Arctostaphylos

Manzanita

Sinuous and smooth, earthy red-tinged branches, waxy urn-style blossoms and handsome rounded evergreen leaves—that’s Manzanita. An enormous clan indigenous to mostly the far western U.S., these easily cultivated durable woody plants call for excellent drainage, but can endure poor soil, thriving in rocky, sandy or acidic sites with minimal water. Light afternoon shade and occasional watering are appreciated in hotter locales.

This natty tightset ground cover hosts dainty urn-shaped white flowers amid small lustrous gray-green leaves that burst forth with cozy bronze hues. A low, fast spreading evergreen gem introduced by Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in 1972, ‘Carmel Sur’ takes on heat, heavy clay soil, dry conditions and regular summer irrigation, better than most Manzanitas. It smothers weeds, stabilizes slopes and serves as a verdant lawn replacement.

Blooms March–April

Size: 12" high x 4' 0" – 6' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Full of vigor and bright, fine textured greenery, this coastal California native spreads to form a low, handsome mound. Rubescent brown branches gracefully sweep upwards and sometimes grow in twisted shapes, forming a framework for the upfacing, pointed leaves, reddened stems and dainty white flowers.

Always appreciative of well drained sites, and when grown inland, summertime watering with a little shade, ‘Wayside’ is a superb candidate for banks, rock gardens or native plantings accompanying Erigeron ‘Ron’s Pink’ and Deschampsia ‘Goldgehänge’.

Blooms February–April.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 6' 0" – 8' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Flat growing reddish brown branchlets with gleaming miniature dark greenery, an unmatched profusion of flowers and berries plus superb disease resistance set ‘Little Leaf Massachusetts’ apart. Exhibiting exceptional cold tolerance and perhaps the tiniest, stylish spot-free leaves of all uva-ursi species, this wildly popular prostrate ground cover turns burgundy when cold weather arrives, cascades down banks or over walls and thrives in poor, acidic sandy soil.

Blooms April–May

Size: 6" – 12" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Zone 2b.

Lustrous, trim and fresh-looking, this prostrate evergreen ground cover keeps its composure all year long. Small, rich green leathery leaves glow with wintertime reddish purple tinges, while ushering in quantities of light pink urn-like flowers, followed by showy red apple-shaped berries that birds adore. A sturdy, northern California native reputed to possess astringent qualities, ‘Radiant’s lush close-to-the-ground mat brings verdant low maintenance accents to a native or Mediterranean setting.

Blooms March–April.

Size: 6" – 8" high x 3' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A tidy low growing mainstay for the rockery, the oblong and narrow, vivid deep green leaves and red-tinged petioles clasp long slender stems to create a closely knit, polished ground cover. Aptly named ‘Vancouver Jade’ premiers pale pink flowers in early spring, broadcasts reddish bronze tones in winter and boasts a vigorous disease resistant habit.

Blooms March-April

Size: 6" high x 3' 0" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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