California Native Plants
We seem to be selling a bunch of perennial daisies around here at the cactus store this year.
How did a cactus store come to sell so many daisies, you may ask? I tells you there’s a reason for it. It may have to do with the fact that they are often low water and easy to grow here in Berkeley and perennial so they come back every year and rebloom – no need to plant new flowers every spring. Or it may have to do with the fact that cactus flowers only last a few days and people like longer lasting flowers to fit between their occasional ly flowering cactuses too.
Or maybe they just like them.
Did I mention they’re all in the Asteraceae (Aster) Family? Also known as the Sunflower Family? And they all have disk flowers?
Asteriscus maritimus is a Canary Islands native known as the Gold Coin Daisy.
Aster frikartii “Monch” is a hardy Aster hybrid. Lovely colors.
Erigeron glaucus is the classic favorite California Coastal Seaside Daisy.
Erigeron glaucus “W.R.” is a smaller more lavender cultivar. That disk has a lot of colors in it right now.
Leucanthemum “Aglaia” is a frilled Shasta Daisy. Large flowers on tall stalks.
So now you know why a cactus nursery has daisy flowers.
There are a lot of different colors of Monkeyflowers, i.e. the Mimuluses are running rampant.
California wildflowers for everyone!
Mimulus “Apricot” I assume so named for the apricot color of the flowers, and not for the apricot taste of the fruit. But then what do I know.
Mimulus “Pamela” is named for someone I assume who came to the party with the name of Pamela. So says I. Oh, and Pamela is Vietnamese for Yellow.
Mimulus “Valentine” is obviously named for the Valentine region of Spain where they grow the cherry red lipstick colors so often favored on Valentine’s Day.
Mimulus “Curious Orange” is probably named after Curious George, the famous British Monkey-Boy. A lot of Mimuluses are named Georgie-something and Iassume that is trademarked so these next propagators of Orange Monkeyflowers took the Curious part of the name instead.
Monkeyflowers for everyone!
There are three different Mimulus Hybrids in this photo. Don’t you wish you could plant three different hybrid Monkey Flowers in your garden? You can! We now carry a varied selection of 4″ mixed Monkey Flowers, i.e. Mimulus Hybrids.
This is kind of a lazy post for a Sunday. I should probably say something about these particular plants. Instead I will leave you with this link. Links take work, too, you know! Admittedly not a lot of work, especially that link, which is a lazy link, but not so lazy that I didn’t provide it for you to enjoy. To the zoo!
Sun: Full Sun
Low growing native perennial with grey-green leaves and hairy stems. Bright yellow flowers in summer. Makes a great groundcover for dry areas! Hardy to below 0F.
Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water: Low once established
Size: Bushy, erect stems 4 ft. to 6 ft.
The butterflies flock to the small silvery pink flowers that cover the plant throughout the summer. Good for hedges and along fences. Hardy to 10°F.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll get back to posting some cactus and some succulents on this here so-called Cactus Blog. Who knows!
Lotus crassifolius v. otayensis is the California native lotus that comes from Otay Mountain.
Lotus crassifolius var. otayensis
Otay Mountain Lotus
Sun: Moderate to Full
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: 3 feet
Furry grey upright stems, clusters of purple and white pea-sized flowers in spring, grey-green oblong leaves. Endemic to California.
They sure do look like pea flowers. I wonder if this is in the pea family?
It is! It is in the Pea Family – Fabaceae.
Did I forget to mention that Otay Mtn. is in San Diego County? Sounds like a desert down there.
Did you know that there were plants in bloom this weekend? Maybe you thought they would all wilt in this heat, but No! Beautiful flowers popping up all over! And not just from the cactus. Although, especially from the cactus this weekend. Cactus flowers like the heat. But wait, this isn’t a post about cactus flowers. This is a post about California Native Perennials. Wildflowers! First up…. Fleabane!
Seaside Daisy, Fleabane
N. California Coastal Natuve
Clay tolerant, found on clay coastal bluffs. A great butterfly plant, mixes well with coastal sages and monkey flowers. Lavender flowers spring through summer when it could use a little extra water. Hardy to 20F.
Salvia “Winifred Gilman”
Sun: Full Sun
Size: 3 to 4 ft.
Fragrant grey-green leaves. Strongly fragrant whorls of lavender blue flowers. Deer resistant, attracts butterflies. Hardy to 10F.
Sisyrinchium bellum is a local favorite, Native to California, blue-eyed grass. We have a whole bunch of cultivars of this exact species out right now.
Sisyrinchium “Rocky Point”
Sisyrinchium “Quaint and Queer”
Sisyrinchium “Wayne’s Dwarf”
Plus we now have one new non-native Sisyrinchium available and it is much bigger, and more iris-like.
Sisyrinchium “Aunt May”
That’s a lot of Sisyrinchiums. But wait! Here’s another and it’s another native, a local native!
We have a lot of native, and native-hybrids out in full bloom this weekend. Pictures ensue.
Gaura lindheimeri “Passionate Rainbow” is a compact version of this ever-scrabbly wildflower. It also has very good color not just in the flowers but in the foliage too. I love colorful foliage!
Iris PCH – we have only a few more still in bloom. Like this very deeply colored blue hybrid.
Eriophyllum “Siskiyou” works well in your garden. They are in full bloom right now and will rebloom throughout the year anyway, just not quite as full as this.
Solanum “Indian’s Grey” is one of our favorite blue-flowered native perennials in the deadly nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Solanum “Spring Frost” is one of our favorite white-flowered native perennials in the deadly nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Achillea x kelleri is a stunning white addition to all your very colorful yarrows. These are really stunning. You should come see them in person, along with the yellow and red yarrows currently in bloom too. I highly recommend this hybrid for planting in your mom’s garden when you help her out next weekend. She will thank you.
A redacted letter from a concerned citizen:
You have on your list Fouquieria xxxx from California, this incorrect (sic)….. Fouquieria splendens is the only one that grows in the United States, all the others grow in Mexico and Baja. Your Fouquieria xxxx looks more like Fouquieria xxxx from Baja….. Do you have any more information on your plant? I have grown all of the known Fouquieria’s (sic) and have been in Mexico many times studying and collecting them.
Thank you for your concerns. The word “California” can refer to the current political boundaries of the state formerly governed by Arnold Schwartzenegger, or they can refer to the ecological and geological physical area (among other options). We prefer to include plants native to Baja California as part of the ecological area of California.
Editors Note: Science!
We have a couple new (for us) cultivars of the classic California favorite Blue Eyed Grass.
Sisyrinchium bellum “Nanum” is low growing, to 6″ high, with wide leaves and particularly pale blue flowers. Very productive.
Sisyrinchium bellum “Wayne’s Dwarf” is also low growing, but not as low as Nanum. This might even get 10″ tall. We see there are the very classic deep blue flowers.
In general if you keep these members of the Iris Family (Iridaceae) a little bit irrigated through the summer you can get more flowers all summer long. However they are expecting a dormant period by fall.
Here’s a closeup of “Wayne’s Dwarf” for good measure.
North America; Cultivated variety
Sun: Full Sun
Size: Low, blooms to 3 feet
Green gray foliage. Flowers summer thru fall. Often used for cut or dried flowers. Attracts butterflies and birds. Hardy to below 0F.
Cultivated variety, including a California Native species
Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: Fern-like foliage to 36″
Yellow bloom sprays in Spring through Summer that fade as they age. Often used for cut or dried flowers. Attracts butterflies and birds. Hardy to below 0F.
Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Size: Shrub to 2ft.
Pink flowers will bloom year round. Deer resistant. Hardy to about 20°F.
A couple of nifty California Poppies for you to enjoy.
Eschscholzia californica “Sundew” is a mini flower. Very buttercup-yellow.
Eschscholzia californica “Moonglow” is big and has very deep color tone. You can choose to gaze deep into this flower. If you click to enlarge you can gaze even deeper.
Finally we have yet another Iris PCH in bloom at the nursery. They have been doing very well all spring long.
Only a week ago, and we had three different lovely Iris PCH in bloom. Now we have 3 more!
The Pacific Coast Hybrid Irises are in bloom.
So many colors!
Hybrid from California natives
Sun: Shade to Part Shade
Water: Moderate, well-draining
Size: 8″ to 20″
Gorgeous clumps of dark green leaves give way to spectacularly colored blooms from spring through summer. Hardy to 10°.