Salvia    a really useful group shrubs and perennials, annual to perennial, herbaceous to woody, tiny to giant, evergreen to deciduous, some completely so, in winter or summer depending on origin. Lots of yin-yang, my kind of genus! I like almost all of them, for two very primary reasons:  their attractiveness to hummingbirds especially, but also most species are highly to almost entirely resistant to GOPHERS. Yes, it's true. They are also important sources of nectar for honeybees, bumblees, native bees, beneficial insects the like tiny wasps, hoverflies, midges, etc. which make life hell for aphids and their ilk. If you watch them at night (how many nurseries do that for you, besides us?) you will find them being visited by a wide range of evening-feeding moths. Most spectacular of these the Hummingbird (or Sphinx) Moths, which bumble around at dusk like tiny, clumsy hummingbirds, probing for nectar with a long, straight, beak-like probiscis. Most Salvias offer very long bloom seasons, are quite climate and soil-adaptable and are often quite drought and cold hardy once well established. Labiatae/Lamiaceae. rev 12/2000

'Amistad'    very purple    means "friendship." This is a very close but improved copy of the old 'Purple Majesty,' with the biggest improvement being the vastly smaller problem with insects such as aphids and whiteflies, of which the former was notoriously good at providing a home for. This bears almost identical big, dark purple, tubular flowers from even darker calyxes, blooms from mid spring through frost and will usually be around 3-4' tall at maturity. Very friendly to hummingbirds, butterflies, beneficials, even moths from sunset on. Sun near the coast, some shade inland, average watering, semievergreen to deciduous and perennial. Sunset zones 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 10/2014

apiana  CALIFORNIA WHITE SAGE  flowers close up     really good example of foliage effect     puzzled international interns struggle to understand why we Californians like this plant so much    with the stupendous (Hespero-)Yucca whipplei in the San Gabriel Mtns.  this is mostly a foliage plant, forming an upswept ball to about 2' tall composed of large, dramatic, velvety white leaves that glow in moonlight and are fabulously fragrant when you brush past them. But it can also be pretty spectacular at peak of bloom, with its big, robust flower stalks reaching up over your head. The flowers themselves range from silvery white through pale lavender and blush pink. This is one tough customer. It can go completely dry in summer, just dry leaves, but revives quickly with rain. Give it a little summer water during the cooler spells and you can minimize problems with rot and still preserve those wonderful white leaves through the summer dry season. California Indians really liked it, hummingbirds really like it, heck everyone seems to like it nowadays, though I can't remember it being popular until very recently. The foliage smells like incense when burned, so this reportedly gets rid of evil spirits in new homes, plus freshens the air at the same time! Would it be too much to ask it to kill fleas at the same time? Throw some of its foliage, or that of some of the other native species, into your campfire to keep mosquitos away. Full to half sun, average to good drainage. Hot and dry, or cold and wet, but not hot and wet. Sunset zones 7-24/USDA zone 9 (8?). Southern California. rev 5/2017

argentea (not currently in production)   Pack Trials planting    fuzzy leaves    'uge combo plant a big, billowing fuzzy white thing with amazing, soft leaves to 6", growing as a basal rosette, eventually clumping. One of the ultimate texture plants. This is a deciduous perennial but it can die after flowering. It is close to S. sclarea(Clary Sage) in this respect, and has a flower stalk quite similar, being branched and composed of white flowers, and reaching about 3' tall. It has found new application as a combo element or single subject to display with other plants of color or texture in containers. Sun to no more than half shade, likes warmth, average watering, good drainage is essential. Snails will put a hole in it quickly if you aren't vigilant.Very frost hardy, and probably more perennial with harder winters. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-17, 21-24/ USDA zone 4. Eastern Europe. rev 3/2011

'Bee's Bliss'  foliage effect  a hybrid of two California native species, S. sonomensis with S. clevelandii, this species grows as a low, dense grey green to white grey mound and shows whorled clusters of lavender blue flowers in late spring. Currently it's the showiest low variety and it makes a good ground cover or dry garden subject, especially because it becomes dense enough to exclude weeds. Looks especially great against rocks. To 18" tall by 3-5' or more across with age. Full to half sun or even light/sprinkled shade (under high, open oaks etc.), granular/mineral soils versus humusy/composty types, good drainage. rev 8/2021

'Blue Lime'   intense blue flowers    habit, part shade   habit, sun 1g   obviously a native hybrid, found by Frank Sovich under a S. dorii, and adjacent to a S. leucophylla 'Figueroa Mountain.' You want this for its wonderfully intense, piercingly clear deep blue flowers, lacking almost any trace of pink or purple. They display in long terminal whorled spikes typical of most of our native species and hybrids and emerge from purple buds, which remain as purple sepals after flowers open. In part shade it can form a spreading, mounding groundcover to 2-3' tall by 4-6' wide or more, with nicely scented, soft, quilted, light green leaves that mature to light grey green. In full sun it's shorter, much rounder, the branch structure is more open and interesting and the leaf pairs stack neatly down the stem. Leaves in strong light quickly mature to a warm light yellow color. Attractive and useful in either setting, this is a highly drought tolerant variety, often surviving just rainfall if planted early in winter. It draws clouds of hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. My best guess - this week - is obligate short-day flower initiation as I don't think I've seen a clear chill response yet. At least average drainage, moderate to very little summer watering depending on climate/site. USDA zone 8?/Sunset 7-9, 14-24. rev 3/2021 

'Bon Bon'     flower color   a perky, cute little native hybrid of S. clevelandii 'Aromas' and S. leucophylla 'Pt. Sal.' This is a very tough, low, diminutive, very compact, dry-garden groundcover or small shrub for full to half sun. Like most of our other native sages it probably initiates flowers on new but well-ripened mature-phase branches that see some amount of chill. Expect it to be very tough as long as it has good drainage, and it would certainly need no summer water at all once fully established in all but the very hottest and driest inland locations. To about 30" tall (in flower) by 3' or so wide. Average to good drainage, hardy to probably around 15F. rev 6/2017

brandegei 'Pacific Blue'  lavender against quilted leaves     Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Claremont   a great California native selection, bearing dark, lavender blue flowers against a dense, dark green, somewhat glossy curtain of low, spreading foliage. In spring time the flowers attract all of "The Four B's" (bees, butterflies, beneficials and birds-humming) plus "M's" - most noticeably the amazing hummingbird-like hawk or sphinx moths plust other evening moth pollinators, and who knows what else (sasquatch? chupacabrae?). The leaves are nicely fragrant, it will cover ground fast enough to minimize weeding, it will take most soils and any drainage but "poor" and it flowers in waves from fall through spring in blue stronger and more pure than in any of the other available prostrate or semiprostrate native sages except for 'Blue Lime.' Give it full sun to some shade inland, it needs very little summer watering. To 2-4' tall, 6' wide or more with age. USDA zone 9 (8?)/Sunset 8-9 (5? 7?), 14-24. rev 1/2018

chamaedryoides    closeup     typical habit    grows as a compact to slightly sprawling mound of dense, small grey leaves covered with small, medium true-blue flowers. Often sprouts from vigorous shoots from below ground near the crown and spreads slowly by short underground runners to form small clumps. The flowers cover the plant for most of the warm season if it receives some irrigation. Its downside is that it tends to die out in the center and "travel" outwards via stolons. Looks great for two or three years, then should be replaced. Sun, average to little summer watering when established. Not that particular about soils but should not be expected to enjoy especially cold, wet, anoxic clays. Survived 15°F in the ground. Mexico. rev 9/2020

clevelandii  a California native sage, usually seen growing in gardens as a stiffly upright to rounded evergreen shrub to 4-5’ tall and wide. (Many trade forms seem  to be hybrids with the very closely related, lower, whiter-leaved, usually pale pink flowering S. leucophylla.) Rounded whorls of lavender blue flowers appear in tall skewered ("whorled") clusters in spring and often again in fall, on stalks to half again as high as the plant. Felty, deeply quilted leaves grow to 2" long, 1/2" wide, and are dark green when they emerge but age to light grey at maturity. It is ferociously drought tolerant, and can exist in all but true desert climates with no irrigation when fully established. If totally unirrigated in very hot, dry summer areas, plants will completely dry up, leaves will shrivel, and plants will look for all the world like they are gone. But they will revive nicely with fall rains. Really. This species exudes a characteristically pungent, musky aroma from flowers and foliage, especially on warm days, and especially when in bloom. It is a mixture of sweet sage with added characteristic pungence of California chapparal. For those of us for whom that scent brings pleasant memories of cruising through the hills, it is probably the best plant to bring the wonderful fragrance into the garden. Best cut back after flowering to prevent seed formation and prolong the life of the shrub, especially where it receives supplemental watering, but don't cut it back completely beyond foliage or it may not resprout. Also, those seed pods are quite ornamental, and add interest for the rest of the year when the plant isn't in bloom. If not fertilized, and watered sparingly, you should be able to retain those nice spikes and not shorten the life of the plant. Likes at least half a day of direct sun, and little or no summer watering. Needs at least average drainage, and won't tolerate winter water standing around the crown for more than an hour or two. If you so want to summer-irrigate, and keep the plants in a greener condition, try to choose cooler periods and water at least a couple of feet away from the immediate crown of the plant. rev 9/2011

‘Allen Chickering’    closeup    nice plant   the oldest trade form, actually a hybrid with S. leucophlla, producing beautiful long wands of lavender blue flowers on a shapely plant. Draws hordes of bees, and fiercely protective hummingbirds. An All Star subject when well sited and in full bloom. Looks great with Muhlenbergia rigens, Mahonias, manzanitas, and many Grevilleas. To about 3' tall and 4' wide, with flower spikes 2-3' taller. 'Aromas' is another variety we used to raise, a Ken Taylor selection that Saratoga Hort supplied for a while. I could never see any difference between the two varieties. rev 8/2014

'Alpine'    July flowers    this species ranges mostly from the mountains behind San Diego down through Baja California with a dash of high elevation Big Bear Lake above Riverside. Deep blue flowers appear in whorls above the very compact, dimorphic foliage. Young leaves are glossy green, mature foliage is much greyer and shows much shorter internodes. This true-species form reportedly came from high elevation, flowing to us from Xera Plants in Portland, and was probably originally sourced from the BBL population. Anyway it survives nicely in Portland even when temperatures get down around 0F. The wild form grows in low, open chaparral, slopes and ridges, with ultra-tough companions like chamoise and its ilk, in decomposed rock/gravel, FULL full sun, with occasional but very infrequent and modest summer rain. Plants are usually very compact compared to the S. "clevelandii" hybrids in the trade ('Allen Chickering,' etc.) , but this one seems to get just 3' in bloom in good (read "very well drained"!)  soils. Bloom time is set to avoid cold, being early to mid summer in Central California. Keep fertilizer levels low to minimize root rots. USDA zone 8/Sunset zones 7-9, 12-24. rev 9/20201/2017

'Pozo Blue'
  rich blue flowers     Santa Cruz City Hall     certainly another hybrid with S. leucopyhlla, looking about the same as 'Allen Chickering' and 'Aromas' but from personal and MBN production experience far more resistant to leaf spot in all applications. It is of course very attractive to bees, and butterflies, and hummingbirds. Las Pilitas Nursery reports it to be extremely drought tolerant, often surviving for many years after being irrigated just once on planting (most likely fall or winter) then never again. My plants, at 800' in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Soquel, ~60 inches of annual rainfall, in very fine, moist soils and surrounded by the densest gopher population I've encountered anywhere, verify that. One plant looks good having been planted late in March on a single deep watering then getting nothing until mid-November rains. One was planted the previous fall in a low spot in very fine-textured soil with a high winter water table and ~60 inches of rain. Both survived then being completely covered by dense, tall, soil-drying annual grasses and other aggressive weeds. Weeds were so dense I just forgot the plants were even there. By late summer my dense population of lovable gophers had removed the last vestiges of straw and debris from above ground. At last exposed to the sun again they endured record 2017 heat wave temperatures of 115F - or higher - without any visible effect. Besides all this it's a really attractive plant!! To about 3' x 3'. USDA zone 7-8/Sunset 8-9, 12-24. rev 11/2017

‘Winnifred Gilman’   dark blue flowers, red stems  by far the darkest blue flowers, displayed against thin, dark burgundy red buds and stems. The leaves are shiny, and are smaller textured than other varieties, the plant is smaller in habit also. This and 'Alpine' may be the only true example of pure, unhybridized S. clevelandii in the trade, according to people who can sort that out. rev 11/2017

coahuilensis    closeup    small dark purple flowers, low spreading habit, thin gracile habit. Also sold in the California nursery trade as S. greggii 'Nuevo Leon'. rev 1/2018

corrugata   (not currently in production)   beautiful flowers against corrugated leaves   habit at Cabrillo garden   (not currently in production) this species would be great just for foliage alone except it also has some of the best blue flowers in the genus. It grows as an eventually somewhat open shrub to 3-4' tall and wide, with dull to somewhat shiny, dark olive green, deeply quilted leaves, and a heavy tan indumentum coating the petioles, stems, and more sparsely, the back of the foliage. It is probably a facultative short day bloomer, meaning it goes off most heavily in fall, extends through spring, then turns off in late spring or early summer. It is frost tender, and you should figure it will be cut to the ground at any temps below about 28F. It looks best when young, when growing up vigorously and freshly, and becomes less spectacular as it matures. However the deep true blue through indigo blue flowers against the furry, almost black-purple caylces are a real treat. Give it full to half sun, average soils and watering. Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9, or containers anywhere. From high elevation in South America. rev 5/2011

'Dara's Choice'  flower closeup   not new, but we haven't grown it for about 15 years so it needs a do-over. We used to list it as a selection of S. sonomensis but I think the consensus now is that it is most likely a hybrid, probably with S. mellifera. It grows as a scandent mound to about 18-24"tall, spreading to 4-7' across, bearing quilted, grey green leaves with a slight sheen. It flowers with  pale blue flowers in thin whorled stalks in late spring. It definitely responds to spring heat as far as flowering vigor. It is famously drought tolerant, but under the hottest, driest conditions the leaves will dry up and turn brown. It does best under less than the hottest conditions. It has to have good drainage, and doesn't like heavy soils. Full to half sun, as little summer watering as possible, frost hardy probably to around 0F. Sunset zones 7-9, 14-24/USDA zone 8. rev 9/2010

'Desperado'     heavy flower display    young plant, early June, Cabrillo College      flowers very close      but those leaves  .  .  .     part shade, RSA, 6' and spikes are just starting!  a big, showy, dramatic hybrid from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens that's been around for 20 years but has only become readily available quite recently. This bold, mostly-foliage plant also produces a top-notch display of rather large, rosy lavender flowers in compact whorls tightly spaced along very tall, robust, narrow spikes that can easily reach 8-9' tall on on mature plants in good planting sites. Under very hot, dry conditions or in thin mineral soils with no irrigation it can become facultatively summer-deciduous but it usually keeps at least a few leaves, and will tolerate a surprising amount of summer water in many cases. Brings the hummingbirds, pollinators, butterflies, hummingbirds, other birds, etc. etc. Best in well-drained, mostly mineral soils with at least intermittent summer irrigation when established. I think there's still many features waiting to be discovered with this plant. USDA zone 9, maybe 8? rev 8/2019

dorii 'Gayle Nielson'  bright bleu flowers   just introduced to our catalog as a three-way hybrid, 'Triple Play,' I learned at the recent Salvia Summit II (Huntington Botanic Gardens) that its real name is 'Gayle Nielson' and it was found in a garden in Tucson. Bart O'Brien told us it is almost certainly a nice selection of the dryland species S. doriiand not a hybrid with anything else, so for now we are listing it as such. This species ranges from Eastern Washington across to Idaho, down through Utah and Arizona, and west  through the Great Basin and desert to the east slope of the Sierras and the back (mostly) of the Transverse Ranges. It grows as an open grey-white shrub to about mid-thigh high, occasionally more, and produces short whorled spikes of really showy bright blue flower,s with conspicuous violet sepals, from late summer through early winter. It makes a great flower show in the summer-dry or almost-dry garden and hummingbirds worship it. The leaves become almost white with intense drought and make it an all-year eye-catcher. Despite its desert origin it has done well at the Cabrillo College Salvia Collection garden and also for us here in the nursery. Do not cut it back past live buds, just like as for other shrubby native forms. Sun to half sun, very good drainage, frost hardy to at least Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8, and probably colder. rev 3/2013

elegans    PINEAPPLE SAGE    nice flowers    nice plant    one of the most satisfying sages, really, when you consider its showy, intense red flowers, its ability to attract hummingbirds, and the delightfully fragrant foliage. Formerly S. rutilans and has also sold in past as  S. gracilostyla. Very narrow, tubular, bright, intense red flowers are produced in short, loose terminal spikes under short day conditions. Spreads by short underground runners, and will form a network of interlocking stolons when established. Plants will freeze to the ground with very hard frost but were just singed at 28°F. They ought to come back from much harder freezes from their mat-like roots. Best in at least part shade except in cooler coastal locations, with supplemental summer watering. Mexico. rev 10/201

Aurea    wonderful combination    great Los Gatos example  ( a great foliage plant with wonderfully contrasting and showy flowers. These slightly variable seedlings have golden leaves punctuated by bright red flowers, a small percentage producing pink, produced mostly from fall through early summer, though you can see color at any time. They are particularly adored by hummingbirds. About half show reddish hairs on the stem, the other half don't.. And the pineapple leaf fragrance is one you'll just keep going back for, sticking a piece in your shirt pocket. Grows to 3-4' tall and across, part shade, average watering. Of course it is deciduous with any frost, just like the parent type. rev 6/2013

   more compact than the regular version of  S. elegans. Usually this is sold to us as plugs done from seed, then we select out superior individuals as mother plants for subsequent crops from cuttings. rev 7/2016

greggii    this southwest native grows from 2 1/2’ to 5’ tall, depending on the strain. It proved to be far hardier than most California nurserymen thought in the wake of the frost of Christmas, 1990. Our plants were undamaged at 20°F in containers, and will survive at least 15°F in the ground. Most of these varieties will do best in sun to part shade along the coast, with at least part shade inland. Included in our list are hybrids (with S. microphylla) often elevated (but not by us!) to a separate artificial hybrid species, S. x jamensis. rev 9/2020

'Lipstick'   (not currently in production)  flowers  our original introduction, and one of our first in-house Salvias, found by then-grower Mike Irino as a seedling in gravel beneath our mixed 5g's out in Block 18. I reluctantly selected it as the one I hated most from the batch of very seedlings he brought me. I was sure it would never sell and of course it turned out to be very popular, especially in the Midwest where it has shown good heat tolerance, good bloom vigor and adequate hardiess. The parent was S. greggi "pink," the original hot pink form with the dark calyces widely sold by El Modeno Gardens, one of four they offered along with the creamy white, scrawny orange and compact dark red. This selection compact and bears dusty light red to rose red flowers from spring through fall. Better than most S. greggiis for resilience, bounce-back-ability, disease resistance and flower power. USDA Zone 7, at least. rev 9/2020 MBN INTRODUCTION-1990

'La Playa Rosa'
 flowers  a  wonderful light, mauvey blue-pink, with a darker rose pink base, bred and selected by Paul Bonine and Greg Shepherd of Xera Plants in Portland. Very upright, compact growth with medium green leaves and faint whitish hairs on the stems. rev 7/2016

guaranitica   a somewhat variable, semievergreen species, with at least four forms in the trade, one of which seems to be a hybrid ('Costa Rica'). All seem to be chill-based and/or facultative short-day initiation. South America. rev 9/2020

'Amante'   flowers  bright green (new) to dark green (mature) quilted leaves provide a tu-toned backdrop for the bright fuchsia-magenta tubular flowers and their bright red tips. Spikes and calyces are a rakish burgundy black for a distinguished contrasty look. To 3' tall, 4' wide, and a big favorite with my favorite birds the hummers. Deciduous with hard freeze. Sun to part shade, average drainage, average to intermittent watering. USDA zone 8/Sunset 5-9-14-24. rev 5/2019

'Black and Bloom'    better, stronger, faster!   bigger, earlier flowers with darker stems than the standard trade variety 'Black and Blue.' Growing 3-4' tall and wide and blooming summer into fall, spring as well in mild-winter climates. Probably just the original 'Black and Blue' cleaned up of that pernicious latent virus that seems present in every 'Black and Blue' we've ever grown. Takes heat and drought, attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and just who doesn't love a blue flower? USDA zone 8. rev 6/2016

'Blue Black'   (not currently in production)   flowers    one of several forms of a very variable species, this selection grows as a short, compact, bushy upright plant to about 2' tall, with medium green leaves that have a characteristic yellowish or olive cast. In winter, the leaves become a rather attractive light lime green with a golden overtone. Short stalks of dark purple blue flowers are seen from spring through fall. Like several forms of this species it has very attractive black sepals, but this is a short herbaceous perennial version, not the tall (6' +), rangy, open, woody, tender form. Frost hardy, resprouting from a perennial rootstock after hard freezes, and is quite happy in Portland, Oregon. Its fleshy roots seem quite relished by gophers. This form is relatively resistant to bugs though, unlike some of its hybrid progeny. Like many Salvias, its stems break easily so plant it where it won’t be subject to traffic. Sun to mostly shade, regular watering. Sunset zones 5, 8-9, 14-17, 21-24/ USDA zone 7. Native to a wide area of South America. rev 10/2007

'Santa Clara'    flowers   Huntington Botanic Garden     the whole patch      the earliest, tallest and most vigorous of the forms in the trade in California so far, usually sold as just "S. guaranitica." We like some kind of handle, mostly to track it through production and prevent confusion, but also to indicate it is clonal as opposed to being a seed strain. Our plants came from the El Camino, right in front of University of Santa Clara. This selection produces upright stems to 3' tall, with deep purple-blue flowers on stalks another foot or so above the medium to deep green foliage. Flowering begins in May and continues through September, even through late fall if temperatures are moderate enough. It is always at least semideciduous, even under frost-free conditions, and can be cut to the ground in winter. It can make rather large colonies, being moderately but reliably stoloniferous, and our beautiful source stand is a good example, as is the very nice specimen at the Huntington Botanic Gardens. Very good for hummingbirds, also honeybees and bumblebees. Can be planted along walkways due to its mostly vertical habit. Full to half sun, average soil and watering, USDA zone 8 (7?)/Sunset zones (5?) 7-9, 12-24. rev 7/2014

leucantha    MEXICAN SAGE    closeup    habit    another nice plant    more flowers    an evergreen top deciduous perennial to 3’ tall, arching over and spreading slowly by short stolons to 5-8' wide within a short time, and eventually forming large colonies. It is wide enough at maturity to be used as a groundcover on a large scale, such as on a hillside or bordering a driveway. The narrow, pointed leaves are quite attractive with their grey green color and felty whitish undersides and are held against densely cottony white stems. Long, distinctively fuzzy, violet purple flower spikes are held well clear of the leaf canopy below and bear their contrasting white flowers from late summer through late spring. In most areas stalks initiated in late winter will continue to flower from the tip until new spikes initiate again as fall approaches. This purple/white selection was the first introduced to the trade. A huge favorite of both hummingbirds and people, it has survived 15°F in the ground. Mexico. rev 6/2014

'Danielle's Dream'  PP21734   wonderful color!    Cabrillo College Salvia garden   another closeup    picture beautiful soft pink flowers against white fuzz in dense billows. Loved by butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, it grows to 4' tall and 4-5' wide in full sun with average watering. This variety puts on an incredible show but is not quite as tough or vigorous as either the white/purple or purple/purple forms. It is vigorous enough though, and eye-popping when in full bloom. Also sold as 'Pink Velour.' rev 6/2014-Suzy Brooks 
‘Midnight’   closeup    with cactus    more flowers    same as the regular form, but with dark violet purple flowers to match the furry purple sepals. rev 10/2014
'Santa Barbara'  (not currently in production)   heavy flowering habit, at Cabrillo  a compact form of the purple/purple ("Midnight"), growing to just 30" tall and spreading slowly. rev 8/2007
'White Mischief'    lighting up darkness   another plant    real raindrops!    a good, decent version of a white flower, as they flowers stay clean almost pure until the entire spike is done. This selection can can really light up against a dark background. To about 30" tall, 3-4' wide or more, not as vigorous and slower to bloom than the purples. Fall through late pring initiation, but once started the spikes will continue to extend and open flowers, usually until they have new spikes emerging. Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficials. USDA 9b/Sunset zones 8-9, 12-2. rev 10/2014

leucophylla   PURPLE SAGE   range    an upright, usually 2-3' tall and spreading 6-8' wide unnamed trade form of this famous California native. It is distinguished by very white leaves and sweetly fragrant light lavender pink flowers held above the mounded foliage in whorled (shish-kebab) spikes. Now in great demand for its weed-suppressing growth habit and intensely drought tolerant capability (can go completely summer-deciduous if it has to), the foliage brings a chaparral-like fragrance while the spring to summer flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. These are features it always had, but they are currently being re-appreciated and the plant has higher current social standing. Its only hitch is it demands at least average drainage, and it  really shines if you can give it sharp draining, mostly mineral soils. Full to half sun, be careful to prune hard only in winter, and even then leave some live growth or you'll end up with dead branches. The spent flower stalks are usually nicely ornamental and should be left, or at least pruned off no lower than the first set of leaves. I have successfully killed this plant several times by pruning hard immediately after bloom, also by cutting back beyond live growth. It will usually establish when planted and watered in during fall or early winter then left to fend for itself. USDA zone 8/ Sunset zones 5-24. California. rev 6/2018

'Amethyst Bluff'   flower spikes - March     Cabrillo College Salvia Garden - March      Rancho Santa Ana, Claremont - March       near Monterey, unirrigated - August       giving off its typical, wonderful chaparral smell, this native shrub with silvery leaves and purple pink flowers can get large when it grows up, 4-6' tall and over 10' wide. It is a great choice for a bank cover, providing erosion control, and is very attractive to bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, beneficials and even dusk and night-visiting moths, including the spectacular Hummingbird or Sphinx Moths, when it blooms in spring. Summer appearance ranges from silvery and compact through thoroughly dry and brown, depending on whether or not it receives any summer watering. USDA zone 9 (8?)/Sunset 7-9, 14-24. rev 11/2014

'Pt. Sal'   flowers   form   a more useful and therefore more commonly seen mounding form, growing just 24-30" tall and spreading to 6' or more, with the pale lilac pink flowers held above on the usual upright, whorled spikes. Just like the taller standard form this requires some watering to keep it from going completely summer-dormant from drought.From Point Sal! Sunset zones 5-24/USDA 8. California. rev 6/2012

'Love and Wishes' PP27057  bracts and flowers, with Verbena lilacina 'de la Mina'     an open, basal branching, semi-woody shrublet that bears wands of deep burgundy violet bracts on matching stems, with the long, tubular, sharp violet red flowers emerging from thos almost-showier bracts over a long season, spring through fall. To 3-4' tall and wide, for full/part sun, average soils and drainage and average to infrequent watering. Reported hardy to 25-30F (USDA zone 9) but looks rather annualish to us. This plant is part of both the Sunset and Southern Living Programs. rev 6/2019

‘Maraschino’    closeup    medium size plant    with alstroes    according to creator Richard Dufresne this is S. greggii 'Furman's Red' x S. microphylla grahamii, but a special  selection of that subspecies that later died. This bushy, fast growing selection to 3-4' tall and 6' across has soft green leaves with faint veining and numerous small, deep cherry red flowers borne over a long season. Very old unrestrained plants can reach over 6' tall and 20' across, but it is easily kept under 4-6' spread with a pruning every couple of years. The flowers bleach from sun, rain or sprinklers, aging to light cherry red and often to pale pink before they fall, so the overall color of the plant in bloom is a medium cherry red. This is a very long blooming selection and can usually be seen in color almost all year. rev 5/2013

'Marine Blue'  blooming crop   stock plant   dark blue flowers   a quite beautiful, medium size, perennial hybrid of unknown Australian origin, bearing deep blue to purple blue flowers displayed against small, quilted grey to grey green leaves. Unfortunately it is rather tender and should not be used where it will freeze down hard every year since you risk losing the crown. It is saved by the fact that it  blooms under long day conditions, meaning it can freeze back, sprout from the roots, and still bloom happily and bountifully the same season. It is also one of a short list of good blue garden sages and has such nicely complementary grey foliage. Luckily, it is so fast, and so pretty, and so good in containers, and so useful as a patio or short term seasonal color item that it is easy to find a small space or container where you can grow it. It grows quickly as a spreading or semiscandent shrub to about 30" tall by 3-4' wide.  In 2007 this plant froze to the ground in a gallon container in a 25F January frost. It recovered to bloom early that summer. We received this from Cabrillo College. Sunset zones 8-9, 15-24/USDA zone 9. rev 11/2012

mellifera (hyb.) 'Calmity Jane'   flowers and leaves   a cross between S. mellifera and S. leucophylla, this is greyer in real life than the photo implies and completely lacks the glossy finish of S. mellifera. Flowers are barely colored, blush lavender, on typical native shrub style spikes, flowering time is late winter to spring. This reaches about 3' tall by 6-8' across and is best treated as a very tough, larger scale ground cover. Crowd it and it will reach higher so give enough elbow room. Sun or dry part shade, average to good drainage, little or no summer watering when established. Probably 10F or so. Sunset zones 5-9, 12-24/USDA 8 (6?). rev 4/2017

mellifera (hyb.) 'Wild Bill'   colorful leaves     flowers and leaves of parent 'Calamity Jane'   this sport of 'Calamity Jane' has typical glossy, quilted leaves that are mostly dark green the first year, even in full sun, showing just a hint along the edges of what comes with maturity. In their second season the old foliage as well as all new growth shows striking, bright golden yellow variegation broadly painted along the edges, becoming a mostly golden yellow mound of foliage with the same whorled clusters of pale blue flowers as its parent variety, produced on mature new growth in late winter. Sun, minimal fertilizing in order to not suppress the variegation, little or no summer watering when established. It needs so little water in fact that it can go completely summer-deciduous if necessary, reviving with fall/winter rains or irrigation. rev 2/2018 MBN INTRODUCTION 2017 

microphylla and close hybrids  this is a very interesting Central American species, ranging from semiprostrate, semi-stoloniferous forms through vigorous, upright, mostly vertical shrubs. There are at least six subspecies usually recognized, of widely varying habits. This is a highly useful group of dependably showy, long-blooming, reasonably drought tolerant, GOPHER-RESISTANT, hummingbird and bee and beneficials attracting groundcovers and perennials. The following will always be among the survivors of "my wonderful front perennial bed," three years after the celebrated planting, when the softer, weaker, more demanding and more transient items have all either died, been overgrown, been pulled down a gopher hole, or been ripped out in fury or from disappointment, leaving these durable, rewarding, reliable stalwarts behind. Most will tolerate cold through at least USDA zone 8b (Puget Sound), and some may go colder. rev 1/2018

flower color changes    many selections reveal white hash marks on upper edges of the lower petals at least at some point during the year. Beyond this, Salvias in general often exhibit sesasonal flower color changes, but S. microphylla is the poster child. Across a wide range of subspecies, varieties and hybrids their flowers become relatively darker and cooler (bluer) in winter, and lighter and warmer (yellower/redder) in summer. The moxt extreme example of this, and one of the most noticeable of all plants, is 'Hot Lips,' which in our climate ranges from usually all red in winter to bicolor in spring, fall and any other time with moderate temperatures, to all white during the longest and hottest periods of summer.

initiation  Most appear to be simply or mostly chill-initiated, others like 'Huntington Belize' and S. microphylla v. grahamii are strongly short-day responsive. However it seems clear none are obligate long  nor short-day initiation. Most can be in bloom as soon as March, and many will retain color as late as December or even January. Cut most back at just the right time in early fall (during the growing season - not too late) and they can initiate fast enough to be in full bloom in January and February. Eventually they will exhaust those fall-initiated buds and have to re-initiate again later in spring. Just remember to keep your clippers off them unless you see active growth, at any time of year. Cut back first-year plants sparingly, if at all, besides removing spent flower spikes. rev 5/201

Turbulent Sixties series    our varieties, European Trials display in Germany, from Garry Grueber    more from Garry, in-ground trials, November    I was only 13 in 1968, living in the South Bay, and my mother wouldn't let me run away to San Francisco and become a hippie. So instead here is my tribute to my missed opportunity, presented in the form of this series of hybrids, which capitalizes on the best features of the best strains of S. microphylla. Long blooming, outstanding habit, easy care, great color range. Names mostly chosen for the original varieties reflect my memories of the various people, places and incidents of those interesting times, including the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, among others. Buy them, swap them, trade them, make sure you have them all! rev 5/2017

‘Berzerkeley’ TM    closeup    all natural, unpruned, my yard    ex-intern Sandy at the Huntington plant   this was one of our best introductions ever, and our Salvia, the first being S. greggii 'Lipstick' in 1990. Its introduction sparked a major new direction for S. microphyllas as a group, and still only one or two subsequent introductions by anyone are as good overall, in my opinion. It was a completely serendipitous find, just a single hybrid seedling growing in a lawn of others under two stock plants, both species forms and neither of which exist anymore. Its best features are a long show of flowers (begins in March/April, can go through December) against contrasting dark stems and young buds, on a plant of outstanding compact habit and dense, dark green, glossy foliage. It cuts back like cloth, breaks vigorously from hard wood, and overwinters superbly. It was the first really resilient, supple-branched variety we grew, and shipping/handling problems were close to zero, the first ever for this notoriously brittle species. And then there's the hummingbirds. Lots of hummingbirds due to heavy nectar production, which often isn't the case. It spreads mostly by just sending branches sideways, but has a convenient, mildly stoloniferous habit - convenient enough that at the Huntington it is simply mowed to the ground each winter (image above). The medium size flowers range vary with temperature from deep magenta or bluish mauve pink in winter to a warmer, almost-coral pink by summer. Plants don't seem to exceed about 2' tall max, spreading to 4-6' or more. Leaves are slightly quilted, and pungently fragrant, with a characteristic musky component. Bloom begins in March and can continue through December. It will grow in sun or shade. It is drought tolerant when established. And like other S. microphylla selections, it is hardy enough to be raised as far north as Portland. Sun to a lot of shade. rev 5/2017 MBN INTRODUCTION 1997

'Berkeley Barb' TM   flower color, high fertility + cool conditions   1g crop, flower power   flower color, stock plant, low fertility + warm conditions  an immense production of small coral pink flower and MBN's signature dark buds and stems against very tight, conspicuously glossy foliage. It quickly spills out  and down to make a jaw-dropping display in a large container, as they found out at the Chelsea Garden Show in 2015 (?), the jaw-dropping image of which I shall upload when I can finally put my grubby little cursor on it. There it was an absolute smash hit, the talk of the show as we heard from separate and unrelated sources. Everyone there wondered why oh why it hadn't been Plant of the Year here. (Because the British have better taste??) It is naturally dense enough you don't even need to cut it back to shape, maybe just once at year's end, or not. This was the second in the Berzerkeley Series,' and backcross of 'Berzerkeley' by its parent S. microphylla v. grahamii. It really is an amazing plant, too bad we need foreigners to remind us of that!  MBN INTRODUCTION 2008 rev 5/2017
‘Caviar’   (not currently in production)  closeup    masses of summer flowers   light coral to salmon pink flowers on a relatively compact, spreading, vigorous plant. A seedling from what was originally sold by El Modeno and others S. greggii 'Salmon,' this plant shows a deep leaf veining more similar to S. microphylla. A little brittle, more prone to bronzing in winter, but when in bloom it was a vigorous retail seller just because of that large flower, massively wide, pleated lower lip and delightfully warm coral orange color. rev 11/2017  MBN INTRODUCTION-1998

'Flower Child' TM   flowers   first crop flowering   with its favorite friend, purple   originating as just a single branch sport I found in a block of 3000 1g. 'Berzerkeley,' this is a very compact, mostly erect grower with darker green foliage and the usually tight habit. It sports intense, light lavender pink flowers, with wonderful, contrasting, even darker then normal blue purple to purple black sepals and flower stems. Its color varies markedly with temperature, being much darker and bluer under cool conditions and fading to lighter, brighter, more salmon pink in summer. I think the flower color is an improvement over the already sublime 'Berzerkeley' and it grows with the same compact, discrete, forgiving habit. MBN INTRODUCTION 2009  rev 5/2017

'Free Speech' TM   flowers   first crop, unpruned, growth/flowering habit  bred and selected for its deep, intense crimson flowers, glossy leaves and ultra-small size. This is the smallest hybrid variety we offer, ans small than almost any other anyone else offers as well. The copious flowers aren't large but they are well displayed all over the outside of the canopy. To about 12-18" tall by 2-3' wide, and another one you don't even need to cut back. This was the fourth 'Berzerkeley' release. MBN INTRODUCTION  2008   rev 5/2017

'People's Park' TM    flowers   the third Turbulence. Another backcross selection I did, almost identical to its sister seedling 'Berkeley Barb,' but a little lighter pink, a little lighter calyx, a little lower and tighter and with even nicer, glossier foliage. Both are lighter in color and much lower and much denser than even the already excellent 'Berzerkeley,' and are overall toadally toadally great plants. MBN INTRODUCTION - OCT 2008  rev 5/2017

'Telegraph Avenue' TM   flowers   intense magenta violet, slightly taller than its mother (and father!) 'Berzerkeley,' but still grows with a very compact habit, to about 2' tall by 4-6' wide, unpruned. A larger variety, with the largest and brightest flowers of this series so far, and faster growing as well, but still easy to care for, and it shears back like cloth just like the others. The color is strong and easy to work with. USDA zone 9 only?  MBN INTRODUCTION - OCT 2010 rev 5/2017

Other S. microphylla varieties
'Dazzler' PPAF   actual unretouched photo!   closeup, foggy lighting conditions    MBN trial plant in Germany   trying hard to be our best variety yet, this is a heavy, continuous bloomer, with wide-lipped, dark cranberry to intense magenta violet flowers, rounded, extremely glossy, dark to bluish green leaves and dark burgundy stems, buds and flower spikes that take on a bluish, almost metallic cast in full sunlight. It usually blooms from March or April through late fall or early winter, in our warm winters it will bloom into January. Fast growing yet naturally ultra dense and compact, plants will continually break from the base and along the stems and need little garden or landscape maintenance. Of course it makes a spectacular container plant. As always one of our most important qualities for any Salvia is durability, specifically tough, resilient, abuse-tolerant stems and branches, excellent cut-back performance and little or no winter die-out. Oh, and it has good nectar qualities too, being concentrated and produced in moderate and quantity, to keep those hummingbirds in your yard, not your neighbor's. Also noteworthy is that this variety is always buzzing loudly with honeybees, native bumblebees large and small and an extensive list of other beneficials and pollinators such as tiny parasitoid wasps and midges, hover flies, pollinating flies etc. The honeybees in particular are vastly more numerous than on any other S. microphylla variety, almost certainly because you will notice separate workers side by side collecting both nectar (big fat rear end) and pollen (yellow ball on each middle leg) at the same time. I am not sure I have noticed that behavior on any other plant before. USDA zone 8. rev 5/2017 MBN INTRODUCTION 2017

'Elmira'    flowers, very close    original stock plant, unpruned!    heavy bloom    MBN trial plant in Germany    another image from Garry   our best white - so far. Buds open the faintest of blush pinks, flowers usually mature to white and always do so under warmer conditions. ermsywhbecome white as they mature.
Dark burgundy stems contrast wonderfully with the flowers and glossy, quilted leaves. This is, we believe, the best white on the market due to its heavy bloom, contrasting stems, dense, compact, low habit, excellent foliage and overall performance. This is an extremely forgiving variety as far as stem and branch resilience, cut-back response and overwintering performance. Plants continually and vigorously sprout new growth from the crown and old branches.Ultimate size is under about knee high by 3-4' or more across. Nectar qualities are excellent, being concentrated and heavily produced, for high hummingbird happiness. USDA zone 8. MBN INTRODUCTION 2017 rev 5/2017

'Gleneden'    closeup    growth habit, stock plants   yet another literally earth-shaking new MBN Salvia release (remember, "no brag, just fact" - we had a minor earthquake recently). This is our very best blue yet. And very close to true light blue it is, with just a little pink hiding in there. This semiprostrate variety stays under 16-18" tall even when old and unpruned, spreading to 3-4' with stems close to the ground. It quickly spills down over a container's edge to display cascades of broad-lipped, pleated, light blue-lavender flowers. This was near the very top for our blue-range candidates as far as overwintering performance and cut-back response, both absolutely critical production features that happen to be just as valuable for garden or landscape performance. We just continue to amaze ourselves! USDA zone 8. rev 5/2017  MBN INTRODUCTION  2017 

'Hot Lips'   why you buy it   Morrissey Blvd., Santa Cruz    red, white, pink & bicolor     high-top fade haircut (Kid Cool, House Party), commercial landscape   originally introduced by Richard Turner of Strybing Arboretum, this incredible variety is still one of the most popular plant varieties in America. It does particularly well in California, initiating almost year 'round in many areas of the state. Flowers can be red, white or both, depending on chill, apparently at some point during bud development. Winter flowers are usually all red, spring and fall are bicolor and summer flowers are often completely white. Unless there's a cool spell that is, when they go back to bicolor. Plants can be kept small (ish) by regular cutting back but at the expense of flowers. Left alone and never cut back it can get quite large in mild climates, up to 5- tall by 8' across or even more, but it's usually seen at 2-3' tall by 3-5' across, and usually completely covered by flowers. This is one of the best plants of all for attracting hummingbirds. rev 5/2019

'Killer Cranberry' PP26,609    unique, intense flower color    our first crop    another closeup   display trial plant in Germany    close on color   yet another very showy, long-blooming, durable, wonderfully supple and resilient-foliaged introduction from your favorite nursery - Monterey Bay, of course. This very compact, dense, upright (but short!) plant is covered with deep, very dark crimson to intense cranberry red flowers that almost don't fade at all, even as they fall. The color has p Dense, dark green, very glossy foliage is almost always disease free and one of its best features. Flower stems and small branches turn purplish black, for nice contrast, and growth is compact and upright. Reaches knee to mid-thigh high, never taller, spreads to about 5', possibly more, if unpruned. Shears back like cloth and offers no winter die-out. The usual Salvia m. initiation, meaning likely mature/reproductive growth + accumulated resources + chill with daylight, especially early morning, then 6-8 weeks until flowers open. That means late February to late March through early November to mid January, in our climate. Sun, average conditions all around except this has survived our recent very long, dry Northern California summers without watering in a Sunset zone 16-17 microclimate. Probably USDA zone 7/Sunset 5-9, 14-24.  MBN INTRODUCTION 2013 rev 4/2016

'Plush'   flowers   a new and improved dark purple with a lower, denser habit than available in any of the similar purple species in the trade (S. coahuilensis, S. muelleri, etc.). To about 24" tall, 2-3' wide, flowering from spring through fall. Sun, average to infrequent watering when established, average to good drainage. Frost hardy to about 20F, possibly much lower if our German trial-garden results hold true. rev 7/2017 MBN INTRODUCTION  2017

'Roseburg' PP30623P3    summer tu-tone    another hot new release, this one another dazzling red-white bicolor like 'Hot Lips' but in a violet red (darker, bluer red, vs. hotter orange red). The flower lips are about twice as wide, and leaves are rounder, darker green, denser and have a noticeably strong, reflective sheen. I haven't ever seen these flowers become completely white in the heat of summer like those of 'Hot Lips,' but gardeners and landscapers in hotter regions might expect that. In the cooler conditions of late fall and winter they are usually deep violet red. The flowers look great - and taste great - in salads. rev 12/2019  MBN INTRODUCTION  2017 

'Red Velvet'   flowers   renamed from simply 'Red' at the seriously sensible suggestion of Paul Bonine of Xera Plants in Portland. This is a hybrid I did between S. microphylla grahamii and S. microphylla 'Belize Form,' looking for the tight habit of the first with intensely red color and heavy nectar production of the second. I got just about what I was aiming for. To about 5' wide, 18-24"' tall at maturity, very dense, with bushy, blackish stems and smaller, intense, hot red flowers. It has fabulous shade performance, becoming a dense sheet of dark green foliage. It overwinters well, without leaf drop, and tolerates full sun or almost full shade. It isn't perfect, but this is still the best pure red S. microphylla out there as far as I am concerned. Of all the varieties we took to Portland for trial, this stood out as Paul's favorite because of its habit, durability and colorful display. MBN INTRODUCTION - OCT 2010 rev 12/2017

'Syracuse' PP30183P2   display trial plant, Germany    Spring Trials 2017, Pacific Plug and Liner    original 5g stock plant, 3 yrs. old   flowers   a furious powerhouse of flowering power, this may be our best yet for its continuous production of clouds of small, warm coral pink flowers. This is probably the dad-bloominest Salvia of all. Vigorous and upright, it is a compact grower to about 30" high and spreading to 3-5' across, more with age. Plants continually break new buds from the base and any old branches exposed to light so it never looks woody or straggly. Our stock plant never exceeded 3' in the ground after several years and no pruning at all, it was full and dense right to the ground. Then we cut it back to a stump and it showed the virtue of a nicely stoloniferous habit, with new sprouts arising 12-18" away from the mother plant. Best of all they came from deep enough that this take similar maintenance treatment, or a substantially colder climate with freezing soils. The Huntington just mows their big 'Berzerkeley' patch each year to freshen it up, this selection would certainly respond even better. USDA zone 7? rev 8/2021  MBN INTRODUCTION  2017 

'Yachats'    (not currently in production)   closeup       our original stock plant    typical unpruned 1g in PP&L's secret trial area    and that would be "YAH-hahts, the town that hit Number 7 on the Arthur Frommer Top 10 Favorite Vacation Destinations list. I didn't know that when this plant was bemonikered, being just one of about a hundred small-town names I pulled off a map of Oregon and randomly assigned to that year's most promising hybrid seedlings. Turned out to be our best light purple yet, ultra-compact, upright, heavily floriferous, with leaves, branches and roots all showing strong disease resistance. It's a nice, light, clear purple, definitely not violet but yes leaning slightly towards blue. And it just flowers and flowers and flowers. Sun to part shade, normal to very infrequent watering. Easy to grow and very rewarding, and especially excellent in containers since it is so compact and easy to care for. Probably USDA zone 8, possibly zone 7.  MBN INTRODUCTION  2017 rev 10/2017 

v. grahamii    GRAHAM’S SAGE    closeup     also classified as a separate species, simply S. grahamii. An evergreen shrubby perennial to 2’ tall and 4’ wide. Short spikes of small, light coral red flowers, with dark calyces, appear from late winter or spring through fall. Small, short, dark green, glossy leaves give it a relatively formal appearance. Initially very open, this plant becomes much more compact with age or pruning back and eventually looks like a smaller, neater, more delicate S. greggii. Cut back in fall at the right time (September?), this can be a spectacular January-February bloomer. Sun to part shade, average watering, has survived 15°F in the ground. The smallest textured subspecies. USDA zone 8. Mexico. rev 5/2017

‘Belize Huntington’    closeup    nice plant    another nice plant, typical habit    the best hummingbird plant of all time? Or just forever locked in combat for the title with Grevillea 'Superb'? Medium-sized brilliant RED red-orange RED flowers produce a concentrated nectar in about twice the quantity of any other S. microphylla or S. greggii variety. Those startling red flowers against the mostly black stems, the neat upright habit to about 3-4' tall by 4' across, its dense, tight, dark green foliage and heavy, long bloom - fall through late spring to early summer - make this variety instantly recognizable. That and of course the almost obnoxious, mosquito-like cloud of hummingbirds constantly breezing by your ear at 100 mph, or fighting in circles around your head, or hovering right in front of you squeaking in excitement and challenging you to a fight right here, right now! This is an evergreen form which shows a strong short day or facultative short day initiation response, and most winter it will be in full, intense, glorious bloom by Decmber, tending to decline in flower power to close to zero by midsummer. It will defoliate in a true black freeze, and will even go to the ground in a hard year. New plants will resprout reliably and vigorously if planted early enough in they ear. The strongly upright growth can reach to 5’ with age, older branches are woody and more or less permanent and can eventrually arch over and continue growing to 8’, unpruned. Betsy Clebsch in her excellent A Book of Salvias states this fantastic form was originally collected by the Huntington Botanic Gardens in Belize, so I half-renamed it in their honor. rev 12/2017

‘Hot Lips’    amazing flowers    blooming plant    we take this for granted here in California, really I think this is one of the best plants introduced to horticulture in the past 100 years. This outstanding variety was found in the Chiapas area of Mexico by a woman working for Dick Turner when he was with Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco. It grows as an upright, fine textured, small leaved evergreen shrub, close in some ways to ‘Belize Huntington,' with somewhat similar foliage and blackish stems. It bears clouds of striking bicolored flowers, pure white on the upper portion, hot orang- red on the lower lip. In winter flowers are mostly all red, in the heat of summer they emerge pure white. Flowers produced in spring, cool summer conditions and fall are those most likely to be tu-toned. My best current theory (current! theory!) is that young plants tend to produce flowers that are all red, mature branch flower color seems to be controlled by the temperatures occuring when the spikes are very small. The only other Salvias that are anything like it are our own hybrids ('Roseburg,' 'Philomath,' 'Corvallis,' 'Little Kiss') and S. that is anything like it. Growing conditions are like those for other S. microphylla varieties. Leaves can turn deep wine purple in cool weather. rev 5/2017

'La Trinidad Pink'  hot pink flowers  a compact, low grower with an intense, deep blue pink flower color, becoming darker rose pink in sun and under cooler conditions. Flower stems and calyces are dark burgundy. It has a really nice, shiny gloss on the leaves and displays a certain amount of purpling under cool weather. We got this plant from our friends in Oregon so we know it will take wet weather, and cold to USDA zone 8/Sunset zones 5-9, 12-24. I believe this was originally an early Yucca Do selection, probably from around 1990.  I believe we slowly drifted unintentionally over into growing a very close seedling of it now under that name, one that is slightly more compact and slightly darker pink. To about 2-3' by 4-5' wide. rev 5/2017

‘Waverly’   (not currently in production)   flowers, backlit    foliage detail, & buds    Cabrillo College Salvia collection  a hybrid of unknown origin, certainly involving S. leucantha. Foliage is much like that of S. leucantha, but is larger, darker green, and not as tomentose underneath or along the stems. Flowers are light lavender pink, emerging from dark, dusty maroon violet sepals. Makes a beautiful, distinguished, almost formal show when in full summer bloom. In addition, this is a wonderful foliage plant. Its very dark green leaves have a very reflective sheen and a bluish cast that are very attractive in shady situations. It can get big with space, sun, good soil and any water, even without in cool coastal climates. I've seen plants over 6' tall by 8' across though usually they are smaller and it's easily contained by pruning as new buds start to push. Sun to part shade, average watering. Like those of parent S. leucantha the blooming branches are almost annual, and will die back most of the way to the ground, or beyond, when the terminal flower spike and those of the side branches are finally exhausted. Cut back in late winter to force fresh new growth. The tops are just as tender as S. leucantha, meaning it is cut back by 25°F, but it lacks the subsequent strong regrowth response from the roots. It does spread slowly by underground runners, though, and it will survive temperatures much lower than that, especially full or almost full sun exposures. rev 4/2021
'Wendy's Wish'  PP 21,889   (not currently in production)   close    lots of color from those buds    2009 Pack Trials  this is a stunning plant, it stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it. I loved the big, smoky pink buds, the fuzzy, long flowers, the dark, glossy leaves, and the unrepetantly large size More color comes from the unopened and spent buds than from those sharp neon pink flowers. Wendy is a Salvia officianado in Australia, who found this gem in her garden, and her wish is to have some of the proceeds of the sale of this plant go to the Make a Wish Foundation. A natural hummingbird feeder, it will bloom until cold weather arrives, but in our experience not beyond, not happily or vigorously, even after a rather warm Northern California winter. It grows into a 36-40" mound, becomes a transient centerpiece in your garden and a more enduring subject for large containers, with careful early spring pruning. Takes heat, sun, and likes regular watering. Eventually the plant seems to tire and die except in very subtropical climates. Warm season color anywhere, overwinters in USDA zone 9a/Sunset zones 16-17, 21-24. rev 12/2017

wislizenii (lemmonii)    LEMMON'S SAGE    excellent flowers    a wonderful, compact, long-blooming species from the mountains of Southern Arizona and New Mexico, the only form of S. microphylla to occur in the US. It grows as a low evergreen perennial to about 12-16" tall with shiny, quilted, deep green leaves and bears very erect, somewhat open, terminal stalks of light neon pink flowers (actually you would properly call this a blue pink) much like those of many forms of S. microphylla especially S. microphylla UCB, which we no longer raise due to its unruly production problems but nevertheless dearly loved for its landscape habit, unmatched color, and flower power. [check it out - 73 words, just one period!!] Even the buds are attractive, pushing in late winter with their dark purple black colors. It can bloom from late winter through late fall. It is drought tolerant but experiences a summer monsoon rainfall pattern in its native range so will appreciate at least some watering during the dry season. Should be frost hardy for almost all of California. Definitely prefers good drainage. rev 3/2013

muirii   flowers very close   I really like this compact, supple, very showy blue South African species. An evergreen shrub with very dense, quite persistent grey green leaves and a fresh smell, it bears its small, deep blue to sky blue flowers, with speckled white lips, on wiry spikes along the stems, blooming almost all year. Almost certainly this is a facultative short day initiator, but we'll keep you posted. Growing under 2' tall and wide, give it sun to part shade and average to well-drained soil. Little watering required once established. Evergreen to about 20-25F, root hardy to USDA zone 8. rev 4/2015

'Mystic Spires Blue' PP  PP18054    new block   at Cabrillo   a compact spinoff of the outstanding but tall Salvia 'Indigo Spires,' growing to only about 12-18" tall (foliage) with deep indigo blue flower spikes, sepals, and flowers, just like the parent, but growing much shorter. The foliage has the typical purple hints under slightly grey green leaf color, with glaucous  tones. It is incomparably more compact and smaller, which can be both good and bad depending on the application. It isn't a replacement for 'Indigo Spires,' just another version. Frost hardy, sun to part shade, rich soil, will take some drought. Hummingbirds and bees love these flowers. It appears to be cumulative long day initiation and began blooming in April of 2007, a very cold winter year. rev 4/2007

nemorosa  (not currently in production) WOODLAND SAGE, BALKAN CLARY   a perennial woodland species with slowly spreading rosettes of compact dark green foliage topped by copious spikes of blue, purple, pink or white flowers from spring into fall. Quite cold hardy, needs summer watering or it declines rapidly in vigor. Very similar to and possibly a parent of S. x superba. Widespread from Central Europe through Western Asia rev 9/2020
'Caradonna'   (not currently in production)  flowers  uniquely violet purple not blue purple, also has purple stems, heavy bloom, long bloom, compact, mostly evergreen. Sun, rich soils, average watering. Very frost hardy. Long day initiation? Sunset zones 1-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 5. rev 9/2009
'Lyrical Blues'   (not currently in production)  intense blue flowers  nice big spikes of dark blue flowers add a vertical element to your garden and with deadheading, will continue to bloom into fall. Attractive in groups and blends easily with other perennials. Enjoyed by butterflies and makes a nice cut flower. About 24" tall and wide. Sun, part shade, average watering. Sunset zones 2-10, 14-24/USDA 5. rev 1/2012-Suzy Brooks

'Lyrical Rose'   (not currently in production)   flowers    perennial, deciduous (or almost so in mild winter climates), producing bright, cheery spikes of rose pink supported by the dark maroon buds, spent flower sepals and stems. Flowering occurs from late spring through early fall. Cut back and feed after each wave of bloom, it will initiate new spikes as long as growth is mature before about October 1. Sun, average drainage or better, average watering, appreciates feeding. Frost hardy for all of California, Sunset zones 1-9, 14-24/USDA zone 4. rev 6/2014

'Lyrical Silvertone'   (not currently in production) MEADOW SAGE   clouds of flowers  bees and butterflies love these dark blue flowers! And with some deadheading, you can have them bloom continuously into fall. About 24" tall, an easy to grow perennial for sun and average watering. Nice in containers, a mixed border or in a mass. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA 5. rev 9/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'Sally Greenwood'  flowers  a low, spreading selection with grey green leaves topped by dark purple blue flowers. A possible hybrid of S. coahuilensis or S. muelleri with perhaps S. chamaedryoides? This is showier than S. coahuilensis by virtue of larger flowers, against greyer leaves, and much more garden-reliable than S. chamaedryoides, which is prone to either traveling away from its planted location or dying out over the wet season from too much wet, or from being planted in heavier soils. Performs fabulously in the hot, hot, dry-hot northern Central Valley and should be good to Sunset zones 7-9, 10-24/USDA zone 8. rev 5/2017

sinaloensis  (not currently in production)   closeup    habit    azure summer flowers    this makes a very compact, dense show of small, very dark, intense blue flowers against soft textured, dark green to bronzy foliage.It grows as a clumping deciduous perennial to 12" tall and 18" wide in a season or two. It blooms from late spring through fall, and spreads moderately slowly by underground stolons. There is a whole hillside of this plant in an East Bay Regional Park, so we know it can be used as a large scale groundcover in the right situations. Sun to part shade, average watering, probably killed below 25°F, at least to the ground but possibly entirely. Mexico. rev 9/2020

spathacea   HUMMINGBIRD SAGE    whorls of pink      a California native perennial growing as a low mat of upright stems to 1-3' tall, with very large, light to medium green, sticky, hairy leaves almost clasping the base of the stalks. The foliage also forms a dense to open carpet and colonies can spread slowly by stolons to become quite large. I've seen them over 15' across or more in the dry, rugged Santa Lucia Mountains that form the spine of the Big Sur region. Spring and summer flowers range from light pink to deep red in most forms, occasionally yellow, and are presented in large, tall whorled clusters. Both flowers and foliage are pleasantly fragrant, flowers are irresistible to hummingbirds and bumblebees. A great groundcover for dry shade with average to good drainage, needing just occasional summer watering to maintain foliage from going summer-dormant. Root-hardy to USDA zone 8/Sunset 7-9, 14-24. rev 8/2015 
Sanchezia nobilis 'Helen'  TIGER PLANT, GOLDEN HERRINGBONE   a houseplant, indoor/outdoor or porch/patio variety grown for its glossy green, zebra-striped foliage. Horizontal bands start out ivory white then turn golden yellow as leaves mature. Mature specimens in favored locations will produce short terminal spikes of yellow flowers against clasping red sepals, but usually only under very warm, slightly short-day conditions. Usually seen 3-4' tall at most as a large container plant, it can be kept much smaller with pruning. Likes bright light or even some direct sunlight inside, outdoors it can take more exposure. A very large, soft shrub or giant perennial in the tropics, wild forms can reach 8'. Lowland South America. Acanthaceae. rev 8/2019

Sansevieria  SNAKE PLANT, SNAKE TONGUE, MOTHER IN LAW'S TONGUE   clumping evergreen rhizomatous perennials, some thin-leaved and tropical, others native to dry regions. The succulent, dry-climate forms are great house and porch/patio container plants, and also can be use as garden and landscape plants but only in the warmest and driest Southern California locations. Tough, very dry-tolerant, long-lived, reliable and forgiving. Flower spikes bearing very modest, spidery whitish or greenish flowers are produced on mature clumps when they are happy. Grows actively under short day conditions. This genus is one of the few known to employ crassulatic acid metabolism (CAM), a form of photosynthesis found in dry-climate species. Formerly considered as members of the Lily or Dracaena family, recent genetic analysis currently groups them with of the Nolina branch of the Asparagaceae, along with Aspidistra, Convallaria  (Lily of the Valley), Beaucarnea, Dracaena and Dasylirion. In fact some modern authorities classify them as included in Darcaena. We'll see about that. rev 9/2020
cylindrica   CYLINDRICAL SNAKE PLANT, AFRICAN SPEAR   Karl's patch    first crop, juvenile-phase foliage   Molly's plant, juvenile phase  probably the best form to try as a garden plant, tolerating more cold-wet than any others. Our plants were sourced from Karl Dobler's epic botanic garden-like yard in Camarillo, overlooking Ventura, where it has lived contentedly for many years with essentially no care. The round, cane-like stems can get an inch thick and reach 6' tall in nature, but here 2-3' would be worth being quite proud of. Best in part sun, keep it as winter-dry as possible, water twice a month or so from spring through early fall, good drainage, no frost. Flowers are cylindrical, greenish and pinkish. USDA zone 9a. rev 7/2017
'Boncel'  banded cylindrical leaves. rev 9/2020
trifasciata  flowers wide leaves, the most commonly sold houseplant variety. rev 9/2020
'Black Coral'  dark green with silvery bands, more distinctive as plants mature. rev 9/2020
'Black Jade Hahnii'
'Futura Superba'    golden yellow leaf margins, like 'Superba' but  .  .  .  but what ????? rev 9/2020
'Golden Hahnii'    a bird's nest type, with very wide but very short leaves, to ~12" high. Yellow margins with silvery green centers. rev 9/2020
'Hahnii'    short, very wide green leaves with broken white banding. rev 2/2021
'Jade Pagoda'   bird nest type, short/wide leaves have creamy yellow margins and silvery centers. rev 9/2020
'Laurentii'   tall, yellow edges, silvery banded centers. rev 9/2020
'Moonshine'   broad, very silver leaves, front and back. rev 9/2020
'Robusta'   tall, dark green leaves banded silver. rev 9/2020
'Starpower Series'  -  Black Star   Emerald Star   Forest Star   Jade Star   Misty Star   Ocean Star   Silver Star   Sunny Star  -  all bird nest types, with very broad but very short leaves. rev 9/2020
'Superba'   golden yellow leaf margins. rev 9/2020
'Zeylanica'  tall, dark green with silvery bands and coloring. Originally described in 1799 as a variety of Aloe hyacinthoides, believe it or not. rev 9/2020
Santolina chamaecyparissus    LAVENDER COTTON    flowers very closeup    nicely used    another plant in bloom    fun with Lavender Cotton at Filoli    a tough, low woody perennial to 2’ tall, 4-5’ wide with tiny, aromatic, serrated grey white leaves. Very compact habit, topped with tight globular clusters of deep golden yellow flowers in late spring. Makes a good, durable groundcover, even over large areas. Also very attractive, and very forgiving in containers. Best cut back occasionally right after flowering to prevent woody buildup. This plant can develop amazingly gnarly trunks with age, showing wonderfully stringy bark, much like old rosemary plants. There are specimens at Mount Madonna County Park above Watsonville, Calif. that are over a hundred years old. I have also seen it survive along a roadside verge bordering a row crop farm, a strip about a quarter mile long, doing well with no care or watering. Sun to part shade, little or no watering. Mediterranean. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 6/2012

Sarracenia  CARNIVOROUS PITCHER PLANT, TRUMPET PITCHER   en parade at the Huntington    S. leucophylla 'Tarnok,' female flower   S. leucophylla 'Tarnok,' male flower    flowers at UCSC  a genus of evergreen to deciduous carnivorous plant species indigenous to the East Coast and Midwest of the U.S. north and west through Sasketchewan, Canada. (For another more tropical group of pitcher plants see Nepenthes.) These are some of the easiest carnivorous plants to grow. The colorful leaves are modified into upright pitchers that insects slip or fall into, and at least one species, S. flava, secretes the narcotic alkaloid coniine from glands located around the edge of the pitcher's lip. Many species have evolved hoods to limit rainfall entering the pitchers and thus tipping them over, also to reduce dilution of the digesting fluid. Others have translucent "windows" which insects attempt to fly through, sending them down into the pitcher. The smell of the dead insects digesting inside plus fragrance from the lip-nectaries attract more victims. rev 9/2020
Large, very showy flowers of interesting and complicated structure are produced on long, wiry stalks well above the leaves, opening in summer. Plants are usually found growing in full sun in low-nutrient, acidic bogs or nearby terrain, occasionally wet grasslands. They are usually surrounded by living sphagnum moss in nature.
In cultivation grow them in an acidic, sandy-peaty mix, use rainwater or distilled water as often as possible, and they will usually enjoy water intermittently standing in the tray underneath their container. Use no fertilizer if they are feeding themselves, and never more than 1/4 or 1/8 strength soluble-types (Miracle-Gro, etc.) at most. They are frost-hardy for almost all of California, and the Canadian populations of S. rubra are extremely cold tolerant. They can be grown as a houseplant if they receive sunlight most of the day but they will need a cold rest period outside in winter. Sarraceniaceae. rev 6/2020
'Bug Bat'  info coming soon!
'Carolina Yellow Jacket'  info coming soon!
'Catesbei'     maturing pitcher   a hybrid of S. flava and S. leucophylla often listed as a species. rev 3/2021
'Ewelina'   4" plants   looks like a dwarf but vigorous S. purpurea hybrid, with wide-spreading pitchers spreading their open hoods wide and not covering their interiors from rain or irrigation. Light green heavily flushed and veined dark red, with better color in cool conditions. Haven't seen the flowers yet. rev 11/2017
leucophylla 'Tarnok'    info coming soon!
purpurea venosa 'Red'  info coming soon!
'Scarlet Belle'  cute pair   6" crop   flower   compact, light pitchers veined and flushed intense, dark red. rev 3/2021
'Silwia'  info coming soon!
Satureja douglasii  (not currently in production) YERBA BUENA   fragrant, minty leaves for shade    this wonderful, usually-evergreen California native grows as a very flat, spreading, creeping, stems-rooting-in herbaceous groundcover. It stays under 6" tall but can spread moderately quickly to 2-3' or more. Can take very winter-wet soils, but likes a drier summer semi-dormant period. Short stalks of tiny white flowers appear in late spring and provide valuable nectar for adults of beneficial insect predators and parasitoids (minute caterpillar-killing wasps, serfid flies, midges etc.). Used as a groundcover it will remind you of your last walk in the woods as your footsetps release its wild, sharp, minty goodness! Or let it hang over the edge of a container. Likes at least part to deep, full shade. Deciduous in very cold freezes. Labiatae/USDA 8. rev 5/2015-Suzy Brooks 

Saxifraga x arendsi    evergreen perennials, most but not all prefering cool, moist-but-well-drained conditions. Many are best suited for container culture, others do fine on rock walls. New hybrids keep getting easier and more durable. The original forms were easy to grow, if you're growing them in fine gravel in a stone sink and watering twice a day the original forms were easy. Try growing them in a warm-wet winter/dry summer climate, on rain birds for two hours three times a week, and let's see what happens. Or put it in a small clay pot, in standard retail potting mix, on your sun-baked back porch. Instead of living just from January through about mid-February, they are tougher and more forgiving every year, and bloom longer, with truer colors and larger flowers. Native to high northern latitudes. Saxifragaceae. rev 1/2019

'Alpino' (not currently in production)  Early Neon Rose    Early Pink    Early Picotee 

'Highlander' series  (not currently in production)   Rose     Red   derived from several species, this hybrid species mossy-looking, apple green foliage is dotted with flowers in spring, in varyng shades of light through deep, rosy pink. Forms a small spreading clump, to  4-8" tall. Likes good drainage, sun to part sun, and average watering. Try it under potted trees, in troughs, or in mixed plantings. USDA zone 5/All Sunset zones. rev 2/2015-Suzy Brooks  

'Purple Robe'  (not currently in production)

'Rocco Red' (not currently in production) red, red and red. The reds are always the weakest in the series, being the farthest from the wild type. This and 'Touran Red' are the best reds we've grown so far for color, vigor, disease resistance and flower power. rev 1/2019

Scenic series     very early, very compact, extended bloom. From Dümmen Orange. rev 6/2020

'Touran' (not currently in production)  Deep Red   Neon Rose   Scarlet   Pink   Pink 1g block   White   shiny, mossy foliage, already cute, is topped with even cuter, small, scarket red flowers, in a tidy, colorful little mound. Just provide well drained soil and it makes a good companion to Sempervivums, grasses, and succulents in containers. Tuck in some miniature narcissus and '"Wowie zowie pingo powie!," to quote Glocko, my adorable Polish grandmother. Just 6-8" tall and wide, sun to part shade, all zones. rev 2/2015-Suzy Brooks 

Scabiosa 'Harlequin Blue'    flowers flowers flowers   beautiful, big, light blue flowers on long stems, just the thing for an impromptu bouquet with pink Cosmos. Larger than normal flowers, and lots of them, all season. Flowers 12-18" tall and soft green foliage clumps 12-14" wide. Lovely in containers, borders, in a mass, or mixed with other perennials. Full sun or part shade, average watering. USDA zone 5/all Sunset zones. Caprifoliaceae. rev 4/2021

'Flutter Rose Pink' PP27809   a compact grower that bears intense mauve pink, 2" flowers from spring to mid-fall. This is a dwarf variety, to just 14" tall counting flower stalks, with high vigor, reliably perennial habit and reportedly good disease resistance. A Ball/Darwin Perennials variety. USDA zone 5. rev 4/2021

'Mariposa Blue'     intense blue color      a tidy clump of grey green leaves only 10-12" tall have the most wonderful, double, lavender blue flowers on strong stems summer into fall. This is a stronger colored, smaller growing alternative to 'Butterfly Blue.' Attracting butterflies, moving in the breeze, so easy to grow and maintain. Nice cut flower too, looking so cheerful when mixed with pink, yellow, or both flowers! Sun, average watering. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 5. rev 4/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'Mariposa Violet'   stupendous purple flowers   a stupendous new variety! The flower is large, the color is dark and rich, the foliage is grey green and mildew resistant, and the stems are very strong. All making a terrific package for containers and gardens, bouquets, butterflies and hummingbirds. Forms a compact plant, 10-12" tall, with flower to 18". Looks amazing with pinks and yellows. Sun or part shade, average watering. Sunset zones 3-9, 14-24/USDA 5. rev 10/2011-Suzy Brooks

'Vivid Violet' PP19260    mildew resistant, large light to medium deep violet purple flowers, strong rebloomer, reliably perennial. This is a vigorous but quite short variety, with very compact, 12" tall clumps of foliage. The eye-catching flowers are held on 16" tall stalks, with plants usually flowering here from late spring through about mid-fall. A Terra Nova introduction. Frost hardy to USDA zone 4. rev 4/2021

Scaevola   FAN FLOWER evergreen perennials related to Dampiera, Goodenia and Lechenaultia, and more distantly to Campanula. They are seen here as clumping or trailing/spreading plants though small shrubs do exist. Fan-shaped flowers are produced from fall through spring and can be extremely showy. Most forms we purchase are now just identified by color and not parent strain/line. Good for hanging baskets and as a small-scale groundcovers if cut back in late spring after bloom. Australia. Goodeniaceae. rev 11/2015

'Blue'  flowers   purple blue flowers, very dark green leaves, very fast, low, spreading habit. rev 11/2015
'White'   flowers   white flowers, barely tinged pink, against very dark green leaves. Very fast and very prostrate. rev 11/2015

Schefflera    somewhere between 600 and 900 species, roughly half the species of its family, growing as trees, shrubs and vines with palmately-divided leaves. Araliaceae. rev 9/2020

alpina   ALPINE SCHEFFLERA  palmate leaf   a high-altitude species native to Vietnam, it can be found growing from 6,000'-10,000' in elevation. This is of course much more tolerant of cool home conditions when used as a houseplant but it's also really good as an indoor/outdoor subject or porch/patio container specimen. It is cold-hardy enough to be used for even garden and landscape use throughout most densely inhabited areas of California. Expect it to reach its natural 10-15' height if its growing in the ground, it's of course smaller and more compact inside. New growth emerges reddish, especially under cool conditions, then matures to very glossy, dark green palmate leaves with reddish petioles reach can reach over 12-16"across, much like its common standby cousin S. actinophylla (Octopus Tree). Branched terminal flower clusters are quite similar to its cousin as well but smaller, with moderately showy burgundy flower bracts followed by open panicles of small, round, blackish fruits, much resembling seed stalks of Fatsia japonica. Some collections have reportedly withstood temperatures close to 0°F but don't count on it unless you're adventurous, or know the provenance of your material. Still this may prove the equivalent of S. delavayi for those in colder areas. Sun to very shady conditions, average watering and drainage, feed as needed. USDA zone 8-9. rev 4/2021

delavayi  HARDY SCHEFFLERA  our first plants    flower spike    seedling leaf   another    another    another   a large shrub to small, spreading tree that produces extremely large lobed leaves and provides a stunning tropical vibe for gardens. These plants show dramatic and obvious variation as far as leaf shape, with some almost round and other deeply cut. The individual leaves are covered by tan to coppery indumentum when  young and can be over 2' across. Mature plants can be grown as shrub or tree form, they can reach 12' tall and wide. Flowers are small and insignificant but form on long, branched, antler-like then wispy stalks in summer and are an interesting feature. Sun/part shade, needs good drainage, evergreen and hardy to at least Portland, Oregon (USDA zone 8) and Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina (USDA zone 7b). Sean Hogan (Cistus Nursery, Portland) reports his specimen took 10F and was undamaged one year while Coast Redwoods and Italian Cypress were killed dead. China, Southeast Asia. rev 5/2020 

Scleranthus   about 10-12 species of mat and cushion perennials and annuals. Four to five species are native to Australia/New Zealand and the rest found in Africa, Europe and Asia. They are often treated as alpines or rock garden plants and grown in scree with peat-amended soils below. They generally prefer cooler, drier conditions. Caryophyllaceae. rev 6/2020

biflorus    AUSTRALIAN ASTROTURF, MOSSY SCABWEED, CANBERRA GRASS, CUSHION MOSS    garden landscape    alien pods incubating    children's art    a matting, moss-like perennial related to and somewhat resembling its family relative Armeria. The Australian National Botanic Gardens website shows it ranging along the very eastern edge of the Australian continent and notes "from the coast to alpine areas." Leaves are tiny, hard, bright green, and form an extremely tight mat. Minute, pinhead-sized flowers are inconspicuous. Eventually spreads to 3’ wide, with large, brain-like convolutions. Needs good drainage and at least some summer watering in most of California, but it will take considerable drought when established. Most of all it requires good drainage and dry conditions around the crowns when established or it can be ravaged by Rhizoctonia and other stem rots. Probably it will need partial shade in hotter inland climates though some of our best garden reports come from the Central Valley. Not sure of the climatic provenance of the US trade form but it certainly seems hardy for all of USDA zone 9 and I think I've heard of this particular form being used in Portland, Oregon (USDA zone 8). Best we can do at this point. Eastern Australia, New Zealand. UC Santa Cruz. rev 6/2020

uniflorus  (not currently in production)  KNAWEL CUSHION   up close    like the common Scleranthus, but even smaller, and tighter, and more coppery brown. An evergreen perennial from New Zealand that can be used for creeping over pavers or up and down the sides of a pot. Likes good drainage but also regular water. Sun or part shade. Only inches tall, spreading to 12" or more. USDA zone 8/Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24. rev 6/2020

Scrophularia auriculata 'Variegatum'  (not currently in production) VARIEGATED FIGWORT     leaf colors   its baaaa-aaack! Bright and bold variegated leaves for a moist, shady spot, and probably most useful when that spot is in container where it can be displayed against or as a backdrop for other plants. Tiny reddish brown flowers in summer are not showy, and their tall stalks can be cut out. Easy to grow in part shade or shade. Can get to 4' or more.  Evergreen in mild climates, cut back any time to freshen up the leaves. All Sunset zones/USDA 6. Scrophulariaceae. Europe. rev 5/2013-Suzy Brooks 

Sedeveria 'Hummeli'     flowers, shade, the easy life     spiked, sun, the hard life    the result of Sedum pachyphyllum x Echeveria derenbergii, this is a very useful little plant for groundcover, pots, hanging baskets, or for filling out a succulent wreath. In cold and dry the tips really get maroon, especially in sun. In some shade, with a little water, a soft blue green rosette is the result. Bright yellow, starry flowers appear in spring. About 6-8" tall by around a foot wide. Sun, part shade, some water in summer, drier in winter. Protect from cold. USDA 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. rev 6/2015-Suzy Brooks 

Sedum   herbaceous to soft-wooded, creeping to shrub-like succulents and groundcovers. Crassulaceae, about 600 species found in Northern Hemisphere temperate zones and high elevations tropics. rev 10/2012 

acre 'Aureum'  GOLDEN STONECROP  foliage  an ultratight, ultralow, nicely vigorous, creeping species with minute bright green leaves, growing just inches high and spreading as per all other Stonecrops. Mature leaves are golden green, small, starry, bright yellow flowers are just larger than the stems and appear in summer. Deciduous by late winter, and frosty hardy for almost the entire continent. It will tolerate a fair amount of foot traffic just due to its resilient and vigorous nature, is a great choice for filler or low cover in containers, and endears itself by not asking for much. Full sun to mostly shade, adaptable to moderate or very infrequent watering, can be grown inside in minature pots. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA zone 2-3. Europe, Asia. rev 11/2011

'Elegans'  tips frosted golden   grown for ages (before Roman times!) for its medicinal qualities, it can be found from Greenland to New Zealand. This variety has creamy variegation in spring and is green by summer. Tiny, dense leaves are only inches tall and branches spread. Give it a sunny spot with some summer water as groundcover or between pavers. Yellow flowers appear in spring. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 

x alboroseum 'Mediopicta'  just beginning to flower   probably more correctly x erythrostictum (S. spectabile x. S. viridescens) this is an upright species, with leaves broadly splashed in the center with deep gold (spring) to ivory (summer). In cool conditions the color changes to coral and strawberry. Grows as a broad mound to about 15" tall by 2-3' across. Winter deciduous. Late summer flowers are flat terminal panicles of light rosy pink. Mostly full sun, drought resistant of course but still needs summer watering. Sunset all zones/USDA 3. rev 9/2010

album nigricans  tight, coppery mat   this is another terminally cute micro-succulent, forming a tight, low, creeping mat of minute, dark green to coffee colored succulent foliage. Tiny white flowers with petals about the size of the leaves are produced in short, flat clusters in summer. Great for filling in cracks in pavement and rockeries, or as a contrasting underplanting or companion plant for a long list of perennials or other succulents. Sunset all zones (shade in hot-summer locations)/USDA zone 4. W. Asia, N. Africa. rev 8/2011

anglicum 'Love's Triangle'  tiny, tiny leaves   wouldn't you think that by now we would have run out of ultra-minute, blue-foliaged, creeping Sedums that customers crave? Well, we haven't! Here is yet another, this time featuring minute hairs that perch water droplets above and increase the beauty of their presentation. Tiny pink flowers also perch above in late spring and early summer. No higher than 6", creeping and matting everywhere. Sunset all zones/USDA zone 3. Western Europe. rev 9/2012

'Suzie Q'  filling in    a cleanly edge-variegated form, creamy white, with occasional all-white leaves. Slower growing. rev 11/2012

cauticola 'Lidakense'    closeup  a deciduous perennial succulent with blue grey leaves with a purple edge and covered with pink flowers in the fall. Wonderful for sunny, dry spots with resonable drainage. 4-6" tall and  spreading about 12" or more. Great for spilling over walls or over the sides of pots. Average to little water. Sunset zones 1-11,14-24/USDA 5-10. N. Japan. rev 5/2010

clavatum   nice colors   "club shaped," referring to the chunky leaves. This tight, compact, medium size grower has the most beautiful blue color on the new leaves, then fades to pale, almost jade green at maturity. With some direct sun and direct cold the tip of each leaf sports a burgundy spot. To just a few inches tall, spreading/sprawling and rooting in if it has the chance, and forming short, prostrate stems. Small white flower on short stalks are produced under long days. Native to volcanic soils and gorges at moderate elevations, southwest of Mexico City. Hardy to 25-20F but likes its winters dry. Generally easy for any application. rev 11/2012

dasyphyllum 'Major'   Manuel's awesome container   a minature mini, growing as a low, tight, ultra-dense, creeping mat of tiny, very blue grey leaves with small, starry pink flowers sprinkled closely across the top in summer. Makes an awesome single specimen or use it to fill in blank spots in walls or containers. Easy, fast, very frost hardy, deciduous with hard freeze but evergreen in most of populated California. Sunset all zones USDA zone 3. Southern Europe, North Africa. rev 8/2012

dendroideum  BUSH SEDUM   leaves close up    classic Santa Cruz landscape, nicely offsetting the recycle bin    a little nicer, off Morrissey Blvd, Eastside    Strybing Arboretum Orpine Wall    you know this plant, you see it all over in neglected verge areas, covering freeway roadcuts, against old houses etc., growing as a short, spreading green shrub topped with a blinding show of brilliant yellow flowers all across the top in late winter and early spring. My favorite use is as a contrast against a blue tarp that covers an old car up on blocks, where that yellow color really pops. It  is one of the largest and most shrub-like Sedums. Fast, easy to grow, evergreen to about 28-25F where it is burned to the ground. It will survive to around 20F, coming back from the roots, but it won't tolerate that temperature every year. A natural for containers, something you don't have to water every day. Sun or shade, but can pick up red leaf edges in full sun. Little watering once established. Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 2/2013

divergens  OLD MAN'S BONES, PACIFIC STONECROP  dem bones   a West Coast native, ranging from Northern California's Klamath Range floristic province up to Alaska. Tiny, pearly green leaves become coppery with sun and cold, and form a tight, dense mat just an inch or so in height. The bright yellow flowers are held in much looser stalks that arise 4-5" taller, appearing in summer. In nature this grows in rock, sand and scree, but in cultivation it just needs standard succulent mixes and sun or almost all shade. It will even grow as a house plant. but declines with winter chill. 1-11,14-24/USDA 2-9. rev 4/2012

forsterianum    little guy  a native of Great Britain, often found naturalized in old stone walls. Soft, grey green leaves make a lovely groundcover, spilling over walls, or in containers. Yellow flowers on 10" stems show in summer. Only inches tall and spreading, for sun and little watering once established. Distinguished by the fact that it doesn't drop its older leaves. All Sunset zones/USDA 3. rev 4/2011

'Silver Stone'    spruce-like foliage      steely blue leaves, 3-4" tall with starry yellow flowers to 10" in summer. Grown for  groundcover, between rocks, spilling from pots, in a hot, dry spot with good drainage. Little watering once established. All Sunet zones/USDA 5. rev 9/2014-Suzy Brooks 

'Golden Glow'   golden jade   thick leaves are greenish yellow when new and pick up some orange tan colors in sun. Makes a wonderful hanging basket plant or spilling over the sides of a pot. About 6-8" tall and trailing almost two feet. Nice for sun or part shade, no need to water this one every day.  Easy to blend with other succulents. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10. rev 2/2013-Suzy Brooks 

hispanicum 'Blue Carpet'  young plant  tiny bluish leaves on tiny stems on a very low growing plant. Leaf shape is oblong, growth is very tight and compact. Stems are annual or biennial renewed from beneath each year. Small white flowers appear on stems to 7" in early summer. Just the cutest little thing to tuck underneath any other plant, or for filling in, or just to enjoy by all by itself. Southeast Europe, Western Asia. rev 9/2009

'Blue Ridge' young plant  even tinier leaves, just fractions of an inch long, closely clustered. Opens up somewhat in shade. Even cuter and tinier than 'Blue Carpet.' rev 9/2009

v. minus  TINY BUTTONS  foliage  a flat, happily growing spreader with bright green stems that makes a nice dense carpet in pots, troughs, or in the dry garden. Sun or shade, little water once established, likes good drainage. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 4. rev 3/2012

v. minus 'Aureum'    GOLDEN TINY BUTTONS   nice against serpentine   bright yellow stems that make a nice, lively spot of color in almost any succulent planting. Sun will keep the brightest, richest color, but it takes shade well, with some greening if too dark. Little water once established, likes good drainage. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 4. rev 3/2012

kamtschaticum   KAMCHATKA STONECROP  leaves   slightly broad leaves have cut edges, lay flat carpet-style to slowly cover small areas. With cold and sun combined they will take on a coppery hue. Typical starry, bright yellow flowers will cover the plant in late spring to early summer. Very hardy, of course, and tough, and forgiving. Sunset zones 1-11, 14-24/USDA 2-9. Eastern Asia. rev 4/2012

'Variegatum'  leaves   leaves margined white, turning pink in colder weather. rev 4/2012

lineare 'Variegatum'  light green foliage   this is a mossy, mounding, thick mass of thin, soft leaves. Though striped white on the margins they actually just look light green from any distance. It gets maybe a foot tall, spreads nicely but behaves, and produces starry, light yellow flowers in late spring. E. Asia. rev 4/2010

'Little Missy'  see Cremnosedum 'Little Gem'

makinoi  JAPANESE STONECROP  a very useful, smooth-leaved, low, mat-forming, evergreen to deciduous species that roots in its tiny branchlets as it goes, spreading and mounding to form broad patches. It is one of the best for filling both cracks in your rock wall or gaps in your mixed containers. Deciduous with cold winters, usually offering at least a touch of fall color. Typical starry yellow flowers to 1/2" across appear in late spring. To about 3" tall. Sunset zones  5-9, 14-24/USDA zone 7. Japan. rev 12/2011

'Limelight'  green   a light, vibrant, lime green color, about halfway between the regular green color of the species and the luminous yellow of  'Ogon.' rev 12/2011
'Ogon' yellow  bright yellow to blond foliage, bleaching to almost white in the hottest sun but quickly shading into lime green with more than about a third of a day of shade. This is one of the best underplanting varieties of all the succulents, since it spreads quickly, stays looking neat or cuts back easily, and has that wonderful golden glow to light up the soil surface or dark areas. The subtle apricot and rust fall colors are more noticeable on this variety just because they show up better against that wonderful gold. It looks especially good against blue or green foliaged companions. It also looks striking as a striking solo subject in an appropriately strikingly colored pot (black? Parrish Blue? Jade green? Dark green? Chinese red?). rev 12/2011
'Salsa Verde' coppery green  very dark green foliage, more intense in color than the typical green of the species. rev 12/2011

mexicanum ("rupestre") 'Lemon Ball'  flowering   compact, light chartreuse gold foliage, small yellow flowers. Doesn't get the coppery winter foliage color of S. rupestre, under which it was formerly listed. rev 9/2015

montanum   foliage, close   beginning to flower   full bloom   very similar to S. rupestre, our form of this species bears needle-like blue green leaves and grows as a dense groundcover to just a couple of inches high. Great among rocks (its natural habitat), as a foliage element, or by itself in an appropriately decorative container. Flowers are deep yellow, heavily produced in summer, on coral stalks to a few inches high. Evergreen, semideciduous with extreme cold. It is montane and doesn't like extremely hot climates or reflected heat. Sunset zones 2-7, 15-17, 21-24/USDA zone 5. Southern Europe. rev 1/2010

moranense     finally, a neat and orderly "Pork and Beans"  common in Mexico, this little evergreen sedum spirals on the tips of its dark apple green leaves and has white flowers, not yellow, in summer time. Upright to 3-4" and spreading it can be used in stone wall crevices, as groundcover, in pots, and rock gardens. Sun, part shade, little watering once established. USDA 5. rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks 

morganianum   DONKEY'S TAILS  subtle lighting  he old one with the long leaves is what we've got. A natural draper, trailing out of a pot for 24" or more. Does not like to be moved, very brittle, but each leaf will make a new plant if you have the patience for it. Avoid hot sun, very bright light will make your plant compact and more colorful. Dark pink flowers may surprise you in early summer. Water regularly through summer but keep much drier in winter. Best as a container plant but can only be used in outdoor landscapes in frost-free climates and planting situations. rev 6/2016-Suzy Brooks

nevii 'Silver Frost'  like coral   a native of the Southeast,with silver grey leaves and starry white flowers in summer. A quick grower, spreading; hot, dry spots with little water okay. Looks great with rocks or stepping stones.About 4-6" tall, three times as wide. Evergreen in mild areas. All Sunset zones/USDA 4. rev 6/2012-Suzy Brooks 

nussbaumerianum   COPPERTONE SEDUM  close    Huntington!    flowers   a prostrate to semiscrambling or mounding variety with chunky leaves, snaky stems, and a bright coppery orange foliage color. Flowers are produced intermittently in winter and spring, pure white in respectable clusters. This is a great solitary or combo container item. Best color is seen in sun, it greens considerably in shade. Like many sedums this species has "jumping" leaves that are sensitive to handling, breaking off readily and forming new plants by rooting from the base. To 2-3' across when happy and mature, by less than a foot tall. Consider it frost sensitive. Mexico. rev 2/2010

oaxacanum    container-culture look   natural rockery look       grey green, pudgy little leaves on the tips leaving the reddish purple stems to show, this is an evergreen Stonecrop growing 3" inches tall and rooting as it spreads. Upright yellow flowers in early summer. Good choice for combination plantings and trailing over edges. From the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 9/2014-Suzy Brooks

palmerii  habit   a spreading yet capitate species, with trailing stems and small heads of broad, dull, grey green leaves that grow to about 6" above the soil. Loose cymes of starry yellow flowers appear under short day conditions.  Fills out nicely. Hardy to around 10F, Sunset zones 5-24/USDA zone 7. Northeastern Mexico. rev 7/2009

pachyclados  foliage  creamy white flowers   a smaller scale form that grows as a creeping mat of blue grey rosettes, leaf margins dentate. To just a couple of inches high, with whitish flowers appearing during the warm season. Dense, tough, hardy, easy. Sunset zone 2-24/USDA zone 5. Central Asia. rev 9/2009

pachyphyllum   container at Cabrillo Horticulture Center   very close   flower spike   a charming little charmer, with short branching stems that mound up to about 6-8" tall, bearing blue green leaves with deep rosy pink tints on the ends.  Contrast with rocks or with foliage in combo pots. Easy to use and place, a real cute little thing. Southern Mexico. rev 11/2009

pluricaule 'Island of Sakhalin'     nice clumpy plant   this island just north of Japan, and right off the coast of Russia, is blessed with gas and oil reserves, and also this dandy little succulent species. Round, thick blue green leaves grow into a small mound under 3-4" tall and spread out to a foot or more. Nice with rocks, in containers, troughs, or in a sunny garden spot with good drainage. A shy bloomer, with a few rosy pink flowers appearing in summer. Extremely cold hardy, needs little watering once established. USDA zone 4/all Sunset zones. rev 9/2014

polytrichoides 'Chocolate Ball'  winter color   closely related to, and very similar to S. rupestre and S. montanum, growing as a very similar mat of deep olive green, needle-like leaves, brown when very young, that turns completely deep chocolate burgundy with cool weather. Flower spikes are short, bearing typical starry yellow flowers. Likes sharp drainage, drier winters. Will take the cold of almost any West Coast climate, and probably likes the drier conditions of SoCal, but it also probably appreciates at least some vernalizing chill. To a couple of inches tall, spreading to a foot and rooting in and traveling slowly. Natural habitat is chinks in rocks, gravel, Eastern Asia. Zones 3-24/USDA zone 6. rev 1/2010

pulchellum 'Sea Star'  pink flowers  native to North America, east of the Rockies, this petite sedum has pink buds all lined up on five arms like a starfish and open to light pink flowers. Growing only 4-6" tall and  twice as wide, it is a fine choice for groundcover or in planting beds with some shade and regular watering. It can reseed as an annual outside Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 5/2012-Suzy Brooks 

reptans   pearly iridescence   here's a pretty little stonecrop from Mexico. Stays under 4" tall and spreads, rooting as it goes. A charming groundcover, especially under larger succulents, in containers or in the garden. Yellow flowers in summer. Sun or part shade. Not as hardy as some, but fine for most of California. Sunset zones 8, 9, 16-24/USDA 8b. Mexico. rev 8/2011-Suzy Brooks

x rubrotinctum  PORK AND BEANS   very close   full sun, UCSC   mostly shade, Doug Brower's garden   green summer growth flush   a small scale grower with rotund green leaves that quickly color to deep red with sun and especially sun and cold. They break off cheerfully and spread their ilk throughout your rock garden or containers. Great in pots, especially mixed with other species, especially with rocks. 8-9, 12-14-24/USDA zone 9. Mexico.  Probably a garden hybrid. rev 4/2010

'Aurora'  PINK JELLY BEAN   too cute!    a very pretty version of the usual brown and red form, pink flushed across the chubby, pale green leaves. Looks good with just about everything, blues, greens, dark, and light. Sun for the most color or part shade. About 6-8" tall, trailing, and rooting easily from fallen leaves. Lovely groundcover and nice in containers. Little watering once established. Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 9. rev 3/2013-Suzy Brooks  

rupestre 'Angelina'   foliage   winter  a wonderful creeping species with almost needle-like, chartreuse foliage heavily tinted golden yellow. Color is stronger in high light conditions. Sun to mostly shade, average watering. Fast, easy, a natural for container or landscape fill-in and a wonderful canvas against which to spread other foliage colors. In winter it picks up the most gorgeous coppery orange-red tones. Western Europe. rev 4/2012

spathulifolium   a Western and California native, this low, compact grower is one of the best and can be grown relatively in sun or shade, relatively wet or very dry. Short stalks of brilliant yellow flowers reach above the foliage mats in spring. Very cute and useful in pots or rockeries. USDA zone 7 or lower. rev 1/2018

'Carnea'  up close   grows as an extremely tight mat of deep wine red leaves with a whitish bloom on the older foliage. rev 1/2018

'Cape Blanco'   cute grey leaves  the best known of the powdery-white-leaf forms. Tight, dense, nice. rev1/2018

sp. 'Blue'    clasping leaves      bigger and bolder than Sedum 'Blue Spruce' but just as blue. A low grower, it also needs little water, growing best in part to full sun but tolerating dry shade if that's what's offered. USDA 5/all Sunset zones. rev 6/2015

'Spiral Staircase'  closeup   a clean green thing with small, shiny, rotund leaves and just enough starry, creamy white flowers to be interesting. Inches tall. Full sun to mostly shade, open, gravelly or similar soils. Frost hardy enough to survive on a roof at MSU as part of a green roof study. Sunset zones 1-24/ USDA zone 3. rev 4/2010

spurium    leaves   charming little cupped and scalloped leaves are green with clean red edges. Only inches tall and spreading quickly, it may be too much for a small space but makes a great groundcover if given enough space. Rosy red flowers appear in summer. Sun to part shade, little watering once established. USDA zone 3/Sunset 1-24. Caucasus, Asia Minor. rev 8/2015-Suzy Brooks 

'John Creech'  summer bloom   bright green, rounded, rather large leaves, very tight, with a low, moss-like habit. Showy light rose pink flowers are produced in summer. In fall the plant becomes reddish with cold. USDA zone 3/Sunset 1-24. rev 8/2015

'Tricolor'  flowers   warm conditions   cool conditions   leaf margins egded in deep salmon pink, spreading across the whole leaf in very cool, full sun conditions. Makes the light pink flowers look nicer.USDA zone 3/Sunset 1-24. rev 8/2015

stenopetalum douglasii    tiny habit   WORMLEAF SEDUM  a very cold hardy species from the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, with populations ranging from British Columbia down through scattered locations in Northern California and in the Sierras. The long narrow leaves are the source of the species' name. Low growing, slowly spreading, it sends up stalks of yellow flowers in early summer 4-8" high. A good candidate for rock gardens or the garden, anywhere with good drainage and some sunshine. Will take some summer water. USDA zne 5. Western US, British Columbia. rev 1/2018

'Sunsparklers'   'Blue Elf' PP21373   'Dazzleberry' PP22457     'Dazzleberry' - flat    'Cherry Tart' PP24603   'Firecracker' PP26595     'Lime Twister' PP26895   'Lime Zinger' PP24632     new hybrids of American native species selected for a variety of foliage colors, with S. cauticola as one parent and an Orostachys as the other. They bloom with a good display of pink flowers, displaying for almost two months in summer. Full sun to part shade, low water needs, average soils, cold hardy to USDA zone 4. rev 4/2021

telephium 'Matrona'   foliage   a large, robust deciduous perennial species much like 'Autumn Joy' or 'Spectabilis,' with broad grey green leaves tinted purplish. This plant makes a large, bold statement as a border perennial, with broad terminal clusters of light rosy pink flowers appearing in summer. Full sun for best purple leaf color and flower production. 3' tall, average to infrequent watering, Sunset all zones/USDA 3. Europe through Eastern Asia. rev 4/2012

ternatum 'Bucksnort'  WOODLAND STONECROP    foliage carpet    one word, a location name. A common deciduous native of the eastern part of the country, often found in areas of sparse vegetation. This little green species can tolerate shade and moisture but will withstand sun and drought. It gives you coppery fall color as well. Low growing and spreading, it adapts well to gardens and pots. Little, starry, bright white flowers are showy and appear in summer against the foliage. This form is somewhat more robust than the usual representatives, and leaves reach 1" in length. All Sunset zones/USDA 3. rev 11/2011

tetractinum  CHINESE STONECROP  foliage   very compact, dense growth, easily enough to smother weeds, to just a few inches tall, mounding and spreading quickly. Small, round, dark green leaves turn dark coppery to orange tones in cold weather. Starry yellow flowers appear in late spring. Sun to mostly shade. Very hard, Sunset zones 2-24/USDA zone 4. Eastern Asia. rev 1/2010

'Coral Reef'   spring growth   deep coral red to bronze winter color. rev 2/2021

ussuriense 'Turkish Delight'  bold foliage  large dark leaves, pink buds, and red flowers on this petite Stonecrop that only grows 6-8" tall. Makes a lovely dark accent to contrast with greener, greyer or bluer succulents in pots, or use it in the dry garden with silvery-blue foliage like Russian Sage or Blue Fescue. Likes well drained soil and needs little watering once established. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 5. rev 9/2020

wrightii  WRIGHT'S STONECROP  close   this native of the great state of Texas and nearby areas has small light green rosettes that are very dense in full sun, but loosen up into little round rosettes in shade. It grows less than a foot tall and spreads. Evergreen and blooms bright white, five petalled flowers in summer. Cute little groundcover in well drained soil or containers. Sun or part shade, little water once established, but will take regular watering also. All Sunset zones/USDA zone 5? rev 2/2012-Suzy Brooks

Selaginella   SPIKE MOSS    happy happy in the new Huntington conservatory    evergreen to deciduous plants that predate ferns, lacking true roots or true woody tissue. They are often incorrectly called "Club Mosses," a name best reserved for Lycopods. Most form dense carpets of lush, green softness that make you want to lay down and roll back and forth on top of it. Others form small, erect bushes or mini-trees. All are great in containers, some are very frost hardy and some are tropical. All like peat moss and humid conditions. Selaginellaceae. rev 1/2010

kraussiana  SPREADING SPIKE MOSS  a creeping perennial club moss with rich green foliage. It only gets to a couple of inches high and spreads slowly. It is hardy enough to have escaped and be encountered in the wild in Europe and Southern Australia. Good for protected garden sites as long as it has shade and regular watering. Also good in terrariums. Azores, tropical and South Africa. I'm not sure where the various trade forms were originally sourced from, and I doubt anyone else knows either. rev 12/2016

‘Aurea’    GOLDEN SPIKE MOSS    nursery crop    light chartreuse yellow foliage. Tips are lightest, older foliage is greener. rev 9/2020
‘Brownii’    GREEN BRAIN SPIKE MOSS    brain    nursery crop    forms Tight domes of bright green foliage. Can get beaten up outdoors in unprotected situations but is listed as hardy to USDA zone 6. rev 5/2006
‘Gold’    foliage detail    actually light green. A fast grower. Reportedly hardier than ‘Aurea.’ rev 9/2020

martensii    closeup    another “brain” form, this one with whitish foliage tips. Upright growing with arching to horizontal tips. USDA zone 9. Mexico, Central America. rev 5/2020

'Frosty' clean white tips against dark green older foliage give it a nicely frosted appearance. rev 5/2020

pallescens (emmeliana)  TURQUOISE SPIKE MOSS    mixed youngsters   green juvenile    bronze juvenile     turquoise lustre   juvenile-phase foliage is compact, with flat, rounded sprays of foliage that start off bronze under cool conditions then green up with warmer conditions. Mature-phase displays that legendary iridescent turqouise sheen, in deep shade, on both the bronzy and green foliage. Native to Tropical America. rev 4/2019

plana  CYPRESS SPIKEMOTH  summer   winter   a subtropical species that can't take direct frost but can grow in cold, wet soils if it has to. It will turn coppery-straw colors and then produce new green growth in spring but it appreciates early heat and warm shade. It makes a great house plant or container for the patio. To 12-18" tall, and it looks like a little pine tree. Tropics. rev 1/2010

uncinata  HARDY PEACOCK SPIKE MOSS   purple/blue cast   a hardy version of the very tropical, blue-sheened Peacock Moss (S. pallescens), this is by contrast much faster growing, and reliably cold-hardy (overwinters fine in coastal New York state). It develops a purplish-bronze coloring to the foliage under cool temperatures, with the same curious blue sheen found in several other plants known from very deeply shaded conditions. It is greener under brighter shade and also when flushing spring growth. Very good in containers, especially in low light conditions, or outdoors in the ground if it getes no direct sunlight. To about 6" tall with a mounding, cushion habit, spreading. It is mostly deciduous but hardy to USDA zone 6/Sunset zones 3-9, 14-17, 21-24. rev 6/2020

Sempervivum   about 40 species of hardy, fleshy to thin, tough perennial succulents grown mostly for their amazing spiral leaf arrangements but also for distinctive and charming flower displays. Hardiness is variable based on parentage, ranging from USDA zone 2 through 8 for various species. (Sunset zones 2-24) Distributed around the Mediterranean and adjacent areas, Spain, Morocco, W. Asia, the Alps and Eastern Europe. Crassulaceae. rev 2/2021

affine    spiderweb rosettes   thin, bright apple green leaves are heavily webbed with "spider silk" when young. This variety would rather endure cold than heat, be sure to provide shade in hot-summer climates. Good drainage, intermittent watering etc. Very frost hardy, to USDA zone 5/Sunset 2-24. rev 7/2015
'Alpha'    doing its thing   dark green leaves, with webby tips, pick up dark red tones in late winter. Pink flowers. rev 2/2017
'Averill'   up close   here's a looker! Long green leaves with red markings and some fuzz. Enter this one in the county fair come summer. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks
'Black'   young plant   medium green, leaf tips edged deep violet. Rather larger. Faint silky hairs edge the leaves and give the rosettes a silvery appearance. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA zone 3. rev 3/2008
'Blue Boy'  LIVE-FOREVER   closeup    another clump    medium sized rosette of bluish grey leaves, with pointy, purple petal tips.  Nice contrast for all those green ones in containers or well-drained soil, with rocks, stepping stones, or rustic objects like baskets or old watering cans. No hot sun, part shade in hot areas. rev 12/2014-Suzy Brooks 
'Brownii'  very close   larger scale, green with light maroon towards the center. rev 6/2012
'Carmen'  rosette  this hen produces plenty of chicks and forms a mat of thick green leaves with dark tips. Adjusts to growing in rocks and easily grows in a well drained location with sun or part shade. Not bothered by deer or drought. Sunset zones 2-24/USDA 3. rev 9/2013-Suzy Brooks 
'Cobweb Buttons'   I don't have a nice picture of this one yet because my wife won't weed her mixed container, but this forms congested clumps of ball-like rosettes to about an inch across, growing almost black in full sunlight, and covered by a dense netting of cobweb-like threads connecting the tips of the leaves. rev 5/2008
'Commander Hay'  rosette   green tipped red, but turning deep red with greenish tips in winter. rev 9/2009
'Desert Bloom'   young plant   cupped leaves are flushed light red on the top surfaces. Faint silky hairs on leaf margins.  rev 3/2008
'Edge of Night'   rosettes   a handsome plant of grey green, narrow leaves with darker tips and center eye, that forms a dense clump. Likes cold more than heat, so where it gets hot, give it some shade in summer. rev 6/2011
'El Toro'  winter tones   a larger than normal rosette of stiff, green leaves with red tips, a greenish blue center and growing to 7" across. Even the pups are big. Likes cold more than heat, part shade where summers are hot. rev 4/2011
'Emerald Empress'  rosettes  tough grey green leaves are edged in maroon, with a maroon black tip. rev 3/2008
'Gold Nugget'   a 'Chick Charms' (TM) series variety, this grows into a large rosette, light green leaves becoming golden yellow at the base when sited in full or mostly full sunlight. Best color is seen from late spring through fall, it's been greener in winter or with increasing shade levels in our experience. rev 8/2019
'Green Wheel'  spring growth   clean green, with reddish stalks on the new growth. rev 4/2010
'Greg Grant'      rosette     whole bunch   silvery blue grey, purple tips. rev 4/2018
'Hopewell'   young plant   sea green to jade green rosettes with a slightly silvery sheen. Hard and tough when established. rev 3/2008
'Jade Rose'  young plant   relatively long, narrow leaves are medium green with a maroon stripe on the backside. Each leaf tip is defined by a tiny tuft of silvery hairs. Plant is small textured and soft and tends to throw miniature rosettes from short runners. rev 3/2008
'Jewel Case'   high color, from bright light plus cold   warmer season   and quite the number of 'chicks' it produces! By early fall, there are plenty of them in bright, coppery orange with green centers to plant elsewhere or pass along. rev 12/2013-Suzy Brooks
'Kalinda'  rosette  greenish brown with red tips, when weather is cool. Otherwise jade green with reddish tips. rev 9/2009
'Lavender and Old Lace'  rosette   grey green to grey blue, lavender to maroon leaf edges. rev 8/2010
'Mona Lisa'  fuzzy tips  light cobwebs on these small rosettes, growing dense and compact. rev 7/2012-Suzy Brooks 
'Moss Rose'    young plant    very broad jade green leaves, each edged in silvery hairs. rev 3/2008
'Oh My'   closeup of rosette   olive and and maroon, very pretty, especially because mature leaves retain the wonderful red tint on the leaf reverse. rev 3/2016
'Pacific Blazing Star'  rosette  long green leaves with a red center, color best in spring.
rev 7/2014
'Pekinese'     fuzzy green lil' charmer!   apple green leaves with some cobwebbing. Pink flowers. rev 5/2015
'Plum Fuzzy'   fuzzy and plum  in low light, or when very young you won't see any plum, you'll need maturity, sun, cold and/or water stress to bring that out. Offsets very quickly and attractively. rev 6/2020
'Pluto'  handsome devil!  this delightful Live-forever is light green with maroon tips and is a bit larger than your average one. Only inches tall and clumping, it prefers cold weather to hot, so you guys in Red Bluff, give it some shade. Deer resistant and drought tolerant. Just some well drained soil and a smile once in a while is all it needs. rev 3/2012-Suzy Brooks
'Red Beauty'  young plant  grey green tipped in red. rev 9/2009
'Purple Beauty'  and it is  another amazing rosette of perfect symmetry, green-grey leaves with purple. Almost looks like it is made from metal. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks
'Redheart'    young plant   tops of the leaves are flushed faint burgundy red. rev 3/2008
'Ruby Heart'  young plant   interiors glow warm orange red, outer portions are deep grey green to silvery blue green. rev 1/2019
'Rojin'   hairy red with pups  red, hairy, and puppy.Or a hairy red pup. Cold weather turns the olive rosette into a dark red flower. rev 5/2014-Suzy Brooks
'Sanford'   sombre mystique   purple tones on greenish grey leaves and red violet stems bring some subtle color to the dry garden. rev 6/2012-Suzy Brooks
'Spring Beauty'  fine young rosettes   light silvery green with a faint blush of peach on the outside. rev 11/2009
tectorum greenii    close close    botanic garden, I forget which    this species is one of the very best for its bright, jade green leaves with their distinct dark red tips. This particular form does a little better job of what the species does in the first place, with better defined tips of the darker color. Given the space and the right conditions it can form neat, clean colonies of neat, perfectly spiraled rosettes that march slowly outward. Makes a wonderful low growing, clumping carpet for troughs, baskets, low bowls, or any dry garden. Color, size and form are clearly best in at least part shade, as it will usually cup tightly in full summer sun, plus the leaves will lighten, or even sunburn a bit on their backsides, from those high light levels combined with summer heat. Deer resistant, low maintenance, and a low water user. Frost hardy, USDA 4/Sunset all zones. rev 8/2014
'Viking'  deep red, sometimes flushed green towards the interior in full sun if pushing growth, and usually so most of the time in partly shaded or houseplant conditions. rev 3/2018

Senecio   an extremely large genus ranging from familiar annual weeds and cute, chunky little succulents to our familiar winter Cinerarias, subtropical vines and even trees. Compositae/Asteraceae. rev 6/2019

amaniensis  (not currently in production)   striking habit at the Huntington Children's Garden   cheery flowers   (not currently in production) a large, hard, robust, shrubby species with simple silvery green leaves and an upright, open habit. Brilliant gold flowers are produced in small upright clusters from the branch tips in spring. Looks best when cut back occasionally, and when grown dry and in full sunlight. In shade, rich soils, or with copious watering it becomes more mundane. Hardiness unknown, but it took a light freeze without any damage. Probably 25F, possibly lower. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24. Tanzania. rev 6/2019

barbertonicus   BARBERTON GROUNDSEL   fine Huntington shrublet     rather nice flowers     finger leaves   a shrubby to scandent, half-woody, succulent species, eventually reaching 3-5' tall or more in nature. Rather nice flowers (for a succulent Senecio), warm yellow-orange, initiate under short days, have a nice, sweet fragrance and attract butterflies. Butterflies are always nice. Narrow, finger-like green leaves are about 2-3" long, very ornamental. Cut this back after 2-3' or so or if it starts to look sprawly and unkempt. Southern and southeastern Africa. rev 1/2018

cephalophus    nice blue leaves   rosettes of large, very blue grey leaves, then startling, brilliant red to red orange flower clusters appear in fall, held over the foliage on compact, branched  stalks. This is really spectacular when it starts to bloom, but the leaves alone make the plant worth growing as a color/texture item, alone or in combination. This needs warm winter temperatures, and should be kept as dry as feasible if left on a porch or protected patio over winter in almost all of California. Even so expect to lose it eventually to cold-wet-rot. USDA zone 10. This is often classified under Kleinia. South Africa. rev 4/2021

cineraria   DUSTY MILLER   a big, confused mess. Until I see them flower with my very own eyes I'm not sure any of the following don't belong in Centaurea cineraria, or C. ragusina. Centaureas have swollen flowerhead bases, Senecios do not. If indeed a Senecio then this would now often be classified as Jacobaea maritima. But Senecio cineraria is such an established and widespread synonym we'll continue to use it else you wouldn't know what we're talking about. A shrubby perennial or soft-wooded shrub to 3' or so, clumping, producing finely-cut leaves covered by fine white hairs. Flowers are yellow. Southern Europe, western Asia Minor. rev 6/2021

'Angel Wings'  large trade show specimen, Cultivate 2018 (Ohio)   overhead shot by Tim Mitchell   shippin' out!   fur closeup   a fast-growing, non-blooming form grown for its outrageously righteous, dense white fur. Very broad, rounded leaves put this one in a class by itself. This form grows to about 1-2' tall by 18"-36" across, the main stems eventually sprawling away from its center. Likes full sun to partial, slightly dry shade, good drainage, modest to very infrequent watering and can even be used as a houseplant. This plant, along with several other Senecios, including S. vulgaris our common, yellow-flowered nursery weed, contains compounds which in extracted form have been shown to strongly prevent gastric ulcers. I'll probably move this to Centaurea ragusina soon, I just have a feeling about that ultra-wide leaf  .  .  .  USDA zone 8. rev 6/2021

'Silvergleam'  first crop sales    dense white hairs   mature-phase foliage   summer silver    juvenile leaves are quite broad, almost uncut, mature leaves are smaller and have a couple of pairs of smaller blades at the base of the petioles. To ~12" tall so far, looks like it wants to lean over after that. Our source (Kintzler) reports good weather and cold tolerance. I'm betting this is really a Centaurea. rev 6/2021

'Winter Whispers'  'Silvergleam' vs. 'Winter Whispers'   mature-phase foliage   nice first crop   faster, broader spread than sibling 'Silvergleam' above, leaves are more deeply cut and just as silvery white. Looks like it wants to get taller - 18-24"?? Another one I'm betting is really a Centaurea. rev 6/2021

crassissimus   propellers   flattened leaves with purple edges are held vertically from the stems on this Madagascar native. A very handsome foliage plant, great one for a container, alone or mixed with other succulents. About 24-30" tall and wide. Can get yellow flowers on the tips as it gets older. Water some in the growing season but very little in winter. Likes bright shade or part sun. Houseplant, annual/seasonal everywhere, reliable in the landscape 22-24/USDA 10. rev 1/2011

cylindricus    why you grow it   flowers     Jewel Box neighborhood, Capitola    long leaves   nice Cabrillo College combo wine barrel    artsy backyard wall espalier   display garden   UCSC Hort Building   stock plant hillside groundcover   finer, longer, and not as blue as S. mandraliscae, taller, faster and less picky about soil and drainage. Flowers are relatively nondescript little cream-colored things, brushy style. It burns down to the ground with frost. Best in containers or with partial protection in rock/succulent gardens. rev 8/2019

ficoides 'Skyscraper' ('Mount Everest' PP22188)    BLUE CHALK   juvenile phase, fall   adult phase, late winter    this improved new release from Sunset is sturdier, has thicker leaves, denser foliage and stronger, more robust stalks which can grow taller than the species (to 3-4') without flopping over. Flowers are very close to kin S. mandraliscae/S. repens, narrow upright terminal clusters of rayless white flowers reaching above the foliage in winter. The strongly vertical/architectural profile makes this a natural for containers, or in the garden against any type of background. Plus it's easy to grow, neat, drought tolerant, has mesmerizing leaf color, was described by the mighty but weird Linnaeus himself - what else do you want?? One of the best! In cultivation since about 1850. Needs protection from hard freezes. USDA zone 9/Sunset 16-17, 21-24. Native to the northern Cape Region, South Africa. rev 1/2019

haworthii  WOOLY SENECIO   striking white foliage   a very bright silvery white succulent with long pointy leaves that hails from Africa. Just the thing for some bold  contrast in your collection. The flowers are yellow and shy. Spring is the best time to prune to tidy up bare stems and make more plants to pass along to friends. Can grow to 2' or more, forming a clump. Sun, part shade, or bright light indoors. Great in containers and in combination plantings. Let dry between waterings. Sunset zones 22-24/USDA 10. rev 2/2012-Suzy Brooks

mandraliscae  BLUE FINGER  blueness   this is one of the bluest plants, surpassed only by some of the strange, iridescent creatures found in deep, deep tropical shade. Only Century Plants and Ruta graveolens (Rue) could be considered as striking, among commonly cultivated plants, as well as a couple of other rare succulent bretheren. This forms a spreading mat of upright, finger-like succulent leaves, total height about 12-16",  and is capable of extending out as a bank cover from a single plant. Humble flowers are little white puffballs on slim stalks in summer. This excels when placed against contrasting foliage (golden, bright green, grey, coppery), against rocks, even just the dark shade of a background area. In containers it needs room, or the chance to sprawl, or it will dominate. But then it looks fine by itself in that container anyway! Sun to part shade, infrequent watering, protect from hard freezes. South Africa. rev 3/2012

palmeri   WHITE SAGE   flowers   wonderful foliage   white, but definintely not a sage! Think of this as a California Floristic Province version of a Dusty Miller. Endemic to Guadalupe Island off the coast of Baja California, where over large areas it forms dense, spreading mounds, to 4-8' across by 3' tall, with long, densely white-tomentose vertical leaves and small, open clusters of 2-3" yellow daisies heavily sprinkled across the top in late winter and early spring. "A very free and showy bloomer" was the note taken by a collector in the late 1800's. Sun, good drainage, very drought tolerant but will accept summer watering as like other Baja plants they are well-adapted to very heavy rains during hurricane season. Probably frost hardy to around 25-20F. rev 9/2017

rowleyanus  STRING OF PEARLS   here they are!  wonderful spiller to cascade over the sides of pots, hanging baskets, or planted up fountains. Can be treated like a houseplant, bright light or morning sun, while avoiding cold temperatures. Let the soil surface dry between waterings and if you want it to grow long, put it in a place where it won't get bumped or have to be moved. Short, tight clusters small white flowers appear down the stems during short days, they have a strong, sweet, clove-like fragrance. Indoor or porch/patio, outdoors without overhead protection only in USDA zone 10/ Sunset zones 23, 24. rev 2/2018

scaposus    flower closeup    finger closeup   Huntington Botanic Gardens   (syn. Cautia scaposus) here is a sea urchin for your succulent coral garden! Long, cylindrical, silky-silvery leaves grow slowly but steadily, and a specimen grown without scrapes or breaks is a beautiful sight. Rather large flowers of deep golden rays and discs (one per spike on small plants, about fifteen on larger, branched and trunked specimens) dance high above the leaves from fall through late spring. A great small container plant when young, to 4-6" tall, clumping tightly. It can also be grown into a 2' tall by 3' wide or more landscape specimen in very well-drained sites in the warmer, drier-winter locations such as Southern California. Bring it in if you get near freezing, USDA 9/Sunset 16-24. Native to drier-winter areas of South Africa's Cape Region, found growing on rocky slopes in full sun or under partial shade from trees and shrubs. rev 10/2017

   fragrant lilac flowers   Karl Dobler's Ventura hillside garden   Huntington greenhouse specimen    thick, powdery blue-grey leaves form the perfect backdrop for the large, very fragrant lilac purple flowers and showy orange stamens. To 12" tall by 2-3' across, if you're a decent succulent grower. This is one of the pickier succulents we offer but I've seen it grown well outdoors in Karl Dobler's garden in Ventura. This form (Yemen? Socotra Is.?) probably never sees temps very close to freezing in its native range, and any rainfall occurs almost entirely in mid-summer, almost never in winter. The biggest, nicest specimens I've seen are both seen in images linked above. It's definitely best grown in containers for moving to a better spot our colder, wetter winters. Historically classified as Cacalia s., Notonia s. and Kleinia s. Another eco-form of this species (v. grantii) grows as a caudiciform (makes a giant root). It's found farther south, in northeastern Africa. Yemen. rev 3/2019

serpens  CHALKSTICKS  young, fresh, clean leaves    more plump, mature leaves at the Huntington   very similar to S. mandraliscae, with similar powdery blue, upright leaves, but the leaves are only about half as large, it has only half the height and spread and is more compact. The purple highlighting on the mature leaf tips is particularly nice. This is a feature plnat but also a good choice for filling in or spilling out of containers, over walls, or as a groundcover, adding contrast to green and big leafed plants. Sun. Little watering once established.Flower clusters are small, white, solitary, brushy, and not very showy. Frost sensitive, tops at least. No experience with it yet after a very hard freeze. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16, 17, 21-24. rev 1/2019

dwarf form  DWARF CHALKSTICKS   why you grow it    landscape, cousin S. mandraliscae behind   nice yet humblwe winter flowers   ultra-macro leaftips view   an even more compact, denser form than its already tidy parent, more captivating for some reason.  rev 1/2019

stapeliiformis  PICKLE PLANT, CANDYSTICK PLANT   flower and seed head    single, tiny terminal bud  forms very vertical, branched clusters of very snake-like stems, light green with what almost look like vertical stripes of green scales along the stems. New stems pop up around the base of mature plants. Single, bright orange red flowers are borne at the very tip of young stems, followed by dandelion-like seed heads. Nice specimens can be really showy when many flowers go off all together. Usually seen under a foot or two tall. Part sun, water spring through fall but let dry between, keep as dry as possible in winter, can take light frost but protect from hard freeze. Takes cold winter soil temperatures if not too wet. Sometimes classified as Kleinia, along with many other Senecios that are particularly succulent in leaf and/or stem. Eastern Cape, South Africa. rev 6/2019

Sequoia sempervirens    COAST REDWOOD    second growth redwoods at UC Santa Cruz    a tall, well known evergreen conifer, usually growing to 40-60’ tall in a reasonable amount of time in cultivation. However they commonly grow to over 200' in their native range, and to over 375' high for record specimens. The varieties ‘Aptos Blue,’ ‘Santa Cruz,’ and ‘Soquel’ are almost the only selected forms sold. They were chosen by the late Charlie Sams of Beeline Nursery, a mostly-landscape specimen grower in Corralitos, from a large group of seedlings of Northern California provenance and sold to the state by Pacific Nuseries. They were originally planted by Caltrans along Highway 17 between Hamilton Ave. and Interstate 280 in the San Jose area. They received no soil amendments and were subject to extremely adverse planting and growing conditions, with little watering and heavy exposure to heat, smog, and auto exhaust. From this planting, cuttings were taken from the nicest plants, which were then selected for ease of propagation, form, density, and suitability to container production. These selected varieties are some of the best forms to plant outside of this plant’s native range. That said, from experimentation it appears that almost any vigorous, good looking form will do well outside its native range. The trade forms are used because they are known to be good varieties in the ground, they can be propagated, they row quickly and evenly, and they do well under nursery conditions. 

     World renowned plantsman and propagator Gerd Schneider, who worked in the landscape nursery trade at the time when these three varieties were selected and introduced, states that "the development of these varieties was perhaps the most significant development in the [California] nursery trade of the century. It completely transformed the use of that tree." Give Charlie credit for recognizing that the variation in the redwoods was inherent, it wasn't just their reaction to whatever conditions they were growing in. Before Charlie no one had thought to grow nicer redwoods by simply choosing nicer redwoods to grow. rev 6/2019

     Redwoods can be used in a number of creative ways. They grow naturally in groves, and most trees start as basal sprouts from a previous tree. Often they occur in circular rings composed of genetically identical individuals that are of uniform appearance and habit. So one way of using them would be to plant one clone in a circle, then add plants naturally found with them, such as Native Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum), Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata), Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum), or Redwood Sorrel (Oxalis oregona). But your choices don't have to be limited to actual natives, they can encompass similar plants such as hybrid Rhododendrons, tree ferns (Cyathea, Dicksonia), Chinese Wild Ginger (Asarum splendens), Coral Bells (Heuchera), and other woodsy perennials and shrubs. In wet spots use other species of ferns, or native Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton) for its luxuriant foliage. Find some large beach driftwood and partially sink it in the ground to mimic the sunken logs you see in a real forest. Don't over plant, and don't rake up the litter, you want that deep, soft, quite carpet of fragrant, warm red brown needles to act as a canvas for your plants. Add a small, deep, rock-lined pond or trickling rivulet. Heck, add a wood or stone bench too. Don't be surprised if Steller's Jays start frequenting your planting, livening the atmosphere with their raucous calls and bringing a bit of Big Basin's tranquility to your yard. Heck build a massive 1930's era CCC-style stone fireplace with iron grill so you can cook a smoky bacon and eggs breakfast in your backyard and why even leave home???

     Redwoods will always greatly appreciate deep mulch over the roots. In hotter climates they will grow just fine until they reach about 100', then they stop getting taller due to lack of fog providing moisture to the tops. It is usually best to keep the bases of the plants shaded because exposure to strong light quickly stimulates latent buds to develop a thicket of stump sprouts.

     Coast Redwoods can be used very effectively as a clipped hedge. They do wonderfully and present a wall of soft, verdant green needles after every clipping. As a tall, unpruned screen figure on 3-4' of growth per year if fed and watered regularly. Taxodiaceae. rev 6/2019

‘Aptos Blue’    at 105F in Fresno    coastal commercial landscape    young specimens    soft foliage    distinguished by dense, dark blue green, semiweeping foliage. Considered the best form to use in most areas ouitside redwoods’ native range, especially hot regions such as the Central Valley or Southern California. Fastest variety on many soils. In the opinion of the vast majority of landscape architects and landscape contractors this is by far the nicest variety. Barry Coate estimates this variety is 95% of what is specified on plans he reviews from landscape architects and government-associated entities for private, commercial and large institutional installations. Introduced by Charlie Sams. 9/2020

‘Santa Cruz’    familiar view    habit, young tree    foliage   dark green, dense, bushy foliage, with branches held more or less horizontally to very slightly drooping. Somewhat more prone to heat and cold burn in the hottest climates. Charlie Sams told me this was his own personal favorite selection of the three varieties he introduced. 9/2020

‘Simpson’s Silver’    foliage    the very fastest variety, capable of 6' per year in good sites with enough water and fertilizer, and fast enough to be a problem in production as far as selling them quickly enough. This was originally developed by the Simpson Lumber Co. for timber production and released to the horticultural trade. It has slightly silvery green needles when young, becoming much more pronounced silver grey with age. Plant, water, and stand back! rev 3/2015

‘Steel Blue’    foliage detail   steely blue at first, then lighter, more powdery blue greeen foliage at maturity, meaning a few years. It is never as blue as a Colorado Blue Spruce. Small textured foliage, moderate growth rate. This is a relatively new release that still looks good so far. I have two anonymous users in the Sacramento Valley (Rod Whitlow and Dave Tegbert) who have grown it and like it better than 'Filoli,' saying that while it isn't quite as blue it almost is, and it has a much nicer habit, and it doesn't bear a heavy crop of cones, and it does well in the Central Valley. Grower and nurseryman Mike Seidel  from Crowfoot Nursery in Sandy, Oregon (Portland area), reports he feels it is substantially better looking and more vigorous there than other available named varieties. rev 3/2015 

‘Soquel’    young trees    Harvey West Park    light to deep blue green foliage, depending on soil fertility, trace elements, growth rate and stress. Usually easily recognized by its visibly upswept branch tips and strong leader. More tolerant of Central Valley conditions than 'Santa Cruz.' From Charlie Sams. rev 9/2020

Sequoiadendron giganteum  GIANT SEQUOIA   cone-shaped spire   Sierra cousin to our Coast Redwood. In your lifetime it will form a neat, cone-shaped spire of dense, dark green foliage. It will tolerate a wider range of climates than S. sempervirens but always seems to do best with more winter chill than it receives in most of populated California. rev 5/2021

Sesleria   compact clumping grasses native to Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 6/2019

autumnalis  AUTUMN MOOR GRASS   flower heads, close    a green clumper, featuring interesting silvery white spring flower and seed spikes. A non-invasive meadow subject, drought tolerant near the coast. Mass plantings, grouped, edgings. Sun, part shade, to 10-12". USDA zone 5. rev 2/2017

'El Campo'    1g crop    modestly showy flower   some idea of habit from these 1g, ready to ship    a probably hybrid (S. autumnalis female x S. caerulea?) from our fellow Californian Native Sons Nursery that produces beautiful fine, blue blades in a robust but compact clump to 1-2' tall. Flower/seed stalks shoot higher, bearing blackish flowers with somewhat showy whitish anthers. Full to half sun, moderate to infrequent watering, average soils and drainage. Evergreen but old blades fade to straw/brown with time over winter, cut back when new shoots appear in spring, if needed - or ignore and new blades will make everything good. USDA zone 8 or 7. rev 4/2021

heufleriana   BLUE-GREEN MOOR GRASS     bluish 1g   humble flower   a compact grass grown for its bluish leaf undersides. Bears interesting purple-brown flower/seed heads in late spring. To about 12-16" tall and wide in full to half sun, not too picky about soils or drainage, average to intermittent irrigation when established. USDA zone 4. Eastern Europe. rev 4/2021   

Silene  CAMPION, CATCHFLY  creeping to upright annuals, perennials and almost shrubby plants native to the Northern Hemisphere. Flowers have 5 petals, sepals are often somewhat balloon-like. Hortus Third says "the name has three syllables." Caryophyllaceae. rev 1/2013

dioica 'Clifford Moore' blooming   foliage closeup  a bold foliage plant, forming a dense carpet to about 8" tall of broadly edge-variegated leaves. In late spring tall stalks to 3' tall bear rose pink flowers in a  nice display above the clumps. Likes full sun, average watering and drainage. Looks great even after the flower stalks are cut back. Species is native to Europe. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-24/USDA zone 3. rev 1/2013

quadrifida (alpsetris)  ALPINE CATCHFLY  flowers  the best of the genus? I first got enthusiastic about this plant because of Bob Barnhart, a former retail nurseryman and excellent plantsman who had a micronursery on Sims Road above Santa Cruz. Bob had a special place in his heart for alpines but he was also a nurseryman and grower who demanded good garden performance and good production characteristics in a plant. This grows as  a compact, creeping, evergreen to deciduous perennial with small, tight, dark green foliage forming a wonderful contrast to a heavy display of tiny double white flowers held on short branched stalks. Heaviest show is in early spring but if cut back it will continue in waves from spring through early fall. If you get close, or grow it in an enclose space such as a porch or patio, you will notice the flowers smell like cotton candy. To only about 4-6" tall, spreading to around 10" before it begins to show open spots, and spreading slowly. Wonderful in small contiainers, in any rockery or alpine garden, on a small mound. Sun, average watering and drainage, very frost hardy. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 3. Eastern Alps. rev 7/2017

pendula 'Celina'   dark foliage with dark and light pink flowers on this charming, cascading, reseeding annual. So cottage gardeny! Let it spill over the side of a pot or a path. About 8-10" tall and 12" wide. Sun or part shade, average watering. All zones.
rev 5/2013-Suzy Brooks

'Rolly's Favorite' PP17392  flowers   always sold as a Silene, or a hybrid of the two genera, it was actually grown from a Lychnis seed. Forms a short, upright, spreading clump of green leaves that produces intense rose pink flowers in a veritable carpet of color in late spring. To about 16" tall when in bloom, cut it back and watch it go again. Repeat. Full sun, rich soil, average watering, frost hardy. on this very showy selection. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-24/USDA zone 5. rev 1/2013

uniflora 'Druett's Variegated'  a wonderful, usually evergreen (in California) perennial that grows as a very tight, dense mound of creamy white and grey green foliage, tight enough to completely exclude weeds. A light display of typical inflated white flowers on short stalks is produced from spring through fall. Goes well with other mounding or creeping perennials, special rocks or short grasses of mixed foliage color. Full to half sun, average drainage and watering. Very hardy, native to northern Europe.  Sunset zones 1-9, 14-17, SoCal??/ USDA zone 1. rev 1/2013

Sisyrinchium bellum BLUE EYED GRASS  evergreen to deciduous, clumping, rhizomatous perennials that bear usually purple blue flowers, though color can range from to white and light sky blue. Found in meadow or coastal prairie habitats, usually seasonally wet. Iridaceae. rev 8/2017
'Arroyo de la Cruz'  CALIFORNIA BLUE EYED GRASS   wonderful flowers   a wonderful and superior form, in its typical captivating blue purple color but separated from every other selection its unusually large flowers and wide, rounded petals. Just as important, this has demonstrated outstanding plant vigor and dependable overwintering performance, which are often weak points. This came to us from Brett Hall of the UCSC Arboretum, but actually "came in from the cold" back in the 1980's, when it was spotted growing in a coastal prairie community just north of San Simeon by Vern Yadon, a long-time Monterey County native plant and wildflower expert and former director of the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum. Forms a vigorous and dense clump of stems to about 12" tall and wide, best grown in full or almost full sun. Tolerates clay soil, summer irrigation, wet conditions, dry conditions and probably more. USDA zone 8 or 7/Sunset zones 5-9, 14-17, 21-24. rev 8/2017
'Devon Skies'  COMPACT BLUE EYED GRASS   this is a very short, compact form of a grassy, evergreen perennial related to Iris. It produces short, open clusters of small, six-petaled flowers, light violet blue with a darker eye, down against the tips of the 4-5" tall leaves. Bloom begins in late winter, and can continue through summer and into fall with supplemental irrigation. Happily this is a sterile form that won't seed itself through your garden. Will tolerate saturated soils in winter, drought in summer. Sun, great in containers. This species is found across much of California. Sunset zones 3-9, 14-24/USDA zone 5. Iridaceae. rev 2/2010 (not currently in production)

‘Greyhound Rock’    BLUE EYED GRASS    very closeup    typical clump    a compact, grassy, evergreen perennial related to Iris. This variety produces clusters of small six-petaled flowers in an unusual and beautiful sky blue color. Bloom begins in late winter, and can continue through summer and into fall with supplemental irrigation. Will tolerate saturated soils in winter, drought in summer. Sun, great in containers. This species is found across much of California. California Native Plant Society. Iridaceae. rev 9/2003

'Rocky Point'  flowers   DWARF BLUE EYED GRASS   a  dwarf  Blue Eyed Grass, only  growing  6-8"  tall,  having  dark purple  flowers all summer  long.  Nice  look with  rocks,  water,  along  a  path,  or  in  containers. Sun  or  part  shade. Semi-deciduous.  Average to little water once established.  Sunset  zones  4-9,14-24/USDA 5-10. rev 5/2010

‘San Bruno Mountain’   SAN BRUNO MOUNTAIN BLUE EYED GRASS  very closeup   a very heavy bloomer, distinguished by heavily branched racemes of typical purple blue flowers, and often forming plantlets later on the flower stalks. To 1’ tall, 18" wide. rev 8/201 MBN INTRODUCTION-1991

Solanum jasminoides    WHITE NIGHTSHADE    closeup    habit    another nice plant    a fast twining evergreen vine, producing showers of white flowers with yellow stamens and hints of lavender on the backsides of the petals. This species really responds to fertilizing, but can also inhabit verges and unmaintained areas, subsisting well on minimal watering, pruning, and fussing. It offers good bloom throughout the season, even well into winter if temperatures aren't too severe. Relatively undamaged at 20°F, even in containers. Sun to part shade, average to little summer watering. USDA zone 9. Brazil. Solanaceae.

'Variegata'   flowers against leaves   creamy yellow, uneven borders on pointy leaves with an olive green center. Little round buds open to starry white flowers, with bloom occurring most of the year. Much more compact and restrained than the non-variegated form, it displays even better than its parent against a dark background. Full to at least half sun for best foliage color, bloom. rev 3/2017 

Soleirolia soleirolii ‘Aurea’    GOLDEN BABY'S TEARS    what it does    a light, golden, blonde yellow form that has never reverted on us. This is a great plant for shady spots in the landscape. It is great for use in shade combo containers or baskets, as a filler or just for its color and tiny leaves. It looks fantastic under such strong textured shade plants such as Clivia or Western Sword Ferns. It looks almost psychedelic against strongly colored shade foliage such as the mahogany and cherry red striped leaves of Iresene lindenii. It tolerates almost no direct sun except early morning or very late afternoon (or it bleaches and burns immediately), at least average drainage, and regular access to moisture. Expect it to mound up to about 12" at the most, and spread to the limits of shade, water, and traffic. Flowers are minute and usually unnoticed. For some reason I really like this plant. I stop to look at it and press against the springy foliage almost every time I pass by. Some day I will eradicate the normal green form which permeates my garden and get this less aggressive form established. Western Mediterranean, Italy. Urticaceae. rev 9/2003

Sollya heterophylla    BLUEBELL CREEPER  mounding, trailing habit    a sprawling to scandent shrub to 2’ tall, 6’ or so wide. Can climb much higher as a twining vine when established if given something to climb on. It can turn a chain link fence into a wall of tiny blue bellflowers. The clusters of small, pendant, bell-shaped flowers are produced from late spring through fall. It finds its greatest use in landscapes as a groundcover for dry shade, but it can also grow in full sun with some burning in summer in the very hottest areas. Needs little summer watering when established but looks better with some. Damaged below 25F but can survive 20F. Australia. Pittosporaceae. rev 1/82013

Monterey Bay Sapphire  IMPROVED BLUEBELL CREEPER     closeup   a greatly improved strain that was selected by us from seed, specifically for much deeper and showier blue flower color. Stock plants are reselected every few years then our crops are done from cuttings. This also flowers better when young than the normal trade strain. Same habit, size specifications, growing conditions. rev 1/2013  MBN INTRODUCTION-1997

Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby'  DWARF KOWHAI, PROSTRATE KOWHAI   crazy crazy branches   yet another highly dichotomously-branching, intricately-patterned New Zealand native plant. This one is always a conversation piece, and is relatively easy to grow and care for, doing well in the ground or in containers or as a house plant. When mature enough you will see small, mostly solitary, rich golden yellow flowers, shaped somewhat like very narrow bells, along the young branches in late spring and early summer. To about 3-4' tall and wide, likes average to infrequent summer watering, not picky about soils. The crazy growth habit is thought to be adaptation to avoid grazing damage by the giant, now-extinct Moa Moas. These herbivorous birds, some reaching 10' in height, were slowly extirpated by the Maori colonizers after their arrival in New Zealand. As large-leaved plants were probably targeted first and most heavily by what were essentially huge chickens. The tiny-leaves and wiry, matting  branch habits (Corokia, Muehlenbeckia) probably greatly minimized damage, while foliage that was black (Pseudopanax), brown (Coprosma) or very tough and fibrous (Phormium) certainly helped also. USDA zone 7. rev 7/2018

Spanish Moss   (Tillandsia usneoides and other spp.) ENO (Spanish, "hay")  Everglades   fragrant green flower   Mike Baker's nice retail shot  in our high-tech greenhouse   with One-Eyed Jack, on actual wild-collected Prunetucky Rainforest MossyStick    botanically Tillandsia usneoides, this species ranges from Maryland (in historic times) and Texas through Central America, the Caribbean and south down to about mid-Argentina. It exists as a range of biotypes, some more tropical, other hardier and adapted to drier, more seasonal conditions. Grow these either outside in part sun to bright shade with exposure to rain, fog and condensation or indoors in similar light but with weekly soakings or a good misting/wait a few/remisting every day or two. Inconspicuous but pretty green flowers are quite nicely fragrant from early early evening on, with a scent like allspice. Probably frost hardy though our broker source is not sure of the geographical origin of what he's sending, at it might vary. Known as "eno" in Spanish (hay), in Mexico this is the traditional manger-crib bedding material for your Nativity Scene. Also has been used for about every purpose needing something fluffy and soft, from swamp-cooler pads to insulation and stuffing. Native to the Eastern Atlantic and Southeastern US states, the Caribbean, Central and South America. rev 2/2021

Spirea thunbergii 'Ogon'   perky bright leaves   an upright to spreading deciduous shrub, with warm golden yellow (sun) to luminous chartreuse green leaves (shade). With full sun, moderate watering and a modest amount of chill it will reward you with a heavy show of tiny white flowers along the branches in spring. Average soils and watering, supposedly this is deer tolerant. USDA zone 4. Eastern Asia. rev 6/2016 

Stachys  perennials and woody sub-shrubs grown for their attractive foliage and/or showy flowers. Related to mints and sages. Labiatae/Lamiaceae. rev 2/2014

'Bello Grigio'     pretty with coral pink!    frosty white leaves    pretty with purple!    now here, Chauncey, is something you don't see every day! Brand new on the market, soft, grey, velvety, pointy leaves that make a dense mound of glowing foliage. Branching from the bottom, it won't need pruning, growing about 15" tall and wide. A beacon in the moon garden, day or night, and lights up a container too. What a companion for blue, pink, purple, and most every color! Sun, average watering with good drainage. All Sunset zones/USDA 5. rev 2/2014-Suzy Brooks

byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’   LAMB’S EARS   what it does    commercial   flower spikes, Cabrillo   evergreen perennial known for its densely woolly silver foliage. This is a much more compact variety which usually doesn't bloom as much as the regular form. Sun, average watering. Asia Minor. Labiatae/Lamiaceae.

‘Primrose Heron’    foliage closeup    light lime green to golden yellow foliage to about 6" high. Flower stalks are produced but no flowers become visible through the thick tomentum.

‘Helen von Stein’    foliage    habit    semievergreen clumping to spreading perennial distinguished by large, felty grey green leaves. Stalks of short, deep lavender pink flowers appear in whorled clusters on branched stalks to 12" in summer. Sun to part shade, average watering.

Stapelia gettleffii   upright stems of  soft grey green, 8-10" tall and clumping. The flowers are streaked with maroon and 'fuzzy'. So interesting and easy to grow. Bright light, let dry between waterings. Great choice for containers, even hanging ones. Sunset zones 21-24/USDA 10. Asclepiadaceae. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks

hirsuta STARFISH FLOWER   blooming at the Huntington  an easy to grow, blooming succulent with soft green stems that forms a low growing clump. Also called the Carrion Flower because of the 'fragrance' of the amazing flowers that look furry like animal skin and smell like rotting meat to attract flies as pollinators. From South Africa, it likes sun, or some shade in hottest climates, good draining soil, and some water in the summer. Good choice for containers or in hanging baskets where the flowers will spill over the sides. Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10.

variegata  another easy-to-grow succulent with soft grey green stems that clump, and sprawl, and have those amazing starfish flowers. Buds, like balloon packages, open to brown spotted petals and just a mild rotten meat smell. But if you're going to get those really neat seed pods, it has to be pollinated! Sometimes called Orbea, there is plenty of variation in flower color and size. Sun, part shade in hottest areas, water in summer as it grows but let dry in winter. Good choice for containers, even hanging ones. Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10.  rev 3/2012-Suzy Brooks

Stipa  FEATHER GRASS, NEEDLE GRASS  perennial bunch grasses. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 10/2011

arundinacea    NEW ZEALAND WIND GRASS   fabulous when backlit    downtown Santa Cruz   minimalist presentation   Stephanie Mills' coastal prarie garden, Swanton    unimproved wild form, sun, UCSC    wild form in shade, with seed heads, UCSC   also classified as Anemanthele lessoniana, this is a moderate sized grass, 24-30" tall by 4' wide, light green in color until it changes to a light orange in sunlight, with bronzy tones mixed in too. It is a reliable grower under cool to moderate conditions and looks much like a large form of one of the colorful  Carex species. Its habit is stiffer, though, and not quite as dense. It exhibits the Greenlee Effect well (becomes strikingly more beautiful when backlit), and makes a wonderful back border planting, centerpiece, or even large scale groundcover. Color is best under cool conditions, meaning winter everywhere and all year along the coast. Sun to part shade, average to infrequent watering. Frost hardy to around 20°F, so figure USDA zone 9/Sunset zone 14-17. New Zealand. rev 2/2020

'Sirocco'    Don Genese's imagination    West Cliff Dr. residential landscape   a very nice clonal selection, good orange-brown color and excellent vigor. rev 2/2020

gigantea    GIANT FEATHER GRASS    young plant    older, at Sierra Azul Nursery    an outstanding, striking, large perennial grass that grows as a clump of tough, fine, green to grey green foliage to 2’ tall and up to 4' wide with age. Large, loose panicles of iridescent golden flower/seed heads appear in spring and persist through summer, often gracefully oriented in one direction by prevailing wind. Stalks on happy, well adjusted plants can reach 9’ in height, and form a mass up to 7’ across. This plant is excellent as either a single focal point planting or in masses, and when at the peak of seed ripening presents a majestic sight, especially when backlit. Needs full to half sun, good drainage, and very little summer watering when established. It will tolerate regular watering but may be too vigorous. Some gardeners have reported this species as reseeding itself. Spain, Portugal. rev 5/2005

lessingiana 'Capriccio'  SIBERIAN STEPPE GRASS  wispy foliage   a very tough plant, much less prone to reseeding than Mexican Feather Grass, S. tenuissima. It looks much like this is a variant of the S. tenuissima look but the plants go "like this" (wave hands back and forth in a dome-shaped motion) instead of "like this" (move hands in a vertical, up and down motion). Also finer textured and even wispier. To 1-2' tall by 2' across. Needs more water and feeding than other Stipas. Under cool winter conditions it picks up coppery tones. I can't figure out how 'Capriccio' differs from the species. Sunset zones 5-9, 14-24/USDA zone 6. rev 5/2010

tenuissima    MEXICAN FEATHER GRASS   habit    wonderful planting    another    a narrow, very fine textured perennial grass, with almost hair-like vertical bright green stems and leaves to 24" tall, topped with soft feathery plumes of flowers and seeds which age to straw yellow. Tough, striking. Sun, average to little watering. Texas to Arizona. rev 5/2010

Strawberries  who doesn't like strawberries? We currently offer two series. One is a commercial European seed strain originally developed for greenhouse container and hanging basket culture specifically to facilitate picking and lower labor cost. Of course this translates to being a great home variety, with strong flavor, excellent container or garden behavior, and a long season of heavy fruit production. The second strain is two of the fabled musk strawberries, much more flawed in terms of fruit appearance, production behavior, and growing characteristics but just to die for as far as flavor. rev 1/2013

Delizz   first berries  a new All American Selections winner, winning in part for its compact growth habit, lack of vegetative runners, long production period and high quality, delicious berries. Most especially excellent in hanging baskets, raised beds and containers. Sun (of course), regular watering. USDA zone 5. rev 7/2017 

Elan Series   from Holland come these new colorfully flowered F1 strawberries that are a lovely combination of dark green leaves, colorful flowers, and tasty fruit, often with unusual shapes. Many have elongated fruits on long, pendant stems that accent their recumbent habit and make them crackerjack hanging basket items. Having few to no runners, they make a great bedding plant for flower beds and containers. Day  length neutral, they produce their very tasty fruit all season long. The flavor is somewhat like that of the fabled musk strawberries. Sun or part shade, regular watering. Sunset zones 1-24/USDA 5. Rosaceae. rev 4/2011 

'Berri Basket Beltran'   big white flowers     pretty white flowers, medium sized red fruit all summer. rev 3/2015-Suzy Brooks 
'Berri Basket Pink' ('Pikan')  flowers  copious pink flowers and just a few runners. Excellent hanging basket or tall container variety with very sweet berries. rev 6/2012
'Berri Basket Rose' ('Tarpan')  flower and fruit  large, dark rose colored flowers stand out against shiny green leaves and turn into long, red berries. Because it makes plenty of runners, it makes an outstanding choice for hanging containers. Expect this show of flowers and fruit through fall. Sun or part shade, regular watering. rev 5/2012-Suzy Brooks
'Berri Basket White' ('Elan')  white flowers  pure white flowers, an everbearing gourmet variety that is also used in commercial production. rev 6/2012 
'Berri Galore Pink' ('Merlan')   hanging basket fruit   nice pink flowers   clear light pink flowers and heavy production of deep red, shiny, conical, medium sized fruit. Compact grower. rev 6/2012
'Roman'  pink flowers    semidouble deep pink flowers, with high quality, commercially produced berries on long, hanging stems. This is Lance's favorite and he is passionate about it, for good reason. Distinctive almost-musk aroma and high levels of the good kind of sugar contained in beautiful, shiny dark red berries. rev 6/2012
Toscana  hot flowers, great fruit   flowers start intense magenta red, slowly lighten to pink before dropping to reveal shiny bright red fruit in a variety of interesting shapes. In the interest of research I have sampled a large number of the fruits and found them to be quite excellent! A great ornamental AND edible crop. rev 5/2019

'Hula Berry'   grab a handful!    cool and refreshing  bright ivory white fruit speckled with red seeds are just bursting with pineapple flavor! The required companion pollinator variety, which will bear red fruit, is already planted alongside in the hanging basket. Just grow it in sun or light shade, water regularly watering and harvest the sweetness until. Birds should leave those white fruits alone! USDA 5/Sunset zones 1-9, 12-24.   rev 4/2015-Suzy Brooks

Musk Varieties small, long, narrow, funny-looking berries about the size of the last digit of your thumb, dark red, often gimped on one side, and always with a greenish white shoulder when ready. Don't let that worry you though, they smell like a cross between a strawberry and a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. Flesh is pure milky white and very soft. Taste is just like it smells but more vanilla/musk, very sweet, and essentially acidless. Divine! Bearing is heaviest in late winter and spring, with occasional scattered fruit after. Heavy runner production, encourage to populate your bed and restrain to encourage bearing. rev 1/2013 

Capron  (not currently in production)   ripe berry   small, long, narrow, funny-looking berries about the size of the last digit of your thum, dark red, often gimped on one side, and always with a greenish white shoulder when ready. Don't let that worry you though, they smell like a cross between a strawberry and a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. Flesh is pure milky white and very soft. Taste is just like it smells but more vanilla/musk, very sweet, and essentially acidless. Divine! Bearing is heaviest in late winter and spring, with occasional scattered fruit after. Heavy runner production, encourage to populate your bed and restrain to encourage bearing. rev 11/2017

Porfumata di Tortona (not currently in production)  funny looking ripe berries   short, rounded berries are very sweet and this time smell like sweet musk perfume. Fruit are chunky and rounded, very soft, very white inside, very sweet and acidless. Heavenly! Forms a circle of fruit around a compact crown. rev 11/2017

Stromanthe sanguinea   young crop   this houseplant-looking critter is related to Prayer Plants and Calatheas but is grown outside in relatively cold-winter areas where it acts as an evergreen to winter deciduous perennial. In milder California climates expect it to be evergreen but inactive once temperatures fall. The good news is that it doesn't seem particularly sensitive to cold, wet soils (unlike its relatives) and will do very well in shade against the house throughout much of California. It spreads slowly as a clump. Of course you can also grow it to great effect in a container or as a houseplant. Part sun to shade, average watering. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 8. rev 7/2008

'Triostar'  foliage colors   in Singapore  a wonderful variegated form, with leaves that range from silvery green to variegated white to all with with a pinkish tinge. Same deep red undersides, same upright habit, same growing conditions and adaptation as the non-variegated parent form, but considerably slower and lower. rev 2/2010

Synadenium grantii 'Rubra' RED MILK BUSH   striking foliage   those leaf colors up close   from Tanzania comes this wonderful, dark foliage plant with green and red splashed leaves. In Africa, it may grow to 12' tall and wide, but it only gets to 6-8' here in the most frost free microclimates, and typically you see it as a striking 2-3' shrublet in a container. Takes sun to shade and likes to dry between waterings. Does great as a house or patio plant, as long as pets or children don't eat it (another Euphorbia relative). Protect from hard frosts outside Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. Euphobriaceae. rev 6/2011-Suzy Brooks 

Syzygium paniculatum ‘Monterey Bay’    one way to use it    as a backdrop/screen    typical unrestrained seedling patriarch    an evergreen tree to 40’ tall by 15’ wide usually seen as a clipped hedge from 6-15’ tall. Valued for glossy dark green leaves and conspicuously bronzy red new growth (which is produced for most of the year). Its popularity as a landscape plant fell after a natural pest, a psyllid, was introduced to this country. However, a natural parasitic wasp was also introduced and has helped limit damage. This variety of ours was selected for its excellent winter appearance. It retains its natural deep green color, lacks the winter chlorosis found in most seedlings, and continues to produce dark coppery red new growth throughout the season. Sun to part shade, average to infrequent watering, damaged by frost below 25°F but has survived 20°F in spite of horrible damage. Australia. rev 9/2003 MBN INTRODUCTION-1988

'Variegata'   leaves edged ivory white. As valuable as the contrasting variegated foliage is the slower, more compact growth. Same growing conditions and environmental limits as the regular form. rev 4/2008

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