Catalog M-P


MAACKIA / Fabaceae / These deciduous trees from Asia are still little known in gardens and nurseries, though they get wide praise from tree authorities. Their moderate sizes fit into urban landscapes and the large, feathery leaves create pleasant filtered shade under their broad canopies. True, the tiny white flowers in tight clusters are no spectacle, but the trees are very hardy, drought tolerant and largely free of pests.

Maackia amurensis / AMUR MAACKIA / From the Amur River separating China from Siberia, this 30-40 ft. tree spreads a wide canopy of foot-long leaves divided into oval 3 in. leaflets. The emerging leaves are a startling silvery color. Dense 4 in. spikes of small whitish flowers perfume the air in June. Polished gray brown bark, flaking on older trees, is nice all year. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 3

Madrona – see Arbutus menziesii

Madrone – see Arbutus

MAGNOLIA / Magnoliaceae / Many of the world’s most stunning flowering trees are here, and for once they are not restricted to the tropics. Smooth, oval leaves range from medium to enormous, giving the trees a strong presence in or out of bloom. Deciduous species show large, silver-haired flower buds all winter. Then, the flowers put on an unrivaled spectacle, followed by often showy seed ‘cones’ or ‘clubs’. Magnolias need deep, rich, moist soil to be their best, though in the coastal Northwest they are surprisingly adaptable.

Magnolia cylindrica / HUANGSHAN MAGNOLIA / A small deciduous tree 20-30 ft. tall, with narrow outline. The leaves are oval, 4-6 in. long. Tulip-shaped creamy white flowers flushed pink at the base open in spring before the leaves. A rare magnolia suited to the woodland edge. Z 6

Magnolia macrophylla / BIGLEAF MAGNOLIA / Awesome is the only word for the 2-3 ft. silver-backed, paddle-shaped leaves of this large southeastern tree. The 15 in. flowers are the largest in the temperate zone. Give it good soil and shelter from wind.  Z 6

Magnolia virginiana var. australis / SOUTHERN SWEET BAY / The fully evergreen version of this hardy and handsome southern tree. Narrowly oval 4-6 in. leaves, silvery below, make a lush pyramidal crown 20-30 ft. tall. Creamy 2 in. flowers fragrant of lemon and rose open all summer. A fine tree for lawns, streets and general screening, happy in sun or shade and almost any soil. Z 7


MAHONIA / GRAPE HOLLY / Berberidaceae / These prickly evergreen shrubs are only separated from Berberis, the barberries by horticulturists. The mahonias all have divided leaves, with anywhere from three to over 30 leaflets. Long spikes of fragrant yellow, rarely orange, flowers lead to red or blue berries. Low growing mahonias are fine groundcovers; tall ones make dramatic feature plants. All are drought hardy.

Mahonia aquifolium / TALL OREGON GRAPE / Popular native with clusters of prickly, pinnate 4-8 in. leaves on erect stems to 6 ft., sometimes more. Fragrant flowers in conical clusters are golden in early spring, fruit showy blue, tasty with enough sugar. Oldest leaves turn red and most of them may be purplish in winter. Beautiful and adaptable, an attractive barrier. Drought hardy in sun or part shade. Z 5

Mahonia fremontii / FREMONT’S MAHONIA / Many-stemmed shrub to 6 ft. clothed in blue-green leaves divided into 3 narrow, very spiny leaflets. Red berries  add a nice late summer accent. Easily grown Southwestern species for sun, drought. Z 7

Mahonia nervosa / LOW OREGON GRAPE / Abundant native here making luxuriant under story in coniferous woods.  Glossy 12-18 in. leaves, coppery when new or in sun, grouped atop 1-2 ft. stems. Long clusters of yellow flowers, March – April, frosty blue berries. Choice ornamental, hard to propagate so always scarce. Part or full shade, drought hardy. Z 6

MALUS / APPLE / Rosaceae / The wild crabapple species are overshadowed in gardens by their many hybrids, but they have their charms. Flowers, fruit and fall color provide attractions for people and wildlife. Crabapples flourish in moist places and are among the best choices for wet, clay soils.

Malus baccata var. himalaica / HIMALAYAN CRABAPPLE / A large crab to 30 ft. tall, with broad leaves coloring well in fall. Flowers pink in bud, opening white, 1 1/2 in. wide, in great abundance. Fruit yellow with red cheeks, 1/2 in long colorful into winter. Very handsome, showy tree for sun, moist soil. Z 2

Malus coronaria / AMERICAN CRABAPPLE / Large and lovely crab from e. N. America to 40 ft tall. Fragrant 2 in. flowers in delicate pink open in late spring. Green aromatic fruit 1 in. wide ripen amid scarlet and orange fall color. Sun, best where moist. Z 4

Malus fusca / OREGON CRABAPPLE / Wet-soil native, often thicket- forming, 15-30 ft. tall. Worth planting for its nice pink-white flowers, tiny golden apples and red and orange fall color on its variously lobed leaves. Sun, best where moist. Z 6

Malus halliana / HALL CRABAPPLE / Pale pink flowers open from rose-red buds in drooping clusters on this fine crab. Rounded small tree to 15 ft. with gold and red fall color and small, deep red fruits. Origin unclear, either China or Japan. Sun; best with moisture. Z 5

Malus hupehensis / TEA CRABAPPLE / One of the loveliest crabs, with long, spreading branches making a wide, flaring crown to 20 ft. tall. A profusion of 1 1/2 in. flowers open pink and fade white. Deeply cut leaves color well in fall as 1/2 in yellow fruits blush red. Sun; best where moist. Z 4

Malus prattii / PRATT’S CRABAPPLE / A large, impressive crab to 40 ft, rare in gardens. Broad 5 in. leaves turn orange and purple in fall. Large white flowers in profusion lead to half-inch ruddy fruits. Sun; best where moist. z6

Malus rockii / ROCK’S CRABAPPLE / Rarely grown crab with tasty fruit. Rounded deciduous tree to 15 ft. with 3-5 in. leaves, yellow and orange in fall. Cherry sized, salmon pink fruits taste like spiced applesauce when very ripe. Sun, fairly drought hardy. Z 5

Malus sargentii / SARGENT CRABAPPLE / Delightful treelike shrub to 6-8 ft. and spreading much wider, covered with pink-white flowers in spring. Small leaves turn bright colors in fall, as myriad pink-red fruits ripen. A superb plant, healthy, drought hardy, and beautiful. Z 4

Malus spectabilis / CHINESE CRABAPPLE / A cherished flowering tree of China, much planted there. Rounded in outline, it can reach 25 ft. with oval 2-3 in. leaves. The flowers, exceptionally large for a crab, are 2 in. wide, white opening from pink buds. The 3/4 in. fruits are yellow. Little know in the west, but worth trying. Sun; best where moist; Z 5?

Malus tschonoskii / LARGELEAF CRABAPPLE / From eastern Asia and Japan, one of the best crabs for fall color, its broad 5 in. leaves brilliant orange and red. Large white flowers, inch-wide green fruit blushed red. Handsome, narrowly pyramidal tree to 20 ft., healthy and drought hardy. z6

Malus x sublobata / Hybrid between M. prunifolia and M. sieboldii with variously lobed leaves opening velvety. Showy pink flowers, attractive yellow fruits and reddish fall color. Sun, best where moist. z6

Malus yunnanensis / YUNNAN CRABAPPLE / Small tree with rounded oval, sometimes lobed leaves turning bright red in fall. White flowers and red fruit very decorative. One of the nicest crabapples. Sun, best where moist. z6

Manuka – see Leptospermum scoparium

Maqui – see Aristotelia chilensis

Marigold – see Tagetes

Marshmallow – see Althea officinalis

Mata negra – see Escallonia virgata

MAYTENUS / MAYTEN / Celastraceae / Many species of evergreen trees and shrubs scattered around primarily balmy parts of the world. Glossy, bright green foliage, inconspicuous flowers and small capsules opening to show colorful seeds, like Euonymus but smaller, are the main features.

Maytenus boaria / CHILEAN MAYTEN / Like a small evergreen willow, 15- 30 ft. tall. Narrow 1-2 in.  leaves in bright green on slender, often drooping twigs create a  light and sparkling canopy. Tiny reddish seeds show from yellow capsules. Distinctively appealing Chilean native, easy to grow, in sun or part shade, moist or dry. z8

MELALEUCA / PAPERBARK / Myrtaceae / About 200 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees, almost all from Australia. Papery bark, peeling and flaking, is a feature of many. All have brush-like flower clusters, with bunches of stamens making the bristles. Narrow leaves smell of eucalyptus when crushed. Melaleucas are primary landscape features in California but few are hardy in the Northwest. Those here are among the best bets for areas cooler than Z 9

Melaleuca ericifolia / SWAMP PAPERBARK / A billowy, picturesque plant growing 10-20 ft.tall and wide. Crooked stems carry sprays of heather-like, dark green foliage, frosted in summer with puffy white flower clusters. One of the hardiest melaleucas. Sun, dry or moist. z8b

Melaleuca lanceolata / MOONAH / Heather-like shrub to 6 ft. or more, with flaky cream bark. Short, dark green, needle-like leaves make billowy masses studded in summer with round, puffy white flower clusters. Sun, drought-hardy. z8-9

MELIOSMA / Sabiaceae / About 50 evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs of warm areas of Asia and the Americas, very rare in gardens. Simple or feathery leaves, bold or at least interesting, are the main feature. Clusters of small white flowers are showy and lead to small berries in blue or black.

Meliosma tenuis (M. dilleniifolia ssp tenuis)/ MIYAMAHAHASO / Small bushy deciduous tree of subtle charm. Pyramidal clusters of small, fragrant, white flowers open in summer amid broad, bright green, 5 in. leaves that are handsomely toothed at their rather blunt ends. Small, black berries ripen in fall. Japanese rarity for part shade, best with water; z8.

METASEQUOIA glyptostroboides / DAWN REDWOOD / Taxodiaceae / The sensation at the discovery of this fossil tree still growing wild in China in 1941 has faded a bit, but the tree itself is a favorite landscape beauty. Soft, feathery foliage, bright green in spring and summer, slips into a glorious coppery pink in late fall before dropping to reveal the muscular cinnamon trunk. Oval, 1 in. cones slowly drop from the branches in winter. Fast growing to 100 ft. in rich, moist soil, slower elsewhere but adaptable and fairly drought hardy. Z 5

MICROBIOTA decussata / SIBERIAN CYPRESS / Cupressaceae / Uncommon conifer from Siberia making a carpet of lacy, arborvitae-like foliage in graceful, spreading sprays. Bright green in summer, the foliage turns coppery purple in winter in sun, stays green in shade. Tiny, fleshy cones rarely seen in cultivation. An attractive groundcover or accent, eventually several yards wide, 12-18 in. high. Fairly drought hardy. Z 2

Mimosa – see Albizia

MIMULUS / MONKEYFLOWER / Scrophulariaceae  or Phrymaceae  / About 150 annuals, perennials and shrubs from around the world. Their flaring flowers with five petals (really lobes) come in yellow, orange, red or rose and lead to slender pods filled with nearly dust-like seeds. Oval to linear leaves, often sticky, come in pairs. Monkeyflowers are common flowers of seeps and pools, though some inhabit dry soils. All are fast and easy garden plants, attractive to insects and hummingirds.

Mimulus aurantiacus (Diplaucus a.) / SHRUBBY MONKEYFLOWER / Common shrub of the coastal hills of California and sw Oregon. Spreading 2-3 ft. plants carry narrow, evergreen, 1-2 in. leaves and flaring soft orange trumpets that open nearly year-round. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 8-9

Mimulus cardinalis / RED MONKEYFLOWER / Erect perennial with 3-4 ft. stems lined in soft green leaves and topped by spikes of vivid vermillion red flowers. Long-blooming beauty for sun or part shade, moist or fairly dry. Z 7

Mimulus lewisii / LEWIS’ MONKEYFLOWER / NW native of moist, sunny places making a mat of soft green leaves from which arise multitudes of leafy stems carrying delightful rose pink to bright cerise flowers. Sun or part shade, moist soil. Z 5

Mint bush – see Elscholtzia

Mint, hummingbird – see Agastache cana

MITRARIA  coccinea / BOTELLITA / Beautiful Chilean evergreen shrub related to African violet and gloxinia but resembling more a deep green escallonia. Small, glossy, triangular or diamond-shaped leaves of emerald green make a perfect background for the 3/4 in. flowers of glowing red that generously dot the plant most of the year. Part shade; drainage; best with water; Z 8-9

Mochi tree – see Ilex integra

Monkey puzzle – see Araucaria

Moorgrass – see Seslaria

Moosewood (maple) – see Acer pensylvanicum

Moosewood (viburnum) – see Viburnum edule

Morella – see Myrica

MUEHLENBECKIA / MAIDENHAIR VINE / Polygoniaceae / From most of the Southern Hemisphere, these twiners feature small, even tiny leaves in billowy clouds covering banks, walls or tree trunks. Tiny white flowers and usually white berries interest those with sharp eyes. These vigorous plants can be weeds where frost is rare, and are better kept to Zones 7-8 where the occasional freeze keeps them on good behavior. Where they work, these plants are delightful and carefree.

Muehlenbeckia compressa (M. axilaris) / From New Zealand, where it is prominent on forest edges. Billowy tangles of wiry blackish stems dotted with glossy, round, 1/2 in. leaves, silvery purple below. Tiny white flowers lead to small whitish berries. Great for groundcover, rockeries, though its eagerness may make it best suited to containers. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 8

Mugwort, coastal – see Artemisia suksdorfii

MYRSINE africana / AFRICAN BOXWOOD / Myrsinaceae / Only a boxwood in general appearance, but also good for hedges, this is an erect evergreen shrub of irregular outline, to 4 ft. tall. Dense, upright branches are well furnished with round, thick, bright green 1/2 in. leaves on purplish branches. Mature plants produce lovely lilac-blue berries. Drought-hardy native of w. Africa and s. Asia, for sun or shade. z8-9

MYRICA / WAX MYRTLE, BAYBERRY / Myricaceae / Mostly evergreen shrubs and small trees mainly from mild, coastal zones. Narrow aromatic leaves in rich green give a full but light-textured look that associates well with most plants. Tiny flowers in knobby clusters will be noticed by the curious; they are followed by the gray, waxy fruits used for making scented candles. Wax myrtles are plants of nutrient poor soils, either wet or sandy, so they grow nearly anywhere in good light. The name Myrica has been replaced with Morella for many species.

Myrica californica (Morella c.) / PACIFIC WAX MYRTLE / Fine native shrub-tree of the coastal dunes, with glossy, narrow, aromatic evergreen leaves in luxuriant, deep green masses. Typically 15 ft. in gardens, to 35 ft. in the wild. A vigorous beauty in most environments but best in sun and poor, well drained soil.  Z 8

Myrica gale / SWEET GALE / From cold bogs around the Northern Hemisphere, this sweetly aromatic deciduous shrub is little planted. Thumb-sized leaves, with a few shallow teeth along the margins, are light green above and gray below. Blue-gray berries are a nice decoration in fall. Plants reach a sprawling 2-3 ft. tall and may be evergreen in low elevation gardens. They want sun or part shade and average to wet soils. Z 2

Myrica pensylvanica (Morella p.)/ NORTHERN BAYBERRY / This aromatic shrub from the northeast US and adjacent Canada yields the wax for bayberry candles. As an ornamental or wildlife plant, it grows 4-8 ft. tall and much wider, deciduous to evergreen. Upturned branches are lined in narrow, glossy, shallowly lobed leaves. Gray-white berries, covered in that fragrant wax, line the branches in fall and winter. Sun or light shade; drought hardy; Z 3

Myrtle, Chilean – see Luma apiculata

Myrtle, Oregon – see Umbellularia californica

Myrtle, wax – see Myrica

MYRTUS communis / MYRTLE / Myrtaceae / Classic evergreen shrub or tree with small, wonderfully scented, shiny, deep green leaves in dense masses. White flowers, centered with a puff of white stamens, lead to blue-purple berries that are decorative much of the year. Grows 6-10 ft. tall. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. Z 8b

Myrtus communis var. boetica / BALEARIC MYRTLE / Unmistakable plant with narrowly triangular leaves stacked like pancakes on long, twisted branches. Delightfully curious large shrub for screen, specimen, container.

Myrtus communis ‘Compacta’ / COMPACT MYRTLE / Really a variable bunch of forms, our with narrow 1/2 in. leaves on a dense, rounded shrub to 3-4 ft. tall. This form seems hardier than others, Z 8 in hot, well-drained position.

Myrtus communis ‘Variegata’ / VARIEGATED MYRTLE / Like the typical form but with light green leaves elegantly edged creamy white. Beautiful but sadly a bit less hardy.

Myrtus luma – see Luma apiculata

N   N   N

NANDINA domestica / HEAVENLY BAMBOO / Lacy vertical evergreen to 4-6 ft. tall. Whorls of delicately divided 12 in. leaves open coppery and give reddish winter tints. Clustered red berries add still more color. Disinctive and popular; drought-hardy in shade, may need water in sun. Z 7

NELLIA / Graceful and little known Asian deciduous shrubs related to spiraea. The leaves are broader, and the flowers, which are white or pink, are bell-shaped and grouped in arching clusters. Easy to grow, these beautiful shrubs need only sun or part shade, and in average soil they are fairly drought hardy.

Neillia thibetica/ TIBETAN NEILLIA / Arching deciduous shrub related to Spiraea, but strangely rare. Leaves 2-3 in. long, oval and coarsely toothed on deep red branches. Flowers pink, in drooping clusters in summer. Distinctive beauty for partial shade, where it is drought hardy. Z 6

NEMOPANTHUS mucronatus / MOUNTAIN HOLLY / Aquifoliaceae / An open deciduous shrub of northern wetlands, growing 6-10 ft. tall and spreading into a thicket. Oval 1-2 in. leaves of bluish color turn yellow in fall. Small greenish flowers produce small, bright red berries. Sun; moist to wet; Z 4

NEPITA / CATMINT / Lamiaceae / East- to- grow, widespread perennials offering months of billowy blue flowers that seem to look good anywhere. Aromatic mintlike leaves and slender flowers in large airy spikes are typical of the catmints. Flower color range from pure violet blue, through lilac, pink and white. Sunny well-drained soil are best; plants often rebloom when cut back. Your cat may find these plants irresistable, but the true Catnip is N. cataria.

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Fat Cat’ / FAT CAT CATMINT /  A robust perennial, larger than the type, with leafy stems to 4 ft. and long spikes of lilac blue flowers through most of the warmer months. Sun; drought-hardy. Z 3

Nepeta yunnanensis / YUNNAN CATMINT / Showy for months, this aromatic perennial from China sends up leafy 3 ft. branching stems carrying spikes of bright lilac blue flowers. Narrow, deep green leaves give a good contrast. Plants often re-bloom if cut back when flowers are faded. Sun; fairly drought hardy; Z 4

NIPPONANTHMUM nipponicum (Chrysanthemum n.) / NIPPON DAISY / Shrubby Japanese perennial with handsome, glossy, oblong, succulent leaves and 3 in. white, large-centered daisies in fall. Nice foliage and cheerful flowers at an unexpected season. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5

Nirrhe – see Eucryphia glutinosa

NOLINA / BEARGRASS / Nolinaceae / Spear leaved yucca relatives from the southern US and Central America. These dramatic plants have a softer nature, usually lacking spines. Tiny white flowers in tall plumes open in summer. Nolinas fill the same roles as yuccas in the landscape wherever an exotic touch is needed, in sun and well drained soil.

Nolina microcarpa / SACAHUISTA / Desert accent plant with fountain of whip-like 4 ft. leaves and 10 ft. spikes of creamy flowers. From desert mountains, Arizona to Texas.  Easily grown in sun, sharp drainage.  Z 8

Nolina texana/ TEXAS SACAHUISTA / A dense clump of wiry bright green leaves ending  in curling threads. Architectural clusters of white flowers rise from the center of the plant in summer. A bold grassy plant to 4 ft. tall. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 6

NOTHOFAGUS / SOUTHERN BEECH / Fagaceae / Evergreen and deciduous trees form the southen hemisphere, capturing the imagination of all who see them. Fronds of tiny leaves on gracefully twisting branches make these trees both delicate and bold. Tiny angular seeds are released from small recepticals.

Most southern beeches grow very fast and are indifferent to soil. They are drought hardy but are restricted to mild zones free of serious hot or cold spells. They have always been rare in gardens.

Nothofagus antarctica / NIRRE / Delicately detailed deciduous tree of s. South America; rough, flaky bark covers the sinuous trunk and branches; slender twigs in herringbone patterns are lined with tiny, crinkly light green leaves that color soft yellow and orange in fall; choice specimen reaching 40-60 ft.; Z 8

Nothofagus dombeyii / COIGUE / Distinctively lovely large evergreen Chilean tree reaching 50-80 ft. at a vigorous pace. Dark green 1/2 – 1 in.  leaves in orderly and graceful sprays along smooth, gray, picturesquely undulating branches make the tree at once dramatic and delicate. A rare and choice specimen or grove. Sun, drought hardy.  Z 8

Nothofagus menziesii / SILVER BEECH / A beautiful evergreen tree to 100 ft. tall in the wild. Slender, sinuous branches carry fronds of round, 1/2 in scalloped leaves of shiny deep green. Sun; drought hardy. Z 8

Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortoides / NEW ZEALAND MOUNTAIN / Unique and rare evergreen tree with wide, undulating fronds of tiny, 1/2 in leaves of light green on dark, threadlike twigs. Forms a sculpted pyramid to 30 ft. or more. Outstanding architectural feature for any garden. Sun or part shade, drought-hardy; Z 8.

NYSSA / TUPELO / Nyssaceae / Several deciduous trees form Asia and the eastern United States, renowned for fall color. Plain oval leaves glow red, orange and yellow in fall as oval fruits ripen blue to black. These are trees of wet soils. and do best there, though they are very adapable.

Nyssa sinensis / CHINESE TUPELO / This rare species from China is a beautiful small tree to 30 ft. with an open habit. Leaves are ovate, 4-6 in. long, bronze when young, brilliantly yellow, orange and red in fall. Sun, best where moist. Z 7

Nyssa sylvatica / TUPELO / One of the surest sources of dazzling fall color, this e. US native makes a broadly pyramidal tree to 50-70 ft. Oval, deep green leaves glow with the brightest red imaginable in autumn. Small, blue fruits have an acid, lemon-lime flavor. Sun, best in moist soils. Z 3

O   O   O

Ocean spray – see Holodiscus

OEMLERIA cerasiformis (Osmaronia c.)/ OSO BERRY / Rosaceae / Common large deciduous shrub of NW woodland, related to Prunus. A plain but refreshing plant, valued for leafing and flowering in Feb. Pendant white flowers, cucumber flavored berries ripening orange to purple. Best with some shade, drought hardy. Z 7

OLEA europaea / OLIVE / Oleaceae / Lovely evergreen Mediterranean tree with a long history. Stiff, narrow, gray green leaves line pale branches forming a broad, picturesque crown to 20 ft. Needs a hot summer to produce olives; hardy in warmest NW locations, where it may also ripen fruit. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8b

OLEARIA / DAISY BUSH / Astercaeae / Shrubby members of the daisy family, these evergreens of Australia and New Zealand fill many ecological niches. In gardens, especially where hardiness is a concern, they want sun and a warm location. They are among the most wind-hardy plants on earth, though cold north winds won’t do. All are drought hardy.

Few genera have such wildly varied foliage characters; some olearias have tiny heath like leaves, others look like grayish hollies; still others have linear, silver leaves, or oval, glossy ones. Flowers are indeed daisies, or better, asters, usually white, sometimes pink, purple or blue. For mild maritime zones, olearias are invaluable.

Olearia x haastii / About the hardiest of the New Zealand daisy bushes, a compact evergreen to 6 ft. with 3/4 in, ovate, glossy green leaves backed in beige felt. Generous clusters of small white flowers in summer. Rugged, highly attractive, useful for screen, hedge or windbreak. Sun, drought hardy. z7-8

Olearia lineata / Rare and unusual New Zealand evergreen to 5 ft., its dark, somewhat tangled branches sparsely lined with linear, 2 in. leaves backed in silver. Flowers small, creamy white, rarely seen. Delightfully eccentric, see-through plant.  Sun, drought hardy. Z 7

Olearia macrodonta / MOUNTAIN HOLLY / Large New Zealand evergreen shrub with light gray-green, holly-like leaves backed in silver. Broad clusters of small white daisies in summer. Distinctive in color and form, yet little known. Z 8

Olearia nummulariifolia / A dense, broad, twiggy evergreen to 3 ft. with stiff branches closely lined with very thick, round, 1/3 in. leaves of pale yellow green, felty gray beneath, and fragrant, creamy yellow daisies. A nice sculptural mound for the rock garden. New Zealand. Z 8

Olearia solandri / See-through evergreen shrub to 6 ft., composed of myriad thin twigs holding groups of tiny, thyme-like, gold-backed leaves. The color and texture will inspire the imaginative landscaper. New Zealand. Z 8

Oligoneuron album – see Aster ptarmicoides

OPHIOPOGON / MONDO GRASS / Asparagaceae / A large group of grassy perennials from east Asia, prized as groundcover and accent, especially in shade. Spikes of blue, purple or white flowers are a seasonal bonus, but the foliage is attractive year-round. Most species are better off with regular water.

Ophiopogon planiscapis ‘Nigrescens’ / BLACK MONDO GRASS / Probably the most popular of the world’s ‘black’ plants and a powerful design element when well used. Strappy 6 in. leaves of glossy black arch over one another in a tousled mat up to a yard wide. Lilac bell flowers on short spikes become glossy purple berries ripening to translucent lilac. Best color in part shade. Z 7

OPLOPANAX horridus / DEVIL’S CLUB / Araliaceae / Statuesque deciduous shrub giving a tropical flavor to our moist, shady ravines. Stout, little-branched stems to 10 ft. or more, covered in hedgehog spines, are topped with crowns of round, lobed (and prickly) leaves 1-2 ft. wide. Greenish flowers lead to spikes of vivid red fruits in fall.  Grand specimen for soggy shade. Z 6

OPUNTIA / PRICKLY PEAR / Cactaceae / Cacti are common in the arid Northwest interior and occasional in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Even in our rainy parts, and non-desert places anywhere, they can be accommodated with mounded soil made mostly of rock, gravel and sand amended with lime., of course in full sun. The opuntias account for most of the hardiest cacti- some range far north into Canada. They have the familiar flattened pads (prickly pears) or cylindrical joints (chollas) and the usual showy, delicately beautiful flowers and fleshy fruit of other cacti, not to mention spines.

Opuntia x columbiana / A hybrid of O. polyacantha and O. erinacea, found in the NW interior. Plants are low, mounding or cushion-like, with oval, 2-4 in. light green pads and typically yellow flowers. Z 6

Opuntia ‘Crystal Tide’ / A hybrid by hardy cactus master Claude Barr. Small, plump pads in a spreading mound open pure white flowers. Z 5

Opuntia fragilis / BRITTLE CACTUS / One of the hardiest and most far-flung cacti, native here both in the coastal rainshadow and in desert areas east of the Cascades and from the Southwest to n. Canada. Flat cushions of plump, 1-2 in. pads sprout deep yellow flowers. Hardiness varies with origin; ours are from Z 4.

Opuntia humifusa / EASTERN PRICKLY PEAR / From sandy places, especially beaches, in the eastern states. Smooth bright green pads 3-5 in. long spread into a nearly prostrate mat 2-3 ft across showy yellow flowers in summer followed by brown fruits. Best cactus for eastern gardens. Z 6.

Opuntia phaeacantha / PURPLE-FRUITED PRICKLY PEAR / A shrubby cactus to 3-4 ft. tall with oval pads to 6 in. long, armed with long, brown or cream spines. Beautiful, 3 in. flowers in yellow or rose shades are followed by sweet, aromatic red fruit. Native from s. California to Kansas. Z 6

Opuntia polyacantha / MANY-SPINED PRICKLY PEAR / Widespread native cactus of the Northwest interior and beyond. Spreading mats of thick, light green, 2-4 in. pads bristling with pale, 1-2 in spines and yellow to rose flowers. An unexpected accent for the rock garden, easy to grow. Z 5

Oregon sunshine – see Eriophyllum lanatum

ORIGANUM / OREGANO / Lamiaceae / Redolent of pizza, these mostly Mediterranean perennials also satisfy the eye. Rounded leaves make dense mats from which arise flowering stems carrying small blooms in white or shades of pink or rose. Oreganos want sun and good drainage and are best without water.

Origanum vulgare ‘Betty Rollins’ / DWARF OREGANO / An  evergreen shrublet mounding 4-6 in. high and more than twice as wide. Oval, 1/2 in. leaves make it dense and weed-smothering. Tiny rose-pink flowers open in summer. Charming edging or small-scale ground cover.

Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’ / HERRENHAUSEN OREGANO / A carpet of rounded 3/4 in. leaves spreading 2-3 ft. wide, with strong purple tints. Tiny lilac pink flowers with purple calyx cluster on 18-24 in. stalks in early summer. Z 5

ORIXA japonica / JAPANESE ORIXA / Rutaceae / Rare and attractive, spreading, aromatic deciduous shrub to 6 ft. tall. Graceful branches lined with oval, 3-5 in. bright green leaves, changing to a startling creamy white in fall. Native to Japan, Korea and China. Part shade; fairly drought hardy. Z 6

OSMANTHUS / SWEET OLIVE / Oleaceae / These handsome plants are like old-fashioned gentlemen, hearty and long-lived, always well dressed, never flashy, but hardworking, dependable, amiable with everyone, if sometimes a bit prickly. Osmanthus may be low shrubs or small trees, smooth-leaved or spiny (told from hollies by their paired leaves). All give a bonus of perfumed flowers, usually in fall or winter. They are fairly drought-hardy and rarely bothered by pests and diseases.

Osmanthus armatus / Stout large shrub or small tree to 20 ft. tall. Oblong, 4-6 in. leaves, thick and yellow-green, bear a few sharp teeth. Fragrant white flowers hide among the leaves in fall. A noble specimen for part shade, where it is drought hardy. Z 7

Osmanthus x burkwoodii (xOsmarea b) / OSMAREA / Common for good reason, this shrub fills many roles attractively. Inch-long ovate leaves, glossy, bright green, fill out an irregularly rounded 10 ft. shrub, laden with fragrant white flowers in early spring. Beautiful screen or hedge. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 8

Osmanthus decorus (Phillyrea decora) / CAUCASIAN OSMANTHUS / A plant of quiet dignity, this large shrub carries elegant, tapered 4-6 in. deep green leaves on a spreading 10-15 ft. framework. With pruning, it can make a handsome small tree. Prefers shade, where it is drought-hardy. Z 7-8

Osmanthus decorus ‘Baki Kasapligil’ / More compact than the species, seldom more than 6 ft. tall making a wide dome of narrow, 4 in leaves.

Osmanthus delavayi / Fine evergreen shrub of pleasing, informal habit. Polished 3/4 in. leaves and tiny white spring flowers on a beautiful tracery of open arching branches. Broad shrub to 4 ft. tall and twice as wide. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7

Osmanthus delavayi ‘Latifolius’ / A taller form of this beautiful and useful shrub, to 8 ft. with broader, 3/4 in. leaves and more upright habit.

Osmanthus delavayi -large leaved form / A rare wild form, apparently new to cultivation, with thin, 1 in. leaves, shiny and somewhat wavy on a soft, open shrub to 6 ft. tall.

Osmanthus x fortunei / FORTUNE’S OSMANTHUS / A hybrid of O. fragrans and O. heterophyllus. Evergreen shrub-tree with thick, holly-like leaves. Tiny apricot scented flowers are delicious in fall and early winter. A rugged plant of many uses. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 7

Osmanthus fragrans / TEA OLIVE / One of the favorite shrubs of warmer climates, this 10-15 ft. evergreen is furnished with 4-5 in., glossy dark green leaves, occasionally sparsely spiny. Tiny cream flowers give a delicious apricot perfume in fall. Sun or shade; fairly drought hardy. Usually granted only to Z 9-10, but our stock is hardy in Z 8.

Osmanthus heterophyllus / HOLLY OSMANTHUS / Dense, sparkling evergreen to 10 ft. with 1-2 in. holly-like leaves. Tiny white flowers scent the garden in fall. One of the most useful shrubs, tolerant of most soils and exposures and rather drought tolerant, too. Z 7

Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ / A compact, rounded shrub with leaves gaudily splashed with creamy yellow, some much more than others. A very nice spot of light, pleasing almost anywhere.

Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’ / VARIEGATED OSMANTHUS /Fine accent shrub with its toothed leaves boldly margined white and zoned gray or pale green.

Osmanthus ‘San Jose’ / Tall, open evergreen, often tree-like, to 15 ft. or more. Shiny, toothed, bright green leaves resembling holly nearly hide the tiny late fall flowers which are perfumed of apricots. A superb plant, hardy and vigorous. Sun or shade, drought hardy.  Z 7-8

Osmanthus suavis / A rare Himalayan species growing 6-10 ft. tall. Simple, ovate leaves of glossy green make it good background, but you will want it close enough to enjoy the scent of the tiny white trumpet flowers crowded under the leaves in spring. Z 8

Osmanthus yunnanensis / YUNNAN SWEET OLIVE / The grandest one, a tree to 20 ft. with imposing, narrow, 6-10 in. finely toothed leaves of deep matte green. Creamy, late-winter flowers are very fragrant. A choice specimen for partial shade. Drought hardy. Z 8

xOsmarea burkwoodii – see Osmanthus x burkwoodii

Osmaronia cerasifornis – see Oemleria cerasiformis

OSTRYA / HOP HORNBEAM / Betulaceae / Several sturdy deciduous trees from  much of the north temperate zone. They are told from the hornbeams (Carpinus) by their hops-like seed clusters, with each seed enclosed in an inflated pouch. Oval, serrated leaves on slender twigs emerge early and usually color gold in late fall. Rugged gray bark covers a stout trunk made of extraordinarily hard wood. Very nice trees, easy to grow but rarely planted. They are fairly drought-hardy.

Ostrya carpinifolia / EUROPEAN HOP HORNBEAM / Fairly large, wide deciduous tree, 40-60 ft. tall, with deeply veined 1-2 in. leaves opening early. Develops a nice silhouette of upturned branches on a short trunk. Sun drought hardy. z5

Otterbossie – see Gomphostigma virgatum

Our Lord’s candle – see Yucca whipplei

OXALIS / WOOD SORREL / Oxalidaceae / Over 800 herbaceous perennials, many making large carpets, especially in shady woods. They come from around the world. Leaves are divided, clover-like, into three or more leaflets. Flowers, shaped like bells or bonnets, come mostly in white, pink, red or yellow. Mainly evergreen, oxalis make good groundcovers, quickly securing any bare soil. Most seem drought-hardy in shade.

Oxalis oregona / REDWOOD SORREL / Refreshing groundcover of the NW coastal forests. Light green or blue green, 2 in. ‘shamrocks’ make a 4-8 in. deep, usually evergreen, carpet, decorated in summer with pale rose or white flowers. Shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 7

Oxeye – see Heliopsis

OXYDENDRUM arboreum / SOURWOOD / Ericaceae / Gorgeous deciduous tree of moderate size, making a slender 20-40 ft. crown of 4-6 in. ovate leaves. Tiny cream flowers line the long fingers of branching clusters. While these are still on display, the foliage ignites in shades of scarlet and crimson. Eastern North America. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 5

P   P   P

Palm, cabbage – see Sabal

Palm, Mediterranean – see Chamaerops humilis

Palm, windmill – see Trachycarpus

Palmetto – see Sabal

PARAHEBE / Scrophulariaceae / A varied group of Hebe relations, mostly hebaceous and all evergreen. Clusters of white, blue or purple flowers add color to these useful groundcover plants. Most are best in bright light and cool conditions, where they will need little or no water.

Parahebe cataractae ‘Porlock Purple’ / Soft evergreen cushion of triangular, 3/4 in. leaves, spreading 2-3 ft. wide in sunny, well-drained spot. Late spring or summer brings a long show of small purple bells. Nice in a cool rock garden or in front of taller perennials. Z 8

PARTHENOCISSUS / Vitaceae /Several deciduous climbers from around the globe, all cherished for elegant foliage coloring riotously in fall. Most are self-clinging and are common adornments for walls and bare tree trunks. When pollinated, plants produce clusters of tiny grapes. These are mostly rugged plants with no special needs.

Parthenocissus inserta / THICKET CREEPER / Native from the Midwest through the Rockies and into the intermountain region from BC to Arizona. Five-lobed leaves make a beautiful pattern, electrified by glowing red and gold fall tints. Unlike most species, this one does little climbing and is best spilling over a wall or slope. It is drought-hardy in sun or shade.

Partidgefoot – see Luetkia pectinata

PAULOWNIA / Scrophulariaceae /Several large deciduous trees of Asia, loved for their bold foliage and showy, fragrant blue or white flowers. Broadly oval to heart-shaped leaves a foot or more wide wait to open until the amazing spring display of trumpet flowers on tall spikes. In fall, rounded pods open to release countless papery seeds. The dark wood of paulownias is prized for furniture. Paulownias are fast growing in good soil, especially where moist, though they stand drought once established.

Paulownia fortunei / DRAGON TREE / Perhaps the best species for the garden, a broadly rounded tree to 50 ft. tall. Shallowly lobed 8-12 in. leaves on gnarled branches open after an April show of tall lilac blue flower spikes. Z 7-8

Paulownia tomentosa / EMPRESS TREE / Majestic large tree opening tall spikes of lilac-blue, rose-scented flowers in April – May. Heart-shaped, foot-wide leaves on  heavy, picturesque branches make the tree one of the great landscape focal points. Z 7

Pawpaw – see Asimina

PAXISTIMA / Celastraceae / Two American evergreen shrubs from opposite sides of the continent, one in the Appalachians, the other from the Rockies westward. Small, neatly arranged leaves make the plants appealing in the manner of boxwood and useful in dry shade. Tiny red flowers are fascinating up close.

Paxistima myrsinites / MOUNTAIN BOX / Native evergreen shrub of dry forests from B. C. to the Southwest. Small, rather box-like leaves on a 2-4 ft. plant of soft form. A fine, drought hardy ornamental for sun or shade, too seldom seen in gardens. Z 5

Pearl bush – see Exochorda

PENSTEMON / BEARD TONGUE / Scrophulariaceae (now Plantaginaceae) The Northwest is at the epicenter of this large, delightful genus. Our mountainsides spill with sheets of blue, lilac, rose, pink and cream penstemons in spring and summer; prairies and deserts are splashed with the vivid blues and magentas of still others.

Slender bells in almost every color rise above clumps or mats of generally narrow leaves in greens, blues or grays. Later, tiny seeds sprinkle from woody capsules. Some plants are evergreen shrubs, others herbaceous. Evergreen mat forming kinds are fine small-scale groundcovers or edgings; taller herbaceous ones belong wherever perennials are grown. Most wild species demand sun and sharp drainage, and all are drought-hardy.

Penstemon acuminatus / SHARP-LEAVED PENSTEMON / Clumps of 18-30 in. stems, clothed in shiny leaves on the lower part, end in spikes of azure to lilac blue flowers worthy of a florist. Native of the dry Northwest interior. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; Z 5.

Penstemon barbatus / PRAIRIE PENSTEMON / Showy, semi-evergreen perennial from the Southwest, to 3 ft. or more. Stout stems decorated with narrow leaves and tubular flowers in rosy red to coral. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 3

Penstemon barrettiae / Rare treasure endemic to the dry eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge. Makes a spreading mound of 2 in. silvery turquoise leaves and many 4 in. spikes of rosy lilac flowers. Easy to grown in sunny rockery. Z 7

Penstemon barrettiae hybrid / This unnamed cross is ridiculously easy to grow, unlike many penstemons, and quickly spreads a dense carpet of oblong blue-green leaves, covered in May with spikes of rosy-lilac flowers. A striking groundcover. Z 7

Penstemon ‘Catherine de la Mare’ / Broad, evergreen shrub to 2 ft. tall and twice as wide. Narrow, bright green leaves line its many branching stems which end in long spikes of small lilac pink flowers over many months. Lovely and carefree. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; Z 8.

Penstemon centranthifolius / SCARLET BUGLER / Bold Southwest species with hot red tubular flowers on 3-4 ft. stems and thick, pale blue, toothed leaves. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 8

Penstemon confertus / Native evergreen shrublet of NW mountains. Narrowly oval, bright green leaves and clusters of small, creamy yellow flowers in spring. Gorgeous combined with blue and purple penstemons. Z 6.

Penstemon davidsonii / DAVIDSON’S PENSTEMON / A common and beautiful penstemon of the Northwest mountains covering rock outcropings with carpets of small, glossy, evergreen leavs and sheets of rose to lilac-purple flowers. Sun, drainage, Z 6.

Penstemon euglaucus / GLAUCOUS BEARDTONGUE / Mat of narrow, deep bluish-green leaves and 6-20 in. spikes of lilac blue flowers. Beautiful native of the dry east slope of the Cascade Mountains. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 5

Penstemon fruticosus / SHRUBBY PENSTEMON / Another Northwest mountain native, making yard-wide mats of narrow, evergreen leaves topped in April-May with flowers in clear shades of rosy purple and lilac-blue. Z 5

Penstemon ‘Garnet’ / One of the most reliable hybrids, making a more or less evergreen shrub to 3 ft., with airy foliage and spikes of deep red flowers for many months. Z 7

Penstemon glaber var. alpinus / Clumps of narrow, evergreen light green leaves send up 2-3 ft. stalks carrying flaring bright blue flowers. Sturdy beauty from Wyoming and Colorado. Z 4

Penstemon heterophyllus / FOOTHILL PENSTEMON / Shrubby mound of narrow, evergreen leaves and spikes of vivid rose to briliant sky blue flowers in summer. Popular ornamental from California. Z 8

Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Blue Spring’ / Shrubby evergreen perennial with narrow, deep green leaves and spikes of glowing, pure blue flowers for several glorious months. Spreading plant to 12 in. high, twice as wide.

Penstemon newberryi / MOUNTAIN PRIDE / Beautiful evergreen shrubby species making spreading 2 ft. mounds of small, bright green leaves and short spikes of cherry red flowers. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; z8.

Penstemon pinifolius / PINE-LEAVED PENSTEMON / Delightful and easily grown shrublet to 12 in. with needle-like, bright green leaves and airy sprays of slender, vermilion red flowers for a long period. Choice beauty from Arizona and New Mexico. Z 8

Penstemon richardsonii / CUTLEAF BEARDTONGUE / Bushy perennial of the arid NW interior making a broad clump of 12-18 in. stems. Intricately lobed leaves in deep blue-green set off the spikes of cerise-pink to rosy red flowers. Adapted to both desert and garden in sun, good drainage. Z 5

Penstemon serrulatus / CASCADE BEARDTONGUE / NW native with many dark green, leafy stems to 3 ft. topped with generous spikes of blue-purple flowers. Easy perennial, worthy of the border. May be evergreen or deciduous. Z 6

Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ / A popular hybrid with long spikes of deep purple flowers rising 2 ft. high from mounds of bright,evergreen foliage. Blooms summer to late fall. Sun, drainage; drought hardy. Z 7-8

Penstemon ‘Thorn’ / One of the best hybrids, with bright, evergreen foliage and large white flowers stained strawberry pink at the lips. The 3-ft. flowering stems appear from late spring through fall. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 8

Penstemon washingtonensis / WASHINGTON PENSTEMON / Lilac blue flowers over an evergreen mat of narrow, light green or bluish leaves. A rare endemic of arid central Washington, but not difficult in sun, good drainage. Z 6

Pepper tree – see Zanthoxylum

Pepper vine – see Ampelopsis

Pericon – see Tagetes lucida

PERSEA / Lauraceae / About 150 evergreen trees of warm regions of Asia, America, the Canary Islands and Madeira. The most famous member, the avocado (P. americana) is not hardy here, but a few others are reasonably so. Simple, ovate, aromatic leaves, often silver beneath, tiny green flowers and fleshy, oily fruits are the common features. Perseas come from moist places, but those that grow in our cool-simmer climate are drought-hardy here.

Persea yunnanensis / Pleasant small, rounded Chinese tree to 40 ft., with very narrow, shiny, aromatic, evergreen leaves 4-6 in. long, bluish underneath, and blue, olive-like fruit. A very handsome plant and one of the hardier species. Sun, or part shade; drought hardy. Z 8

Peruvian lily – see Alstroemeria

PETASITES / BUTTER BUR / Asteraceae / Creeping herbaceous perennials with big leaves and big ambitions. Most quickly form large colonies of wide, rounded leaves on heavy, moist soils, usually in at least part shade. Tight knobby clusters of small ‘asters’ rise in club-like stalks before the leaves.

Petasites frigidus / COLT’S FOOT / Native here and across northern N. America, this forthright perennial stands out from everything in its range. Early spring finds it a colony of thick, leafless 2 ft. stems topped with globes of pinkish flowers. Soon these are accompanied by the circular, deeply notched 12-18 in. leaves on long stalks, which occupy the ground-and more each year-until winter. Part shade, moist. Z 4

PETTERIA ramentacea / DALMATIAN LABURNUM / Fabaceae / Rare and pleasing Albanian relative of Laburnum, an upright deciduous to evergreen (mildest winters) shrub to 12 ft. tall. Clover-like, bright green foliage and upright clusters of bright yellow flowers in early summer make a cheerful display.  Sun, drought hardy. Z 7b

PHAENOSPERMA globosa / WATER MILLET / Rare and graceful evergreen grass from southern Asia making slender clumps 4-6 ft. tall. Wide, bamboo-like leaves to 12 in. long line slender stems topped with filmy fountains of tiny seeds. Regular water, sun or part shade; Z 6

PHILADELPHUS / MOCK ORANGE / Hydrangeaceae / About 60 plainly pretty shrubs recalling the charm of old-fashioned gardens. Most are deciduous, though a few Mexican species are evergreen, the oval, pointed leaves in pairs. White flowers, sometimes lightly marked pink or purple, open as spring warms into summer. Many mock-oranges are planted mainly for their luscious floral fragrances, sometimes, indeed, smelling like of orange blossoms. All are appreciated for being easy to grow and drought hardy in sun or part shade.

Philadelphus ‘Beauclerc’ / Small, wide shrub to 5 ft. Not special in foliage and form, but the purple-centered, 3 in. flowers give off the most extravagant fruity perfume. Z 5

Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ / BELLE ETOILE MOCK ORANGE /  A small deciduous shrub of admittedly unruly habit but producing some of the largest and most powerfully fragrant flowers in the genus. These are 2 in. wide, with purple anthers and pink rays on the petals. Sun; drought hardy. Z 5

Philadelphus brachybotrys / Rare tall deciduous shrub with shaggy tan branches and fragrant, round 3/4 in. flowers of creamy white in long, graceful sprays. From SW China. Z 7

Philadelphus delavayi / PERE DELAVAY MOCKORANGE / Large, arching shrub with brown bark and crisp, gray-green foliage. Very fragrant white flowers are adorned with a purple calyx. Z 6.

Philadelphus lewisii / WESTERN MOCK ORANGE / Our native mock orange, a large, wide shrub, growing wild on dry, sunny slopes. Arching branches carry 1 1/2 in. deep green leaves and fragrant sprays of 3/4 in. flowers. Z 6

Philadelphus microphyllus / MEXICAN MOCK ORANHE / A dainty deciduous shrub from the Southwest, growing 8 ft. tall and not quite as wide. Leaves very small, as the name implies, on fine twigs. Flowers small, too, but with an intense and luscious fragrance. Z 6.

Philadelphus sericanthus / Uncommon deciduous shrub to 10 ft. tall, with peeling bark. Leaves 2-5 in. long and pointed, coarsely toothed. Charming, small, cup shaped, lightly scented flowers in long clusters open in summer. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 6

Philadelphus x virginalis ‘Argentine’ / An old hybrid reaching 5 ft. tall. Flower 2 in. wide, very double and very fragrant.

PHILLYREA / FALSE OLIVE / Oleaceae / Two very handsome evergreen shrubs or trees from southern Europe and southwest Asia. Found in rocky hillside thickets, these are tough, drought-hardy plants with small, ovate leaves of sparkling green. Tiny white flowers lead to pea-sized blue berries. Phillyreas are nearly free of pests and diseases. For all their merits, the phillyreas are rare in gardens. Z 7-8

Phillyrea angustifolia / Same lovely small evergreen tree as P. latifolia but with narrow leaves giving a finer texture.

Phillyrea decora – see Osmanthus decorus

Phillyrea latifolia ( P. media)/ A little known but elegantly handsome evergreen tree slowly reaching 20 – 30 ft. tall, easily kept smaller. Billows of small, sparkling, deep green leaves make this a beautiful specimen tree or backdrop. Z 7

Phillyrea media – see Phillyrea latifolia

PHLOMIS / Lamiaceae / About 100 perennials and small shrubs spread across Asia and the Mediterranean. All are strong garden features. Pairs of oval, usually wrinkly or felted leaves, either in a basal clump or along the stems, are at least half the show. Claw-shaped flowers grouped in tiers up the tall stems, add color and architecture in the warmer months. Though they come from various climates, all seem drought hardy.

Phlomis cashmeriana / Bushy perennial to 3 ft., furnished with 6-10 in. wooly gray-green and white leaves and luscious tiers of silver-rose flowers. Telling color and texture for the sunny border. Z 8

Phlomis fruticosa / JERUSALEM SAGE / Thick, wooly gray leaves and amber flowers in whorled tiers on open 4 ft. evergreen shrub. A nice accent for dry border or herb garden. Sun and well-drained soil. Z 7

Phlomis fruticosa – dwarf form / About half the size of the type, with smaller, wavy leaves and tight clusters of amber flowers.

Phlomis italica / BALEARIC ISLAND SAGE / Sprawling sub-shrub with whorls of creamy pink flowers along 12 in. stems above a nest of evergreen, wooly gray leaves. Delicious colors for dry sunny planting. From the resort islands of Minorca and Ibiza, between Spain and Italy. Z 8

Phlomis russeliana / STICKY JERUSALEM SAGE / From Asia Minor, a bold perennial  3 ft. tall, with broad, gray-wooly 6-10 in. leaves and clusters of pale yellow flowers in several whorls along 3-4 ft. stalks. Fairly evergreen, but may need a late winter makeover. Bold architecture for the dry border. Z 7

PHORMIUM / NEW ZEALAND FLAX / Agavaceae (now Xanthorrhoeaceae) / Two large, bold, grassy-leaved evergreen perennials. Fans of thick, wide leaves 3 ft. long or more build into large clumps. Odd orange-maroon flowers on zig-zag stems high above the foliage make the plants even more eye-catching in summer. Slender pods release papery black seeds.  Flaxes are easy to overdo, but they add such irresistible  drama to almost any planting. Though they populate wet places in the wild, they are quite drought-hardy and care-free, resenting only extreme heat and cold. Z 8

Phormium colensoi / MOUNTAIN FLAX / The smaller and hardier of the two species, this one growing 4-5 ft. tall. Broad leaves are characteristically nodding or arching, light green to olive. Architectural flower spikes to 6 ft.  Z 8

Phormium tenax / Immensely popular accent plant with broad, sword-like leaves in dramatic, spiky clumps to 5-7 ft. tall.  Willing and able to add zest to nearly any landscape.  Z 8, or in containers.

PHOTINIA / PHOTINIA / Rosaceae / At least 50 evergreen and deciduous shrubs from warmer parts of Asia. Simple, oval leaves usually open red or coppery. White flowers in showy clusters lead to red berries. Most photinias are easy to grow and drought hardy.

Photinia arbutifolia – see Heteromeles arbutifolia

Photinia beauverdiana /Pleasant deciduous shrub or tree to 20 ft. tall with graceful branches. Oval 3-5 in. leaves give yellow and orange fall color as vermillion fruits ripen. Undeservedly rare. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8

Photinia davidiana (Stranvaesia d.) / STRANVAESIA / Colorful, accommodating 10-20 ft. evergreen shrub or tree. Narrow, shiny, 3-4 in. long leaves open bronzy, dying off one by one in bright red. Scarlet fruits abundant and showy even in shade. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 8

Photinia davidiana ‘Undulata’ / Low, sprawling form with broad, wavy leaves. Branches arch up to 4 ft., peeking out between other shrubs;  nice deep groundcover.

Photinia glabra / JAPANESE PHOTINIA / A large evergreen shrub with glossy, ovate, 2-3 in. leaves that open fire-engine red over an extended period. White flowers, tiny red berries. Hedges of this re-ignite with flaming new growth every time they are sheared.  Sun, drought hardy. Z 8

Photinia serratifolia ( P. serrulata )/ CHINESE PHOTINIA / Small evergreen tree admired for bright copper new foliage emerging from late winter through spring. Creamy  flowers in broad clusters, small red berries. Little planted these days but rugged and beautiful.  Native from Bhutan to Viet Nam. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7

Photinia serrulata – see Photinia serratifolia

Photinia villosa / KOREAN PHOTINIA / Pretty deciduous shrub to 15 ft. with felted 2-3 in. leaves. White flowers lead to large red berries ripening as the leaves color orange.  Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 5

PHYGELIUS/ CAPE FUCHSIA / Scrophulariaceae / Two evergreen shrubs from South Africa, and hybrids between them, all now risen to well-deserved stardom in mild climates. Tubular flowers un shades of red, orange, salmon, coral, soft chartreuse and, lately, even purple, rose and white, dangle from tall, branching stalks for several months. Narrowly triangular leaves hold things together nicely the rest of the year. Cape fuchsias are rather drought hardy and like a bright exposure in almost any soil.

Phygelius aequalis ‘Yellow Trumpet’ / Sub-shrub to 3 ft. with broad, rich green leaves and branching 3-4 ft. clusters of long, tubular creamy yellow flowers in summer, fall. A hard working beauty, stunning in full bloom.  Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 7

Phygelius capensis / CAPE FUCHSIA / South African shrubby perennial of distinction. Curved tubular flowers in shades of red, carmine and vermillion, hang in tiers on 3-4 ft. branching spikes summer and fall. One of the most valuable perennials. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7-8

Phygelius x rectus ‘Devil’s Tears’ / Tubular flowers deep pink with orange red mouth on tall, well-furnished stems to 40 in. above masses of glossy, light green leaves. Superb and long-blooming in sun, moist or dry soil. Z 8

Phygelius x rectus ‘Moonraker’ / An evergreen shrubby perennial with leafy stems to 4 ft. tall terminating in broad spikes of tubular flowers in creamy chartreuse. Colorful most of summer and fall. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 7

Phygelius ‘Sensation’ / A broad thicket of upturned leafy stems ending in spikes of tubular flowers in a -yes, sensational – deep beet pink. To 18-24 in. tall and a yard wide or more. Z 8

PHYLLOCLADUS / CELERY PINE / Podocarpaceae / Several quite distinct conifers from New Zealand, Tasmania and on the islands north to the Phillipines. Inconspicuous scaly leaves are scattered along flattened, sometimes fern-like branches that serve as the ‘foliage’ for these peculiar small trees. Fleshy fruits with a small berry at the end show the connection to Podocarpus. Something truly novel for sun or part shade, preferably with water.

Phyllocladus alpinus /ALPINE TOATOA / The hardiest of these unique conifers, a 10-20 ft. pyramid of pale green branches lightly furnished with thick,  triangular to diamond-shaped leaf-like phyllodes in the same color. Slow growing New Zealand rarity of unusual interest for a special spot. Z 8

PHYSOCARPUS / NINEBARK / Rosaceae / Deciduous shrubs from moist woodland around North America. Shallowly lobed leaves on long. arching branches are accompanied in late spring by globes of tiny white flowers that bend the branches even more. Winter reveals the nine barks, as layers of tan and maroon peel away. Ninebarks are a cinch to grow, and are fairly drought hardy.

Physocarpus capitatus / WESTERN NINEBARK / Our native species, a broad shrub to 8 ft. with pretty, lobed 3 in. leaves and globular  2 in. clusters of  white flowers on lithe, coppery branches. Wetland margin plant, but takes average soil in sun or shade. z6

PHYTEUMA / RAMPION / Campanulaceae / Uncommon perennials from Europe, with spiky or spidery round clusters of flowers in shades of purple or blue. These are unique additions to the landscape, easy to grow in sun or part shade, fairly drought hardy once settled.

Phyteuma scheutzeri / HORNED RAMPION / Oddly beautiful flower clusters make this a must-plant. Lavender blue flowers, each with a long, spiky, deep blue tip, form inch-wide globular clusters atop branching 12 in. stems. Evergreen clumps of narrow, bluish leaves make the plant good for edgings or rock garden groundcover. Z 5

PICEA / SPRUCE / Pinaceae / Pointed, angular conifers coming mostly from cold, wet places, the spruces give a flavor of the far north. Those that aren’t from cold places, such as the species from our region, the Himalayas and Mexico, are often just fine on average, even dry, soils and mild winters. Prickly needles and hanging cones are common traits.

Picea asperata / DRAGON SPRUCE / A conical tree up to 100 ft. tall. Orange-brown shoots clothed in short, bluish or gray-green needles are pale blue-green in spring. A rare tree for a cool, moist spot.  z 6

Picea breweriana / BREWER’S WEEPING SPRUCE / Widely admired but seldom seen endemic of the Siskiyou Mts. of s. Oregon. and nw California. A very slow, narrow tree to 50-70 ft. tall with green and gray needles clothing long branchlets that hang in dramatic curtains from the spreading limbs. Often stunted in its dry homeland but spectacular in some old, watered gardens. Sun, drought hardy but better with water. Z 6

Picea crassifolia / QINGHAI SPRUCE / A rare narrowly conical tree to 75 ft. Upturned branches carry stout twigs of stiff, light green, 1/2 in. needles. An unusual specimen tree. Sun, moist. Z 5

Picea engelmannii / ENGELMANN SPRUCE / This abundant spruce adds its narrow, bluish spires to the high country landscape from Canada to Mexico. Short, stiff bluish green needles clothe its spreading branches. Reaches 150 ft. or more, in sun, moist soils; Z 4

Picea engelmannii ssp. mexicana / MEXICAN SPRUCE / Much like the species, but in a bright turquoise.Z 7-8

Picea jezoensis / YEZO SPRUCE / Tall, slender tree from Japan, and adjacent Asia. Shiny bright green needles, silver-white below, densely clothe golden-brown twigs. A handsome tree of great hardiness. Sun, best where moist. Z 2

Picea morinda – see Picea smithiana

Picea omorika / SERBIAN SPRUCE / A distinctive and beautiful spruce reaching 50 ft. or more, popular for its very narrow form and adaptability. Graceful branches sweep down and turn up, showing off some of their silvery undersides. Sun, drought tolerant. Z 5

Picea orientalis / CAUCASIAN SPRUCE / Lovely medium-sized tree with short, dark green needles giving an intricate texture to its gracefully sweeping branches. One of the best conifers for the landscape.  Sun, drought hardy. Z 5

Picea schrenkiana var. tianshanica / A narrowly conical Chinese tree to 150 ft. or more. Stiffly spreading branches carry weeping sprays of deep green, 1 in. needles. Stately and rare, a grand lawn specimen. Sun; best where moist; Z 5

Picea sitchensis / SITKA SPRUCE / One of our remarkably huge native conifers, largest of spruces, to 300 ft.. Its dramatically long, pointed branches carry drooping curtains of green and silver-blue, prickly needles contrasting with the  flaky, yellow-brown bark. Sitka spruce dominates our coastal rain forests. Z 7, with cool summers.

Picea smithiana (P. morinda) / HIMALAYAN SPRUCE / A uniquely beautiful, broadly conical tree to 80 ft. tall, with spreading and drooping branches. Very slender light green needles. give a remarkably soft and fuzzy look to the long drooping branchlets. Sun, fairly drought hardy. Z 7

Picea wilsonii / WILSON SPRUCE / A rare Chinese tree of narrow habit, reaching 50-70 ft. tall. Dark green needles clothe its strikingly pale, whitish twigs. Sun, best where moist. Z 5

PIERIS / LILY OF THE VALLEY SHRUB  / Ericaceae / Several evergreen shrubs of Asia and the eastern U.S., long valued in the landscape. Narrow leaves in dense clusters often open in bright cream, pink, copper or red. Small, urn-shaped white or pink flowers open in hanging clusters early in the year. Woody, pea-sized seed capsules hold through winter. Though they survive many environments, pieris only look their best with some shade and regular water in a well-drained humus.

Pieris japonica / JAPANESE PIERIS / Deservedly popular evergreen shrub to 6 ft. or more. Whorls of narrow, glossy leaves, which emerge buff, pink, or red, and cascading clusters of small white or pink flowers in early spring.  Z 6

Pieris japonica ‘Crispa’ A delightfully quirky variety with very wavy-edged leaves. Odd, but really quite pretty.

Pieris formosa var. forrestii / CHINESE PIERIS / Grandest of the genus, with broad, 4 in. leaves opening bright red as the large white flower clusters reach their climax; almost treelike, to 10 ft. Z 7

PILEOSTEGIA viburnoides / Hydrangeaceae / A distinguished evergreen, self-clinging climber related to Hydrangea. Narrow, 4-6 in. leaves of deep, glossy green make an elegant pattern on a wall or lattice. Spidery clusters of fuzzy white flowers add another dimension in summer. Slow growing to 10 ft. or more. Best with shade and water. Z 8

Pine – see Pinus

Pine, umbrella – see Sciadopitys

PINUS / PINE / Pinaceae / While these are among the most familiar of trees, there are many pines that are seldom grown. Some bear needles over a foot long or cones as big as footballs. Bark may be orange, blackish or a patchwork of gray, cream and tan. Pines want full sun and few of them tolerate wet soil; they are all drought hardy here. Bonsai enthusiasts will find a treasury of exciting material among the pines.

Pinus aristata / ROCKY MT. BRISTLECONE PINE / A picturesque and long-lived  tree, with dense brushes of light green foliage dotted with specks of white resin. Slow growing to 10-20 ft, with full, upturned branches. A charming container specimen when young.  Z 6

Pinus armandii / CHINESE WHITE PINE / Large, open tree with long, spreading branches furnished with bluish needles in distant tufts and huge, hanging  cones. An uncommon and stately specimen. Z 6

Pinus attenuata / KNOBCONE PINE / Robust, flame-shaped pine with long, ascending branches lined in 8 in. needles of grassy green and curved, long-persistent cones . A little grown pine, with fuller form and longer needles in cultivation. Z 8

Pinus bungeana / LACEBARK PINE / Famous for its bark, at first pale gray mottled with tan and cream, eventually nearly white and birch-like after a lifetime. Sparse, dark green needles reveal, and contrast with, the bark very nicely. Slow, pyramidal tree to 30-50 ft. in gardens. Z 5

Pinus contorta var. contorta / SHORE PINE / Coastal version of the lodgepole pine, native from Alaska to n. California. A dense, picturesque tree 30-70 ft. tall with clouds of deep green foliage. Widely adapted, taking wet or dry soil. A lovely  and useful landscape specimen. Z 7

Pinus contorta var. latifolia / LODGEPOLE PINE / Remarkably slender tree to 120 ft. tall. Short branches carry tufts of deep green foliage and tiny cones. Bark is fissured, deep red gray. Native here in high country east of the Cascade crest. Z 4

Pinus coulteri / COULTER PINE / Massive tree of s. California and adjacent Mexico. A domed crown of wide branches carrying foot-long grayish needles and giant, spiky cones. A grand specimen tree where there is room. Z 7-8

Pinus densata / SIKANG PINE / Picturesque large tree to 100 ft., its spreading crown eventually broad and gnarled. The 4-5 in. needles, in bundles of two, are bright green. Red-brown bark becomes darker and plated on old trees. From high elevations of China and Tibet. Rare in gardens but a beauty.  Z 6?

Pinus densiflora / JAPANESE RED PINE / One of the best conifers for the garden. Its beautifully irregular orange trunk and sculpted branches carry 4 in. light green needles in cloud-like masses. A superb, easily grown tree to 30-50 ft.; and a favorite for bonsai. Z 5

Pinus elliottii / SLASH PINE / Fast-growing Southeast tree to 35 ft. with soft, bright green needles and picturesque habit. A big timber tree, but a fine ornamental, too. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8

Pinus flexilis / LIMBER PINE / A small pine of western mountains becoming a dense pyramid to 30 ft. tall. Brushes of blue-green needles and pale bark make it a pretty garden tree. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 5

Pinus huangshanensis / HUANGSHAN PINE / Related to P. thunbergiana and similar in its wild, picturesque habit. Relatively thin, bright green needles make this a cheerier tree. Very rare in gardens; reaches 80 ft. in the wild. Z 7

Pinus jeffreyi / JEFFREY PINE / Stout western tree, from southwest Oregon to northwest Mexico, much like ponderosa pine. Usually has longer, often bluish needles and darker bark, but these can vary. Cones are always much larger, 5-8 in. long and bark has a scent of vanilla or pineapple when scratched. Impressive landscape specimen to 60 ft. or more. Z 6

Pinus koraiensis / KOREAN PINE / Artful, dark green pine often with bluish overtones, slow growing to 30 ft. Tufts of green and silver foliage line long, pale, sweeping branches. A fine garden specimen, great for bonsai. Z 4

Pinus lambertiana / SUGAR PINE / World’s tallest pine, to 200 ft.,with the longest cones (to 26 in.) Very long, horizontal limbs carry deep green foliage and give the tree an unmistakable silhouette. Native to mountains of Oregon to n. Mexico. Z 6

Pinus massoniana / CHINESE RED PINE / Rare, broad crowned pine from SE Asia, reaching 70 ft. tall. Needles 6-8 in. long, slender, bright green, in soft sprays; bark gray, heavily plated. Fast growing beauty. Z 7

Pinus monophylla / SINGLE-LEAF PINYON / Small, bushy Southwestern tree to 30 ft., with blue-gray foliage when young. Older trees have pale bark and short, dark green needles held singly. Rounded cones contain large, tasty pine nuts. Z 6

Pinus monticola / WESTERN WHITE PINE / Big, soft green NW native reaching 180 ft. tall. Wide-spreading limbs carry billows of soft, silver and green foliage and long cones. Z 6

Pinus morrisonicola / TAIWAN WHITE PINE / Rare in cultivation, this is a large tree to 80 ft. tall with scaly, dark brown trunk and a broad crown of spreading branches. Bright green needles in clusters of five give it a soft look. Sun; probably fairly drought-hardy; z 8

Pinus palustris / LONGLEAF PINE / Colorful southern tree to 80 ft. with thin bright green needles to 10 in. long and orange, plated bark. Plants spend their first few years in a curious ‘grass stage’ before making branches. Z 8

Pinus parviflora / JAPANESE WHITE PINE / Small, highly decorative pine to 30 ft. tall. Tufts of short, bluish needles cluster on pale, open, wide-spreading branches. Much used in Japanese gardens.  Z 5

Pinus patula / JELECOTE PINE / Gorgeous pine with soft drooping grass-green needles 4-6 in. long. Its plated orange trunk supports a  domed crown to 40 ft. tall. Z 8b

Pinus pinaster / CLUSTER PINE / Grand Mediterranean tree with long branches holding dramatic clouds of dark foliage on a leaning trunk to 80 ft. tall. Fast and vigorous specimen or windbreak. Z 7

Pinus pinea / ITALIAN STONE PINE / A dramatic tree, unique in its mushroom-shaped crown. Wide, flaring branches carry dark green needles in dense, rounded clouds. This classic Roman tree reaches 60 ft. tall and equally wide.  Z 8

Pinus ponderosa / PONDEROSA PINE / Famous pine of western range land. Sweeps of long gray-green needles on spreading and upturned branches contrast with plated, orange-brown bark. The largest of pines, to nearly 200 ft. tall. Z 6

Pinus pungens / TABLE MOUNTAIN PINE / A wide, picturesque tree of the Appalachians, 40-60 ft. tall, often much less in cultivation. Stiff needles, in bundles of two, are dark yellow green and densely cover the branches. The tree usually produces several major branches that spread into a beautiful, flaring crown. Prickly, egg-shaped cones persist on the branches. Choice, garden-sized tree, yet hard to find. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 6

Pinus radiata / MONTEREY PINE / Fast and luxuriant tree to 70 ft. tall. Intensely green foliage densely massed on spreading branches. A premiere coastal windbreak and fine garden tree. Native only to California’s Monterey Peninsula. Z 8b

Pinus sabiniana / GRAY PINE / Unmistakable denizen of sunny foothills around California’s Central Valley. Its forked, sepia trunk shows through a haze of foot-long, blue-gray needles. A striking specimen with a wide crown reaching 80 ft. Z 8

Pinus shenkanensis / A rare Chinese pine to 70 ft. with bright green 4 in. needles over a picturesque framework. Often said to be a variety of P. luchuensis or P. tabulaeformis, and like them in its strikingly wide, sculpted crown. Z 7.

Pinus strobus / EASTERN WHITE PINE / Splendid skyline conifer of eastern forests, memorable for its long, horizontal limbs and soft, light-green foliage. Once over 200 ft. in the wild, to 100 ft. in gardens. Z 4

Pinus tabulaeformis / CHINESE RED PINE / A large tree with dramatically spreading branches. Dark green needles in flaring sprays play against its leaning, red-brown trunk. Inspiring specimen tree. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5

Pinus taeda / LOBLOLLY PINE / Southern pine growing well in the Northwest. Bold, bright green foliage on stout, open branches on a broad tree to 70 ft. tall. Like a ponderosa pine in lime green. Z 7

Pinus taiwanensis / TAIWAN RED PINE / A large pine with a straight trunk, pale red-gray and plated. Stout horizontal branches carry bright green 3-4 in. needles in bundles of two. A picturesque tree in age, always pleasing in its rich green coloring. Sun; Z 8

Pinus thunbergiana / JAPANESE BLACK PINE / Much planted for its wild, windswept form and hardiness. Dark green needles thickly clothe long, spreading branches that turn up and twist in delightfully unpredictable ways. Small clones group in large clusters. Classic bonsai tree, 30 to 50 ft. tall and often as wide,hardy to drought and wind; Z 5

Pinus torreyana / TORREY PINE / Rarest of North American pines, this rounded, gray tree hold out in  in two groves on dry, rocky headlands near San Diego, and on the Channel Islands.. Grown in more hospitable places, it becomes a majestic, 50-80 ft. dome of long, gray needles on pale branches. Z 8

Pinus wallichiana / HIMALAYAN WHITE PINE / Majestic large tree to 80 ft. tall. Long, irregular branches carry soft, drooping, bluish needles and long cones. Stately specimen for larger gardens. Z 6

Pinus yunnanensis / HUNAN PINE / Big, broad tree to 70 ft. with 10-in. yellow-green needles on heavy, spreading and upturned branches. Impressive and exotic specimen. Z 8

Piggyback plant – see Tolmiea

PISTACIA / PISTACHE / Anacradiaceae / Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs from warm, exotic places, such as the Mediterranean, China and Texas.  Leaves are compound; nuts of variuous sizes in large clusters are food for humans and wildlife, and are often colorful. All species are rugged and drought tolerant.

Pistacia chinensis / CHINESE PISTACHE / A small, deciduous tree 20-30 ft. tall. Resembles sumac, but leaves and branches are smaller and more delicate, flaming in fall as large clusters of 1/4 in. fruits ripen from blue-green to pink. Beautiful and highly valued, very drought hardy. Z 6

PITTOSPORUM /PITTOSPORUM/Pittosporaceae / These handsome evergreens fill out landscapes in warm regions everywhere, though they are native mainly to the southern hemisphere. It is hard to generalize about their varied characteristics, but foliage, lush and usually shiny, is their main asset. Tiny flowers, usually perfumed, lead to yellow, orange or black seed pods. Easy to grow, pittosporums thrive in most soils, as long as their frost tolerances are kept in mind.

Pittosporum colensoi / BLACK MAPOU/Large shrub similar to P. tenuifolium but with leaves larger, to 3 in. and not wavy, and with larger, deep red flowers. Like its relatives, an excellent screen or windbreak, to 15-20 ft. tall. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. Z 8

Pittosporum glabratum / HONG KONG LAUREL / One of the hardiest species, this makes a broad shrub to 8-10 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Narrow, tapered 6 in. leaves are glossy and wavy edged, deep yellow green. Small, fragrant white flowers. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 8

Pittosporum heterophyllum / CHINESE PITTOSPORUM / A variable shrub all-around, in size, foliage and hardiness. Ours have small, very narrow 1-2 in. leaves, bright, glossy green. Small white flowers scent the garden in summer. A soft, see-through plant to 6 ft., good in sun or shade, drought hardy, and likely safe in Z 8

Pittosporum phillyraeoides / WILLOW PITTOSPORUM / Unique large shrub or slender tree. Very unlike its relatives in its linear, gray green, 4 in. leaves drooping from dark branches dotted with showy orange capsules. Distinctive accent for warm, dry climates. Sun, drought hardy. Z 9

Pittosporum ralphii / RALPH’S DESERTWILLOW / A large and relatively hardy shrub from New Zealand, reaching 12 ft or more. Oval, gray-green leaves 2-3 inches long are held on narrow purplish twigs. Maroon flowers, black fruits add interest. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 8

Pittosporum tenuifolium /KOHUHU / Small, wavy, 1-2 in., silver-green leaves on thin, blackish twigs make an outstanding and original combination on this large evergreen shrub to 15 ft. tall. Great screen, windbreak or garden focal point from New Zealand. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. Z 8b

Pittosporum tenuifolium ’Variegatum’ / VARIEGATED KOHUHU / Cool, yet vibrant cultivar with light green leaves edged in pure white.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘County Park Dwarf’ /  A compact, purple foliage shrub highlighted with emerging bright green young leaves. Choice and colorful cultivar densely mounding to 4 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Sun or part shade, drought hardy.

Pittosporum tobira / TOBIRA / Popular and distinctive evergreen shrub to 6 ft. tall and as wide. Leaves thick, glossy, oblong, 2-4 in. long, in a handsome pattern. White summer flowers wonderfully fragrant of orange blossoms. Hardier than commonly assumed, to Z 8 in sun or part shade, where it is drought hardy.

Pittosporum tobira ‘Variegatum’ / VARIEGATED TOBIRA / One of the most elegant variegated shrubs. Each recurved 2-3 in. leaf is pale green heavily edged creamy white.

Pittosporum tobira ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’ /  Spreading 2 ft. high mounds of dense, bright green foliage about half the scale of the species. Nice deep groundcover, tolerating and perhaps preferring light shade.

PLATANUS / PLANE TREE / Platanceae / Immensely beautiful trees scattered around the north temperate zone. Their maple – shaped leave may confuse, but maple leaves are paired while those of plane trees come one at a time. Seeds are clustered in balls, which are a distinct feature of the genus. Plane trees have some of the most memorable bark, generaly pale and often patchy. They want full sun and, though found in moist habitats, most species are drought hardy.

Platanus orientalis / PLANE TREE / A stout trunk and big, angling limbs in pale gray mottled tan support a majestic, shady canopy of big, deeply lobed, maple-shaped, 12 in. leaves. Graceful and historic large tree to 100 ft., from se. Europe, Asia Minor. Z 7

Platanus wrightii / ARIZONA SYCAMORE / Grand tree of desert canyons, its trunk and gnarled branches pure white. The starry, long-lobed, 8-12 in. leaves give luxuriant shade. A rounded tree 50-70 ft. tall. Z 8

PLATYCLADUS orientalis (Thuja o.) / ORIENTAL ARBORVITAE / Cupressaceae / Round, picturesque shrub-tree to 30 ft., with flat, upright sprays of bright green foliage and small cones with hooked scales. Nice as taller feature in shrub border. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. z5

Platycladus orientalis ‘Golden Surprise’ / Conical large shrub or tree to 20 ft., with reddish bark and flattened, vertical sprays of golden green foliage.

PODOCARPUS / PODOCARPUS / Podocarpaceae / Even the name conjures exotic forests. These 100 or so conifers live mainly south of the equator, with some coming north to Mexico and Japan. Many are yew-like, but usually a brighter green. Others have such long needles that they don’t instantly resemble conifers. Seeds are produced fleshy berries attached to colorful, usually red, receptacles. All like shade and most are great in containers. They are slow, but they reward your patience with trouble-free beauty.

Podocarpus alpinus / TASMANIAN PODOCARP / Delightful spreading shrub from Tasmania, slowly mounding in our form, reaching 4-6 ft. Bright green, yew-like needles on yellowish twigs and generous sprinkling of glowing red fruits (arils) make this a cheerful presence. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. Z 7

Podocarpus andinus – see Prumnopitys andina

Podocarpus hallii / HALL’S TOTARA / A small relation to the totara (P. totara) , this with sharper 1 1/2 in. needles on the younger plant, which is columnar. Older plants are broader, to 20 ft. tall, light green. Part shade, drought hardy, but better with water. Z 8

Podocarpus lawrencii / A sprawling shrub or small tree of picturesque habit. Its yew-like needles are bright green tinted bronze, bluish below. Free-form and colorful rarity for part shade. Fairly drought-hardy; Z 7.

Podocarpus macrophyllus / YEW PINE / Narrow, erect, slow-growing conifer to 20 ft. eventually flaring rather wildly. Upturned branches are well clothed in linear 3-4 in. leaves. Vibrant texture for light to heavy shade. Its exotic look belies its surprising hardiness. Fairly drought hardy. Z 7

Podocarpus nivalis / ALPINE TOTARA / About the hardiest podocarp, mounding to 12 in. Spreading, dense branches 5 ft or more, clothed in sharp, bronze-green 1 in. needles. An interesting, drought hardy groundcover in part shade. Z 7

Podocarpus salignus / MANO / Chilean conifer with bold, 5 in. curved leaves drooping from horizontal branches. A broad 60 ft. tree where mild, smaller where colder. Rare and beautiful, it makes a dramatic specimen for shade; Z 8

POLEMONIUM / JACOB’S LADDER/ Polemoniaceae / Distinct and lovely perennials from much of the temperate world. From a clump of delicate divided leaves, often evergreen, arise clusters of showy flowers in white, blue, purple or pink. These easy-to-grow plants are choice and uncommon. Their needs vary, as noted below.

Polemonium carneum / GREAT POLEMONIUM / Uncommon and choice western native in woodland. Feathery, pinnate leaves, often evergreen, make a clump below clustered flowers in changing shades of purple and rose suffused yellow on 12 in. stalks. Part or full shade, drought hardy. Z 6

Polemonium pulcherrimum / SKY PILOT / From the high mountains of the Pacific Northwest comes this low mound of feathery deep green leaves, nearly hidden in summer by clusters of bright lavender blue flowers. An alpine jewel easily satisfied in sun and well drainded soil. Z 4

Polemonium yezoensis ‘Purple Rain’ / A new perennial sensation making a mound of lacy, evergreen foliage tinted deep purple until the heat of summer. 2-3 ft. spikes of lilac blue flowers open mid-spring into summer. Z 4

Poncirus trifoliata – see Citrus trifoliata

Poppy, Mantilija – see Romneya

POPULUS / POPLAR /Salicaceae / Mostly immense, fast growing trees, partial to wet soils, poplars are the backdrop to rual scenes everywhere.  They are widely planted in such places, mostly for practical reasons, and they have a rustic beauty in their light colored bark and fluttering leaves. Winter catkins mature to clusters of cottony seeds that fill the air in late spring. Poplars want sun, avarage to moist soil and plenty of room.

Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / The big cottonwood of the Northwest, growing as tall as 200 ft. A massive, fluted trunk holds an open canopy of triangular to diamond shaped leaves that color gold in late fall. From moist bottom lands, but quite drought hardy. Z 5

Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa ‘California Upright’ / A newly introduced narrow form.

Populus x berolinensis / BERLIN POPLAR / Something like a Lombardy poplar in habit, very narrow, but with spreading side branches that make it sturdier in snow. Tapered oval to nearly triangular leaves 2-4 in. long. Sun; drought hardy; Z 2

Populus charbinensis / A rarely grown poplar making a narrowly rounded tree to 60 ft. tall. Glossy 1- 2 1/2 in. leaves are nearly round, making a full, fluttery crown. Sun; best where moist. Z 5

Populus fremontii / ALAMO / Fluttery, pale green cottonwood of the Southwest. Rounded leaves make billowy masses on pale branches, glowing buttery yellow in late autumn. Fast growing to 60 ft. Sun, best where moist. Z 7

Populus hsinganica / A rounded tree to 60 ft. tall with greenish gray bark. Round, 3-4 in. leaves are deep, shiny green. Very rare in cultivation. Sun, moist.

Populus lasiocarpa / CHINESE NECKLACE POPLAR / An impressive large tree to 100 ft. with finely furrowed gray-tan bark. Very large leaves 6-12 in. long, heart shaped, bright green above, pale and furry below, make this an impressive specimen tree. The ‘necklaces’ of the common name refer to the long chains of round seed capsules. Sun; moist. Z 4

Populus nigra ‘Lombardy Gold’ / GOLD LOMBARDY POPLAR / The same iconic columnar tree that marches across farmland and along playgrounds across the country, but with the triangular 3-5 in. leaves glowing golden chartreuse. Quite an exclamation point where there is room.

Populus purdomii / Rarely seen large poplar forming a rounded crown up to 100 ft tall. Oval leaves are 3- 6 in. long, deep shiny green. Sun; moist.

Populus simonii ‘Pendula’ / WEEPING SIMON POPLAR / Gracious, rarely seen, large tree to 100 ft. with small, shiny leaves cascading in vertical streamers, from soaring branches.  Elegant drama for a sunny, moist location. Z 2

 Populus simonii ‘Robusta’ /  A graceful tree to 100 ft. tall with ribbed tan bark. Oval 2 in. leaves are shiny green, giving a light, sparkling crown. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 2

Populus szechuanica / SZECHUAN POPLAR / A rare large tree reaching 120 ft. tall, with a smooth, gray-white trunk. Leaves rounded to narrowly ovate, shiny green, emerging reddish in spring. Sun; moist.

Populus trichocarpa – see Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa

Populus ussuriensis / A large, rounded tree to 100 ft. tall, with smooth, pale gray trunk, becoming deeply ribbed at base. Oval to heart-shaped leaves are deep green. Sun; moist.

POTENTILLA / CINQUEFOIL / Rosaceae / A large genus of shrubs and perennials found in almost every enviroment from wet shorelines to dry alpine slopes. Their relation to strawberries is evident in their; round five-petal flowers, which they produce in abundance. Attractive leaves are divided into three or more lobes. With such varied backgrounds, the potentillas have various needs in the garden, but they are very easy to grow.

Potentilla fruticosa v davurica ‘Abbottswood’ / CULTIVAR / Bright green deciduous shrub to 2 ft. and twice as wide. Deep green divided leaves set off snowy white flowers beautifully. The show lasts form May into fall. Sun, drought hardy. Z 3

Potentilla glandulosa / STICKY CINQUEFOIL / A widespread native perennial with rosettes of pinnate leaves, the leaflets toothed, deeply veined and covered in slightly sticky hairs. Buttery yellow, 3/4 in. flowers cluster atop 12-24 in. stems in spring. Sun, moist or dry. z 3

Potentilla gracilis / SLENDER CINQUEFOIL / A native perennial with several stems from a woody base. Leaves are divided fanwise into 5-7 toothed, hairy leaflets. Yellow, 3/4 in. flowers cluster atop 2-3 ft. stems. Sun; best where moist; Z 3

Potentilla ‘Longacre’ / A beautiful, low, spreading shrub 1-2 ft. high and twice as wide. Light green foliage combines perfectly with large, bright lemon yellow flowers. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 3

Potentilla nepalensis ‘Ron McBeath’ / A 12 in. wide clump of strawberry leaves is topped by a bouquet 3/4 in. glowing pink flowers with red centers on branching stalks. The flower show runs all summer on this cheerful perennial for sun or part shade and average water. Z 5

Potentilla pacifica / PACIFIC SILVERWEED / Perennial native from Alaska to s. California, near saltwater. Pinnate leaves 6-10 in. long are shiny green above, brilliantly silver white below. Golden flowers on long stems open spring and summer. Plant creeps to form attractive groundcover. Sun, fairly drought-hardy. Z 7

Potentilla ‘Primrose Beauty’ / CULTIVAR / One of the best of the shrubby species. Silvery, divided leaves perfectly complement the creamy yellow flowers, late spring through fall. Grows 2 ft. tall and twice as wide.  Sun, drought hardy. Z 3

Potentilla ‘Sutter’s Gold’ / Buttery yellow flowers over bright green foliage make a lovely show for many months. A dense, rounded shrub two feet high and three feet wide. Z 3

Potentilla ‘Tangerine’ / NAME / A deciduous shrub mounding to 2 ft. tall and spreading wider. Feathery, bright-green leaves on wiry branches decorated summer into fall with inch-wide orange-yellow flowers. Sun; drought hardy. Z 3

Privet – see Ligustrum

Privet, Syrian – see Fontanesia

PROSTRANTHERA / BUSH MINT / Lamianaceae / Australian evergreen shrubs living up to their name with their wonderful minty fragrances. Small leaves give a nicely detailed texture. Flowers in various colors make a bright show in the warmer months. All species need sun and well drianed soil.

Prostranthera cuneata / ALPINE BUSH MINT / A very nice mounding evergreen shrub 2-3 ft. tall and twice as wide, redolent of peppermint and eucalyptus. Rounded, shiny, 1/3 in. leaves crowd its congested branches, making the plant suitable for shearing, if desired. Small white flowers marked purple appear in summer. Sun, drought-hardy: Z 8a

Prostanthera rotundifolia / ROUNDLEAVED MINTBUSH / A delightful Australian evergreen shrub to 6 ft. tall. Rounded, 1/2 in. jade green leaves, scented of mint and sage, create an airy, rounded bush that becomes a cloud of lilac purple flowers in late spring. Sun; drainage; drought hardy. Z 8b

PRUMNOPITYS / Podocarpaceae / Several yew-like conifers from the Southern Hemisphere. The obvious difference from the yews is in the fruit, which in these plants is like a small plum. All are rare woodland plants for mild climates.

Prumnopitys andina (Podocarpus andinus) / LLEUQUE / Something like a pyramidal yew, but of a brighter green, making a delightful specimen or screen, reaching 20 ft. or more. Open, upturned branches carry yew-like foliage. A pleasing rarity from Chile, drought hardy in part or full shade. Z 8

PRUNUS / STONE FRUIT / Rosaceae / Besides the stone fruits-peach, plum, etc.-this big, widespread genus holds many of our most admired flowering trees and shrubs and several important evergreens. The former make clouds of bloom in their season and often good fall color; the latter are rugged, drought-hardy candidates for screens and handsome small trees. All attract birds with their fruits.

Prunus emarginata / BITTER CHERRY / Northwest native, narrow crowned deciduous tree 20- 70 ft. tall, with glossy red-gray bark and slender branches. Narrow, 2 in. leaves make a light canopy decorated with creamy flower clusters and bright red, impossibly bitter, pea sized cherries. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7

Prunus ilicifolia / HOLLYLEAF CHERRY / Handsome evergreen to 20 ft. or more, with dense rounded crown of glossy, toothed, 2 in. round leaves. Fuzzy spikes of white flowers lead to 1 in. red, sweet fruit. Drought-hardy beauty from California chaparral, needing sun, good drainage. Z 8b

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Mt. Vernon’ / MT VERNON LAUREL / A remarkable, completely prostrate laurel making a flat carpet of oval, glssy leaves 2 in. by 4 in.  Nice where bold texture is needed in something tough and drought hardy. No flowers, so no weedy reseeding. Sun or shade. Z 7

Prunus lusitanica / PORTUGAL LAUREL / Favorite evergreen shrub or tree for screening or streets, reaching 20-40 ft. Luxuriant masses of dark, 2-4 in. leaves show off the spikes of fragrant, creamy spring flowers. A tough and attractive plant for sun or shade. Z 7

Prunus lusitanica ‘Variegata’ / CULTIVAR / One of the nicest variegated shrubs, like the species but for an elegantly thin white margin around each leaf. Smaller, slower growing than the green form.

Prunus lyonii / CATALINA CHERRY / Beautiful small evergreen tree with ovate, 3 in. leaves of polished deep green in a dense pyramidal crown to 40 ft. tall. Spikes of white flowers become large purplish black cherries of agreeable flavor. Fine, drought-hardy native of S. California islands, for sun, good drainage. Z 9

Prunus mume / FLOWERING APRICOT / Fragrant pink flowers in late winter are the feature of this lovely small tree. Oval 2-3 in leaves on wide branches and small yellow bitter fruit. Both fruit and flowers of major importance in Asian culture. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7

Prunus virginiana / CHOKECHERRY / Widespread native shrub-tree with shiny oval leaves, long spikes of white flowers, red to purplish-black, tart fruit; Z 2

PSEUDOTSUGA / DOUGLAS FIR / Pinaceae / Several large conifers of Asia and North America, hugely important for their lumber. They are spruce-like in their pointed buds and hanging cones. Curious forked bracts between the cone scales set them apart from other conifers. All species require sun and well drained soil.

Pseudotsuga macropcarpa / BIGCONE DOUGLAS FIR / Much like P. menziesii, but confined to the mountains of S. California. Tree to 90 ft., with long, spreading branches, bigger, wider cones. A beautiful mountainside companion of incense cedar, Coulter pine, canyon live oak.  Z 7

Pseudotsuga menziesii / DOUGLAS FIR / Ubiquitous and valuable NW conifer to over 300 ft. in coastal old growth forests (our form). Jagged, irregular crown of dark, angled branches. and full sprays of fragrant 1 in. needles. Fine, richly green ornamental where there is room. Z 6

Pseudotsuga sinensis / CHINESE DOUGLAS FIR / Small, bushy tree, very rare in cultivation. Relatively broad, shiny, bright green needles clothe wide-spreading branches on a broadly conical framework. Small, roundish cones. Sun, best with water. Z 8

Pseudotsuga wilsoniana / TAIWAN DOUGLAS FIR / Bright, glossy needles and small plump cones are the subtle difference in this rare species, a tall forest tree to 100ft or more. Sometimes considered a vareity P. sinensis. Z 8

PTEROCARYA / WING NUT / Juglandaceae / Grand tropical-looking, deciduous trees from Asia, beautiful but rarely seen. Large feathery leaves crate a spreading canopy decorated with hanging chains of nutlike seeds. These are wonderfull shade and park trees where there is ample room in sun. They need little or no water

Pterocarya rhoifolia / JAPANESE WINGNUT / Broad, walnut-like tree with foot-long leaves divided into long, slender leaflets and seeds in 1-2 ft. chains hanging from the branches. Exotic splendor but rather hardy, for sun, moist soil. Z 6

Pterocarya stenoptera / CHINESE WINGNUT / Strong, subtropical effect of big, compound leaves with oblong leaflets on a wide, tardily deciduous tree to 80 ft. tall, with winged seeds in dangling 18 in. chains in late summer. Grand exotic tree for sun, moist soil. Z 7

PUNICA granatum / POMEGRANATE / Punicaceae / Deciduous large shrub from southwest Asia, grown since ancient times. To 10 ft. with a soft crown of narrow, 2-3 in. leaves giving rich yellow fall color. Showy orange-red flowers in summer lead to the familiar red fruit. A most decorative plant, good on hot walls in the coastal NW, where it revels in the extra heat. Sun, drought hardy. z8-9

Purple osier – see Salix purpurea

Purple tails – see Teucrium hycanicum

Pussytoes – see Antennaria

PYRACANTHA / FIRETHORN / Rosaceae / Several evergreen spiny shrubs and their many hybrids. Grown for their handsome foliage and big displays of berries in red, orange or yellow. Small off-white flowers precede the fruit. Most pyracanthas are fast and easy to grow in sun or shade and all are drought hardy. They are especially good traind on a wall or fence.

Pyracantha ‘Harlequin’ / VARIEGATED PYRACANTHA / Low, sprawling evergreen shrub making a wide, 3 ft. high mound of twiggy, thorny branches.  Small, narrow light green leaves are edged in white, giving a striking glow. White flowers lead to a light crop of red berries. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 7.

xPYRACOMELES vilmorinii / Interesting and attractive evergreen hybrid of Pyracantha and Osteomeles, with glossy leaves sometimes divided, sometimes not. Airy layers of these are arranged on long, arching branches, accompanied by white flower clusters. Grows to 6 ft. tall and twice as wide. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 7

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