Q Q Q
QUERCUS / OAK / Fagaceae / We are inordinately fond of oaks, as our list may suggest. About 600 species worldwide, evergreen and deciduous, these emblems of strength encircle the northern hemisphere in a wonderful variety of shapes, textures and sizes. Oaks and tan-oaks (Lithocarpus) bear acorns, hard-shelled nuts in a scaly cup. Ironically, only one oak (Q. garryana) is native here, but a fine one it is. Many places in the southern states and Mexico have a dozen or more native species.
The evergreen oaks are particularly useful where hardy, and we would like to see more of them planted in the Northwest to take the edge off our gray winters. Deciduous species offer legendary fall color and handsome winter silhouettes. Shrubby oaks are choice additions to the dry border or bank. All oaks are drought hardy here, but those from moist habitats may need the same in hotter climates. They want sun unless otherwise noted.
Quercus agrifolia / COAST LIVE OAK / Picturesque Californian showing a sinuous frame of pale limbs between clumps of dark evergreen, toothed foliage on a 50-80 ft. crown. Handsome tree especially characteristic of the San Francisco Bay Area hills. Z 8b
Quercus berberidifolia / SCRUB OAK / Shrubby evergreen of s. California mountains bearing shiny, shallowly toothed 1 -2 in. leaves on a rounded plant to 10 ft. Z 8
Quercus calliprinos / PALESTINE OAK / A dense evergreen tree, like Q. coccifera, with 1-2 in. prickly leaves, but tree larger, to 70 ft. This is also the ‘Oak of Abraham’. Z 6
Quercus chrysolepis / CANYON LIVE OAK / Good-looking, adaptable native (sw Oregon to Arizona) evergreen tree to 80 ft. with pale, gnarled trunk revealed through masses of sparkling 1-2 in. leaves with gold-gray undersides. Deserves far wider planting. Z 8
Quercus coccifera / KERMES OAK / A slow and gnarled evergreen shrub or tree of the Mediterranean. Dense masses of 1 in., glossy, very prickly leaves make a picturesque crown to 10-20 ft. Z 8
Quercus dentata / DAIMIO OAK / One of the most magnificent oaks for foliage. Broad, deeply scalloped, 8-12 in. leaves clustered near twig ends on a 60-80 ft. deciduous tree. Grand lawn or park feature from Japan. Z 5
Quercus douglasii / BLUE OAK / Gnarled chaparral tree of California with broad crown to 50 ft. Shallowly lobed, 3 in. leaves of smoky blue in soft sprays, soft orange in fall, dropping late. Striking color in a garden. Z 8
Quercus engelmannii / MESA OAK / Picturesque S. California evergreen tree to 50 ft. with wide crown of 1-3 in. bluish leaves on gnarled, pale gray limbs. A lovely tree, becoming scarce in the wild. Z 9
Quercus faginea / PORTUGUESE OAK / Small, nearly evergreen Iberian tree to 30 ft. Leaves toothed, shiny light green above and gray below on twiggy branches. Z 7
Quercus fusiformis / ESCARPMENT LIVE OAK / Closely related to Quercus virginiana, this wide-spreading evergreen tree differs in its smaller leaves and its greater hardiness. Shiny 1-2 in. leaves form sparkling masses on long, beautifully gnarled branches. Z 7.
Quercus garryana / OREGON WHITE OAK / Our handsome native oak forming an open crown of gnarled limbs, to 80 ft. Glossy, dark green 3-5 in. leaves with deep, rounded lobes contrast with the pale gray bark. Z 6
Quercus hypoleucoides / SILVERLEAF OAK / Vigorous, distinctive Southwestern evergreen to 60 ft. with a luxuriant pyramidal form. Leaves long, dark, and narrow, backed with white felt that shows in the wind. A fine tree in the Northwest. Z 7
Quercus ilex / HOLLY OAK / Hardy, Mediterranean evergreen tree to 40-80 ft. making a dense, rounded cloud of shiny gray-green foliage. Often slow-growing, but handsome and widely adapted. Z 7b
Quercus laurifolia / LAUREL OAK / Gracious Southerner with a light, evergreen crown of slender branches reaching 40-60 ft tall. Its narrow leaves are simple or slightly lobed, bright green all year. A beautiful tree of wide adaptability, good in wet or dry soils. Z 7b
Quercus lobata / VALLEY OAK / From California’s valleys, this is the ‘elm’ of the west, with massive, arching limbs on a grand tree to 100 ft. tall. Small, intricately lobed leaves in often cascading masses turn soft orange in fall. Z 7
Quercus phillyraeoides / UBAME OAK / Richly green Japanese evergreen shrub or tree to 15 ft. tall and as wide. Oblong, 2 in. leaves of dark shiny green lushly clothe its long, flaring branches. Exquisite background or screen, happy in sun or shade. Z 7
Quercus polymorpha / MEXICAN WHITE OAK / Evergreen tree of rounded habit reaching 20-30 ft. Luxuriant masses of rough, leathery, oblong, 2-4 in. leaves in various shapes open reddish purple. Z 8
Quercus pungens / SANDPAPER OAK / Tardily deciduous scrub oak of Texas, a shrub or rounded tree to 20 ft. tall. Small, sharply toothed, 1-2 in. leaves on slender branches give delightful texture. Z 7
Quercus rugosa - northern form / NETLEAF OAK / Small evergreen tree of the Southwest and Mexico, once given the name Q. reticulata, with irregular form to 10-20 ft. tall. Leaves 2-3 in. long, rounded, roughly leathery, olive green. Z 7-8
Quercus shumardii / SHUMARD OAK / A magnificent large tree to 90 ft. with nearly equal spread. Deeply lobed leaves resemble those of scarlet oak, but tend to color later and often hold some greenery through winter. Z 5
Quercus suber / CORK OAK / Sculpted evergreen tree to 60 ft, with impressively gnarled trunk and branches covered in thick, fissured bark that is the material of bottle stoppers. Light green, toothed leaves in drooping clumps create an open crown. Z 8
Quercus turbinella x Q. virginiana / These hybrids are mostly small evergreen trees, with leaves variously sharply lobed, in dark green to blue gray.
Quercus vaccinifolia / HUCKLEBERRY OAK / Pleasant western evergreen shrub from 2-6 ft. tall, larger in gardens. Tiny, oval, blue-backed leaves in sparkling masses make this an attractive addition to any landscape. Sun or part shade. Z 5
Quercus wislizenii / INTERIOR LIVE OAK / Big, open tree of interior hills of California with a rounded form to 60-80 ft. tall. Bright green, shiny, toothed, 2 in. leaves on gnarled, pale gray limbs. Z 8
QUILLAJA saponaria / SOAPBARK TREE / Rosaceae / Small Chilean tree resembling an open, somewhat weeping evergreen oak with clusters of small, white flowers and glossy, round, toothed leaves. Graceful garden tree reaching 15-25 ft. tall. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8-9
R R R
Raspberry – see Rubus
Red hot poker – see Kniphofia
Red yucca – see Hesperaloe
Redcedar, western – see Thuja plicata
Redwood, coast – see Sequoia sempervirens
Redwood, Sierra – see Sequoiadendron
RHAMNUS / BUCKTHORN / Rhamnaceae / Often thought of as plain, the buckthorns have many subtle charms on top of an immense will to thrive in dry and difficult environments. Handsome foliage, nicely displayed on a drought-hardy, easily grown shrub is enough to ask of any plant; these also provide attractive fruits that birds enjoy. Give them sun and average to well-drained soil.
Rhamnus alaternus / ITALIAN BUCKTHORN / Impressively lush evergreen shrub with clear green, oval, 1-2 in. leaves in spire-like masses reaching 10 – 20 ft. Some plants bear deep red berries One of the best screen plants for dry, sunny places, too little planted in the Northwest. Z 8
Rhamnus alaternus ‘Argenteovariegatus’ / One of the best variegated shrubs; like the species but with bright white margins around its slightly smaller leaves.
Rhamnus alaternus – gray form / Much the same as the species but with a distinct grayish tone to the leaves. Thanks to Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery for sharing this attractive rarity.
Rhamnus californica / CALIFORNIA COFFEEBERRY / Oval, 3 in., mid-green leaves make a broad, open, evergreen shrub to 6 ft. tall, spreading wider. Half – inch berries ripen from green to red to black. Very drought hardy native, sw. Oregon- Arizona. Z 8
Rhamnus californica ‘Leatherleaf’ / LEATHERLEAF COFFEEBERRY / An outstanding form of the coffeeberry, broad and mounding 3-4 ft. high and 6 ft. wide. Dense sprays of oval, deep green leaves, curled down at the edges give it a sturdy beauty.
Rhamnus purshiana / CASCARA / Unassuming small deciduous tree of the Northwest, growing 20 – 40 ft. tall. Handsomely veined leaves are evergreen on small saplings. Black berries attract birds, bark used medicinally. Sun or shade, drought hardy, but better where moist. Z 7
RHAPHIOLEPIS / Rosaceae / Often given the common name ‘hawthorn’, which better applies to Crataegus, these are about 15 evergreen (non-thorny) shrubs from south and east Asia. Their sturdy beauty and adaptability make them go-to material for landscapers in Z 8 and above. They may be overused, but they earn their status with thick, glossy leaves and showy clusters of white or pink flowers over a long season. Small blue-black fruits last into winter. Rhaphiolepis need sun or part shade; they are drought hardy here.
Rhaphiolepis ovata / YEDDO HAWTHORN / A beautiful, rounded evergreen shrub 4 -6 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Distinctive rounded, 2 in. leaves are thick and glossy, giving the plant a strong texture. Clustered white flowers, black berries. Z 8
Rhaphiolepis x delacourii / HYBRID INDIAN HAWTHORN / Hybrids of Rhaphiolepis indica and R. ovata. Open, upright to mounded form. White-pink to rosy flowers in spring; purple-black to bluish black fruit. Glossy, dark green leaves, 1 to 3 in. long, often opening coppery. Z 8
Rhaphiolepis indica / INDIAN HAWTHORN / Handsome evergreen shrub abundantly planted in mild climates for good reasons. Crisp, bright green foliage, which opens coppery red and masses of pink flowers followed by blue berries add up to a fine all purpose shrub. Rugged constitution and drought-resistance make it nearly perfect. Dense growth to 3-4 ft. tall and somewhat wider, in sun or part shade. Z 8.
RHODODENDRON / RHODODENDRON / Ericaceae / These aristocratic shrubs are the lords and ladies of Northwest gardens; nowhere do they grow better or in greater profusion. Indeed, rhododendrons are often overdone here. Even so, the species rhododendrons, which have an elegant edge over most hybrids, are little planted. They are worthwhile for foliage alone, which should be the basis for selection in the first place.
Rhododendron albrechtii / Delectably beautiful deciduous azalea opening its small, flat blooms of clear raspberry pink as the soft minty green leaves begin to emerge in March. Choice and rare Japanese shrub to 8 ft. Part shade, moist soil. Z 5
Rhododendron ambiguum / Rounded evergreen shrub to 6-8 ft. with small, aromatic leaves and pale chartreuse flowers. Lovely teamed with blue and purple blooms, excellent as a screen. Sun or part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 7
Rhododendron argyrophyllum / Stately tall shrub with narrow 6 in. leaves, silver-white below and tight trusses of rose pink flowers in April and May. Magnificent specimen. Part shade, moist soil. Z 6
Rhododendron augustinii / Very valuable upright evergreen species to 8 -10 ft. Small, narrow leaves, abundant blue to lavender flowers in April. One of the best rhododendrons, excellent basic landscape material. Sun or shade, drought tolerant. Z 7
Rhododendron augustinii ‘Best Blue’ / The name says it all. One of the purest, glowing blues in the genus.
Rhododendron augustinii ‘Electra’ / Ethereal lilac blue flowers are elctrified by a central flash of soft chartreuse.
Rhododendron auriculatum / Commanding 12-15 ft. dome of foot-long leaves crowned with large trusses of fragrant white flowers in, of all times, August. An unrivaled garden feature. Part shade, best with water. Z 6
Rhododendron bauhiniiflorum / A small shrub to 5-6 ft. tall with peeling cinnamon bark. Egg-shaped, 2-3 in. leaves are glossy light green above, pale and yellowish below. Ruffly flowers in soft creamy yellow with prominent dark anthers open in spring. Z 7
Rhododendron ‘Brocade’ / Fine hybrid making a dense 8 ft. evergreen globe of oval, 2-3 in. leaves that emerge copper-orange after a display of wide warm pink flowers from red buds. Easy to grow and very attractive.
Rhododendron calendulaceum / FLAME AZALEA / Fine Southeast native deciduous shrub to 10 ft. tall, spreading wider. Masses of fragrant flowers in shades of deep yellow to fiery red, deep red fall color. Sun or part shade, moist soil. Z 5
Rhododendron ‘Cilpinense’ / A lovely mounded shrub 3-4 ft. tall, spreading wider. Oval 2 in leaves of fuzzy deep green, bronze-red at first, and bell shaped white flowers blushed pink, February and March. Deservedly popular.
Rhododendron conccinum / A small shrub with ovate, 1-2 in. leaves, gray or tan felted beneath, brightened with rosy purple flowers in April. Z 7
Rhododendron ‘Damozel’ / Bright red flowers in tight clusters open in May on this 6-8 ft. shrub. Narrow 6 in. leaves give a nice texture. Part shade. Z 7
Rhododendron dauricum / A small, mostly evergreen shrub from northeast Asia, carrying magenta flowers in small clusters in late winter among oval 2 in. leaves. Delightful early cheer, especially nice in long drifts. Drought-hardy, in sun or part shade. Z 5
Rhododendron davidsonianum / Tall, upright shrub to 10 ft. with small, pointed leaves and 1 1/2 in. flowers of variable color, ours palest lilac-rose. similar to R. augustinii and just as valuable in the garden. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 7
Rhododendron decorum / Magnificent broad shrub or tree to 15 ft.. Large leaves emerge purple, flowers are fragrant, white or pale pink in big trusses. Part shade, fairly drought tolerant. Z 7
Rhododendron desquamatum / Aromatic 8 ft shrub with shiny small leaves with metallic bronze reverse and lilac pink flowers. Z 7
Rhododendron discolor / Shrub or small tree with 6 in. leaves and large fragrant white or lilac pink flowers in large trusses. A close relation of R. fortunei and equally fine. Z 6
Rhododendron ‘Dormouse’ / A charming small shrub of dense, rounded habit. Small, round leaves opening coppery pink and soft pink bells in April. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 7
Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’ / One of the most useful and attractive hybrids, making a broad mound 3-4 ft. high. Narrow, matte-green leaves 3-4 in. long make a beautiful background for the bright red bells that open in waves over much of the year. Sun or part shade; fairly drought hardy. Z 7
Rhododendron ‘Emasculum’ / An appealing evergreen shrub to 6-8 ft. tall. Rounded-oval, 1 in. leaves of deep green are accompanied in earliest spring by ruffly, inch-wide flowers in light rosy pink. Part shade, best with water. Z 7
Rhododendron fortunei / Among the finest of shrubs. Large leaves, gorgeously tinted flowers in soft shades of pink and lavender, extravagantly fragrant, in May. Shrub or tree to 10 ft. or more. Part shade fairly drought tolerant. Z 6
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’ / A superb compact shrub 2-3 ft tall and somewhat wider. Small, flaring, light pink flowers are borne in abundance in March or April. Small, narrow leaves give fine texture. Sun or part shade, best with water.
Rhododendron indicum / Evergreen azalea making a broad, dense mound to 3 ft. and twice as wide. Shiny, narrow leaves, often with bronze hairs, and small soft coral pink flowers in spring. Fine landscape plant. Sun, drought hardy. Z 6
Rhododendron x lochmium / Open shrub to 6 ft. with small, narrow leaves and white, flaring flowers flushed rose purple. Part shade, water Z 6
Rhododendron x loderi / Actually a group of magnificent hybrids making tall shrubs or trees with large leaves and huge trusses of very fragrant blooms in pastel blends of white, cream, pink and lilac. Shade, moist soil. Z 7
Rhododendron lutescens / Lovely light yellow trumpets open in loose clusters in February and March among soft green foliage on this open, 4-6 ft. evergreen shrub. Beautiful with early bulbs and primula. Part shade, best with water. Z 7.
Rhododendron macrophyllum / COAST RHODODENDRON / Our NW symbol and treasured native, a large shrub with typical 4-8 in. narrowly oval leaves and trusses of medium pink, rarely rose-red or white, flowers in May. Deserves wider planting because it’s drought-hardy and its ours. Grows in sun or shade with good drainage. Z 7
Rhododendron mucronatum / Handsome evergreen shrub with narrow, 2-3 in. soft green leaves and masses of 2 in. flaring white flowers in late spring. Excellent landscape plant for sun or part shade, and fairly drought hardy. Z 5
Rhododendron mucronatum ‘Sekidera’ / Flowers shaded and finely streaked rosy red in the center.
Rhododendron racemosum / Delightful twiggy shrub to 5 ft. with 1 in., rounded, bluish, aromatic leaves, white below, and scattered clusters of tiny pink flowers for a long time in spring. Sun, best with water. Z 5
Rhododendron orbiculare / An 8 ft. dome of small, round, light green leaves, blue below, and elegant rose-pink bells in early spring; one of the best. Z 6
Rhododendron oreotrephes / Blue-green, egg-shaped leaves, reddish beneath, give a distinctive look to this 8 ft. shrub all year while lilac-pink flowers in April make an intriguingly beautiful color harmony. Part shade, best with water. Z 6
Rhododendron ‘Rosamundi’ / A favorite shrub for winter color, its tight pink clusters liable to open here anytime after Thanksgiving, peaking in February -March. A dense, rounded shrub to 8 ft. with 5 in. leaves.
Rhododendron rufum / A beautiful large shrub or small tree to 25 ft. tall. Oval leaves 5 in. long are glossy deep green and leathery above, upholstered in creamy tan fur underneath. Bell shaped flowers, white with pink blush and crimson dots, open in late spring. Part shade; best with water. Z 6
Rhododendron schlippenbachii / ROYAL AZALEA / One of the great flowering shrubs. A wide, suckering shrub to 6 ft. tall. Tiers of fragrant blooms in an exquisite soft pink in April. Handsome foliage turns scarlet and purple in fall. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 4
Rhododendron searsiae / Upright evergreen shrub with narrow, 2 in. leaves backed in white. Pale purple, 1 in. flowers in small clusters in April. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 6
Rhododendron serpyliphyllum / WILD THYME AZALEA / A rhododendron on the extreme edge of the genus, with oval, pale green leaves only 3/8 in. long on myriad wiry twigs. Small flowers of pale rose are scattered over the spreading branches in early spring. Evergreen or partly deciduous, it grows 1-2 ft. tall and somewhat wider, delightful among rocks. Sun; drainage; Z 6
Rhododendron smirnovii / Rounded shrub to 10 ft. with handsome, narrow 4-8 in. leaves heavily tan-wooly below. Flowers pink spotted yellow in May. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 4
Rhododendron sutchuenense / Very fine shrub or broad tree to 20 ft. tall and eventually as wide. Leaves to 6-12 in. long, making handsome patterns. Flowers large, rosy pink in large trusses Feb.-Mar. Part or full shade; fairly drought hardy; Z 6.
Rhododendron ‘Temple Belle’ / A beautiful, dome-shaped plant to 6 ft. with small, round leaves, silvery below, and bell-like flowers in rose, blooming in March and April.
Rhododendron ‘Thor’ / A handsome large shrub to 8 ft. tall and wide, composed of crisp, narrow, 6 in. leaves, pale and felted below. Trusses of large, wide, ruffled bells in glowing red put on a stunning show in May. Part shade; fairly drought hardy. Z 7
Rhododendron ‘Trewithen Orange’ / Uncommon and unusual hybrid with round, turquoise leaves contrasting with nodding, bell-shaped flowers in deep amber-orange blushed rose. A very nice compact plant to 5 ft., with unique colors.
Rhododendron virgatum ssp oleifolium / Small-scale shrub to 6 ft. with narrow, aromatic, 2-in. leaves backed in silvery scales and small flowers in pale lilac pink. Part shade, best with water. Z 8
Rhododendron watsonii / A large shrub or small tree with impressive oblong leaves up to 9 in. long, glossy deep green and leathery above, velvety white underneath. Flowers large, flaring, bell-shaped, white with rose blush, open in early spring. Rare and very nice. Part or full shade; best with water; Z 7
Rhododendron williamsianum / Densely rounded shrub slowly reaching 3-4 ft. tall. Small nearly round, light green leaves and bell shaped flowers of delicate pink make this one of the most exqusite species. Sun or light shade, fairly drought tolerant. Z 7
Rhododendron yunnanensis / Shrub to 8 ft., evergreen, with narrow 3-4 in. leaves. Flowers palest lilac pink, spotted red in April. attractive shrub useful in the landscape. Part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 7
RHODIOLA / ROSE ROOT / Crassulaceae / Succulent perennials sending up leafy stems each year from a large, fleshy root. The roots of some species are fragrant of roses and also esteemed in herbal medicine. Tiny flowers in wide clusters open in late summer. Most species are from cold places and are very hardy.
Rhodiola kirilowii / A Chinese species with narrowly oval 1-2 in. bright green, sometimes toothed leaves thickly clothing its sprawling, 1-2 ft. long stems. Yellow flowers make a big feature in late summer. Conversation piece for sun or part shade and good drainage.
RHUS / SUMAC / Anacardiaceae / Here is a genus of beautiful diversity. There are evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs from all over the world. Deciduous species can be counted on for great fall color. The feathery-leaved species, with tropical-looking foliage and strong branching patterns, are among the best textural elements for any landscape. They are all drought-hardy.
Rhus chinensis / CHINESE GALL / Wide deciduous tree to 20 ft. tall carrying groups of large, coarsely divided leaves at the ends of thick branches, coloring gloriously in fall. Native over much of east Asia but rare in gardens. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Rhus glabra / SMOOTH SUMAC / Native from the Atlantic to the NW interior, this boldly textured deciduous shrub-tree to 10 ft. or more spreads its dark green, silver-backed 1-2 ft. feathers exotically from thick branches.Red seed clusters are showy in fall. Sun, drought hardy. Z 4
Rhus glabra v cismontana / ROCKY MOUNTAIN SUMAC / The form of smooth sumac native in the intermountain west. Shorter than the species, to 6-10 ft., with darker, glossier leaves turning the same fiery colors in fall. Beautiful, drought hardy garden feature where suckering can be handled. Z 4
Rhus lancea / AFRICAN SUMAC / Light green leaves, each with three linear leaflets, create a billowy crown that contrasts with rough, blackish bark in this fine, drought-hardy evergreen tree from S. Africa. Fast growth to 15 -25 ft. tall. Sun, drought hardy. Z 9
RIBES / CURRANT, GOOSEBERRY / Groossulariaceae / A worldwide genus of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, mainly from woodlands and moist meadows. Lobed, maple shaped leaves are a common feature, as are small clustered flowers, which lead to the currants (spineless plants) or gooseberries (spiny plants). Showy flowers are the main attraction of some; handsome foliage is common to most. All species are important for wildlife.
Ribes aureum / GOLDEN CURRANT / A wide, twiggy deciduous shrub to 3-5 ft. tall and much wider. Tan twigs are lined with light green, fan-shaped leaves that may be gold and purple in fall. Clusters of scented yellow flowers lead to translucent amber fruits. An attractive native of high wildlife value. Sun, drought-hardy. Z 2
Ribes bracteosum / STINKING CURRANT / Not stinking, but strongly aromatic, maple-like, 6-10 in. leaves make this 6 ft. deciduous shrub one of our boldest native plants. Foot-long flower streamers and pale blue berries give striking seasonal effects. Found in moist forest. and needs these conditions in the garden. Z 7
Ribes davidii / A lovely and rare evergreen shrub like R. laurifolium with thick ovate deep green leaves and drooping clusters of greenish white flowers in early spring; to 3 ft. with sprawling habit. Z 7
Ribes sanguineum / FLOWERING CURRANT / One of our best natives. Showy clusters of watermelon red flowers in early spring, pleasing maple-like leaves, showy blue fruit. A drought hardy shrub to 8 ft. for sun or shade. Z 7
Ribes sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’ / The standard cultivar for rich red flowers.
Ribes viburnifolium / CATALINA ISLAND CURRANT / Fine ground covering evergreen shrub from s. California. Oval or shallowly lobed, glossy, aromatic leaves on a thicket of upturned and arching stems to 15-30 in. high with reddish flowers and fruit. Excellent in dry shade. Z 8-9
Rockcress – see Arabis
ROMNEYA coulteri / MANTILIJA POPPY / Papaveraceae / Spectacular native perennial of S. Calif. opening huge, white, crepe-paper poppies with golden centers on a thicket of 6 ft. branches clothed in blue foliage. Forms a large bush, gradually spreading wider at the root. Transplant with great care! Sun, drought hardy. Z 7
ROSA / ROSE / Rosaceae / To praise these universally popular flowers would be redundant. Suffice it to say that the roses we offer are not only lovely to see and smell, but rugged and drought hardy. They typically require less care than ‘hybrid teas’ and certainly look more natural in the informal landscape. Those with plentiful hips provide late season color, wildlife attractions and even culinary value. Roses need sun and good drainage.
Rosa banksiae ‘Alba Plena’ / The same vigorous, thornless, bright green evergreen climber as R. b. ‘Lutea‘, but with scented, double white flowers. Z 8
Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ / Tiny, double flowers of quiet buttery yellow pile over one another on this esteemed thornless evergreen climber. Small leaves with three narrow, shiny, bright green leaflets give a frothy texture. Flowers before other roses, the color just right with ceanothus or blue wisteria. Z 8
Rosa californica / Pretty native rose with 2-3 in. fragrant deep rose flowers and orange-red hips on a spreading and suckering shrub to 5 ft. Z 7
Rosa x cantabridgensis ‘Red Wing’ / Charming hybrid with dark, bristly branches feathered with small, fern-like leaves. Small, translucent saucers of creamy yellow dot the branches in late spring. The show-stopper is the display of large, wing-like thorns in translucent red.
Rosa ‘Complicata’ / One of the most elegant roses. Single 3-4 in. flowers of glowing pink with a pale eye, softly fragrant, open for several months, on a clambering 6-8 ft. bush.
Rosa ‘Coryana’ / A large and very showy shrub rose derived from R. roxburghii. Flat, rounded, 3 in. flowers of deep, glowing pink in late spring. Showy red hips. Z 7
Rosa corymbulosa / A Chinese shrub to 6 ft. tall, nearly spineless, bearing 2 in. wide flowers of delicate rose pink with pale centers. Glowing red fruit ripen against purple autumn foliage. Sun, drought hardy, Z 6
Rosa dahurica / Rarely seen rose from east Asia. Shiny 2-4 in. leaves with rounded leaflets line sprawling branches in this low, mounding plant. Small, white flowers, orange hips. Interesting over a bank or wall, more or less evergreen here.
Rosa gallica / FRENCH ROSE / Bushy rose of history and romance, with soft green leaves and semi-double, wonderfully fragrant, deep pink 3 in. blooms. Open, suckering shrub to 4 ft. Z 5
Rosa glauca / Famous more for its sumptuous lavender gray foliage than for its small rose-pink blooms. Rounded, open shrub to 5 ft. Z 2
Rosa gymnocarpa / BALDHIP ROSE / Northwest native making an open, 6 ft. shrub of charmingly small leaves, fragrant, pink 1 in. flowers, tiny orange red hips. Z 6
Rosa ‘Hedleyensis’ / This old cultivar has nearly disappeared, but is worthwhile anyway for its small, single, lemon yellow flowers and pretty leaves divided into many small, round, light green leaflets. It is also a small plant, 4-5 ft. tall, so easy to fit in.
Rosa hemispherica / SULPHER ROSE / One of the rarest roses, remarkable for its 2 in. flowers of vivid buttercup yellow. These are set among small leaves daintily divided into round, coarsely toothed leaflets. Sprawling shrub to 5 ft. tall. Happy in dry heat. Z 5
Rosa ‘Madame Plantier’ / Old hybrid Alba rose with profuse crops of very double, extravagantly fragrant, creamy white blooms on a large, arching shrub.
Rosa moyesii / Sought-after shrubby rose with single flowers typically in a rich red, varying to carmine pink and scarlet. Erect, wickedly thorny shrub to 8 ft.
Rosa mulliganii / Superb rose named for Brian Mulligan, the late director of the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. Mostly evergreen climber or sprawler to 20 ft. with glossy foliage, large clusters of fragrant white flowers, bright orange hips. Z 5
Rosa nutkana / Native here especially along roadsides. Large, fragrant magenta flowers, red hips on a thicket-forming shrub to 6 ft. tall. One of our prettiest flowering shrubs. Z 6
Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis’ / Scented single 3 in. blooms opening golden orange, changing to salmon pink then to red purple, opening all through summer and fall. A beautiful and indispensable shrub to 8 ft. Z 7
Rosa pisocarpa / PEA-FRUITED ROSE / Delicate 1 in. rosy pink flowers and bristly orange fruit on a thicket-forming NW native shrub reaching 6 ft. Z 6
Rosa ‘Polyantha Grandiflora’ / Superb large climbing rose well furnished with glossy, mostly evergreen foliage and ample clusters of fragrant white flowers aging pale pink; small orange hips. Z 7
Rosa ‘Rose d’Orsay’ (R. virginiana ‘Plena’) / Charming 3-4 ft. thicket of upright stems clothed in small, bright green leaves and topped with double light pink blooms shaded darker, nicely fragrant, over many weeks. Z 3
Rosa roxburghii / CHESTNUT ROSE / Distinctive, tall, erect shrub with nearly fern-like foliage and fragrant 2-3 in. champagne pink flowers with an intriguing fresh fragrance. Hips large, bristly and orange. Z 5
Rosa rugosa / SEA TOMATO / Amazingly rugged plant with handsome, leathery foliage and months of large, very fragrant, rose, pink or white flowers, and wide, vermilion hips. One of the most valuable landscape shrubs. Sun, drought hardy. Z 2
Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ / Elegant white flowers with the same wonderful fragrance, and orange hips.
Rosa ‘Sealing Wax’ (R. moyesii ‘Sealing Wax’) / Much like R. moyesii in its sturdy, upright form and single, flat 3 in. flowers, these in a vibrant carmine red. The plant is nearly as showy in fall, draped in slender scarlet hips. An old and justly famous hybrid. Z 5.
Rosa sericea / Delicate and distinguished in foliage, yet with stout stems well armed with reddish thorns. Fern-like, soft green leaves complemented by elegant, creamy, 2 in. saucer-like flowers on a wide 6 ft. shrub. Z 6
Rosa sertata / A showy deciduous shrub to 6-8 ft. tall and considerably wider. Dainty foliage and lots of 2 in. wide flowers in bright magenta pink, followed by narrow scarlet hips. Z 6
Rosa setipoda / Large, stiffly erect shrub to 10 ft. tall. Fragrant foliage, elegant pink flowers on purple stems and long, bristly red hips. Striking in winter with its thick stems evenly patterned with large, plump thorns. Z 6
Rosa wardii ‘Culta’ / Graceful, nearly thornless shrub to 6 ft. tall. Arching branches carry clusters of 3 in. single blooms of white barely blushed pink, around an orange brown center. Z 6
Rosa woodsii / WOODS ROSE / Western native with small pink flowers, round vermillion hips on a rambling shrub to 6 ft. tall. Z 4
Rosa woodsii v ultramontana / INTERIOR ROSE / Prickly deciduous shrub 6 ft. tall, spreading widely by suckers. Fragrant, inch-wide magenta flowers and pear shaped red fruits make this a charming addition to the native garden. This is the variety native to the Northwest. Z 4
Rosa xanthina / MANCHU ROSE / An open deciduous shrub to 8 ft. tall with slender, arching maroon canes furnished with small, feathery, light green leaves. The 2-in. lemon yellow flowers open in late spring, followed by round, bright red hips. Makes a happy combination with blue ceanothus. Z 5
Rose of Sharon – see Hibiscus syriacus
Rose root – see Rhodiola
Rosewood – see Vauquelinia
ROSMARINUS officinalis / ROSEMARY / Warmly fragrant shrub as indispensable in the garden as it is in the kitchen. Blue flowers open nearly all year among narrow, gray green to bright green leaves. A fine hedge or herb garden backdrop, nice in containers. Its many cultivars vary greatly in form, size and flower color. Sun, good drainage; drought hardy. Z 7-8
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Alba’ / White flowers on an upright 3-4 ft. plant with medium green foliage.
Rosmarinus officinalis v angustifolius / PINE LEAVED ROSEMARY / Fine, needle-like leaves have surprising piney scent; upright to 2-4 ft. with bright blue flowers in spring.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’ / Upright form with pale blue flowers. Considered about the hardiest, it has made the town of Arp, Texas famous.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Collingwood Ingram’ / Bright blue flowers on upturned branches. Grows 1-2 ft. tall, wider spreading, lovely as a groundcover.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Dancing Waters’ / Intermediate between trailing and upright, this lovely cultivar tumbles and spills from a 18 in. high framework. Deep green leaves and medium blue flowers fall to spring.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Gorizia’ / Leaves quite broad, flowers light blue, on a rounded 3-ft. shrub. Noted for its strong aroma.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’ / CREEPING ROSEMARY / Beautiful spreading and cascading form with nearly year-round show of mid-blue flowers. Will drape 3-4 feet over wall or rocks.
Rosmarinus officinalis f. roseus / Lavender pink flowers on a gray green shrub to 3 ft. tall. A nice gesture among blue rosemaries.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Santa Barbara’ / Broad, upright, to 3 ft.; flowers deep blue, foliage rich green. One of the best.
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Tuscan Blue’ / Tall, upright variety with bright sky blue flowers. One of the best for landscape use.
Rosemary – see Rosmarinus
RUBUS / BRAMBLE / Rosaceae / A large, world-wide genus of often prickly- and sometimes weedy-shrubs and groundcovers which provide delectable fruit for people everywhere. Leaves may be simple, maple-like, or divided. Flowers have five petals in white or pink. Fruits are all some variation on the raspberry or blackberry in yellow, orange, red, purple or black. The ornamental species are either upright shrubs, usually deciduous, or traling evergreen groundcovers.
Rubus ichangense / Splendid sprawler with thick, glossy, bright green 2-4 in. toothed leaves along arching stems forming a foot-deep groundcover. Tiny white flowers in 12 in. sprays lead to tiny fruit red. Evergreen here, deciduous where colder. Seems best in shade. Z 6
Rubus irenaeus / Exciting and original Chinese evergreen creeper with nearly circular 4-6 in. leaves, finely toothed, velvety bright green, pale tan below. Inconspicuous flowers and fruit let the foliage steal the show. Best in shade; drought hardy. Z 8-9
Rubus lasiococcus / DWARF BRAMBLE / A delightful groundcover from our mountain forests. Softly lobed 2-3 in. leaves, silvery below, line trailing stems, accompanied by white flowers and round, fuzzy red fruit. Choice accompaniment to rhododendrons, hydrangeas, ferns, woodland perennials. Z 5
Rubus leucodermis / BLACKCAP RASPBERRY / Northwest native shrub to 6-8 ft. producing white flowers and small purple-black berries, tasty but seedy. Aching canes are a showy blue white in winter. Drought hardy, best in part shade. Z 6
Rubus parviflorus / THIMBLEBERRY / Western native deciduous shrub to 6 ft. Fuzzy, maple-like leaves to 8 in wide, showy 1-2 in. white, anemone-like flowers, thin, bright red berries with tangy flavor. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Rubus pentalobus (R. calycinoides) / TAIWAN BRAMBLE / Rugged and distinct, weed-blocking groundcover with thick, lobed, 2-3 in. evergreen leaves with leathery, light green finish, overlapping on bristly, trailing branches. Small golden fruit, tasty but hidden under the leaves. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7
Rubus spectabilis / SALMONBERRY / Characteristic native of Northwest moist woodlands. Showy golden canes to 6 ft. carry handsomely veined bright green leaves. Magenta flowers February – May followed by golden or reddish berries with grapefruit flavor. Sun or shade, best where moist. Z 6
RUDBECKIA / CONEFLOWER / Asteraceae / An American genus of sunny-colored daisies. Tough, easy-to-grow perennials, they need only decent, well-drained soil and sun to give many weeks of color. Rough, hairy, oval to lance-shaped leaves make a low, wide clump from which spring the flower stems, mostly in summer. Rudbeckias are excellent cut flowers.
Rudbeckia fulgida / BLACK-EYED SUSAN / Fine Midwest species bearing broad sweeps of 3 in. orange-yellow flowers from summer into fall. Grows 18-24 in. high in bloom, and 2-3 ft. across. One of the most rewarding perennials. Z 3
Rue – see Ruta
RUMEX / SORREL / Polygonaceae / A genus known mostly for its edibles and weeds, Rumex contains over 200 species of annuals and perennials worldwide. Spikes of colorful, round or lens-shaped seeds are the familiar character of them all, and most have edible, usually tart leaves, especially garden sorrel, R. acetosa. Sun and ordinary soil suit these plants just fine.
Rumex lunaria / VINAGRERA / An evergreen shrub 4-5 ft. tall, with rounded, silvery green 1-2 in. leaves on gnarled branches. Pinkish flowers on branching stalks become rust-pink, disc-like seeds contrasting vibrantly with the foliage. A rarity well worth a try in sun and sharp drainage. Z 9
Rush – see Juncus
RUTA / RUE / Rutaceae / Several evergreen shrubs of Europe, of interest for their lacy, pale blue foliage and odd, pungent scent. Tiny, acid yellow flowers in clusters open in winter and spring. Rues want lean, well-drained soil and sun.
Ruta ‘Jackman’s Blue’ / Frothy foliage in bright gray blue makes this a starring color accent in sun or part shade. Sprawling growth to 18 in. tall and twice as wide.
S S S
SABAL / PALMETTO / Arecacae / A small genus of American fan palms, some of them among the hardiest palms. Their leaves are actually ‘costapalmate’ because the leaf stalk extends part way into the fan. Like most palms, these want plenty of heat and moisture and though some are hardy in the Northwest, they are very slow growing here.
Sabal minor / DWARF PALMETTO / Usually stemless palm from subtropical woodland. Large, stiff fans 4 ft. wide. Hardy to 0F but would like more heat than we get here. Sun, moist soil. z7
Sage – see Salvia
Sagebrush – see Artemisia
Saint John’s wort – see Hypericum
Salal – see Gaultheria shallon
SALIX / WILLOW / Salicaceae / Casual grace is the hallmark of these mostly deciduous trees and shrubs. In season, they also delight with their fuzzy catkins and colorful twigs. While larger willows are too aggressive at the root for small gardens, the shrubby species will fit almost anywhere. Most willows need sun and moist soil, but there are exceptions. Those with showy twigs need to be cut back severely every year or two in spring to stimulate a full crop of bright young shoots.
Salix acutifolia ‘Pendulifolia’ / Small shrubby tree to 15 ft. Arching and drooping white stems carry long, slender leaves with pale backs. Graceful colors and forms. Sun, moist soil. Z 5
Salix ‘Flame’ / FLAME WILLOW / Grown for both windbreak and ornament, this bushy 20 ft. tree carries shiny, pointed leaves on orange red twigs which give a brilliant solo performance in winter. Sun; best where moist; Z 4.
Salix geyeriana / GEYER WILLOW / A dense and attractive shrub or small tree, native to western North America, making rounded masses of slender, sparkling leaves that flash their silvery undersides in the wind. Small, gray ‘pussywillows’. Sun, moist or dry, but best with moisture where hot. Z 5
Salix purpurea / PURPLE OSIER / Cloud of tiny, narrow, bluish leaves on slender purple twigs. Ours is a compact form to 6-8 ft., making a refreshing soft screen or hedge. Sometimes evergreen here in warm spots, but attractive year-round either way. Sun, fairly drought hardy. Z 5
Salix udensis ‘Sekka’ / SEKKA WILLOW / Very upright form of this bright green, narrow-leaved shrub. The feature is the occasional broadly flattened and curled branches, making novel garden sculpture and cut material. Sun, moist soil. Z 5
Salix wilhelmsiana / Rare large shrub with small, oval leaves on chestnut twigs, cloaked in gray velvet until late in the year. Accented with long catkins in late spring. A striking accent for a border or rock garden. Sun, best with moisture. Z 6
Salmonberry – see Rubus spectabilis
SALVIA / SAGE / Lamiaceae / Fanciers of this ever-more-popular genus will be thrilled to know that it contains about 900 species from nearly every part of the world. Eye catching flowers and aromatic foliage give these plants a lot of impact for the small space they take. Californians have more opportunities with salvias than we in the Northwest; cold and / or summer wet are limiting east of the Rockies. Still, there are lots of choices, from large shrubs to herbaceous perennials. Some of the flashy southwestern and Mexican sorts can be grown in pots or restarted each fall from cuttings if winters in your area are too cold. Salvias, especially red-flowered ones, are heaven for hummingbirds.
Salvia apiana / WHITE SAGE / A powerfully scented, 3-6 ft. evergreen shrub from California, standing out from the scrub with its silver-white 3 in. leaves and 6 ft. spikes of white flowers flecked purple. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 8
Salvia hians / HIMALAYAN SAGE / A shrubby perennial of the Himalayas, 18-30 in. high. Sturdy branching stems are clothed in narrowly triangular, deeply veined and pungently scented dark green leaves. Long spikes of lilac purple flowers with white lips and rusty red calyx rise high above. Sun; fairly drought -hardy. z6
Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ / HOT LIPS SAGE / Popular star of pots and beds everywhere, this non-stop bloomer shows off eye-catching red and white flowers in short clusters among aromatic, gray-green leaves. Plants reach a rounded 18 in. or more the first year, to 2-3 ft. later. Sun, drainage; drought-hardy. Z 7-8.
Salvia officinalis / GARDEN SAGE / Evergreen shrub to two feet tall and three feet wide. Finely wrinkled, gray green leaves are a nice complement to spikes of lavender blue flowers in late spring. One the essential garden herbs, easy to grow in sun and well drained soil. Z 5
Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’ / Neat cultivar making a dome of broad, gray leaves, lilac blue flowers; to 18 in. tall, 3 ft. wide
Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurea’ / Foliage tinted purple at branch tips, or all over in winter, gives this version of the common sage a colorful flair. Spikes of lavender blue flowers in May. Sun, drainage, drought hardy.
SAMBUCUS / ELDERBERRY / Caprifoliaceae (now Adoxaceae) / A small group of deciduous shrubs and small trees with large feathery leaves. Tiny white to yellowish flowers in spring lead to even showier small berries in various colors. These easily grown plants offer casual beauty for the garden and fruit for people and wildlife.
Sambucus caerulea / BLUE ELDERBERRY / Broad bushy tree of w. US reaching 20 to 30 ft. tall. Large compound leaves, showy flat flower clusters to 12 in. wide, delightful and unique display of powder blue berries in branch-bending clusters. Deserves more respect as an ornamental. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Sambucus callicarpa / RED ELDERBERRY / Common forest and roadside native of the NW, an early leafing shrub-tree to 15 ft. with bright red berries beautifully displayed on arching branches. Most attractive in bloom and fruit. Part or full shade, drought hardy. Z 6
Sambucus callicarpa - Vashon yellow / This caught our attention along an island road, its bright lemon yellow fruits glowing against the forested background.
Sambucus callicarpa - Apricot fruit / This form with soft yellow-orange fruits was brought to us by a customer on Whidbey Island, WA.
Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’ / GOLDLEAVED EUROPEAN ELDER / A shrub or tree to 12 ft. with purple twigs carrying gold-green leaves. Pink- white flowers in flat clusters lead to black fruit. Nice brightener for woodland edge, best in partial shade.
Sambucus nigra ‘Laciniata’ / CUTLEAVED BLACK ELDERBERRY / Dark bluish green leaves deeply cut into linear segments on an open 10 ft. small tree. Large, lacy clusters of white flowers open from pink buds, adding luscious icing to this arboreal confection. Easy to grow in part shade; fairly drought hardy; Z 6
Sandankwa – see Viburnum suspensum
SANTOLINA / LAVENDER COTTON / Asteraceae / Fine leaved, aromatic evergreen shrubs mostly from the Mediterranean basin. Small, stringy leaves divided into tiny lobes give the plants a fluffy appearance. Button-like flowers in dense sprays cover the plants in late spring or summer. Santolinas are quick and colorful companions to almost anything gowing in full sun and sharp drainage. They are very drought-hardy. Cut back after blooms fade to keep them compact.
Santolina ‘Lemon Queen’ / Billows of feathery gray green leaves and masses of creamy yellow buttons combine beautifully on a wide shrub to 12 in. high. Z 7
Santolina ‘Sea Breeze’ / Broad, almost prostrate plant with refreshing blue-green foliage, cream flowers. Nice foreground for the dry border. Z 7-8
Santolina chamaecyparissus / LAVENDER COTTON / Sprawling, 1 ft. evergreen shrub from the Mediterranean with masses of tiny, gray-white, highly aromatic leaves and crowds of yellow button flowers in summer. Pleasingly pale and billowy accent for sunny, dry spot. Z 8
Santolina impressa / Rare endemic of Portugal, a 2 ft. mound of pale stems lined with silvery green, scalloped or feathered leaves. Pale yellow button flowers in summer. Z 8
Santolina pinnata ‘Edward Bowles’ / A 2 ft. dome of feathered, silver-green, foliage with creamy button-like flowers in summer. Vigorous, aromatic evergreen for sun, good drainage. Z 7
Santolina rosmarinifolia (S. virens) / GREEN SANTOLINA / Stringy, vividly green foliage with medicinal aroma on a fluffy, sprawling foot-high evergreen. Creamy buttons atop long, wiry stems in summer. Nice color and texture for the dry border. Z 7-8
SARCOCOCCA / SWEET BOX / Buxaceae / Evergreen shrubs from Asia most famous for their tiny but powerfully perfumed winter flowers. These are followed by red or black berries. Luxuriant sprays of narrow, glossy leaves make sarcococca handsome basic material for the garden. Their primary need is shade, where they are fairly drought hardy.
Sarcococca confusa / Lush 3 ft. shrub valued for shiny evergreen foliage, tiny but powerfully fragrant winter flowers. Valuable also for tolerance of shade and drought. Z 7-8
Sarcococca hookeriana v digyna / Handsome evergreen to 4 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Leaves narrow, 3 in. long, light green, on pink twigs. Perfumed flowers, tiny and white, open Jan.-Mar. Z 6
Sarcococca humilis / Low, ground-covering evergreen shrub to 12 in., spreading by suckering. Leaves 2 in. long, flowers tiny, white, perfumed, in winter. Z 7
Sarcococca orientalis / Rarely offered species similar to S. ruscifolia but with larger, broader leaves and a tendency to start blooming earlier, usually by December. Wide-spreading evergreen to 3-4 ft. tall. Z 8
Sarcococca ruscifolia / Nearly identical to S. confusa, but berries dark red rather than black.
Satin flower – see Sisyrinchium douglasii
SATUREJA / SAVORY / Lamiaceae / Aromatic shrubs and perennials from around the world. Small leaves in a varity of colors and fragrances and tiny squared flowers are their common features. All are pleasing additions to dry, sunny borders.
Satureja douglasii / YERBA BUENA / Delightful native of dry places on the west coast. Trailing evergreen mats of round, 1/2 in. leaves strongly scented of lime and mint, dotted with pairs of tiny white flowers. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 7
Satureja montana / WINTER SAVORY / Dense, spreading 12 in. evergreen shrub providing zesty year-round seasoning with its tiny, dark green leaves. Pale lilac flowers in small clusters open in summer. Sun, drought. Z 6
Satureja thymbra / PINK SAVORY / Rare, thyme-like shrublet with tiny, rounded, light green leaves and clusters of rose-purple flowers. Pleasantly aromatic addition to sunny, dry border; Z 7
Sausage vine – see Holboelia, Stauntonia
Savory – see Satureja
SCABIOSA / SCABIOUS / Dipsacaeae / Nice, long blooming perennials from grassy places in Europe and western Asia. Clumps of divided leaves and pincushion flower clusters are typical. Always unusual and easy to grow in sun. Most species are drought hardy.
Scabiosa caucasica ‘Perfecta’ / FIELD SCABIOUS / This strong perennial gives many months of exquisite snowflake flowers, 3 in. wide, in a luxurious lilac blue. Unique cut flowers, they are produced atop long stems from late spring until winter on bushy 3-4 ft. plants with feathery leaves. Butterflies love them. Sun; rather drought-hardy. Z 4
Scabiosa rumelica / see Knautia macedonica
Scabious – see Scabiosa
SCIADOPITYS verticillata / UMBRELLA PINE / Sciadopitaceae / Evergreen, coniferous, small to medium-sized tree from Japan. Dense and compact when young, it becomes more open and loose with age. Slow-growing, but long lived, growing 25 to 40 ft. tall and 15 to 20 ft. wide. Needles thick, leathery, 3-4 in. long, arranged like the spokes of an umbrella. The 3-in. cones hang on decoratively. Choice and unique. Z 6
Sea buckthorn – see Hippophae
Sea tomato – see Rosa rugosa
Sedge – see Carex
Sedge, red beaked – see Uncinia rubra
SEDUM / STONECROP / Crassulaceae / A big, world wide group of succulent perennials and ground covers. Their foliage varies enormously but the flowers are quite similar, little stars in clusters of various sizes. Sedums need little to grow on; thin grity soil in full sun is best. They are very drought-hardy.
Sedum ‘Czar’s Gold’ / A much praised hybrid sedum with tiny, plump, brilliant green leaves and sheets of bright yellow flowers on red stems. Wonderful in planters, among rocks and on green roofs. Z 7
Sedum divergens / CASCADE STONECROP / Mats of tiny, almost spherical leaves, deep green to bluish, often blushed red. Yellow flowers cluster atop 4 in. stalks. A nice adornment among rocks or paving, fine for green roofs. Sun or part shade. Z 6
Sedum spathulifolium / Native NW coastal succulent making chalky white, pink-stemmed rosettes on rocks, sometimes in yards-wide colonies. A choice rockery or container subject, flowering yellow in summer. Z 7
SENECIO / GROUNDSEL / Asteraceae / One of the largest genera of flowering plants. Many common weeds are here but also some handsome evergreen shrubs. Wildly diverse in foliage and form, these plants are united by their daisy-like flowers, usually yellow. Most are easy to grow in almost any sunny spot.
Senecio ‘Leonard Cockayne’ / A rarely offered S. greyii hybrid , with finely scalloped and wavy-edged leaves 3-6 in. long, deep gray-green above, velvety white below. Evergreen shrub to 3 ft. tall, spreading wider. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 8
Senecio ‘Sunshine’ (S. greyii) / Low, wide evergreen to 2 ft. by 4 ft. invaluable for oval, grayish, silver backed 2-3 in. leaves. Light yellow daisies open in summer. Endlessly useful shrub for form and color. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 8
Senecio monroi / Another of the New Zealand shrubby daisies, much like S. ‘Sunshine’, but a more compact plant with slightly narrower leaves beautifully wavy along the edge. Large clusters of yellow daisies show up in summer. Sun, drainage, drought hardy Z 8
SEQUOIA sempervirens / COAST REDWOOD / World’s tallest tree, to over 370 ft. tall on the foggy n. Calif. coast. Glossy, somewhat yew-like, deep green to bluish foliage, ribbed cinnamon trunk. Fast growing on deep, moist soils, but also vigorous where dry (but mild), in sun or shade. Z 7b
Sequoia sempervirens `Albospica’ / A dwarf redwood, with slender branches and widely spaced twigs carrying very short, light-green needles which are nearly white at the branch tips. Shrubby or tree-like, seldom over 8-10 ft.; choice focal point for large rockgarden or woodland border.
Sequoia sempervirens ‘Cantab’ / Youngest shoots pale blue-green, making a striking contrast all year; sprawling at first, then tall.
SEQUOIADENDRON giganteum / GIANT SEQUOIA / The world’s most massive tree, with trunks over 30 ft. thick. Becomes an awesome pyramid of awl-like, blue-gray foliage on an enormous, flaring red-tan trunk that may attain 6 ft. diameter in a few decades. Sun, drainage; drought hardy. Z 6
Service tree – see Sorbus domestica
Serviceberry – see Amelanchier
SESLERIA / MOORGRASS / Poaceae / Several appealing small grasses from Europe. Mostly evergreen, they make attractive edgings or small meadows.
Sesleria heuffleriana / Tight evergreen clump of blunt, bright green and blue leaves and stubby flower heads, the whole plant 15 in. high. Nice color and density, very nice in masses. Z 4
Shiny top – see Eucalyptus nitens
SIDALCEA / CHECKER MALLOW / Malvaceae / Charming perennials native to the west coast, still too uncommon in gardens. Small hollyhock flowers in white, pink or rose on tall stalks above clumps of round scalloped leaves make these suitable anywhere, from a rustic meadow to the most sophisticated border. They grow easily in average soil and sunshine.
Sidalcea hendersonii / Native hollyhock relative to 5 ft., with round, 5 in. basal leaves, shallowly lobed, in a substantial mound. Magenta-lilac, 1 in. flowers in showy spikes in late spring. Sun, moist soil at flowering time. Z 7
Silk tree – see Albizia
Silktassle – see Garrya
Silverberry – see Elaeagnus
Sinocalycanthus chinensis – see Calycanthus chinensis
SINOFRANCHETIA chinensis / Rare deciduous vine to 30 ft. or more, related to Akebia. Leaves bright green, with three 5 in. leaflets. The white flowers are not too showy, but the inch-long berries in frosted lilac, dangling in long clusters, definitely are. Part shade; drought-hardy. Z 6
SISYRINCHIUM / BLUE EYED GRASS / Iridaceae / Charming perennials from the Americas making clumps of spear shaped leaves topped by spikes of small flowers, actually in a variety of colors. Natives of grassy places, they combine well with most perennials and ground covers in any sunny spot.
Sisyrinchium californicum (Olsynium c.) / YELLOW-EYED GRASS / Fine evergreen perennial with tufts of blue-green, 4-6 in leaves and bright yellow flowers throughout spring. May be dormant in summer drought. Sun. Z 7
Sisyrinchium douglasii (Olsynium d.) / SATIN FLOWER / Iris relative from the Northwest making small clumps of grassy foliage and 12 in. stems each bearing a few starry reddish purple flowers. Charming element of native border or rock garden. Sun, drought hardy, but wants spring moisture. Z 6
Sisyrinchium striatum / Fans of pale green, iris-like leaves topped by appealing 2-3 ft. spikes of cream and yellow flowers in late spring, summer. Willing and useful evergreen perennial for sun, drainage, drought. Z 8
SKIMMIA / Rutaceae / Several evergreen shrubs from Asia planted for their handsome foliage, fragrant flowers and showy berries. All are best in full shade. and most are better with water. Like most members of the citris family, skimmias are very aromatic.
Skimmia japonica ‘Fructo Alba’/ WHITE BERRIED SKIMMIA / Rare evergreen shrub to 3 ft. and twice as wide, with oblong 3-4 in. bright green leaves and clusters of pea-sized white berries. Somewhat self-fruitful but better with another Skimmia for pollination. Cool elegance for shade, where it is drought hardy. Z 7
Skimmia reevesiana ‘Fortunei’ / Wide evergreen shrub to 6 ft. with broad, bright green, 5 in. leaves and glowing red, slightly pear-shaped fruit. Self-fruitful. Z 7
Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ / A dense mounding evergreen shrub to 6 ft., maybe more, and about as wide. Thick, bright green oval leaves 3 in. long make a neat pattern, decorated with fluffy clusters of tiny cream flowers that beautifully perfume the garden in late winter or spring. Shade; best with water; Z 7
Snowball bush – see Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’
Snowbell – see Styrax
Snowberry – see Symphoricarpos
Snowberry, Himalayan – see Gaultheria trichophylla
Soapbark tree – see Quillaja
Soaptree – see Yucca elata
SOLIDAGO / GOLDENROD / Asteraceae / Widespread American perennials familar for their late summer plumes of yellow flowers. The clumped, variously cut leaves are sometimes attractive. Often blamed for allergies, the goldenrods are largely innocent. They are readily grown in any sunny spot.
Solidago canadensis / CANADA GOLDENROD/ Widespread harbinger of fall, this perennial of meadows and moist roadsides sends up plumes of tiny yellow flowers atop leafy 2-4 ft. stalks in late summer. Narrow leaves are variously cut and toothed, backed in white. Sun; drought hardy; Z 3
Solidago rigida (Oligoneuron r.) / STIFF GOLDENROD / From the eastern US comes this taller goldenrod, to 4-5 ft., with the usual narrow, jaggedly lobed leaves , the lowest ones up to a foot long. Fluffy, spreading plumes of golden flowers are showy in late summer or fall. Great border comapnion to asters and caryopteris. Sun, fairly drought hardy. Z 3
SOPHORA / Fabaceae / Trees shrubs and perennials from nearly everywhere. All have feathery leaves, small pea flowers in clusters and woody ‘bean’ pods. Most sophoras come from hot climates and alkaline soils and appreciate the same in cultivation. Where happy they provide much beauty of foliage and flower.
Sophora microphylla / Exciting evergreen tree to 15 ft. or more, native to both Chile and New Zealand. Delicately feathery light green leaves with tiny leaflets on zigzag branches make a see-through crown. Huge lemon yellow pea flowers open in June. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. Z 8
Sophora tetraptera / KOWHAI / Famous flower of New Zealand, also native to Chile, with big golden yellow pea flowers borne on a large evergreen shrub furnished in feathery gray-green leaves. An airy, drought-hardy beauty for sun or part shade. Z 8
SORBARIA / FALSE SPIRAEA / Rosaceae / Several pretty deciduous shrubs with delicate, feathery leaves and plumes of tiny white flowers. Most species are best in partial shade and damp soil, but they grow nearly anywhere here.
Sorbaria tomentosa /KASMIR FALSE SPIRAEA/ Big, open deciduous shrub to 8 ft. with feathery 12-18. in leaves and tall plumes of white flowers in late spring. A softly beautiful but very tough plant, decorative from its very early leafing to its red and gold fall colors. Z 5
SORBUS / MOUNTAIN ASH, WHITEBEAM / There are few better sources of seasonal color than these. The handsome leaves of most species turn colorful in fall as the berries are ripening in shades of red, orange, yellow, rose and white. The sorbus are garden-sized, typically 10-20 ft., and cast moderate shade. Their showy fruits invite birds into the garden, yet some, especially S. hupehensis, manage to hold onto their fruit into winter.
Sorbus americana / AMERICAN MOUNTAIN ASH / A rounded tree 20-40 ft. tall with a lacy crown of 12 in. leaves divided into many tapered leaflets. Clusters of creamy flowers lead to showy red berries in fall and winter. Fall color is usually fiery red. Sun; best where moist; Z 2
Sorbus aria / WHITEBEAM / Attractive pyramidal tree to 40 ft. tall. Alder-like, 3-5 in. leaves, silvery on back, make it a standout . Creamy flowers and large red berries are perfect seasonal accents. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Sorbus caloneura / A rarely seen deciduous tree to 15 ft. with rounded outline, notable for its handsomely embossed oval 3-4 in. leaves, which emerge very early. Cream flowers lead to mahogany red fruits. Sun or part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 6
Sorbus cashmiriana / Nice small garden tree with large white fruit, like hailstones, clustered among bold, pinnately compound leaves, which turn gold in fall. Spreading form to 15 ft. tall. Sun or part shade; best with water. Z 5
Sorbus commixta / Tall, feathery species from the Himalayas with great chandeliers of small red fruit, bending its long branches as the large, feathery leaves turn crimson. A graceful 30-40 ft. tree. Sun, best with water. Z 6
Sorbus domestica / SERVICE TREE / Rather tall, graceful deciduous European tree, up to 70 ft., with ascending branches lush with deep blue-green feathery leaves, purplish or gold in fall. The inch-wide, golden-green, pear-like fruits are edible when very ripe. Sun or part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 6
Sorbus forrestii / Small, wide Chinese tree to 15 ft. tall. Delicate, feathery leaves turn red as backdrop for small white berries. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 6
Sorbus gongashanica / Rare small tree from China with stiff, pinnate deep green leaves and large white fruits against red foliage in late fall. Sun or part shade.
Sorbus hupehensis / HUBEI MOUNTAIN ASH / Feathery bluish foliage turning scarlet and purple in fall, on a rounded, 15-20 ft. tree. Pink-stained white berries make an arresting show fall and winter. A beautiful and valuable small garden tree from China. Sun, fairly drought hardy. Z 6
Sorbus intermedia / SWEDISH WHITEBEAM / A broadly pyramidal tree to 30 ft. tall. Leaves alder-like but deeply lobed, white on back. These and the showy red berries make this a nice smaller garden tree. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 5
Sorbus latifolia / FOUNTAINBLEU SERVICE TREE / Leaves silver-backed, alder-like, 3-5 in. long, giving bold texture to the 30-50 ft. pyramidal crown of this handsome European. Large, orange fruit add color in fall. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Sorbus pallescens / Rare slender tree with ascending branches furnished with handsome, narrowly ovate, 8 in. leaves, gray beneath and strongly veined. Clusters of large, green fruits tinted orange red when ripe. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Sorbus prattii / Choice small Chinese tree to 15 ft. with small, finely divided leaves and clusters of pure white fruits. Quite rare, and a fine adornment to a shrub border. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 6
Sorbus sargentiana / SARGENT MOUNTAIN ASH / One of the showiest of these decorative trees. Leaves often a foot long with 4-5 in. leaflets, coloring strawberry red in fall as massive clusters of small flame-red fruits ripen. Elegant Chinese tree to 20-30 ft. tall. Sun, best where moist. Z 6
Sorbus subcuneata / A small tree restricted to Devon, southern England, in the wild and nearly unknown in gardens. Rounded, 2-3 in. leaves with pale undersides give an open texture to this 20 ft. tree. Cream flowers lead to small red fruits. Sun, fairly drought hardy; Z 7?
Sorbus thibetica / A rare and interesting small Himalayan tree of broadly rounded form. Leaves nearly round, to 6 in. long, thick, white-furry below. Fruits pear shaped, orange blushed red. Sun, best where moist. Z 8
Sorbus ursina / Rare and decorative small deciduous tree with many upright branches holding large, feathery leaves. These color gold and orange as clusters of fruits ripen pinkish white. Sun; fairly drought-hardy; Z 7.
Sorbus vestita / HIMALAYAN WHITEBEAM / Fine large tree with bold, broad leaves up to a foot long, slightly wooly above, silvery white below, and large orange-yellow fruits. Exciting focal point. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 6
Sorrel – see Rumex
Southern imortelle – see Helichrysum splendidum
Speedwell – see Veronica
Spider flower – see Grevillea
Spindle – see Euonymus
SPIRAEA / SPIRAEA / Rosaceae / Dozens of pretty deciduous shrubs from the Northern Hemisphere. Tiny white flowers clustered abundantly among small leaves give a comfortable look that blends well with other shrubs. Their beauty comes easily; most grow in almost any soil in a fairly sunny location. Most are better with water.
Spiraea betulifolia / Native deciduous shrub of NW mountains, north and east into Japan; arching coppery branches carry, roundish, toothed 1-3 in. leaves and large, flattened clusters of white flowers. Little grown but very pretty. Z 5
Spiraea canescens/ A gorgeous fountain of small, gray-blue leaves, the branches arching under huge clusters of creamy flowers in May. Choice and hard to get, reaching 6 ft. tall and as wide. Z 6
Spiraea douglasii / HARDHACK / Native shrub making thickets on wet soil. Light, fuzzy green leaves, pale below, line thin brown twigs topped with spikes of fuzzy rose pink flowers in summer. Sun, best where moist. Z 6
Spiraea thunbergii / Billowy fountain of linear, grass green, 1 in. leaves on slender twigs, yellow and orange in late fall. Tiny white flowers in profusion among emerging leaves. Broad, suckering shrub to 4 ft. tall. Last fall color and first blooms meet around the New Year here. Sun, drought hardy. Z 4
Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ / Like the species but with bright lime green foliage, nearly yellow in full sun. A lovely soft, sunny glow.
Spiraea, false – see Sorbaria
Spiraea, rock – see Holodiscus
Spurge – see Euphorbia
STACHYS / BETONY / Lamiaceae / Hundreds of perennials from much of the temperate world, most with aromatic foliage. Some are important in medicine or for food. Spikes of generally purple flowers rise from a mat of green to gray-woolly foliage. These are easy plants to grow, sometimes too easy, but very rewarding in the right spot.
Stachys macrantha / BIG BETONY / A fine perennial from the Caucasus region, with handsome dark green leaves, scalloped and deeply veined. Sturdy 2 ft. spikes of vivid rosy purple flowers open for many weeks in late spring and early summer. A showstopper but still not as common as it should be. Fairly drought hardy. Z 4
STAUNTONIA / SAUSAGE VINE / Lardizabalaceae / Several beautiful evergreen climbers from eastern Asia. Their leaves are divided fanwise into oval leaflets that give a gorgeous pattern. Delicate flaring trumpet flowers with slender, pointed petals bring exotic beauty in spring, followed by oblong fruits that suggest the common name.
Stauntonia hexaphylla / From Japan, an elegant plant for a feature spot, eventually covering a 10 ft. by 10 ft. area. The leaves, with their six glossy, oval, 2-4 in. leaflets, suggest a schefflera. The sausage-shaped 4 in. fruits have a pale, gelatinous flesh much esteemed in Asia. Best with part or full shade and water. Z 8
STEPHANANDRA incisa ‘Crispa’ / Low, mounding froth of deeply lobed and cut, 1-2 in. leaves on slender, romping, golden brown branches. White, spiraea-like flowers are nice in spring. An interesting deciduous bank cover, 3 ft. high and yards wide. Sun or part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 5
STIPA / FEATHER GRASS / Poaceae / A big, world-wide genus of grasses, many of which are choice ornamentals. It is hard to sum up such a big group, but the main decorative feature of many is the seed cluster. Most stipas are sun-loving and drought-hardy.
Stipa capillata / A soft, 2 ft. clump of threadlike, silvery turquoise leaves, overspread by gossamer silvery seed plumes on 3 ft. stems. A rare beauty from New Zealand, associating beautifully with phormium, euphorbias, lavender, agastache. Sun; drought-hardy; z7
Stipa gigantea / GIANT FEATHER GRASS / Spectacular evergreen grass starting out with an ordinary but neat 2 ft. clump of narrow, green leaves and ending in an immense bouquet of 6 ft. stems topped with pyramidal clouds of very large, golden seeds that glitter in the sunlight. Spectacular when well placed. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Stonecress – see Aethionema
Stonecrop – see Sedum
Strawberry – see Fragaria
Strawberry tree – see Arbutus unedo
Strawflower – see Helichrysum
STYRAX / SNOWBELL / Styracaceae / Highly decorative, mostly deciduous trees scattered around the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves vary from tiny to large, but the bell-shaped white flowers are remarkably similar -around an inch long, in clusters that fringe the branches in late spring. These are easy trees to grow and most are fairly drought-hardy in sun or shade.
Styrax japonica / JAPANESE SNOWBELL / Delicately textured small deciduous tree. Its fine twigs carry deep green, 1 1/2 – 3 in. leaves and tiers of pendant white flowers followed by pearl-like fruits. Neat, rounded crown about 20 ft. tall and nearly as wide. Z 5
Styrax obassia / FRAGRANT SNOWBELL / Small tree of bold texture, narrowly rounded to 20 ft. tall. Round, 4-6 in. leaves are whitish beneath. Fragrant white flowers and big seeds hang in long clusters. Needs part shade; best with water. Z 5
Sumac – see Rhus
Sun rose – see Helianthemum
Deciduous shrub, 15 feet tall and as much in spread. White flowers open from pink buds in cymes 3 in. across, early in spring. Golden orange fruits ripen to red and hold late, while the rounded, 2 in. leaves turn purple. Z 5
Sweet box – see Sarcococca
Sweetgum – see Liquidambar
Sweetspire - see Itea
SYCOPSIS / Hamamelidaceae / A genus of evergreen shrubs and trees from Asia, little known in gardens. Simple oval leaves and small, tufted flowers in orange and yellow are characteristic, as are the squared seed witch-hazel capsules that shoot the glossy brown seeds through the air.
Sycopsis sinensis / Rare, small evergreen tree to 30 ft. with long-pointed, pendant 3 in. leaves and tiny orange flowers in winter. A handsome and easily grown tree but, sadly, little known. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 8
Symphiotrichum lanceolatum ssp. hesperium – see Aster hesperius
Symphiotrichum novanagliae – see Aster novaangliae
Symphiotrichum spathulatum – see Aster occidentalis
Symphiotrichum subspicatum – see Aster subspicatus
SYMPHORICARPOS / SNOWBERRY / Caprifoliaceae / Deciduous shrubs from North America, spreading into thickets by means of runners. Abundant in their habitats, they are very important for erosion control and wildlife. They are also appealing ornamentals, especially when laden with white or rosy berries. Small, rounded leaves give a frothy texture. Snowberries need nothing special; all are happiest in sun and moist soil, but all are drought hardy.
Symphoricarpos albus / SNOWBERRY / Common, thicket-forming deciduous shrub of waysides, its large white berries floating through delicate twiggery long after the round, blue-green leaves have dropped. Nice soft filler in native plantings, excellent bank holder. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. Z 5
Symphoricarpos albus ‘Constance Spry’ / Selection named for the doyenne of English flower arranging, who would have loved the abundant large fruits of this rarely sold cultivar.
Symphoricarpos mollis / CREEPING SNOWBERRY / Western native deciduous shrub similar to S. albus but creeping along the ground, with branches arching to 1-2 ft. high. Smaller, ovate leaves turn yellow in fall as berries turn white. Mixes beautifully with evergreen strawberry and kinnikinnik in the wild and in gardens. Sun; drought-hardy. Z 7
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus / CORALBERRY / A 3-4 ft. high thicket of wiry stems clothed with dime-sized leaves and rose-red berries. The yellow fall color accompanies the berries into winter here. Attractive thickets in sun, best in moist soil. Z 2
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus ‘Spun Sugar’ / An appealing new shrub to 4 ft. billowing with tiny light green leaves edged cream. One of the more exciting color accents.
SYRINGA / LILAC / Oleaceae / Deciduous shrubs from Europe and Asia, loved for their clusters of fragrant flowers. Most are plain shrubs with pairs of simple, oval to rounded, rarely divided leaves. Only a few species have the legendary fragrance, but all put on a lovely flower display in spring or summer. Lilacs have simple needs: sun and almost any soil. Most are drought hardy, but many are better with water.
Syringa josikaea / HUNGARIAN LILAC / Large graceful shrub to 12 ft. Long branches carry narrow leaves that are whitish beneath. Flowers fragrant, lavender-purple to pink in late spring. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Syringa oblata / Dense clusters of early, fragrant, lilac flowers and rounded leaves turning purple in fall on an upright shrub to 8 ft. tall. An attractive plant with about the only fall color in the genus. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7
Syringa pekinensis / A small deciduous tree to 20 ft. tall, notable for its golden brown papery bark that peels in shaggy curls. Oval 2-3 in. leaves give a fine texture. Small clusters of creamy white flowers open in June. An uncommon and interesting tree, especially for cold climates. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 3
T T T
TAGETES / MARIGOLD / Asteraceae / Annuals and perennials from the southwest US, Mexico and Central America. Pungently scented, usually divided leaves are the backdrop for a long show of flowers in sunny colors. The annuals have been stars of flower beds for many years, but the perennials get little notice. Any sunny, well-drained spot will suit them, in Z 8 and up.
Tagetes lemmonii / MT LEMMON MARIGOLD / From southern Arizona and Mexico, this builds up to a thicket of branching stems 4-5 ft. tall, well-dressed with feathery, bright green, sharply scented leaves. From late summer into fall, crowds of golden yellow flowers with five petals create a wonderful show.
Tagetes lucida / PERICON / Also called Mexican tarragon for the sweet anise scent of its narrow, glossy leaves. Small yellow flowers cluster above the 2-3 ft. shrub in summer.
Tamarack – see Larix laricina
TAXODIUM / BALD CYPRESS / Taxodiaceae (now Cupressaceae) Several deciduous or semi-evergreen conifers of the southern US and Mexico. Feathery sprays of soft needles give a uniquely soft look that contrasts strikingly with the massive trunk. The leafy twigs are staggered, rather than paired as in Metasequoia. Small, rounded cones break up into chunks when seeds are ripe. These are beautiful ornamental trees, happy in wet or average soils.
Taxodium distichum / Famous deciduous conifer of southern swamps. Finely feathered foliage of soft green turns smoky bronze in fall, leaving the ruggedly flaring trunk and slender branches decorated with small, round cones. Old trees in wetlands develop woody ‘knees’ that rise out of the water. Z 6
Taxodium ascendens / POND CYPRESS / A narrow deciduous conifer of great landscape value, reaching 30 ft. tall. Reddish gray bark and ascending branches give it character even in winter. Feathery pale green leaves make it stand out the rest of the year, especially after the foliage turns coppery pink in late fall. Z 7
TAXUS / YEW / Taxaceae / These few conifers manage to encircle the globe, both as wild plants and in cultivation. They are much alike in their slender, dark green, unscented needles and red to yellow arils, those berry-like cups holding the seeds. Yews have a long history of cultivation, and planted yews 1000 years old exist in Europe. The dark, purplish wood is esteemed. Yew grow where they are planted but prefer well drained soil and part or full shade.
Taxus baccata / ENGLISH YEW / Slightly darker, larger needles distinguish this from our Northwest native T. brevifolia. A rounded tree to 30 ft. tall, this yew comes in many cultivars varying in shape and color. Z 6
Taxus baccata ‘Amerfoort’ / A delightfully curious medium-sized shrub with stiffly angled branches clothed in stubby, round, 1/4 in. leaves radiating from all sides. It’s hard to believe this oddity is a yew. Part or full shade; drought hardy. Z 6
Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ / IRISH YEW / Narrow, bushy small tree to about 15 ft. by 6 ft. , often flaring wider in age. Dark foliage on vertical branches makes for a classic hedge or sentry plant. Sun or shade; drought hardy Z 6
Taxus brevifolia / PACIFIC YEW / Our NW native, usually a broad, somewhat scruffy tree with wide, spare crown of olive green needles on drooping twigs and rich rust and purple bark. Grows slowly, living 1000 years or more, if not cut for medicine or wood. Our material from quite attractive trees from the mountains. Best in shade; drought-hardy; Z 6.
Tea – see Camellia sinensis
Tea tree – see Leptospermum
TELEKIA speciosa / Grand perennial from Europe and s. Russia, with a big clump of 12 in. wide, scalloped, aromatic leaves above which rise branching 4-6 ft. stalks with wide, orange-yellow daisies with threadlike rays in late summer. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 6
TELLIMA grandiflora / FRINGE CUP / Saxifragaceae / Lovely Northwest perennial of damp shade, making colonies along wooded roadsides. Roundish, 3 in. leaves make an evergreen base for slender, 2-3 ft. spikes of tiny cream bells that age pink. Part or full shade, drought hardy. Z 7
TETRADIUM danielii / BEE BEE TREE / Rutaceae / A broad, graceful 20-40 ft. deciduous tree in the citrus family. Aromatic, pinnately compound leaves somewhat like ash, deep green, up to 12 in. long, cast moderate shade. Clustered whitish flowers cover the tree in summer, followed by tiny red fruit opening to expose black seeds. Handsome and rare tree for sun, moist soil. Z 7-8
TEUCRIUM / GERMANDER / Lamiaceae / A large group of mostly evergreen shrubs and perennials coming mainly from the Mediterranean and western Asia. Small, aromatic leaves in pairs and typical squared ‘mint’ flowers, though lacking the upper lip, are their main features. Some are medicinal herbs and all are pleasing and useful in any dry, sunny planting.
Teucrium chamaedrys / WALL GERMANDER / Low, dense mound of shiny, dark green, 1/2 in. leaves studded with lilac pink flowers in summer. Attractive, useful, drought-hardy evergreen for sun, a nice edging if trimmed after bloom, which will keep it 12 in. high and 1-2 ft. wide. Z 5
Teucrium flavum / YELLOW GERMANDER / Mediterranean evergreen shrub to 2 ft. with thick, scalloped, light green leaves and soft yellow flowers in spikes. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Teucrium fruticans / BUSH GERMANDER / White-backed, 3/4 in. leaves on white twigs make a very loose and open shrub to 6 ft. tall. Small pale blue flowers open winter-spring. Nice accent for the sunny, dry border. Z 8
Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’ / Flowers jewel-like deep blue. Less hardy, but worth a warm spot. Z 9
Teucrium hyrcanicum / PURPLE TAILS / Charmingly curious perennial from the Caucasus region, with rough, olive green leaves and tiny purple flowers which open in succession from one end to the other of the long, dense, cylindrical spikes, which nod this way and that like bushy tails. In color for months. Z 6
Teucrium marum / CAT THYME / Thyme-like in its tiny, pale gray-blue leaves that make a dense shrublet 12-18 in. high, sprinkled with lavender pink flowers. Cats find the harsh odor of the foliage irresistible. Z 8
Teucrium orientale / Bushy small perennial from Asia Minor, 8 in. high and twice as wide, furnished in small blue-green, strongly aromatic leaves. Lavender blue flowers open over several months. Sun drought hardy, Z 5
THERMOPSIS / GOLDBANNER / Fabaceae / Several perennials related to Lupine. Here, the leaves are divided into usually three leaflets, instead of five or more in Lupine. Spikes of yellow flowers ( moist Lupines are blue or purple) make a bright spring display. Thermopsis are used to thin, rocky soils and drought, and look best in full sun.
Thermopsis montana / A bushy perennial resembling a lupine, but with only three bright green leaflets. These luxuriantly furnish the slightly branching 18-30 in. purplish stems. Bright yellow flowers in short clusters arise along the branches in summer. A nice thing in a wild border. Sun; drought hardy; Z 5
Thorowax – see Bupleurum
Thrift, plantain – see Armeria pseudarmeria
Thrift, sea – see Armeria
THUJA / ARBORVITAE / Cupressaceae / Five scaly-leaved conifers of North America and Asia. Sweetly scented foliage, slender, vaguely tulip-shaped cones and fragrant, rot-resistant wood covered in fibrous bark are their key features. All are handsome landscape specimens and screens. While their habitats are mostly damp, thujas are fairly drought hardy. They grow well in sun or part shade.
Thuja koraiensis / KOREAN ARBORVITAE / Small, broadly conical tree like T. plicata, but to 30 ft. or less. Beautiful, dark green foliage, vividly silvery on back. Sun, drought hardy. Z 5
Thuja occidentalis / EASTERN ARBORVITAE / From the eastern US, this narrow tree can reach 80 ft. tall, but is usually much less. The foliage is less shiny than in T. plicata, the divisions spread at a wider angle and the cones are smaller. Also, the tree takes on a sad olive-tan winter color, which is why it is not much grown. Its cultivars keep a better color. Z 3
Thuja occidentalis ‘Bodmeri’ / A small, narrow form, to 8 ft., with dense, flattened, pointed sprays of bright green foliage.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Buchananii’ / Diaphanous 20 ft. tree with remarkably thin, lacy sprays of bluish green foliage. Sun, fairly drought hardy.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Holmstrup’s Yellow’ / European cultivar new in this country; a compact pyramid of dense, golden-green foliage highlighted pale yellow. Sun, drought hardy.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Stolwijc’ / Dwarf conical shrub with dense sprays of deep green foliage shading to bright yellow tips. Sun, drought hardy.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Wareana Lutescens’ /Dense, conical shrub to 8 ft. with broad sprays of bright green foliage shaded pale yellow at the edges. Sun, drought hardy.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Yellow Ribbon’ / A dwarf. conical tree to 10-20 ft. with brilliant green foliage highlighted bright yellow. Sun, drought hardy.
Thuja orientalis – see Platycladus orientalis
Thuja plicata / WESTERN REDCEDAR / Lacy giant of our moister forests reaching a massive 250 ft. in ancient stands. Sweetly fragrant, bright green foliage in wide, upturned branches form a beautiful, broad pyramid. Enjoys plenty of moisture and space but adaptable to drought, sun or shade. Z 5
Thuja plicata – VBG seedling / A seedling from our nursery that turned out very interesting, with tufted, upturned sprays of bright green foliage on a slow, pyramidal plant. See to appreciate.
Thuja plicata ‘Cuprea’ / Softly conical dwarf to 5 ft. with brassy yellow highlights, often nearly orange in winter, when it inspires artistic color compositions. Sun or part shade, drought hardy.
Thuja plicata ‘Gelderland’ / A dense form, fast growing but compact., to 12 ft. or more, with a nice, frothy texture. Bright green summer foliage takes on gold and bronze tints in winter. Fine candidate for screening.
Thuja plicata ‘Puget Pyramid’ / Discovery of Ron Brightman, a tight, dense, narrowly pyramidal tree. Fine choice for a tall screen or grand lawn specimen.
Thuja plicata ‘Stoneham Gold’ / Broad, dense, irregular cone to 8 ft. with bright green and gold foliage, tinged bronze in winter.
Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’ (T. p. ‘Lutea’ )/ Foliage sprays beautifully banded soft yellow. Broadly conical tree to 50 ft.
Thuja plicata x T. standishii / Small, bushy tree with the bright green foliage of T. plicata accented with silver on back as in T. standishii on a broad pyramid to 20-30 ft.
Thuja standishii / JAPANESE ARBORVITAE / A broadly pyramidal small tree to 30 ft. with lacy, bright green foliage, bluish on the underside. Attractive and rare lawn specimen or in evergreen border. Z 6
THUJOPSIS dolobrata / DEERHORN CEDAR / Cupressaceae / Shrub-tree to 15 ft tall, rarely twice that, with coarsely scaly, bright, glossy, green foliage marked with white on back, gracefully displayed. One of the most beautiful conifers for texture. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7
Thujopsis dolobrata ‘Nana’ / About half-size in all its measures, but every bit a beautiful.
Thujopsis dolobrata ‘Variegata’ / Foliage subtly and randomly splashed creamy white.
Thyme – see Thymus
Thyme, cat – see Teucrium marum
THYMUS / THYME / Lamiaceae / Tiny-leaved evergreen shrubs and creepers renowned for their fragrances. Most come from the Mediterranean, home of so many plants that supply herb gardens and spice racks. Besides the familiar thyme scent, the various species and cultivars venture into caraway, lemon, orange and wonderful herbal mixtures. All have crowds of tiny flowers and a neat habit if trimmed after bloom. Sun and dry, well drained soil suit them best.
Thymus fragrantissimus / ORANGE THYME / One of the most delicious scents in our garden comes from this 6 in. high mound of tiny pale gray-blue leaves, a scent reminding most of Creamsicles. Pale lilac flowers are pretty in spring. Z 7?
Thymus mastichina / MASTIC THYME / Pretty 12-18 in. mound of tiny silver-green or bluish leaves scented refreshingly of mint and eucalyptus- it feels healthy just smelling it. White summer flowers. Native of Spain. Z 7
Thymus pulegioides ‘Foxley’ / Richly colorful spreading mound of round leaves that emerge purplish and pink, then settle down to green splashed with white. Deep lavender flowers are frosting on the cake. Z 7
Thymus vulgaris ‘Argenteus’ / SILVER THYME / Soft, rounded shrub 12 in. high and twice as wide, with billows of tiny, light green leaves edged in white. Lilac flowers add an artful touch in late spring. Z 5
Thymus zygis / SAUCE THYME / Pungently aromatic narrow, gray leaves on ascending shoots topped with white flowers. A rare, pizza-scented evergreen Mediterranean shrublet to 12 in. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; Z 7
TIARELLA / FOAMFLOWER / Saxifragaceae / Several pleasing and garden-worthy perennials from woodland in Asia and North America. Triangular to heart-shaped, sometimes divided, leaves form evergreen carpets that sprout frothy spikes of tiny flowers in white or pink. These beauties are fine small groundcovers, edgings or companions to rhododendrons, ferns and hostas in shade. They are best with water.
Tiarella trifoliata / TREFOIL FOAMFLOWER / Pretty colonizer of moist, shady woods in the Northwest. Roundish, divided leaves form an evergreen cover; slender wands of tiny whitish flowers lovely in early summer. Shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 7
TILIA / LINDEN / Tiliaceae / Large deciduous tree of temperate North America, Asia and Europe. Their stout trunks and gnarled branches show between masses of rounded to heart-shaped leaves. Clusters of small, off-white flowers perfume the air in late spring or summer; pea-sized fruits ripen brown, attached to the same distinctive winged stalk as the flowers. Lindens are rugged trees, much planted for parks and avenues, but most are best with water.
Tilia tomentosa / SILVER LINDEN / A monumental, majestic tree with a broad, 60-80 ft. crown of rounded, 4-8 in. leaves that flash their silver-white backs to the wind. The usual sweetly perfumed flowers open in June. Sun, drought hardy. Z 6
TOLMIEA menziesii / PIGGYBACK PLANT / Native here in moist shade, popular everywhere as house plant. Forms colonies of roundish, lobed, long-stalked leaves, each bearing a tiny new plantlet. Tiny maroon flowers on long stalks are interesting in summer. Shade, best where moist. Z 7
Torch lily – see Knophofia
Toyon – see Heteromeles arbutifolia
TRACHELOSPERMUM / STAR JASMINE / Apocynaceae / Several evergreen climbers from Asia and the southeast US. Glossy, ovate leaves give all-year good looks. The stars come out in the warm months, abundant white flowers with a heavenly perfume. These are hard working and much admired plants for trellises, screens, fences and as groundcover. They are as good in sun as in shade and are drought-hardy once established.
Trachelospermum asiaticum / JAPANESE STAR JASMINE / Sprawling or climbing evergreen shrub covering banks or walls. Narrowly pointed, shiny, 2 in. leaves line twining stems, accompanied by fragrant 1 in. creamy yellow flowers in summer. Sun or shade, drought tolerant. Z 8
Trachelospermum jasminoides / CONFEDERATE JASMINE / Handsome evergreen rambling shrub used throughout the warmer zones for walls and groundcover. Prized for toughness and for perfumed white flowers over many months. From southeast Asia and Japan. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 8b
TRACHYCARPUS / Arecaceae / Several species of fan palms, some of which grow in places where palms may not be expected. Slender trunks carry crowns of circular, deeply divided leaves. Frothy flower clusters a yard long hang from female trees, followed by huge clusters of oval to kidney-shaped fruits. Though extra hardy, these, like all palms, want warmth, moisture and rich soil to be at their best.
Trachycarpus fortunei / WINDMILL PALM / Slender fan palm to 40-50 ft, with tapered, furry trunk, circular 3-4 ft. leaves on 3 ft. stalks. Yellowish flowers, dark blue berries in enormous clusters. Hardiest tall palm, common in the coastal Northwest. Sun or shade, rich, moist soil. Z 8
Tree mallow – see Lavatera
TROCHODENDRON aralioides / WHEEL TREE / Trochodendraceae / Unique evergreen tree with glossy, bright green, long pointed leaves spirally arranged around branch ends. Spoked yellow green flowers in wide clusters give the tree its name. A slow growing, elegant treasure. Drought hardy, best in shade. Z 8
TSUGA / HEMLOCK / Pinaceae / Among the most graceful conifers, the hemlocks are scattered across Asia and North America. Short needles on generally lax branches give them beautiful detail and form. Tiny cones hang from branch ends. Hemlocks are features of cool, rainy forests and few enjoy heat or drought.
Tuga canadensis / EASTERN HEMLOCK / Graceful tree of eastern North America, usually 50-70 ft. in gardens. Tiny needles line slender branches, giving a fine wispy texture. Good screen, specimen or even sheared hedge. Best with shade, drought hardy. Z 4
Tsuga canadensis ‘Pendula’ / WEEPING HEMLOCK / Handsome focal point for rockgarden or shaded planter. Tiny, silver-backed needles line gracefully spreading and weeping branches on this mounding and sprawling shrub which slowly reaches 6 ft. by 10 ft. Best in shade, fairly drought-hardy. Z 4
Tsuga chinensis / CHINESE HEMLOCK / Rarely grown species reaching 20-40 ft. in cultivation, eventually very broad. Needles to 3/4 in. long give stronger texture than other hemlocks. Part or full shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 6
Tsuga chinensis var. formosana / TAIWAN HEMLOCK / A large tree, to over 100 ft. tall, its crown eventually spreading into a tracery of gnarled branches. Needles, up to 1 in. long, shiny green; cones 1 in. long, shiny golden brown. A rare tree of picturesque habit even when young. Sun or shade; best with water; Z 7
Tsuga diversifolia / NORTHERN JAPANESE HEMLOCK / Elegant tree turning up its twigs here and there to show off silver undersides of its small, dark needles. Beautifully irregular wide pyramid to 40 ft. best in part shade, with moisture. Z 6
Tsuga heterophylla / WESTERN HEMLOCK / Tall, decorative native of our forests, admired for its graceful, drooping branches. Small needles backed in silver give a detailed texture. Quick growing to 150 ft. or more. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 6
Tulip poplar – see Liriodendron
Tuliptree – see Liriodendron
Twinberry – see Lonicera involucrata
Twinflower – see Linnaea borealis
U U U
ULMUS / ELM / Ulmaceae / Noble deciduous trees from much of the Northern Hemisphere. Sturdy, often gnarled branches end in a tracery of delicate twigs. Leaves, more or less ovate and toothed, vary more in size than in shape, and some elms are told from others by small details. Tiny flowers open in late winter and lead to small, disc-shaped seeds that float in spring breezes. All elms are drought-hardy.
Ulmus parvifolia / CHINESE ELM / Attractive, spreading small tree to 30-50 ft. tall. Shiny 1 in. leaves on delicate branches, create a uniquely elegant, layered tracery. Flaking orange-gray bark gives added interest. Very desirable, easily grown, evergreen in mildest areas. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7
UMBELLULARIA californica / CALIFORNIA BAY / Lauraceae / Beautiful, rounded evergreen tree to 80 ft. giving vividly green luxuriance to hillsides and forest edges, and especially along rivers, from southwest Oregon through most of California. Shiny, 2-4 in. leaves are sharply aromatic, used by some cooks, too harsh for others. Tiny, greenish winter flowers lead to marble-sized seeds enclosed in pear-shaped fruits. Sun or shade, best where moist, but drought hardy too. Z 8
UNCINIA / BEAKED SEDGE / Unciniaceae / Several sedge relatives from New Zealand distinguished by their prickly seed clusters. Thick, keeled glossy leaves are green or, in most garden forms, red or coppery. Uncinias are wetland plants but seem drought-hardy, in sun or shade.
Uncinia rubra / RED BEAKED SEDGE / A small, wiry plant with lots of impact. Slender, tapered leaves of shiny mahogany red arch and twist nicely making a lively 10 in. high clump. Nice with silvery or bronze sedges, or blue or silvery grasses, colorful sedums. Z 8
V V V
VACCINIUM / WHORTLEBERRY / Ericaceae / Over 400 species of evergreen and deciduous shrubs from the Northern Hemisphere and the high elevations of the tropics. Small, round to oval leaves are a common trait, as are urn-shaped flowers and round, typically pea-sized berries in red, blue, purple or black. Besides the popular edible species, which are also nice to look at – blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries- are countless choice ornamentals, which often have tasty fruit. Most species prefer some shade, and light, acid humus, and most are better with water.
Vaccinium glaucoalbum / Striking evergreen shrub 2-4 ft. tall, spreading wider. Light green, broadly oval leaves, huge for a vaccinium, are 2 1/2 in. long, bluish-white below and beautifully veined. Pinkish white flowers, black berries frosted blue. Part shade, best with water. Z 8
Vaccinium globulare / GLOBE HUCKLEBERRY / Very close to V. membranaceum, and often thought to be the same species, though globe huckleberry in the strict sense is a lower plant of more open habitat. Reddish stems make thickets 18-30 in. high, with oval, 1-2 in. leaves coloring yellow and orange in fall. Pea-sized purple-black berries juicy but tart. Middle to high elevations.
Vaccinium membranaceum / A deciduous shrub to 6 ft., native of mid-elevations in NW mountains. Leaves relatively large, bright green, fruit small, purple ripening with yellow fall foliage. Nice in woodland garden. Z 6
Vaccinium moupinense / Beautiful, neat Chinese species, a dense evergreen mound to 2 ft. and spreading wider. Leaves rounded, thick, shiny, 3/4 in. long, neatly arranged on long branches. Pink-white flowers and deep red fruit. Z 8
Vaccinium ovalifolium / OVAL-LEAF BLUEBERRY / Medium deciduous shrub of NW mountains. Smooth, oval 1 in. light green leaves on reddish twigs, and pink-white flowers. Luscious and beautiful blue fruit. A nice plant, usually 3-4 ft. tall, with good fall color. Sun, best where moist. Z 4
Vaccinium ovatum / EVERGREEN HUCKLEBERRY / One of our finest natives, abundant with madrone and salal on well drained sites near salt water. Shiny oval leaves emerge coppery red. Pink flowers open spring to fall yielding tasty, pie-ready, blue or black berries much of the year. A shapely 7-10 ft. shrub for part or full shade, where it is drought hardy. Z 8
Vaccinium ovatum x V. mortinia / Much like the native V. ovatum, but maybe even nicer as an ornamental and certainly more vigorous. A huge shrub with the 8-10 ft. height of the native and the 10-12 ft spread of the Ecuadorian species. Beautiful pattern of round, 1/2 in. leaves on long branches. Sun or shade, drought hardy Z 7-8(?)
Vaccinium padifolium / MADEIRAN WHORTLEBERRY / An evergreen blueberry from the Azores, with bright green leaves on a 8-10 ft. shrub. Large pink tinged flowers lead to pendant, blue berries, sweet and edible, which crowd the branches in fall. Sun or shade, drought tolerant. Z 7
Vaccinium parvifolium / RED HUCKLEBERRY / Characteristic element of coastal forests, a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub to 8 ft., often growing on stumps. Delicate wisps of bright green, broom-like branches dotted with tiny, round leaves and translucent, bright red, tangy berries, excellent in pies. Best with shade and woody humus, where it will be drought tolerant. Z 6
VANCOUVERIA / INSIDE-OUT FLOWER / Berberidaceae / These three attractive groundcovers are from the coastal Northwest and deserve a bigger place in our gardens. The leaves are divided into three leaflets atop a wiry stalk arising from spreading underground stems. They create a lush carpet above which dangle the tiny, pointed flowers in airy sprays. These are forest plants and need shade and well-drained humus. They are drought-hardy.
Vancouveria hexandra / More or less deciduous, this one becomes a 10 in. deep carpet of thin, light green leaves topped by clouds of white flowers. Z7
VAUQUELINIA / ROSEWOOD / Rosaceae / Several beautiful evergreen shrubs and trees of the Southwest. Narrow, dark green leaves make a canopy of unusal lushness in their arid setting. Clusters of tiny white flowers are followed by brown seed capsules. These fine plants are rarely grown outside their native range, but seem easy to satisfy in a sunny, well-drained spot. Z 8
Vauquelinia californica / ARIZONA ROSEWOOD / Attractive evergreen shrub or small tree from the warmer Southwest. Glossy, tapered and finely toothed leaves, pale on the reverse, set off clusters of small white flowers and fibrous tan bark. Grows 8-15 ft. tall.
VERBENA / VERVAIN / Verbenaceae / Over 200 species of herbaceous and semi-woody plants grown for their showy, fragrant flowers and for medicinal uses. Pairs of leaves, often dissected, line erect or clambering stems that end in clusters of small flowers, usually in blue or purple, sometimes white or pink, or almost any color in garden cultivars. Most verbenas are found in moist habitats and appreciate sun and water, but many are drought-hardy.
Verbena macdougalii / MACDOUGAL’S VERVAIN / Southwestern perennial with erect stems to 3 ft. tall. Over a clump of hairy, ovate leaves rise spikes of lavender blue flowers, showy in summer. Sun, best where moist. Z 8
Verbena rigida / TUBEROUS VERVAIN / Rugged, semi-evergreen perennial from South America making a thicket of leafy 15 in. stems topped with clusters of vibrant magenta flowers throughout the warmer months. Showy splash of color in heat, drought (or not), sun. Z 7
VERONICA / SPEEDWELL / A huge number of mostly herbaceous plants united by their paired leaves and four-petalled, typically blue, flowers. Many grow along streams and few thrive in drought. The evergreen creepers are fine groundcovers; taller kinds are border favorites.
Veronica porphyriana / A new star for those who love blue. Ovate to narrowly triangular 1 in. leaves make a mat from which rise leafy 8 in. stems carrying dense spikes of vividly blue violet flowers. The striking show lasts all summer. Central Asian perennial for sun; fairly drought hardy. Z 3
VERONICASTRUM virginicum / BEAUMONT’S ROOT / One of our most stately American perennials. Long, narrow leaves are whorled along upright 4-6 ft. stems which end in long, slender spikes of bluish white flowers in summer. Best in part shade and with water; Z 3
Vervain – see Verbena
VIBURNUM / VIBURNUM / Caprifoliaceae (now Adoxaceae) / This big and varied genus supplies us with some of our most reliable landscape plants. The evergreens, especially V. tinus and V. x pragense, are beautifully rugged screen and background plants for mild climates, and they are highly drought tolerant. Among the deciduous species are some of our most elegant and fragrant flower displays and best shows of fall color. Taller species, such as V. opulus, V. setigerum and V. ellipticum are important wildlife plants.
Viburnum atrocyaneum / Rare evergreen shrub to 8 ft. with open sprays of rounded, 1 in. leaves opening coppery purple. Showy blue-violet fruit in fall and winter. A distinguished background or companion with other choice shrubs. Sun or part shade, drought tolerant. Z 8
Viburnum betulifolium / A tall deciduous Chinese shrub, its long, arching branches lined with ovate, toothed, 3-5 in. leaves that color purple in fall. Wide crowns of white flowers lead to bright red fruit. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum x bodnantense / Stiffly erect large shrub with ovate leaves coloring deep red in fall. Ungainly habit, which is easy to correct, is amply made up for by clusters of very fragrant, pale pink flowers opening November-March in any weather. Sun or part shade, best with water. Z 7
Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ / Flowers strong pink, leaves relatively broad.
Viburnum bracteatum / Large, roundish leaves of bright green show off clustered cobalt blue berries on this wide, 8 ft. deciduous shrub from Georgia. Sun, best where moist. Z 6
Viburnum buredjaeticum/ A large deciduous shrub, to 8 ft. tall and as wide. Stout, felted branches carry handsome narrow leaves to 8 in. long, glossy above and felted beneath; Large white flower clusters yield red and black fruits. Sun or shade; drought-hardy; z5.
Viburnum x burkwoodii / BURKWOOD VIBURNUM / Vigorous semi-evergreen shrub up to 10 ft tall and spreading wider. Glossy, rounded, 2 in. leaves and clusters of fragrant pink-white flowers late winter-spring. Rugged and hard working shrub for many uses. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum carlesii / KOREANSPICE VIBURNUM / Wonderfully fragrant pink flowers in tight clusters in May are the big feature of this rounded, 6 ft. deciduous shrub. Oval, 2-3 in. leaves turn red in fall. Sun or part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum cassinoides / WITHE ROD / Handsome large deciduous shrub from eastern North America with oval, glossy 3-5 in. leaves coloring deep red and purple. Dense, 4 in. wide clusters of cream flowers lead to red and pink berries ripening deep blue. Good in sun or shade. Z 2
Viburnum ‘Chesapeake’ / A valuable hybrid shrub 6-8 ft. tall with some of the heritage of V. x burkwoodii, but smaller, denser, more evergreen, with larger leaves and broad clusters of fragrant white flowers opening from red buds. Fruit red, ripening black. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum cinnamomifolium / CINNAMON VIBURNUM / The big brother of V. davidii, to 10 ft. with broad, eventually treelike habit. Wide, ribbed leaves 6 in. long give a stunning texture. Fruit red. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7-8
Viburnum cylindricum / Tall, rarely seen evergreen shrub or small tree to 15 ft. Oval, 4 in. leaves of soft bluish green, silvery below are accompanied by clusters of lilac-white flowers and frosted black fruits. Attractive larger foliage plant, drought hardy in sun or shade. Z 8
Viburnum davidii / DAVID VIBURNUM / Much used for its prominently ribbed, 3-4 in. evergreen leaves on a neat, spreading shrub 2-3 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide. Clusters of electric blue fruits are stunning. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 8
Viburnum dilatatum / LINDEN ARROWOOD / Asian deciduous shrub to 10 ft. with roundish, deeply veined leaves turning yellow and red in fall as multitudes of small, orange-red fruit ripen. Very handsome. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum edule / MOOSEWOOD / Native large deciduous shrub of northeast Asia and northern North America, south in our region to Oregon. Grows 8 ft. tall with upright form. Ovate, 3 in. leaves with shallow lobes color red and orange in fall. Broad clusters of white flowers yield bright red fruit. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum foetidum var. ceanothoides / A rare, largely evergreen shrub to 6-8 ft. with elegantly layered horizontal branches. Soft green, shallowly lobed, 2 in. leaves, showy clusters of white flowers in summer and red fruit. Part shade; fairly drought hardy. Z 7-8
Viburnum henryi / HENRY’S VIBURNUM / Quite distinct evergreen shrub to 10 ft., with its narrow, oblong 2 -3 in leaves, thick and shiny, in distant pairs on red twigs. With pollination, plants produce showy red berries. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7
Viburnum japonicum / JAPANESE VIBURNUM / One of the finest species in foliage, with its broad, 4-6 in. evergreen leaves of lustrous bright green on an upright 6-10 ft. shrub. Showy white flowers, red fruit add seasonal interest to this unusually hardy broadleaf evergreen. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7
Viburnum lantana ‘Mohican’ / The wrinkly, fuzzy, oval leaves of this variety are larger than in the species, to 4 in., shiny above, wooly below. Large crowns of white flowers turn to red berries ripening black. Attractive and sturdy deciduous landscape shrub to 8 ft. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 3
Viburnum mullaha / Rare large deciduous shrub from the Himalayas, with arching branches creating a broad, 10 ft. crown. Narrowly ovate leaves to 8 in. long point downward from reddish twigs, joined in fall by showy orange-red fruit. Sun or part shade. Z 7
Viburnum odoratissimum / SWEET VIBURNUM / Stately evergreen shrub or tree with luxuriant crown 10-15 ft. high. Oval, 4-5 in. leaves of mirror-like shine are the impressive setting for huge clusters of showy red fruit. Magnificent specimen or espalier. Native from south Asia to Japan. Best in part shade, where it is drought hardy. Z 8
Viburnum opulus / HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY / Hardy and colorful deciduous shrub growing 8-12 ft. tall and spreading much wider if allowed to sucker. White flowers of spring yield glowing red berries amid flaming, sharply lobed leaves in fall. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 4
Viburnum opulus ‘Aureum’ / GOLD HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY / Very nice cultivar just like the species but for the gold, sunlit coloring of the foliage, especially on newest growth; elegant against dark woodland. Part shade for best color.
Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum’/ DWARF HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY / Dense, mounded 2-3 ft. miniature with 2 in. leaves on broom-like branches which are bright red in winter. Fascinating in rock garden or front of border.
Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’ / SNOWBALL BUSH / Delightful, old-fashioned large shrub with the same lobed leaves as the species but with globes of creamy white sterile flowers, often fading pinkish. Same great fall color but no fruit. Sun or part shade, drought hardy.
Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’ / YELLOW FRUITED HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY / Fruit clear golden yellow on a pale-leaved shrub with a refreshing difference.
Viburnum plicatum / DOUBLEFILE VIBURNUM / The wild form of this exquisite deciduous shrub from Japan. Crown-like clusters of white flowers frost its beautifully layered branches in late spring. Handsome, pleated leaves turn purple and gold in fall as clusters of berries turn red. Sun, part shade; fairly drought hardy Z 4
Viburnum plicatum ‘Lanarth’ / One of the best cultivars of this outstanding deciduous shrub. Elegantly layered branches are lined in spring with crowns of white flowers. These may reappear in fall with the glowing red and purple of the foliage. A large shrub, to 10 ft. tall, spreading wider.
Viburnum plicatum var. lanceatum / A graceful, very rare form of the doublefile with long, narrow leaves and wide tiers of lacy white flower clusters in May. Sun or shade, fairly drought hardy z4
Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ / Perhaps the best of the doublefiles if you like the layered look. Very wide, horizontal branches carry a gorgeous icing of creamy white blooms in spring. Grows 8 ft. tall and 12 ft. across, coloring red and purple in fall. Best in part shade and with some water.
Viburnum plicatum ‘St Kevern’ / Glorious deciduous shrub up to 10 ft. tall. Swooping layers of crisp leaves are laden with rounded clusters of white flowers in late spring and glowing red and purple foliage in the fall. Part shade, fairly drought hardy.
Viburnum ‘Pragense’ / A robust hybrid evergreen reaching 10 ft. tall and spreading wider. Narrow, 4-6 in. leaves, dark, shiny and leathery, amply furnish its slender branches. Cream flowers make a modest spring show. Rugged and remarkably hardy to cold and drought. Z 6
Viburnum propinquum / Handsome, yet uncommon, spreading evergreen from China, to 8 ft tall, and much wider. Leaves distinctly narrow, 2-3 in. long, on red twigs, accompanied in summer by white flowers. Red fruits seldom seen in cultivation. A distinguished plant with many admirers. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 8
Viburnum rhytidophyllum / LEATHERLEAF VIBURNUM / Unmistakable foliage plant, a 10-15 ft. evergreen shrub or tree of remarkable hardiness. Its narrow, 6-10 in. leaves with wrinkled, leathery finish point downward from thick, fuzzy branches. White flowers, red fruits make a modest show. Best with some shade, drought hardy. Z 6
Viburnum x rhytidophylloides ‘Alleghany’ / Semi-evergreen shrub reaching 6 ft. tall. Leathery, tapered leaves 4-6 in. long give bold texture. Large clusters of white flowers, red fruit are seasonal decorations on a robust and useful plant. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 5
Viburnum sargentii / SARGENT VIBURNUM / An east Asian counterpart of V. opulus, and similar in its sharply lobed, maple-like leaves, crowns of white flowers, translucent red fruits and vivid fall color. Differs from V. opulus in its lower, wider form-to 9 ft. by 12 ft.- and the purple, not yellow, anthers. Early leafing (February here). Sun or part shade, drought-hardy; Z 4
Viburnum sargentii ‘Susquehanna’ / A selection from the US National Arboretum, this shrub has the same ‘maple-like’ foliage as the species, emerging very early, but more of the white lacecap flowers and brilliant red fruits. Fall color is a glowing red purple. Grows 12 ft. tall and somewhat wider.
Viburnum setigerum / Tall deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches. Ovate, coarsely toothed leaves to 4 in. are yellow and orange in fall as clusters of large fruits ripen in vibrant orange-red. Sun or part shade; fairly drought hardy. z5
Viburnum sieboldii ‘Seneca’ / A large deciduous Japanese shrub to 15 ft. with stout, erect stems carrying broad, pointed, 8 in. leaves coloring bronze-red in fall. Clusters of creamy flowers lead to large pink fruits that change to red, then deep blue. Part shade. Z 4
Viburnum suspensum / SANDANKWA / A large evergreen shrub from Japan, reaching 10 ft. The leaves resemble V. tinus but are larger, darker and more leathery. Pinkish white flowers in 4 in. clusters become red berries that ripen black. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 9
Viburnum tinus / LAURUSTINUS / Invaluable evergreen for many landscape uses. Oval, 1 1/2 – 3 in. leaves of bright green give all-year luxuriance. Clusters of pink buds open to fragrant white blooms from fall to spring and lead to metallic blue berries. Most forms grow 8-12 ft. tall and not quite as wide. Sun pr part shade; drought hardy. Z 8
Viburnum tinus ‘Bewley’s Variegated’ / Leaves bright green with broad, irregular splashings of cream along the edges. One of the showiest variegated shrubs, slower and smaller than the species.
Viburnum tinus ‘Gwenlian’ / A superb, compact cultivar, with lots of large flower clusters much of the year, bright pink in bud, white blushed pink when open, and equally ample bright blue fruits. A broad 6 ft. shrub.
Viburnum tinus var. hirtum / A form with large, rounded, hairy leaves. A tall plant, to 20 ft. sometimes, with large flower clusters fall to spring.
Viburnum tinus ‘Lucidum’ / SHINY LAURUSTINUS / Even better than the species, with larger, glossier leaves, but a bit less hardy.
Viburnum tinus ‘Pink Prelude’ / Plenty of flowers in pale pink from late winter through spring on a 10-12 ft. shrub.
Viburnum tinus ‘Robustum’ / Robust, indeed, to 15 ft. or more, with large, rounded leaves and extra hardiness.
Viburnum utile / SERVICE VIBURNUM / Open, spreading evergreen shrub to 8 ft. with narrow, 1-2 in. leaves of patent-leather shine and 2-3 in. clusters of white flowers. Extra hardy broad-leaved evergreen. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 7
Viburnum wilsonii / Deciduous shrub, 15 feet tall and as much in spread. White flowers open from pink buds in clusters 3 in. across early in spring. Golden orange fruits ripen to red and hold late, while the rounded, 2 in. leaves turn purple. Z 5
VITEX / Lamiaceae / Over 200 trees and shrubs of warm regions. Most are aromatic, with leaves divided fanwise, and spikes of small flowers. Some species are used medicinally and several are important landscape plants.
Vitex agnuscastus / CHASTE TREE / Handsome small tree with wide spreading branches tipped with palmately compound gray-green leaves and late-summer spikes of lilac blue flowers. One of the brightest flowers of summer, attractive to butterflies. It thrives especially in heat. Sun, drought hardy. Z 7
VITIS / GRAPE / Vitaceae / Grapes have been cultivated since the beginning of history. Besides their delectable fruits, these vines provide handsome foliage, often with spectacular fall color. They are ideal for a shade arbor, especially if the fruit is enjoyed. Grapes are vigorous deciduous tendril climbers that grow well in almost any sunny spot. They are drought hardy.
Vitis californica / CALIFORNIA GRAPE / Vigorous and attractive climber with roundish, toothed leaves 3-5 in. wide, coloring yellow to red in fall. Grapes pea-sized, often good. A nice native for wall or fence. Z 7
Vitis coignettiae / PAINTER’S GRAPE / Splendid grape with big 8-12 in. leaves, soft green or bluish, turning every bright color in fall, especially red-purple, as its black-purple (not tasty) fruit ripens. Magnificent on wall or trellis. Z 5
W W W
Wallflower – see Erysimum
Wattle – see Acacia
Wax-bells, yellow – see Kirengeshoma
WEIGELA / WEIGELA / Caprifoliaceae / About 15 deciduous flowering shrubs from eastern Asia, admired for their long season of bloom. Oval, pointed leaves in pairs are are joined in spring and summer by small clusters of flaring flowers in shades of red, pink, lilac or yellow. Weigelas are easy to grow, in sun or part shade; they are best with water.
Weigela florida ‘Variegata’ / A 6 ft. fountain of willowy branches furnished with 4-6 in. leaves brazenly edged creamy white. Nice pink flowers over a long season. A beautifully showy plant. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 5
Weigela japonica / Japanese shrub to 6 ft. with arching branches and ovate, 4 in. leaves. The trumpet-shaped flowers change from pale pink to rose in the same cluster, during a long late spring show. Sun or part shade; fairly drought hardy. z6
Weigela middendorfiana / YELLOW WEIGELA / A choice 6 ft. shrub from Japan and northern China, carrying oval, bright green leaves on arching branches. Ample clusters of light yellow flowers painted orange inside light up the plant in late spring and summer. Z 5
Weigela subsessilis / Rare deciduous shrub to 6 ft. with broad, hairy leaves and lovely light yellow flowers. scarce and beautiful plant for part shade, avarage soil. Z 4
Wheel tree – see Trochodendron
Whitebeam – see Sorbus
Whortleberry – see Vaccinium
Widow flower – see Knautia
Willow – see Salix
Willow herb – see Epilobium
Wineberry, mountain – see Aristotelia fruticosa
Winter creeper – see Euonymus fortunei
Wintergreen – see Gaultheria
Wonder tree – see Idesia
Wood rush – see Luzula
X X X X
XEROPHYLLUM texax / BEAR GRASS / Melanthiaceae / Distinctive, somewhat yucca-like evergreen plant of western mountains. Bold tussock of wiry green and silver leaves 1-2 ft. long surmounted by club-like, 4-6 ft. tall torch of tiny cream flowers. A unique accent plant in both native and exotic plantings. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 5
Y Y Y
Yerba buena – see Satureja douglasii
Yerba mansa – see Anemopsis californica
Yew – see Taxus
YUCCA / YUCCA / Asparagaceae / Bringing the allure of exotic, sunny places to the everyday landscape, these American originals are surprisingly adaptable. The hardiest species are native into Zone 4 and many Southwestern yuccas are hardy in Zone 7. Those from deserts need good drainage and sun; species from the Southeast take fairly wet conditions and some shade. All yuccas make big clumps of long, sword-like leaves that are usually wickedly sharp at the tip. Larger species carry their foliage atop an often branching trunk. Flowers are large bells, cream or pinkish, on tall, branching stalks that make quite a show.
Yucca angustissima / NARROWLEAF YUCCA / Small, low-growing species from the high desert. Very narrow 15 in. leaves in a tight globe. Flowers greenish with purple stain. Z 7
Yucca baccata / BANANA YUCCA / Low clumps of long, bluish, often recurved, 2 ft. leaves, edged with curling threads.. Flowers creamy, in tall clusters. Z 8
Yucca elata / SOAPTREE / Long, very narrow, gray leaves form tight globes on a shaggy, sparsely branched tree to 15 ft. Z 7
Yucca pallida / PALE-LEAF YUCCA / Stemless species from central Texas making a 2 ft. clump of flat, blue-gray leaves tipped with a yellow spine. Flowers large, white, in 8 ft. spikes. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Yucca schottii / MOUNTAIN YUCCA / A small tree of s. Arizona with narrow, gray-green leaves in dense globes atop shaggy, sometimes branched stems to 12 ft. Dense spikes of creamy flowers appear in summer. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Yucca thompsoniana / Shaggy, 6 ft. stems carry clusters of very narrow 18 in. leaves and spikes of creamy flowers. From Texas. Sun; drainage; Z 9
Yucca whipplei (Hesperoyucca w.)/ OUR LORD’S CANDLE / Distinctive species from S. Calif. making a silvery blue globe of thick, flattened, viciously sharp 2 ft. leaves topped eventually by a dense, 10 ft. torch of creamy flowers, after which the plant dies. Z 8
Z Z Z
ZANTHOXYLUM / PEPPER TREE / Rutaceae / A large genus of evergreen and deciduous, often spiny trees and shrubs from warmer climates around the world. All are memorably aromatic and several are important seasonings in Asia. Leaves are typically divided and feathery, bright green, coloring in fall in the deciduous species. Tiny green flowers lead to small berries from which the spices are derived. Most pepper trees are easy to grow, happy in sun or shade. They are best with water.
Zanthoxylum piperitum / JAPANESE PEPPER TREE / Shrubby deciduous thorny tree with 6-12 in. leaves composed of many ovate 1 1/2 in. leaflets, turning orange and purple in fall as aromatic pink berries ripen. Pungent black seeds used for seasoning in Japan. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 6
Zanthoxylum simulans / SZECHUAN PEPPER / Shrub-tree to 25 ft. with gracefully spreading crown. Leaves small, feathery, deciduous, golden in fall, on thorny branches. Fruit pink, pepper-scented, used in Asian cooking. Pretty and fun. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 7
Zauschneria cana / see Epilobium canum
ZELKOVA / Ulmaceae / A small group of deciduous trees from southern Europe and Asia, recalling the related elms in their graceful arching branches. Ovate leaves, scalloped or toothed in long sprays share the twigs with tiny, triangular nuts in fall, when the leaves color gold or russet. Resistant to disease, the zelkovas are well-proven urban trees.
Zelkova serrata / KEAKI / Handsome 40-50 ft. tree carrying narrow, tapered leaves on slender, gracefully spreading branches. Gold to maroon fall color can be breathtaking. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 5