Pachyphytum a genus of Echeveria-like succulents native to Mexico, valued for their neatly sculpted leaves and showy flowers. Being small scale they are easy to tuck into nooks and crannies or bare spots in containers. All 20 or so species are found in Mexico. Crassulaceae. rev 5/2019

bracteosum  (not currently in production)  pastels  beautiful, powdery blue, flattened leaves with rounded edges have pink highlights, and form a loose, open rosette. Nodding flower stalks in spring straighten as the coral flowers open. A great container subject, alone or mixed with other succulents. About 12" tall and wide, forming a clump of silvery leaves that look like polished stones. Part sun or bright light. Water in spring and summer, but deals with cold better if kept dry in winter. Indoor/outdoor or with winter protection in USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16-24. rev 5/2019 

'Caterpillar'   (not currently in production)  cool sea green  thick-fingered leaves form stemless rosettes less than 12" tall. Slow, clumping, a stunning container subject when mature. Grow in sun to bright shade with spring-fall watering, keep dry in winter. Indoor/outdoor or with winter protection in USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16-24. rev 5/2019 

compactum   (not currently in production)    at the Huntington   rosettes of stubby, pointy leaves adorned with leaf imprints, on short stems make up this easy to grow little succulent. A low grower, nice choice for containers, hanging baskets, or rock gardens. Okay in shade and dry soil. Charming pink and yellow flowers in spring. Indoor/outdoor or with winter protection in USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16-24. rev 5/2019

hookeri  (not currently in production)  plant   compact rosettes of chunky greyish leaves, flushed pink along the edges, to about 3" long, eventually forming a short, branched trunk. Upright to sprawling habit. Short spikes of pink and yellow flowers arise in spring. Wild forms range to red flower color. A relative of Sedum and Echeveria, this species is known from very few locations in Mexico. Indoor/outdoor or with winter protection in USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16-24. rev 5/2019

sp.  (not currently in production)    nice one   one handsome succulent with casual symmetry in these chunky, silvery blue rosettes. Forms a clump of wonderfulness, about 12" tall and wide, lovely in containers, mixed with others or alone. Sun, part shade in hotter areas, let dry between waterings. Indoor/outdoor, or move to shelter from cold and rain in winter. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 16-24. rev 5/2019

Pachyveria   easy, just cross Pachyphytum and Echeveria. Lots of wonderful possibilities, all small, elegant and cute. One source states they like soil mixes with good levels of phosphorus and potassium but low in nitrogen. rev 5/2019

scheideckeri ('Cheyenne') ethereal rosette   flowers close up   pearly, silver green leaves rosettes form a nice, small, always slightly irregular rosette to about 6-8" across, then cluster. In cold weather the leaves pick up reddish tints. Flowers are coral pink and orange. Typical tender succulent conditions. One of Suzy's favorites, and mine too! rev 4/2019

'Clavifolia'  wonderful leaves  a compact clumping hybrid, reportedly Pachyphytum bracteosum and Echeveria rosea. Blunt, powdery, silvery blue grey leaves are held upright, often slightly pinwheeled, and becoming flushed with violet in cool conditions. Salmon orange bell flowers are produced in spikes above the clump in spring. Indoors, porch/patio with protection, outdoors in areas of no frost and little winter rain. Water spring-fall, keep warm and dry in winter. rev 9/2017

'Exotica' (not currently in production) subliminality   absolutely sublime! Light blue leaves are air brushed with pink on the edges and tips, then covered with a white powdery coating. Grows in a rosette form and clumps. Suitable for hanging pots or spilling over the side of a planted combination planting. Under a foot tall and wider. Sun to part shade. Appreciates watering while growing but much less in winter. Shelter from cold in winter outside Sunset zones 21-24/USDA 10. rev 4/2012

'Round Leaf'   (not currently in production) round leaves   flowers   coral stems    probably Pachyphytum oviferum crossed with an Echeveria according to John Trager. The flower scapes certainly fit a hybrid-origin theory. Foliage is grape-like, and I mean like the grapes themselves, not the foliage of grapes, being giant, oval-round succulent things. They are powdery blue grey green with a glaucous cast, and the plants are very compact growing, with shy, bell-shaped coral red flowers produced on arching, pendant spikes. The coral red spikes actually provide most of the "flower" color since the flowers themselves only peek shyly from between their sepals. rev 3/2013

Pandorea jasminoides  an evergreen vine of moderate vigor, twining to scandent, with coarsely divided, glossy, pinnate leaves and clusters of white or pink trumpet shaped flowers produced in clusters almost throughout the year in cool-summer climates. The forms in the trade all clearly initiate well with modest chill, but may be short-day initiators as well. This is a good vine for containers due to initiating flowers readily for at least half the year in most areas of California, making it less than a rampant grower, and responding well to being restrained by cutting-back. It also tolerates water-stress well in containers, and can recover well from wilting down when necessary. It attracts hummingbirds and has very low seed-set almost always. It will also take relatively exposed coastal sites. Grow in sun to part shade with average to little summer watering, less flowering with the later option. Takes 25°F without apparent damage but was killed or severely damaged here at 20°F, resprouting from the roots well though when sited in the ground. Southeastern Australia. Bignoniaceae. rev 9/2020

'Alba'  this is a new "alba," selected by us from seedlings of 'Lady Di' (following) which were grown out to escape the obnoxious latent virus which has become established in all cultivated clones of that variety currently grown in this country, as far as I can tell. Functionally identical with the parent variety. rev 9/2020

‘Lady Di’  BOWER VINE   (not currently in production) closeup  an improved white selection originally received as certified-virus-free from Duncan and Davies in the lat 1980's by us and other growers. It had a much more vigorous, vining habit than the older ‘Alba,’ as well as larger, more perfect foliage, both attributes certainly attributable to the exclusion of viruses. As happens to almost all vines over time in most production nurseries it slowly became reinfected with the various agents that are cutting-instrument transmissible. Symptoms were consistently imperfect leaf development, slow growth, defoliation and increased problems with plants rotting from the base, either as direct symptoms of the virus or due to root rots enabled by the overall loss of vigor. rev 9/2020

‘Rosea’  closeup  a vigorous vining selection with clusters of light, clear pink flowers and dark rose red throats. We are growing cutting-propagated plants derived form our best seedling of the original, certified-virus-free 'Rosea Superba' originally grown by us in the late 1980's, it is functionally identical. rev 9/2020

variegated  closeup  leaves splashed with creamy yellow. Pink flowers with rose throats. Possibly the same as ‘Charisma.’ rev 9/2020

Parahebe linifolia   (not currently in production)  charming  a sweet and petite small perennial shrub with narrow, dark green leaves that bears profuse little white flowers, with a red ring around a green eye. A great filler in the garden under roses, along with grasses, and a perfect wingman to almost anything. About 12-18" tall, 2' wide, for sun, part shade, average watering. Sunset zones 5, 6, 15-17, 20-24/USDA 8. Plantaginaceae. rev 7/2014

Parthenocissus  nine East Asian and three North American species of vines, the majority with horticultural value but with only 3-4 commonly found in cultivation. Vitaceae. rev 9/2020

henryana  SILVERVEIN CREEPER  silver veined leaves   a formal looking, classy vine with dark velvety green palmate leaves. Each of the five serrated leaflets is neatly highlighted with silvery veins. New growth and leaf reverses are reddish purple. Slow to start, but moderately fast after a year or so. This one clings to walls by tendrils but is considerably less aggressive than other species of Parthenocissus and always remains manageable, ultimately reaching to about 20'. Best leaf color in full sun but in hot California areas it is best in at least part shade. Deciduous, with velvety dark maroon to wine to hot glowing red fall color. Berries are blue and very ornamental but not heavily produced. Hardy to USDA zone 7, about 10°F. China. rev 4/2021

quinquefolia  (not currently in production) VIRGINIA CREEPER  always a show-stopper, and my favorite of this genus because of its dependably brilliant, hot orange-red to fluorescent red-pink fall leaves. Very fast, very drought tolerant when established. In the East stems can reach over 100' but it is usually much smaller here in brighter, drier California. Found naturally from southeastern Canada through the eastern US, eastern Mexico and into Guatemala. Full to half sun, average to very intermittent or occasional watering, USDA zone 3b if grown from cold-region ecotypes. rev 9/2020

tricuspidata  BOSTON IVY  Piazza Navonna, Roma   lush foliage   fall color   against a wall  a moderately fast deciduous vine, climbing by sucker discs at the tips of tendrils. Leaves are divided into three leaflets, turn dark maroon red and bronze in winter. May hold foliage until spring in mild winter areas. Sun to part shade, average to little summer watering when established, frost hardy to USDA zone 4. Central China, Japan.  rev 1/2006

'Green Showers'    prime foliage  a much lusher, glossier, broader-foliaged selection, with a denser growth habit. rev 4/2021

Passiflora   PASSIONVINE, PASSIONFLOWER, PASSIONFRUIT   mostly fast vines, mostly evergreen, but at least one species, our native American Maypop (P. incarnata) is deciduous. Many have edible fruit though many also do not self-pollinate here readily. All species are from the New World. Passifloraceae. rev 8/2018

(for edible varieties see Passionfruit, below)

‘Coral Seas’ (jamesonii)
  CORAL PINK PASSIONFLOWER  closeup  typical habit  one of the showiest, most vigorous, fastest growing vines for California climates. I have seen it swallow an oak tree,m but it was probably put on this earth to cover chain link fences. Still, it can be restrained to reasonable size by annual or biannual pruning and is well worth the effort for the heavy and almost continuous display of bloom. Showy intricate flowers to 4" across are well displayed, covering the outside of the plant from spring through fall. It is damaged below 27°F, but it will resprouts from the roots at even colder temperatures and recovers extremely quickly, drawing from reserves stored in its roots. Still it will be unhappy if it is severely damaged every year, and it may eventually lose its crown. This plant is a five star hummingbird attractor. It also attracts humans, especially children (but me too), who have found they can bite a little hole in the bulb at the base of the flower tube and suck out the pool of nectar that collects there. Grow it in at least half a day of direct sun with average drainage or better, infrequent summer watering in cool summer climates, and sited where you can appreciate the flowers. There may be a couple of very similar cultivars in the trade going under the name ‘Coral Seas.’ rev 10/2005

manicata 'Linda Escobar'   flowers   taking care of the competition at Buena Creek Gardens   arguably the showiest variety and nicest flower of any species of Passionflower. The intense orange red color, dark blue coronal filaments, excellent flower size and petal conformation, and nicely held flowers that face out and up on the outside of the foliage canopy make this one hard to beat if you have the climate to grow it. It is an improved version of the species, differing as far as I can tell only in that critical point that it is facultative or simple long day initiation whereas P.manicata itself seems to be long day or very long day initiation, restricting its flowering to three summer months. This selection can flower for 7-8 months. This is right up there with the finest Salvias and Grevilleas for attracting hummingbirds, with its easy-to-find and copious nectar supply and perfect color. It is a close partner to 'Coral Seas,' matching it in almost every way except tint, and that 'Coral Seas' may have a slight edge on it in the way of flower production. Expect the same unparalleled vigor and rampant growth (can cover a house or bring down a oak if not controlled) and essentially identical behavior in frosty conditions (severly damaged below 27F, and often killed to the ground or beyond at 25F). Sun, average soils, rather drought tolerant when established and much better controlled by restricted watering. Northern South America. rev 3/2008

Passionfruit  (Passiflora edulis and other edible species) described here are those species and varieties which produce edible fruit. At this time our growing list is limited to just self-fruitful P. edulis varieties but in the past we have featured P. mollissima and P. ligularis. rev 9/2020

edulis   PURPLE PASSIONFRUIT   the familiar one, grown for its intensely fragrant, almost perfumy orange pulp with a distinctive, pineapple-like flavor. Oval to almost round fruit range from 2-4" across, depending on variety, and usually will turn from green to dark purple black as they ripen then fall at full maturity. Best quality comes if fruit is allowed to hold until fully color then left to after-ripen off the vine. The skin will be very wrinkled when it's fully ready to eat. All varieties are fast evergreen vines with large, glossy, lobed green leaves and small but very pretty greenish white flowers, with many small corona filaments that are usually zoned purple around the center. Full sun for best production but part shade almost always works as well. Passion fruits are notorious for being short lived on their own roots, so plant in well drained soils, with a good gopher basket also if any are present at all. Most selections are quickly damaged by hard freezes though most established plants will resprout readily from their roots if killed all the way down. Still they are capricious and prone to sudden growing-season collapse so it is a poor idea to depend on them as critical screening varieties unless you take this fact into account. Protect from hard frost, USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24. rev 1/2019. Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil. 9/2020

‘Nancy Garrison’  NANCY'S PURPLE PASSIONFRUIT  ornate flowers  young fruit  ready to pick  slightly wrinkled, ready to eat  typical growth habit   this fast, easy variety has repeatedly proven to be either daylength neutral or is very chill-sensitive as far as flower initiation. It provides us with fruit all year here in our production blocks. Similar strains are ‘Frederick,’ ‘Black Knight’ and ‘Purple Possum,’ all of which vary in different details but are often touted as being superior. In spite of those I keep coming back to this variety as the most reliable producer of good, high quality fruit. This variety originated as a seedling I selected from plants grown from seeds sent to the CRFG Seed Exchange by Nancy Garrison from the Santa Clara UC Ag Extension Field Station. The parent donor plant originated from cuttings taken from a very old, untended plant found by Nancy in the yard of a farm house donated to the city of San Jose. That original plant reportedly survived 25°F without damage, and recovered quickly from the all-time record low temperatures of December 1990 (~20F and lower), fruiting by late spring or early summer of 1991 according to Nancy. Brazil. This is actually a strain as opposed to a genetically identical clone or cultivar as we've had to reselected this several times again from seed ourselves in order to escape the obnoxious and highly transmissible Carla Virus, which definitely is detrimental to growth and fruit production, and appears to almost ubiquitous in passionflower cultivars in the trade. Very careful precautions and procedures must be followed to stop or limit its transmission, most importantly always using freshly cleaned and bleached clippers for any pruning or cutting of any kind. Ever! Protect from frost, USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24. rev 1/2019 MBN INTRODUCTION-1994

'Frederick' GIANT PURPLE PASSIONFRUIT   flowers    this is the largest of the "easily grown" varieties, meaning you don't need to hand pollinate the flowers (spare me - for a tablespoon or two of edible pulp??) and that it will actually flower and bear under typical North American conditions. Other large passionfruits either aren't self-fertile, are impossibly tender, need tropical or truly subtropical amounts of heat, and/or are often slow to mature and come into production. The fruit if this variety looks like the typical black P. edulis fruit but is about twice as large, as are the flowers, and the shape is ovoid as opposed to the usual spherical. The fruit are usually large enough to fill the palm of your hand. The downside is that while the fruit are twice as large, it only produces half as many, so you really don't get any more yield. Also, you must use some kind of soft groundcover beneath (Vinca, star jasmine, etc.) to break the fall of the falling ripe fruit. Otherwise the hard rind will crack and the inside will spoil, as both are moist. As with the regular forms of P. edulis, fruit should be after-ripened, until dry and wrinkled, before eating, by which time the acidity level of the fruit will have fallen and flavor and sweetness will be at their peak. According to the CRFG Fruit Facts page this is a Patrick Worley creation, Kahuna x Brazilian Golden. Protect from frost, USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24. rev 1/2019

'Red Rover' BIG RED PURPLE PASSIONFRUIT  almost ready to pick!    Axel's very nice plant  this Patrick Worley selection is distinguished by its red coloration on new stems and leaf edges. The fruit are a lighter color at maturity, being more of a dark maroon as opposed to the typical purple black of 'Nancy Garrison' and most other varieties. Some feel it is sweeter than most other varieties, probably by virtue of being less acidic versus actually accumulating more sugar, but I haven't tasted it yet to personally vote on the issue. As usual, wait until completely dark until picking, then leave in your fruit basket until the skins are dry and deeply wrinkled before consuming. Full sun, good drainage, protect from hard frost. USDA zone 9a/ Sunset zones 16-17, 21-24, or with freeze protection anywhere. rev 1/201

Patersonia occidentalis  PURPLE FLAGS  blooming  should probably be pronounced "Pay-ter-sonia." This evergreen iris relative, something like an Australian version of our native Pacific Coast iris, found growing in widely distributed regions across the continent. It bears showy medium purple flowers to about 2" across on stalks to about 12-18", just above the leaves. They are produced heavily in spring but also show color right through summer, fall and winter, unlike our native iris which are strictly spring blooming (except for one variety). This has been an extremely bulletproof grower for us, with no losses in production. This is rare for most of what we grow, you always expect to lose a few plants for one reason or another, but particularly so for Australian varieties. I think this plant deserves wider consideration and use, especially in commercial or large scale situations where our native iris or hybrids are desired but growing conditions aren't optimal. I have seen large, good looking permanent plantings in Santa Cruz growing in wet, perched soils, one near West Cliff Drive. Drought tolerant, probably frost tolerant to 20°F and probably more. Needs only average drainage and little summer watering but clearly will tolerate summer watering if applied. If plants look ratty, treat them like our own native iris and shear them to the ground around December. There is a yellow variant but I haven't seen it in the trade in the US. Australia. Iridaceae. rev 10/2005

Pelargonium  includes "Pels," Martha Washington geraniums, ivies and zonals, as well as a large number of true species ranging from rock garden subjects, fast trailing groundcovers, free standing shrubs, even succulents. Many have scented or ornamental foliage and/or good flower displays. Geraniaceae. rev 11/2011

'Angel Eyes Picotee'  (not currently in production)  charming   little pansy-faced flowers of pink and red violet on top of crinkly leaves are just too cute! A miniature, to only 10-12" tall and wide. Litttle mounds make a nice little hedge around the herb garden and delightful container subjects. Sun or part shade, regular watering. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 8, 9, 12-24/USDA 8. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks 

'Atomic Snowflake' (not currently in production)  fragrant too  large, light green leaves with creamy variegation are rose scented and it blooms with pink flowers in the summer. About 15" tall and spreading out 2-4' wide. Lovely in pots, along a fence or path where it can be brushed up against. Sun or part shade. Average watering. Protect from cold and frost outside Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 10.  rev 2/20214-Suzy Brooks

'Bitter Lemon' (not currently in production)   cut foliage   one of the A-grade Scented Geraniums, with a particularly clean, strong lemon fragrance. This forms a compact mound of cut green foliage to a couple of feet high and wide with respectable pink and violet flowers being produced from May through summer. This can be used as a soft-wooded permanent landscape shrub in most of populated California, or spotted in perennial borders and Mediterranean-themed gardens. Or you can grow it indoors in a bright location where you can enjoy the fragrance easily. Suzy had a row of mixed scented g's where her dog ran along the fence -she claims it improved him. Sun or part shade, regular to infrequent watering. Sunset zones  8, 9, 12-24/USDA 9. rev 11/2011

'Black Velvet Rose'  (not currently in production) nice contrast  dark chocolate brown leaves are ringed with green and are a wonder in themselves, but the pink flowers with a white eye crown them and make a beautiful presentation. Terrific choice for windowboxes, containers, or the flower bed. About 12-14" tall and a bit wider. Best color in sun, average watering. Offer protection in winter outside of Sunset zones 8, 9, 12-24/USDA 8. rev 5/2012-Suzy Brooks 

'Charity'  (not currently in production)  green plus creamy chartreuse  this is a really nice one. Nice big maple leaves of green and creamy yellow, pink flowers, and a wonderful citrus rose fragrance. This one can get to 3' tall or more and makes a good sized specimen for a container or a shrub in the garden. It is an excellent choice for display against a dark fence, stucco wall, rocks, railroad tie retaining walls, etc. The color changes with exposure, with higher contrast and lighter color in full sunlight. It tolerates shade very well and becomes more subtle and blended. Stems are long enough to use in flower bouquets. Sun or part shade, average to infrequent watering. Offer some protection from cold in winter if not in Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 9. rev 4/2012

'Charmay Snowflurry'  (not currently in production)  splashed leaves, violet flowers  big, soft, ruffled leaves scented with lemon balm and splashed green and creamy white. Nice for spilling over walls or pots, 2-3' tall and wide. Pink flowers in summer. Sun or part shade, average watering. Protect from cold outside Sunset zones 16-24/USDA 9. rev 11/2013-Suzy Brooks

citriododum 'Lemona'   MOSQUITO PLANT (not currently in production) flowers against leaves   one of several iteration of its supposed botanical name, this is almost certainly a hybrid, reportedly between
P. crispum and P. x limoneum. This is a nice-looking and nicely scented plant, with nice, neat foliage, a compact habit and pretty pink flowers in spring. It makes a good garden or container specimen in the warmer parts of California. A compact grower to 2' tall and wide, likes it relatively dry in summer, no serious frost. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9, 15-17, 21-24. rev 3/2017

'Citrosum Van Leenii'  MOSQUITO PLANT   and this one has a little more street-cred as it has stronger-scented foliage and has been field-tested by experts (one, my daughter) who documented its effect by rubbing the leaves on a subject's arms (her own) and observing they were not bothered by mosquitoes  .  .  .  at least that one time, when she was walking the dog. Finely cut foliage releases a large amount of its amazing lemon-rose fragrance just as afternoon starts to turn to evening. A couple of rows of plants filled our 1/4 acre greenhouse with the very pleasing scent, which smells much more like a floral fragrance than what you get by crushing the foliage. Gets large in the garden or large containers, forming a deep green mound of its dissected foliage that reaches ~3' tall by 3-7' across or more, increasing with age unless cut back at least occasionally. rev 8/2021

cordifolium 'Caroline's Citrine' PP24132  why you grow it    another reason   garden plant, north exposure    heavy flower show   won't  .  .  stop  .  .  blooming!   discovered by The Garden Company's own Lance Reinerts, the Supreme Commander of the Universe Over All Rare Variegated Plant Collectors (do you have variegated poison oak? Well then how about tanoak?), this is possibly the most dramatic foliage plant ever introduced. The brilliant yellow chartreuse (full shade) to warm gold leaves (bright shade to part sun) really light up, especially against dark backgrounds. It can bloom very heavily and spectacularly as well sited such that it doesn't burn in concentrated afternoon visible and IR radiation. The gaudy light rose pink flowers will initiate readily with almost any amount of daylight plus modest chill (~45-55F), a hard lesson we learned in propagation here when trying to start large scale production. Plants rooted but just wouldn't grow, they just bloomed heavily and continuously in our very cool prop houses. This one has been a long time working up to being available, we expect it to become a favorite quickly now. The very similar sister variety, its own all-yellow sport, is 'Donn's Goldstrike' PP24131. Even more brilliant foliage, same flower power, a little slower. Both are outstanding as porch/patio container plants, perhaps their best application. USDA zone 9 (protect from hard frost). rev 8/2018

cordifolium 'Donn's Goldstrike' PP24131   those leaves  .  .  .    and flowers!!     on right, Caroline's Citrine on left   another from Lance Reinerts, and a sport of 'Caroline's Citrine' (above). This time all-gold/chartreuse in color, depending on light levels, and slower, more compact growth. A little more glowing, especially against those dark backgrounds. Can't get any better!! 
rev 8/2018

crispum 'Prince Rupert'  (not currently in production)  delicious foliage  very small, crinkly, highly variegated leaves grow densely on these upright stems, making a good choice for a potted herbal topiary, compact shrub, or feature plant against a dark fence or shaded background. Lavender flowers and a lemon scent add to its charm. Easy to grow in sun or part shade. Used in teas, baking, vinegars, and scented pillows. Plant or place where it can be touched and release its pleasant scent. Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 9. rev 3/2012-Suzy Brooks

crispum 'Variegated Lemon' (not currently in production) foliage detail    many plants    a little shade   looks good from any angle!!    a really intriguing, slow, very vertical yet ultra-compact selection with minutely crinkly leaves, a very strong lemony leaf fragrance and very bright coloration. One of the very best foliage forms, just oustanding for small containers all by itself or for really lighting up a larger combo. Looks good against anything. Sun to more than half shade, typical drainage, forgiving on watering. Little or no frost. Flowers are small, at the tips of the vertical stems, light pink and open in late June. rev 6/2014

graveolens 'Colocho' (not currently in production)   twisted leaves   a very strange and ornamental variant with broadly palmate, rose-scented leaves that are twisted and curled against the stems. Easy but slow, special. Small pink flowers are similarly deformed and don't open. Get yours now! Full to part sun, not much frost, best displayed as a container plant. rev 3/2017

'Lady Plymouth'
(not currently in production)  foliage colors   little pink flowers adorn these grey green and cream leaves in the summer. Ruffle up the leaves for a delightful rose fragrance. About 2-3' tall, it makes a great container plant or hedge for a herb garden. Sun or part shade, average watering. Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 6/2013-Suzy Brooks 

'Lemon Fizz' (not currently in production)  great flowers too!   good, strong,  hold-it-to-your-nose fragrance, dark pink flowers, and crinkly green leaves on a 16" tall and wide shrub. Beautiful Mediterranean look in a clay pot, especially as it grows big enough to can see the trunk. You'll want it right by your favorite chair on the porch or the deck so you can pet it. Sun or part shade, average watering. Move to winter shelter outside Sunset zones 8, 9, 12-24/USDA 9. rev 4/2012-Suzy Brooks 

'Mable Grey'  (not currently in production)  plus flowers!  one of the strongest smelling scented geraniums, lots of lemony goodness! Big, rough leaves on a tall plant, upright, 3-4' or more, a good one to train up a stake as a standard. Bright pink flowers in summer. Plant in well drained soil in the herb garden or in containers, but within reach to ruffle up those leaves and release the fragrance. Move to shelter in winter outside Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 7/2012-Suzy Brooks

'Oldbury Duet' (not currently in production)  striking leaves and flowers   really pretty, and striking, with a two toned pansy face on handsome and very compact green and white leaves. This is a terrific container plant especially, or hanging basket,m for sun or part shade. To about 16" tall and wider, with either container planting mix or well drained soil, and average watering. Grow anywhere, but protect from frost outside Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 12/2013

'Phyllis'  SCENTED GERANIUM (not currently in production)  so nice    an apricot fragrance, beautiful green and gold leaves, and reddish pink flowers with a white eye describe this one. So pretty even without the flowers! Reportedly a sport of 'Paton's Unique.' Wonderful in a container or will do in the garden with good drainage and average watering. Protect from hard freezes. Perennial in Sunset zones 8, 9, 12-24/USDA 9. rev 3/2013-Suzy Brooks

reniforme  (not currently in production)  silky leaves, UC Berkeley Botanical Garden    flower pair   this striking species, most useful as a foliage perennial, forms a spilling mound of velvety, softly silky, grey green to deep green rounded leaves. A heavy show of small, single, clustered pink flowers appears in summer. All good reasons to have this beauty in your plant collection! To only 10-12" tall, but spreading out or spilling over 2-3'. An uncommon choice for pots, groundcover, or trailing over walls. Sun or part shade, decent drainage, and average watering. Sunset zones 8, 9, 12-24/USDA 8. rev 2/2014-Suzy Brooks

Pellaea   evergreen ferns, small in stature, many excellent garden subjects. Modern classifications usually place this genus in the Pteridaceae (Bracken Fern Family) but it has also been grouped with the Polypodiums, Maidenhairs (Adiantaceae) and Cloak or Lip ferns (Cheilanthaceae). Take your pick! rev 6/202

cordifolia (cordata)
   HEARTLEAF CLIFFBRAKE   juvenile phase   intermediate phase, forming spores    mature phase, still extending       a clumping grower featuring strong, light tan, wiry, upright, arching, scrambling, scandent and sometimes vining zig zag stems that reach almost 3' long. This intriguing species is very similar to the closely related P. ovata and is suspected of producing natural hybrids with it (the sterile triploid P. sagitta). Juvenile-phase fronds grow more horizontally and show larger, flatter, rounder and more blue-green pinnae (leaflets). Intermediate-phase growth is similar but can produce spores under long-day conditions. Mature fronds emerge more vertically before arching over, sometimes almost to the ground, reaching almost 3' long on happy, well-adjusted specimens. The mostly triangular to heart-shaped pinnae are grey green with a frosty white recurved margin and are widely space, appearing to hang in space. This can take considerable heat, sun and dry conditions once established as befits its origins in Mexico and central to southwestern Texas. With its intriguing combination of golden stipes, blue-green then greyish leaflets, silvery margins and and captivating growth habit, a well-grown individual in your special spot or carefully chosen pot can easily serve as the focal-point specimen for the whole porch, patio or landscape. Sun to warm, bright shade, average to very little watering, might prefer granular, limestone soils but clearly grows fine in normal acidic media. Old fronds die as new ones emerge in spring and should be removed occasionally or even annually lest your zen-like specimen turn into a giant, ratty tangled ball of wire. USDA zone 8/Sunset zones 5-24. rev 6/2020

falcata  BRAKE FERN  foliage  nice planting at Strybing  another stand  a small to medium size evergreen fern with dark green, pinnate, sword-like fronds to 12" long. Pinnae (leaflets) are oval with pointed tips. An excellent small fern for small places or containers and can serve as a groundcover too. Easily cleaned by removing the old dead fronds, unlike some other small ferns which shall remain nameless. Shade, average watering. Deciduous below 25°F, root hardy to USDA zone 7-8. Southeast Asia through New Zealand. 7/2009
'Star Glow'  1g plant    originally 'Glowstar' but this is how the late Barbara Jo Hoshizaki listed it, and her Fern Growers Manual is our designated reference. This is a compact, low version of the parent variety, with small, narrow, pointed and very compact juvenile fronds then larger but still-smaller-than-mom mature fronds. Mostly upright presentation. Typical fern growing conditions, hardiness unknown but probably the same as its parent species, USDA zone 7-8. rev 6/2020
hastata  ROCK FERN  young plants  listed by some as a species of Chielanthes, this is a small fern that almost looks like a Pteris. The wiry black petioles hold large light green leaflets, with the entire frond growing to about 10" long. It grows on rocks in drier temperate to subtropical regions of Africa. Part sun to shade. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. rev 6/2020

ovata  ZIG ZAG CLIFFBRAKE   stock plant   Wow!   my first comment was "Wow!" My second was "what's that?" Short, compact, well-behaved clumps of mostly horizontal fronds and rounded pinnae (leaflets) suddenly produce long, open, wiry zig zag stems to over 3' long bearing oval leaflets widely spaced and appearing to hang in the air. If it has something to lean or scramble on the fronds go up otherwise they arch pleasantly over until they reach the ground. Very closely related to P. cordifolia, the two are almost twins except for frond details and this species being more open and scandent. Seems to like warm growing sites and most soils with some sun and some drying out between waterings. Appears to be tolerant of limestone soils and is found growing on rocky slopes and ledges. It can dry down completely during the dry season. Choice, rare, hard for us to get. USDA zone 7-8. rev 6/2020

rotundifolia  BUTTON FERN  mature foliage and habit  small, low evergreen fern to 1’ tall, 2’ wide. This species has been a staple of the trade here for generations. Bipinnate fronds grow to 10" long, with small, glossy, very dark green round pinnae closely held against the midribs. It is found as an understory groundcover beneath trees and scrub in its native New Zealand and dislikes continuously moist conditions. Those characteristics help make it a good California landscape performer, tolerating dry periods between waterings and demonstrating tolerance and resilience as a container plant indoors or out. Will take some direct sun to full shade sites and needs average to infrequent watering. Deciduous below 25°F. New Zealand. rev 6/2020

Pennisetum   about 80-140 species of grasses widely distributed in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions, especially Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. rev 9/2020

‘Eaton Canyon’  nursery plants  a compact grower, to 18" tall, with dark red foliage. A probable hybrid of P. setaceum ‘Cupreum’ and P. setaceum. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 9/2020

setaceum ‘Cupreum’  PURPLE FOUNTAIN GRASS  flowers closeup  Lake Merritt centerpiece  mixed  spreading growth to 3-6’ tall and wide if not restrained by yearly or seasonal pruning. Produces multitudes of softly fuzzy flower heads, emerging light burgundy and aging to tan, held above dark burgundy leaves and stems in summer. Partially winter deciduous. Supposedly not invasive in most areas. rev 9/2020

'Fireworks' PP#18504   colored blades   new and very pretty, a variegated form of Red Fountain Grass with pink, white, and green. Graceful and arching, a stunner in the garden or in containers. About 24-30" tall, 24" wide. Sun to part shade. Average to little water. A worthwhile annual outside zones 8-24. rev 7/2010

Penstemon   evergreen deciduous perennials, ranging from deciduous border perennials to very tough, mostly evergreen, almost shrubby, semiwoody landscape perennials. All of these will take USDA 7/Sunset zones 6-9, 14-24. Plantiginaceae, previously Scrophulariaceae. rev9/2020

barbatus   SOUTHWESTERN PENSTEMON  a compact, mostly evergreen woodland to montane species with narrow, dark green leaves forming a mound 1-3' tall by about half as wide. Produces compact spikes of usually coral red to red orange tubular flowers from spring through early summer in wild populations. This species has co-evolved with hummingbirds as pollinators (at least partially) so expect this to be a good way to draw them in to your garden. Sun to part shade, good drainage, average to modest watering, frost hardy to USDA zone 4. 

'Rock Candy' series   'Blue' PP27786  'Pink' PP26701   'Ruby' PP27820   "sweet as candy, tough as nails" says breeder/marketer Darwin Perennials, and we believe them. This is a more compact, heavier blooming series with larger panicles, a range of stronger colors and better reblooming characteristics. USDA zone 5. rev 4/2021

‘Firebird’    flowers    more flowers    blooming plant    large, bright red flowers on a plant to 3’ tall, 5’ wide. A small amount of white shows in the throat. A very tough, reliable survivor and durable landscpae plant, tough enough for commercial situations. rev 6/2014

'Garnet'   massed flowers   nice plant   tubular dark violet red flowers on terminal spikes are heavily produced from spring through fall against relatively fine textured, dark green leaves. An easy, tough, evergreen perennial that will bring hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. Mixes and combines well with other perennials, grasses, lavenders, Echinaceas, yarrows, and even Aeoniums. This is a durable, showy, garden and landscape subject that can tolerate dry conditions and even heavy soils as long as it gets at least half a day of sun and some supplemental summer watering. It will tolerate abuse reliably enough to be used in many commercial landscape applications. To about 2-3' tall by 4-5' wide unpruned, evergreen for most of populated California. Sun to mostly shade. rev 6/2014

heterophyllus   FOOTHILL PENSTEMON     why you grow it     Eastside Santa Cruz   flowers closeup      a California native and endemic species, one of ~75 found in our state. You will see it throughout California's coastal and foothill regions, excluding the deserts and the Modoc Plateau. Grows as a bushy, light-textured, slightly woody clumping perennial that blooms for 4-6 weeks in spring then is usually summer-dormant with heat and drought. When in bloom it is a real show-stopper, and I've stopped many times to photograph particularly spectacular example on roadcuts and along roadsides in the Coast Range and Sierra foothills. It tends to lose vigor and die out after a few years, especially if frequently irrigated. Garden-tolerant selections have been found that will tolerate more watering and will thus continue to perform longer, especially when grown in cooler coastal regions. Most forms show light yellow buds that open to incongruous azure blue to rich violet purple flowers. Leaves are usually somewhat silvery. All forms attract hummingbirds, butterflies and pollinators/beneficials. Full to half sun, good drainage is a must, moderate to very infrequent watering, frost hardy to ~15F for most forms, some can go lower. USDA zone 8. rev 4/2021

'Blue Springs'  FOOTHILL PENSTEMON   this form is a nice medium blue aging towards violet, which is typical. The young flowers buds are pale yellow, leaves are light green with a silvery sheen. This can easily bloom through the summer in cool, foggy areas. This and other forms are often propagated from seed, at least occasionally, leading to a fair degree of unintended domestication selection. That means it will tolerate more watering and pampering than its wild-population kin without dying, or at least living longer before doing so. To about 18" tall by 2' wide if happy. Sun to part shade (grow drier), average to good drainage, cut back old flower heads to extend both bloom season and plant lifespan. rev 4/2021

'Catherine de la Mare'   probably a hybrid, originally found and grown in England and therefore certainly more garden-tolerant and less summer deciduous than first-generation, wild-sourced selections. Buds are purple, open to violet purple flowers with deep blue faces. Leaves are larger, medium green, against burgundy stems. We haven't grown this before, it will be interesting to watch it's bloom timing and overall performance against the wilder forms. To about 18" tall and wide. rev 4/2021

'Margarita B.O.P.'   a chance hybrid seedling that emerged at the storied Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita, California, growing at the bottom of their porch. It is especially showy, easy, dependable, neat, abuse tolerant, and long-lived. Classic light yellow buds open to medium violet purple through deep blue, depending on soil and conditions. To about 18" tall by 2-3' wide. Las Pilitas states this is P. heterophyllus x laetus but reseeds to straight P. heterophyllus. Visit their website to see their stunning pictures of what this variety can do! I'd be lucky to get any shots as nice as theirs. rev 4/2021

‘Midnight’    flowers    more flowers    dark purple flowers, dark green leaves. Another vigorous, reliable, very tough selection. To about 30" talll, spreading ot 3' with age. rev 6/2014

'Red Riding Hood' PP18950    strong stems hold up bright red flowers all summer and into fall. Compact, low branching, about 18-24" tall and wide.  Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to you garden. Sun, average watering. USDA 5/all Sunset zones. rev 6/2014

'Red Rocks'  whole trailer full    closeup   a hybrid named after cliffs west of Denver, this hybrid resembles 'Garnet' but is more compact. It's also probably more winter-hardy for those few living in really cold-winter areas of California. Deep rose red flowers with lighter throats are produced from late spring through late summer or early fall here in our climate. Deep green leaves are long and narrow. To about 18" tall and spreading as a clump to a couple of fee across when happy, likes full sun of course, at least average drainage and modest watering when established. USDA zone 4. rev 7/2021

'Tubular Bells Red'   grand flowers  large, red flowers with white striping inside, held on strong stems to about 18-20" tall. This long-blooming perennial is of Mexican origin, not a native like so many other recent introductions, and is more forgiving of richer garden soils and warm-season watering. Sun or part shade, average watering to infrequent watering. Sunset zones 8-9, 16-22/USDA 9. rev 7/2014

Peperomia    a genus of over 1500 species of herbaceous evergreen perennials, groundcovers and soft-wooded subshrubs. Many are partially succulent in nature but most  horticultural varieties have been introduced for their interesting and variable leaves and habits. Flower spikes are narrow and quite thin, often snaky, held above or among the leaves. Flowers themselves are minute. Most species are native to Central or South America but the genus is distributed worldwide throughout the tropics. It is an extremely early family of flowering plants grouped with the Magnoliids (Magnolias, Laurels, Pipers, etc.) and thus is neither a Monocot (grasses, lilies, orchids etc.) nor a Dicot (such as oaks, daisies, Petunias etc.). Piperaceae. rev 5/2020

albovittata 'Piccolo Banda'  RADIATOR PLANT  cute as a button, light green leaves with burgundy veins. Ecuador. rev 5/2020
'Rana Vera'  I translate that as "true frog," correct? Wrong? Hmmmm. Green, with green, against reddish stems. rev 9/2020

argyreia  WATERMELON PEPEROMIA  named for its coloration and shape of its leaves. Oval leaves become cupped and teardrop-shaped as they ages, and are marked with broad silvery stripes between the leaf veins. Red petioles and flower stalks provide nice contrast. To see the best color you'll have to limit the amount of bright light it receives - too much causes it to turn uniformly yellow-green. To about 8" tall and wide. RHS Award of Garden Merit. Northern South America. rev 5/2020

axillaris   TACO PLANT   windowed leaves   with crazy flower spikes    a succulent that bears very narrow leaves which appear folded, with translucent "windows" forming the narrow upper surface. This feature allows the plant to moderate the amount of light entering the leaf. Good drainage, open potting mix, let dry between watering, no frost. rev 1/2020

caperata  EMERALD RIPPLE PEPEROMIA  crinkled green leaves, bronzy to burgundy petioles. Forms a dense canopy of leaves to around 6-10" tall and wide, depending on variety. White flower spikes with red stalks poke through the foliage like little rods. Presumably native to Brazil but widely cultivated before formally described. rev 5/2020

'Abricos'    mature, flowering plant    younger, leaf detail    small leaves are striped burgundy and green, age to lustrous, metallic-looking dark olive and coral. Flower spikes are relatively spectacular when fully developed, tall, narrow, branched and copious. To 6-8". rev 4/2021
'Emerald Green'
  nice color   green, green, green! Nice leaf corrugation. Maybe might should supposed to be 'Emerald Ripple'? If so then RHS Award of Garden Merit. rev 5/2020
'Frost'  four inch pot, juvenile phase  modestly corrugated leaves, grey green, with a shiny, metallic, Raku-like sheen that becomes frosty white on mature leaves in high-light conditions. Avoid direct midday sun. rev 5/2020
'Luna Grey'
rev 5/2020
'Luna Red'  flower spikes   bronzy green leaves mature to shiny red, leaves are of course deeply corrugated. Deep red flower spikes add extra value. RHS Award of Garden Merit. rev 5/2020

deppeana  4" plant   a nice compact mass of tiny, round, clean green leaves closely set on trailing to low mounding branches. Looks something like a bigger, more open version of Baby's Tears. To a couple inches high, probably mounding higher with age if not cut back. rev 6/2021

ferreyrae  HAPPY BEAN PLANT  four inch plant   houseplant succulent, or succulent houseplant. Thin, narrow bright green leaves have a tiny slit for an upper window, to moderate light absorption. To about 10" tall and wide, with elongating, vertical stems, leaves get about 2" long. Let soil dry between waterings, we grow this at our succulent facility, not with our houseplants. Those greenhouses are only heated on the coldest nights, so it appears this species can tolerate very cool conditions if kept on the dry side but certainly no temps approaching freezing. Peru. rev 4/2021

involucrata 'Moon Valley'   why you want it    a study in beaded perfection, green green green leaves, flushed deep burgundy in the centers with age minutely stippled with micro-tubercles with a carefully beaded edge. I always have to look at them when they go by on the order-pulling trailers, I find that leaf mesmerizing. To about 12" tall and wide, grow in bright conditions, keep it above 50°F, let go a little dry between watering. This is classified by some as P. mollils. rev 4/2021

metallica columbiana     PURPLE CLOUD PLANT   an odd, chunky, tight little thing with very small, cupped, burgundy red leaves. Ultratight and for us very slow. rev 5/2020

obtusifolia   BABY RUBBER PLANT, PEPPER FACE   a larger-scale epiphytic species, reaching 10" or so when happy and well-sited. Spreads horizontally in nature to form a dense groundcover. Big round green leaves but compact habit. White flower spikes reach 4-5" above the foliage. Strong, mostly indirect light, typical almost-dry watering interval, good drainage. RHS Award of Garden Merit. Caribbean, Florida, Mexico. rev 5/2020

'Lemon Lime'   LEMON LIME BABY RUBBER PLANT   big, soft, round rubbery leaves are
'Red Edge' RED EDGE BABY RUBBER PLANT   nice plant   flower spike  sharp red edges on young leaves. rev 5/2020
'Variegata'  VARIEGATED BABY RUBBER PLANT   rev 5/2020

optipan 'Variegata'  foliage    broad, soft, shiny green leaves are broadly margined creamy white with irregular medium and light green splashed down the middle. Leaf margins are defined by a fine dark red line. Deep burgundy leaf petioles and branches make for a classy look. Low, clumping to short trailing growers. This moniker, P. optipan, is not a valid botanical species name. Likely it is a hybrid or a variety of P. obtusifolia, or another species, renamed. rev 6/2021

orba 'Pixie Lime'  PIXIE PEPEROMIA  plump ear-shaped leaves form a tight mound for small spaces. Brazil. rev 5/2020

'Rosso'  PP20130227753P1  4" plant   a really nice hybrid of P. marmorata x metallica, with the first being the seed parent. Unique, deeply veined foliage is glossy and green, plants have a very formal look. Classy!. rev 6/2021

rotundifolia 'Hope'  TRAILING JADE PEPEROMIA   see it trail    a trailing to scandent species, epiphytic to terrestrial in nature. oval to almost round leaves set on long internodes, horizontal growth habit. Tropical North and South America. Has a reputation for doing better when slightly pot-bound. rev 5/2020

'San Marino'  nice 4" specimen   PP29565P3  a hybrid of P. marmorata by P. peruviana, it has arrow-shaped foliage with high-contrast green and silver coloring. To about 6". rev 5/2020

Perovskia atriplicifolia  RUSSIAN SAGE  closeup  nice garden specimen  not a sage, and not from Russia. An extremely satisfying, very showy deciduous perennial to 3’ tall with very cut, lacy grey green leaves and tall massed spikes of fuzzy, light periwinkle blue flowers produced from spring through fall. It spreads by matting underground roots, and can actually be slightly invasive in well watered clay soils. The foliage has an attractively pungent sage-like fragrance. In warmer areas such as the Central Valley and back East this plant might get up to 4' tall but I have never seen it over 3' in Central California. Attracts hummingbirds. Sun, moderate to almost no summer watering, frost hardy. Sunset zones 2-24/USDA probably zone 4? or warmer. Pakistan. Labiatae/Lamiaceae. rev 10/2005-Lulen Miller

'Little Spire' PP11643   a more compact form, growing from 1/2 to 2/3 the height of the regular species, and only reaching about 18-30" in height. Flowers are the same deep periwinkle blue and lavender, foliage is slightly more compact.rev 6/2010

'Silver Scepter'   largest flowers   no details on this very new variety from the German breeder Kientzler but we know it's a hybrid and reportedly has the largest flowers of any Russian Sage currently being offered. It seems to have larger, fuller spikes as well, so more silvery-lavender fuzz, which is actually most of the show. Otherwise it seems to be quite like regular P. atriplicifolia in all other ways from our experience growing it so far. So the same, but better! Assume the same or very similar cultivation and climate specs. rev 6/2021

Petunia  new prostrate perennial hybrids that grow rampantly if given enough water and fertilizer. They can bloom almost all year if kept warm and actively growing. Flowers reach from 2-4" across, range from white through light pink, bright red, dark magenta rose and dark purple, often with a darker eye. Cut back when appearance suffers due to loose growth or when plants seem to be slowing down. The real secret is the continuous use of high nitrogen fertilizer at high rates. Excellent in hanging baskets. they can survive surprising amounts of frost. Solanaceae. South America. rev 5/2010

Black Magic  all black    darkest, silky black flowers. Compact. rev 3/2019
Black Velvet
  (not currently in production)  flowers   container   darkest, velvety black flowers. Low grower. rev 3/2019
Cha Ching  Cherry  wild cherry  cherry striped with pale strawberry and peach. rev 3/2014
Dark Saturn  Spring Trials 2019  compact mound, black flowers edged in pale yellow. rev 4/2020
Headliner Sky Blue   new flower   opens deep blue purple, matures to medium blue purple. rev 4/2021
Jelly Roll
   buttery roll with blackberry jelly   looks like a jelly roll, warm buttery background with rich purplish hues. rev 4/2021
Limelight   wild lime and pink   strawberry edged in green. rec 3/2014
Night Sky  flowers   deep midnight blue with white stars sprinkled across the face. rev 3/2019
Phantom (not currently in production)   flowers  broad yellow with black stripes, or the reverse of that. Low grower. rev 3/2019
Pink Sky    white stars sprinkled randomly across pink flower faces. rev 3/2019
Pinstripe (not currently in production)  flowers  black with thin yellow lines at petal margins. Low grower. rev 3/2019
Starry Sky Burgundy   flower   deep burgundy with white stars sprinkled across the face. Sister variety to 'Night Sky' and 'Pink Sky.' rev 3/2019
Sun Spun Yellow (not currently in production)  flowers   almost white flowers deepen to bright yellow in the center, with veining. rev 3/2019

Peucedanum ostruthium 'Daphnis'    VARIEGATED MASTERWORT, PEUCE peuce and cream variegated leaves  use your best British accent when telling people that you have this in your garden! After all, you're growing peuce. Grey green and creamy white deciduous foliage has a piney, celery fragrance (it's related). Looks invasive but it forms a nice clump about 20" tall and wide. Lacy white flowers in summer are good for bouquets. Brightens up a spot in morning sun or shade. Regular watering, all Sunset zones/USDA 5. Southern Europe. Umbelliferae/Apiaceae. rev 7/2013-Suzy Brooks 

Philodendron  tropical-looking foliage plants with leaves that range from tiny to over 5' tall. Most are house plants, some are semihardy landscape foliage subjects for outdoor use. All make good container or house plants. Araceae. rev 5/2001

bipinnatifidum (selloum)  at the Huntington   nice Santa Cruz Beach Flats specimen   Jungle Cruise  a subtropical evergreen shrub grown for huge leaves and tropical appearance. Old plants can reach massive size, with huge, tall trunks to over 10' tall, arborescent, stilt like roots, and a total canopy spread of over 12'. It grows best in part sun, but easily survives full sun in coastal environments. It is drought tolerant when established but faster and with larger leaves with regular watering and feeding. It can be used in containers or even as a large house plant. Plants vary from seed, showing differences in size, leaf shape and vigor. Damaged below 25°F, it can survive 15-20°F (USDA zone 8a/Sunset zone 15 and higher). One interesting fact is that the temperature of its flowers can exceed that of the human body, making it one of the only thermoregulating plants known. Temperatures to 112F have been recorded, with the peak occurring around 5 PM in the study. The resulting fruits are edible and good with a flavor like pineapple. Southern Brazil. rev 5/2019

'Evansii'  at Huntington Botanic Gardens   at Sea World   the most awesome, majestic, intimidating, righteously gigantic, tropical looking  Philodendronfor outdoor landscape use in California or similar subtropical areas. It was bred and introduced n 1952 by the world famous Morgan "Bill" Evans of Disneyland landscaping fame, from parents P. bipinnatifidum (selloum) and P. speciosum. It is very much like the familiar P. selloum, the primary difference being that its huge leaves, to 5' tall on the blade alone, are essentially barely cut or even just ruffled. The result is that it appears to be much more massive and luxuriant than its common parent. It is more tender by just a couple of degrees, and should be planted with overhead protection if possible, except perhaps in the warm areas of Southern California. Nevertheless, all the plants I know of in Santa Cruz, and many in the Bay Area,survived the terrible 1990 and 1998 freezes (19F and 25F respectively), and one utterly and completely exposed plant in the town square in Watsonville as well. This plant should be much more widely used except it has been essentially impossible to find in the past. It also makes a wonderful, if somewhat large, houseplant and is also outstanding in appropriate commercial applications. These are seedlings of the original hybrid cross redone, and appear to be virtually uniform. rev 10/2013

'Hope' (not currently in production)  my old front door  a compact P. selloum hybrid, probably the closest in leaf and growth habit to its parent, and the largest leaved of the dwarf hybrids and selections. Basal branching, non-climbing. The leaves are much broader and rounder than either ‘Showboat’ or ‘Xanadu’ and it is substantially more winter hardy. To about 3' tall at maturity by 3-4' across, this form makes a good dwarf landscape substitute for its giant cousin P. selloum except it is probably a little more tender. Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9. rev 10/2012

'Showboat'  (not currently in production)  on left, compared to Xanadu on right  a compact landscape type similar to P. selloum, it is a sport of ‘Xanadu.’ Grows to about 4' tall and handles sun better than its sport parent. It grows more upright and the leaves also get larger, to about 18" tall under favorable conditions (shade, moisture, fertilizer). Like its parent, it seems to handle frost about like P. selloum, around 20°F or USDA zone 9/Sunset zone 15 and higher. Best with shade to part sun, regular watering and feeding, and at least average drainage. It will tolerate some dryness when established and always makes a great, compact outdoor container alternative to P. selloum. rev 8/200

‘Xanadu’ ('Winterbourn')  nice landscape plant    on right, compared to Showboat on left   to only about 30" tall, this variety is a dwarf landscape type similar to P. selloum, with smaller, finer, more deeply cut, lobed leaves. Blades reach just 12" long but are held away from the trunk on very long petioles. It prefers shady conditions with average to infrequent watering. It will form a small trunk over time but the plant overall is much lower and wider in proportion to P. selloum,with relatively longer petioles and smaller blades. Another great outdoor/indoor container plant. My wife has tried this twice outdoors in Santa Cruz with partial protection and it has frozen out twice at 30F. It needs good overhead frost protection anywhere it will see a hard freeze, or else should be grown in a moveable container. According to Randy Baldwin at his San Marcos Growers website, this might be actually be a true species, P. xanadu. Indoor/outdoor, as a house, patio or porch container anywhere, in outdoor landscapes only with good frost protection in USDA zone 9a/Sunset 16-17, 21-24. rev 6/2019

'Xanadu Gold' PP19214P2  (not currently in production)  first crop  a much slower, smaller growing sport of the original form, this is a rich golden yellow in medium shade, with warm coppery colored veins. It bleaches to white in strong light and becomes chartreuse green in deep shade. Against the right background it is superbery nice. Due to its less vigorous growth this form is probably best used in containers on patios or porches, or as a house plant. rev 6/2019

Phlebodium     a genus of two similar species, plus their naturally-occurring hybrid (P. x aureum). What's offered by commercial propagators is apparently P. pseudoraureum and the naturally occurring hybrid species P. x aureum. which arises in areas of overlap with the only other species, P. decumanum  That second species is apparently not grown or rarely offered. Slightly different versions of the first two forms grow out from what our plug sources send us, sometimes with names reversed, or using different nomenclature/classification, or even with names changing from one shipment to the next. Hold on, that's not all! Both forms show differences in form and foliage between juvenile and mature phases, plus differences between vegetative and spore-producing fronds when mature. But wait, there's more! Very likely forms resulting from the hybrid backcrossing with the species parent is also sold, or even just variation from self-crossing, likely what's offered now as the form 'Mandianum.' I believe it's fair to call this a difficult group, so that's the best I can sort things out as of this writing, with Barbara Jo Hoshizaki's Fern Grower's Manual as our general but not strict reference. Polypodiaceae. rev 4/2020

 x aureum 'Mandianum'   BEAR’S FOOT FERN, CABBAGE PALM FERN   juvenile fronds and growth habit   young plant, mature-phase fronds  winter color    irregular, double row of sori   variation in sori pattern   nothing I've seen in the trade matches Barbara Jo's drawing, which shows finger-like back-extensions on the pinnate leaflets. What's widely sold now under this name could just be a reverted form that approximates the original, less ornate, unselected wild hybrid-species form, or I think even more likely a backcrossed form that arose within a crop sometime past, likely inadvertently. Whatever the answer, the result is a wonderful, lush variety with broad, wavy edges to the fronds. Youngest plants produce short, wide, vertical fronds with short petioles but as frond size increases they display in a flat and horizontal manner. Mature fronds can be anywhere from 12-30" tall long and 12" to 3' tall. Sori are supposed to be produced on mature plants in an irregular double row but I have never seen this, and I suspect this is due to  variation (but check back for updates!). The clump spreads slowly via its weird, thick, above-ground rhizomes which creep - creepily - along the surface of the soil. The rhizome tips are chalky blue white, becoming densely covered with golden brown, fur-like hair when mature. In nature this species grows as a semi-epiphyte, colonizing the debris and humus layers directly above the soil, or growing on old, mossy logs, stones or palmetto trunks. The leaves will turn a very attractive purple to mauve-brown color in cold weather and usually drop by early spring with any real sub-freezing nights. This makes an attractive, tough and forgiving great container plant or hanging basket subject, or can be used in shady sites, easily surviving on an impressively small amount of irrigation. Part to deep shade, regular watering, an unprotected rhizome is hardy to probably somewhere around 25F?? USDA zone 9b. Gulf Coast, Central America, Caribbean, South America. Polypodiaceae. rev 5/2019

pseudoaureum  (also sold as P. pseudoaureum ssp. aureolatummature frond, January    mature frond, June    commercial landscape, Gayles, Capitola   juvenile fronds and growth habit    one of the most distinctive and easily recognized ferns. It is highly variable, and shows obvious juvenile/mature dimorphism as well. It is much-confused in the trade, and often sold as the above forms. It can be distinguished though from its hybrid offspring P. x aureum by its single (versus double) row of sori (spore dots), which form on the undersides of the mature fronds. It also has mostly vertical-oriented fronds, young or old, vegetative or reproductive. It grows just like members of the closely related genus Polypodium, but with larger, thicker, weirder, chalky white, worm-like rhizomes creeping along the surface of the soil. Fronds turn purple with winter cold, and will eventually drop with any freezing temps. Grow it in a small amount of direct sun to full shade, in regular soil or in semi-epiphytic, composty mixes. To 12-30" tall, rhizomes are hardy to 28-25F? Tony Avent at Plant Delights says USDA zone 8a, our source says 7a, evergreen 9-10. Tropical America. rev 10/2019

xPhlebosia 'Nicolas Diamond'   mature plant   young bifurcation   new fronds   cresting, bifurcation and blue sheen   a new fern from Vitroplus, this novel hybrid genus is the result of crossing Phlebodium with Pyrrosia. It is a slow, creeping grower, like both parents, spreading by short, running rhizomes at ground level. The foliage forms a dense canopy of lush, dark green fronds, coarsely lobed, with wavy margins and bifurcated to crested leaflet tips. Young growth is silvery jade green, intermediate-maturity fronds are relatively glossy and feature a bluish sheen, especially in low light situations. Mature fronds are larger, coarser and held horizontally. Shade to part sun, typical fern growing conditions of rich, moist, high-organic material soils, good in containers. Estimated hardy to ~25F, as both parents will survive to around that limit, it is quite possible it can tolerate lower temperatures. rev 4/2021

Based on appearances I first took this plant to be a houseplant or greenhouse plant only, and assumed it would need pretty regular watering to keep that big ruffly leaf looking good. I inadvertently found out how tough it really is when a single 1g plant I took home to plant and trial ("the troubles"). I dropped it part sun under trees until I could plant it then promptly hid it by mistake with a 15g can of old soil and dead plants dropped in front. It survived for a few months over a very dry fall and winter living on nothing but fog, grit and hope. I found it again after the rains started in February, with its few original large fronds intact and essentially undamaged. At the time the container was feather-light - completely dry - but it was looking great. So while it looks very delicate and fancy, and like it should be what I call a "greenhouse queen," it is in fact far tougher than looks would suggest. One thing it is not resistant to however is rats, both your regular garden variety and our native pack rats. ("Dusky-footed Wood Rats" is the official legal common name, "pack rats" is their traditional and far more descriptive name). Both of those cute, lovable critters break into our greenhouses and cut the frond stipes off from the base-rhizome, then remove the blades as salad. They also do the same with our Pyrrosias, but not the Phlebodiums. The pack rats, being the more inventive, creative and thrifty of the two, let nothing go to waste and then incorporate those cut leaf-stems as home-building material. (Isn't nature wonderful?) So they probably should not be used in high-rat environments. rev 4/2021

Phlomis fruticosa 'Edward Bowles'  JERUSALEM SAGE  closeup   nice plant  this is what for years constituted the species itself in the California trade, probably tracing back to a plant grown from 'Edward Bowles' seed by Western Hills Rare Plant Nursery from Hillier's Nursery in England. From there it passed to Ray Collette, curator and director at UCSC, and from there into broader distribution in the nursery trade. It grows as a handsome woody evergreen perennial to 4’ tall, 6’ wide. The large, felty, soft green leaves have white tomentose undersides and the overall habit and texture is much more verdant and lush than anything you would grow from seed under the name of this species. Whorled clusters of large, deep yellow flowers are borne on upright stems above the foliage once, in spring, then the dried stalks remain as attractive elements. They are best removed just as the new spikes begin to push. The extra-luxuriant foliage makes this a very attractive plant even when not in bloom. Sun to part shade, little summer watering when established. Sunset zones 5-9, 14-24/USDA zone 7. Mediterranean. Labiatae/Lamiaceae. rev 5/2014

fruticosa (species form)   flowers and foliage    flower closeup  again   this is one of several trade forms of this species. This one has a compact habit, dense, silky, silvery foliage and strong yellow flowers, edged in white, produced in whorled cluseters in late spring and early summer. It can be cut back after flowering but many like the spent stems left on for architectural interest. The best technique is to wait until new growth just starts to appear in late winter then cut backt to that point. To about 3' tall, it is really tough as far as heat and drough,t but if you don't give it some small amount of summer water, by the end of the dry season it will look just like one of our native California sages -  a big ball of completely dry foliage. It will live though! Sun to half shade, good drainage, infrequent to very little summer watering. Sunset zones 5-9, 12-24/USDA zone 8. rev 5/2014

lanata    flowers closeup    Cabrillo Mediterranean display garden   grey green fuzzy leaves back up yellow, two-lipped flowers. This evergreen shrub is looking for good drainage and a sunny spot. Compact growth, 2-3' tall and 4-5' wide. Trim faded flowers to keep it blooming summer through fall. Little watering once established. Sunset zones 7-24/USDA 8. rev 1/2013-Suzy Brooks 

monocephala    flower    textured leaves like sage, a soft, olive grey green with whorls of yellow flowers in spring and summer. About 4' tall and wide, tolerant of drought, very Mediterranean looking. Plant it with natives, in a border, or in a big clay pot. Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 4/2013-Suzy Brooks

Phoenix  DATE PALMS  a genus characterized by feather (pinnate) fronds. A genus known mostly to Californians from the monster Canary Island Date Palms (P. canariensis) seen especially around older homes or parks, as well as the substantially more demure (and more tender) Pygmy Date Palm, P. roebellenii,which is used outdoors in Southern California and in protected, mostly commercial landscapes in Northern California. The genus has much more to offer than just those two species though, and most interesting are the smaller scale and more delicate species that we are concentrating on. Some are solitary, others clump. Palmae/Arecaceae. rev 10/2009

loureiroi v. pedunculata  (not currently in production) MOUNTAIN DATE PALM    at the Huntington   old Santa Cruz Beach Flats specimen   Jungle Cruise  a subtropical evergreen shrub grown for huge leaves and tropical appearance. Old plants can reach massive size, with huge, tall trunks to over 10' tall, arborescent, stilt like roots, and a total canopy spread of over 12'. It grows best in part sun, but easily survives full sun in coastal environments. It is drought tolerant when established but faster and with larger leaves with regular watering and feeding. It can be used in containers or even as a house plant. Damaged below 25°F, it has survived 15-20°F (USDA zone 8a/Sunset zone 15 and higher). One interesting fact is that the temperature of its flowers actually approaches that of the human body. It is one of the only thermoregulating plants known. The resulting fruits are edible and good. Southern Brazil. rev 5/2019  at the SF Flower Show  a clustering species that is quite cold tolerant, its primary use is to provide masses of feathery blue green foliage when young. It will develop a tall, gracile trunk with age, and form a smaller scale, much more delicate version of a Date Palm that somewhat resembles a Coconut Palm. It makes a great container plant Asia. rev 10/2007

sylvestris  (not currently in production) SILVER DATE PALM   a fast, tall palm, to 25-35' tall, much smaller in spread and much more graceful than a Canary Island Date Palm. The leaves are conspicuously grey, about 10' long but quite narrow, and again the trunk in this species is quite delicate relative to its monster brother. It comes from dry territory and is quite drought tolerant. Good in containers too, but spiny at the base of the frond. Full sun, Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. Central Asia. rev 10/2007

theophrastii  (not currently in production) CRETAN DATE PALM  this was first described by its namesake Theoprastus, The Father of Botany (c. 371 – c. 287 BC) but not formally published until 1967. This is an open species with arching fronds, clumping from the base at maturity, and spiny. The fronds coated with a waxy layer and under hot, dry conditions it can develop a wonderful blue-grey to grey-white appearance, similar in color to Brahea armata and Chamaerop humilis v. cerifera. Very restricted distribution on Crete and a few other Mediterranean islands, southern Greece and Turkey. It bears a mostly-inedible fruit similar to a date, and thought to by some to probably be the source of P. dactylifera, the Date Palm. It looks very much like a short, very silvery Date Palm. rev 2/2021

Phormium  NEW ZEALAND FLAX, FLAX LILY  Mountain Flax foliage (P. cookianum)   medium sized to very large clumping, evergreen, somewhat grass-like plants to 2-10’ tall depending on species and variety. There are two species currently recognized. Modern cultivars and hybrids were developed from naturally occurring bronzy and variegated plants. Sun to mostly shade, average to infrequent watering, most soils. Good in containers, being very tolerant of inadequate or erratic watering. The P. tenax varieties and hybrids are better in wetter sites. All of the colored forms are nice when backlit, which highlights the glossy, tinted foliage and heightens their dramatic effect. USDA zone 8. New Zealand, Norfolk Island. Asphodelaceae. rev 6/2018

Hybrids and selections from New Zealand began appearing in the trade here in the 1980s. Their availability led to a dramatic increase in the use of Phormiums in landscapes. By that time most gardeners and designers had realized just how enormous the previously available seedling strains of  P. tenax could get. Most didn't have enough room for plants of that scale, and welcomed these newer, better behaved derivations.

Leaves of P. tenax were historically used by the Maori for woven goods and other fiber products, including textiles, mats and cordage. A few of the traditional named varieties selected for specific applications have recently been recovered and are now being cultivated and distributed. Leaves of P. cookianum are inferior for those applications and were not used.

All these selections have the potential to revert to vigorous standard green or bronze foliage, and with time most will if the wayward sprouts are not cut out with a shovel or pick. (Sad sight)  You can also cut out unwanted foliage with a sharp serrated knife, which will go through it like soft butter. For larger renewal projects, do what friend and customer Jeff Rosendale does to big, green or bronze reverted monsters, and tie a rope around the top of the clump and tie it to your truck. Chain saw the entire mass off at the base then drive away. Many of the larger, greener varieties such as ‘Maori Queen,’ ‘Pink Stripe,’ 'Sundowner' and 'Allison Blackman' should probably be cut down every couple of years to force juvenile foliage - mature leaves lack almost all of the attractive color of young plants.

According to Paul Bonine of Xera Plants in Portland, plants subjected to their summer drought and colder winters do not seem to recover well in spring. Mike Cole of Western Horticultural Products (WeHop) in Port Townsend, Washington adds that in their own cold, wet climate (another wet 8b) experienced gardeners will fold the leaves over and tie them at the base of the clump, protecting the crown from filling with water then freezing deeply and completely killing the plant. rev 6/2019

tenax  NEW ZEALAND FLAX, FLAX LILY   those common names are also used as a general term for both this and P. cookianum, below. Usually larger and with broader, often quite upright foliage. Often found in wet or swampy ground, but not always. Flowers are usually but not always dark burgundy red, occasionally yellow, and rarely showy. Hybrids are variable. Flower spikes are up to 12' tall and stand above the foliage. Seed pods have three segments and are displayed vertically. rev 6/2018

cookianum (syn. colensoi)  MOUNTAIN FLAX   lower, to 3-5' tall, and with usually thinner, more arching or lax foliage on most of our trade forms. Highly variable, with forms found above treeline as well as on coastal cliffs. Leaves on reversions often show a whitish coating over the dark green surface, and usually show a light midrib and dark edges. Flowers here are usually chartreuse to yellow with contrasting orange anthers, and can be rather showy. Seed pods hang vertically. rev 6/2018

'Alison Blackman'  first crop   leaf detail   chocolate brown leaves with creamy yellow margins on juvenile growth, lighter brown with less dramatic edge coloration when mature. Probably to the typical 5-6' by 6-7' across. Note: just one "L" in her name. rev 1/2019

'Amazing Red’  garden plant   at Sierra Azul  a fine textured reddish bronze, with a rather upright habit, to about 4'. Holds its color well with relatively little mature greening, especially with heat. Appears to be stable. A good performer in the Central Valley. rev 8/2006

‘Apricot Queen’  foliage closeup   habit  leaves emerge light yellow with green margins, age to faint apricot/peach. To 3’, with moderately wide leaves. With age this one will appear as a very warm golden yellow color, with the apricot tones appearing mostly in cool weather. Low reversion rate. Greenish yellow flowers. This is one of the best for the Central Valley, only occasionally showing a little leaf burn under the hottest and most intense conditions. rev 10/2005

'Black Adder' PP20451    leaf closeup   the darkest of the compact varieties, shiny black-burgundy on the upper surface, flat black-green below. To about 3' tall and 4' wide, a little more with age. This is included in the Sunset Program. rev 6/2021

'Black Rage'  nursery crop  another "black" foliaged cultivar, close to 'Platt's Black' but not as green. Compact. rev 8/2008

'Bronze Baby’  foliage closeup   habit, containers at Kelly's Bakery   nice planting  probably the best of the burgundy cultivars. A fast but compact grower to only 3' tall, it still has the broader leaves characteristic of the larger varieties and lacks the grassy look of ‘Jack Spratt.’
Leaves are medium coppery bronze. Doesn't seem to revert. rev 5/2002

‘Chocolate Baby’  nursery crop    massed   very similar to ‘Surfer’ in size (3-4' eventually), but with a broader bronze edge and overall much darker. rev 1/2010

cookianum ‘UCSC Dwarf’  nice landscape specimen  a lower selection, to about 3' tall max. Leaves are stiffer and thinner, the habit a little grassier, but still a broad leaved selection unlike ‘Tom Thumb’ and even broader than ‘Surfer.’ The best dwarf green form, originating from the Edward Landels Garden at the UCSC Arboretum. Showy chartreuse to light yellow flowers with orange anthers. rev 6/2018

‘Cream Delight’  foliage closeup   habit   at Strybing  pale, creamy yellow leaves, becoming tinted apricot in cool weather, with green margins. A P. cookianum selection, it has slightly thinner, more gracile leaves than ‘Tricolor.’ To 3’. Low reversion rate. One of my favorites for color, stability, vigor, height, and habit. rev 4/2006

‘Duet’  order pulled and ready to load   foliage   rather showy flowers  dark green leaves with creamy white to pale yellow margins. Leaves are moderately wide, to 2’ long. Low reversion rate, and a good one for flowers. This is a superior variety for the Central Valley. rev 6/2018

‘Dusky Chief’  landscape plant   nursery crop  reportedly a  P. tenax variety, this selection has dark wine red to blackish foliage, often with an ashy reverse, to 6', with a dense, upright habit and good vigor. Mature plants are substantially greener, hack 'em down once in a while to refresh them. rev 4/2015

'Evening Glow'  young leaf colors   young landscape specimen    parking lot   overhead   hot coral red against dark bronzy green, maturing to light coral salmon and olive green. To 4-5', leaves relaxing with age. rev 8/2019

'Flashdance'   throbbing, energetic, hypnotic colors  these colors 'flash' from cream and green in summer to pink and apricot in winter, a fountain of upright, arching leaves of easy care and low maintenance. About 3-4' tall, it excels in containers, as an accent, or in a mass, for sun or part shade in a spot with good drainage and average watering. See it glow as the sun sets or rises behind it! Sunset zones 7-9, 14-24/USDA 8. rev 9/2013-Suzy Brooks

'Gold Sword’  commercial landscape   different angle  medium yellow leaves with green margins, sometimes with a faint rosy streak in the center. Stiffer than ‘Yellow Wave’ and slightly darker yellow. Moderate leaf width. Low to moderate reversion rate. rev 2/2008

'Golden Ray'   new leaves, young plant    a slightly thinner-leaved form, to 5' tall and wide. Leaves show wide creamy to golden yellow marginal edges, often almost orange with cool weather, 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. rev. 10/2018

'Green Baby'  nursery plants  looks so much like 'Tom Thumb' you would swear they are just renaming varieties. rev 10/2005

‘Guardsman’  foliage closeup   nice clump, Sea World   deep red leaves with bronzy stripes. One of the best red varieties, but very slow to divide. Limited quantities. Low reversion rate. rev 2/2008

‘Jack Spratt’  perennial border   commercial planting  thin, curly, dark purple bronze foliage, a relatively grass-like clump. Fast growing, dense, to 18". Low reversion rate. rev 2/2008

‘Jester’    with Cerinthe    leaf detail    more leaves   very good, broad green leaves with a deep coral red center, aging to light coral pink against lighter green edges. To about 3-4' tall, with a pleasantly relaxed habit. This is a relatively stable form and one of the few that retains most of its juvenile color and charm as it ages. It doesn't turn into a giant green or brown monster. Probably identical with the oldest form of this type, ‘Fiesta.’ Synonymous with 'Redheart,' a name that appears to have been bestowed later. The reverse sport of this, green center with red edges, is ' Jubilee.' rev 11/2010

'Jubilee' PP19059  leaf detail   5g plants   a sport of 'Fiesta' ('Red Heart,' 'Jester'), in this variety the cherry red color has crawled off the center of the leaf and switched places with the green, so that it is red on the edges and green in the center. In addition a layer of red color covers the underside of the leaf as well, so it shows a rose pink reverse. The mature foliage is glossy green with cherry red edges. New, highly desired, very rare. Exclusive co-introduction by Monterey Bay Nursery! This was found by one of our former employees, Chris Chaney, (whom we still miss!) in one of his wholesale blocks. To about 3'. rev 5/2009

‘Lineata’  at Blue Bamboo Nursery   nice plant on Linden St.  another reported P. tenax selection, this one with broad, very stiff, vertical olive green leaves to 6' with yellow stripes. Its main distinguishing feature is its vigorous verticality. This is reportedly a very good variety for the Central Valley. rev 10/2005

‘Maori Chief’  landscape   nursery plant   closeup  similar to ‘Maori Queen,’ but a little larger and maybe better color. A result of P. ‘Maori Maiden’ x P. tenax Atropurpureum produced in 1981. rev 6/2005

'Olive and Coral'  detail  'Pink Stripe' reversion, attractive in its own right for its subtle olive green to khaki green leaves and dark coral burgundy tones suffused throughout. Occasional bright pink pinstriping on the leaves. rev 1/2008

‘Pink Stripe’  leaf detail   nice angle   stock plants  glaucous bronzy foliage with bright pink margins, strongest on new growth or at the base of old growth. Matures to mostly green foliage. See notes on renewing Phormium clumps. This is a good variety to use as a background plant in mixed containers, but it should be cut back hard every year or two to renew the wonderful pink new growth. It will get at least 5' tall. This is a good variety for the Central Valley, where it tolerates the heat well and retains its color better than along the cool coast. rev 10/2005

‘Platt’s Black’  nursery plants  new, a deep bronzy purple selection much like ‘Dark Delight,’ but lower and finer textured, to probably 3-4'. The leaves have smoky black green undersides, upper surfaces are dark black maroon. Should be very good. Appears to be very stable. A very good, reliable, tough variety that withstands Central Valley conditions well. rev 10/2005

‘Rainbow Maiden’  foliage detail   nice clump   young plant   foliage colors  leaves are bronze, irregularly mixed with lighter coral pink to medium salmon red. Moderately thin leaves with pendant tips. To 3’. Pinkest of the Maori series. A low reversion rate when properly selected. The best variety? rev 10/2005

‘Rainbow Queen’  at India Joze  mature plant stiff, light bronze green leaves with broad coral pink margins streaks. One of the best for mature coloration. To 5’. Low reversion rate.

‘Rainbow Sunrise’  foliage closeup   more foliage   growth habit  leaves thinly striped bronzy green and salmon orange. Moderately narrow, gracile, erect leaves reach 3’. High reversion rate for us, reportedly not so for others though I am suspicious of those reports based on our experience. It may be possible to select out a more stable form with time. rev 4/2003

‘Rainbow Warrior’  Mills Garden  the leaves may be thinner and darker in color than ‘Maori Maiden,’ but most of the time I think the difference is environmental in origin and that the varieties are identical. The plants are of similar habit and size anyway. Mature leaves fade to blonde jsut like ‘Maori Maiden.’ Both are outstanding varieties, very stable, not very tall, and with the best red color of any variety, especially when young. rev 5/2019

‘Red Heart’ see 'Jester.'

'Rosie Chameleon'   5g cans   as far as I can tell this is a copy of 'Rainbow Sunrise' rev 6/2008

‘Sea Jade’  foliage detail   young plant  green leaves with burgundy centers are held rather stiffly. Moderately wide leaves, to 4-5’.  Limited quantities. Low reversion rate. rev 6/2011

‘Sundowner’  habit   shady clump  good color at maturity, and stable. Usually has bronzy centers with coral red margins and streaks. Coloration is less dramatic with age, but still noticeable and good. Moderately wide leaves are rather stiffly held. To 5’. Very low reversion rate. One of the industry standards. rev 3/2006

‘Surfer’  foliage closeup   at UC Santa Cruz   spiky habit, commercial planting  one of the best. Foliage is greener than ‘Jack Spratt,’ but still has bronzy margins, sometimes broadly so when young. Has a distinctive bright green stripe down the middle of the leaf and a characteristic spiky habit. Narrow leaves aren't anywhere near as grassy as ‘Tom Thumb’ or ‘Jack Spratt,’ and it doesn't tend to die out after long, wet winters like those two. To 3’. Low reversion rate. rev 3/2006

‘Tom Thumb’  thin grassy leaves to 18", green with a slightly darker margin. Fast growing. Low reversion rate. rev 9/2020

'Tony Tiger'  up close  also known as 'Toney Tiger,' it is a dwarf variety with creamy white margins on greyish green leaves. To about 2-3' tall. Looks good all year, even picking up these pink bases in cooler weather. rev 10/2012

‘Tricolor’  why I like it    foliage closeup    commercial, full shade    an outstanding variety. Dark green leaves have creamy white margins, then the edges become distinctly burgundy in cooler weather. Leaves are rather stiff at first, then pleasantly relaxed and broad and arching with maturity. To 3’. This straight  P. cookianum selection has an extremely low reversion rate. Still one of the very, very best, and popular worldwide, as well as with me. It is also very tolerant of more demanding Central Valley conditions. rev 1/2010

'Wildwood'  first crop   very dark cordovan, or burgundy maroon, in fact very much like 'Dark Delight,' in fact it may very well actually be 'Dark Delight' that has lost its name and resurfaced. Glossy, every bit as nice as the original, true 'Dark Delight.' To 5-7' tall and wide. rev 7/2009

‘Yellow Wave’  foliage detail    mature commercial planting   younger plant   another nice plant  light, clear yellow leaves with thin green margins and streaks. To 3’. Moderately wide leaves have a pleasantly relaxed habit. Low reversion rate. The best yellow? rev 9/2020

Phygelius  CAPE FUCHSIA (not currently in production) upright to sprawling evergreen perennial to 30-36" tall, 4' or more across. Plants spread initially from upright basal stems, eventually from short underground stolons or aerial roots on stems. Dark green leaves are relatively formal looking. Narrow, tubular  Fuchsia-like flowers are borne on tall, branched stalks. They produce copious amounts of nectar, to the point of being annoying if it sprinkles all over you, but this is what makes them such outstanding hummingbird magnets. Full sun to mostly shade, average to infrequent watering. Plants are apparently hardy to around 15-10°F, but go completely deciduous. South Africa. Scrophulariaceae. rev 8/2016

'Candy Drops'   Cream   Deep Rose   Rose   Red    Red Spring Trials display   Tangerine   Tangerine Spring Trials display   very compact, all tend towards glossy foliage and a high flower/foliage ratio. rev 6/2021

'Festive Orange' (not currently in production)   flowers  deep coral orange with darker calyces and flower stems, against dark green foliageAn easy, hummingbird attracting, perennial for part shade or full sun with average watering. About 24" tall and wide. rev 3/2014

Tye Dyes  a series released 2014, being first-year flowering, ultra-compact, dense, heavily branched and short (14-16"). Supposedly these have no chill or daylength requirement for initiation, we'll see about that. rev 6/2017

'Magic Mandarin' PPAF  (not currently in production)   first fall flowers   glowing, hot, coral orange. rev 6/2017
'Radiant Red' PPAF  (not currently in production)   first fall flowers    a new, intense rose red. rev 6/2017
'Rosy Cheeks' PPAF   (not currently in production)   intense, hot magenta pink flowers. rev 6/2017
'Yellow Submarine' PPAF  (not currently in production)  flowers   a better, light golden yellow than previous selections. rev 6/2017

Phyllitus scolopendrium  HART'S TONGUE FERN  at UC Berkeley Botanic Garden   Marty Wiseman's Paradise Park redwoods shade garden  syn. Asplenium scolopendrium, this is a fern I dismissed as a tender terrarium species until I saw charming, healthy stands scattered throughout the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden. It forms discrete clumps to about 12" tall and 16" across, and is rather drought tolerant (for a fern!) when established. This almost looks like a native when it is fully established, and is quite at home among redwoods in deep, cool, shade. It is rarely seen in California gardens and I think it is often just too dry for young plants. We have had troubel with it here at our nursery as well. The trick in growing this species seems to be nurturing it past the more delicate, tender juvenile phase. Once it starts to put on the more leathery mature leaves it toughens up considerably. Part sun to full shade, hardy to about 0F. USDA zone 4/Sunset zones 2-9, 14-24. North America, Europe. Polypodiaceae. rev 1/2010

Phyllostachys   3' deep trench for root containment plastic or fabric   another view, with dog    mostly fast growing species.. If you want the open-grove look of the bamboo forest in House of Flying Daggers or Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon, you will want one of the species listed below. All can be invasive in full sun and moist soils or regular watering. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 8/2018

aurea  GOLDEN BAMBOO, HOTEICHIKU, REN MIAN ZHU  typical hedge    thinned to a partial screen    Huntington Botanic Gardens grove, lower branches pruned off    inside Huntington's grove  intriguing path, Huntington  a sometimes-despised running species (as are all Phyllostachys,running that is), this variety has its uses and can be quite beautiful in many situations. It is commonly used in small spaces in Japan, where it is easily kept under control by cutting out unwanted culms with a shovel when they first appear in early summer. It is highly valued there as a security/screening hedge, being almost impossible to pass through when mature and dense. When used in groves the lower branches can also be trimmed off to accent the warm yellow stems, which contrast nicely against the dark green leaves. It can range from 6-20' in height, depending on conditions, and stems can get to 2" thick. Mature groves of large scale plants can look significantly different from brushy young plantings, especially in warmer climates such as Southern California and the Central Valley. An exceptionally nice stand doing what it does best can be seen at Huntington Botanic Gardens, where the gardeners take care to prune off all the lower branches. Likes sun to mostly shade and will tolerate almost no watering to copious irrigation depending on your exact climate and the size and speed you want. Growth is greatly accelerated by the application of fertilizer. Young shoots are edible. Gophers will thank you for providing them with this special treat, especially when plants are young, but old, dry, toughened, established plants are very resistant. Good in containers, but prone to drying out in very sunny or windy situations, or if the leaf mass gets out of hand compared to the size of container. Hardy to around 0°F. China. Find more info on bamboo in general here. rev12/2009

'Holochrysa'   big containers   culms emerge light green but age to deep golden orange, especially in sun, where they often become almost cinnamon. Darker in culm color than the straight species, but otherwise the same as far as specs. rev 11/2010

'Koi'   stems closeup   a variegated-culm selection, featuring typical golden yellow stems but with a contrasting green sulcus (bud groove). The young culms emerge green then colors to bright golden yellow, almost orange, the sulcus remains green. The coloring is best seen on established plants, young nursery grown plants often won't show its distinctive feature. Very occasionally a leaf or two will show a thin gold stripe as well. Same dimensions, same care as for regular Golden Bamboo, except it is a noticeably more restrained runner. New culms largely emerge quite close to the parent stand. While still technically a runner it definitely hangs out with the wrong crowd. Very good against a contrasting background where its decorated culms are more readily and can be featured, and also very good in containers, especially dark blue, dark red, brown/black, green, etc. rev 7/2022

aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis'  GOLDEN CROOK-STEM BAMBOO, GOLDEN GROOVE BAMBOO   young clump, Williamette Valley, Oregon    culm color    tall young 5g   shiny, dense leaves    my personal favorite, of all bamboos, for its color, beauty and impact. Young culms emerge pale chartreuse, often bent into strange, rounded zigzags. They mature to a striking, deep golden orange, looking downright electrified when directly lit by the sun. They will eventually flush rosy maroon if they are, both broadly and in stripes. Mature culms can reach an impressive 2" in diameter, and are cat's-tongue-rough to the touch, an identifying feature. They aren't strong enough to be used for construction. Growth is vigorous to 15-25' but can be easily topped and kept lower. It's reliably upright, no leaning or falling over. Leaves are very glossy, bright green, silvery blue underneath, and overall presentation is wonderfully lush and relaxed.Young shoots are sweet and edible, even uncooked. Full sun but usually performs well in part shade as well. The closely-named P. vivax 'Aureocaulis' is also stunning - magnificent, but much larger, and scary-fast. Very cold hardy, USDA zone 5. China. rev 4/2019

bambusoides  JAPANESE TIMBER BAMBOO, MADAKE   Strybing grove    leaf detail   leaf reverse    culm detail   to 35' with 2" thick stems, though in more tropical and wet climates it can reach 75' and 6" (wow!) respectively. The leaves are very dark green, very lustrous and shiny, and have ribbed parallel veins that add texture and interest. The undersides have a light but distinct bluish cast. We find this species, and this selection, to be fast and easy, unlike some references that say it is slow in California. Though not as fast or large as some other running timber types (P. vivax, P. nigra'Henon'), it is fast enough, and very elegant, and best of all, dark green and shiny. It often pushes new culms in very late spring, and these culms can grow 4' per day if it is happy, and live for 10-20 years each, which is highly unusual for a bamboo. The internodes are always long, never congested near the base like in P. aurea, and thus it always has a tall, elegant, gradeful presention. This is one of the most sought after forms, both for gardens as well as construction. Its culms make great building material, being straight, long, hard, durable, with thick sidewalls, and long internodes. rev 11/201

'Castillion'  STRIPED JAPANESE TIMBER BAMBOO, MADAKE  Sol with a young clump a tall timber type, grown for its wonderul large bright yellow culms that have a conspicuous, wide green stripe in the sulcus (bud groove). Same very dark green foliage, surface shine, and corrugated leaf veins. Very popular and usually in limited supply. China. rev 11/2010

edulis (heterocycla pubescens)  MOSO, MAO ZHU   (not currently in production)  big stems    more big stems   highly sought after, this is the Big Mama of the bamboo world, the largest-growing species of all hardy types and only surpassed in size by a few of the tropical clumping types. Culms can reach 8" across and it can be 100’ or more at maturity (with enough sun, heat, watering and feeding) but are usually less than half that. One of the most valuable varieties for edible shoots, it is also considered the best ornamental timber species in Japan. To be happy it needs deep, rich, moist soils, low pH (5 - 5.5), shade when young, full sun and some summer heat. It grows nicely along the coast and watering needs are lower there, but it really thrives in the hotter inland areas, Central Valley and more westerly regions of Southern California. It is challenged by Santa Ana winds and Colorado River water though, so performance can vary. There are few foods as highly respected by gophers as young timber bamboo, so it needs protection at least until it really starts rolling, then it will simply outgrow as well as shade out the annual and perennial grasses they rely on. Hardy to under 10°F, USDA zone 7, best in 8-9/Sunset zones 5-9, 14-24. China. rev 4/2019

nigra  BLACK BAMBOO, KUROCHIKU, ZI ZHU  culms    front yard full    medium sized stand, Goldsmith Seeds facility  one of the most highly desired ornamental bamboos. The “normal” wild form of this species is green, more robust, and is known as ‘Henon.’ This more familiar, widely distributed trade form is a smaller growing melanistic clone that only gets to about 15-18' tall with culms to about 1 1/2" across (‘Henon’ can get sixty feet with almost 4" thick culms). It is a slower grower, for a bamboo, but still vigorous compared to most plants. It is much less vigorous than the related Golden Bamboo, and somewhat taller. It is a species that definitely appreciates part sun or shade on the trunks and ground beneath, though you wouldn't know it by the way it is usually sited. The leaves tend to bleach in full sunlight if chlorotic from pH problems or lack of iron, and culms are prone to sunburn and unattractive blotchy scorching where exposed. In richer soils this isn't a problem. The culms will be green the first year, then age to black by the second. There may be variation in the trade as to how dark the stems can be, but most differences seem to be tied to culture and environment and there may be only one “black” form in the country. The foliage is darker than P. aurea, sparser and somewhat longer and more graceful. This is possibly the most striking bamboo commonly available, and one of the best overall, anywhere. The stems can be dramatically displayed in so many situations: by themselves, against walls or fences (especially bamboo or dark redwood), or with variously textured foliage or scandent stems reaching through them. Use your imagination! Small root divisions dug up from the ground often have blind eyes and never develop properly if they develop at all. This is an excellent container variety, with at least some shade, since it tends not to develop an overly dense mass of thirsty foliage. Like most bamboos, it needs at least some summer watering in California landscapes and is happiest with ample irrigation. It comes from a monsoonal pattern climate (heavy rains in late summer) so treat it accordingly. It can be invasive in hot, humid climates but I can't imagine it being so anywhere in California without constant watering. They like fertilizer but salt burn easily (leaf tips turn brown) so don't overdo it. Frost hardy. The young shoots are edible. China. rev 7/2005

'Bory'  tortoise-shell pattern   more   very old grove, Strybing   young, open grove   considered by many (including me!) to be superior to the standard black-culm form of P. nigra, this more subtle and interesting variation becomes partly to mostly dark brown to smoky black as stems age. Growth parameters, size and growing conditions are same as for regular Black Bamboo. rev 4/2019

‘Henon’  HENON BAMBOO, HACHIKU  (not currently in production)   grove, Blue Bamboo Nursery   beautiful plumose habit   foliage detail     culms   also classified by some as “v. henonis,” this is actually the common, widespread, wild form of P. nigra, which was first described from its more ornamental and now more familiar melanistic form. This is a more vigorous, robust grower of much greater height and girth (60' by 4") and rightfully qualifies as a timber bamboo. In fact it is of outstanding quality, being thick walled and resistant to splitting even when cut as first year culms. It is the third most important timber bamboo in Japan after P. heterocycla and P. bambusoides. It is very close in appearance to the majestic, sublime P. vivax, but is not quite as big, or shiny, or green. But it definitely deserves a better reputation than just “black bamboo that isn't black.” Besides its considerable stature as a timber type it is an open grove-forming giant of great character and graceful appearance. It also produces edible shoots of excellent quality, ranging from 40-80 lbs. per 1000 square feet of grove per year. Shoots develop best in warm soil under mulch. It is much more sun tolerant than black form as well a very good cool grower. rev 1/2010
viridis 'Robert Young'  striped stems   grove habit, Blue Bamboo Nursery   full height, with my friend Clark at Berghuis Nursery, Lindcove this is usually a slow, compact runner, of modest height but nice culm caliper. It has light yellow to deep gold stems to 3" wide, with a strong greep stripe, naturally drops lower branches to form clear groves, has glossy, medium green leaves, and generally forms clean, nice looking stands. Usually a rather slow grower and divider and we have only recently achieved critical mass, so quantities are limited. In California it tends to top out at 25-30', and this assumes heat, sun, fertile soils, and water. Give it ample water and it can turn happy and reach its larger dimensions quickly. Drier air and soil conditions tend to limit it here in California, but in the Northwest it can get 10' taller. It is quite cold hardy, listed as going to -5F in the American Bamboo Society literature, and can probably be raised anywhere in California where you can keep it watered enough. It does great in a containers. This is a classy, sought-after variety of better-than normal appearance. Sunset zones 3-9, 14-24/USDA zone 7. rev 11/2010

Pilea  a large genus of mostly shade foliage plants, widely distributed in tropical or warm-climate regions. The number of species is estimated to be from 250-1000, with many species undescribed certainly occurring in areas that have yet to receive definitive floristic treatments. They are used as foliage houseplants and container plants for patios, porches or for fairy gardens or miniature landscapes. Rather tough and forgiving of neglect despite their often tender-foliaged nature. Most will not tolerate any frost though, or even root temperatures below about 40F. Related to nettles, Urticaceae. rev 9/2020

cadierei  ALUMINUM PLANT  familiar leaves   broad, soft green leaves are splashed longitudinally with silvery markings between the (almost) parallel veins. Stays under a foot tall, the tiny white flowers are not showy. Houseplant, indoor/outdoor porch or patio item for shady or minimal direct sun conditions in a light, loose, rich, moist soil. Roots won't tolerate long, cold, wet, outdoor California conditions, must stay above ~50F.  China, Vietnam. USDA zone 10. rev 11/2018

depressa 'Tiny Tears'  CREEPING JENNY  tiny foliage   creeping, flat, with very small, green leaves, rather close in appearance to the related Baby's Tears, Soleirolia. Shade or indirect light, no frost. House, patio, porch. Carribean. USDA 11. rev 7/2017

glauca  SILVER SPRINKLES  very close     this little creeper has red stems that contrast nicely with the tiny, round leaves of a silvery blue green color, plus coral colored flowers in spring.  Very nice softening the edge of a pot or path, in terrariums, windowsills, hanging baskets, or as groundcover. Bright shade, regular watering. Houseplant also. Does not appreciate cold or frost. House, patio, porch. USDA 10. Southeast Asia. rev 9/2013-Suzy Brooks

microphylla  ARTILLERY PLANT   leaves   soft, succulent, upright, arching stems, minute, soft green leaves. Minute whitish flowers. You know this plant. Florida, Carribean, Central and northern South America. Invasive in many tropical countries worldwide. USDA zone 10. rev 7/2017

Pilososereus chrysacanthus  GOLDEN OLD MAN   neat little soldiers   columnar cactus with ornamental yellow spines, little points of light in the sunshine against blue green trunks. Wonderful vertical element to add to your collection. In the wilds of Mexico, it branches and gets to 15' or so. Well drained soil, water in summer, dry in winter. Nice in containers where it can be moved to shelter outside of Sunset zones 17-24/USDA 10. Southern Mexico. Cactaceae. rev 3/2013-Suzy Brooks  

Pinguicula  BUTTERWORT  carnivorous sundews, ranging from the Americas to Europe, Asia, and even North Africa. The easiest to grow are the Mexican species, all evergreen, which are the ones we offer. These plants attract insects that are then glued to its leaves by the wet, sticky hairs until they die and are washed off, to decompose at the base and provide nutrients for the plant. In our greenhouses they are more effective at attracting flying insects, principally fungus gnats, than yellow sticky cards. They like strong indirect light, or at least cool direct light, and damp conditions. Little else seems necessary. They have grown well for us in cool, unheated (but frost free) greenhouses over winter and the only problem I have had with the one I took home was when I partially burned it up by putting it on a window sill in full, direct, all-day winter sun. These happens to be the only plants in the Lentibulariaceae that we offer. Mexico. rev 8/2010

moctezumae   blooming plants   gory details    thin, somewhat snaky leaves, light green, with rather large pink flowers. Showy in bloom, relatively easy to grow once it has sufficient size.rev 8/2010

Pistacia chinensis ‘Keith Davey’   (not currently in production)   PISTACHIO TREE   fall color  summer  a really good grafted strain selected for reliable, hot, fluorescent orange red fall color across a range of climates. Highly sought after and hard to produce. Needs at least half a day of direct sun, good drainage, and moderate to no summer watering when established depending on climate and site. China, Taiwan, Philippines. Anacardiaceae. rev 2/2003

Pittosporum  about 200 species of woody trees and shrubs, primarily Southern Hemisphere in distribution but with a few species found in Eastern and Southeast Asia. rev 9/2020

crassifolium  KARO (not currently in production)  evergreen shrub or small tree to 15’ with grey, tomentose leaves. Clusters of tiny dark maroon red flowers appear in spring. They emit a sweet fragrance at night. Will tolerate dry summers, but really looks its best when given regular watering. Will tolerate close coastal exposure and wind. Sun to part shade. New Zealand. Pittosporaceae. rev 4/2010

'Variegata'   West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz   full size, Strybing Arboretum   closeup  creamy white leaf edges, slower growth and a more compact habit make this a hot commodity. It is quite difficult from cuttings and so supply always runs behind demand. It will eventually get to most of the size of the regular seedlings but is clearly not as fast. Just as famously tolerant of cold, windy, salty conditions, and usually prefers a little more water than it receives (New Zealand is a really wet place!) but it always seems to survive on what it is given.rev 9/2020

‘Nana’  civic landscape  extremely dwarf version, with furry, tomentose leaves. To 2’ tall, 4’ wide. Rarely flowers, when it does it isn't usually noticed. rev 9/2020

eugenoides  LEMONWOOD  hedge  flowering branch  evergreen shrub or small tree to 15-25' tall. Leaves are light green, with wavy margins. Flowers are very small, yellowish, and not usually noticed. They have a light fragrance very much like privet - not great but not obnoxious. Leaves and twigs have a lemony scent. Can easily be trained into a tree. Unlike P. tenuifolium, this species appears to be almost uniform when grown from seed. Sun to mostly shade, average to little summer watering. New Zealand. rev 9/2020

heterophyllum 'Variegatum'   CHINESE PITTOSPORUM  5g plants    foliage detail   spring flowers   a fine-textured species with grey green leaves marbled mostly along the edges with creamy white to creamy yellow. Small white flowers are mildly fragrant with the typical sweet smell characteristic of this genus. Mostly consider this is a classy, durable, broader-spreading foliage plant for sun to part shade, growing to probably 4-8' tall and wide here without pruning. In Oregon it is apparently larger and faster while our plants have only been moderately vigorous. Most  likely those reports refer to a very similar and often confused species, P. truncata, which has yellow flowers. It is also probably more fragrant and better smelling, from what I can tell. Average soils and drainage, average water use, reported cold hardy to USDA zone 7. rev 4/2021

tenuifolium  clipped hedge  flowers  evergreen shrub or small tree to 15-20’. Leaves are smaller than the P eugenoides, not as wavy, darker green, and usually borne on black stems. Tiny reddish black flowers have bright yellow stamens and hang below the foliage. They are sweetly fragrant at night. This species is extremely variable from seed. The additional cutting grown selections listed below have the virtue of uniformity of appearance in mass plantings as well as retaining their lower foliage when mature, instead of revealing a bare trunk. New Zealand. Zones vary by variety, but all can be grown in USDA zone 9/Sunset 8-9, 14-17, 19-24/. Some forms are hardier, and survive in Ireland or Portland, those are noted. rev 9/2020

'Cape Susan'  (not currently in production)  new and older growth  a compact, dense grower that has a center-variegation pattern to the new growth. As the leaves age this fades to become just a conspicuous yellow midvein on the dark green leaf. Slow, growing just one or two feet per year. rev 2/2021
'Ebony Giant'   leaves emerging  same purple-black mature foliage as the familiar dwarf variety 'Tom Thumb,' but on a typical open, standard-sized plant, growing to at least 15' tall or more. I have only seen one relatively young plant, at Strybing Arboretum (the source of our plant, and thanks Don Mahoney!) but clearly this is no dwarf. Use it where you can feature its striking color, like against brighter green plants, or a light stucco wall.  Sunset 8-9, 14-17, 19-24/USDA zone 9. rev 6/2012
'Elfin'  Manuel's hedge, sheared to vertical    unclipped typical shape, 5 gal    a low, spreading form with smallish leaves, this is another great choice for restricted areas or where not much height is desired. Fine leaf texture makes clipping and shearing easy and hard to notice. rev 6/2014
‘Garnet’ (not currently in production)  foliage detail  an old famous variegated form. Rounded grey green leaves are edged in ivory white, with rosy tints developing in cool weather. Twigs are a contrasting purple black. A slower, more compact grower to about 10'. Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8b. rev 2/2021
'Gold Star'  (not currently in production) foliage detail  tight, compact growth, with leaves featuring chartreuse to gold centers against darker green edges. Classy, charming. Ultimate size unknown but this is not going to be a large grower, probably to only 6-10' at full maturity. rev 2/2021
'Harley Botanica'  foliage   shade color  the reverse of 'Silver Magic,' another variegated form of 'Silver Sheen.' This is a tighter, more compact strain that is elegant close up and provides a very shiny, ultra fine-textured, lime green color in the landscape. To at least 15' unpruned but shear it or prune it to easily keep it to 4-6'. rev 7/2009
'Irene Patterson'  foliage closeup  compact growth, with foliage that is splashed and speckled with white on the new growth, maturing to green. Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8b. rev 7/2009
'Jessica's Golden' (not currently in production)  new growth   new growth is pale green, ages to dark green. Compact, dense growth, height 5-10' unpruned with age. rev 2/2021
‘Kristi’  (not currently in production) foliage, juvenile, closeup  unpruned six year old plants at our nursery  a very compact, neat, tight grower but with very large, glossy, dark green leaves that give it a very lush appearance. To about 4-6' with age and unpruned. Grows with a dome-shaped habit unless trained, and will naturally reach 6' or more across. rev 2/2021
‘Marjorie Channon’  foliage closeup  hedge  natural, unclipped shape  globe   to 6-8’ tall, eventually taller, with leaves edged creamy white. This is truly an elegant, formal foliage plant that is relaxed enough to find use in most foliage gardens as well. It looks great reaching through a wrought iron or dark picket fence. Its variegated foliage naturally limits its growth rate, reducing by half or three fourths trimming needs in clipped or space-restrained applications. Along with its mostly broad versus hyper-frantic vertical growth habit (I'm lookin' at YOU, Silver Sheen!) that feature makes it probably the very best variety of all to use as a clipped or occasionally pruned hedge. To Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8b. rev 8/2021
'Seaside' PP26713   what a perfect dome!   foliage detail   a dense, globe-shaped, ultra compact plant selected as the best of its seedling lot, this is a short, hemispherical to round shrub to probably about 4-7' tall at full, unpruned maturity. We think this is the most spectactular and perfectly shaped of any of the elf-like or ball-shaped varieties on the market. The foliage makes a really dense mass that makes you want to just throw yourself onto it. Most importantly the leaves, the largest and by far darkest green of all the recent ultra-compact, dome-shaped types, have proven resistant to the burgundy-black pigment spots that appear in cold, wet conditions and generate so many worried questions at the store level from retail consumers. Shear as needed, but that won't be often. Typical growing conditions and requirements as for any of the other varieties. rev 8/2021  MBN INTRODUCTION-2014
'Silver Magic'  foliage  a variegated form of 'Silver Sheen,' with small, shiny round leaves edged in creamy white. Slightly slower growth and slightly smaller ultimate height, but ultimately to at least 15-20' and of course much lower with shearing or pruning. rev 7/2009
‘Silver Nugget’ (not currently in production)   at UCSC's New Zealand garden   tiny juvenile foliage, closeup   another plant at UCSC   also known as ‘Argentea Nana,’ this charming little plant forms a short, rounded, dense mass to about 4' tall by 3' wide. It is distinguished by its small, glittering, silvery jade leaves against black stems. A fine formal container plant, low edging plant or hedge, or foliage plant for use against dark backgrounds or contrasting foliage. Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8b. rev 2/2021 
‘Silver Sheen’
  backlit  clipped hedge  tiny, round, glossy, silvery green leaves against black stems, with very fine textured, relatively sparse on the branches and of open growth at first but later filling in to become very dense. In fact I would say this may be the best overall screening variety due to its fast growth, extremely full habit and tendency to quickly fill any holes in its outline. The foliage is highly reflective and quite impressive when lit from an angle. Fast, reaching quite quickly in spite of its demure scale, upright to rounded in shape, forming an almost impenetrable mass of foliage. One planting I know of looks almost like a vertical patch of Muhlenbeckia complexa, Mattress Vine. rev 4/2007
'Tom Thumb'  (not currently in production) foliage closeup  probably ‘Tom Thumb,’ but we lost the label and it doesn't exactly match the description. Compact growth to 4’ tall, 6’ wide with leaves turn dark purple black in late fall, retaining that color until late spring. New growth emerges greener, but even then is still considerably darker than most forms of  P. tenuifolium. To Sunset zone 5/USDA zone 8b. rev 2/2021

Platycerium    Pacific Plug and Liner greenhouse-pet  - brilliant!   a genus of epiphytic and lithophytic ("likes rocks," i.e. grows on rocks) ferns native to Australasia, Asia and Africa. Some make easy, impressive outdoor display specimens for coastal and near-inland valleys. We haven't found any small species yet though, expect all to get gi-normous unless you have the heart to strip out big chunks from the ever-increasing and always-eventually-massive clump! A chance visit to a local greenhouse revealed a spectacular worker-pet specimen, ~12" container, that someone had planted up. A brilliant and most likely clueless innovation that has proved to be a fantastic production and shipping solution for us versus traditional slab-mounting. So simple, so obvious and yet so unique! And they thrive when grown that way, all of them so far for us. Polypodiaceae. rev 5/2020

bifurcatum    Doug Brower's backyard, Eastside Santa Cruz    Richard Josephson's front porch, Eastside Santa Cruz, with wavy redwood bench     frond detail     shield detail     San Diego Zoo     Mike Fornari's yard, San Juan Bautista   the most commonly seen specimen form, this one has grey green, arching fronds which are forked twice and can easily grow up to and beyond 24" long. Mature plants can get quite large and make impressive specimens that show off your incredible plant-growing skills. Besides the usual mounted displays it also grows just fine any large container, which is how we produce them, in a mix comprise od Cymbidium-grade fir bark mixed with a light succulent or fir mix, or similar orchid media. Bark or slab  mounts are easiest using a gopher basket lined with cloth or even cardboard, it only has to last until the shield-frond wraps around and engulfs it. Some direct sun to bright shade, keep moist but let dry a little, never keep it dark and wet-wet. A great plant for a partly sunny or average-shady deck if you protect it from any real hard freezes, and it can also live in your house when small. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 15-17, 19-24. rev 5/2020

'Netherlands'  NETHERLANDS STAGHORN FERN   maturing 2g crop    young 1g's   new aerial mount   an especially vigorous and happy form that quickly forms a dense clump of much broader, conspicuously darker green fronds. Possibly a hybrid? Easy, fast, forgiving. Same conditions. rev 5/2020

grande  LOWLAND GIANT STAGHORN FERN   happy young green pancake larvae     don't laugh - they're aliens  .  .  .   just larval stage  .  .  .  BUT  THEY  WANT  TO  COVER  THE  EARTH!   a giant species native to Philippines, often found growing on tree limbs. It is warmer-growing species than P. superbum, prefering higher temperatures and tolerating wetter conditions while not tolerating the dry-season conditions enjoyed by it's Australasian cousin. It reaches similar size (6-8' across and tall, counting the hanging sterile fronds) but can be distinguished by having only one sorus per fertile lobe versus the two of P. superbum, also by having smooth new frond edges instead of ornamented. This one will probably stall in Northern California but should be growable in the near-coastal sections of SoCal, or as a house, greenhouse or indoor/outdoor plant anywhere. Give it part shade, keep it out of the really cold, wet situations even it it's just against a wall, and water regularly but intermittently during the warm/growing season. Like P. superbum it will not pup or offset, it must be grown from spores. USDA zone 9a (with frost protection). rev 5/2020

superbum   GIANT STAGHORN FERN   Santa's gonna get crunched!    Richard Josephson's Santa Cruz specimen    Raleigh's first crop    bug's-eye view    sponge-like indumentum, morning dew   in front of the wave   behind the wave      the most stupendous Staghorn you're likely to see in cultivation, along with its close relative P. grande, above. This species can grow drier and cooler, and is easier to cultivate outside here in California. Mature plants can reach a staggering 8-10' across and 6-8' in overall height if you include its pendant fertile fronds. Sterile fronds are shaped like breaking waves, with indented lobes along the upper ("crest") edge, and can be 4-5' across on mature plants. Often fronds will wrap completely around the plants' support, which can be tree trunks, limbs or rocks. In small plants they will circle around to engulf and overgrow the opposite edge. Pendant fertile (spore-producing) fronds are narrow, about 12-18" across, with deep, coarse lobes. They only occur on very large, mature plants. Native to seasonally dry tropical and subtropical Australasia, this species is actually considered rather cold and drought tolerant, and adapts well to our cool-Mediterranean, coastal Northern California climate. It likes our warm winters, dry summers with foggy spells and cool, moist mornings. The lower frond surface is covered with a thin, glistening, whitish, felt-like layer of cells adapted to condense and absorb moisture, especially morning dew, or capture raindrops. My own plant, growing in a 14" container on my back porch in the Santa Cruz Mountains thrives during our summers and smiled in winter, especially the long, wet spthrough our very wet 2018-19 winter, unfazed by the 24" of rain that fell at my house in a one month period. Younger plants will rot out under such cold/wet conditions however, and should be moved under overhead protection. Mine probably should be moved as well, but I don't feel like moving it. This plant will not form pups or offsets, it must be grown from spores. rev 5/2020

veitchii   very young 1g plant    order on our dock    PPL plant ,with a young Young Ale x for scale   probably the easiest variety to grow in California. Closely related to the more common P. bifurcatum and only relatively recently separated from it as a species (Barbara Joe Hoshizaki, 1964). This very tough, drought tolerant, semidesert species from eastern Australia (Queensland) can be found growing mostly on rocks as an understory plant but also sometimes in full, hot subtropical sun. The split fronds are narrow, dense and make the clump look somewhat grassy. The very grey indumentum on the fronds serves to condense moisture. This species is reported by one invaluable source to have survived two years without rainfall (The Platycerium Site), though it is also stated to require moisture in the air. This should certainly be an easy variety in our Mediterranean zones, with cool, humid mornings, seasonal fog or in drier areas if there are humans with a hose who can remember to water only just occasionally. To 4' tall by 2' wide in nature, forms offsets readily. Best in part shade or very bright full shade with periodic watering but drying down a little in between. Tolerates light frost but protect from any hard freezes. rev 5/2020

Plectranthus  a family usually considered now to contain ~75 species, with many former members usually now treated as Solenostemon, Coleus and other closely related genera. Most are herbaceous or soft-wooded perennial shrubs and sub-shrubs, a few are annuals. Some have succulent leaves or stems. Central and Southern Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka. rev 9/2020

forsteri 'Marginata'  (not currently in production) clean marginal variegation  one of the best of the variegated foliage Plectranthus varieties, vigorous and not too prone to reversion. Mixes well with a wide variety of other foliage/blooming plants. Fast, easy, great in containers, mixed or as a focal point plant. Part sun to shade, average soil/watering. rev 5/2006

'Mona Lavender'   (not currently in production)   foliage  a compact, shrubby, relatively soft-wooded hybrid , perennial sage relative grown mostly for its striking deep green, fuzzy foliage with wonderful dark purple undersides. A nice foliage plant, it also features light lavender flowers usually from early fall through spring if untouched by frost.  My wife Molly loves it, for the dark green and purple, the beautifully contrasting and complimentary light lavender blue flowers, its ability to survive on neglect (she kept forgetting to water it, it kept blooming), and the amount of payback contained in such a small package. "As pretty as Coleus, as tough as Aspidistra" she said. This selection was frozen to the ground at 25F in our 2007 spring freeze but regrew by the following winter. Facultative short day bloom. Sun to full shade, average to infrequent watering watering. rev 2/2009

'Velvet Elvis'  PP25020  spike   a better 'Mona Lavender,' with bigger flowers on bigger spikes, thicker, more substantial leaves and an improved habit. It is also a much easier initiator, setting buds on any seasonally mature branches which experience cool/cold mornings, or under short-day conditions. We have been able to sell this plant in color for up to 9 months per year. Same green/purple leaf and stem coloring as 'Mona.' To about 2' x 2' if well grown and well-sited, flower heads are larger, with larger flowers. Part to full shade, rich, moist soil, great in containeres. USDA zone 9, with frost protection. rev 9/2020

Pleioblastus viridistriatus (Arundinaria viridistriata)  foliage  a relatively low, running bamboo of low to moderate vigor. No, really! Because it has limited green foliage, it only grows a fraction of the speed of other short, spreading species like A. disticha. Still, it will fill to the extent of watered areas if not contained. Grows to 3’ tall with bright yellow leaves boldly striped with green and chartreuse. Makes a stunning focal point when used as a large container plant (especially in blue). It is also nice contrasted against purplish or blue foliage, or other dark backgrounds, but needs yearly attention to contain its spread if a root barrier isn't used. Sun (very yellow-gold foliage, fast growth) to mostly shade (light green-chartreuse, slow growth), average watering (fast) to very little (very slow),  at least occasional watering and better with regular irrigation, very frost hardy (USDA zone 6?). Find more info on bamboo in general here. Japan. Graminae/Poaceae. rev 9/2019

‘Akebono’ (not currently in production) foliage  as in all other ‘Akebonos,’ this name indicates banded horizontal striping, in this case white variegation, most likely viral in nature. Mature leaves appear to be bleached white on the tips. This is a very dwarf variety, often less than 1' tall.  rev 5/2008 
  foliage  an all golden sport of the species. Slower but still plenty fast. Even more luminous and choice! rev 3/2008

Pleiospilos  SPLIT ROCKS, LIVER PLANT   a very small genus (four species) of iceplant relatives, with just a couple encountered in the trade. Typical split rock growing conditions, no frost, dry or dryish winters (expecially when soil temps are low), full to part sun with some shade in really bright, hot situations, intermittent watering spring through fall and a well-drained mix. Let the clumps mature and crowded, they bloom better. rev 1/2021
nelii Royal Flush   a rather giant split rock, with violet-tinted leaves at maturity and big, deep magenta purple flowers with bright yellow centers in late winter or early spring, sometimes repeating in fall. To about 3" tall and wide. Native to the Karoo region of South Africa. rev 1/2021
Podocarpus  about 100 or species of conifers related to yews, with similar but usually larger leaf-like needles. Many species are either fast growers and/or have wood with excellent qualities and so are harvested for timber. Others are very slow and can be found being used as dwarf conifers. Many make excellent garden or landscape plants and at least 5 species or their varieties are regularly offered in the California nursery trade, with more, especially dwarf species, available from specialty nurseries and botanic garden sales. All species are dioecious (separate male and female plants) and all parts are poisonouse except for the small, fleshy, fruit-like female cones, which can be eaten in modest quantities without ill effects. This genus had its origins in Gondwana, the Southern Hemisphere supercontinent, and is still found primarily in Africa, South America and Australia/New Zealand, but a few species are found in Southeast Asia (China, Indochina, Japan, Philippines, Pacifc Islands) and many more are native to Central America. Podocarpaceae. rev 8/2019
elongatus 'Blue Ice' (graft)  BLUE ICE PODOCARPUS   young wall shrub   foliage closeup     full sun, Cabrillo College front display garden      full bright shade, SF airport, lowest level 2014     future grove, Huntington Botanic Gardens, 2013    a very compact, dense, spreading shrub and eventually a small tree used for its very blue to blue grey foliage. It is a slow grower to 15-25', filling in as it goes to form a pyramidal shape. The needle color looks great against any colored background or grouped with other foliage plants of all types. Leaders on grafted plants almost always veer horizontally for a while as a reminder of their side-branch origin. Within 4 years or less (usually) new vertical leaders sprout from the main trunk and the plant will resume its usual 1' per year growth rate. This selection grows happily in full sun or full, bright shade (i.e. northern exposure only). I fully expect it would also do well in the ultimate problem site, "shade plus a long overhang," which is seen unfortunately often around commercial buildingscapes, but I haven't verified that with an example yet. Needs average to little watering based on sun exposure, temperatures and average humidity. It makes an exceptionally good container plant, large or small, and can be cut back for regrowth indefinitely. It is a very clean plant, dropping only its small needles periodically, and good for use near patios and walkways. Western Cape, South Africa. rev 8/2019

latifolius  (not currently in production) BLUE PODOCARPUS, REAL YELLOWWOOD, MOGOBAGOBA (Northern Sotho), UMSONTI (Zulu)   at Strybing Arboretum    foliage, closeup     espaliered, Strybing    big plant   this wonderful foliage plant is grown for its powdery blue, flattened needles, its compact, mostly narrow, often irregularly conical habit, and its slow growth. Like most Podocarpus its new growth is a wonderful, light bronze color and has a soft, rubbery texture. It makes a great subject for against a wall of the appropriate hue (grey, olive, red tones, etc.) or for mixing with other foliage plants (Colocasia esculenta 'Fontaneisii,' Phormium 'Maori Maiden,' Escallonia 'Golden Briant,' etc.). In nature it gets to be 100' tall but that takes quite a while and probably only under the most favorable conditions. If you get it there it will display wonderful peeling tan bark. In most situations expect it to stay under 25', and even that will take some time. To keep it happy grow it in part shade in acidic soils with moderate watering. If the needles show more yellow than blue treat the soil to acidify it, use iron treatments, fertilize with acid-forming high nitrogen fertilizers, or any combination thereof. It makes a wonderful, easily restrained container plant. Plants are dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The females bear attractive little powdery blue fruits on soft, fleshy receptacles, maturing to purple in winter. They are edible. This plant ranges throughout southern, eastern, and northern South Africa, even up in to Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), and can grow in dry, rocky, chaparral-like habitats. It is a valuable timber tree, something like Ponderosa Pine, and is the National Tree of South Africa!! Probably hardy forUSDA zone 9/Sunset 8-9, 14-17, 21-24. Podocarpaceae. rev 8/2019

Polemonium 'Brise d'Anjou'  VARIEGATED JACOB'S LADDER  flowers   typical plant   foliage closeup   a clumping perennial with rosettes of finely cut, compoundly pinnate, dark green leaves, each one edged with white. Foliage color ranges from mostly green to about half white depending on exposure, with more variegation in higher light. A large, well displayed clump can be almost hypnotizing to look at. The light blue flowers are just slightly tinged with lavender, and when in bloom the plant can reach about 12-16" in height. It spreads slowly. This plant is best used against dark backgrounds and dark foliaged plants or in combination with other leaf/texture plants in mixed containers. Frost hardy, average watering. Either evergreen or deciduous, depending on the amount of cold. Polemoniaceae. rev 6/200

'Stairway to Heaven'  blooming   foliage effect  this is a larger textured, variegated foliage form to about 18" tall that bears pale lavender blue flowers atop the cream-edged folaige. In cool weather the foliage picks up a light wine colored tint. Sun to mostly shade, average watering, very frost hardy. Sunset zones 5-9, 14-17, 21-24/USDA zone 5. rev 7/2009

Polygala x dalmaisiana  SWEET PEA SHRUB  flowers   habit   nice planting at Sierra Azul  evergreen shrub to 3-4’ tall, with dense, spreading shape. Flowers are a medium violet purple, and are produced most of the year. Florists like the color for use in arrangements, and it lasts quite well when cut. This variety, as well as the other Polygalas we offer, looks quite good next to or mingled with the compact form Coleonema pulchrum, where the violet and light pink flowers complement each other quite well. Sun, average to little watering, hardy to around 15°F. Polygalaceae. rev 4/2006

fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly'  flowers and foliage  a compact form of the species, to about 2' tall by about 3' wide. Foliage is denser than the familiar P. dalmaisiana and has a distinct and quite attractive greyish cast. Flower color is about the same, light violet purple, but clusters are denser and more compact. Flowers seem to initiate on mature growth with any daylight chill. Sun to part shade, tolerates a wide range of soils and needs only infrequent watering when established. Probably hardy to around 20F, USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24. rev 6/2005

myrtifolia  BOXLEAF SWEET PEA SHRUB  flowers and foliage   mature  like a neater, darker green, glossier, fuller, taller version of P. dalmaisiana. The flowers are a darker violet. It can be sheared into a hedge and gets tall enough (7') to be used as a screen unpruned. This species attracts butterflies in its native South Africa. Hardy to around 25°F. rev 4/2006
'Grande'   closeup    a scaled-up selection, with flowers and leaves at least 50% larger than the parent form. Also taller and a little more open. rev 1/2019
virgata  'Portola'   flowers  a compact grower with a tight habit, short leaf internodes and short flower stalks. I suspect we have Randy Baldwin's (San Marcos Growers) selection, and that it has gone 'round and 'round in the trade to become the default form just because of its superior production features and garden attributes. I've grown the "species form" of P. virgata from seed, it was quite different;  big, fast and pretty, but also open and somewhat weedy, two things this is not. Makes a nice-looking dark green shrub to about 4' tall by 4-5' across, and bears its medium deep violet purple flowers from spring through fall. Requires some but not much watering when established, and prefers the same low strength, no-phosphate fertilizers you would (very) occasionally throw on all your other South African or Australian plants. Sun, at least average drainage, hardy to below 20F. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 8-9, 12-24. rev 1/2019

Polygonatum odoratum variegatum  VARIEGATED SOLOMON'S SEAL  bells   a deciduous, clumping perennial with graceful, arching stems of beautiful green and white leaves. In spring, rows of white, bell-shaped flowers peek from under the leaves. Foliage turns a bright yellow in fall. About 2' tall and clumping a bit more every year. It likes rich, moist soil in the shade or morning sun. Nice choice for a container on a shady patio. USDA zone 5/Sunset zones 1-9, 14-17. rev 4/2021

Polygonum capitatum  (not currently in production)   SMARTWEED  pink bubbles    a very tough little trailer, with lots of charming, little, round pink flowers most of the time in mild areas, where it is also evergreen. Only inches tall, and spreading by runners and by reseeding. An indestructible groundcover for parkways or unirrigated areas, but also a suitable choice for hanging baskets and containers. Sun or part shade, average to little water when established. Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24/USDA 8.  rev 11/2010 

Polypodium creeping, rhizomatous, evergreen ferns, often epiphytes or lithophytes. Most of our trade species and forms are pretty tough customers once established and need little care. Polypodiaceae. rev 2/2021

formosum  closeup of foliage   creepy caterpillars  CATERPILLAR FERN  it's soft, it's green, it's a little fuzzy and it crawls slowly. Plus it's cute. Plus the rhizomes do look like caterpillars, being soft, light green (with spots), a little fuzzy and crawling slowly. They're cute too. The fronds have a very nice texture and a somewhat herringbone pattern to the leaflets. This has grown well at Merritt College in Oakland outdoors in a protected area for a few years. It should be fine away from direct frost in gardens in the milder parts of Northern California as well as making a nice container plant, or a house plant for a cool and humid location like a bathroom. Its most common use is in a hanging basket, where you can really see those cute lil' caterpillars. Give it rich, peaty soils, a protected, shady spot, water as needed, and avoid messing with it once established. Some populations (ours? yes? no?) can take some frost, to about 25F, but it will go deciduous much below 40F anyway and begin to suffer damage to roots below freezing. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-16 (protected), 17, 21-24/USDA zone 9. Japan, Southern China, Taiwan. rev 1/2017

guttatum  MEXICAN LICORICE FERN  happy plant at Strybing Arboretum   a low, easy, tough, slowly creeping evergreen fern for part sun to full, deep shade conditions. Usually under 12" tall but our largest plants stretch to 16" in the humid, protected greenhouse environment, with plants slowly spreading from their relatively deep rhizomes. The wide, often deep blue green fronds are held vertically with nicely regular, horizontal pinnae (leaflets) and relatively heavy, thick, substantial texture. Likes average watering but can be adapted to intermittent summer irrigation, just make sure its got moist soil somewhere down underneath those rhizomes. Part sun to full, deep shade conditions. This is a pretty and forgiving fern for container use, with its clean, dark green, leathery, durable foliage. Remove old or damaged leaves when new growth emerges, usually in late spring. It is native to the mountains and upland areas of northern and northeastern Mexico and is used there as a tea for its antidiarrheatic properties. To ~10-15F, USDA zone 8. rev 6/2020

scouleri  COAST POLYPODY, CREEPING LEATHERLEAF   variegated   K-T Ranch ridge    live oak epiphyte   juvenile phase   redwood epiphyte    waaaay up   possibly the toughest, easiest, most reliable and forgiving species in this genus in the trade for Californians, and one of our natives. It is found in cool, marine-influenced, near-coastal habitats ranging from B.C. to Baja Calfornia and even its far-offshore Isla Guadalupe. It bears very dark green, coarsely toothed evergreen fronds to usually about 8-10" tall, easily distinguished by leathery texture and very large sori (spore-pods) on the undersides. Fronds on mature plants can get quite large - check out those linked images above, taken along the ridge of K-T Ranch at the south end of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Watsonville, where the fronds on those massive epiphytic plants can reach almost 2' long by more than 1' wide. It's This is a feature plant for a moderate-sized space or can serve as a small scale groundcover with regular watering. In reliably foggy climates (Central and North Coast) or cool summer rainfall areas (PNW) it grows quite well on old, shaded branches or even tree trunks and certainly would do so in hotter, drier areas with some short sprinkler-time a couple times a week. It's usually facultatively summer-deciduous if grown on rainfall alone in most areas. Of course it makes a great container subject, especially growing up onto that especially wicked, gnarly rock you put in it's pot, or even better established onto your old, mossy oak limbs, or mounted on planks/bark slabs like a Staghorn Fern. All those epiphyte-mounted plants need is a little summer sprinkling. We've offered several strains, ranging from commercially-sourced plugs to divisions from Old La Cuesta Grade (scavenged from a slide on the road), Old La Cuesta Grade Variegated (probably virused after arrival here, beautiful but worrying) to our current project 'KT Ridge,' grown from spores collected on a Tamia Marg walk to the top of the Kelly Thompson Ranch property at the very south end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, roughly the midpoint of their range. USDA zone 8/Sunset zones 5-9, 14-24. rev 6/2020

Polyscias   about 116 currently recognized species of tropical and subtropical trees, shrubs and subshrubs native to tropical Asia and the Pacific Islands. About six species are used as houseplants. Araliaceae. rev 6/2021

scutellaria   BALFOUR ARALIA   often sold as Aralia balfouriana, this shrub or small tree can reach 10' or so in tropical climates. rev 6/2021

Polystichum  evergreen ferns (usually), forming rosettes with often quite regular, circular shapes, at least initially. Best known through our own native Western Sword Fern, P. munitum, below. Polypodiaceae. rev 1/2017

braunii   nursery plant  forms tidy, perfect rosettes of erect, glossy, dark green fronds, to about 1-3' wide by 12-18" tall. Stipes and frond undersides are nicely scaly. Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. Very frost hardy, likes cool, moist, acid conditions like you would find in a forest but will accept infrequent watering if well established. rev 3/2008

makinoi  young plants   this is like a compact Japanese Lace Fern, P. polyblepharum (setosum), almost identical in color, conformation, and presentation except it is glossier and less scaly/furry. It will grow to about the same size, 2' tall and wide. Features even, perfect rosettes, and a clean and somewhat formal habit. It is evergreen in our state though it can take temperatures well below 0F. Best appearance results from cutting old fronds off just when the circle of new croziers is just beginning to push out in late winter. USDA zone 5/Sunset zones 3-9, 14-17, 21-24. Widely distributed through Eastern Asia. rev 2/2021

munitum  WESTERN SWORD FERN   wild, Santa Lucia Mountains    wild, Mystery Spot    garden landscape   another formal specimen  this evergreen fern produces neat upright pinnate fronds, reaching 4-5’ tall in the moist, cool forests of northern California but usually lower, to around 2', especially in hotter areas without summer watering. Great in dry shade landscapes, especially to give the illusion of a lush, moist garden where little water is actually being used. Also looks great used with other native shade plants like Asarum, Woodwardia,or when planted among redwoods. Needs part sun to dense shade and is best with some summer watering. Use peat moss for soil prep when planting, mulch around the crowns to keep the soil moist and cool. To groom wait for the new croziers to swell in late winter before cutting last year's fronds off close to the crown. Frost hardy for all of California but the High Sierras and east of the Cascades. Polypodiaceae. rev 1/2010

polyblepharum (setosum)  JAPANESE LACE FERN  new frond   habit  a charming fern, with glossy, dark green, slightly hairy pinnate fronds forming symmetrical rosettes. To 30" tall, 3’ wide. Old fronds lay flat on the ground when new fronds, pushing out from crown, form a narrow circle of bronzy tomentose leaves with pendant tips in late winter. Very nice when used with early blooming azaleas, such as Kurumes, which bloom when the new fronds are produced. Also good in containers. One of the most formal ferns. Part shade to shade, average watering, frost hardy. rev 2/2021

setiferum  ENGLISH FERN, ALASKAN FERN  garden setting   plantlets   new fronds  an evergreen, rosette-forming sword fern. Delicately cut fronds bear "babies" along the midribs, stems are covered with fuzzy, golden brown hairs. To 2’ tall, 3’ wide, the fronds often laying rather horizontally. Part shade to shade, average watering, frost hardy. Good in containers. Europe. rev 2/2021

'Congestum Cristata'  foliage   mostly simple, slightly plumose. rev 1/2010
'Divisilobum'  fronds on nursery plants  large, light green fronds are very frilly. rev 6/2019
'Herrenhausen'   plants   named after the famous German school of horticulture, this variety has rather simple, clean fronds. rev 10/2008
'Rotundum Cristatum'  young plants  a rotund crested form, with relatively short fronds that are extremely lacy in appearance and bright, bright green. Selected form #2594 of P. setiferum. rev 8/2007

tsus-simense  KOREAN ROCK FERN  small container  a small scale, very dark green, finely textured, glossy, cute little specimen for container gardens, small spaces, or as a house plant. It needs regular watering, humusy soils, and shade. rev 10/2007

Portulaca    PURSLANE  perennials and annuals, soft-wooded, with succulent leaves and often quite brilliant, often noticeably iridescent, sparkly flowers in strong colors. According to the Missouri Botanic Garden, what I would consider one of our few authoritative references, states on their website the familiar showy and colorful garden and container varieties are mostly derived from P. oleracea, with a few actually belonging to P. umbraticola. Portulacaceae. rev 5/2018

molokiniensis    why it's endangered    foliage    bright yellow flower   a very  critically endangered species, mostly because its miniscule amount of native habitat, the 23 acres of lava rock slopes comprising  Molokini Island, is slowly sinking and eroding into the ocean. This popular day trip destination for diving, snorkeling and water play just off the south coast of Maui represents the very last remnant arc-sliver of the summit crater crowning a once much larger volcanic island. As it and its habitat will soon be completely submerged or washed away help Ma Nature by growing one, or a few. This is mostly a foliage succulent, with almost round shiny green leaves, about an inch or so in diameter, stack neatly and tightly on the stems. It can eventually form a trunk with age. Flowers are relatively large, bright yellow, and make a nice display on this captivating subject. Unless you have a subtropical lava rock garden it is best grown in containers, in part sun to full, bright shade, or very bright indirect indoor light, in a very well-drained potting mix that you must let dry for at least a short time between waterings. Use only moderate-strength soluble fertilizers and avoid cold, winter-wet conditions or it will soon be headed to plant heaven. This is an easy one to kill, it's hard to duplicate its natural conditions. If you fail so have I, more than once. Indoor-outdoor/porch-patio anywhere, outside only in USDA zone 10/ Sunset zones 21-24. rev 6/2021

Annual Color - current varieties:

'Pazazz' series  Red Flare    Rose Glow    Tangerine   Vivid Yellow   a blast of warm season color for hot spots with a semi-trailing habit, succulent leaves and brilliantly colorful, silky little flowers, lots of them. Covers the ground or spills over the sides of pots, walls, or hanging baskets.

PREVIOUSLY OFFERED:Full sun, heat, average water. Annual. All zones.  rev 5/2011

'Fairytales Cinderella'  (not currently in production)   double magenta   fluffy, dark hot pink centers and yellow petals on succulent green foliage that loves heat and won't fall apart if it doesn't get regular watering. About 4-8" tall, 14-16" wide, it can handle a hot sunny spot near gravel or a driveway. Reblooming color all season. Annual. rev 5/2014-Suzy Brooks

'Rio' series  MOSS ROSE (not currently in production)  all together!     these much-improved factories of strong colors factories resist deer, drought, heat, mildew, and bugs. Leaves are wide, shiny, and dark green against the very bright colors. A low maintenance color carpet for a sunny spot in baskets, garden areas needing little watering, spilling over walls, or hugging rocks. About 6" tall and spreading out quickly to 15". A worthy annual outside of USDA zone 8/Sunset zones 8, 9, 14-24. rev 5/2018

Portulacaria afra  SPIKEBOOM, ELEPHANT BUSH, PORKBUSH, MINATURE JADE  closeup  a vertical succulent shrub to 6-8' in nature, almost always seen as a small scale subject in gardens or containers here. It is characteristic of a South African biome known as "spekboom," roughly equivalent to our chapparal but subtropical, and featuring more succulent plant types such as this plant, aloes, iceplants, etc. It slowly can grow to form an upright shrub and has been used for short hedges, but that takes a long time. It really shines when kept petite enough that you can get close and appreciate the glossy green leaves against the burgundy stems. It really does look like a minature Jade Plant except it shows more stem and grows with an arching to semihorizontal habit. It was made for containers, combo or solitary specimen type, and also looks awesome against red or black lava rock in dry gardens. It makes a relatively good bonsai subject but first rate subjects are only derived from old garden plants lifted. It can grow in full to half-say sun, can take very little or very regular watering, and is frost hardy to around 25F. Sunset zones 9, 15-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9 or anywhere as a container/house plant. Portulacaceae. rev 5/2011

'Prostrata'   leaves and habit   very compact, low growing, dense foliage. A very effective groundcover or small container plant. rev 9/2020

'Variegata'   at the Huntington   very cool when it gets older and all weepy, especially against blue, reddish, or dark colored rocks or plants. rev 4/2010

Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata'     flowers   this is a moderately fast upright evergreen shrub with small variegated leaves, a somewhat open habit, and a beautiful display of violet purple flowers in a heavy show in spring. Smaller and slower than it's green parent, it is also longer lived and much easier to fit into a landscape. The leaves have a strong minty smell, hummingbirds and bees will create a cloud of activity (and therefore attention) around it, and it just needs some sun, average or better drainage and modest to very little summer watering. To about 4-5' tall, 3-4' wide, put it somewhere where you can brush against it at least once a day, by the driveway, the mailbox, or an entry.Sunset zones 14-17, 19-24. Labiatae/Lamiaceae  rev 5/2014

Protea  shrubs and shrubby groundcovers known for spectacular flowers. Need typical Mediterranean-plant climate and culture including dry summers, good drainage, infrequent, careful summer watering, lean, mineral soils, and usually no feeding. South Africa. Proteaceae. rev 9/2011

cynaroides  KING PROTEA   closeup     shrub    new growth    one of the most spectacular flowering plants on Earth, from the very California-like climate near Cape Town, South Africa. This is a famously incredible blooming shrub that is rightly respected as not the easiest plant to grow, else we would all be neck deep in it. The amazing, silvery pink artichoke-like flowers, to almost 12" across, open in late fall and late winter from the tips of recent, mature growth. The plants get about hip high by about 6' across, sometimes a little larger under the best of conditions. They rarely live over 7-10 years, and often less. It actually makes a very forgiving container plant, tolerating fluctuating moisture levels and general neglect quite well. Otherwise it needs very to be planted in quite mineral soils of at least good drainage, with little or no summer watering directly at the crown (but appreciated occasionally in the dry season where you think those root tips might be), and with a thin layer of mulch to keep the absolute soil temperature down but not retain too much winter moisture. Give it as much full, bright sun as you have, since it grows in an essentially treeless landscape, and restrict its target planting site to the Coastal Inland Valleys or places cooler. It usually needs no fertilizing when planted in almost any California soil, but might need some zero- to very-low-phosphate soluble food, at 1/3-1/2 rate, very occasionally, if in a container. Iron deficiency (dark green veins, very neatly defined) in landscape plants is easly treated by a handful of iron sulfate, plus about a tablespoon of sulfur, placed into a small hole somewhere near the drip line, and in containers is treated with soluble chelate formulas on the foliage and watered in. For best results don't try to cram this into a border, or plan on making it a core component of a permanent landscape. This plant can be unpredictable and short-lived even when well sited and grown by experts, so don't weep when it goes to that great arboretum in the sky. But remember such is the nature of growing specialty plants, they are really just another form of Neon Tetra, and when it's their time to be flushed down the toilet is about when you've decided you want some different colors in the tank. This species, like almost all proteas, makes a mind blowing cut flower but no real gardener will remove the few flowers they have spent so long growing. Does best in cooler dry-summer areas with modest or very infrequent freezes, USDA zone 9/Sunset 15-17, 21-24. rev 5/2019

'Mini King'   MINI KING PROTEA    very close to a very large flower   an epically-useful variation, being much smaller, lower, and producing more flowers which are only modestly smaller than its full-size parent. There are actually two slightly different seedling forms in the cut-trade that we acquired, at some point we'll choose only one. Outer bracts are darker pink than in most P. cynaroides seedlings, leaves are smaller and narrower, growth is more prostrate. A very tough container plant, withstanding very low soil-moisture conditions (= "I forgot") without apparent effect. Makes a great medium-size patio subject, if you have a treasured container looking for a tenant. Full sun, good drainage, infrequent to very infrequent watering, but it will need some during California summers. Frost hardy to around 25F but can  regrow from its lignotuber after lower temps. Somewhat short lived, figure 5-8 years, usually 10 at most, though I know of some plants of the standard form that are approaching 20. USDA zone 9. rev 5/2019

'Pink Ice'  incredible flower  this is a hybrid variety, P. neriifolia x susannae, and produces deep rose pink bracts with a silvery sheen that enclose the white flowers. The tips of the central filaments are tipped black and form a nice contrasting dark eye at the center. Like all Proteas, this is a spectacular plant that can be a problem child. It wants as much sun as possible, as good drainage as you can provide, as mineral soil as is available (moderately acidic, of course), and as little summer watering (especially under warm conditions) as you can get away with without watching it shrivel up and die. The farther away from those conditions it is, the shorter its time on this earth. Do not fertilize except perhaps to treat with trace element foliage sprays, as needed. It is going to be short-lived anyway, like almost all Mediterranean-climate shrubs, but is as spectacular as any plant in cultivation in return. Its primary Achilles' Heel is that it is on the "highly susceptible" list for Phytophtora, of any kind, and seems to show almost no natural resistance. If you plant it, and you have it, you will find out in short order. It can be grown as a container plant quite successfully, but does best where the container is at least partly shaded to keep roots cool. Superb cut, of course. Frost hardy to 25-20F, USDA zone 9/Sunset 8-9, 14-17, 21-24. rev 5/2019

Psidium  see Guava

Pteris  BRAKE FERN  clumping evergreen subtropical to warm temperate ferns, most small but at least one (P. cretica) reaching 4-5' in wild situations. Pteridaceae, formerly Polypodiaceae. rev 8/2019

The common name brake is Middle English for fern, i.e. bracken referring to many brakes, and rendering "brake fern" a redundant phrase. This botanical name is derived from Greek pterid/pteron, "wing," and is properly pronounced with a silent "P" of course. And thus it is thrust, front and center, into the pronunciation controversy when this root form is the basis of other fern names such as Dryopteris, Struthiopteris and Angiopteris. Do you use the "English" system, clearly sounding every letter in order to make deciphering the spelling easier? (That would be "dry-OPP-teris") Or do you prefer the "root-origin" system, preserving as identifiable resources root meaning and derivation? (Dryo refers to oak, pteris to wing, or here "fern," "dryo-pteris," refers to its frequent habitat.) Personally I almost always use the "root word" system just because I love the etymology. Both pronunciations are correct, by the way. rev 8/2019

cretica   originally described by Linnaeus the Almighty himself. Upon its head was bestowed an Award of Garden Merit by the RHS. This "wild form" is encountered occasionally in the Monterey Bay Area as an escaped exotic, always in continuously wet locations, primarily streamside locations in redwood forests. It is cold hardy enough to have survived our all-time record freeze and temps ranging around 15F. rev 8/2019

'Albolineata'  SILVER RIBBON FERN   foliage effect  an evergreen fern with a distinct, broad white band in the center of the frond, growing 18-24" tall. Really lightens up dark areas and looks dramatic against shaded or dark backgrounds. Morning sun or shade, regular watering. Easy to grow, try it in a terrarium or as a houseplant. USDA zone 9/Sunset 17, 23-24/ rev 6/2013

'Mayii'   light green fronds, splayed and crested at the tips. rev 2/2021

'Wimsetii'  fancy fronds   very narrow light green fronds are crested and frilled at the tips. rev 8/2019

dentata 'Stramina'   young plants  fronds look somewhat like a congested Asparagus setaceus (plumosus). Initially short, compact,but eventually tall, with bright, deep green foliage. This is a more finely dissected form of the species that is popular in Europe. It takes drier soils well and is fast growing. Very nice in containers. Tom Ballinger of San Francisco says his plant is over 4' tall, lush, dense, vigorous, and "a great success in its own right." I wouldn't expect it to be hardy beyond 25F. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-16 (all with protection), 17, 21-24/USDA zone 9. Indian Ocean periphery. rev 2/2010

ensiformis ‘Evergemiensis’  foliage, young nursery plants  a small scale evergreen fern with dark green leaves highlighted with white stripes in the centers of the leaves and leaflets. Highly dimorphic, with compact, mostly horizontal sterile fronds reaching few inches across, then later (long-day conditions?) very erect, narrow fertile fronds arising from the center to about 12-16". Probably not hardy, probably best in containers or at least cozy, shaded, sheltered outdoor areas. Southeast Asia, Australia. rev 1/2013

fauriei   foliage   a compact but relatively vigorous variety with glossy, neat fronds that are roughly triangular in shape, medium sea green in color. It grows in shaded forest areas and should be hardy to at least 15-20F. Reaches about 16-18" in height and spread. Makes a nice container or combo element plant. Probably Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA zone 9. East Asia. rev 1/2013

quadriaurita ‘Argyreae’  SILVERLEAF FERN, SILVER BRAKE  foliage  plant  this variety, with an almost unpronounceable name, is one of the best variegated ferns. Sometimes listed as a separate species,  P. argyreae. The broadly triangular fronds are light green, divided several times, and have a silvery white stripe down each rib, and can reach 12" long. To 30" tall. Excellent in containers, but can get respectably large in the ground. Seems hardy to around 25F. Guessing Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24/USDA zone 9.Eastern Asia. rev 1/2013

‘Flame’  foliage  sometimes listed as a separate species,  P. tricolor, this evergreen fern is easily distinguished by broad, very glossy triangular fronds divided into long, finger-like sections. The foliage emerges brilliant red, ages to copper or bronze, finally becoming dark green. The stems are dark mahogany. This is a rather durable landscape variety that is deciduous below 25°F. Mostly shade, regular watering, great in containers. ProbablyUSDA zone 9/Sunset zones 9, 16-17, 21-24. rev 1/2013

tremula  AUSTRALIAN BRAKE   pair of five-foot tall Strybing specimens   their other angle   a tall, tough, durable clumping fern to 3-6' tall and spreading to about the same across the top, with lacy, finely cut, broadly triangular bright green to dark green fronds and contrasting, almost black, wiry stems. This is a good one for dry to intermediate-wet shade, needing only infrequent watering to maintain it until winter rains but enjoying moist conditions if offered. It has enough substance to stand out dramatically in the landscape and will tolerate dark situations though at the expense of rapid growth. It fills the bill for a large, dry(er) shade landscape fern that otherwise can only be filled by our two very fine natives, Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata) and to a lower extent Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum). Its only fault is that below about 25F expect it to be possibly top-deciduous, and below 20F expect it to be possibly dead. I never had one available before to reality-show-test myself but now I'll be qualified to update that info after our next big sorry event. As far as I know only we and the late great El Modeno Nursery have ever offered this wonderful landscape fern for sale here in the US. USDA zone 9/Sunset zones 15-17, 21-24. Australia (including what must be the most cold-hardy race in Tasmania), New Zealand, Fiji. rev 3/2019

vittata   CHINESE BRAKE FERN  mature, UC Berkeley Botanic Garden    elegant blue juvenile fronds   last year's tiny trial crop was such a knockout we knew this would be a smash hit. The Narrow pinnate fronds have thin, pointed leaflets and grow in a usually-circular, open rosette to about 12-16" tall by 3' or more across., much resembling a Sword Fern. This atypical species thrives in high light sites, even growing in full sunlight in humid or cool areas. But under shady conditions, especially deep shade, the fronds, and especially the juvenile fronds display that highly-sought, ethereal, iridescent turquoise blue sheen characteristic of ferns that grow under very low light conditions (Sellaginella, Microsorum, Elaphoglossum) and at least a few other Angiosperms as well, some of which grow in very high light situations (Stegolepis, and hey check out those rhodies in back in the UCBBG image above, plus those thingies on the left - Rhoea? Aspidistra?). This is a tough one, tolerating rather dry conditions but doing best with regular, intermittent watering and good drainage. Great in containers also of course. Hardy to USDA zone 8. Eastern Asia, now widely distributed in tropical areas. rev 4/2019

Ptilotus exaltatus 'Platinum Wallaby' PP20785  MULLA MULLA (not currently in production)  flowers   a tough Australian perennial (this form, at least), comprised mostly of upright, feathery pink heads of flowers. The blossoms themselves are humble, but the flower head is silvery and quite attractive. This form is adapted to alkaline soils and is truly perennial though still short-lived. Sun, very drought tolerant when fully established, to 12-18" tall and wide. Sunset zones 8-9, 14-24/USDA zone 9. Australia. Amaranthaceae. rev 2/2021

Punica granatum 'Wonderful'  POMEGRANATE   flowers    small shrub    this edible ornamental has been around for a long time! It's been an inspiration for art and design, a symbol of hope, abundance, and prosperity, and thought to be the real 'apple' in the Garden of Eden. Plus apparently it is the Fountain of Youth as far as beneficial ingredients in the juice. Easy to grow, disease resistant, few pests, just needs heat and some water. Used as a shrub or small tree, it grow to 12-20' tall and wide, though it is easily pruned smaller, and also makes an excellent screen or hedge. For fruit in the colder Sunset zones 5, 6, and 17, site it against a warm wall to capture heat. Sunset zones 8, 9,14-24/USDA 8. rev 8/2011-Suzy Brooks

Pyrrosia  a genus of ferns, grown for their amazing, sometimes very large, cut or uncut fronds. About 100 species, Polypodiaceae. rev 6/2019

lingua JAPANESE FELT FERN  Stybing Arboretum groundcover   confined   slow, creeping, spreading growth, with leathery dark green frond blades to 8" long or more held on wiry petioles. Mature fronds become densely patterned with sori when producing spores. Total height on mature plantings is around 12" or so, 18" if crowded, and spreading slowly to cover a decent amount of ground. We offer the following forms:
'Compacta'   1g order   shorter leaf-stems (stipes), overall height around a foot, slower spreading. rev 4/2021
'Crested'   new fronds    mature color   juvenile fronds just show a little flair, mature-phase foliage becomes broad, fantastically fan-shaped, deeply cut along the margins and extremely frilly. Spectacular. rev 6/2019 

'Ogon Nishiki'   VARIEGATED FELT-LEAF FERN   landscape planting    leaf pattern    another   underside  a premium, slow-growing, creeping species, bearing deep green. upright leaves to about 12" long that are streaked and splashed irregularly with stripes and chevrons of rich golden yellow. Young leaf undersides are covered with peach or tan-colored fuzz, then mature to a more coppery, lightly iridescent indumentum. Highly ornamental, this is a choice plant choice for choice containers, dark spots or any special, featured position in your shade garden or patio. Part sun to full, deep, dark shade, rich soil but likes a loose compost on top to send its rhizomes through. Surprisingly tough and drought tolerant when established, but it will always need at least some watering, and it doesn't give you a lot of warning that it has had just about enough of this dry-garden nonsense. This variegation, like that of many similarly-marked ferns, seems to be due to a virus, and care should be taken to bleach your clippers lest you pass it around. (Although you just might like the result.)  USDA zone 7b. Eastern Asia. rev 8/2016
shearerii   fronds, front and back   Strybing Arboretum   a younger , newer Strybing plant   we initially grew this solely because we saw it on a list and wanted to see what it was. After all, it's a Pyrrosia, so it must be something good, right? It wasn't until Karl Dobler, formerly of the storied "Thumb" in Ventura, enlightened us as to how special it is. From Sean Hogan: "this form was originally collected by Steve Doonan and Roy Davidson from somewhere very high in Taiwan, growing as a vigorous 3' wide clump of 3' tall leaves. It arrived in the PNW in 1971 and promptly was greeted by -12F in the 1972 Freeze, outside, in a pot, on a bench, and IT LIVED." This lithophyitic species (grows on rocks) is slow growing (yes) and features young fronds covered in dense fur on the reverse, silvery white when young then slowly becoming tawny orange brown as they mature. The fronds can stand vertically up to 3' tall in dense clusters, presenting an amazing sight of silver and bronze, highlighted further by dark brown sori when sporing. Ranging from high mountain tops (hardy) to lower more tropical regions (not so hardy) in Taiwan, China and Vietnam. These are almost never available from us, and we currently have no source to replace the plants we have. They are very difficult from spores. So you'll have to beat those botanic garden types to the crop if you see them available - they keep taking it small for their plant sales and silent auctions. Shade, average to frequent watering, seems to grow well in typical peaty fern mixes. A first class container plant. rev 9/2020

note: all above text and images ©Luen Miller and Monterey Bay Nursery, Inc. except as otherwise noted