young seedling leaves intermediate mature flower spike
Musa sikimensis Ruby Dragon Fire-Breath DARJEELING BANANA more intensely colored strain than even "Red Tiger," which we sold about ten years ago. This seed strain is one of the best and most dramatic ornamental species available, and one of the most cold-tolerant as well. It features wonderful, deep maroon stripes and undersides on the youngest foliage (a la M. sumatrana 'Zebrinus'), and occasionally on mature leaves but much fainter. It is a very large, fast grower where well sited, with pseudotrunks growing to 12-15' and leaves adding another 6' or so more. New pseudotrunks spread the clump slowly outwards, eventually forming large colonies where happy. Mature plants can produce a long, arching to pendant flower spike, very showy with its very large, maroon and dark golden bracts and buds. Plants readily set fruit but those aren't edible, being fully packed with seeds. This species is grown as far north as Portland without special attention, and even Seattle if mulched. Where the trunks freeze it regrows to about 10' each year but doesn't flower. I've had a large grove at my house in Santa Cruz for over 15 years and it brings more tropical vibe and ambience to the yard than any other plant. Sun to mostly shade, moderate to little direct watering when established (those trunks are storage tanks). Our plants are grown from seed produced by my own garden specimen (the reddest of all our original seedlings) and only the reddest of those are sold under this exotic name, being a MBN-original direct translation from the Chinese. USDA zone 8a/Sunset zone 5, 8-9, 14-24. Himalayas. rev 4/2017 *New (again!) for 2017!* in 05G
Musa yunnanensis YUNNAN BANANA, FOREST BANANA another highly sought after, highly ornamental, graceful, moderate size, cold-tolerant species from high elevation Yunnan Province in China. It is recognized by long, dark green, ribbed and usually folded leaves held partway out on long petioles which arch over gracefully over. It also has a characteristic, beautiful, white, waxy coating on the petioles and upper trunk, blackish marking on the leaves and pseudotrunks and long, sinuous flower spikes featuring a thin, extended central bud column. In hot, humid, partly shaded conditions the leaves are held flat but in full sun and cool, dry, coastal California the blades usually fold over neatly at the midrib. At my house orioles regularly use those folded leaves as sites for building their hanging-basket nests. Pseudotrunks are thinner and not so tall on this modest-sized species, so it's not likely to outgrow its spot. Originally purchased and sold as M. itinerans by us about ten years ago, this tightly clumping form was separated and formally described in 2008. USDA zone 7 or 8/Sunset zones 5, 8-9, 14-24 rev 4/2017 *New (again!) for 2017!* in 05G
Spring Trials 2017
Josh Schneider (Cultivaris), Phil Nienaber (Smith Salvia 'Killer Cranberry' and 'Little Kiss'
Gardens) and April Herring (PPL) - 2016 (both MBN varieties!) at the Sunset booth, PPL
Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry' PP26609 Salvia microphylla 'Little Kiss' PPAF
PPL Sunset Booth, 2016 a new, very dwarf 'Hot Lips' - Sunset Booth, 2016
PPL Sunset booth, 2016 Jerry Pitman of Sunset, PPL 2016
Leucospermum 'California Sunshine'
a late-blooming, compact, dense grower with narrow leaves, to
about 4' tall and 6' across. Light golden yellow flowers
appear in April. Flowers show red-tipped stamens, clusters age to
an overall glowing golden orange. A good landscape/garden form,
doesn't reach or fall open and is easy to prune to shape (after
winter bloom is finished!). Typical conditions: full sun, little
or no summer irrigation, good drainage. Pretty good in containers,
for a few years at least. rev 3/2017 *New
Leucospermum 'Goldie' upright flowers are a deep, rich yellow, eventually golden in color with orange stigma tips. Moderately narrow dark green leaves have a distinctive tip. Can reach an eventual 4-6' tall and 6-8' wide, with a moderately open, upright habit, denser with pruning. This is most likely a form of straight L. cuneiforme and not a hybrid, but opinions vary. Forms an interesting lignotuber with age. rev 3/2017 *New for 2017!*
Cordyline 'Polka' peachy-orange new growth ages to olive green, To 5' tall and wide. Part of the 'Dance' series. rev 2/2017 7 *New for 2017!*
Kalanchoe 'Katapifa Tarantula' double flowers! Deeply divided dark green leaves! All budded up! Grows to less than a foot tall, and a great foliage plant when not in bloom. Tender, protect from all freezing conditions. USDA zone 10. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
Sempervivum 'Alpha' dark green leaves, with webby tips, pick up dark red tones in late winter. Pink flowers. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
Seslaria autumnalis AUTUMN MOOR GRASS flower heads, close a green clumper, featuring interesting silvery white spring flower and seed spikes. A non-invasive meadow subject, drought tolerant near the coast. Mass plantings, grouped, edgings. Sun, part shade, to 10-12". USDA zone 5. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
A VERY YOUNG PLANT JUST ITCHING TO TURN BRONZE!
Aloe 'Walmsley Bronze' "it's just like the other one, except it's bronze." That's what they told me. Sunset zones 21-24/USDA zone 9a-10 until I have more hardiness info. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
Crassula cephalophora young plants an ultra-mini Propeller Plant. Juvenile foliage is green and slightly fuzzy, mature leaves become grey, thick, densely and minutely fuzzy, and with neatly stacked opposite leaves. Very small flowers are light pink and are produced in very tight, arching terminal clusters. The buds initiate under short-day conditions. Also sold as C. nudicaulis. USDA zone 9. South Agrica. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
Crassula corymbulosa young greenhouse plants, juvenile foliage older, outdoors, mature foliage, sun, cool closeup a rather strongly dimorphic species, emerging from the greenhouse with soft, green, juvenile foliage then maturing to a very compact, tightly stacked, small-leaved, mature plant that often turns red under cool conditions and strong light. Very small spikes of very tiny flowers appear in winter. Inches tall, and wide, keep it in a small container, a succulent combination dish garden, or in crevices, rocky soil, etc. Sun to half shade, will tolerate a little frost, not much. USDA zone 9. South Agrica. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
Helleborus 'Frostkiss Molly's White' flowers rounded, cupped, dusky coral pink buds open to widely flared, outward-facing, very white flowers, with perky green shading on the petal faces. Very large, tough leaves are wonderfully marbled with gold, flower stems are deep burgundy. Lots going on, all of it very nice! To 12-24" tall, 24" wide. Late January to February bloom for us. USDA zone 5.
*New for 2017!*
Helleborus 'HGC Love Bug' just opening! rounded, very dark coral pink buds opened in February for us to display warm white to pale yellow flowers ,heavily blushed with light coral pink and pastel green. Foliage is compact and hard, leaves are dark, rich grey green against deep cranberry stems. A very compact grower, to just 12-15" tall and wide. USDA zone 5. rev 2/2017 *New for 2017!*
Phormium 'Golden Ray' new leaves, young plant a slightly thinner-leaved form, to 5' tall and wide. Leaves show wide creamy marginal edges, a clean, deep green central stripe and thin, deep burgundy to glowing orange lines defining the very edges. It looks suspiciously like a P. cookianum (Mountain Flax) derivation, especially compared to 'Apricot Queen,' P. cookianum 'Tricolor' and P. cookianum 'Cream Delight,' but no other growers I've found list it as such. Young plants show nice peachy tones on the new leaves under cool conditions. rev. 1/2017 *New for 2017!*