueberry flavor and often reach over an inch across! Too soft for commercial havesting and packing, they make an excellent home variety and have the handy feature of holding well, so they aren't lost to falling as soon as they are ripe. Clusters of these blue treasures appear late mid-season. Low, spreading, to about 3-4' tall and wide. See detailed growing tips on our website. About 650-900 hours chill. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'Jelly Bean'  PP24662    ultra-compact, to just 1-2' tall and targeted towards container applications of course. Bears large, very sweet fruit it in summer. rev 12/2019

'Jewel'   the leading California commercial variety, most production coming from our Central Valley. Vigorous, heavy-producing, with large, light blue berries are full of tangy flavor and anti-oxidants, grow on an upright plant to 5-6' tall and  4-5' wide. Adaptable to different soils, with a vigorous growth, and high yields of quality fruit. A Southern hybrid from the University of Florida breeding program, it is an early to mid-season ripener and should be planted with other varieties for best fruit production. ~200-300 hours chill. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 11/2019

'Jubilee'    fruit    upright, fast, hard berries, a regular producer. From the USDA breeding program, a Southern hybrid midseason variety with a  reputation as a good producer in less than perfect conditions. Has a tight habit, tends to produce two crops, fruit is supposed to keep well. Wonderful fall color, 500-700 hours chill. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'Legacy'   a Northern variety, a little larger growing (to 4-6' tall) with an upright habit. Large (first crops) to medium sized berries (later crops) have excellent flavor, often rated highly among its Northern peers. Plants are slower to come into mature bearing quantities but crops tend to be heavy afterwards. Fruit hold well after ripening and resist spoiling after picking. Fall color is excellent hot to deep red but only in cold areas - in much of California color is light and leaves remain through winter. Supposedly needs high chill (700-800 hours) but generally does fine here at our nursery. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 12/2019

'Misty'    fruit    an early Southern hybrid variety of narrow, upright habit and great vigor. Does well coastal or inland and has an extended production season. Chill requirement may be as low as 150 hours. Prune heavily to remove old annual wood and lessen overproduction. Commercial growers use trellises on this variety. No real fall color, but this variety has wonderful, very blue foliage. This variety did very well at a trial at the Santa Clara County Ag Extension office. We have seen fruit ripen in early February here on the Central Coast. The berries have a rich blueberry flavor. Reluctant fall color, often evergreen in mild winters. Better vigor in warm or hot-summer climates, this is one that tends to struggle here in our almost-always cool climate, in containers or in the ground. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'O'Neal'    fruit   5' tall container plant   what hasn't been picked yet    flowers   probably the earliest variety, a robust, fast grower. Considered by some to have the best flavor of any of the Southern Highbush types, described at least once as "terrific." I like it, and tasted some of the fruit from the 5' plant pictured, growing in my friend Clark's yard. Fruit is medium dark blue, medium large, on bushes to about 4-5' tall. A very early ripener with chill requirement stated to be 4-500 hours, I believe the story is different: it wants cool mornings without sunlight on its branches, and if you give it that you can grow it in very warm-winter climates. Has nice pink flowers, and great fall color too; purple bronze then bright scarlet red and hot orange over yellow. Local home grower Jerry Stanhoff reports this to be a continuous summer bearer for him, at 800' in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with "great" fruit that are greedily scavenged by his wife and kids before he gets almost any. We see fruit ripening here as soon as January, even after hard freezes. You gotta like that! USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 12/2019

'Peach' Sorbet®  PP23325   tasty blue berries with multicolored foliage often green, peachy pink, orange and purple all at the same time. Very compact growth, rounded shape and an evergreen habit. Just 18-24" tall and of course ultra-compact. Leaves turn a deep, rich eggplant purple in cool winter conditions. Low chill requirement. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 12/2019

'Perpetua'  PP24209   large, dense clusters of delicious berries are produced twice a year. Reportedly needs 1000 hours of chill but we estimate less. Definitely lacking in vigor here at our nursery after our very mild recent winters though. Self-fertile, to about 4' tall. Very strong red to purplish fall/winter leaf color usually holds until new leaves push in spring. rev 12/2019

'Pink' Icing® PP23336   large, blue berries, ultra-compact growth along with showy, bright pink new growth that turns turquoise-blue-green in winter. To about 2-3' tall, eventually larger but always tight and compact. Moderate chill requirement. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019
'Pink Lemonade'   spring fruit     summer fruit   deep pink through dark coral red berries, all the rage. Just imagine them mixed with blue berrires, sprinkled over any summer dessert, like cream cheese fruit tart, or cheesecake, or over vanilla ice cream with brandied cherries (apricots!!), or just pitched into a simple fruit salad. Are you ready to buy, or do I keep on going until you give up? Orange red fall color is a bonus. Suitable for both Southern and Northern California. A fast, larger grower, upright habit, to 4-5' tall (or more) and about as wide. Only needs about 150 hours of chill. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 10/2019

'Pink Popcorn' PPAF   a Northern variety released by the University of Minnesota. Bears fruit that are light lavender pink to salmon pink at maturity. The very crisp texture inspired the popcorn allusion, and the flavor is reportedly as good as the best Northern types, considered the standard of excellence. It's also valuable for its intense Northern-style hot pink, gold, orange and fiery red fall color. For the only variety hardy to USDA zone 4 this breaks dormancy reliably in spite of our almost-always warm winters, probably because they are constantly exposed to chill + daylight in our climate, regardless of season. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'Sharpblue'  (not currently in production)  fruit  early, really vigorous (up to 6' if very happy), adaptable Northern type. Has a reputation for taking soils ranging from clay to light sand. The fruit is very large but must be picked frequently in hot weather or it will overripen. This one has almost no chilling requirement. is almost everbearing on the coast or in Southern California. It did very well at a trial at Nancy Garrison's Santa Clara County Ag Extension field trial. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'Southmoon'  fruit   a good variety for California, with the main crop ripening around the end of May. Very productive, with large, beautiful berries. It only seems to need about 500 hours winter chill. Especially good on sandy or well amended soils. Modest fall color, and then only with extended cold weather. USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

'Star'    large to very large medium blue berries, very sweet, light acidity. Early ripening, and flowers and bears for long periods when grown in climates that experience cool cycles throughout the year, such as almost anywhere in California (besides the desert, and Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys). A University of Florida Southern Highbush hybrid, it grows to about 4-6' tall and wide under California conditions, 6-10' in Florida. Not picky about soil types and more tolerant of drier conditions than many others. Resistant to root rot, Botrysphaera branch blight, mildew and Cardassian Decline. Medium-low chilling requirement, USDA zone 7-9/Sunset zones 4-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019
'Sunshine Blue'  a very compact Southern hybrid to just 2-3' tall, very cold tolerant but also requiring little chill. Very heavy bearing, with strong pink flowers setting large blue fruits almost continuously in cool climates. Fall color is quite good but in warm winter areas plants can bloom almost immediately afterwards, or even during leaf drop. Appears to need some summer heat to thrive, as plants here, both in the ground as well as containers, tend to lack the vigor to reach a convenient height, or sometimes even develop adequate foliage cover. (See 'Misty.')
USDA zone 4-9/Sunset zones 1-8, 14-17. rev 1/2019

Borinda fungosa maroon form  UCSC Arboretum plants    at Brett's house, 2001    another nice clump   wonderful culms  this outstanding clumping species is a reliable medium tall grower with excellent vigor. It forms a dense stand of green to reddish brown culms, each to about 1" thick, and always seems to show a dense canopy of bright to deep green foliage. It grows to about 15-20' tall by about the same wide. It varies from seed and this form is distinguished by its deep maroon colored stems. It is usually readily recognized by its distinctive pendant, terminal foliage. This is one of the nicest clumping varieties because it has a plumose, open habit reminiscent of running types. Before it flowered it was classified as Fargesia. China. 10-15F, estimated Sunset zones 5, 7-9, 14-24/USDA zone 8. rev 9/2010

Boronia a genus of shrubs and subshrubs native to Australia. Relatives of citrus, they have fragrant to strongly scented foliage, often have strongly and pleasant flower fragrance, and are notable for usually very long vase life when cut. Many are important commercial cut flower items. Some are hardy to near 20F, some are tender, and some have peculiar cultural requirements. Rutaceae. rev 5/201

crenulata ‘Shark Bay’  closeup of flowers   at Chris Chaney's    young plant at UC Santa Cruz  a small, compact evergreen shrub to 2-3’ tall, 3-4’ wide, with soft spreading branches bearing dense sprays of neat, oval bright green leaves to 1/4" across. Bears small, star-like pink flowers almost all year, with heaviest bloom from late winter through spring. Part shade, average watering, most soils, including clay with reasonable drainage. Hardy to around 20°F. Very good in containers. This is a great plant that always looks good, blooms its head off, and isn't touchy to grow. Western Australia. UC Santa Cruz. rev 9/2020

 megastigma 'Lutea'  YELLOW BORONIA  flowers    habit    small evergreen shrub to 3’ tall and wide with dense, needle-like leaves and small, pendant bell flowers which are  bright, citron yellow. Intense but light fragrance, like  Freesia or Osmanthus, and can be detected hundreds of feet away when in bloom by those who can detect it at all, which is about three quarters of the population. Excellent cut flower. Blooms in late winter. Sun to part shade, good drainage, average watering. This species is native to sand bogs in Western Australia and experiences winter inundation followed by drying down such that the tips of the roots have access to water far below while the crowns are completely dry. In Australia, it is often planted in a hole about 2-3’ deep which has been lined with plastic. Holes are punched in the walls about halfway down, and the bottom is filled with peat moss, then the plant is planted above. Planting this species in part shade helps extend its life. Western Australia.  rev 1/2013

Bougainvillea   four to 18 species (depending on the author) of tender subtropical evergreen vines and mounding to trailing shrubs. Three species are horticulturally important, B. spectabilis, B. glabra and B. peruviana. All do best with full sun to part shade, infrequent watering and feeding when established, and as little frost as possible. All the colors except ‘B. Karst,’ ‘San Diego Red,’ B. spectabilis are much more tender. South America. Nyctaginaceae. rev 6/2020

‘Barbara Karst’  flowers    more flowers  bright rose red bracts. A very vigorous grower and easily trained, relatively frost hardy. rev 6/2020

'James Walker'  larger overall, size, flower bracts and flowers. Orange juvenile bracts mature to bright rose magenta as they mature. About as hardy as 'B. Karst' (good!) but brings orange into the spectrum of varieties that can be used in colder climates. rev 5/2021

‘San Diego Red’  a nice display    blooming at Christmas on a nice Victorian  deep crimson red, relatively frost hardy. Vigorous, with reddish new growth. The best, hardiest, showiest of the reds. rev 6/2020

 spectabilis  closeup    over a fence    great specimen    violet purple bracts, vigorous growth. Reliable, dependable and the most cold hardy form. A survivor as well as very showy. Trade forms sold under this species name in the US are probably all hybrids and precise identification or classification is difficult. The very commonly garden and landscape form we sell is our favorite because it has shown itself to be a strong grower, is quite cold hardy, flowers heavily and frequently throughout the year, is sterile and probably therefore drops its large, somewhat rounded bracts cleanly before they turn brown. Compared to other competitors for this moniker it also has larger, duller, more rounded leaves, larger thorns, attractive reddish new growth is also slightly lighter in color and a more violet (reddish) purple color. Members of the alternate group are bushier and less vigorous, have a more horizontal, compact, habit, have smaller thorns, glossier leaves and bloom with triangular or pointed bracts in a darker and somewhat bluer purple color. Many and maybe all set seed, which might explain why they all exhibit the primary flaw of not dropping mature bracts before they turn brown. In fact all these other types will hold old unsightly bracts for months and so must be hand-groomed to prevent an unkempt appearance. Most of these darker, bract-retaining types are probably old named varieties which have lost their original identification. They've appeared from us and others under names such as 'Royal Purple,' 'Purple' and 'Very Deep Purple' but those forms are no longer in production with us. rev 6/2020
The largest bougainvillea in all of California, according to what the late, very great Dick "Mr. Western Garden Book" Dunmire of Sunset told me, was a specimen behind an old Victorian house at the intersection of Chestnut and Church streets in downtown Santa Cruz. Dick was a senior editor for Sunset for decades and he especially loved vines. With his encyclopedic knowledge and a deep knowledge of gardens throughout the state, he would be the one to know. This plant  was over 100 years old and extended to the very top of a tall redwood tree that was even older. The combined entity would be covered in purple for a few months each year, probably more often except I wasn't paying attention back then. It was killed to the ground in the record 1990 freeze, when well-vetted temps as low as 17°F were recorded in the downtown area and overnight temps below 25°F persisted for over a week. It sprouted back vigorously sometime well after a second freeze in mid or late March (25°F!) but likely died from exhaustion of stored resources as it sent its energy into the living but irreparably damaged branches above until nothing was left, a very common outcome in the wake of that and other bad freezes. Eventually the city went and tore that wonderful old house down in order to put more parking for itself at City Hall, which now stands on and around the former site of the eye-popping Hihn Mansion.  This fabulous home, built in 1872 and reportedly "the only full Italian Villa in Santa Cruz" had extensive grounds and a botanic garden. The collection was world famous and filled with rare and exotic plants, including the "world's largest rose bush"  (hmmmm  .  .). Certainly this plant was part of that collection, and from online images I recognize what are probably a few other still-extant denizens. Much of the nearby gardens were torn out after the house was demolished (sob!) in 1937 but volunteers sent at least some plants up to the San Francisco for use in the 1939 World's Fair at Treasure Island. Afterwards they all landed somewhere in Golden Gate Park (there's a project!). A few others appear to remain even today, since I recognize them and their placement from online photos. I'll update that here on that topic also when confirmed. Stored away somewhere I have a 35mm slide of that bougainvillea in bloom right to the top, I'll upload it here when I do. It was definitely awe-inspiring. I remember I had to keep backing up to fit the both base and top in the viewfinder frame. When I find my slide we can estimate it's total height. RIP. rev 6/2020
'Torch Glow'   Karl Dobler's slightly impressive TREE    outdoor-colors    our first pillars of iridescent color  the very most pure version of this plant sold under this name, harking back to (I think) an El Modeno plant set aside by the legendary Karl Dobler himself long, long ago. Karl then lovingly tended and carefully preserved in his own yard botanic garden for decades until he so generously recommended taking cuttings from his epic tree (yes tree) in his own botanic-garden-backyard he generously offered us cuttings and finally here they are. This  ultra-compact, ultra-dense form is now one of the hottest trends in plant breeding, the ultimate goal being perfecting similar new colors as miniature indoor and outdoor container plants. Very tough, very drought tolerant, always forgiving, just easy all-around. Same conditions and minimal requirements as the large forms, performing even in mostly shade and under widely different levels of water and soil quality. rev 10/2018

Brachyscome   SWAN RIVER DAISY  annual or perennial herbs or soft-wooded shrubs, between 60 and 80 species distributed across Australia and found in a variety of habitats. The first forms sold here were straight selections of two species, B. multifida and B. melanocarpa, most of the new varieties offered today appear to be hybrids. There is confusion and disagreement on whether this genus should be instead called Brachycome, (no "s"). A motion towards that change was rejected in 1993 by those who referee such nomenclatural issues. Sun to part sun, good drainage, moderate watering, very good in very small containers. Everything I have seen so far comes with yellow-centered flowers. All can be cut back when they appear to be done flowering, most will repeat, especially in cooler-summer areas of our state. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 4/2021

'Brasco Violet'   young 1g   ultra-compact clumps of foliage display a heavy show of 1" wide, bright magenta rose flowers on very narrow stalks above the foliage. Dense, mounding habit to about a foot tall and wide. This appears to be an improved B. melanocarpa or a hybrid derived mostly from  it. Compared to close cousin 'Radiant Magenta,' below, it is about twice as large in all dimensions, leaves, ultimate size, flower size, but is about half as intense in flower color. USDA zone 9. rev 4/2021

'Fresco' series   compact mounds of coarsely cut foliage, flowers to about 1" across are displayed overhead beginning in spring. To 4-6" high, spreading to less than a foot across. USDA zone 9. rev 4/2021

'Candy'   light pink flowers with those bright yellow centers. rev 4/2021
'Violet'    medium rose pink, relatively large flowers have a double rank of rays so technically it's what's know as a duplex. 4/2021
'Purple'   actually medium blue, slightly violet but just slightly. More compact habit, flowers are slightly smaller, on slightly shorter stalks, but the color makes it my favorite. rev 4/2021

'Lemon Mist' (not currently in production)   light mist     ferny green foliage and dainty little flowers with fine, yellow petals combine to make a mound of cheerfulness to about 6" tall by 10" or so wide. Spot this around your garden in the ground, or in small containers in sun or part shade, with average to infrequent watering. USDA 9/Sunset zones 14-24. rev 2/2014-Suzy Brooks

'Radiant Magenta'   shocking pink  charming, half-inch wide, dark rose pink flowers with intense yellow centers wave over a tight mound of dark green foliage. Only 5-7" tall and wide, perfect for containers, combinations, or masses of color. Attract some butterflies in spring and summer. Average watering, good drainage. Perennial in USDA 9/Sunset zones 14-24/. Australia. rev 4/2021

'Surdaisy'  'Mauve'   'Pink'  'White'   'Yellow' PP22887, Spring Trials     'Yellow' close    pure, cute cheerfulness! Perky, little yellow daisies are produced in large amounts, and over a long time. Makes a mound of color 4-8" tall and 6-12" wide. Let it sparkle in containers or a sunny spot in the garden, it likes the heat! Easy to grow and very rewarding. USDA 9. rev 5/2016-Suzy Brooks

Brahea armata  MEXICAN BLUE FAN PALM, BLUE HESPER PALM  young plant, Santa Cruz    old plant, Fresno    Karl Dobler's front yard   frond    ornamental seed spikes  one of my all time favorite, favorite plants, deeply loved because of its wonderful luminous, ethereal blue white color, perfect strong architectural form, dramatic presence, and ability to do what it does pretty near anywhere, from Mordor-like, below sea level Sonoran/Mohave Desert so hot it gives you goose bumps conditions to even more miserable cold, foggy, windblown Dante's icy-cold Last Circle of Hell Northern California coastal plain. It will grow in full sun inland, it will grow in almost total shade along the coast. I like it because it is blue, and cactus-level drought tolerant, and resistant to the sooty black mold that attacks so many blue leaved desert plants in foggy climates, and small scale, and perhaps most importantly, SLOW. I want this plant to stay small and blue, not get big. I want it to be a focal point of blue color in my garden for a long time, and getting tall just ruins the effect. When my plant starts to mature, I am going to dig it up and give it away, which is just the opposite to what you normally do with palms, which is to covet and crave the big ones, and nurture and push your specimens to get them big to show off whatever it is that they do. But this is one species that is best when in its juvenile condition, and as they mature to flowering age, over perhaps 4-8' in trunk height, they will begin to not only to flower but the fan fronds also change to a less striking grey green color, especially when grown in cool climates. In the hottest climates you get to enjoy the blue white color at maturity. The flower spikes appear in spring and summer on big plants, and are quite attractive, being long, billowy, feathery, creamy white plumes much like Pampas Grass flower stalks, but much prettier, arching out and away from the trunk and well outside the leaves, then hanging down in long, dramatic, pendant feather boa plumes. They really are quite stunning when they go off. The mature trunk is chalky grey, the young plants show red brown thatching that contrasts with the blue leaves, the plant is just striking in every aspect. They are a phenomenal container plant, can be used in hardscapes, xeriscapes, and foliage plant gardens to equal effect. Usual specs are to about 6-8' across as a large dome, for at least a few years, until it begins to develop trunk height. Very old plants can be up to 20' tall or even more, but that takes a lifetime. Reportedly they don't transplant well when big. About the only thing the don't like is very much water during summer, at least on a continual basis, and very especially against the trunk, which can kill them. Hardy to at least 15F. Sunset zones 8-10, 12-17, 19-24/USDA zone 9b. Palmae/Arecaceae. Baja California, perhaps the very best of a long line of great plants from Mexico. rev 4/2010

Brugmansia candida  ANGEL’S TRUMPET  tender subtropical shrub to 12’ with huge, felty leaves and enormous, pendant, trumpet shaped flowers. The single form is rarely encountered,  its double form (below) is the only one in the trade to any degree. Both are characterized by a sweet, heavy, musky fragrance which is produced after sundown and rolls off the plant in clouds to scent your entire back yard, your neighbor's back yard, and their neighbor's yard too. This variety seems to recover faster from hard frosts than other strains. Solanaceae. Brugmansias have been selected, hybridized, and planted out in the wild by Central and South American Indians for hundreds of years, and "species" as we know them may not exist anymore. To the extent we can we will list the current "best accepted species designation" for the various forms. All have more recently been separated out of the genus Datura, with the old genus retaining all those species with upright facing flowers and the new genus including most of those with pendant flowers. But all Brugmansias can still be rightfully known as Daturas if you wish. Sun to part shade, average to little summer watering. Faster with fertilizing, but more prone to insect damage. They also usually greatly appreciate any kind of trace element mixtures you throw at them. Solanaceae. Central and South America. rev 7/2005

'Double White'  flowers    mature plant    against a lavender Victorian  the most usually encountered form, with one flower neatly nested inside another. rev 6/2005
'Shredded White'  (not currently in production)  amazing flower  very long flowers are blown into monstrose, shredded forms, wider and more fan shaped than the double, the Dr. Moreau of Angel's Trumpets. rev 6/2005

‘Charles Grimaldi’  typical, tiered flower display    our plant in the ground before December 1998    more trumpets    great as a chlorotic foliage plant in The Circles  a result of Bartley Schwartz's crossing of B. 'Hetty Kraus' ('Dr. Seuss') and B. insignis 'Frosty Pink,' the deepest colored of the yellow orange varieties in this country, with long, curly "tails" where the petals join. Leaves are often conspicuously toothed, the flowers always hangs vertically. Flowers are heavily fragrant at night, with a sweet, musky scent. This variety is easily recognized by its endearing characteristic of generating a heavy display of the pendant flowers in neat horizontal tiers, and is the best mass bloomer of all the varieties we have grown. rev 7/2005

insignis 'Single White'  plant  single white flowers that flare widely into broad, soft funnels or trumpets. All forms are fragrant at night, with a lighter fragrance than  B. candida, smelling somewhat like Ivory soap. This is what I think is the least-derived form, closest to what may have originally been found in the wild. There are many forms of it, some of lower, broader stature. This clone can probably reach 8'. rev 7/2005

‘Frosty Pink’  flowers    another fine plant    up close  flowers are more openly flared, are light salmon pink, and held outwards at a slight angle. Probably the most commonly planted form. rev 7/2005

'Little Moon'  (not currently in production) flowers  a wonderful little thing I picked up from my ex-business partner and always friend Steve Brigham at Buena Creek Nursery in San Marcos, this delightful charmer is a half-size variant, with small, elegant, relatively dainty, fragrant single white flowers to about 6-8" long, freely produced on a plant that looks like it is going to stop at 3-4' in height. It branches and shapes easily and should be a wonderful container variety, as well as easier to site in a garden just due to its dimunitive size. Quite a charmer! rev 7/2007

‘Miner’s Claim’ Plant Patent #15747    why you just have to have it      more of having to have it      flowers      younger and older flowers can be darker      wonderful fragrance!     lookin' good with Blue Dawn Morning Glory   our own outstanding, peerless form of ‘Frosty Pink,’ found right here in our own nursery by our sales rep ("he's not just a rep, he's a land shark!") Keith "Eagle Eye" Miner. Grow it for its wonderfully luscious, broad leave,s irregularly and broadly edged in creamy yellow to ivory white, plus its pleasantly fragrant light pink flowers, the same as those of its unmutated parent. It has that same soft, relaxed growth habit, but is not as fast. This would be a great foliage plant even if it never bloomed, and we in fact consider that to be its highest purpose. We have had nothing but positive comments from those who have seen it! One of the best foliage plants for dark locations, it grows best under warm conditions. rev 5/2015  MBN INTRODUCTION-2004

versicolor 'Ecuador 'Pink'  (not currently in production)  mature flower    young flower    more flowers   long, parallel-walled tubular flowers start as creamy white and slowly become deep salmon pink to almost clear pink before falling. Best color in warm-summer climates, under very cool conditions the flowers are only briefly pink before dehiscing. To 10' or more. rev 9/2005

'Cypress Garden'  (not currently in production) flowers  single flowers which are extremely long, longer even than the occasionally encountered "regular" single form of the species, and aging to light golden yellow. rev 7/2005

'Sweet Dreams'   giant apricot Angel's Trumpets   by far the nicest fragrance I've found for any Angel's Trumpet. Lemon-vanilla baby powder. I had this outside my bedroom window at my last house, the fragrance drifting in my window all night for months, and I loved every minute of it. Never got tired of it, couldn't get enough. The usual enormous, creamy white trumpets fade to a warm pale apricot as they age. Juvenile-phase leaves can be gigantic on this variety, and very good for tropical effect. I switched names on this for a while, to 'Sweet Spice' then 'Dreamtime' after finding another cultivar named 'Tula's Sweet Dream.' Recently I realized that variety is a Datura (flowers point up or sideways) not a Brugmansia (flowers hang down) so there's no conflict. Frost protection, sun to mostly shade, average watering to surprisingly drought tolerant when established. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 15-17, 21-24. rev 8/2020 MBN INTRODUCTION-2015

Brunfelsia    about 50 species of evergreen to partially deciduous tropical and subtropical shrubs, trees and a few lianas. Many have flowers that are fragrant, usually in late afternoons or evenings. The species break into two natural genetic groups, the Caribbean species, typified by B. americana with very long, narrow flower tubes and usually (but not always) relatively small flowers, and the South American species, typified by B. latifolia, with shorter tubes and relatively large, flat flower faces. New World tropics from the Caribbean to South America. rev 6/2021

americana  LADY OF THE NIGHT   flower   our small, everblooming plants     a tender small shrub (here) or small 10-15' tree (warm tropical/subtropical regions only) with narrow, glossy dark green leaves that is grown for its heavy show of fragrant creamy white flowers. The blossoms can reach over 2" across and are slightly fragrant during the day, becoming much strong in late afternoon. They open white and age to deep creamy gold. To me they have a sweet fragrance, plus something like lemon bubble bath with gardenia and allspice. This is a new plant for us, and one I've read about for years but never bothered to pursue. Being native to the West Indies I figured it would be hopeless away from the tropical conditions found in Florida and the Gulf Coast in summer, hot-hot and humid, day and night. And if it was a good plant for California why wasn't it already in the trade? It isn't certainly isn't a new discovery. Our first crop was planted in July in an unheated greenhouse and has never stopped blooming, neither has our second crop, planted early this spring. A test plant I left on my front porch over winter, overhead protection but temps down to freezing, stopped blooming and stopped growing but didn't seem to much care otherwise. Cold, wet soil doesn't seem to be a problem. From what I've observed this almost certainly yet another subtropical species that initiates buds on any new mature buds which receive chill, which means it never stops blooming here as long as it's growing. As a result it blooms from about every node for us here, and thus is slow to put on any growth. I'm guessing it will probably never be more than a very compact shrublet in all areas of California that experience cool mornings, which is almost everywhere. Use it as a porch/patio or indoor/outdoor container plant in areas where you can enjoy that intoxicating fragrance on warm evenings. Of course it will do very well as a houseplant, especially if it gets a modest amount of direct light. Part sun to mostly shade, as warm as possible, rich, moist soils, regular feeding, average watering. USDA zone 9a, probably damaged or killed by a light to moderate freeze though some reports (Dave's Garden, a site I like) indicate it will take 25°F. West Indies. rev 4/2021

'Jim's Giant'  (not currently in production) received from Jim Booman, this is a fragrant species with large leaves and flowers and a flower color changing from medium purple through light lavender to almost white. It's appearance is about half way between that of B. 'Royal Robe' and the familiar Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Bush (B. latifolia). This seems very close to B. pauciflora, and may be the old selection 'Grandiflora,' but that's just my speculation. Relatively fast growing, to perhaps 4-6' tall and wide, maybe larger in favored sites and climates. Probably hardy to USDA zone 9. rev 6/2021

'Royal Robe'  (not currently in production)  4½" flowers!!       my plant   so nice - let's see the reverse angle!   old camera, mass bloom    another re-reintroduction, this old, famous hybrid grows as a slow evergreen shrub, arching its way to 7’ tall and 4' wide in SoCal, but is usually seen under 4' in NorCal. The luxuriant, very heavy-textured leaves reach 6" long by 3" wide and form a wonderful background for those gi-normous, deep, almost-unfading, intensely violet purple flowers, which can reach 4½" across! How can you not like that??? Flowers last up to 4-5 days, bloom is heaviest in spring and fall, with occasional flowers going off almost all year. This usually does best with little or no direct sunlight, and iut will tolerate quite deep shade. Grow it in, rich, loose, well-aerted soils with average watering but regular feeding with high-N soluble fertilizers ("Azalea and Camellia food,"etc.). This is especially heading into winter. Prune only to shape, sparingly. A plant in my garden in Santa Cruz survived the all-time-record freeze of December, 1990 -19F - without even dropping its leaves. They just turned a very nice dark purple! Certainly it doesn't like going below freezing, but many other supposedly hardier plants nearby either froze completely to the ground or just plain up and died. So it is nowhere near as tropical as it looks. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 15-17, 21-24. Tropical America. Solanaceae. rev 6/2021  

Brunnera macrophylla  nice leaves, flowers   closeup   a semideciduous to evergreen perennial related to Cynoglossum and Forget-Me-Nots. It has large, distinctive, heart-shaped leaves to 10" long by 6" across and forms a low clump. Tiny, clear sky blue flowers are borne in long, wiry, open spikes, most heavily in spring but showing some flowers all during the growing season. Deep rooted, it is relatively drought resistant when established. Spreads slowly by underground stolons and by seeding. This is a choice, formal looking perennial for part sun or shade. It is more persistent than most members of its family and doesn't “travel” away from its planting site by dying out in the center, unlike many others. This is probably the toughest, most durable, most dependable genus in the entire family. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 3. Caucasus, Siberia. Boraginaceae. rev 4/2012

'Dawson's White'   a little summer bloom  another variegated variety, with nice wide, ivory white leaf margins and pale blue flowers. rev 8/2012
'Hadspen Cream'  BUGLOSS  just pretty  charming perennial for moist shade, light green leaves with creamy yellow edges and those too cute blue flowers on wiry stems above the foliage in spring. Rough textured, heart shaped leaves look terrific with ferns and hostas. Grows about 12" and spreads slowly to 24". Site just where you would want to be in summer, under a tree with moisture.  rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks
'Mr. Morse'   wonderful leaves  leaves are all silver white except for a tidy green margin and well-defined green veins. Clear white flowers complete the elegant package. rev 8/2008
'Silver Heart'   bo' hunch   name says it all, what more do you need? Buy! Buy! Buy! rev 1/2020
‘Variegata’  blooming  leaves are margined creamy white. Slow! Also difficult to propagate. rev 9/2003

Buddleia   BUTTERFLY BUSH     evergreen and deciduous shrubs, with a few species large enough to become trees, native to Asia, Africa and America, including one species (B. utahensis) native to desert areas of Eastern California. Used in gardens and landscapes for their showy clusters of tiny, usually fragrant flowers, which often have the scent of curing honey, with some species having attractive foliage as well. The flowers attract butterflies, moths (especially after dark), bees and other beneficials as well as hummingbirds, especially with American species, which often have evolved to display long, tubuler, red flowers. Asian species usually have flowers in long panicles, American species tend to produce rounded clusters. Small fruits are produced in fertile species, these can make plants invasive in wetter areas due to disperal by birds. This is more much common in colder, wetter climates, but  B. davidii is recorded as escaped and problematic in several areas in California, including the SF Bay Area and near Eureka. For this reason we currently offer only sterile or very low seeding varieties. This genus name was bestowed by the mighty Linnaeus himself (genuflect please!), and properly is spelled as he published it, Buddleja, with the "j" being a modern stand-in for the archaic long i, in order to conform as closely as possible to modern practices (International Code of Botanical Nomenclature,  Article 60.5). The name is always pronounced as if spelled with a short "i", never a "j". This genus is now considered to be in its own family, the Buddlejaceae, but was formerly listed as belonging to the Scrophulariaceae or Loganiaceae.  rev 8/2017
'Buzz' series   'Hot Raspberry'    'Lavender'   'Magenta'   'Midnight'   'Purple'  'Sky Blue'  'Velvet'   compact growers to just 4' tall but still producing those long, spectacular flower spikes to attract those bees and butterflies. rev 5/2019

  'CranRazz' at Ball's Spring Trials     this is a new, very free-flowering buddleia from Ball Ornamentals, in their Flutterby series. It's main claim to faim is blindingly intense, ruby magenta flowers in spikes to 8" long, forming branched panicles, from mid-spring through late fall. Growing to 5-6' tall by 4-5' across, it attracts hummingbirds, is surprisingly drought tolerant when established and will survive all but desert heat. Full to half sun, and does wll in a container. All Sunset zones/USDA zone 5a. rev 8/2020

'Harlequin'  flower spike  strong violet purple spikes against pale green foliage edged irregularly in creamy white, a variegated sport of 'Royal Red.'More compact than standard varieties due to the variegation and subsequent reduction in vigor. Like many variegated plants it sets seed reluctantly and many of the few seedlings that do germinate will emerge entirely white and therefore soon perish. rev 8/2020

'Nanho Pink'  (not currently in production)  flower color   large, long clusters in medium lavender pink. A compact version of Butterfly Bush, growing to just 4-6' tall and wide, more with age unpruned. rev 4/2019

'Silver Frost' (not currently in production)  silver leaves, and white flowers that are more erect. To 5', nicely compact growth. A notorious butterfly magnet. Not for sale to some states and be careful using it near wet environments in California. rev 8/2016

'Wisteria Lane'  PP27833   lush, dense, conspicuously pendant spikes of lavender violet flowers, almost like wisteria but of course the flowers are much smaller. An interesting, attractive and useful variation. rev 8/2020

Bulbine frutescens    yellow flowers closeup     yellow, garden specimen     orange form, very close     Fairmount Ave., East Side Santa Cruz  this is an easy, tough, showy succulent, something like a grassy Aloe, that blooms continually from spring through fall. It bears short spears of cheery orange and yellow flowers (or pure yellow) held above the long, narrow, round, succulent leaves. This particular selection is a little more compact. It is great for filling even larger spaces, covering gaps in other perennial or succulent plantings, around rocks, etc. It is also a low-water, low care container subject. Needs some shade where it gets really hot. About 12" tall, sprawling and spreading sideways considerably if not restrained. Distinguish from the similar, and similarly named Bulbinella. And hummingbirds like it! USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24. South Africa. Liliaceae. rev 8/2019

orange   flowers   light orange flowers with pale yellow centers, smaller and less intensely colored than 'Hallmark,' below. rev 4/2021

'Athena Compact'  (not currently in production) a more compact selection, with yellow flowers. rev 8/2019

'Hallmark'  what it does   darker flowers, close  here's a showy, easy, low maintenance groundcover that's almost always covered in orange and yellow flowers, good for those hard to reach or not-hooked-up-to-water locations. A grassy leafed succulent that forms a clump, about 1-2' tall and wide. Also nice in containers, softening the edges of a path, or spilling over walls. This will freeze down below about 25F but can come back from the roots. This seems to be a chill and/or short day bloomer, but once initiated the long stalks produce so many flowers that they actually keep the plant in color until it re-initiates, at least in our cool-summer area. And hummingbirds like it! USDA zone 8b/Sunset zones 8-9, 12-24. rev 4/2021

Butia capitata blue form   JELLY PALM, PINDO PALM   very old plant at the Huntington   more of their collection   fruit spike   Ed Noffsinger's "best tasting everCarlsbad commercial installation   another     this is a wonderful blue-white to silvery-grey or grey-green form of the most cold- hardy "feather palm" (as opposed to "fan palm"). At its best if often shows a swollen base, narrow neck, ornamental retained leaf bases stacked verticaly on the trunk and an attractive spreading, wispy crown. It is the bluest/greyest feather palm you are likely able to grow in California, along with the inestimable Brahea armata, and actually one of the best and most highly sought-after palms in the world, especially where it is hard to grow. It is highly variable, and more than once I have stopped to examine what I was sure was some odd, new species, just to conclude it was just another interesting seedling form of Pindo Palm. These seedlings are derived from isolated, very blue adult trees, and with maturity, and only with maturity, they will start to show their superior leaf color. At its best in hot areas, it will tolerate very dry conditions but is considerably faster with regular watering during the growing season. I also know of fine specimens along the cool, foggy coastal plain in Central California, unirrigated, that are less than 10' tall (fronds and all) after more than 20 years. It produces dense spikes of showy round orange to yellow fruit that are edible and of varying quality, the best like sweet, high quality pineapple and very acidic or odd-tasting in others. It is a great container plant, as lacks spiny leaflets that might be a problem for nearby foot traffic, and is also quite tough natured and quite tolerant of the water stress. To 10-20' tall by 10-15' wide, before you die, if you plant it when you are young, and water it, and you live in a hot area. Frost hardy to about 15F or lower, and highly drought tolerant. Very limited supply. USDA zone 8a/Sunset 8-9, 12-24. Palmae/Arecaceae. South America. rev 8/2020

Butiagrus nabonnandii   MULE PALM   at Manuel's house, about 8 yrs. old from 5g   a highly-sought-after hybrid palm (Butia capitata, Pindo or Jelly Palm, x Syagrus romanzoffianum, Queen Palm), valued as the hardiest "tropical-looking" palm available. Plants are  slightly variable, as both parents vary, but figure these seedlings will be faster than a Butia plus more luxuriant, and slower than a Queen Palm but more frost hardy. Able to tolerate freezes to around 15F, they have a compact-yet-luxuriant appearance under either more tropical, Florida-like conditions or drier, Mediterranean to semi-desert California climates. Sun to part shade, average to very infrequent watering when established, not picky about soil. Very limited supply. Palmae/Arecaceae. rev 1/2016

Buxus sempervirens 'Variegata'    shade specimen  a classy, formal, evergreen landscape shrub for use as a hedge or single, nicely-located specimen. It looks great against any darker background, even just a shady garden. This is slower growing than the green form, and seems to grow more horizontally,with respect to height, especially in shade. It took us a year and a half to get this crop ready for sale, don't expect more than a foot a year of growth in the ground. Eventually it might reach 8-10' tall by 6-8' wide. Flowers are inconspicuous. Full sun to almost full shade, average soils, quite drought tolerant when established but will tolerate rather frequent irrigation if necessary. USDA zone 6. Northern Africa, Eurasia. rev 7/2016

note: all above text and images ©Luen Miller and Monterey Bay Nursery, Inc. except as otherwise noted