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ABELIA /Caprifoliaceae (now Linnaeaceae) / Graceful, mostly evergreen shrubs with a ruggedness not suggested by their delicate appearance. Fragrant, bell-shaped flowers, small but abundant, seem to go on forever. Abelias are versatile companion plants or beautiful hedges or screens.
Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’ / PINK ABELIA / Spreading evergreen shrub 3-4 ft. high and much wider. Glossy, 1 in. leaves on arching reddish branches. Fragrant pink bells summer and fall. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 7.
Abelia x grandiflora / GLOSSY ABELIA / Rounded fountain of arching pink branches, to 6 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Small, sparkling leaves tinged coppery when young, interspersed with fragrant, pale rose bells summer and fall. Pink bracts behind the flowers add color into winter. Fine informal hedge. Sun or part shade, drought-hardy. Z 7
Abelia x grandiflora ‘Francis Mason’ / Flashy selection with lime green foliage shading bright yellow. Pink white-flowers. Lively chartreuse in part shade, rather garish lemon in sun.
Abelia triflora / Pale pink flowers with delicious perfume decorate this airy evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub. Leaves are like those of other species, but lighter green, less glossy. Grows 6-8 ft. tall. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 6
ABIES / FIR / Pinaceae / The Northwest mountains are luxuriant with firs, whose shapely spires are a symbol of the region. Most firs want sun, cool fresh air and moist, well drained soil. Those from Asia Minor, the Mediterranean and Mexico, tolerate poor, dry soil and heat. Fir needles are stalkless and typically blunt, buds rounded, cones upright.
Abies alba / EUROPEAN SILVER FIR / Lovely fir from the Alps, to 70 ft. or more. Elegant layered branches turn up to reveal silvery undersides. Fairly drought-hardy. Z 4
Abies bornmuelleriana / TURKISH FIR / Rare tall tree like A nordmanniana, well furnished with 1 1/2 in. needles marked silver below. Handsome and drought hardy. Z 4
Abies cephalonica / GREEK FIR / This monumental conifer grows to well over 100 ft. tall with massive trunk and limbs. Stiff, deep green needles clothe stout, horizontal branches. Beautiful, drought-hardy specimen for sun. Z 5
Abies cilicica / CILICIAN FIR / A pretty and seldom seen tree of slender outline. Deep green needles, pale blue on the underside, densely cover its short, spreading branches. To 50 ft. in gardens, where it makes an outstanding feature. Z 6
Abies concolor / WHITE FIR / Widespread western tree of sunny mountain forests. Long, bluish needles curve upward and are scented of citrus. A beautiful, drought-tolerant tree reaching 100 ft. or more. Z 6
Abies fraseri / FRASER FIR / A small, slender fir from the Appalachian Mountains, slowly raching 30-50 ft. Short horizontal branches are covered in 3/4 in. bright green needles. A favorite Christmas tree, and lovely in the landscape where cool and moist. Z 4
Abies grandis / GRAND FIR / This tall Northwest native is found from the coast to the Rockies. Coastal trees may reach 300 ft. and are notable for their often flattened, nest-like top at maturity. Long, flat, citrus-scented needles are glossy bright green. Lovely and fast growing. Z 5
Abies magnifica / RED FIR / Large and stately tree from the mountains of California and SW Oregon. Deep blue-green needles thickly clothe sweeping branches on a narrow tree to 100 ft. or more. Sun and good drainage; Z 5
Abies marocana – see Abies pinsapo var. marocana
Abies nordmanniana / NORDMANN FIR / One of the best firs for warmer climates. Handsome, luxuriant pyramid of sweeping branches clothed in long, glossy green needles. Reaches 50 – 70 ft. tall. Z 5
Abies pindrow / WEST HIMALAYAN FIR / A splendid bright green spire reaching 100 ft.. Long, silver-backed needles densely line spreading and upturned branches. A rare and beautiful gem. Z 7
Abies pinsapo / SPANISH FIR / Very distinctive in its short, stiff, blue-gray needles radiating from short, thick twigs. Slowly reaches 70 ft., often much less in gardens. A striking feature for sun, good drainage. Z 7
Abies pinsapo var. marocana / MOROCCAN FIR / Needles longer and darker than in the species, but still fascinating. A stately tree to 70 ft., very rare in cultivation. Z 7
Abies procera / NOBLE FIR / One of the tallest Northwest trees, to over 300 ft., and one of the most loved. Dense, brush-like arrangement of blue green needles on elegant, horizontal branches and huge, pineapple-like cones. A favorite and pricey Christmas tree, this mountain fir needs cool, moist conditions in the garden.
Abies recurvata / MIN FIR / A beautiful Chinese fir reaching one hundered feet tall, much less in gardens. Luxuriant branches clothed in shiny, bright green, sharply pointed needles create a full pyramidal form. Z 6
ACACIA / WATTLE / Fabaceae / There are hundreds of these mostly evergreen, fast-growing shrubs and trees in warmer parts of the world. Leaves may be feathery (true leaves) or simple (flattened leafstalks called phyllodes). Flowers, often fragrant, are deep yellow to white puffballs in clusters that may cover the tree. Acacias are mostly tender, but so fast growing that they are rewarding even where temporary. All want sun and all are drought-hardy.
Acacia baileyana / COOTAMUNDRA WATTLE / One of Australia’s best known plants. This striking, broad cloud of minutely divided blue-gray leaves is beautiful anytime. Late winter finds it heavily decked out in puffy yellow flowers. Makes quick growth to 15 ft., blooming young. Sun, drought-hardy. z9
Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea’ / PURPLE COOTAMUNDRA WATTLE / Newest leaves tinted purple and lilac. A color tour de force.
Acacia boormanii / SNOWY RIVER WATTLE / A rare large evergreen shrub from Australia. Leaf-like phyllodes are linear, 1-2 in. long, bright green. Fluffy flowers are lemon yellow and very abundant in late winter. This pretty, billowy species is one of the hardiest. Sun, drought-hardy. z8b
Acacia pravissima / OVENS WATTLE / This odd large shrub or small tree is one of the great garden novelties. It makes a wispy 10 – 20 ft. crown of long, arching branches lined with rows of triangular, 1/2 in. blue green phyllodes. Drooping clusters of pale yellow flowers make a stunning late winter show. Z 8-9
Acacia rubida / RED-STEM WATTLE / A small evergreen tree well furnished with narrow, leafy, 4 in. phyllodes of bluish green, red-purple when opening, on red twigs. Fuzzy yellow flowers crowd the branches in late winter. A beautiful acacia, and one of the hardiest. z8b
ACCA sellowiana (Feijoa s.) / PINEAPPLE GUAVA / Myrtaceae / An evergreen shrub or tree to 20 ft. tall, native to the high elevations of central South America. It is grown around the world for its luscious, egg-shaped, 2 in. fruits, which are smooth and greenish outside, pale orange inside, with a flavor combining pineapple, strawberry and even a hint of mint. Plants are somewhat self-fruitful, bit much better with companions. Oval, 1-2 in. leaves, deep gray green above and white below, make this a handsome plant year round. Summer flowers with white petals and a showy bunch of red stamens, are beautiful and edible. Fruits best in cool summers; drought-hardy; Z 8
ACER / MAPLE / Aceraceae (now Sterculiaceae) / These 140 or so deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs range from merely pretty to resplendent. Widely varied, they bear pairs of leaves that may be oval or pinnate as well as the familiar ‘maple’ shape. Fall color is their high point, but many are colorful in spring with their flowers or emerging leaves. Many maples have striking bark. Most species like a rich, moist soil; others from western North America, southern Europe and Asia Minor, are drought-hardy.
Acer buergerianum / TRIDENT MAPLE / Nearly triangular leaves, glossy and smoothly three-lobed, silvery beneath, make this maple distinct. Patchy and flaking bark adds winter interest after a fall show of deep red or orange. This dense tree reaches 20-30 ft. and as wide. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 6
Acer campbellii / Deciduous or semi evergreen maple from the Himalayas, choice but rare in gardens. Starry leaves 6 in. wide with five tapered lobes give an elegant texture. Leaves color soft yellow and orange in late fall and drop during winter. Z 7
Acer capillipes / RED SNAKEBARK MAPLE / A graceful, spreading tree to 30 ft., resembling A. davidii but with strongly lobed leaves on red stalks. Pale, pin-striped bark takes on frosted pink tones in winter. Deep red to orange fall color. Part or full shade; best with water; Z 6
Acer cappadocicum / CAUCASIAN MAPLE / A handsome, spreading tree to 40-50 ft. tall and as wide. Silvery twigs are well furnished with, glossy, 5-7 lobed leaves that color yellow in fall. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 6
Acer cappadocicum var. lobellii / LOBEL’S MAPLE / A rare and distinct large tree to 60 ft. or more. Sharply ascending branches give it a narrow outline, making it a great landscape feature. Large, glossy leaves are gold in fall. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 6
Acer circinatum / VINE MAPLE / A much-loved Northwest shrub or tree to 35 ft., usually with many snaky, green or gray stems. Its light crown of delicate, wandering branches and round, shallowly lobed leaves is aflame with red, orange and yellow in fall. Best fall color in sun, where it will need water; found naturally in shade, where it is drought -hardy. Z 5
Acer cissifolium / VINE-LEAVED MAPLE / This uncommon Asian species makes a broad, graceful umbrella to 25 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Its 6 in. leaves, divided into 3 toothed leaflets, color a riotous vermilion red in fall. Part shade; best with water. Z6
Acer davidii / PERE DAVID MAPLE / The least rare of the ‘stripe-bark’ maples, those species with thin, pale green bark vertically pinstriped in white. Handsome, oval, deep green leaves color yellow or red in fall. Makes a spreading canopy 20-30 ft. high, perfect for shading a terrace. The tree itself appreciates some shade and occasional watering. Z 6
Acer distylum / LINDEN-LEAVED MAPLE / Heart-shaped, 6- in. leaves set this rare maple apart. Their bold effect is heightened considerably in fall when they turn lurid purple and cocoa. A pyramidal tree 20-30 ft. tall. Part shade; best with water; Z 7
Acer ginnala / AMUR MAPLE / Broad, bushy Central Asian tree 10-15 ft. tall. Dense, twiggy branches carry lots of small, oval leaves that open early and take on flaming colors in fall. Fragrant green flowers are showy in late winter. Tough but charming, a good street tree if trained. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 3
Acer glabrum var. douglasii / DOUGLAS MAPLE / A shrub or tree to 30 ft., native over much of the West. Much like vine maple at a glance, but the 3-lobed leaves (sometimes divided) are quite different, though equally colorful in fall. A fine ornamental but seldom planted. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 5
Acer grandidentatum (A. saccharum g.) / BIGTOOTH MAPLE / A bushy tree reaching 20 ft. Its small, 3-lobed leaves form an open, rounded crown, coloring brightly in fall. A good but uncommon garden tree. Sun; takes drought. Z 4
Acer griseum / PAPERBARK MAPLE / This striking maple is famous for its smooth, coppery orange bark peeling in curling sheets and flakes. Handsome, three-parted leaves with bluish reverse are red and orange in fall. Narrowly rounded form to 30 ft. Sun or light shade; best with water. Z 5
Acer grosseri / GROSSER’S MAPLE / Another stripe-bark maple, often larger than A. davidii, to 40-60 ft. tall, but with the same pale green, white-striped bark. Oval, 3-lobed leaves color orange and yellow in fall. Part or full shade; best with water; Z 6
Acer heldreichii ssp trautvetteri / CAUCASIAN MAPLE / A rare small tree with deeply lobed, 6-8 in. leaves that turn deep buttery orange before dropping in early fall. Stout branches create a rounded 20-30 ft. crown. Fairly drought-hardy; Z 6
Acer lobelii – see Acer cappadocicum var. lobelii
Acer longipes / A rare and handsome small tree to 30 ft. Leaves 7 in. wide, with 5-7 smoothly pointed lobes, velvety underneath, golden in fall. Smooth green bark nice in winter. Part shade; best with water; Z 6
Acer macrophyllum / BIGLEAF MAPLE / Our ever-present Northwest native, the largest maple in size and leaf. Its 5-lobed leaves may be nearly 20 in. wide in deep shade, 12 in. is typical, with amber to orange fall color. Chartreuse flowers in long clusters showy in spring. Rounded tree to 100 ft., often multi-trunked. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 7
Acer monspessulanum / MONTPELIER MAPLE / The small, dark, shiny leaves with their three rounded lobes are the distinctive feature of this uncommon tree from S. Europe. They densely furnish a picturesquely rounded 20-40 ft. tree and often color soft yellow or orange in late fall. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 5
Acer negundo var. californicum / WESTERN BOX ELDER / The western form of this well-known deciduous tree. Round-headed, to 60 ft., with bright green, compound leaves, showy pinkish flowers and light-yellow fall color. Sun, drought-hardy; Z 7
Acer oliverianum / OLIVER’S MAPLE / Graceful sprays of star-like leaves on long, sinuous branches give this rare Chinese maple a special charm. Grows 30-40 ft. tall with a flaring crown glowing red in fall. Part shade; fairly drought-hardy; Z 7
Acer palmatum / JAPANESE MAPLE / Popular everywhere for its delicate grace, infinite forms and gorgeous fall colors. We raise it from seed harvested from many varieties, so ours are best seen before purchase. Part shade; fairly drought-hardy once well established; Z 5
Acer palmatum var. amoenum / a variety with relatively large, 7-lobed leaves that color rich orange in fall. Grows 10-20 ft. tall.
Acer pensylvanicum / MOOSEWOOD / The only American ‘stripebark’ maple, this is a small, spreading tree of the eastern woods. Its rounded, 6 in. leaves, on red twigs, are shallowly lobed, silvery below, turning orange in fall. Like its Asian relatives, it features pale green bark with white pinstripes; twigs red; Z 3
Acer pseudosieboldianum / KOREAN MAPLE/ A lovely maple allied to A. palmatum. Intricate branches carry a spreading cloud of round leaves divided into 9-11 slender lobes, aflame in orange and red in fall. Slowly reaches 15-20 ft. tall. Part shade; best with water; Z 5
Acer pseudosieboldianum v takesimense (A. takesimense) / A smaller tree than the species, seldom over 10 ft. tall. Beautifully sculpted branches carry 3-4 in. wide leaves with usually nine broad, toothed lobes, flaming orange, red and purple in fall. Choice feature for a small, partly shaded garden. Z 6
Acer rubescens / A rare stripe-bark maple from Taiwan, with bright-green, shallowly lobed leaves opening coppery red and holding into winter. Thin, pale green bark with white pinstripes. Part shade, best with water; Z 8
Acer rufinerve / GRAYBUD SNAKEBARK / A rare stripe-bark to 35 ft. tall with long, arching branches. The narrow leaves, on silvery blue twigs, give rich red autumn color. Part shade; best with water; Z 6
Acer saccharum v grandidentatum – see Acer grandidentatum
Acer stachyophyllum (A. tetramerum) / Deciduous shrub or narrowish tree to 30 ft. high. Many close, erect, striped trunks and brownish twigs carry 3-lobed (or unlobed) 2 -3 1/2 in. long, bright green leaves. Rarely seen e. Himalayan tree. Sun or part shade, water. Z 6a
Acer takesimense – see Acer pseudosieboldianum v takesimense
Acer tenellum / This endangered and rarely seen Chinese species makes a soft, open tree to 30ft. The 2-3 in. triangular leaves flutter in a delightfully poplar-like fashion, making the tree a botanical surprise. These take on soft red and yellow shades in fall. Sun; drought-hardy. Z 6
Acer tetramerum – see Acer stachyophyllum
Acer trauvetteri – see Acer heldreichii ssp. trautvetteri
Acer truncatum / SHANTUNG MAPLE / A small, wide-crowned tree to 25 ft. tall. Broad, deeply 5-lobed, 4 in. leaves color well in fall. Lime green flowers are showy in spring. Nice shade tree for small gardens. Sun; fairly drought-hardy; Z 6
Acer velutinum / PERSIAN MAPLE / A rare tree from Asia Minor, with an imposing crown of shallowly lobed 8-10 in. leaves, bright green above, bluish below, pale gold in fall. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 6
ACHILLEA / YARROW / Asteraceae / Many creeping perennials, mostly from sunny, well drained places. Most have feathery leaves with a pungent aroma. The relation to daisies is seen on close inspection of their flat flower clusters.
Achillea millefolium / Native here and through much of the north temperate zone, this is a common wildflower of sandy places. Light green, finely feathered leaves make a mat from which arise 2-3 ft. stalks carrying flat clusters of tiny white or pink daisies. Z 3
Achillea millefolium ‘Colorado’ / a strain with flowers in pastel shades of yellow, pink, salmon, lilac and more.
Achillea millefolium ‘Summer Berries’ / flowers in rich colors, predominantly reds, purples.
ADENOPHORA / LADYBELL / Campanulaceae / Lovely flowering perennials told from the campanulas by minor botanical features. Bell shaped flowers in shades of lilac and blue open in summer or fall in long spikes. Easy to grow yet rare in gardens, they perfer shade and moist humus.
Adenophora takedae / IWA SHAJIN / A rare and beautiful Japanese perennial, valuable for its late blooms. Clumps of narrow leaves give rise to arching 12-18 in. stalks lined with gracefully hanging bells in lavender blue, opening in fall. Nice with asters and fall foliage. Part or full shade; best with water; Z 4
AESCULUS / BUCKEYE, HORSECHESTNUT / Hippocastanaceae / These deciduous shrubs and trees scattered around the Northern Hemisphere are admired for their large, palmately compound leaves and showy spikes of white, yellow or red flowers. Large nuts in thick husks ripen in fall. The larger species are landmarks for big spaces; the smaller ones make ideal garden focal points, easy to grow in any open, well-drained spot.
Aesculus californica / CALIFORNIA BUCKEYE / Broad, multi-stemmed tree 20-30 ft. tall. Frothy 12-18 in. spikes of pink-tinged white flowers arch out from the branches in June. Light green, 8 in. leaves drop early where hot and dry, revealing a handsome framework of creamy white trunk and branches. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 7
Aesculus indica / INDIAN HORSE CHESTNUT / From N. India comes this elegant 50 ft. specimen tree. Its large, glossy, tropical-looking leaves emerge bronze. Tall spikes of pink and white flowers make a spectacle in late spring. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 7
Aesculus pavia / RED BUCKEYE / This large shrub, sometimes to 15 ft. tall, comes from the eastern US. Hand-sized leaves color gold and salmon in fall. Spikes of tomato red flowers catch the eye in early summer, after the other big spring bloomers have retired. A fine garden plant, much recommended. Sun or light shade; drought-hardy; Z 5
AETHIONEMA / STONECRESS / Brassicaceae / Evergreen shrublets from Europe and Asia Minor, prized as much for their small, blue green leaves as for their clusters of small, fragrant pink or white flowers. These are choice specimens for a rock garden or sunny, well drained border.
Aethionema schistosum / FRAGRANT PERSIAN STONECRESS / Rare evergreen shrublet making a 12-18 in mound of small, narrow chalky blue leaves on stiff branches. Clusters of fragrant, rose pink flowers decorate the plant in spring. Sun, drought hardy; Z 7
AGAPANTHUS / LILY OF THE NILE / Amaryllidaceae / Evergreen and deciduous perennials from South Africa, admired for their trumpet shaped flowers in globular clusters, in white or shades of blue. Glossy, strap-shaped leaves make substantial clumps. All are somewhat frost-tender, but a few grow well into Z 7.
Agapanthus africanus seedlings / These are our selections from plants doing well through some colder winters in our area. Primarily deciduous, they are nearly all blue, with flower stalks 2-3 ft. tall. Sun; drainage; best with some water; Z 7-8
AGASTACHE / Lamiaceae / A varied group of perennials from many climates. All have delightfully scented foliage as well as showy, tubular flowers in spikes which delight hummingbirds. Species from western North America are premier drought-hardy garden plants for any sunny, well-drained spot. Others are easy to grow but may need water.
Agastache cana / HUMMINGBIRD MINT / A bushy perennial growing 18-24 in. tall. Slender leaves scented of anise and mint on stems topped with spikes of rosy pink flowers in late summer and fall. Beautiful with late salvias and asters. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 5
Agastache foeniculum / ANISE HYSSOP / An upright perennial from much of North America. Stems 2-3 ft. tall are lined with toothed, licorice-scented leaves used for tea. Short, dense spikes of lavender blue flowers attract bees and butterflies in summer. Sun or part shade; best with water; Z 3
Agastache foeniculum ‘Golden Jubilee’ / Lime green leaves shaded yellow make a lively contrast to the lavender blue flowers.
Agastache occidentalis / WESTERN GIANT HYSSOP / Native in Northwest dry country. Makes a leafy dome of 12-18 in. stems bearing minty-scented triangular leaves and short spikes of rose pink flowers. Charming, long-flowering color for dry border or rock garden. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 5
Agastache rupestris / SUNSET HYSSOP / Slender, silvery green, deliciously aromatic leaves (mint and licorice) are the perfect complement to long spikes of peachy salmon flowers in summer and fall. The sophisticated colors are stunning with deep blue or purple companions. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; Z 5
AGAVE / CENTURY PLANT / Agavaceae / Spiky succulents from Mexico and the Southwest carrying a potent flavor of the exotic. Their sculptural forms are just the thing for a large container or a prominent spot in the rock garden. Fleshy gray-green to chalky blue, spine-tipped leaves in a big rosette are topped, after many years (not a century) by an often towering flower spike. Our species are among the hardiest, easily grown in gravelly and sandy soil with very sharp drainage and, of course, full sun.
Agave deserti / DESERT AGAVE / One of the easier agaves, making a 3 ft. wide rosette of blue-gray leaves. Orange flowers on 12 ft. stalks after many years. Z 8
Agave havardiana / HAVARD AGAVE / Native of the Chihuahuan Desert, this large agave impresses with its broad, 20 in. blue leaves edged and tipped in black spines. Easy and rather hardy. Z 7
Agave neomexicana / NEW MEXICO AGAVE / A 3 ft. wide rosette of rigid, spiny, blue-green leaves, eventually sprouting a 16 ft. tall spike of orange red flowers. One of the hardiest. Z 7
Agave parryi / PARRY’S CENTURY PLANT / Broad, pewter leaves tipped with black spines form a neat rounded clump 30 in. wide. It is great luck that one of the most beautiful agaves is one of the hardiest. A stunning feature in a container. Z 6
Agave parryi var. huachucensis / Even more exciting than the species, this variety curves its very thick, broad, powder blue leaves up almost into a ball. Z 7
Agave utahensis / UTAH AGAVE / The most northerly species, and a smaller candidate for a pot. Toothy, gray green leaves make an open rosette. Orange flower spikes after some years. Z 7
Agave, false – see Beschorneria
AJUGA / CARPET BUGLE / Lamiaceae/ Several spreading evergreen perennials from Europe, valued for flowers and dense, ground-covering foliage. Glossy, spatula-shaped leaves give a bold texture under spikes of blue flowers in spring. Tough and easy to grow, the ajugas are best with some shade and they never resent watering.
Ajuga genevensis / BLUE BUGLEWEED / A dense, spreading mat of crinkly, deep green leaves supports a crowd of 6 in. spikes of bright azure blue flowers in spring. Nice companion of early bulbs and perennials; good evergreen cover. Sun or light shade; best where moist. Z 6
Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’ / Broad leaves up to 4 in. long with a rich, coppery-purple tint, are nearly hidden in April by deep blue flowers. Both color and texture make it a standout. Z 4
ALBIZIA / MIMOSA / Fabaceae / A tropical genus of feathery-leaved trees and shrubs with exotic, puffy flowers. None are hardy except the following species.
Albizia julibrissin var. rosea / PINK SILK TREE / Broad, deciduous tree to 40 ft., popular for bringing a tropical look to non-tropical places. Its widely flaring crown of finely feathered leaves is decorated in summer with clusters of fragrant pink powder puffs. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 6
Alder- see Alnus
ALNUS / ALDER / Betulaceae / With no striking ornamentals among them, the alders nevertheless have their subtle charms. The male catkins of late winter can be surprisingly showy, as can the pale bark of some species. Alder gravitate towards moist places but usually make the best of drier conditions. They fix nitrogen in the soil and are immensely important pioneer plants. Seeds are borne in tiny, coniferous cones.
Alnus cordata / ITALIAN ALDER / Shiny, rounded leaves distinguish this 60-70 ft. tall European from most species. Its cones are relatively huge- 1 in. long and egg-shaped. Green late winter tassels make quite a show. Z 6
Alnus incana var. viridis – see Alnus tenuifolia
Alnus japonica / JAPANESE ALDER / With the picturesque habit so common in Japanese trees, this large alder is one of the prettiest in the landscape. Arching and spreading branches carry long, elegant leaves in graceful layers. Showy late winter tassels. Z 4
Alnus nepalensis / HIMALAYAN ALDER / A pretty tree reaching 80 ft. tall. Large, handsome, leathery leaves remain green into winter, dropping to reveal a show of long green tassels. Lovely woodland tree for mild climates. Z 7-8
Alnus rhombifolia / WHITE ALDER / Native in much of the drier West, this is also the only alder much used in landscapes. Glossy, diamond-shaped leaves, gray-felted underneath, make a pyramidal crown to 40 ft. tall. Z 7
Alnus sinuata / SITKA ALDER / Native from Alaska to California, this shrub or small tree gets little notice. Abundant on drier, well-drained soil disliked by most alders, it fills the forest edge with its airy sprays of small, toothed leaves. Z 2
Alnus x spaethii / A hybrid much resembling A. japonica, one its parents. The big difference is in the colorful foliage, with zones of red and purple, somewhat like coleus, in the center of the newer leaves all spring and summer. Z 4
Alnus tenuifolia (A. incana var. viridis) / MOUNTAIN ALDER / Thicket-forming shrub of NW mountains with roundish, finely toothed leaves on pliant branches. A common filler of ‘snow chutes’ and streamsides, growing to 10- 15 ft. Sun, best where moist; Z 4.
ALSTROEMERIA / PERUVIAN LILY / Alstroemeriaceae / Exotic and treasured perennials from South America, still more common in flower shops than in gardens. They grow from tubers and spread weedily where happy. To be content, they need a mild climate with cool summers and well-drained soil. They dislike being disturbed.
Alstroemeria ‘Ligtu Hybrids’ / These crosses bring together large, speckled flowers in a wide array of pinks, salmons, lavenders, peaches, oranges and reds, with relative hardiness and adaptability. Upturning 2-3 ft. stems, lined with narrow, pale green leaves, are topped with clusters of 2 in. flaring blooms most of the summer. Sun or part shade; drainage; fairly drought hardy; Z 7-8
ALTHAEA / MALLOW / Malvaceae / Several erect perennials resembling the related hollyhocks in their tall stems, rounded, lobed leaves and showy flowers. They are typically moisture-loving plants.
Althaea officinalis / MARSHMALLOW / Yes, this is where the marshmallow came from. This rather elegant perennial, with stems to 6 ft. tall, comes from marshy places in the old world. From it, the Egyptians extracted a syrup which was made into a sweet confection taken for sore throat. Centuries of modification, replacing the marshmallow plant altogether, lead to today’s version. The plant, meanwhile, is a garden beauty, with velvety grayish leaves and cup-like flowers in soft lavender. Sun; best where moist; Z 3
Alumroot- see Heuchera
AMELANCHIER / SERVICEBERRY / Rosaceae / This handful of deciduous shrubs and trees share many traits. Leaves are small, roundish to oval, opening from slender, pointed buds. Flowers are also small, with many strap-like petals, usually white, sometimes pink, in showy profusion in early spring. Fruits are purple to blue-black, pea-sized, tasty in pies. Hardy and generally drought-tolerant, serviceberries are now valued in landscapes for their modest size, showy blooms and bright fall color.
Amelanchier alnifolia / WESTERN SERVICEBERRY / Our native species in the far West. A large shrub or bushy tree 10 – 20 ft. tall. Crisp, rounded leaves of deep blue-green color soft orange-yellow in fall. Spidery white flowers lead to blue fruits for pie. Good wildlife plant and a nice ornamental in any sunny spot. Drought-hardy; Z 2
AMORPHA / FALSE INDIGO / Fabaceae / A New World genus of shrubs and perennials with feathery leaves and spikes of fuzzy, generally purple flowers. As ornamentals they are easy to grow almost anywhere and have a fascinating beauty close up. They want sun and most are drought hardy.
Amorpha canescens / LEAD PLANT / Finely feathered gray foliage makes a logical background for the amazing purple and orange flowers of this unique Midwest perennial. Makes many stems reaching 2 - 3 ft. tall and as wide. Z 2
AMPELOPSIS / FALSE GRAPE / Vitaceae / Many deciduous vines from around the world, enjoyed for their colorful fruit and fall foliage. They climb with tendrils, so they need either slender twigs or fine lattice grab onto. Given that, they move fast. Tiny greenish flowers lead to pea-sized berries that can be spectacularly showy, especially against the reds and purples of their autumn leaves. These are woodland plants happiest in part shade. They need water in driest climates.
Ampelopsis megalophylla / SPIKENARD AMPELOPSIS / Huge leaves up to 2 ft. long are divided into many leaflets, giving a stand-out texture especially wonderful when they turn orange, red and purple in fall. Big, branching clusters of fruit ripen from pink through cobalt and deep purple. Climbs to 15 ft. or more. A special feature plant seldom seen. Z 6
AMSONIA / BLUESTAR / Apocynaceae / Several distinctive perennials from the Southeast. Clumps of long stems lined with narrow leaves are crowned with clusters of pale blue flowers in summer. Other than occasional water, these uncommon plants need little. Most give good fall color as they close out the year.
Amsonia hubrichtii / THREADLEAF BLUESTAR / Extremely narrow leaves give a gorgeous billow to this newly popular species. The big show comes after the icy blue flowers have faded, as the foliage glows in pale amber. Sun; best where moist; Z 6
ANEMOPSIS californica / YERBA MANSA / Saururaceae / From a clump of dock-like leaves arise 12- 18 in. stems each carrying a white, anemone like flower 1 1/2 in. wide with a tall, reddish central cone studded with tiny white petals. A Southwest native medicinal plant, valuable for a moist, sunny spot in the garden. Z 6
ANGELICA / ANGELICA / Apiaceae / Pretty herbaceous plants from around the world, usually found where soil is very moist. Leaves are usually large and divided boldly into large leaflets, which may also be divided. Tiny flowers in large, flat clusters make still more botanical art that holds interest even when the blooms become flat, woody seeds. Put an angelica where it is to stay; their taproots make transplanting risky.
Angelica arguta / SHINING ANGELICA / Clumps of large, shiny green leaves divided and redivided into trios of oblong, 3-6 in. toothed leaflets. Balls of white flowers arranged into flat clusters open atop 6 ft. stalks in summer. Pretty architecture and a good wildlife plant. Sun or shade; moist; Z 5
Angel’s fishing rod – see Dierama
Anise-hyssop- see Agastache
Anise tree – see Illicium
ANTENNARIA / PUSSYTOES / Asteraceae / Charming perennials from the mountains of the west, spreading neat carpets of fuzzy gray leaves over rocky terrain. Tight clusters of stubby flowers in white or shades of pink or red give a long lasting display in summer. With sharp drainage, plenty of sun and dry summers, these fetching plants are choice garden subjects.
Antennaria microphylla / PINK PUSSYTOES / Narrow whitish leaves form an inch high cushion for 8 in. high stalks carrying pink flowers in summer. Beautiful with penstemons and sedums. Z 3
Apache plume- see Fallugia paradoxa
APOLLONIAS barbujana / BARBUSANO / Lauraceae / A large, evergreen tree of the Canary Islands, rare in gardens and in the wild. Deep green leaves are like those of bay but a bit larger and flatter, and with a more fruity scent. Tiny greenish flowers in winter lead to small black fruits. Sun or shade, drought-hardy; Z 8b.
AQUILEGIA / COLUMBINE / Ranunculaceae / Charming and distinct perennials with delicate, divided leaves and unique flowers. Shorter alpine species need a cool rock garden; taller ones are easily grown almost anywhere but enjoy a bit of shade. All want some water in dry months.
Aquilegia caerulea / BLUE COLUMBINE / Lovely nodding blooms in white and sky blue atop 18-24 in. stems. Best in bright woodland.
Aquilegia formosa / WESTERN COLUMBINE / Our native species, a delicate looking but rugged beauty of the forest edge. Its 2-3 foot stems carry many red and yellow flowers over a long season. Needs no water but blooms longer with an occasional soaking.
Aquilegia longissima / LONGSPUR COLUMBINE / An amazing flower from Arizona, with spurs up to 4 in. long trailing behind. The blooms look like yellow birds flitting through bluish, fern-like foliage. Exotic but easily grown, 2-3 ft. tall. Light shade; Z 5
Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Vervaeniana’ (‘Mellow Yellow’)/ A seed strain of the common European columbine with short-spurred flowers in white and shades of lilac, blue and purple nodding above ruffly mounds of lemon-lime foliage. An eye-catching bright spot for a shady border. Z 4
ARABIS / ROCKCRESS / Brassicaceae / Low growing perennials mostly from mountainous regions, prized in the rock garden. Mats of narrow leaves typically evergreen, are smothered by clusters of four-petaled flowers. They need sun and good drainage, where they will be at home for many years.
Arabis caucasica ‘Variegata’ / VARIEGATED WALL ROCK CRESS / Narrow fleshy leaves of bright green generously marked in cream are the main show in this appealing rock plant. Snowy flowers brighten it still more in spring. Grows two inches high 18 inches or more accross.
ARALIA / Araliaceae / Trees, shrubs and perennials from many places, usually growing in shade. Globes of tiny white flowers in large, branching clusters are followed by tiny berries, all above impressively large, divided leaves. All are best in rich, moist soil, but they are not fussy.
Aralia californica / ELK CLOVER / Statuesque deciduous perennial from coastal N. California and SW Oregon. Leaves 2-3 ft. long divided 2-3 times into toothed leaflets, make a clump 3-4 ft. tall. Above this, and bending outward, are huge clusters of flowers and black fruit. Shade; best where moist; Z 7
Aralia elata / JAPANESE ARALIA / Prickly deciduous tree 15-20 ft. tall. Immense, divided leaves, mostly at the ends of the stout branches, create a wide, tropical-looking crown. Huge flower clusters turn pinkish before purplish black berries form, while foliage takes on shades of purple and orange. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 6
ARAUCARIA / Araucariaceae / These 19 or so conifers can’t hide their ancient origins, with their reptilian bark and strange forms. Dating from the time of dinosaurs, they can be called living fossils. All have very regular tiers of branches and huge seed cones carrying up to 200 large, edible seeds. They need mild, if not tropical, climates and are distinctive landmarks in Zones 8 and above.
Araucaria araucana / MONKEY PUZZLE / Uniquely strange, commanding Chilean tree, rare and protected in the wild. Snaky branches covered in sharp scales form an oddly graceful crown to 80 ft. tall, often devoid of branches much of the way up. A trademark of older Northwest neighborhoods, where it thrives in the cool mildness. Sun, cool summers; Z 7
Arborvitae – see Thuja
ARBUTUS / MADRONE, STRAWBERRY TREE / Ericaceae / These flashy relatives of manzanita and rhododendron are scattered across the warmer and drier parts of the Northern Hemisphere. They rate a near perfect score in eye appeal, with sinuous form, handsome glossy evergreen foliage, clustered white flowers, bright red berries and , most memorably, flaking red bark. Arbutus demand sun, well-drained soil and a dry summer.
Arbutus andrachne / GREEK STRAWBERRY TREE / The madrone of the eastern Mediterranean. Much like A. menziesii in glossy foliage and small red fruit, but a smaller tree, to 20-40 ft. The flaking, reddish bark peels to ivory white. Sun, drought. Z 8
Arbutus arizonica / ARIZONA MADRONE / Like A. menziesii except smaller in its leaves, which often have bluish and pinkish tints. From the summer monsoon region of the Southwest, so may need water in summer at first.
Arbutus menziesii / PACIFIC MADRONE, MADRONA / Distinctly handsome west-coast evergreen tree to 90 ft. tall, typically leaning and crooked. Its flaking terracotta bark, fragrant white flowers, orange red berries and glossy, year-round foliage make it a standout on the sunny hillsides it prefers. Very intolerant of summer water. Z 7
Arbutus unedo / STRAWBERRY TREE / From the Mediterranean and SW Ireland, this shrub or tree reaches 15-25 ft. tall. The typically gnarled trunk and branches carry narrowly oval 2-4 in. leaves. Fall brings a unique show of white flower clusters opening with the ripening of the 1 in. orange and red fruit from the previous season. Easier to grow than other species. Sun or part shade; Z 8
Arbutus unedo ‘Rubra’ / PINK-FLOWERED STRAWBERRY TREE / Strawberry pink flowers and smaller leaves.
Arbutus xalapensis / TEXAS MADRONE / Native from Texas and New Mexico to Guatemala, this small tree is rare and declining in its US habitats. It varies from other species in its mostly ivory bark and smaller leaves. Like A. arizonica, it is used to summer showers and may need water to get established.
ARCTOSTAPHYLOS / MANZANITA / Ericaceae / The 50 or so species of manzanita are essential components of the shrubby evergreen vegetation called ‘chaparral’, which covers so much of the mountainous West. Manzanita cultivars, more numerous every year, are excellent, no-water ornamentals in sun and well-drained soils wherever summers are dry. Thick, roundish, often pale blue or gray leaves, gnarled reddish stems and orange or maroon berries, give manzanitas their somewhat exotic appeal. Tiny, clustered, urn-shaped flowers in pink or white make a nice late winter show.
Arctostaphylos x cinerea / ASHY MANZANITA / This probable hybrid of Arctostaphylos canescens and A. viscida displays rounded leaves of a deep blue gray and elegantly contrasting rust colored bark. Pink or white flowers and maroon berries are seasonal decorations on this rarely offered beauty.
Arctostaphylos columbiana / HAIRY MANZANITA / The largest species in our area, to 8 ft. high and 12 ft. wide, or more. Pale gray-green leaves and cinnamon trunks make it stand out on the forest edges where it typically grows. White flowers lead to burnt-orange berries. Z 7
Arctostaphylos columbiana x A. hookeri / A first-ever (?) cross of these two naturally separated species, originating in the lovely Seattle garden of Dan and Ann Streissguth. Intermediate, with the gray tones of A. columbiana in its smaller, rounded leaves. Vigorous and easy to grow, to 6 ft. or more. Z 8
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’ / One of the few manzanitas commercially popular. Small, ovate, glossy green leaves make a sparkly, billowy shrub 4-6 ft. tall and much wider. Showy white flowers, rust berries. Fine, adaptable landscape plant. Z 8
Arctostaphylos manzanita / COMMON MANZANITA / A large shrub or tree 15-30 ft. tall, holding its ovate, green or bluish leaves on gnarled maroon branches. White February flowers, big, glossy brown berries. About the best garden manzanita around here, fast-growing and healthy. Z 8
Arctostaphylos manzanita – low form / A mounding plant 3-4 ft high and twice as wide with narrow, pointed 1 in. leaves.
Arctostaphylos x media / hybrids of A. columbiana and A. uvaursi, first described from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington but found elsewhere. Leaves vary from fairly dark green to blue-gray, velvety or not, mostly narrow, on mounding and trailing plants 1-3 ft. tall. Handsome, no-water groundcover. Z 8
Arctostaphylos x media – blue carpet / long, blue-green leaves overlap on purple branches that spread low across the ground. From Washington, on the Columbia River Gorge.
Arctostaphylos x media – green mound / bright green leaves larger that those of A. uvaursi make a mounding and spreading shrub 1 ft. high and indefinitely (?) wide. From Washington, near the Columbia River Gorge.
Arctostaphylos nevadensis / PINEMAT MANZANITA / A prostrate creeper covering dry mountains from Washington to Mexico. Oval leaves under 1 in. long, in grayish or bluish green, line maroon runners. Likes the dry soil and filtered shade under pines. Z 5
Arctostaphylos ‘Pacific Mist’ / A pretty hybrid forming a broad, foot-deep cushion of narrow, 1 in. leaves in soft blue-green. Grows 6-8 ft. wide, excellent on banks. Z 8
Arctostaphylos patula / GREENLEAF MANZANITA / From dry mountain forests from Washington to Texas. Usually a low, spreading shrub 2-4 ft. tall. Round, bright green leaves grow on maroon branches. Pink flowers lead to brown berries. Used to snow cover and often short-lived at low elevations. Z 7
Arctostaphylos pungens / MEXICAN MANZANITA / A widespread manzanita, decorating mountians and mesas from s. Montana to Mexico. Deep olive green, narrow, 1 in. leaves on reddish branches make wide mounds 4-6 ft. high. Takes heat, frost, coastal winds. Z 6
Arctostaphylos uvaursi / KINNIKINNIK / This circumpolar species is the only manzanita native outside the West. Long admired for its shiny, rounded leaves, red berries and hardiness, it can be seen trailing over rockeries and filling planters from coast to coast. Its pink to white flowers are very showy. Hardiness varies with the selection.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi #13 / Our clone from a wild plant with thumb-sized leaves and galloping growth Z 7
Arctostaphylos uvaursi- western Washington / typical foliage and form, but especially clean and healthy. Z 6?
Arctostaphylos uvaursi ‘Massachusetts’ / smaller, narrower leaves make a rather dainty groundcover. Z 4
Arctostaphylos viscida / WHITELEAF MANZANITA / Classic manzanita with round, greenish white leaves held on maroon branches. Pink flowers, orange berries complete the picture. Grows 8-10 ft. tall and as wide. If there were only one manzanita, this should be it. Z 7
ARISTOTELIA/ Elaeocarpaceae/ A half dozen evergreen shrubs from the Southern Hemisphere, rare in gardens. They vary greatly in form and foliage, but all bear small, edible berries. The species below are relatively hardy.
Aristotelia chilensis / MAQUI / A rangy but agreeable evergreen shrub or tree from Chile. Ovate, bright green 3-4 in. leaves on pink stalks clothe long branches that quickly make an open plant 10-20 ft. tall. Greenish flowers lead to tiny black berries with a tangy flavor and lots of antioxidants. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 8
Aristotelia fruticosa / MOUNTAIN WINEBERRY / Tiny leaves, 1/2 in. long, on wiry branches make a billowy shrub 8-12 ft. tall. Tiny purple berries. A rare, desirable and surprisingly hardy New Zealand native. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 7
ARMERIA / SEA THRIFT / Plumbaginaceae / These evergreen perennials are mostly from Europe, except for A. maritima, native here and on seacoasts in much of the world. Slender leaves, grassy but thicker, make dense clumps, eventually carpets, topped with tiny flowers in balls atop stiff stems. Excellent garden plants, they need only sun and well-drained soil.
Armeria maritima / Carpeting coastal bluffs from here to Europe, this makes a fine small groundcover or container plant. Wiry leaves make a mound only a few inches tall but eventually much wider. The 3/4 in. globes of pink flowers on 6-12 in. stalks, appear much of the year. Sun; sandy soil; Z 7
Armeria maritima ‘Morning Star White’ / Pure white flowers; very refreshing.
Armeria pseudarmeria / PLANTAIN THRIFT / A bigger plant than most armerias, with broader leaves making foot-wide clumps, eventually from several short, woody branches. Flowers also larger, on stalks 18-24 in. tall. Wild forms are pink, but our mix includes white and shades of red, rose, lilac, and salmon . Great cut flowers. Z 7
ARONIA / CHOKEBERRY / Rosaceae / These all-American deciduous shrubs have much for the gardener and for wildlife. Simple, ovate leaves color brilliantly in fall. Charming white flowers with purple anthers make a delightful spring show and lead to small berries that are tasty in juice and a treat for birds. Undemanding, aronias need sun and prefer moist soil.
Aronia arbutifolia / RED CHOKEBERRY / Named for its brilliant red fruit, but the foliage also turns to flaming red in fall. Grows 6-8 ft. tall, eventually making a thicket. Z 4
Aronia melanocarpa / BLACK CHOKEBERRY / This taller plant, to 10 ft., offers sweet black fruit and deep red fall color. Z 4
Arrowood, linden – see Viburnum dilatatum
ARTEMISIA / WORMWOOD, SAGEBRUSH / Asteraceae / Gray and pungent are the words for these widespread shrubs and perennials. Shrubby evergreen ones are silver beacons in dry, sunny gardens. All need sun and good drainage and thrive on drought.
Artemisia suksdorfii / COASTAL MUGWORT/ Pacific Coast native semi-evergreen perennial with erect, woody 3-4 ft. stems carrying narrow, jaggedly lobed 2-5 in. leaves, dark green above, silvery white below, intensely aromatic. Narrow plumes of yellowish gray flowers add interest in summer. Z 7
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ / A hybrid sage with brilliantly silver, filigree foliage on a rapidly spreading evergreen mound 2-3 ft. tall. Hard to live without this metallic beauty, so beautiful with other gray, blue or purple foliage. Z 8
Artemisia tridentata / BIG SAGEBRUSH / Silvery gray, warmly aromatic evergreen shrub dominating endless miles of the arid West. Our seed is from our Northwest deserts, where plants reach 10 ft. in moister habitats, but 3-5 ft. in most places. Grows anywhere with sun and sharp drainage. Z 5
ARUNCUS / Rosaceae / Lacy perennials from around the Northern Hemisphere, preferring shade and moist humus.
Aruncus dioicus (A. sylvester) / GOATSBEARD / Dramatic, ethereal native perennial of moist, shady places. Its beautifully divided 1-2 ft. leaves and filmy sprays of tiny white flowers nod gracefully from arching 4-6 ft. stems. Shade, moist; Z 5
Ash – see Fraxinus
Ash, mountain – see Sorbus
ASIMINA/ CUSTARD APPLE / Annonaceae / This mostly subtropical genus has its roots in the southeastern states and belongs to a very large tropical family. Asiminas are shrubs or small trees with odd, malodorous flowers that lead to fragrant, edible fruits. Only the species below is hardy in cold winters.
Asimina triloba / PAWPAW / An oddly interesting, deciduous tree 15-25 ft. tall. Its wide crown of thick branches is clothed in large, oblong leaves, mostly at branch ends. Triangular maroon flowers, which enlarge over several months, yield smooth, green, oblong fruits 5-10 in. long containing many large seeds and a creamy flesh flavored of banana and a bit of pear. This essentially tropical tree is native into southern Ontario. Sun; moist soil; Z 5
ASPARAGUS / Liliaceae or Asparagaceae / Most of these decorative plants (besides the delicious edible one) are tender houseplants in most places. A few are hardy to Zone 8 and make fascinating decoration in warm, sunny spots. Their true leaves are usually tiny scales or spines; the foliage is clumps of needle-like cladophylls that give the plants their diaphanous textures. Stems last a few years and old ones need to be removed.
Asparagus alba / Shrubby, evergreen species from the Mediterranean, with tufts of blue-gray, needlelike foliage on spiny, ivory branches, decorated with red berries in fall and winter; something choice for Z 8
ASTER / A large genus of perennials admired in gardens and in the wild for their late flowers, mostly in shades of blue, purple, rose and white. The once huge genus has lately been divided, with nearly all the American species grouped into new genera. We will adopt these names someday but have chosen to keep the old name for now. Asters are hardy and easy to grow. Most enjoy moist conditions and good soil and will reward the gardener who gives them these. They grow in sun or very light shade.
Aster amellus ‘Rudolph Goethe’ / Still one of the best for a long show of beautiful lilac blue flowers. Two-inch blooms on branching 18-24 in. stems late summer and fall. Z 5
Aster chilensis / COAST ASTER / (now Symphiotrichum chilense) Native from here to Chile in various habitats; ours is the coastal form, with 1 in. flowers in lilac blue. Forms a loose cluster of individual stems 18-24 in. high, blooming August and September. Z 7
Aster foliaceus v parryi / LEAFY ASTER / Pretty clouds of lavender blue 1 in. flowers float over leafy, branched, 3 ft. stems in late summer. Usually found along water. Sun, best where damp. Z 7
Aster glaucescens / KLICKITAT ASTER / A bushy clump of 18-24 in. stems lined with narrow, gray green leaves and topped in late summer with sprays of 1 in. flowers in lilac blue. A showy native, rarely grown, endemic to Washington south of Mt. Adams. Sun; best where moist; Z 6-7
Aster hesperius / WESTERN WILLOW ASTER / ( now Symphiotrichum lanceolatum ssp hesperium) Lovely billows of small but profuse lilac blue flowers on 2-3 ft. leafy stems. Best in wet conditions, where it will give armloads of flowers for cutting.
Aster macrophyllus (Eurybia macrophylla) / BIGLEAF ASTER / A wide clump of broad, coarsely toothed, 5 in. leaves is topped by wandering 3 ft. tall stalks holding airy sprays of 1 1/2 in flowers, pale lilac fading white, in early fall. Very nice in wild border or woodland edge. Sun; best with water; Z 3
Aster modestus / GREAT NORTHERN ASTER / (now Canadanthus modestus) Native to Northwest mountains. Leafy plants 18-24 in. tall are decorated with deep violet blue flowers in late summer. Z 3
Aster novaangliae / NEW ENGLAND ASTER / Ancestor of the Michaelmas dasiy found in nearly every flower border, this New England wildflower is fine just as it is. Erect, leafy stems 4-6 ft. tall carry clouds of flowers in vibrant shades of purple and blue in late summer and fall. Z 3
Aster occidentalis / WESTERN MOUNTAIN ASTER / (now Symphiotrichum spathulatum) / Very narrow, glossy leaves furnish the long, straight 2-3 ft. stems of this uncommon native. Flowers in lavender to lilac blue cluster around the upper stems in fall.
Aster ptarmicoides / UPLAND WHITE ASTER / (now Oligoneuron album) / from much of eastern North America, this well branched, fine-textured aster reaches a bushy 18-30 inches. Swarms of tiny white flowers crowd the stems in summer. Z 3
Aster subspicatus / DOUGLAS ASTER / (now Symphiotrichum subspicatum) Widespread Northwest aster, here common around lakes. Leafy stems 3-4 ft. tall carry many soft lilac flowers in late summer and fall. Z 2
Aster tongolensis ‘Wartburg Star’ / Long prized for its show of large, lilac blue flowers with big, golden orange centers, mid summer to fall. They are densely arrayed atop 18-24 in. tall plants. Z 4
ASTRANTIA / MASTERWORT / Apiaceae / Uniquely attractive perennials from Europe with a long show of starry flowers on long stems. Triangular ‘petals’ in silvery white or satiny pink, red or burgundy encircle a pin-cushion of true flowers. Blooms float above a clump of toothy, handsomely divided leaves. Choice decorations, and fine cut-flowers, for damp ground in at least partial shade.
Astrantia major / GREATER MASTERWORT / Distinctive perennial with many 1- 1 1/2 in. flowers consisting of a collar of pointed, papery greenish white to pink bracts around a green pincushion center. These open in summer on 1-2 ft. branching stems above mounds of handsome, palmately divided leaves. Z 4
Astrantia major ‘Primadonna’ / Flowers in rich shades of rosy red.
AUCUBA / Cornaceae / A small genus of evergreen shrubs native across Asia. They want shade but are otherwise undemanding and seldom bothered by much. Female plants produce bright red berries.
Aucuba japonica / JAPANESE AUCUBA / A sturdy large evergreen shrub unperturbed by dark shade and iffy soil. Glossy, pointed leaves 6-8 in. long make a bold, no-nonsense shrub to 10 ft. which fills up shadowy spaces in style. Large red berries on female plants are a decorative plus. Beautiful in shade, sad and yellow in sun; drought hardy; Z 7
Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’ / Leaves 1 – 1 1/2 in. wide give a finer texture.
Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie’ / A very nice compact form, about half the size in leaf and plant. As a bonus, this cultivar is self-fertile and produces small red berries.
Avens – see Geum
Azalea, flame – see Rhododendron calendulaceum
Azalea, royal – see Rhododendron schlippenbachii
Azalea, wild thyme – see Rhododendron serpylifolium
AZARA / Flacourtiaceae / Evergreen shrubs and small trees from South America. They are most notable for the feathery effect of their very small leaves. In most species, each leaf is accompanied by an even smaller ‘accessory’ leaf, adding yet more frill to the foliage tapestry. Tiny, puffy, sometimes fragrant, yellow flowers give rise to small black, purple or white berries. Fast growing and eventually drought hardy, azaras need cool summers and mild winters.
Azara integrifolia / CORCOLEN / Tall evergreen shrub from Chile and Argentina with graceful arrangement of shiny rounded one inch leaves. Fluffy, deep yellow flowers in late winter followed by white berries. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 8
Azara lanceolata / NARROW-LEAVED AZARA / A large, diaphanous shrub to at least 10 ft. tall, with widely arching branches. Frond-like sprays of narrow, 2-3 in. leaves give a distinctively beautiful pattern. Showy masses of chrome-yellow flowers, faintly fragrant, lead to lavender pea-sized berries. Best in bright shade. Z 8
Azara microphylla / BOXLEAF AZARA / Tiny, oval to rounded leaves of sparkly black-green are arrayed in undulating fronds on this unique 20-30 ft. evergreen tree. Late winter brings the tiny yellow flowers with their amazing aroma of chocolate and vanilla, scenting the garden on mild days. The narrow outline of the tree makes it ideal for tight spaces. Sun or shade; Z 8
Azara microphylla ‘Variegata’ / VARIEGATED BOXLEAF AZARA / One of the most stunning and graceful variegated plants; the same elegant tree as the species, but with each tiny leaf edged in cream.
B B B
BACCHARIS / Asteraceae / Evergreen, sometimes leafless, shrubs, mostly from South America, with a few extending into the US. The majority have tiny leaves and broom-like stems of the same shade of bright green or olive. Flowers are small and puffy, but numerous; seeds are feathery and float in the wind. Low species make attractive bank covers; taller species are good on large slopes and in native borders. Most are very drought hardy.
Baccharis pilularis / COYOTE BUSH / Abundant native of windy coastal bluffs in California and Oregon, this bright green 4 – 8 ft. bush contrasts nicely with the deep greens and grays of its plant communities. A loosely rounded plant with 1 in. oblong leaves in lettuce green. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; Z 8
Baccharis pilularis – prostrate form / A bit smaller in leaf, growing 2 ft. tall and 4-5 ft. wide. From U.C. Davis Arboretum.
Baccharis pilularis ‘Twin Peaks’ / Widely valued groundcover 1-2 ft. high and twice as wide. Tiny leaves give a frothy texture.
Baldcypress – see Taxodium
BAPTISIA / FALSE INDIGO / Fabaceae / Nice group of American perennials, hardy and long-lived. They make clumps of sturdy stems clothed in handsome, pinnate leaves and topped with beautiful spikes of pea flowers in white, cream, yellow or blue. Give them a fairly sunny spot, in good, well drained soil.
Baptisia australis / BLUE FALSE INDIGO / Metallic purple stems to 4 ft. tall carry substantial blue green leaves and spikes of blue violet flowers in summer. Sun; moist or dry; Z 4
Baptisia leucantha / WHITE FALSE INDIGO / From the tall-grass prairies of the central US, this makes a mound of feathery bright green foliage 2-3 ft. high topped by long, upturned spikes of white flowers. A beauty for good soil and moisture.
Barberry- see Berberis
Barbusano – see Apollonias
Bay (cooking) – see Laurus
Bay, California – see Umbellularia
Beargrass – see Nolina , Xerophyllum
Beaumont’s root – see Veronicastrum
Beautyberry – see Callicarpa
Bee bee tree – see Tetradium
BERGENIA / ROCKFOIL / Saxifragaceae / Evergreen perennials native in mountains from China to Afghanistan. They are known by their large, rounded, succulent leaves and tall, branching spikes of white or pink, bell-shaped flowers in early spring. Invaluable for texture and early color, they are best in bright light and cool, well-drained soil. They dislike constant wet but often look better with water.
Bergenia cordifolia ‘Red Beauty’ / Spreading clumps of rounded, 6-8 in. leaves, bright green but often reddish in winter, and clusters of rosy red flowers in 2 ft. stalks in early spring. That bright magenta is a real pick-me-up at winter’s end. Z 4
BERBERIS / BARBERRY / Berberidaceae / Spiny evergreen or deciduous shrubs from around the world, especially Asia and South America. Those who dislike armed plants can move on, but those who need an attractive barrier or who appreciate the beauties of these shrubs will find some of the best here. All barberries have one to three spines near the base of each leaf; some have spiny leaves as well. Flowers are pale yellow to orange, sometimes very showy. Fruits are red, blue, purple or black. As a group they are easy to grow in sun or shade; deciduous kinds seem best in sun. Most are fairly drought hardy.
Berberis aquifolium – see Mahonia aquifolium
Berberis buxifolia / BOXLEAF BARBERRY / Evergreen shrub from Chile, with long branches arching up to 6 ft. Rounded 1/2 in. leaves, deep blue-green and sharp at the tip, are accompanied by orange yellow flowers and blue-black berries. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 7
Berberis calliantha / Spiny evergreen shrub 4 ft. tall with narrow, 1-2 in. leaves, dark and shiny above, vividly white beneath, on arching branches. Unusually large 1 in. yellow flowers in spring and small, blue berries. Choice species from southeast Tibet. Part shade; drought-hardy; Z 7
Berberis darwinii / DARWIN BARBERRY / Fine Chilean evergreen shrub long used in gardens. Lush, free-form plant with stiffly arching branches covered in small, squared, toothed leaves of darkest glittering green. Long show of orange flowers from late winter on; frosty blue fruits in fall. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 7
Berberis fremontii – see Mahonia fremontii
Berberis lempergiana / A 6-8 ft. evergreen shrub from China, like the common B. julianae but more graceful and, if possible, friendlier. Slender, bright green leaves to 4 in. long sprout in threes along arching branches. Clustered yellow flowers, blue fruits. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 6
Berberis x lologensis / LAKE LOLOG BARBERRY / Much sought evergreen shrub from Chile. Stiff, narrow, spine tipped 1 in. leaves of deep green cluster on stout branches and are a good backing for profuse orange yellow flowers shaded red in late winter and spring. Grows 8 ft. tall and as wide. Part shade; drought-hardy; Z 6
Berberis nervosa – see Mahonia nervosa
Berberis prattii / A rare deciduous barberry from China that becomes a small tree to 15 ft. tall. Oblong, 2-3 in. leaves of sea green turn vivid yellow and orange as drooping clusters of berries turn translucent red. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 5
Berberis replicata / Graceful and airy evergreen shrub to 6 ft. tall. Lithe, arching branches carry trios of slender 2 in. leaves of bright green. Pale yellow flowers, frosted black fruit. Elegant pattern when used as a screen or background. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 5
Berberis x stenophylla ‘Irwinii’ / Airy evergreen shrub 4-6 ft. tall and much wider. Slender, toothed, 3/4 in. leaves line wiry, arching branches, creating a lovely tracery. Yellow orange flowers in spring lead to blue berries. Sun or part shade; drought hardy; Z 5
Berberis temolaica / The bright blue-green foliage of this deciduous barberry wins it a place in any garden. The eye-catching foliage, bunched along silvery purple branches, is accompanied by soft yellow flowers and frosted red berries. Plants can reach 10 ft. but are usually smaller. Sun or light shade; drought-hardy; Z 4
Berberis thunbergii ‘Lime Glow’ / LIME GLOW JAPANESE BARBERRY / Yet another eye-catching version of an attractive but rather overused deciduous shrub. This cultivar will tantalize anyone who enjoys playing with color. Bright green 1 in. leaves are shaded light green and speckled with white and cream. Grows 3-4 ft. tall, in sun or light shade; Z 4.
Berberis wilsoniae / WILSON BARBERRY / Dense but graceful evergreen (ours) or deciduous shrub 3-4 ft. tall. Roundish 3-4 in. leaves of light green are accompanied in fall by crowds of translucent berries ripening to rose pink, salmon red or purple. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 6
BESCHORNERIA / FALSE AGAVE / Agavaceae (or recently Asparagaceae) / Wonderful, relatively hardy, large succulents from Mexico, where they grow not in deserts but in open woodland and dappled shade. Broad, spineless leaves form loose rosettes 2-4 ft. across. Narrowly bell-shaped flowers dangle from tall, branching stalks in spring or summer. Something dramatically different for well drained bed or very large container. They are drought-hardy here but also tolerant of dampness.
Beschorneria septentrionalis / RED FALSE AGAVE / Fairly soft, bright green leaves in a 3 ft. rosette surmounted in summer by a 6-8 ft. branching red stalk displaying dangling red and green flowers. Lives on after flowering and also sprouts offsets. Z 8
Beschorneria rigida / A rare member of this exciting group making an 18 in. rosette of slender, soft swords and a 6 ft. red stalk holding light green flowers. Z 8-9
Betony – see Stachys
BETULA / BIRCH / Betulaceae / Dainty, fluttering foliage and showy bark win the birches a place in many gardens. Most have small leaves that turn to gold in fall and fascinating bark in papery white, beige, tan and even pink. Flowers and seeds appear in dangling tassels. Birches need moisture but some, such as B. utilis and B. albosinensis, are upland trees that need good drainage. All should be grown in sun. Birch seeds, slowly shedding from their cone-like clusters, provide bird food all winter.
Betula albosinensis var. septentrionalis / CHINESE PAPER BIRCH / Perhaps the most sought-after birch, with its exquisite, peeling bark in layers of cream, pink, and lilac. Makes a stout, picturesque tree 30-50 ft. tall. Fairly drought-hardy, it dislikes wet soil.
Betula alleghaniensis ( B. lutea )/ YELLOW BIRCH / Rounded to pyramidal tree to 60 ft. with cherry-like bark. Its narrow leaves turn deep yellow in fall. The slender twigs smell of wintergreen when broken, and this tree is a commercial source of that oil. From eastern North America. Best where moist; Z 4
Betula costata / KOREAN BIRCH / Often beautifully gnarled, reaching 40 ft. tall. Notable for its creamy bark, curling and flaking in many papery layers. Finely toothed leaves on brown branches complete a lovely picture. Average to moist soil; Z 6
Betula ermanii / ERMAN’S BIRCH / Small east Asian tree with broad, picturesque habit. Silvery cream bark peels in many delicate layers. Relatively large leaves, gold in fall. Average to moist soil. Z 2
Betula fontinalis – see Betula occidentalis
Betula glandulosa / AMERICAN SCRUB BIRCH / From the Arctic south into the mountains of California, Wyoming and New York, this large, often sprawling shrub makes thickets in cold, open places. Rounded, scalloped, 1 in. leaves and tiny seed ‘cones’ give it charming scale. Nice in a large rock garden, where it will be fairly drought-hardy; Z 1
Betula jacquemontii – see Betula utilis ssp. jacquemontii
Betula lenta / SWEET BIRCH / Another source of oil of wintergreen, as a torn twig will tell you. Charcoal brown bark is rougher than that of similar B. alleghaniensis. Deep gold fall color. Eastern tree reaching 50-70 ft. tall. Best where moist. Z 4
Betula lutea – see Betula alleghaniensis
Betula occidentalis ( B. fontinalis) / WATER BIRCH / From drier areas of the Northwest and the Rockies, but found in moist habitats, this small birch reaches 15-25 ft. tall. Glossy reddish tan bark and small, roundish-triangular leaves give it garden-scale charm. Best where moist; Z 4
Betula papyrifera var. commutata / NORTHWESTERN PAPER BIRCH / our regional form of this popular tree. Bark creamy to reddish gray, papery and peeling in curls. Long, triangular leaves turn deep gold in fall. To 80 ft., abundant along water. Z 7
Betula pumila / BOG BIRCH / Delightful shrubby species, a 6 ft. cloud of shiny, round, scalloped, 1/2 in. leaves and equally tiny seed cones. Wonderful in rock garden, alpine border or pot. From the far north, but easy to grow where cool. Z 2
Betula utilis ssp jacquemontii / WEST HIMALAYAN BIRCH / One of the most popular cultivated trees, this birch derives its star status from its gleaming white bark. It is a smaller, stockier tree than the usual picture of a birch, to 30 ft. tall and eventually as wide. Long, triangular leaves gold in fall. Fairly drought hardy and dislikes wet soil. Z 7
Birch- see Betula
Black-eyed Susan – see Rudbeckia
Blazing star – see Liatris
Blueberry – see Vaccinium
Bluestar- see Amsonia
Bottlebrush – see Callistemon
Box- see Buxus
Boxwood- see Buxus
Box thorn – see Lycium
Bramble – see Rubus
Buckeye- see Aesculus
Buckthorn – see Rhamnus
BUDDLEIA / BUTTERFLY BUSH / Loganiaceae / These fast, easily-grown shrubs come from all over the world. Soft, often fuzzy leaves, usually in pairs, on stiffly arching branches tipped with spikes or balls of fragrant flowers in almost every color. Plants are more or less evergreen in Zone 8, more of a woody perennial cut back in winter where colder. And yes, they really attract butterflies. The popular B. davidii has been invading Northwest river corridors and should not be planted.
Buddleia globosa / ORANGE BALL BUDDLEIA / Evergreen shrub or small tree from South America, reaching 15 ft.. Tapered, dark gray-green leaves up to a foot long, silvery tan below, give a subtropical texture. In May or June, 1 in. balls of orange yellow flowers in large clusters create a unique flower show. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 8
Buddleia x pikei ‘Hever’ / An evergreen shrub of moderate size, about 6 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Slender, lax branches lined with small, silvery-woolly leaves arch and droop in a loose manner. Small, rounded clusters of richly perfumed flowers in soft lilac pink appear up and down the branches summer and fall. Rare and choice. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 7
BUPLEURUM / THOROWAX / Apiaceae / A large genus of mostly herbaceous plants, though a few are shrubby. The generally simple, narrow leaves only suggest carrot or parsley in their odor, but the lacy circular crowns of greenish yellow flowers fit the family precisely. All plants in the carrot family hate being moved, so should be planted (or sown) where they are to stay.
Bupleurum fruticosum / SHRUBBY HARE’S EAR / Seldom seen but garden worthy, this evergreen shrub is furnished in narrowly oval leaves of deep blue-green which combine very nicely with the large, greenish yellow ‘parsley’ flowers. Grows 3-4 ft. tall and wide. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 7
Burning bush – See Euonymus
Bush daisy – see Euryops
Bush mint – see Elscholtzia
Bush mint, Australian – see Prostranthera
Butterfly bush- see Buddleia
BUXUS / BOXWOOD / Buxaceae Those of us who feel that plain and predictable plants have an important place in the garden don’t think of boxwoods as boring at all. Gardens need more than glittery divas. Plants like boxwood set the stage for the stars so that they can shine. Actually, many boxwoods have forms and colors to rival the flashier plants. All of them have leaves in pairs on squared stems and grow slowly but sturdily. They look great unsheared, but tolerate the trimming as well as any plants. Tiny greenish flowers and woody seed capsules are interesting at close inspection. Most species are drought-hardy.
Buxus balearica / BALEARIC ISLAND BOX / A handsome small tree to 15 ft. tall, narrow until older, with nearly thumb-sized leaves of bright, glossy green. Very nice as a specimen or as a screen. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; Z 8
Buxus harlandii / Dwarf, compact, very dense, domed evergreen shrub to 6 ft. or less. Bright green, narrowish leaves to 1 1/4 in. long, usually notched at the tip. Considered more pest-resistant than other boxwoods. Foliage may burn in sun but the plant is drought-hardy. Z 7
Buxus microphylla / JAPANESE BOXWOOD / Actually from much of eastern Asia, this shrub, in its cultivated forms, is smaller than B. sempervirens, with rounded, shiny, bright green leaves. It is hardier to cold and more apt to stay green. Z 5-6
Buxus microphylla ‘Curlilocks’ / A loosely rounded muffin of a shrub, 2-3 ft. tall and half again wider. Both its branches and tiny, lime green leaves curl and twist fetchingly.
Buxus microphylla var. koreana / KOREAN BOXWOOD / Our form of this appealing shrub grows 5-6 ft. tall, not quite as wide, with dense sprays of 1/2 in. sea green leaves. Very nice contrast in texture and color with other shrubs; fine smaller hedge.
Buxus microphylla var. sinica / CHINESE BOXWOOD / Almost wispy compared to other boxwoods, with lax branches carrying broadly oval 3/4 in. leaves. Slowly reaches 6 ft. or more.
Buxus sempervirens / COMMON BOXWOOD / One of the world’s most popular plants, this sturdy shrub from Europe and W. Asia earns its keep. Enduring sun or shade, drought and regular shearing, it seems right almost anywhere. Untrimmed boxwood actually makes a handsome small tree, slowly to 15 ft. or more. Drought-hardy, best in part or full shade; Z 6
Buxus sempervirens ‘Angustifolia’ / Erect shrub to 6 ft. with spreading branches lined with narrow 3/4 in. leaves.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Angustifolia Alata’ / Like a dwarf, weeping conifer, to 10 ft. or so. Very distinctive, with closely set, dark, very narrow leaves on cascading branches.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Arborescens’ / Erect, narrowly oval shrub with round leaves, eventually to 10 ft.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Argentea’ / SILVER BOX / Softly rounded and spreading shrub to 6 ft., with light green leaves elegantly edged creamy white. One of the most pleasing and useful variegated shrubs, bringing a silvery glow to shady corners.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Belleville’ / Found in a garden in Belleville, Illinois, this dense, rounded cultivar is renowned for its extra hardiness.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Bullata Nova’ / A rare form with round, puckered leaves in polished dark green. A beautiful specimen or screen, best untrimmed.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’ / A narrow shrub to 6 ft. with round, convex, light green leaves edged in creamy yellow. Subtle but very effective.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Erecta’ / Erect it is, to 8-10 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. Large, convex, blue green leaves stand out. Fine garden sentry and perfect for a screen.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Fastigiata’ / Another narrow cultivar, to 8 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide, densely furnished with small, bright green leaves.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’ / the narrowest box, to 6 ft. tall by 1-2 ft. wide. Typical box foliage on vertical branches. Great container centerpiece, garden accent.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Joe Gable’ / Wide and relaxed, this cultivar carries bright green, somewhat narrow leaves on spreading branches. Grows 2-3 ft. tall and twice as wide. Nice on shady banks.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Latifolia’ / BROADLEAVED BOX / Big in all ways, this well-marked cultivar grows into a 20 ft. tree with 1 in. round leaves of deep blue green. Can be kept smaller, but best unsheared; it has a nice, open framework.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Latifolia Maculata’ / A denser form of ‘Latifolia’ , with leaves variably marked with lemon yellow. Variegation is brightest in a fairly sunny spot.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Rosmarinifolia’ / Slow and spare, this oddity is a botanical conversation piece. Linear, dull gray green leaves provoke questions -”that’s a boxwood?” Show it off in rock garden or a container.
Buxus wallichiana / HIMALAYAN BOXWOOD / A tall shrub with elegantly narrow 1 -2 in. leaves and an open habit. Becomes a tree in its native habitat- India and Pakistan- where it is a risk of extinction. Z 8