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ELAEAGNUS / OLEASTER / Elaeagnaceae / Shrubs and small trees, evergreen and deciduous, from most of the Northern Hemisphere. Tough and adaptable, they are used in dry and difficult climates for screening, erosion control and even food. They tend to grow fast, even on poor soils, because they fix nitrogen in their roots. Though ordinary in their generally oval leaves and spreading habit, these plants are quite amazing in their metallic coloring. Leaves, twigs, even the berries, are finely speckled in silver, gold or copper, giving the plants a soft luster that sets them apart beautifully in mixed company. Tiny white, fragrant flowers cluster shyly under the leaves. All species are drought hardy.
Elaeagnus x ebbingii / HYBRID SILVERBERRY / Much like E. pungens, (below) but leaves a bit wider. Same great vigor and beauty.
Elaeagnus pungens / SILVERBERRY / Handsome and vigorous evergreen shrub 8-10 ft. tall and much wider. Coppery branches, spiny in places, carry 3-4 in. ovate leaves of lustrous green, silvery below, speckled in copper. Creamy flowers in fall waft a rich perfume to passersby. Red-orange, copper-speckled berries ripen in spring. A great screen or casual hedge, excellent on slopes, in sun or shade. Z 8
Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’ / VARIEGATED SILVERBERRY / One of the showiest variegated shrubs, the leaves boldly splashed lemon yellow. A cheering sight in winter, brightening a dark corner, perhaps joined by red camellias or hellebores.
Elecampane, showy – see Inula magnifica
Elderberry – see Sambucus
Elk clover – see Aralia californica
Elm – see Ulmus
ELSCHOLTZIA / Lamiaceae / Shrubs and herbs with the paired leaves, fuzzy flower spikes and herbal fragrances associated with the mint family. Only the plant below is much encountered in gardens.
Elscholtzia stauntonii / MINT BUSH / A semi-woody shrub to 3 ft. tall, carrying narrow, deeply veined leaves 2-3 in. long, smelling of spearmint, or sometimes peppermint, when crushed. Tiny rose-purple flowers in showy 3-4 in. spikes tip the branches in late summer and fall. Grown for mint oil production and useful for flavoring, this is also a delightful source of late color. Sun; best with water; Z 4
EMBOTHRIUM coccineum / CHILEAN FIRE TREE / Proteaceae / There is nothing quite like the flaming spectacle of this tree in bloom, its narrow form glowing neon red from top to bottom. Out of bloom it is ordinary, with narrow, jade green leaves on slender, upturned branches. It reaches 30-60 ft. tall, with a skinny shape that is easy to fit into tight spaces. Foliage may be evergreen or deciduous, though our hardy strain drops most leaves. The flowers, tubular and somewhat like honeysuckle, cluster along every branch in May, attended by many hummingbirds. Pointed woody capsules release papery seeds in fall.
Not always easy to establish but well worth the effort, embothrium needs good drainage and a sunny spot with evergreen shrubs shading its base. A slow or yellowish young plant may benefit from nitrogen fertilizer, but plants in this family are intolerant of phosphorous. An embothrium is drought hardy once established. Z 8
ENKIANTHUS / ENKIANTHUS / Ericaceae / A small group of deciduous Asian shrubs with many subtle beauties. Small leaves are artfully arranged on layered branches that provide a handsome year round architecture. Tiny, urn-like spring flowers hang in clusters beneath the foliage; fall brings a glow of red, orange or purple. Enkianthus are easy to grow in part or full shade, less happy in sun. They are best with water.
Enkianthus campanulatus / REDVEIN ENKIANTHUS / Rounded to relatively slender, even tree-like, to 8-12 ft. tall. Leaves are narrow, 1-2 in. long, radiating in clusters along the twigs, vibrant red or orange in fall. White to pinkish flowers, each finely penciled in red, show beautifully in late spring. Z 5
Enkianthus perulatus / WHITE ENKIANTHUS / Very like E. campanulatus, but the flowers are pure white and fall color tends toward orange and yellow. Z 5
EPILOBIUM / WILLOW HERB / Onagraceae / A world-wide genus of herbaceous plants, some of them common weeds, others choice garden subjects. Their needs are varied and hard to summarize, but most want sun. Flowers are small but numerous and showy, with four petals. Leaves are in pairs or threes. Seeds are tiny, with white fuzz that carries them on the wind.
Epilobium canum ( Zauschneria cana)/ CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA / Native from southwest Oregon to Arizona, this is a variable plant, with narrow, gray, 1 in. leaves on sprawling or upturned stems and tubular orange red flowers in late summer. Typically 12-18 in. tall in bloom, with eventually a forest of flowering stems over an area more than a yard wide, drawing hummingbirds and admiring eyes for two months. Needs sun, summer drought and sharp drainage, but easy to grow, spreading vigorously underground. Z 5
ERAGROSTIS / LOVE GRASS / Poaceae / A widespread group of slender-leaved grasses, some of them important for food or forage. The one below is a fine ornamental for warmer areas.
Eragrostis elliottii / BLUE LOVE GRASS / Thin, arching blades of soft blue green make a lovely, wind-rippled billow 2 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. Fluffy flowers and seed clusters droop gracefully from 3 ft. stems. A beautiful evergreen, massed on slopes or as a color spot in sun, good drainage. Z 7
ERICA / HEATH / Ericaceae / Also known as heathers, these evergreen shrubs divide into two groups: the few and relatively hardy European species and the many tender ones from S. Africa. The hardy heathers are mostly low, dense mounds of short, needle-like leaves. A few are much taller, to as much as 10 ft. All have tiny, urn-shaped flowers in dense, showy clusters. Low heathers are fine groundcover and make quite a sweep of color in bloom. Ericas need plenty of sun and well-drained soil. They become drought hardy but need careful watering the first year. The lower growers stay full and tidy if trimmed enough to remove faded blooms.
Erica arborea var. alpina / TREE HEATHER / From the Mediterranean and the mountains of east Africa, this tallest of heathers can reach 10 ft. Twisted trunks support swooping plumes of mossy green foliage, generously tipped with long spikes of white flowers in early spring. Unique sculptural feature for sunny border or rock garden. Z 7
Erica carnea / WINTER HEATH / A low carpet not over 6 in. deep and spreading a yard wide, its upturned branches lined with short, deep green needles and covered with tight clusters of flowers in white or shades of rosy pink, blooming here December to March. Reliable winter color in almost any weather and a fine groundcover, especially on sunny banks. Z 5
Erica carnea ‘Golden Starlet’ / A sensation, with foliage a glowing gold-chartreuse and flowers rosy pink.
Erica carnea ‘Vivelii’ / An old favorite for the purplish undertone of the foliage and the deep rose flowers.
Erica x darleyensis / DARLEY HEATH / A fine hybrid of E. carnea and E. erigena, with the best of both. Its taller stature, to 18-24 in., makes it a better weed barrier than E. carnea and shows off the flowers more effectively. From E. carnea it inherits mid-winter blooming and extra hardiness. Most kinds spread to 3-4 ft. wide. Z 6
Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’ / Flowers rich lavender pink, January to April.
Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Rote’ (‘Kramer’s Red’) / Flowers red violet, on deep green foliage suffused purple.
Erica erigena (E mediterranea) / MEDITERRANEAN HEATH / A loosely rounded shrub 3-4 ft. tall and at least as wide, with bright green 1/4 in. leaves on straight twigs. Small clusters of pink or white flowers sweep the plants with color in early spring. A favorite for its extra drought tolerance and long season of color. Z 7
Erica erigena ‘Alba’ / A tight 3 ft. dome smothered in white flowers March to May.
Erica erigena ‘Mediterranean Pink’ / A trade name for this old standby, a broad 3 ft. mound topped in lilac pink from late February to May.
Erica mediterranea – see Erica erigena
Erica multiflora / Rarely seen Mediterranean shrub 3-6 ft. tall. Tiny bright green needles line long, straight twigs topped in pale rose flowers in late summer and fall. Z 8
Erica scoparia / BESOM HEATH / A large Mediterranean heather, to 6 ft. tall, showing sinuous trunks through its diaphanous sprays of tiny bright green needles. Tapered spikes of greenish white flowers make an ethereal display in spring. Z 8
Erica terminalis / CORSICAN HEATH / An old favorite for its dense, billowy upright form reaching 6 ft. tall. Long, straight twigs lined with stiff 1/4 in. leaves give a nice architecture, highlighted by clusters of lavender flowers in mid summer. Rust colored seed capsules of the previous year make another layer of color through the branches. Makes a nice informal hedge. Z 7
Erica vagans / CORNISH HEATH / A broad mound of long branches, 2-3 ft. tall and twice as wide. The open habit and relatively long 1/2 in. leaves give a lighter look. Conical spikes of flowers brighten the plant from midsummer to fall. Z 5
Erica vagans ‘Lyonesse’ / Long spikes of white flowers decorated with dark brown anthers.
Erica vagans ‘Miss Waterer’ / Flowers a delicate rose pink, very abundant. Beautiful with blue Caryopteris and asters.
Erica vagans ‘Mrs. D. F. Maxwell’ / Flowers a strong carmine pink, unusual among heathers
Erica veitchii / A tree heather much like E. arborea, to 6-8 ft., with fragrant white flowers all over the branch ends in early spring; Z 8
ERIGERON / FLEABANE / Asteraceae / Only dry, technical details separate these plants from the Asters, but as a rule, fleabanes bloom in late spring or summer, before most asters. Some form evergreen carpets of basal foliage and are good small-scale groundcovers. They also tend to favor sunny, rocky or sandy places while most asters gravitate toward water. The particulars are described below.
Erigeron basalticus / BASALT DAISY / Small lilac-white daisies decorate the tops of stems lined with intricately lobed leaves in this rare gem from the arid Yakima Canyon, Washington. These basalt cliffs are the only habitat for this threatened species. Sun; sharp drainage; z 5
Erigeron glaucus / SEASIDE DAISY / A 2-3 ft. wide evergreen mat of thumb-shaped blue-green leaves is the stage for a nearly year-round show of wide lilac daisies on short stems. A most appealing native perennial from beaches of California and Oregon, outstanding in any sunny, well-drained spot. z8
Erigeron speciosus / CASCADES FLEABANE / Fine Northwest perennial wildflower of mountain roadsides. Bushy 2-3 ft. plants topped for many weeks in summer by lilac-blue to lavender-rose, fine-petaled daisies 2 in. wide. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. z3
ERIOBOTRYA / LOQUAT / Rosaceae / A small genus of beautiful evergreen trees from southern and eastern Asia. The two below are the most planted, primarily for their exotic foliage, but also for edible fruit in E. japonica. Where hardy, these decorative trees are choice material and fortunately quite adaptable and drought-hardy.
Eriobotrya deflexa / BRONZE LOQUAT / A bushy small tree from Taiwan, to 15 ft. tall and as wide. Leathery leaves, 6-10 in. long and 2 in. wide, shallowly toothed, emerge velvety red and change to copper, then deep green. Clusters of tiny white flowers produce inedible, grape-sized, deep red fruits. Sun or shade; Z 9
Eriobotrya japonica / JAPANESE LOQUAT / A rounded, low-branching tree to 30 ft. tall. Its narrowly oval, pointed leaves are thick, leathery and corrugated, shallowly toothed, pale underneath, 10-15 in. long. Clusters of creamy, sweet-scented flowers in fall and winter lead to luscious, orange, egg-shaped fruits that ripen in summer with a flavor of peach and pineapple. Even if frost spoils the earlier flowers, later ones can still produce fruit; trees are somewhat self-fruitful, but better with a mate. Best in sun for fruit, in shade for bigger leaves. Z 8
ERIOPHYLLUM lanatum/ OREGON SUNSHINE / Asteraceae /Native here in bright, well-drained locales, spreading sunshine through its bright, golden daisies on 6-10 in. stems, glowing above an evergreen mat of woolly gray, ornately lobed leaves. The cheerful show goes on for many weeks in late spring and early summer. Drought-hardy; Z 5
ERYSIMUM / WALLFLOWER / Brassicaceae /Biennials, perennials and shrubs giving an almost endless show of flowers. The bushy ones here are evergreen, with the typically narrow leaves and stalks of small, squared flowers, here, alas, not fragrant but produced most of the year. They fit well in any sunny, well-drained spot and need no water once established. Z 7-8
Erysimum ‘Bowle’s Mauve’ / BOWLE’S MAUVE WALLFLOWER / A tight, 2-3 ft. dome of narrow, blue-gray leaves above which spring 15 in. stalks lined with lilac purple flowers. The flower color goes on non-stop, except perhaps in late summer or after a bad freeze. Perhaps the effort is why they tend to expire after 4-5 glorious years.
Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’ (Cheiranthus l.) / VARIEGATED WALLFLOWER / If ‘Bowle’s Mauve’ is too tame, try this showstopper. The narrow, 3-4 in. leaves of this 2 ft. shrub are softly toothed and vividly edged cream. Flowers on tall stalks go even farther, opening lilac purple and passing to pink and apricot, and this goes on all year.
ESCALLONIA / ESCALLONIA / Escalloniaceae /These accommodating South American evergreen shrubs are among the best choices for screens and windbreaks in mild coastal zones. Their fine-textured foliage, which is often aromatic, makes a good backdrop. Small, tubular or bell-shaped flowers in white or shades of pink or red, opening in waves through the year, are a favorite of hummingbirds. Escallonias are best in sun, too lanky in more than half-shade. They stand shearing well and even those grown informally look better with a trimming from time to time. All are drought-hardy. Z 8 unless noted.
Escallonia ‘Albert Burkwood’ / A graceful 6 ft. plant with glossy, rounded, 1 in. leaves and relative large flowers in pale pink and rose. A bit open for hedging, but one of the prettiest in bloom.
Escallonia ‘Donard Radiance’ / Full, rounded shrub to 5-6 ft. tall and wide. Rounded, scalloped leaves of polished bright green and a generous display of pinkish red flowers spring and summer.
Escallonia ‘Donard Seedling’ / A large, fine-textured shrub to 8 ft. tall and wide. Oval, 1/2 in. leaves in bright green make it one of the best for screening and shearing. Generous waves of tiny pink and white flowers. Z 7-8
Escallonia x exoniensis ‘Frades’ ( E. ‘Pink Princess’)/ The common one, because it is good and reliable. Leaves to 1 1/2 in. long, more or less oval, shiny bright green, make a dense, 5-6 ft. shrub that takes shearing well. Pink and white flowers are showy most of the year.
Escallonia ‘Harold Coomber’ – see Escallonia x stricta
Escallonia illinita / A narrow, upright shrub, to 12 ft. or more. Light green, 1-2 in. leaves glow among other plantings and scent the garden with a maple fragrance. Small white flowers in long clusters can be showy. A good tall screen.
Escallonia laevis ( E. organensis) / Elegant species with narrow, oblong 2-3 in. leaves and massive clusters of white flowers from pink buds. Large and beautiful shrub to10 ft. or more; Z 9
Escallonia ‘Newport Dwarf’ / Popular for its compact shape, this makes a dense dome 2-3 ft. high and a bit wider. Rounded 1/2 in. leaves of polished bright green are interspersed with small clusters of deep pink flowers.
Escallonia organensis – see Escallonia laevis
Escallonia ‘Pink Princess’ – see Escallonia x exoniensis ‘Frades’
Escallonia ‘Pride of Donard’ / Narrowly rounded, polished, 1 in. leaves and rosy red flowers in summer on a rounded 5-6 ft. shrub. One of the best for shearing.
Escallonia pulverulenta / CORONTILLO / A large shrub with arching branches lined with oval 1-2 in. leaves in pale green, scented of maple in warm or moist weather. Small white flowers are a bonus. The foliage fragrance is amazing. Z 8-9
Escallonia rubra / A big shrub, to 10 ft. tall and at least as wide. Oval or spatula-shaped leaves 1-2 in. long line its long twigs. Deep pink to red, narrowly bell-shaped flowers are showy in spring and summer.
Escallonia rubra ‘C. F. Ball’ / Leaves especially glossy. Clusters of rosy red flowers all summer.
Escallonia rubra ‘Ingramii’ / Leaves to 3 in. long, flowers carmine pink, on long, graceful branches.
Escallonia rubra var. macrantha / A large evergreen shrub, to 10 ft. tall and as wide. Oval leaves 1-2 in. long and finely toothed, line its reddish tan branches. Clusters of red flowers open spring through fall, with hummingbirds in attendance. Fine large screen or espalier.
Escallonia x stricta ( E. ‘Harold Coomber’) / A narrowly upright shrub to 10 ft. tall, furnished with narrowly oval, 3/4 in. glossy, bright green leaves and abundant clusters of snowy white flowers. Superb screen plant and hardier than most.
Escallonia virgata / MATA NEGRA / A small, sometimes partly deciduous shrub from Chile with very narrow, glossy, 1/2 in. leaves on a stiffly upright shrub to 4 ft. tall. Small white flowers in short clusters. The hardiest one. Z 7
Escallonia viscosa / Tall shrub to 8 ft. or more, clothed in fleshy, light green 1-2 in. leaves that waft a delightful maple and curry odor into the air. Narrow spikes of white flowers add interest in summer. Sun, drought hardy. z9
Escallonia ‘Woodside’ / Low and sprawling, 2-3 ft. high and 6-8 ft. wide. Long, spreading branches with narrowly oval 1 in. leaves are dotted with red flowers. A very nice bank cover.
EUCALYPTUS / GUM / Myrtaceae / These 600 or so evergreen trees and shrubs come from Australia and nearby islands. Aromatic foliage, often gray or silvery blue, and beautiful bark, set the eucalyptus apart. The leaves, with their cold-remedy odors, come in two forms: juvenile leaves typically are rounded or triangular and stalkless, often silvery, arranged in pairs; adult leaves, arising one at a time, are more slender, often darker, and have a stalk. Adult foliage takes over in 1-3 years except on stump sprouts.
Eucalyptus flowers are like cups with a lid which is made of the fused petals. This pops off to allow the stamens to expand into a powder puff in white or less commonly pink, red or yellow- lovely to see and very attractive to bees. Flowers of trees described here are white unless otherwise noted. These mature into woody capsules from which the tiny seeds sprinkle like pepper.
Eucalypts grow fast, sometimes explosively so. They need full light and will lean sharply away from shade. The trees should not be staked; if one flops, cut it to 6 in. above the ground in spring and select a new trunk from the resulting sprouts. Eucalypts are happy in nearly any soil and need no water once established except in hot, dry climates. In the Northwest, frost is the limiting factor, and we offer most of the best species for this region.
Eucalyptus archeri / ALPINE CIDER GUM / A slender tree to 40-70 ft. with egg-shaped, 2-3 in. adult leaves and round juvenile ones, both in deep gray green or blue green. Branches are reddish, peeling to a green inner bark; older bark is tan. A little hardier than most forms of E. gunii, from which it is hard to distinguish. Z 8
Eucalyptus coccifera / TASMANIAN SNOW GUM / Broad tree to 30 ft. or more, with small, blue gray, peppermint scented leaves and attractive flaking tan and gray bark. variable hardiness, ours likely good to z8. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Eucalyptus glaucescens / TINGIRINGI GUM / Among the most silvery eucalypts, with brilliant round juvenile leaves and narrow, deep blue-green adult ones on white branches. Slender, willowy tree to 50 ft. Z 8
Eucalyptus gunnii / CIDER GUM / Slender tree to 80 ft., eventually widening a bit, with billows of silvery 2-3 in. oval leaves on white twigs. Older branches are tan peeling to white, gray or green; bark of older trunks is thicker, gray tan to cinnamon. Silver, round juvenile foliage (‘silver dollar’) makes choice cut material. Z 8
Eucalyptus gunnii ssp divaricata / An even hardier form, and perhaps prettier as well. Silvery blue leaves on pink twigs; white and gray trunk. Z 8
Eucalyptus lacrymans (E. pauciflora f. pendula) / Like E. pauciflora ssp. niphophila in most ways, except for the graceful weeping of the branches. Just as hardy as the snow gum, or even more so. Z 7b
Eucalyptus leucoxylon f. rosea / RED-FLOWERED YELLOW GUM / Small, irregularly spreading tree with willowy, blue-gray leaves and bright pink to red flowers. This is about the hardiest eucalypt with flowers this color, also worthwhile for the white branches. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 9
Eucalyptus neglecta / OMEO SWAMP GUM / As the name implies, this will grow in wet places, but it is drought-hardy as well. Big, round, bluish green juvenile leaves 4 in. long are a nearly permanent state for this bushy small tree; some individuals grow up to have oval, pointed ones in a darker green. New growth, produced all year, is pink to wine red. Branches arch out under the weight of luxuriant foliage, making the tree full from the ground up. Usually tops out at 20 ft. or less. Z 8
Eucalyptus niphophila / see Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. niphophila
Eucalyptus nitens / SHINY TOP / Immense tree to 150 ft. or more, with stout, shaggy trunk. Big, silver juvenile leaves give way to foot-long sickle shaped adult ones on long, wandering branches. Fast growing landmark tree for big spaces. Z 8-9
Eucalyptus parvula / SMALL-LEAVED GUM / A lovely small tree with a billowy, spreading crown of narrow, 2-3 in. blue-gray leaves on red twigs. Grows 15-20 ft. tall on a gray trunk. Great for a filmy screen or a feature tree in a small garden. Z 8
Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp niphophila / ALPINE SNOW GUM / From Australia’s highest mountains, this gorgeous tree can take the cold. Slender, pointed leaves in blue gray on white twigs and branches stand out in any light. The broad, rounded crown, to 30-50 ft. tall, is supported by an elegantly leaning, sinuous trunk in patches of white, gray and tan. The ultimate focal point. Z 7b
Eucalyptus perriniana / SPINNING GUM / A broad tree to 30 ft. tall, the smooth beige and green trunk peeling in ribbons. Classic rounded ‘silver dollar’ juvenile foliage is replaced with slender, 4-6 in. leaves in shiny, dark gray green. A favorite hardy eucalypt in the Northwest, quick to regrow if cut by frost. Z 8
Eucalyptus urnigera / URN GUM / One of the hardiest eucalypts, making a large tree to 100 ft. or more with smooth gray-tan bark. Rounded, silvery-blue juvenile leaves are replaced by narrow, 2-5 in. adult leaves of deep green to blue-gray. Sun; drought. Z 8
EUCRYPHIA / EUCRYPHIA / Eucryphiaceae (now Cunoniaceae)/ Beautiful trees from South America and Australia, and hybrids between them, which are among the specialties of mild, coastal gardens. The leaves are either simple or pinnately compound (feather-like), on very slender twigs. White flowers with four broad petals and a showy clump of long stamens, open in summer.
Most eucryphias are evergreen, though E. glutinosa is typically deciduous. They tend to grown several trunks and many vertical main branches. With foliage down to the ground, they serve well as screens. Eucryphias seem happiest in the woodland edge, shaded from the hottest sun, in a well-drained humus. They are fairly drought hardy but demand a climate free of extremes of heat and cold.
Eucryphia glutinosa / NIRRHE / A lovely small Chilean tree to 15-20 ft. tall, scarce in the wild and even rarer in gardens. Its 3-5 in. leaves, divided into 5-7 narrow, toothed leaflets, usually color in soft red and gold at year’s end and drop, leaving the twigs tipped in bright green buds. Fragrant white flowers with purple stamens stud the branches in summer. Z 7-8
Eucryphia lucida / LEATHERWOOD / A very slender evergreen tree from Tasmania, usually 10-20 ft. tall, sometimes more. Narrowly oval leaves, 1-1 1/2 in long, are glossy medium green, silver on the back. They open from curious, waxy yellow buds. Small, cup-like flowers, sweetly scented, open in summer. Z 8-9
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’ / A delectable form with flowers in translucent cherry-blossom pink. Sometimes shy flowering, but each flower is a jewel.
Eucryphia x intermedia ‘Rostrevor’ / A self-sown seedling from that great Irish garden, this is a hybrid of E. lucida and E. glutinosa. The trans-oceanic alliance produced a gorgeous evergreen tree, clothed to the ground with glossy, narrow, toothed, 1-2 in. leaves on wiry gray twigs. Fragrant, 2 in. white flowers layer the branches in summer. Probably the hardiest evergreen eucryphia. Z 8
Eucryphia x nymansensis / Another garden hybrid, from Nymans in southern England. This cross of E. glutinosa and E. cordifolia makes an evergreen tree to 30 ft. or more. Glossy, narrow, deep green leaves 2-3 in. long make the tree a bit coarser and more see-through than E. x intermedia ‘Rostrevor’. The flowers are larger, to 3 in. wide. Not quite as hardy as ‘Rostrevor’, but quick to recover from cold. Z 8-9
Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Mt. Usher’/ Differs from the above description in the fact that some of its 3 in. flowers have extra petals.
Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ / The original form, which fits the description of E. x nymansensis above.
EUONYMUS / SPINDLE / Celastraceae / Here is another varied bunch, with trees, shrubs, groundcovers and climbers, evergreen and deciduous. Leaves are in pairs, flowers are tiny, greenish and none-too-showy, fruit a boxy capsule in red, pink or yellow, splitting to reveal red seeds within. The evergreen ones are planted, not surprisingly, for foliage, which they produce luxuriantly. Deciduous species provide some of our best fall color, both in flaming foliage and in their colorful seed capsules, which can resemble flowers on the bare branches. The euonymus are mostly drought-hardy and unconcerned about soil. Evergreens take sun or shade; deciduous kinds color and fruit better in sun, preferably with some lower shrubs at the base.
Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ / COMPACT BURNING BUSH / This deciduous shrub is often over-planted, but anyone seeing its radiant rosy red fall foliage wants one. Stiff branches, often with lengthwise wings or ridges, carry 2-3 in. deep green leaves in neat rows. While the foliage is on fire, the tiny seed capsules ripen to red. This cultivar is a dense, layered shrub 6 ft. tall and wide. Best with water and sun. Z 4
Euonymus europaeus / EUROPEAN SPINDLE / Deciduous shrub-tree 10 to 20 ft. tall. Its ovate, 2-3 in. leaves and slender branches are the same dark green. Makes a startling show of bright pink fruit in fall along with purplish red fall color. Rugged and easy in sun or part shade. Z 3
Euonymus europaeus ‘Aldenhamensis’ / Renowned for its especially prolific display of rosy red fruits showing off orange seeds.
Euonymus europaeus ‘Atrorubens’ / Foliage of this old cultivar is tinged with purple and the fruit capsule is a stunning cranberry red.
Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’ / The fruits of this selection are rosy red, borne profusely.
Euonymus fortunei ‘Kewensis’ / KEW WINTER CREEPER / A fascinating miniature of a rugged, evergreen Japanese creeper. Round leaves 1/4 in. wide are deep green, with pale veins, for those with good eyes. These green dots line fine, branching runners that intertwine to form a billowy carpet 2-3 in. deep, or a beautiful, self-clinging tracery on a wall or tree trunk. Best in some shade. Z 5
Euonymus hamiltonius ssp. sieboldianus / YEDDO SPINDLE TREE / A gracefully spreading deciduous tree from Japan to 20 ft. tall and as wide. Narrowly oval leaves 3-5 in. long color pink in fall, chiming in with the rosy pink fruits that open to reveal red seeds. The capsules stay behind after leaf drop, looking like out-of -season cherry blossoms. An amazing picture, beautiful for weeks. Z 4
Euonymus japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ / A compact evergreen Japanese shrub to 2-3 ft. tall and as wide. This cultivar carries the same head-to-toe rich green as the species, but in narrowly oval 1 in. leaves on dense, upturned branches. Good for a low hedge, fine container centerpiece. Z 7
Euonymus myrianthus / A rare small evergreen tree from China with a spreading canopy 15-20 ft. tall and as wide. Thick, bright green leaves, 2-3 in. long, are arranged in flat sprays. Rather showy clusters of chartreuse flowers open in late spring followed in fall by orange-yellow capsules 3/4 in. wide that split to show off red seeds. This excellent ornamental plant deserves to be popular. Best with some shade. Z 7b
Euonymus phellomanus / CORKTREE / Large deciduous shrub with winged green branches laden with large, hot pink fruits as foliage turns to smoldering red. Very scarce but highly praised. Sun or part shade; drought hardy; z5
EUPHORBIA / SPURGE / Euphorbiaceae / A huge, worldwide genus with plants of many kinds, from soft, leafy weeds to spiny, succulent trees. In between these extremes are many pleasingly different perennials and shrubs for the garden. Most have narrow leaves, radiating densely from thick, upturned stems. Flowers are small, rounded, in domed clusters, usually yellow or greenish, sometimes orange, colorful for months. Seeds come in round pods and may spread the plant more than you want. Euphorbias need sun and most like sharp drainage. They exude a milky sap when cut that may irritate skin.
Euphorbia characias ssp wulfenii / MEDITERRANEAN SPURGE / An evergreen shrub 3-4 ft. tall and as wide. Linear, blue green 3-5 in. leaves give strong color and texture. Domes of chartreuse flowers opening in February and March age yellow or orange by summer. Indispensable beauty for dry, sunny borders and slopes, great with ceanothus, rosemary, heathers. Z 8
Euphorbia rigida / SILVER SPURGE / A sprawling evergreen making long, upturned stems lined with narrowly triangular, 1 1/2 in. leaves in silvery blue and tipped with clusters of greenish yellow flowers in spring. To about 12-18 in. tall, spreading wider. Best among rocks, in sharp drainage. Z 8
EUPTELEA / EUPTELEA / Eupteleaceae / Two rare deciduous trees from Asia, with a primitive plant family all their own. Rounded, long-stalked leaves with attractive veins and an intricate pattern of marginal teeth, are the big appeal; they are very colorful on opening as well as before they drop. Tiny reddish flowers – look closely- lead to equally tiny winged seeds. Eupteleas prefer part shade and are best with water. Z 7
Euptelea polyandra / JAPANESE EUPTELEA / Leaves 3-5 in. wide, rounded to diamond-shaped, with longer teeth regularly spaced among the shorter ones and a long, slender tip. They open reddish purple and color bright red late in fall. To 15-20 ft. tall and as wide. Delicate beauty for part shade.
Eurybia macrophylla – see Aster macrophyllus
EURYOPS / BUSH DAISY / Asteraceae / These evergreen South African shrubs appeal with their foliage as much as their flowers. Leaves are of various kinds and colors, but always aromatic. Daisy flowers in white, cream or yellow, tend to open most of the year. Plants are dense, more or less rounded. They all want sun and good drainage and all are drought hardy.
Euryops pectinatus ‘Viridis’ / GREEN EURYOPS / Brilliant deep green leaves, 2-4 in. long and divided into narrow lobes, make a rounded 3-4 ft. shrub. Bright yellow daisies 2 in. wide on thin stems are scattered over the plant for most of the year, especially winter and spring. Excellent in pots, fine in the sunny, dry border with wallflowers, ceanothus, rosemary. Z 9
EXOCHORDA / PEARL BUSH / Rosaceae / Lovely, large deciduous shrubs related to the spiraeas. The main difference is in the larger flowers, up to an inch wide, opening from clusters of pearl-like buds. Seeds are in ribbed, woody capsules. These are large plants that need room to spread their graceful branches. They are fairly drought hardy, at their best with partial shade.
Exochorda racemosa / Broad, spreading Chinese shrub to 8 ft. tall and twice as wide. Narrowly oval, bright green to blue-green leaves 1-2 in. long line its slender, arching branches. Clusters of round, white buds open into sprays of 1 1/2 in. wide flowers in spring. A real beauty, too seldom grown. Z 4b
F F F
FALLUGIA paradoxa / APACHE PLUME / Rosaceae / A distinctive evergreen or deciduous shrub from the high deserts of the Southwest, growing 3-4 ft. tall and about as wide. Slender, whitish branches carry finely dissected leaves up to 1 in. wide, silvery underneath. Showy 1 in. white, anemone-like flowers open in spring, followed by feathery seeds in pale pink plumes 2 in. long at the branch tips. Very nice companion to other drought-hardy shrubs- lavenders, yuccas, artemisias. Z 5
False Indigo – see Amorpha
FATSIA japonica / JAPANESE ARALIA / Araliacaea / Subtropical shade plant to 10 ft. or more. Huge, evergreen palmate leaves up to 18 in. across are whorled atop heavy stems. Big winter flower clusters of architectural interest, with globes of white flowers in branching clusters. Black berries ripen in spring. A go-to plant for exotic effects in less-than-tropical conditions. Shade, fairly drought hardy, but more awesome with water. z8
FEIJOA/ see ACCA
FENDLERA rupicola / FENDLER BUSH / Hydrangeaceae / A narrowly upright deciduous shrub from the Southwest, related to the mock oranges (Philadelphus). Inch-wide, deliciously fragrant white flowers, opening from pink buds, smother the branches in late spring, above small, narrow, dark green leaves. Sun or part shade; drainage. Drought-hardy; Z 5
Fescue- see Festuca
FESTUCA / Fescue / Poaceae / About 300 species of grasses from around the world. Most have fine, even hair-like leaves and small, airy plumes of flowers and seeds. Like most grasses, they want sun and good drainage. Their dense, rounded forms and soft textures make them effective accents, especially in large drifts.
Festuca californica / CALIFORNIA FESCUE / One of the main components of the fuzzy gold that upholsters California’s hillsides for much of the year. In gardens, this is an airy, evergreen clump of thin, blue-green leaves 12-18 in. high. The creamy flowers make a mist high over the plant in late spring. Lends softness and light to any drought-hardy planting, turning gold only in the drought of late summer. Z 7
Festuca glauca / BLUE FESCUE / A dense tuft of threadlike, silvery blue, evergreen leaves growing 12 in. high and wide. Creamy flowers in fluffy sprays open atop 18 in. stems. A classic color accent, all the more impressive in large sweeps. Native to Europe. Drought-hardy; Z 4
Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ / An especially bright blue selection.
Festuca idahoensis ( F. roemeri) / IDAHO FESCUE / Similar to California fescue, and important over a huge area from California to B.C. and east to the Rockies. A 12-18 in. clump of very thin, light green to bluish leaves topped by airy flower sprays in late spring. Adds misty beauty to dry plantings; best in sharp drainage. Z 4
Fir – see Abies
Fir, China – see Cunninghamia
Fir, Douglas – see Pseudotsuga
Fire tree, Chilean – see Embothrium
Flannel bush / see Fremontodendron
Flax- see Linum
Fleabane- see Erigeron
Foamflower – see Tiarella
FONTANESIA phillyraeoides / SYRIAN PRIVET / Oleaceae / A little known deciduous shrub native from s. Europe to China. Narrowly oval to lance-shaped leaves 1-4 in. long make a billowy crown 8-15 ft. tall and as wide. Tiny green-white flowers in short clusters open among the leaves in late spring. Small, papery seeds ripen in fall as foliage turns yellow. Lends refreshing softness to hot, dry gardens. Z 6
FORSYTHIA/ FORSYTHIA / Oleaceae / Among the showiest announcements of spring, these large deciduous shrubs are one of the most familiar and welcome. Long branches laden with four-petaled flowers in bright yellow burst into color at the first hint of spring. Oval, pointed leaves make them very average in summer, though they may take on gold and purple fall tints. Forsythias are ridiculously easy to grow, wanting only a fairly sunny spot, not too dry.
Forsythia suspensa ‘Atrocaulis Nymans’ / A large shrub, 6 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide. Long, arching branches tinted dark purple contrast elegantly with the pale lemon flowers.
FRAGARIA / STRAWBERRY / Rosaceae / These low, mostly running plants are famous for their luscious fruits. They also make great groundcovers, with their three-parted, mostly evergreen leaves clustered along runners, which root as they go. The species here make pleasant white flowers and tiny but delectable fruit. All fruit best in sun and make a denser growth there, but they tolerate some shade. They are fairly drought hardy.
Fragaria chiloensis / EVERGREEN STRAWBERRY / Native here and around the Pacific Ocean, even in Hawaii. Glossy, dark green leaves make a sparkly groundcover, dotted with white flowers but, alas, few fruits. Sun or part shade; best where sandy; Z 7-8
Fragaria moupinensis / CHINESE STRAWBERRY / Rare in gardens, this species has deep green leaves with fine silvery hairs and a handsome pattern of deep veins. Small white to pink berries are sweet and tasty. A most attractive groundcover, happy in light shade. Z 7?
Fragaria vesca / WOODLAND STRAWBERRY / From cooler areas around the Northern Hemisphere, this plant has running and non-running forms. Those selected for their larger fruits are clumping, semi-evergreen plants 6-12 in. high bearing conical red fruits 1 in. long with an exquisite aroma. They fruit well in sun or partial shade. Wild forms from our area are mostly running and found in dappled shade, where they bear tiny fruits. Z 4
Fragaria virginiana / MOUNTAIN STRAWBERRY / Native from coast to coast, this strawberry is a mountain plant out here, found in sunny, rather dry places. Though its white flowers and tiny red fruits are typical, its light blue-green leaves make it a standout. A very nice groundcover in bright, well drained landscapes. Z 3
FRAXINUS / ASH / Oleaceae / Delicate, usually feathery leaves in pairs give the ashes a refreshing lightness that makes them ideal shade trees. Tiny greenish or white flowers, very showy in some species, lead to winged seeds. Many ashes prefer moist soils but most are not that particular. The ashes of Asia Minor and the Southwest are drought hardy. For mountain ashes (leaves not paired, seeds in colorful berries) see Sorbus.
Fraxinus latifolia / OREGON ASH / Native here from Washington to S. California, this is a narrowly rounded tree to 70 ft. tall. Leaves 12-18 in. long, with oval, pointed leaflets, turn yellow or chartreuse in fall. An abundant tree of wet soils, our last deciduous tree to leaf. Z 7
Fraxinus ornus / FLOWERING ASH / A rounded tree 30-50 ft. tall, native of s. Europe. Leaves 8-15 in. long, divided into glossy, oval leaflets, color yellow to deep purple in fall. Billowy plumes of fragrant greenish cream flowers make an impressive show in June. Very drought hardy. Z 6
Fraxinus paxiana / A rare tree to 60 ft. in the wilds of China, slow and probably smaller in gardens. Leaves 15 in. long carry several long, narrow leaflets giving a dramatic texture. Large clouds of creamy flowers in late spring add to the drama. Probably best in moist, well drained soil. Z 7?
FREMONTODENDRON / FLANNEL BUSH / Steculiaceae / Two species of unique evergreen shrubs, and hybrids of them, from California, Arizona and n. Mexico. Rounded leaves with three broad lobes, velvety medium green above and creamy or gray felted below, line long, straight, spreading branches. Round, cupped flowers with five broad petals, orange to golden yellow, appear through much of the year. Woody seed capsules with irritating hairs follow. These are among the most unusual and glamorous native plants of the Southwest, worth trying anywhere with sun, dry summers and well drained soil. Z 8
Fremontodendron ‘California Glory’ / A hybrid of the two species, with great hybrid vigor, quickly growing to 20 ft. tall and nearly as wide. Gets some orange tints in its flowers from F. mexicanum and hardiness from F. californicum. Remarkably adaptable. Z 8
Fremontodendron ‘Ken Taylor’ / Another terrific hybrid, reaching 6-10 ft. tall. Small, light green, 2 in. leaves make it look almost silvery. Flowers, with slender points at the petal tips, shade to reddish orange inside. Z 8b
Fringe cup – see Tellima
GARRYA / SILKTASSEL / Garryaceae / Evergreen shrubs native from the Northwest south through Mexico and Central America. Their thick, oval leaves are in pairs. Flowers are tiny, opening mainly in winter in hanging, creamy tassels that are pollinated by wind. Female plants bear clusters of small berries. These attractive foliage plants, which give a unique winter display, are still uncommon. They are easy to grow in sun or part shade and well drained soil.
Garrya elliptica / COAST SILKTASSEL / Broad, evergreen shrub of sw Ore. and Calif. growing 10-15 ft. tall. Luxuriant masses of round, wavy-edged 2-3 in. leaves, gray-velvety below. Silvery, pendant, 8 in. flower tassels in winter are quietly spectacular; female plants bear purple berries. Sun, drainage, drought. Z 8
Garrya elliptica ‘Evie’ / A more compact form, to 6 ft. tall, with especially abundant tassels.
Garrya flavescens / PALE SILKTASSEL / Growing with shrub oaks and manzanitas bordering the lower deserts of the Southwest, this large evergreen shrub stands out for its light green coloring. Oval 1-2 in. leaves give the plant a full figure. Silvery flower tassels droop from the branches in early spring; purple berries cluster on female plants in fall. Nice accent for dry border Z 7
Garrya x issaquahensis / HYBRID SILKTASSEL / Vigorous hybrid of G. elliptica andG. fremontii, much like the former except for its even greater vigor and easier cultivation. Lush masses of oval, shiny, deep green, 2 in. leaves are the setting for 8-10 in. silvery flower tassels in winter. Sun or part shade, drought-hardy. Z 7
xGaulnettya wisleyensis – see Gaultheria wisleyensis
GAULTHERIA / Ericaceae / A large genus of evergreen shrubs from moist temperate regions around the world. Glossy, generally oval leaves, small urn-shaped flowers and round berries are the common characteristics. Some have edible fruits; G. shallon of the Northwest was a major food source for native people. Gaultherias want fairly moist, woodsy humus with good drainage; most species need some shade. All are superb ornamental plants, first rate all year.
Gaultheria ovalifolia / OREGON WINTERGREEN / A charming 4-8 in. deep carpet of shiny, oval 1 – 1 1/2 in. leaves on thin, spreading branches. White to pinkish, urn-shaped flowers with a red calyx lead to edible red berries. From shady, moist woodland at mid- to high elevations. In gardens requires moist humus and shade; Z 4
Gaultheria procumbens / WINTERGREEN / From woodlands of the Northeast, this charming creeper makes a carpet of oval, 1 in. leaves studded in spring with pinkish white flowers and, the rest of the year, bright red berries. These fruits yield oil of wintergreen and make a pleasant, if not sweet, snack. Part or full shade. Z 4
Gaultheria shallon / SALAL / Ubiquitous and beautiful native forest groundcover here, growing 2-4 ft. deep. Oval, 2-4 in. leaves are the ‘lemon leaves’ of florists. White to pinkish flowers in long clusters, edible blue-black berries. Drought-hardy; prefers shade. Z 6
Gaultheria trichophylla / HIMALAYAN SNOWBERRY / Rare and so desirable, this gem produces pea-sized berries in shades of bright sky blue and cobalt on a low, spreading cushion 4-8 in. high and 1-2 ft. wide. Tiny, oval, deep green leaves 1/2 in. long open reddish and fuzzy. Clusters of pink flowers precede those amazing berries. For light shade, shelter. Z 7
Gaultheria x wisleyensis ( xGaulnettya w.)/ A very nice hybrid of salal and one of the Chilean species formerly call Pernettya mucronata. Like a half-scale salal, this mounds 2-3 ft. tall, with round-oval 1 in. leaves, small white flowers and deep purple berries. Attractive and useful in sun or part shade. Z 7
GAURA lindheimerii / BUTTERFLY GAURA / Onagraceae / An outstanding, durable perennial from the Texas and Louisiana. Big clumps of 3-4 ft. stems, clad in narrow leaves on the lower half, open clouds of small white flowers from pink buds over several months in summer. A drought hardy beauty for full sun, good drainage. Z 5
Gayfeather – see Liatris
GERANIUM/ CRANESBILL / Geraniaceae / A large group of perennials from around the world. They are valuable in gardens, where they provide much beauty and ask little in return. Flowers are typically saucer-shaped, clustered above the foliage. Leaves are round in outline, slightly to intricately lobed or cut. The plants range from low creepers to shrubby plants 4-5 ft. tall. Geraniums are happy in sun or part shade and are fairly drought hardy. The tender bedding geraniums and scented geraniums are in the related genus Pelargonium.
Geranium psilostemon / A grand species from Turkey, with large flowers of intense magenta, and bright green, deeply cut leaves on branches up to 3 ft. tall. Best placed where it can get some support from its neighbors. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 6.
Geranium sanguineum / BLOODY CRANESBILL / European native that has become a garden staple. Low mounds of round, deeply cut 2 in. leaves, partly evergreen, are well dotted with round 1 1/2 in. flowers in shades of pink and purplish red over much of the year. A fine groundcover in small areas, fine in rockeries or in the border. Sun; Z 5
Geranium sanguineum var. striatum / Flowers pale pink with fine red lines. Quite elegant.
Geranium sanguineum ‘Vision’ / Flowers in shades of pink, rose and deep magenta in summer. Many months of color for the border or dry garden.
Germander – see Teucrium
GEUM / AVENS / Rosaceae / Found almost everywhere, these 50 or so perennials share very similar, round flowers with five petals much like those of the related strawberry. Leaves are divided into toothed leaflets. Most plants are mounding, a few spread by runners. These are easy plants, happy in average to moist soil, often flowering for months.
Geum coccineum ‘Borisii’ / A 15 in. wide mound of hairy, coarsely divided leaves makes a good evergreen stage for the many 1 1/2 in. wide, semi-double orange red flowers with yellow centers. These cluster atop 18 in. stems in a bright show that goes on for months, especially if faded blooms are removed. Part shade; Z 5
GLEDITSIA / HONEYLOCUST / Fabaceae / Lacy deciduous trees from around the world, their trunks defended by tangles of enormous, branching spines. Feathery leaves cast light shade from their spreading canopies; inconspicuous flowers lead to giant, flat, woody seed pods. Most species are drought hardy
Gleditsia caspica / CASPIAN HONEYLOCUST / A rounded tree to 40 ft. fantastically armed with branching spines. Large, feathery leaves 12 in. long, with glossy 2 in. leaflets, are lemon yellow in fall. Z 6
Gleditsia sinensis / CHINESE HONEYLOCUST / A broad, open tree to 60 ft. with large, pinnately compound leaves; bigger leaflets give a coarser effect than in most honeylocusts. The big pods are glaucous blue when ripe. Sun; drought-hardy; Z 5
Goatsbeard – see Aruncus dioicus
Goldenrod – see Solidago
Golden chain tree – see Laburnum
Golden rain tree – see Koelreuteria
Goji berry – see Lycium
Goldbanner – see Thermopsis
GOMPHOSTIGMA virgatum / OTTERBOSSIE / Loganiaceae / An erect, eventually weeping evergreen shrub from S. Africa, scarce in gardens but very worthy. Very narrow, 1 in. leaves, gray green above and white underneath, neatly line straight, silvery twigs. Small, vividly white flowers cluster at branch ends in summer. In the wild, this ghostly shrub lines watercourses, its arching branches giving the effect of silvery willows. To about 6 ft. in gardens, where it wants a sunny spot, moist or dry. Z 8
Gooseberry – see Ribes
Grape – see Vitis
Grass, blue-eyed – see Sisyrinchium
Grass, blue oat – see Helictotrichon sempervirens
Grass, feather – see Stipa
Grass, pheasant – see Anemathele
Grass, yellow-eyed – see Sisyrinchium californicum
GREVILLEA / SPIDER FLOWER / Proteaceae / Wildly different and varied, these Australian evergreen shrubs have been soaring in popularity. Even here in the marginal Pacific Northwest, where several hardy kinds flourish, they are eagerly sought. Grevillea foliage may be almost any shape and color, from needle like, paddle shaped, feathery or simply oval. The flowers are much alike in their curious beauty, vaguely tubular, with long, curling stigmas, usually in clusters. Colors range from cream through yellow, orange, pink and red. Grevilleas want no fertilizer; they grow fast everywhere, given sun and good drainage.
Grevillea ‘Poorinda Constance’ / Pretty evergreen shrub to 12 ft., with long, wide-spreading branches. Small, deep green leaves, somewhat like rosemary, backed in silver. Clustered orange-red flowers open all year here. Hybrid of G. victoriae and G. juniperina,for sun or part shade, drainage, drought. z8-9
Grevillea ‘Ruby Clusters’ / A magnificent hybrid with narrow, dark green leaves and terminal clusters of ornate flowers in jewel-tone red. Low and spreading shrub, to 3 ft. tall, twice as wide. Sun, drainage, drought. Z 8-9
Grevillea rosmarinifolia / Aptly named for its linear, gray green, rosemary-like foliage. But the flowers are something else, like small honeysuckle blooms in clusters, in an appetizing blend of cream and salmon red. A spreading shrub to 5 ft. and somewhat wider. Sun, drainage, drought. z8-9
Grevillea victoriae / ROYAL GREVILLEA / A fine introduction from se Australia, one of the best shrubs ever introduced into the Northwest. Evergreen to 10 ft. with narrowly ovate, silver-backed leaves on beige branches. Clustered red-orange flowers open fall to spring from coppery buds. Remarkably hardy, to at least Z 8 in a warm, well-drained spot.
GRISELINIA / Griseliniaceae / Seven species of evergreen shrubs and trees in New Zealand and South America. All have great foliage though little of interest in flower or fruit. Tiny flowers in spikes lead to small berries. The plants are easy to grow in mild climates, in sun or shade, water or not.
Griselinia littoralis / KAPUKA / Lush, tall evergreen shrub from New Zealand, 15- 25 ft. tall. Round, glossy, smooth, bright green 3 in. leaves on yellow twigs make this a lively background or specimen. Sun or part shade, drought-hardy, good coastal windbreak. z8-9
Guava, pineapple – see Acca sellowiana
Gum – see Eucalyptus
GYMNOCLADUS / Fabaceae / Feathery deciduous shade trees, two from Asia and one from the central U.S. Frothy divided leaves, from large to enormous, make a broad canopy. Tiny flowers lead to large, thick ‘bean pods’. Only the American species is much grown.
Gymnocladus dioicus / KENTUCKY COFFEE TREE / Large tree to 70 ft. or more, spreading nearly as wide. Sparse, very thick, coarsely ribbed branches give a distinctive winter silhouette. The leaves, 2-3 ft. long and 2 ft. wide, are divided and redivided into large, bright green to blue green leaflets. Small, greenish flowers add interest in summer, as do the 5-10 in. woody pods in fall. A beautiful shade tree, tropical-looking but sub-zero hardy, as uncommon in gardens as it is in the wild. Sun, best with water; Z 4
H H H
xHALIMIOCISTUS / Cistaceae / Very nice hybrids between Cistus and Halimium, all small, spreading evergreen shrubs that thrive in the same hot sun and dry, poor soils as their parents. They come in varied colors and textures, described below. Z 8
xHalimiocistus sahucii / A sprawling mound of thin, reddish twigs lined in very narrow, dark green, 1 in. leaves that are nearly hidden by the crowds of inch-wide white flowers in late spring. To 12 in. drrp, 3-5 ft. wide. Cascades beautifully over rocks.
xHalimiocistus wintonensis / A low shrub to 2 ft. tall and twice as wide, clothed in crinkly, gray green leaves. Round, flat flowers 2 in. wide are white with a large maroon blotch at the center. Flowers lightly, but for many months.
xHalimiocistus wintonensis ‘Merrist Wood Cream’ / In this lovely form, the main flower color is creamy yellow.
HALIMIUM / Cistaceae / About a dozen low, aromatic evergreen shrubs of the Mediterranean region. Small leaves in deep green or silvery shades make a billowy backdrop for small, cup-like flowers in yellow, often with a dark zone at the base of each petal. Each flower shatters at the end of the day, to be replaced by more the next morning. These appealing shrubs not only tolerate but need dry summers and poor soil. They combine perfectly with ceanothus and lavender. Z 8
Helianthemum ocymioides / Frothy mound of narrow, silvery-green leaves well decorated with lemon yellow cups in summer. To 18 in. high and 3 ft. wide, very quickly.
Hardhack – Spiraea douglasii
Hare’s ear, shrubby – see Bupleurum fruticosum
Hawthorn, Indian – see Rhaphiolepis indica
Hawthorn, yeddo – see Rhaphiolepis ovata
Heath – see Erica
Heather – see Calluna, Erica
Heather, Scotch – see Calluna
HEBE / HEBE / Plantaginaceae / Some botanists think these shrubs belong in the genusVeronica, where they started, but we’ll keep them here for now. What is not in question is the amazing variety and growing appeal of these evergreen shrubs. Nearly all of the 90 species are from New Zealand; a few are scattered in South America and New Guinea.
Hebes charm with their neat habits and fascinating colors. Leaves, ranging from several inches long to minute and scaly, line the twigs in orderly patterns. The branches may also make rhythmic patterns of their own. Small, four-petaled flowers in elongated clusters open over a long season, in white or shades of blue, lilac, rose, pink or red. They attract butterflies.
Uses for hebes in the landscape are as varied as the niches they fill in the wild. Tiny leaved ones love sun and are stars in the rock garden or container; those with box-like foliage can grow as hedges, backdrops to perennials or even bank covers in sun or part shade. Large-leaved hebes are more frost sensitive and deserve a prominent spot on a sheltered wall. Hebes want a mild climate, with little serious heat or cold; most are fairly drought-hardy once well established. Those we offer are mostly hardy to Z 8, some perhaps 7.
Hebe albicans / An open, 2-3 ft. mound of upright purplish branches lined with narrowly triangular silvery turquoise leaves. Small clusters of white flowers. One of the best and hardiest blue-foliaged shrubs. Sun or part shade, drought-hardy. Z 8
Hebe canterburiensis / Neat, rounded upright evergreen hummock 8 in. high with 1/4 – 1/2 in. long overlapping light green leaves. Pairs of 1 in. long spikes of white flowers at ends of branchlets, May-July. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
Hebe cupressoides / A flowering plant masquerading as a conifer, this hebe makes a dense, rounded 2-3 ft. plant with pale green, cypress-like foliage and, to spoil the disguise, tiny lilac flowers. Sun; drought-hardy. Z 7
Hebe ‘McKean’ / Dense, bright green low shrub to 12 – 18 in. tall. Tiny, triangular leaves overlapping on long twigs give an almost heather-like effect. Small white flowers are a rare accent. Sun, drought-hardy. Z 8
Hebe pinguifolia / A variable low, spreading shrublet or groundcover to 8 in. high, with charming, rounded, pale blue leaves closely lining its light green twigs. White flowers in small clusters. Sun, drought-hardy. z7-8
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’ / A mounding groundcover with oblong, flat, gray-blue leaves and small clusters of white flowers on dark twigs.
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Quicksilver’ / Sprawling shrublet to 18 in. sending out long, arching black twigs lined with 1/4 in. silvery turquoise leaves and a few lilac flowers. Unmistakable and unique accent. Sun, drought-hardy. Z 8
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’ / Neat mounds of small, dense, pale gray leaves and white flowers, to 2 ft. high and twice as wide. Makes a tidy edging or specimen for sun. Z 8
Hebe recurva / A graceful, spreading shrub to 18 in. high, somewhat wider. Dark branches carry narrow, 1 in. blue leaves and clusters of white flowers. Sun, drought-hardy. z8
Hebe ‘Red Edge’ / A hybrid shrub of dense, rounded habit, to 18 in. tall and 3 ft. wide, with gray-blue, triangular leaves margined in red, thickly overlapping on the twigs. Flowers opening lilac, becoming white. Sculptural, drought-hardy accent for sun. Z 8
Hebe richardsonii / Prostrate spreader covering the ground with dark twigs lined with deep green, roundish 1/2 in. leaves tinged copper. Lilac flowers open sparingly. Sun, drought-hardy. Z 8
Hebe topiaria / A compact, mounding shrub to 18 in tall. Broad, 1/2 inch leaves in pale gray-blue stack densely on the twigs, which end in clusters of white flowers. Sun; drought-hardy. Z 7
Hebe ‘White Gem’ / Open, wide-spreading shrub to 3 ft. with narrow, bright green, 2 in. leaves and slender, arching spikes of white flowers over much of the year. Sun or part shade, drought-hardy. Z 8
HELENIUM / SNEEZEWEED / Asteraceae / Several dozen American perennials grown for their daisies in sunny colors. They aren’t allergenic but were once dried for use as snuff. Most species come from prairie habitats and enjoy sun; they are best with water.
Helenium hoopesii / A choice perennial from the intermountain west making slender clumps of long, bluish leaves and 3 ft. stems topped with elegant golden orange flowers 3 in. wide; Z 3
HELIANTHEMUM / SUN ROSE / Cistaceae / Low, carpeting evergreen shrubs, happiest in bright sun and rocky, well-drained soil. Small, narrow leaves, deep green to blue-gray line wiry branches, covered in inch-wide cup-shaped flowers in colors from white through many variations of yellow, orange, pink, rose and red. Flowers last only a day, but nearly endless buds keep the show going for a month or more. Sunroses are supremely drought-hardy, fine choices for rockeries and dry slopes. Z 6
Helianthemum ‘Cheviot’ / With the colors of a fruit sorbet, this enticing sunrose blends peachy pink with apricot around a golden center. All this atop gray-blue foliage.
Helianthemum ‘Dazzler’ / A six-inch deep mound of gray green foliage well decorated with glowing, deep red flowers.
Helianthemum ‘Georgeham’ /Spreading mound of narrow, blue-green leaves and large, rose-red flowers in summer. To 6 in. high and a yard wide.
Helianthemum ‘Henfield Brilliant’ / One of the brightest sunroses, with rich coppery-orange 1 in. blooms on a low mound of blue-gray foliage. To 6 in. high and 3 ft. wide.
Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’ / Broad, well-foliaged gray-green mound covered with nearly translucent warm pink blooms May-July. One of the best.
HELICHRYSUM / STRAWFLOWER / Asteraceae / Many annuals, perennials and small evergreen shrubs, including the strawflowers seen in ‘everlasting’ bouquets. The species here are shrubby plants, typically with small, silvery leaves that hint at their origins in dry, sunny, well-drained habitats. Tiny white or yellow flowers cluster at branch tips, their papery petals holding color and shape even when dry. Use these shrubs for color among other lovers of bright, stony places- salvias, lavenders, rockrose, ceanothus, grasses.
Helichrysum italicum / CURRY PLANT / A striking, silvery plant from the Mediterranean. Gray, threadlike leaves give a soft, silky look to this rounded plant 1-2 ft. tall and a bit wider. Tiny gold strawflowers are showy for several months in summer. As an added delight, the foliage smells of curry powder when crushed. Z 8
Helichrysum splendidum / SOUTHERN IMORTELLE / A rounded shrub 3-4 ft. tall and somewhat wider, native to South Africa. Oval, 3/4 in. leaves of silky silver-green on thick silky twigs make a metallic impression. Tiny yellow flowers add a golden touch in summer. Z 8
HELICTOTRICHON sempervirens / BLUE OAT GRASS / Poaceae / From southern Europe, a fine landscape feature for color and texture. An 18 in. evergreen clump of fine blue-gray leaves, overtopped with creamy seed clusters on arching stems. Great with lavenders, euphorbias, yuccas, iris, phormium in sunny, well-drained positions. Z 7
HELIOPSIS / OXEYE / Asteraceae / Sunflower relatives with all the charm at one third the size. Golden 3 in. flowers with orange-maroon centers vary into shades of orange and russet. The whole plant is two feet high and wide, covered with flowers in late summer. Sun, fairly drought hardy; Z 3
Heliopsis scabra ‘Summer Nights’ / Selections of a fine Midwest native, here with various autumnal shades of gold, orange and rusty red. Wonderful cut flowers.
HELLEBORUS / HELLEBORE / Ranunculaceae / These handsome perennials are among the most valuable garden plants. Distinguished, mostly evergreen foliage, divided fanwise into several narrow leaflets, gives year-round value. Flowers, typically 2-3 in. wide, with broad petals in a cup shape, cluster atop sturdy stems while most other flowers are still asleep. Their very early blooms, great foliage and generally easy nature have made hellebores choice and popular. Most require at least partial shade, where they will be fairly drought hardy.
Helleborus argutifolius / CORSICAN HELLEBORE / The tallest of the group, and one that prefers part sun. The light green leaves are divided into three toothed leaflets 4-6 in. long. Leafy flowering stems 2-3 ft. tall end in large clusters of pale green flowers in February and March. Flower stems die and should be removed as new ones replace them. Z 7
Helleborus x hybridus / Many hybrids, all nice, involving H. orientalis crossed with other species. They are essentially like H. orientalis but for variations in color of foliage and flower.
Helleborus orientalis / LENTEN ROSE / The most commonly planted, this makes a clump of long-stemmed leaves divided into five or more slender leaflets 3-6 in. long in dark, glossy green. These droop a bit in winter to give the spotlight to the 2-3 in. flowers that open from January on, several atop each sturdy 12-18 in. stalk. Colors range from creamy green through white, pink, rose, garnet and blue-purple. Real beauty for the gray months, requiring only shade and good drainage; best with rich soil and some water but quite drought hardy here once established. Z 4
Hemlock – see Tsuga
HERACLEUM / COW PARSNIP / Apiaceae / Some of these spectacularly large perennials have become noxious weeds and won’t be found here. The native species, below, is a bit tamer but still statuesque. Clumps of large, divided leaves set the stage for tall stalks bearing big, flat clusters of tiny white flowers which become flat seeds that hang on into winter. They need deep, rich, moist soil and sun to thrive.
Heracleum lanatum / WESTERN COW PARSNIP / Our native species makes colonies of 6 ft. stalks carrying 12 in. wide domes of white flowers in summer. The 1-2 ft. leaves, divided into jagged leaflets, give a jolt of strong texture to any planting. Everything disappears in winter; a foreground of evergreen sedges or ledum can help. Z 5
HESPERALOE parviflora / RED YUCCA / Agavaceae / The hardiest of several species of spiky, long-flowering plants of the Southwest and Mexico, related to Yucca. Here, the leaves are softer, not sharp, very narrow, gray green, somewhat arching, forming a loose clump 3-4 ft. wide. Tubular flowers in tomato red open along 5-6 ft. stalks that lean and curve artfully. The blooms last from mid summer into fall, and are reliable even in our cool summers. Z 7
Hesperoyucca whipplei – see Yucca whipplei
HETEROMELES arbutifolia ( Photinia a.)/ TOYON / Rosaceae / Fine evergreen shrub to 10-15 ft., beautiful in its native California hills and in cultivated landscapes. Oblong, glossy green, 3-4 in. leaves set off clusters of tiny, white flowers in summer and bright red fall and winter berries. The dark green toyon, decorated with red berries at Christmas, inspired the name for the city of Hollywood. Sun or part shade; drainage, drought. Z 8b
HEUCHERA / ALUMROOT / Saxifragaceae / These stars of the shade garden are at the zenith of their popularity. Growers are debuting new ones every year in colors and patterns previously unimaginable. But the wild plants are superb as well. Most are evergreen clumps or mounds of rounded leaves, variously lobed or scalloped. Tiny, bell-shaped flowers along slender stalks open for many weeks. Heucheras are excellent massed as small scale groundcover. Most take at least a few hours of sun if given well drained soil and a mulch. Native ones are drought hardy, cultivars are best with water.
Heuchera cylindrica / ROUNDLEAVED ALUMROOT / From Northwest mountains comes this substantial clump of scalloped, bright green leaves 2-3 in. wide topped by a bouquet of sturdy 2 ft. stalks lined with relatively large flowers in pale lime green. A refreshing foil for other late spring flowers, especially blue and purple. Z 4
Heuchera micrantha / WESTERN ALUMROOT / The common Northwest species, decorating shady rock outcrops and wooded slopes with evergreen mounds of wavy, sharply lobed 2-3 in. leaves in shiny green. Papery white flowers along 15-24 in. stalks make a mist above the foliage in late spring. Z 5
Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’ / Clumps of lobed, wine-colored foliage all year make this a big favorite for color accent. Tall stems carrying clouds of tiny whitish flowers add still more interest in summer, fall. Best color in good light; paler in shade; drought-hardy. Z 6
Heuchera sanguinea / CORAL BELLS / Well-loved perennial from the Southwest. Clumps of rounded, scalloped leaves in various light greens send up a long succession of slender wands of flowers in shades of pink. Cultivars may be deep red, rose or white. Sturdy and useful for borders, groundcover, filler among shrubs, in sun or shade. Z 4
Heuchera sanguinea ‘Firefly’ / A fine cultivar with 15 in. stalks of tiny, flame-red flowers above clumps of deep green 2-3 in. rounded leaves. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. z4
Heuchera sanguinea var. pulchella / A nice wild form of the coral bells producing clouds of glowing rosy pink to fuchsia flowers making a long and lovely show. Tight, evergreen clumps of hairy, round leaves. Sun or shade; drainage. z7
HIBISCUS / HIBISCUS / Malvaceae / These icons of tropical beauty number several hundred in warmer climates worldwide. Hardy species differ from the tropical ones in being deciduous, but carry the same widely flaring trumpet flowers with their long, protruding column of stamens. Seeds are held in pointed, woody capsules. The leaves are divided into several pointed lobes. Both leaves and flowers show up late, as if waiting in vain for tropical warmth, but the flowers are a spectacular finale to summer. Hibiscus want sun and a warm spot in cooler climates; they are fairly drought-hardy.
Hibiscus sinosyriacus / Sophisticated big sister to the common rose of sharon, this large Chinese shrub or small tree reaches 10-15 ft. tall. Open branches carry 4 in. wide silken blooms in silvery lilac painted purple in the center, set among handsome, glossy, jade-green leaves. Sun; drought-hardy, but bigger with water. Z 8
Hibiscus syriacus / ROSE OF SHARON / This deciduous shrub or small tree from much of Asia brings the exotic beauty of the hibiscus to colder climates. Bright green, sharply lobed leaves line upturned branches which, in summer, are studded with 3-4 in. wide flowers in white or shades of rose, lilac or burgundy, often with a deep red central spot. Sun, drought-hardy. Z 5
HIPPOPHAE rhamnoides / SEA BUCKTHORN / Rhamnaceae / Distinctive large deciduous shrub or tree making great billows of narrow gray-green and silver leaves on dark, spine-tipped branches. Female plants bear edible orange fruit; both sexes bind and enrich sterile soils. Sun, best in sandy soil; drought-hardy. Z 3
HOLBOELIA / SAUSAGE VINE / Lardizabalaceae / Elegant evergreen vines from Asia, with leaves divided fan-wise into oblong leaflets. Small, fragrant, purplish flowers lead to fruits resembling long, lavender plums, a delicacy in their native lands. These climbers twine and also grab with their leaf stalks. Holboellias prefer shade and are drought-hardy in cool summers.
Holboellia latifolia / A beautiful evergreen twining vine with bright green leaves divided into 3-7 stalked leaflets. Fragrant white to purple flowers in spring lead to purple, oblong, 2-3 in. edible fruits on female plants. Part or full shade; drought-hardy. Z 8
Holly- see Ilex
Holly, summer- see Comarostaphylis
Hollyhock. false – see Iliamna
HOLODISCUS / ROCK SPIRAEA / Rosaceae / Several deciduous shrubs of sunny, well-drained places from the Northwest into Central America. These may be nondescript brush when out of bloom, though their small leaves are handsomely lobed. Then the big plumes of creamy white flowers erupt from every branch, transforming the plant for weeks. These shrubs are easily grown and drought hardy.
Holodiscus discolor / OCEAN SPRAY / Common but beautiful NW native deciduous shrub to 10 ft. tall and as wide. Furnished with small, ornately veined and scalloped leaves, it becomes a spectacular fountain of creamy flower plumes in summer. Ideal for a dry, sunny spot. Z 6
Holodiscus dumosus / ROCK SPIRAEA / Bushy deciduous shrub from the drier parts of the west, smaller than H. discolor, usually to 3-5 ft., with smaller leaves and denser, more erect plumes of tiny, cream flowers. A very nice companion to other shrubs of the chaparral. Sun, drainage, drought. Z 4
Honeylocust – see Gleditsia
Honeysuckle – see Lonicera
Horsechestnut – see Aesculus
Huckleberry – see Vaccinium
HYDRANGEA / HYDRANGEA / Hydrangeaceae / Long popular for their fancy flowers, especially in blue, hydrangeas number about 70 species and hundreds of cultivars. There are shrubs, trees and climbers, evergreen and deciduous, from eastern Asia and the Americas. The flower heads of wild hydrangeas and ‘lacecap’ cultivars combine a dense, rounded central cushion of tiny, fertile flowers and a ring of showy four-parted sterile flowers. ‘Mop-head’ hydrangeas bear only sterile flowers, in big, round- well, mops. Hydrangea leaves, often large, come in pairs and open early.
Hydrangeas are famous for their blues, but if the soil is at all alkaline, colors will tend towards pink and even red, depending on cultivar. White hydrangeas usually stay white. All hydrangeas are woodland plants and do best in part or dappled shade, in loose, rich humus. In cool-summer climates, they may become fairly drought-hardy, but are really best with regular water.
Hydrangea arborescens / A dainty, 4-6 ft. deciduous shrub from the woodlands of the southeast US. Finely veined, 3 in. leaves and delicate, white lacecap flowers in 4 in. clusters. A charming addition to the woodland garden. z3
Hydrangea heteromala / HIMALAYAN HYDRANGEA / A large, tree-like species from sw China and the Himalayas, reaching 15 ft. tall. Deep red branches carry oval, tapered, 3-6 in. leaves with grayish undersides. Flowers, in 8-12 in. wide clusters, are creamy, with tints of pink and blue, fading to strawberry pink by fall. A grand specimen, rarely grown. Z 4
Hydrangea involucrata / BRACTED HYDRANGEA / This species is parent to some cultivars but lovely as it is. A large shrub to 6-8 ft. with narrow, felted, 10 in. leaves and broad circles of white sterile flowers around pincushions of lilac-blue fertile ones, emerging from huge, silvery buds. Part or full shade, moist. Z 7
Hydrangea involucrata ‘Tama Azisai’/ A beautiful, lower growing cultivar, to 4-5 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Huge, egg-like buds break to release clusters of lilac and blue fertile flowers and, eventually, a halo of near-white fertile ones. Blooms are showy from late summer through fall.
Hydrangea luteovenosa / Rarely grown Japanese shrub to 6 ft. with ovate, 2 in. leaves and small, white flower clustered on dark stems. Delicate and charming. Shade; best with water. Z 6
Hydrangea macrophylla / The wild ancestor of most garden hydrangeas, a deciduous shrub to 6-8 ft. tall with broadly ovate, deeply veined, bright green leaves and lacecap flower clusters (a pincushion of tiny fertile flowers surrounded by a halo of showy, four petalled sterile flowers), usually in sky blue, but pinkish in alkaline soils. Many cultivars, including some of the best blue flowering shrubs. Best in part shade, with ample water. Z 5
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Wave’ /A lacecap with elegant crowns of blue fertile flowers surrounded by wavy sterile flowers in lilac pink or blue. Broad shrub to 5 ft. tall.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’ / A white lacecap with the sterile center flowers of each small cluster tinged blue and pink; a very nice plant to 5 ft. and somewhat wider.
Hydrangea paniculata / TREE HYDRANGEA / Treelike species from northeast Asia, to 15 ft. tall, carrying 10 in. conical clusters of pink and white flowers at the ends of its gracefully spreading and arching branches. Hard-to-miss, easy-to-grow feature for sun or light shade, spectacular in late summer as flowers age to strawberry pink. Uncommonly hardy and sun-tolerant. Z 3
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Praecox’ / Rare cultivar of this graceful, tree-ish species, this one with elegant 6-8 in. gleaming white flower pyramids festooned with toothed bracts, June-July; soft purple fall color on its narrow, leathery leaves.
Hydrangea quercifolia / OAKLEAF HYDRANGEA / One of handsomest deciduous shrubs. Its 6-12 in. leaves, sharply lobed and backed in white, make this a magnificent foliage plant. Tall, pyramidal clusters of paper-white flowers, red and burgundy fall color, often holding through winter here. Southeast US native to 6 ft. tall and rather broad. Best in part shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 5
Hydrangea sargentiana / An unmistakable piece of garden architecture, this large deciduous shrub carries leaves the size of dinner plates, deep velvety green above, silvery below on stout branches. Hat-sized flower clusters, with a pincushion of lilac and blue fertile flowers surrounded by a swirl of white sterile ones, are stunning from mid summer into fall. At its grandest in shade, best with water. Z 7
Hydrangea serrata / A deciduous shrub much like H. macrophylla differing mainly in its smaller stature. Part or full shade, moist soil. Z 5
Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’ / Popular blue lacecap; cool and elegant shrub to 6 ft. Large sky blue flowers, showy for months, make it one of the best.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Lilacina’ / Shrub to 6 ft. with narrow, toothed leaves and lacecap clusters of rosy-lilac flowers. Part or full shade, moist. z6
Hydrangea serratifolia /CANELILLA / A superb evergreen, self-clinging climber upholstering walls and tree trunks with narrow, leathery, deep green, 4-8 in. leaves and hand-sized, horizontal clusters of tiny white flowers with a few large, sterile ones floating above. Part or full shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 8
HYPERICUM / ST. JOHNS WORT / Clusiaceae / Besides the overused St Johnswort (H. calycinum), this adaptable genus contains scores of shrubs and groundcovers of garden interest. The evergreen ones are especially valuable, but all have pleasant, light green, often aromatic, foliage, a long season of yellow flowers and, often, showy seed capsules. Hypericums thrive in sun or moderate shade and almost any soil.
Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ ( Hypericum patulum ‘Hidcote’)/ HIDCOTE HYPERICUM / Attractive and easy evergreen shrub to 3-4 ft., spreading wider. Narrow, 2 in. bright green leaves on reddish branches accompanied by 2 in. wide, golden yellow flowers in nearly endless show from early summer to late fall. A cheerful and endlessly useful plant. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 7
Hypericum forrestii / Semi-evergreen Chinese shrub to 3 ft. tall, and a bit wider. The 2 in. leaves are light green, triangular, in graceful sprays. Clustered flowers deep yellow, cupped, 2 in. wide, summer and fall. Z 5
Hypericum frondosum / CEDARGLADE ST.JOHNSWORT / Semi-evergreen shrub from the se. US, to 3-4 ft. tall and a bit wider. Thin stems carry narrow, soft green leaves, bluish below and 1 1/2 in. wide lemon yellow flowers with tufted, golden center all summer. Casual grace and charming flowers for sun or part shade, moist or dry. Z 5
Hypericum frondosum ‘Sunburst’ / Selection with bluish foliage and showier flowers.
Hypericum henryi / A graceful deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub 4-6 ft. tall. Arching branches carry 1 in, bright green leaves and a long-running show of deep yellow, cupped flowers. Best in part shade, where it will be drought hardy. Z 6
Hypericum lancasteri / Spreading Chinese shrub to 2-3 ft. with arching branches lined with narrow, 1-2 in. leaves that emerge purple. Clusters of starry, golden, 1 in. flowers open for many months. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 7
Hypericum patulum ‘Hidcote’ – see Hypericum ‘Hidcote’
Hyssop, anise – see Agastache foeniculum
Hyssop, western giant – see Agastache occidentalis
I I I
IDESIA polycarpa / WONDER TREE / Flacourtiaceae / Showy, tropical-looking, deciduous tree to 20 ft. making a broad, open canopy. Nearly triangular, 5-10 in. leaves on long, red stalks are clustered about the ends of long branches. Showy orange berries dangle in clusters from female trees. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 5
ILEX / HOLLY / Aquifoliaceae / The prickly, red-berried symbol of Chrismas is only one face of this huge genus. There are many spinless hollies, deciduous hollies, box leaved and laurel -leaved hollies, with berries in white, yellow, orange, blue, and black. The upright evergreens are great choices for hedge and screen plants; lower kinds are indispensible basic shrubs; prickly hollies control traffic with gracious insistence. Hollies tend to be drought resistent, but none will ever resent watering. All do well in fairly shady sites, and most are better there than in full sun.
Ilex cassine v. mexicana / MEXICAN DAHOON / A rarely grown Mexican holly with very narrow, 2-in., bright green, usually spineless leaves and large red fruits. Makes a very pleasant, narrow tree to 20 ft. tall. Part shade; fairly drought hardy. Z 8
Ilex chinensis – see Ilex purpurea
Ilex crenata / JAPANESE HOLLY / Hardworking evergreen shrub of boxwood-like texture, tough yet beautiful, tolerating most exposures and a fair amount of drought. Fruit usually black. Widely cultivated in many and varied cultivars. Z 6
Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’ / CONVEX JAPANESE HOLLY / Popular clone with sparkling, convex leaves; exceptional for shearing. Generaly reaches 4-6 ft tall and somewhat wider. Best in part shade.
Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’ / COMPACT JAPANESE HOLLY / Very dense, low, spreading shrub, to 18 in. high in 5-10 years, twice that over several decades. A high-class groundcover, perfect for bonsai.
Ilex crenata ‘Mariesii’ / COLUMNAR JAPANESE HOLLY / Slow-growing oddity of long, slender branches shingled with round, 1/4 in. leaves; just the thing for bonsai, though it gets surprisingly tall, to 15 ft.
Ilex crenata var. thomsonii / A distinctly different variety in its thinner, bright green leaves and tall growth to 8 ft. Bright and beautiful background shrub or screen.
Ilex glabra / INK BERRY / Large evergreen shrub from the e. US, with distinctive thin, narrow, light green spineless leaves. Black berries on female plants where pollinated. A very nice and sturdy shrub to 6 ft. tall, with many landscape uses. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 5
Ilex glabra ‘Compacta’ / COMPACT INK BERRY / The distinctive foliage of the inkberry is even easier to appreciate in this compact form, which grows 4-6 ft. tall and as wide. Narrowly oval leaves 2 in. long in a deep jade green group generously on upturned branches. Useful for many roles-formal edging, low hedges, borders, containers and so on. Sun or shade, drought-hardy; Z 3
Ilex integra / MOCHI TREE / A small tree much resembling the Ficus retusa of hotel lobbies, but a brighter green. Females bear large, light red berries. Lush, irregularly rounded, to 15 -25 ft. tall. Screen, patio or street tree, container specimen. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 8
Ilex integra x I. rugosa / A natural hybrid from Japan, taking the smaller, rougher leaves of I. rugosa and the evergreen habit of I. integra. The result is a large shrub to 10 ft. tall, excellent for screening or hedging. Z 7
Ilex maximowiczii var. kanahirae / Korean counterpart, or subspecies, of I. crenata.Leaves 1/2 in. long, very dark and glossy, on an erect shrub to 8 ft. Black fruit on female plants. Handsome and trainable specimen or screen. Sun or shade, fairly drought hardy. Z 6
Ilex opaca / AMERICAN HOLLY / Native to e. North America, this is our counterpart to the English holly, just as nice in its own way, a good bit hardier and unlikely to become a pest. It is another Eastern tree that is inexplicably very rare in West Coast gardens. Matte-green leaves give a certain brightness of tone that is as appealing in the gray of winter as the small berries in open clusters. Most cultivars grow to 20-40 ft. at a moderately slow pace. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 4
Ilex opaca ‘Mae’ / A narrow, fairly dense female, very fruitful. One of the finest.
Ilex opaca ‘Osa’ / A densely conical tree to 20 ft. well decorated with bright red berries. Leaves relatively flat, 2-3 in. long.
Ilex purpurea ( Ilex chinensis )/ DONG QING / A lush, narrowly rounded evergreen tree to 50 ft., with 3-4 in. thin, tapered, bright green, spineless leaves. The botanical name derives from its lavender flowers. Female trees bear red fruit. A most attractive tree, all too rare in cultivation. Sun; drought hardy. Z 8
Ilex shennongjianensis / A very rare plant lately introduced from China. Dense and upright evergreen tree, to 30 ft. or more, with neat sprays of oval 1 in. leaves in bright green. Small red fruit appear on female plants. Older trees are said to have a shiny, whitish bark. Sun or part shade; likely Z 7-8.
Ilex ‘William Cowgill’ / WILLIAM COWGILL HOLLY / A very pleasing I. cornutahybrid making a rounded shrub to 8 ft. or more with masses of 3/4 in. bright green leaves and dark red berries. One of the best, charming yet rugged, dense and full. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 7?
Ilex yunnanensis / YUNNAN HOLLY / Soft, bright green, large evergreen shrub or tree to 15 ft. tall. Neat fronds of relatively thin, roundish, spineless, 1/2 in. leaves and brilliant red berries. A very pleasing background, screen or specimen in part shade. Z 8
ILIAMNA / WILD HOLLYHOCK / Malvaceae / Several beautiful perennials of western North America. They do indeed resemble hollyhocks, though they are typically shorter and perhaps more elegant. All want sun and are best with, or near, water. A plant may be coaxed to bloom again if cut back.
Iliamna rivularis / STREAMBANK FALSE HOLLYHOCK / One of the Northwest’s most impressive wildflowers. Bright rosy lavender hollyhock flowers to 2 in. wide. line 4-5 ft. stems above bold scalloped foliage. Best with plenty of moisture in sun or part shade. z3
ILLICIUM / ANISE TREE / Illiciacaea / Sweetly aromatic evergreen shrubs and trees from warm, moist parts of Asia and the Americas. Thick, glossy leaves release spicy odors when crushed. Small flowers with waxy petals lead to unique rounded fruits divided into slender segments. Anise trees look like house plants but are amazingly tough, tolerating drought and frost beyond what one would guess. They do want shade and reasonably fertile, well drained soil.
Illicium henryi / HENRY ANISE TREE / Still rare despite its qualities, this Chinese evergreen shrub has much to admire. Its thick, glossy, leaves are slender, tapered, 4-6 in. long, scented of licorice. Flowers, something like 1 in. camellias in soft cherry red, open on long stalks in early summer. Seeds are held in interesting wheel-like clusters. Free of pests, unappetizing to deer, remarkably tolerant of heat, cold and drought when grown in shade. Z 7
IMPATIENS / IMPATIENS / Balsaminaceae / A huge genus best known by the annual impatiens seen in every shaded flower bed. The perennial and shrubby species have remarkably similar, narrowly ovate leaves and translucent, succulent stems. Flowers of many are flat, with all petals similar; flowers of others are irregular trumpets. Dust-like seeds are shot from exploding pods. Impatiens need shade and do best with water.
Impatiens omeiensis / MT OMEI IMPATIENS/ A hardy Chinese perennial, spreading a carpet of 4 in. stems outfitted in whorled, 2-3 in. leaves beautifully marked cream and soft purple. Pale apricot flowers appear among the leaves. Shade, best with water. Z 7?
Indigo, false – see Amorpha
Ink berry – see Ilex glabra
Inside-out flower – see Vancouveria
INULA / Asteraceae / A large group of showy perennials from Europe and Asia. While some are tiny rock garden subjects, the common ones are statuesque plants with large leaves and yellow to orange daisies with very narrow petals. They are hardy plants, managing a great performance despite drought and marginal soils.
Inula magnifica / SHOWY ELECAMPANE / Stately perennial from the Cauasus Mountains, opening 4 in. golden orange, dark-centered daisies with threadlike rays on 6 ft. purple-black stalks above grand clumps of light green, heart-shaped, 12 in. leaves. Sun, best with water. z6
IRIS / IRIS / Iridaceae / Among the most distinctive of flowers, the iris are also uncommonly useful. Their narrow leaves give a bold dash of texture or can compliment the spiky or grassy foliage of other plants. Our west-coast irises, almost all evergreen, are drought-hardy and among our most indispensable garden plants.
Iris flowers have six ‘petals’, three generally upright ‘standards’ and three drooping ‘falls’. Some have whiskery beards on on the falls. Irises grow wild in a full spectrum of environments, from standing water to arid mountainsides. Once settled into a suitable spot, the plants will give beauty for years.
Iris douglasiana / DOUGLAS IRIS / Fine Pacific Coast native growing well nearly anywhere in Zones 7-9. Evergreen leaves in broad clumps to 16 in. high; flowers in many shades of blue, purple, wine or cream. Sun or shade; drought hardy. Z 7
Iris – Pacific Coast Hybrids / These lovely West Coast perennials derive from hybrids of I. douglasiana and several other native species. All are evergreen, spreading into 3-5 ft. clumps, 15-20 in. high. Flowers, in April-May, are 3 in. wide, typically white with various amounts of blue, lilac and purple, perhaps cream. Some may be yellow, rust, maroon, purple, tan, ice blue with ruffles, almost anything, always beautiful. These irises are among the most valuable landscape plants for mild, summer dry areas, growing in sun or shade and needing no water or care. z8
Iris setosa / ALASKA IRIS / Deciduous perennial making clumps of light green 12 – 18 in. leaves and beautiful 3 in. flowers in blue, purple or white on 18 in stems. Found on wet sites in the wild, but fairly drought hardy in gardens. Z 3
Iris tenax / OREGON IRIS / Broad clumps of narrow, deep green leaves, studded with 3 in. flowers in shades of lilac, blue, purple and white, on 15 in. stems. Usually deciduous. Sun or part shade; drought hardy. z7
Ironwood, Santa Cruz – see Lyonothamnus
ITEA / SWEETSPIRE / Iteaceae / Mostly evergreen shrubs from Asia and the eastern US. Tiny white flowers in spikes or drooping streamers in summer are the main ornamental feature, aside from handsome foliage. Iteas are notably rugged, seldom bothered by pests and fairly drought hardy.
Itea ilicifolia / HOLLYLEAF SWEETSPIRE / An elegant large Chinese evergreen shrub with round, toothed 2 in. leaves of polished bright green. Foot-long wands of tiny greenish flowers arch from branches in summer in a spectacular and cooling display. Rare and choice specimen for part or full shade, moist or dry. Z 8
Itea virginica / VIRGINIA SWEETSPIRE / From moist woodland in the southeast comes this sprawling, deciduous to evergreen shrub 3-4 ft. tall and much wider. Plain, narrowly oval 2-4 in. leaves of bright green line long, arching branches, turning red and purple in fall. Spikes of white flowers make upright bottle brushes in summer. Nice foreground for larger shrubs, excellent for filling wet spots. Z 5
Itea virginica ”Henry’s Garnet’ / The leaves of this one turn intense deep red in fall and winter. It is essentially evergreen for us.
Iwa shajin – see Adenophora takedae
J J J
Jasmine – see Jasminum
Jasmine, Confederate – see Trachelospermum jasminoides
Jasmine, star – see Trachelospermum
JASMINUM / JASMINE / Oleaceae / Shrubs and vines from the warm regions of the Old World. Leaves are simple or divided into three or more leaflets. The trumpet shaped flowers, white, yellow or rarely pink, are usually fabulously fragrant. Seeds are borne in small black berries. Most jasmines are tropical, but those here are hardy to at least Z 8.
Jasminum beesianum /RED JASMINE/ Sprawling and twining deciduous shrub from China, with tiny, divided leaves and fragrant 1/2 in. trumpets in deep red-pink in spring and summer. Charming and uncommon climber, blooming for many months. Sun or shade, drought-hardy. Z 7
Jasminum nudiflorum / WINTER JASMINE / Sprawling, leafless, grass-green stems are heavily sprinkled with joyful yellow trumpets in winter. The flowers, though not fragrant, give a big lift in the gray season.Tiny, divided leaves give lacy texture the rest of the year. A tough, drought-hardy plant superb for cascading over rocks and walls. Z 7
Jasminum officinale / POET’S JASMINE / Classic jasmine of warmer temperate gardens, cultivated for so long its origins are uncertain. Twining stems carry small, divided, evergreen leaves creating a bright-green tangle to 6-8 ft. or more. Small, white flowers with heavenly scent perfume the garden in summer. Sun; best with water. Z 8
Jasminum parkeri / DWARF JASMINE / Delightful small mound of bright green stems and equally bright, minutely divided leaves. Tiny yellow flowers in pairs decorate this beautiful tracery in summer. From the Himalayas of India. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 7
Jasminum x stephanense / HYBRID PINK JASMINE / Evergreen climber to 6-8 ft. with dainty light green leaves and clusters of fragrant pink flowers for a long period. New leaves, opening pale yellow green, give the plant a variegated effect. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy. Z 8
JUNCUS / RUSH / Juncaceae / A worldwide genus of several hundred grassy plants, primarily from temperate and cold wetlands. The common species make evergreen clumps of thin, cylindrical, often sharp-tipped leaves with clusters of tiny brown flowers among or just above the foliage. Other species have flat leaves and dense, knobs of flowers; some are deciduous, others somewhat drought-tolerant. All are effective for texture, especially in large groups, and ideal for populating wet ground. They are best in sun.
Juncus ensifolius / SWORDLEAF RUSH / From eastern Asia and northern and western North America, this rush is different. Its deciduous leaves are flat, 1/2 in. wide, suggesting iris, soft bright green, making loose clumps a foot tall or a bit more that form colonies in wet margins. The flowers and seeds come in tight, rounded, dark brown, 1/2 – 1 in. clusters that make an appealing pattern among the leaves. Sun and wet. Z 3
Juncus patens ‘Carmen’s Gray’ / An upright brush of 12-15 in. quills in deep blue-gray. Elegant accent for both color and form, and rather drought hardy. The species is native to Oregon and California. Z 7
Juniper – see Juniperus
JUNIPERUS / JUNIPER / Cupressaceae / About 60 species of rugged conifers from most of the Northern Hemisphere. Some are large trees, others low, carpeting shrubs, the latter much used, often overused, as groundcover. All have needlelike juvenile leaves; most junipers graduate to scaly adult foliage. Seeds are borne in fleshy, berry-like cones in blue, sometimes red, brown or orange. Gin is flavored with juniper berries.
Most junipers want sun and dry, well-drained soil. Low forms are ideal for carpeting slopes, though many other good possibilities exist, and variety is usually best. Taller species give height and color to dry beds and borders.
Juniperus californica / CALIFORNIA JUNIPER / Native from one end of that state to the other, this bushy small tree makes a 10-15 ft. tall gumdrop of scaly, deep blue green foliage. Blue, pea-sized berries add a decorative pattern. Z 7
Juniperus chinensis /CHINESE JUNIPER / The many faces of this variable juniper have lead to a menagerie of cultivars varying remarkably in shape, size, texture and color. The typical form is a pyramidal tree to 30 ft. tall with a mix of scaly and needle-like leaves in deep bluish green. Tiny blue berries decorate the tree most of the year. Tolerates heavy, moist soil. Z 4
Juniperus chinensis ‘Keteleeri’ / KETELEER JUNIPER / A narrowly pyramidal tree to 30 ft. tall. Deep gray green foliage hangs in graceful sprays from spreading branches. A full and handsome tall screen or specimen.
Juniperus communis / COMMON JUNIPER / From cooler places around the Northern Hemisphere, this is a low, carpeting plant in all but a few places in its range. The prickly, silver and green foliage is all needle-like. Large blue to purplish berries are attractive all year. This juniper is best on slopes and among rocks, beautiful with kinnikinnik, heathers and dwarf rhododendrons. Z 1
Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’ / GOLD CONE JUNIPER / A dense, narrow cone reaching 10-15 ft., bright blue-green in winter, glowing chartreuse and lemon yellow with the new growth. An accent plant with many possibilities. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy; z4.
Juniperus communis ssp. jackii (J. c. ssp alpina, J. c. var. saxatilis)/ A particularly prostrate form from the mountains of the western states. Spidery runners create a web of blue green dotted with silvery berries, all only a few inches high. Gorgeous in the rock garden. Z 6
Juniperus ‘Grey Owl’ (J. virginiana ‘Grey Owl’) / GREY OWL JUNIPER / A beautiful large shrub to 6 ft. tall and much wider. Wide plumes of scaly blue-gray foliage splash gracefully outward on reddish branches. Especially nice among purple or red plants or bright fall foliage. Z 4
Juniperus x hetzii ‘Glauca’ / Those who boycott junipers go too far when they ignore this lovely blue fountain. Fine, gray-turquoise foliage splashes upward to 6 ft. on wide, arching branches which spread 10 ft. or more. Beautiful with manzanita, ceanothus, grevillea, heathers. Z 4
Juniperus oxycedrus / PRICKLY JUNIPER / The discomfort of touching this billowy 8-10 ft. Mediterranean shrub is well offset by its handsome appearance. Long green and silver needles give a deceptively fluffy look to its many upturned branches. Eventually at least as wide as tall, it makes a fine screen or commanding high point in a dry planting. Z 8
Juniperus rigida / TEMPLE JUNIPER / Sharp, slender 1 in. needles give a soft look to this gorgeous small tree from China. Graceful branches angling up and out carry the billowy foliage in drooping tresses. Winter brings touches of bronze and gold and ripens the tiny berries deep blue. Typically 10-15 ft. tall, broadly pyramidal. Best in part shade. Z 5
Juniperus scopulorum / ROCKY MOUNTAIN JUNIPER / Native from Washington and British Columbia down the Rockies into Mexico, this is a pyramidal tree to 40 ft. tall. Scaly leaves make wispy sprays of silvery green or blue gray, often intermixed with needle-like leaves and tiny blue berries. There are many cultivars, most happier on a limey or alkaline soil. Z 4
Juniperus scopulorum ‘McCoy Spreader’ / Spreading indeed, to 10 ft. wide, with flaring branches arching up to 6 ft. high, carrying needle-like leaves of green and silver. An attractive companion for other gray plants, heathers, manzanitas and artemisias.
Juniperus scopulorum ‘Platinum’ / A broadly columnar 10 ft. shrub with vertical plumes of silvery blue foliage. A beautiful and emphatic color landmark.
Juniperus squamata / HIMALAYAN JUNIPER / Wildly variable, this is usually a low shrub, but sometimes prostrate or even a small tree. Needle-like foliage is dense, light green to silvery blue, the bark flaky and cinnamon brown. The species is rare, but some of its cultivars are abundant in landscapes. Z 5
Juniperus squamata var. fargesii / A rounded shrub or tree to 15 ft. tall, clothed to the ground with small, light green needles arranged in drooping mops at the ends of the branches. A unique plant, odd and charming, lending itself to creative pruning.
Juniperus virginiana ‘Grey Owl’ – see Juniperus ‘Grey Owl’
K K K K
KALMIA / MOUNTAIN LAUREL, BOG LAUREL / Ericaceae / A small group of evergreen shrubs prized for foliage and flowers. They are American natives, found variously from dry slopes to waterside. Clusters of cup-shaped flowers in shades of pink are beautiful in spring.
Kalmia latifolia / MOUNTAIN LAUREL / One of the most cherished shrubs of the eastern US, this grows slowly into a large shrub 12-15 ft. tall or more. Narrowly ovate leaves of shiny deep green are the backdrop for round, late spring clusters of flowers in white to deep rose, delicately painted with lines or dots of maroon. Best with some shade and water in a well-drained soil. Z 4
Kapuka – see Griselinia littoralis
Keaki- see Zelkova
Kinnikinnik – see Arctostaphylos uvaursi
KIRENGESHOMA palmata / YELLOW WAX-BELLS / Solanaceae / From Japan and Korea comes this unique perennial for late summer. Mounds of maple-like leaves give rise to branching stems carrying pale yellow, nodding bells from large, round buds. A choice feature for shade and moist humus. Z 5
KNAUTIA / WIDOW FLOWER / Dipsacaceae / These uncommon perennials of European meadows and grasslands are related to Scabiosa. Their lacy, pincushion flowers open for months atop very vase-worthy stems above mounds of attractive foliage. Knautias prefer sun and well-drained soil, with or without water.
Knautia macedonica ( Scabiosa rumelica) / MEADOW WIDOW FLOWER / From the Balkans comes this distinctive and desirable perennial with divided, gray-green leaves and lacy 1 1/2 in. buttons of wine red flowers from late spring into fall. Quite bushy, the plant becomes a mound a foot tall and twice as wide topped by the striking blooms on 12 in stalks. Z 6
KNIPHOFIA / TORCH LILY / Asphodelaceae ( or Xanthorroeaceae) / Almost all the 70 species of Kniphofia are found in Southern Africa. Few wild species are found in gardens, despite their exotic beauty, though their hybrids are common garden features around the world. Slender, tubular flowers in red, orange, yellow or ivory are packed in conical spikes atop tall, stiff stalks rising above clumps of narrow, spiky leaves.
Kniphofias are related to Aloes but are less succulent and more frost-hardy. They want sun and good, well-drained soil. They tolerate drought but seem more enthusiastic with water. Most are evergreen. Pollinated by birds at home, kniphofias are a favorite of hummingbirds.
Kniphofia caulescens / An imposing clump of thick, blue-green aloe-like leaves up to 18 in. long, eventually atop a short trunk, topped with spikes of creamy flowers tinged salmon on 6 ft. stalks. Exciting accent from South Africa, for sun, good drainage. Z 7
Kniphofia citrina / YELLOW TORCH LILY / A fine hardy evergreen perennial making a clump of slender, bright green swords 2-3 ft. long, stiffly arching below 3 ft. torches of tubular flowers. The blooms are golden to yellow-orange at the top of the spike, pale and creamy toward the bottom. Gives weeks of color in summer. Sun, Z 5
Kniphofia triangularis / A small poker, with wiry, grassy leaves making an airy evergreen clump 2 ft. high. Slender torches of golden orange to neon flowers open among the leaves in late summer. A rare treasure to tuck into a sunny spot. Z 5
KOELREUTERIA / Sapindaceae / Three deciduous trees from Asia admired for their healthy good-looks in adverse conditions. Feathery leaves spread a wide crown casting moderate shade. Tiny yellow flowers in large, filmy sprays brighten the late summer landscape, followed by inflated pinkish seed pods that carry the color into late fall. Koelreuterias are generally pest free and drought-hardy. Their modest size makes them ideal city trees.
Koelreuteria paniculata / GOLDEN RAIN TREE / Lacy, small deciduous tree with big, airy clouds of tiny yellow flowers in mid summer, then showy, pink inflated seed pods. Doubly divided leaves with scalloped leaflets make a wide, diaphanous crown; thick branches give a nice winter pattern. Excellent, drought-hardy garden tree for sun. Z 5 (For the golden chain tree, see Laburnum)
Kowhai – see Sophora
Labrador tea – see Ledum
LABURNUM / GOLDEN CHAIN TREE / Fabaceae / These trees are not related to the Koereuterias except by their confusingly similar common names. True, both have yellow flowers, but Laburnums have pea flowers in long, dangling chains in spring, followed by small, brown seed pods. Laburnum leaves are small, divided into three leaflets. The trees are very hardy and take drought well where summers are cool.
Laburnum alpinum / SCOTCH LABURNUM / The more elegant of the two species, this uncommon tree makes a broad crown to 15 ft. laden in April with dense, pendant chains, often well over a foot long, of bright yellow flowers. Small, bright green are divided into three 2-3 in. leaflets.Stunning in bloom and well worth a spot in a shrub border or small garden. From central and southern Europe, not Scotland. Sun; drought-hardy. Z 5
Ladybell – see Adenophora
Larch – see Larix
LARIX / LARCH / Pinaceae / Deciduous conifers with an unruly beauty, found in cold, wet places in the Northern Hemisphere. Their branches sweep out and up while side branches often droop gracefully. Slender needles come one at a time on leading shoots, but in bunches of 10 or more elsewhere on the tree. Small cones linger on the bare branches. It is hard to decide whether the glorious fresh green of their spring foliage is more beautiful than the painterly golds and ambers of fall. Larches take to cultivation well, even where not wet, as long as summers are short or cool. They want full sun.
Larix decidua / EUROPEAN LARCH / Narrowly pyramidal, to 80 ft. tall, with spreading branches and hanging side branches. Bright green needles 1-1 1/2 in. long turn golden in fall. Z 2
Larix decidua ssp. polonica / POLISH LARCH / Well separated from the main populations of European larch, this subspecies differs most obviously in its very pale twigs, which look ivory white in winter, and in its habit of leafing out very early, beginning in February here.
Larix kaempferi / JAPANESE LARCH / Sumptuous deciduous conifer with frosty-green needles on sweeping, picturesque branches giving an arresting show of creamy-yellow to deep orange-amber fall color. To 60 ft. with long branches. Z 6
Larix laricina / TAMARACK / From the far northern US and Canada, south to Illinois and Maryland, west to Alaska. Short, pale green needles, less than an inch long, and charmingly tiny cones set this larch apart. A small tree, 20-40 ft. tall in gardens, with golden orange fall color. Z 1
Larix occidentalis / WESTERN LARCH / Tall tree to 150 ft. or more, from middle elevations east of the crest of the Cascade Range. Fresh, soft green needles of spring glow golden in fall against flaking, orange-gray bark. Sun, moist or dry. z5
Laurel, mountain – see Kalmia latifolia
LAURUS nobilis / BAY / Lauraceae / From the Mediterranean, a plant of antiquity, still much valued and used. Grows into a large evergreen shrub or tree 20-40 ft. tall, with luxuriant masses of sharply oval, deep green, sweetly spicy leaves for soups and stews. Tiny greenish flowers in late winter lead to shiny black berries. Tough and versatile, for hedges, street and terrace trees, containers, topiary, in sun or shade, water or not. Z 8
Laurustinus – see Viburnum tinus
LAVANDULA / LAVENDER / Lamiaceae / Garden favorites over the centuries, the lavenders earn their popularity for hardiness, drought-tolerance and adaptability as well as their legendary fragrance. Drifts of silvery lavenders, flowering or not, are a beautiful backbone for a dry border or slope. Lavenders can star in containers or elegantly edge a rose garden. For all they give, they only ask for sun and good drainage; leggy plants can be pruned hard in early spring.
Lavandula angustifolia / ENGLISH LAVENDER / Native not to England but to the Pyrenees region of S. France and Spain. This is the principal lavender, giving rise to new cultivars every year, with grayer or greener foliage, taller or shorter habit and flowers from deep blue to soft pink or white. The usual size of unpruned plants is 18-24 in. tall and nearly twice as wide. They all want sun and are best in a poor, dry soil. Z 5
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Alba’ / WHITE LAVENDER / A typical lavender, making a rounded mound 12-18 in. high and twice as wide, with light green foliage and refreshing white flowers on 12-18 in. stalks.
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Gmerick’ / Dense, bushy plant to 2 ft. with large spikes of rich lilac-purple flowers
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Silver Edge’ / VARIEGATED LAVENDER / A cultivar of moderate size, 18 in. high and twice as wide, with light blue-purple flowers and leaves thinly edged in cream. The subtle, warm glow of the foliage sets the plant apart intriguingly.
Lavandula dentata / FRENCH LAVENDER / A fat, 3 ft. dome of fuzzy gray-green leaves, nicely scalloped and embossed, densely lining upturned branches. Tall spikes of blue-violet flowers often carry into winter. Tender beauty worth a hot, dry, sheltered spot. Z 9
Lavandula x intermedia / LAVANDIN / These are hybrids of L. angustifolia and L. latifolia, generally making bigger plants with larger, often branching flower spikes. They are widely cultivated for lavender oil and have plenty of the famous fragrance. Lavandins may not, however, be quite as hardy as English lavender and are usually rated Z 6.
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Fred Boutin’ / Excellent all around, with dense, silvery foliage and abundant spikes of deep lavender-blue flowers. Eventually large, to 2 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide.
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grappenhall ‘ / One of the most substantial lavenders, with broad gray-white leaves and lavender blue flowers on branching 2 ft. stems.
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ / Tall cultivar with very large, dark purple flowers on a silvery plant of good all year substance. A major source of lavender oil.
Lavandula lanata / WOOLLY LAVENDER / From Spain, this one is distinct from most lavenders with its fat, velvety white leaves and late bloom. Deep blue purple flowers open late in the summer. A rounded 3 ft. when in bloom. Z 8
Lavandula latifolia / SPIKE LAVENDER / Similar to common lavender (L.angustifolia) but with leaves broader in the middle, velvety gray. Also, the flowers are borne on branching stalks to 4 ft. tall, sometimes more. A large, strongly aromatic lavender, which has been crossed with common lavender to produce the ‘lavandins’. Z 7
Lavandula stoechas / SPANISH LAVENDER / A bigger plant than other lavenders, often 3 ft. tall and twice as wide. The flowers are different, too: dense knobs of purplish-green bracts with tiny purple flowers peeping out are crowned with erect, petal-like ‘flags’ of bright purple. Stringy, gray green foliage with a vinegary herbal fragrance is clumped on tan branches. making a greener, airier plant that contrasts attractively with other species. Z 8
Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’ / Small, narrow gray green leaves make a sprawling 24 in. bush with tight heads of purple flowers topped with brilliant purple ‘flags’. Pretty and hard working, blooming for months, even through a mild winter.
Lavandula viridis / YELLOW LAVENDER / A little-grown but interesting lavender with a different color scheme: bright green, scalloped leaves and creamy chartreuse flowers. Delightfully different, but a bit tender, growing 18 in tall. Harmonizes nicely with purple lavenders. Z 8-9
LAVATERA / TREE MALLOW / Malvaceae / Annuals and evergreen shrubs from mild regions around the world with variously lobed, ‘maple-like’ leaves and showy ‘hollyhock’ flowers in pink and lavender shades. They grow fast, bloom hard and die young, but few shrubs have more flower power. And few are easier to grow; sun and well drained soil will do.
Lavatera x clementii ‘Barnsley’ ( Lavatera thuringiaca ‘Barnsley’)/ The most popular of the ‘tree mallows’, a lusty, rounded evergreen shrub to 6-8 ft. and as wide. Maple-ish gray-green leaves on maroon twigs are accompanied nearly all year by 3 in. saucers of palest pink centered in rose. Delivers bushels of color quickly. Sun; drainage; drought-hardy. Z 8
Lavender – see Lavandula
Lavender cotton – see Santolina
Lead plant – see Amorpha canescens
Leatherwood – see Eucryphia lucida
LEDUM / LABRADOR TEA / Ericaceae / We will soon put these into Rhododendron, where botanists now think they belong. All are small, azalea-like evergreen shrubs with narrowly oval, aromatic leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers. They gravitate to bogs and shorelines, though they seem to grow where they are planted. They are, however, obvious choices for sunny wet spots.
Ledum glandulosum / WESTERN LABRADOR TEA / Small evergreen azalea relative of our swamps, slowly reaching 3-4 ft. tall. Narrow bright green, refreshingly aromatic leaves 2 in. long frame clusters of small white flowers in late spring. Sun, wet or average soil. Z 4
Lenten rose – see Helleborus orientalis
LEPTOSPERMUM / TEA TREE / Myrtaceae / These evergreens from Australia and New Zealand, long enjoyed in California, are making their way north as much as hardiness, and adventurous gardeners, will allow. Several are essentially hardy in Zone 8, at least where summers are cool and dry.
Tea trees look much like heathers in their generally small, narrow leaves, which are aromatic. The flowers, also small, have five rounded, white or pink, rarely red, petals around a dark center; they may be so profuse as to nearly hide the foliage. All species are fast-growing and drought hardy and prefer a sunny, well-drained spot.
Leptospermum lanigerum / WOOLLY TEA TREE / One of the hardiest tea trees, a lovely erect shrub to 8 ft. or more. Small, gray green and silvery leaves on pink twigs densely arranged on upturned branches. Tiny white flowers from pink buds add delicate beauty. Z 8
Leptospermum lanigerum – silver form / Once called L. cunninghamii, this smaller plant with larger flowers differs mainly in its thick, silvery gray green leaves. Gnarled mounding form to 5 ft tall.
Leptospermum scoparium / MANUKA / Heather-like large evergreen shrub 8-12 ft. tall. Linear 1/2 in. aromatic leaves on long upturned branches, scattered with dainty white or pink flowers for many months. Z 8b
LEUCOSIDEA sericea / OLDWOOD / Rosaceae / Something rare and different in the huge rose family. This South African evergreen shrub or small tree show its relation to the Potentilla and Sanguisorba in its fuzzy, light green leaves, silvery underneath, divided into toothed leaflets. Spikes of small greenish flowers are nice close-up. Gnarled and wandering branches are shaggy, cinnamon tan. Sun; moist or dry; Z 8?
LEWISIA / Portulaceae / Ten or more succulent wildflowers of western North America, prized by plant collectors but challenging to grow. Rosettes of fleshy leaves produce stalks of showy flowers, mostly in shades of pink, but ranging into yellow, orange, red, salmon, apricot, and magenta. Lewisias come from dry country, sprouting from gravelly plains and rocky ledges, often in the dappled shade of pines. In the garden, they need the same- sharp drainage and partial shade. When happy, they are gorgeous.
Lewisia cotyledon hybrids / Spectacular succulent perennials derived from several western native species. Rosettes of thick, wavy-edged, 2-3 in. leaves and branching clusters of satiny 1 in. flowers in shades of pink, salmon, rose, apricot and yellow, often reblooming. Easily cultivated in gritty soil and bright shade, where they will be drought hardy. Z 6
LIATRIS / GAYFEATHER / Asteraceae / Distinctive American perennials from the prairies. Very narrow leaves form a dense clump that gets taller in early summer as leafy stalks arise carrying slender, fuzzy spikes of pink, purple or white flowers. The flowers have no petals, and are packed tightly together to form a club of colorful stamens, opening from the top down. These are choice cut flowers, extremely hardy and fairly drought tolerant.
Liatris spicata / DENSE BLAZING STAR / Native midwest perennial with clublike 3-4 ft. spikes of fluffy rose flowers above a tussock of grassy leaves. Dies down to corms in winter. Beautiful, long-blooming accent. Z 4
LIBERTIA / A garden-worthy group of evergreen, spear-leaved perennials from Chile and New Zealand. The foliage is the attraction in some, fans of stiff blades in remarkable shades of gold and orange. Green-leaved species are great foliage plants, too, with the addition of white flowers along slender stalks. Libertias are tough and easy to grow where summers are mild, wanting average, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. They are drought hardy.
Libertia grandiflora / TAKAUKI / Thick, grassy, bright green leaves make a 2 ft. high clump surmounted by many 3-4 ft. tall spikes of 1/2 in. white flowers and pea-sized seed capsules, attractive for months. A fine basic garden plant from New Zealand. Z 8
Libertia ixioides / Clumps of slender, stiffly arching light green leaves blushed gold and orange make this one of the hot foliage plants for mild regions. Grows 2 ft. high and somewhat wider, decorated in summer with nodding stems strung with small white flowers and later, interesting dark seed capsules. Sun or part shade; fairly drought hardy; Z 8.
Libertia peregrinans / Fans of sensational bronzy green and orange, sword-like leaves make an open colony 12-18 in. high. Spikes of white flowers arise in summer, leaving behind round, golden seed pods. Uncommonly colorful evergreen perennial from New Zealand. Z 8
Libocedrus decurrens – see Calocedrus decurrens
LIGUSTRUM / PRIVET / Oleaceae / Privet has an industrial sound, of plants chosen only because they will grow where needed and do hard work. That idea short changes these plants. Many are quite plain, and none are fancy, but there is plenty of need for plants with simple elegance and dignity. Privets give us abundant foliage, simple, usually oval leaves of deep, usually shiny, green. Flowers are tiny, creamy white, in showy clusters with a fragrance not loved by all. Blue or black berries follow. Privets are mostly drought hardy and easy to grow.
Ligustrum delavayanum / Unusual, erect evergreen to 8 – 12 ft. carrying round, 1/2 in. dark green leaves in frond-like masses. Small white flowers, black fruit. Fine choice for screening, handsome specimen tree. From the Himalayas. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 8
Ligustrum lucidum / GLOSSY PRIVET / Tailored Chinese evergreen tree to 40 ft. with crisp, shiny 3-4 in. leaves and quite showy display of white flower clusters. Good street or terrace tree, widely used because it combines good looks with durability. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 8
Ligustrum ovalifolium ‘Variegatum’ / Open deciduous or evergreen shrub to 8 ft., with oval 1-2 in leaves margined smartly in white. Best in part shade; drought-hardy. Z 6
Ligustrum quihoi / Rare 6 ft. deciduous species from China, praised for its enormous flower clusters, up to 18 in. long, the flowers the usual creamy white, gracefully bending the arching branches. Sun or part shade, drought hardy. Z 6
Ligustrum sinense / CHINESE PRIVET / A large shrub or graceful small tree to 15 ft. said to be deciduous, but fairly evergreen here. Long, frondlike branches carry arching sprays of narrowly oval 1-2 in. shiny leaves. Big plumes of white flowers are showy in summer and lead to tiny black berries. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy; Z 7
Lilac – see Syringa
Lilac, California – see Ceanothus
Lily-of-the-Nile – see Agapanthus
Linden – see Tilia
LINNAEA borealis / TWINFLOWER / Linnaeaceae / Charming evergreen groundcover of the northern parts of the globe. A dense carpet of round, 1/2 in. leaves on trailing stems, sometimes spreading many yards wide. Tiny bells in pale lavender nod atop thread-like stems in summer. Shade, loose humus; fairly drought hardy. Z 2
LINUM / FLAX / Linaceae / These are the true flaxes, L. usitatissimum being the source of linen fabric, linseed oil and flaxseed. The other species make delightful perennials for sunny, well drained gardens. They vary much in their forms and flower colors, but are easy to grow in sun and well-drained soil.
Linum perenne var. lewisii / WESTERN FLAX / NW native perennial flax making an airy fountain of slender arching stems to 1-3 ft., lined with tiny, narrow, blue-green leaves and topped with many 3/4 in, cup-shaped, sky blue flowers in late spring. A joy to behold, especially in sweeps with iris or California poppies. Z 4
LIQUIDAMBAR / SWEET GUM / Hamamelidaceae / Beautiful, erect trees from North America, Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Their starry leaves say ‘maple’, but these are not in pairs as in Acer. And the fruits are entirely different: tiny seeds in prickly globes. Fall is their glorious season, and their spectacular coloration lasts a long time. These are trees of moist places but are rather drought-hardy.
Liquidambar formosana / FORMOSAN SWEET GUM / Like the American tree, but smaller, to 40-60 ft. tall. Its simpler, 3-lobed leaves open purple and turn lilac and wine in late fall or winter. Lush and constantly colorful, yet rarely seen. Sun, drought hardy. Z 8
LIRIODENDRON / TULIP POPLAR / Two imposing deciduous trees, one in North America and one in China. Their unique leaves give them away, four triangular lobes around a squared-off tip. Tulip-shaped flowers in green marked orange become cone-like clusters of seeds with narrow, woody wings. Fall turns the trees to gold. Tulip poplars are altogether easy to grow, but achieve grandeur best on rich, deep, moist soil.
Liriodendron chinense / CHINESE TULIP TREE / As rare as the other is common, this is a narrowly rounded tree to 60-80 ft. tall. The lobes of the leaf are longer and narrower than in the American species. Botanically interesting for sure, but beautiful, too. Z 7
LOMATIA / Proteaceae / An exciting group of fancy-leaved evergreens adding a touch of the exotic to any planting. Toothed or finely divided leaves are accompanied by clusters of small, curled flowers, usually white and fragrant, highly attractive to bees. Flat seeds are borne in oval black pods. Reflecting continental drift, some lomatias are South American, the rest Australian. They want sun or part shade, well-drained soil and a mild climate. They are drought hardy.
Lomatia myricoides / Exotic Australian evergreen shrub to 10-15 ft. tall. Leaves 4-8 in. long, very narrow, saw-toothed, silvery below, emerging fuzzy brown. Spidery, fragrant, white flowers add still more exotic appeal in summer. Unique and wonderful texture for something so hardy. Sun or light shade; Z 8
LONICERA / HONEYSUCKLE / Caprifoliaceae / It is hard to summarize such a large and diverse genus. Beyond the familiar vines with fragrant flowers that the name brings to mind are dozens of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, many grown for foliage rather than blooms. The evergreen species grow almost anywhere but are superb in dry shade. Deciduous species have subtly charming flowers and fruit which attract wildlife. Many species leaf out very early, giving an encouraging preview of spring. Most honeysuckles are very easy to satisfy.
Lonicera chrysantha / Rare, small deciduous shrub with pale yellow flowers and glowing coral-red berries. From northeast Asia; sun or shade; best with water; Z 3.
Lonicera ciliosa / ORANGE HONEYSUCKLE / Native deciduous climber here on wooded edges, its blue green, rounded leaves and clustered bright orange flowers peeking from the lower branches of trees. Sun at top, shade at roots; drought hardy. Z 5
Lonicera fragrantissima / FRAGRANT HONEYSUCKLE / A large evergreen or deciduous shrub from China with a full, spreading form to 8 ft. tall and somewhat wider. Oval 2-3 in. leaves hold through winter here, leaving the small, white, lemony-sweet flowers to peek out between them, from December into spring. Sun or part shade; drought-hardy ; Z 4.
Lonicera henryi / Rather nice evergreen twiner with long-pointed, 3-4 in. leaves, unusual orange-pink flowers and blue fruit. Excellent fast cover for fences or stumps. Sun or shade, drought-hardy. Z 4
Lonicera hispidula / PINK HONEYSUCKLE / Native west coast evergreen climber from dry woods, here usually found with madrone. Small, gray-green leaves, pretty lavender flowers, bright red fruit. Makes a nice bank cover. Sun or shade, drought-hardy. Z 8
Lonicera involucrata / TWINBERRY / Native deciduous shrub of western wetlands. Ovate, bright green leaves, yellow flowers and black fruit with showy red calyx are unique among our honeysuckles. Makes a thicket 6-8 ft. high, attractive and wildlife friendly. Sun or part shade, moist or not. Z 6
Lonicera nitida /BOX HONEYSUCKLE / Fast evergreen of soft outline, to 5-6 ft. tall. Leaves shiny, 1/4 in. long in airy fronds. Tiny greenish flowers lead to berries like clear violet beads. Immensely useful, attractive and sturdy, fine as a clipped hedge. From China. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 7
Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ / A 4 ft. fountain of soft, sunny yellow; chartreuse in part shade, platinum blonde in sun.
Lonicera nitida ‘Red Tip’ / Exciting form with broader leaves than the usual, very shiny, continuously emerging carmine red at twig tips. Open, airy growth.
Lonicera nitida ‘Silver Mound’ / Low, spreading plant 2 ft. high and twice as wide. Narrow bright green leaves, thinly edged white.
Lonicera pileata / PRIVET HONEYSUCKLE / Neat, low, spreading evergreen to 18 in. high and 3-4 ft. wide. Tiny, glossy leaves in spreading fronds, studded with clear purple berries. A very nice, drought-hardy groundcover, especially in shade. Z 5
Lonicera standishii / Small white flowers with a luscious scent of lemon drops generously dot this 6 ft. deciduous shrub from January to March. Oval, bright green, 2 in. leaves may stay until spring. Something to look forward to during the dark months. Sun or shade; drought-hardy. Z 6
Lonicera tomentella / Rare deciduous species with arching branches carrying airy sprays of 1/2 in. light green leaves. Tiny pinkish flowers, blue berries are bonuses. Open form to 6 ft. tall. Sun or part shade; fairly drought hardy. z5
Lonicera x xylosteoides / Gracefully vigorous deciduous shrub to 6 ft. tall and twice as wide. Dark, arching branches lined with oval, blue-green, 2 in. leaves make a good color splash. Clusters of pink flowers, bright red berries. Sun, drought-hardy. Z 5
Loquat – see Eriobotrya
Love grass – see Eragrostis
LUETKIA pectinata / PARTRIDGE FOOT / Rosaceae / Lacy, bright green mats of finely cut foliage little more than an inch high, carpeting moist, alpine scree. Tiny cream flowers on short spikes add summer interest. A charming filigree for cool rock garden. Sun; moist, well drained soil; Z 5
LUMA / Myrtaceae / Several South American shrubs and trees whose names seem to change with every new book. All have small, glossy, round to oval leaves, white flowers with a brush of white stamens and glossy black or purple berries. They are all handsome and easy to grow, but only the one below is much seen.
Luma apiculata ( Myrtus luma ) / CHILEAN MYRTLE / Very nice small tree, as renowned for its flaking copper and cream bark as for its free-form crown of shiny, rounded, aromatic, 3 /4 in. leaves. Puffy white flowers lead to purple-black fruits with fascinating flavor. Moderate growth to 10-20 ft. Sun or shade, drought hardy. Z 8b
Lupine – see Lupinus
LUPINUS / LUPINE / Fabaceae / These well-known and much loved annuals, perennials and shrubs are scattered around the world, but most come from the western U.S. Their tall, straight spikes of showy pea flowers and fan-like leaves are a winning combination. Lupines want sun; most are from dry regions and are drought hardy.
Lupinus arboreus / TREE LUPINE / An evergreen shrub of California beaches, and now naturalized north to Washington. Broad 4-6 ft. dome of light blue-green leaves well furnished with spikes of fragrant, pale yellow blooms. Sun, sandy soil, drought hardy. Z8
Lupinus latifolius / BROAD-LEAVED LUPINE / Lovely native perennial of Northwest mountains and prairies. From mounds of large, divided leaves arise 3 ft. stalks bearing spikes of deep blue and purple flowers. Sun, drainage, drought hardy. Z 7
Lupinus lepidus var. aridus / DRY GROUND LUPINE / A perennial gem from the sagebrush country of eastern Washington and Oregon, spreading a low mound of small, starry leaves brightened with silvery hairs. Dense 8 in. cones of flowers in light and dark violet blue, shaded light yellow in the center, are beautiful in spring. Sun; drainage; Z 5
Lupinus littoralis / BEACH LUPINE / A low. broad, evergreen shrub of Pacific shorelines, to 2 ft. tall and much wider. Bright green leaves 2-4 in. wide and tall spikes of flowers in blue, purple and white over many months. Sun; drainage; Z 7
Lupinus polyphyllus / BIG-LEAVED LUPINE / Showy NW native of moist meadows, with 3-4 ft. spikes of deep blue flowers above 6-12 in. divided leaves. Parent of Russell hybrids, but very nice as it is. Sun, drought hardy, but enjoys ample spring moisture. Z 3
Lupinus rivularis / STREAMBANK LUPINE / A shrubby, semi-evergreen plant to 3 ft. high and somewhat wider. Light green leaves make a full, mounding form, covered in spring with short spikes of fragrant flowers in white, blue and lavender. One of our showiest flowering shrubs, stunning on a bank or in a sunny border. Z 7
LUZULA / WOOD RUSH / Juncaceae / A world-wide genus of grassy plants native to weoodlands and meadows. Often overlooked in their habitats, they are pleasing additions to gardens, both wild and tame. Their broad leaves are often fringed with fine hairs. Fluffy seed clusters add seasonal textures. Most species want some shade and many are drought-hardy.
Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’ / VARIEGATED WOOD RUSH / From Europe, this one has broad, 12 in. leaves forming a sprawling clump 2-3 ft. wide. In this cultivar, the leaves have a subtle silvery edge that makes the bold texture sing. Frothy flower clusters are a nice extra. Shade; drought-hardy. Z 5
LYCHNIS / CATCHFLY / Perennials from many parts of Europe and Asia, long grown for their abundant color and simple needs. Flowers with broad petals open in summer, often harmonizing with their gray or bronze foliage.
Lychnis x arkwrightii ‘Vesuvius’ / Branching stems 12-18 in. high are furnished in oval, 1-2 in. maroon tinted leaves and topped by clusters of 1 in. flowers in flaming red orange. A smoldering beauty, colorful for many weeks. Sun or part shade; best with water. Z 6
LYCIUM / BOXTHORN / Solanaceae / These shrubby nightshade relatives are scattered around the warmer parts of the world. Tomato-like flowers in blue, purple or yellow open among small leaves on spiny branches. Small berries, usually red, are edible in some important species.
Lycium chinense / GOJI BERRY / Lately risen to stardom in the health food world, the glowing red, tart fruits of this species have been a staple food in parts of Asia for ages. Arching canes to 6 ft. high carry oval, 1 in. leaves, purple flowers and the showy berries. Sun, well-drained soil; drought-hardy. Z 6
LYONOTHAMNUS floribundus ssp. asplenifolius / SANTA CRUZ IRONWOOD / Famous endemic of S. Calif. islands, a narrow evergreen tree to 40-60 ft. tall. Gorgeously toothed and divided leaves, cinnamon bark, wide clusters of white flowers add up to one of North America’s most distinctive trees. The related Catalina ironwood, ssp. florabundus,has smooth edged, usual simple leaves. Sun, good drainage. Z 8b in sheltered corner.