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Ceanothus parryi  Parry's ceanothus, ladybloom
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Ceanothus parryi

(Parry's ceanothus, ladybloom)

Nicknamed ladybloom, this ceanothus is underused in California gardens. Native to chaparral plant communities in the coast ranges of California and Oregon. Upright habit with arching branches growing 8-12 ft tall with dark green narrow leaves. Long, narrow flower clusters of medium to deep blue blossoms in the spring. A useful screen, specimen or informal hedge in full sun with little to no water once established. Tolerant of inland heat and conditions. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies.
Ceanothus rigidus 'Snowball' Monterey lilac
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Ceanothus rigidus 'Snowball'

(Monterey lilac)

A good selection for a dry sunny hillside or as a cascading plant for a wall. A densely mounding shrub 3 - 5 feet tall and wide. Covered with ball-like clusters of white flowers in late winter. Plant in full sun with occasional to no summer water once established. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies. Deer resistant.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus  blue blossom
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

(blue blossom)

One of the larger ceanothus, forming a good sized shrub or small tree 6-25 ft. tall. Shiny, bright green leaves and good sized clusters of flowers which can range from pure white to pale blue, sky blue through rich darker shades of blue in the spring. Easy, fast growing. Can be trained into a single trunk if desired. Useful as a specimen tree, background shrub or informal hedge. Drought tolerant when established. Ceanothus are fantastic habitat plants providing food and cover for a wide range of creatures. Bees and other pollinators frequent the flowers as do butterflies. Several butterflies and moths use it as a larvel food source. Bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches eat the seeds.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'El Dorado' variegated blue blossom
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'El Dorado'

(variegated blue blossom)

Fast growing upright evergreen shrub 6 - 10 ft. tall and wide. Dark green foliage with golden yellow variegation is a nice foil for the medium blue flowers in spring. Plant in full sun along the coast, some shade for hot interior sites. Drought tolerant once established. Occasional summer irrigation can be helpful, but allow soil to dry between waterings. Good for an informal hedge. An excellent habitat plant.

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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Oregon Mist'

(blue blossom)

Blue blossom ceanothus grows in chaparral and woodland plant communities of the outer coast ranges, from Santa Barbara, California to southern Oregon. Selected by Xera Plants, 'Oregon Mist' hails from the northern most part of its range, suggesting superior cold hardiness.  Growing 8 - 15 ft. tall and wide with deep-green shiny leaves and baby-blue flowers in narrow clusters, blooming in mid to late spring. This fast growing evergreen makes a fine stand alone specimen or as part of a shrubby border or screen, where its particularly dense form can be used to great effect. Plant in sun to light shade where it will be drought tolerant once established. An excellent addition to the habitat garden where it provides food and cover for a wide array of insects and birds. 
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' California lilac
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'

(California lilac)

Valued for its compact habit and late flowering, this selection offers clusters of dark blue flowers on short stems appearing just as other ceanothus are finishing their show. 4 - 5 ft. tall and 6 - 7 ft. wide with shiny evergreen foliage. This would be a ceanothus to try in hot areas. 'Skylark' is believed to be a cross between Ceanothus thyrsiflorus and C. velutinus. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' California lilac
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry'

(California lilac)

A beautiful large shrub or small tree 12 ft. (or more) tall and wide. Rich deep green foliage and profuse clusters of radiant pure white flowers in the spring. Adaptable, dependable and garden tolerant. Does well in coastal and inland situations. Best in full sun. 'Snow Flurry' is drought tolerant, but would appreciate a little summer water in hot regions. Not tolerant of very cold winter conditions. Selected from the Big Sur coast. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus velutinus  snowbrush ceanothus
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Ceanothus velutinus

(snowbrush ceanothus)

Plant description coming soon!

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Ceanothus x delileanus 'Gloire de Versailles'

East meets west with this hybrid Ceanothus, combining an Eastern U.S. species with a Mexican species for lovely results. Glossy green leaves on red stems form a rounded shrub 6 ft. or so tall. Large panicles of smokey-blue flowers bloom over a long period, late spring, summer and sometimes into autumn, which are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Plant in sunny areas with decent drainage and moderate summer water. Appreciates a little afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Benefits from an annual trim to maintain a dense habit. Semi-evergreen.  
Ceanothus x delileanus 'Topaz' ceanothus
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Ceanothus x delileanus 'Topaz'

(ceanothus)

This non-native ceanothus is one of the French hybrids, similar to Ceanothus 'Gloire de Versailles'. They are the result of crosses between a Mexican species (C. coeruleus) and C. americanus from the eastern U.S.. In Europe they are espaliered for cold protection and tend to be fully deciduous. Here they can be grown as free-standing summer blooming pyramidal shrubs growing to 6 ft. tall and wide. The flower color is richer than 'Gloire de Versailles', a frosted blue or light indigo. Provide sun to light shade and moderate to infrequent irrigation. A hard pruning in late fall will encourage stronger flowering and keep a more compact form.
Ceanothus x pallidus 'Marie Simon' ceanothus
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Ceanothus x pallidus 'Marie Simon'

(ceanothus)

A valuable but underutilized, semi-deciduous shrub with long blooming big, billowy pink flower clusters late spring to mid-summer. Grows 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide with handsome red stems. This French hybrid from the early 19th century is well used in mixed flower borders or with roses and other shrubs. Responds well to a hard cutting back while dormant which will help keep this shrub more compact. Provide moderate to occasional irrigation.
Cephalanthus  occidentalis  button willow
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Cephalanthus occidentalis

(button willow)

Button willow is a large deciduous shrub, at times becoming treelike, growing 6-12 ft. (infrequently as much as 20 ft.) tall and wide. It lines waterways in foothills and warm interior valleys. Smooth, glossy bright- green leaves clothe this shrub during the growing season, turning yellow in the autumn. Creamy white flowers are arranged in spherical heads with protruding styles which give the flowers a pincushion-like appearance.  The summer blooming, fragrant flowers are extremely rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.  The globe-like fruits persists into winter and attract birds. Plant in sun to light shade with regular summer water or continuously moist or wet soils.  An excellent habitat plant offering food and cover for a wide array of insects and birds.
Cercis occidentalis  western redbud
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Cercis occidentalis

(western redbud)

Beautiful in all its seasons, the native redbud is well worth growing. Highly ornamental multi-trunked shrub or small tree 6 - 20 ft. tall and wide. Masses of brilliant rose-purple blossoms in early spring followed by conspicuous long seed pods that start out lime green and age to purple-brown. The rounded heart-shaped leaves emerge apple green and develop to bluish-green. In colder areas, the leaves take a nice fall color of yellow or red. The smooth silvery-gray branches are picturesque in the winter landscape. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage. Drought tolerant. Important nectar and pollen source for bees. Attracts hummingbirds too.
Cercocarpus betuloides  mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus betuloides

(mountain mahogany)

Mountain mahogany is an adaptable, semi-evergreen native shrub (8 to 15 ft. high and wide) or small tree with charming birch-like leaves set against silver-grey bark. Small, honey-scented flowers appear in spring followed by seeds with intriguing silky, curled, feather-like tails. The open habit contrasts nicely with evergreen shrubs or rock walls where its pleasing silhouette can be seen. Flowers are attractive to bees. Mountain mahogany is one of those rare native shrubs which can easily be pruned for narrow garden beds. Grows on dry slopes in chaparral or at the edges of woodlands. Provide full sun to light shade. It is surprisingly adaptable to diferent water regimes, from moderate irrigation to no water once established. Somewhat deer resistant.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana  Lawson's cypress
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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

(Lawson's cypress)

Plant description coming soon.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Nidiformis' dwarf Port Orford cedar
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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Nidiformis'

(dwarf Port Orford cedar)

A very unusual and hard to find form of the native Port Orford cedar. Nidiformis is Latin for “having the form of a nest”, an apt descriptor for this dwarf with dense growth and graceful, cascading branches. The delicate, finely dissected foliage is grey-green with hints of blue, providing an excellent contrast to large-leaved, dark-colored perennials. Very slow growing, usually forming a low mound a few ft. high and several ft. wide. Needs good drainage and moderate to infrequent irrigation. Enjoys full sun near the coast, but wants some afternoon shade in hot climates. Good in a container.

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Cheilanthes lanosa

(hairy lip fern)

Small, evergreen, rock and crevice dwelling fern with olive-green woolly fronds and chestnut-brown stipes, native to the Eastern United States. Grows 6 - 8 inches tall, slowly spreading by creeping root stocks 12 - 15 inches wide. Loose and gritty, well drained soils a must, otherwise easy to grow in bright or part shade. This dryland fern requires moderate to occasional water in western gardens. Excellent rock garden subject. Good in containers too.  
Chilopsis  linearis  desert willow
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Chilopsis linearis

(desert willow)

A graceful, summer-blooming, deciduous shrub, native to desert washes where it grows in gravelly soils and intense heat. Forms a large, multi-branched shrub or small tree reaching up to about 15 ft. tall with narrow, willow-like leaves. Terminal clusters of showy, trumpet-shaped flowers in summer come in shades of white, to pink and purple that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Long, bean-like pods follow and hold on into winter. Enjoys hot climates with plenty of sun, decent drainage and occasional to moderate water. Avoid cool coastal conditions and heavy wet soils. Grows fast when happy with no pest or disease problems, demanding little. A great option for along sidewalks.

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Chlorogalum angustifolium

(narrowleaf soap root)

You may be familiar with the common soap plant and its tall stalks of delicate white flowers. But this unusual, diminutive species of soap root is much smaller, only reaching 1 – 2 ft. high. Rarely offered in nurseries, this species has short, narrow leaves which are not wavy like the common soap plant. Grows in dry grassland and open woodlands in the northern Sierra foothills and coast range. Enjoys full sun to light shade and no additional irrigation once established. Tolerates clay. The seed for these plants came from Windsor and was generously given to us by Vicki Wilson.
Chlorogalum pomeridianum v. pomeridianum  soap plant
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Chlorogalum pomeridianum v. pomeridianum

(soap plant)

Known for their large, fibrous bulbs historically used by Indians and early settlers for soap, food and to stupefy fish. Long, wavy-margined leaves form a rosette in winter followed in late spring by tall, airy flower stems bearing small white flowers that open in the late afternoon and evening. Great in naturalistic settings in full sun to light shade. Needs to go summer dry once established. Larval food source for the Western Brown Elfin butterfly.
Cirsium occidentale  cobweb thistle
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Cirsium occidentale

(cobweb thistle)

A beautiful NATIVE and NON-WEEDY thistle. Forms a  rosette of gray woolly and spiny leaves the first year. A BIENNIAL, flowering occurs the second year with tall spikes of showy maroon-red flowers with cobweb hairs on the bracts. A striking plant for sunny areas with good drainage and low to no irrigation. An excellent addition to the habitat garden where it attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Butterflies such as the painted lady and the mylitta crescent depend on cobweb thistle as a larval food source. Deer resistant.
Cistus  'Gordon Cooper' rockrose
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Cistus 'Gordon Cooper'

(rockrose)

This rockrose is a vigorous spreader, growing 2-3 ft. tall by 6 ft. wide. The flowers are white with a crimson spot at the base of each petal. Rockroses are sun loving, fast growing, and tolerant of aridity, poor soils, wind and salt spray. Good erosion control for dry banks. Rockroses do NOT like over watering or hard pruning. Deer often leave rockroses alone.
Cistus  'Sunset' rockrose
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Cistus 'Sunset'

(rockrose)

Evergreen, drought tolerant shrub with bright rose-pink flowers. The main show is in late spring, but scattered blooms appear over a long period. Mounding to around 3 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide. Annual light shearing will help keep it dense.  Needs full sun and low water once established. Considered deer resistant.

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Cistus 'Victor Reiter'

(rockrose)

Rockroses are sun loving, fast growing, drought tolerant shrubs from the Mediterranean of Europe. The hybrid ‘Victor Reiter’ is an upright shrub, growing 3 - 4 foot tall and wide, with gray-green leaves and hot pink flowers with a paler pink center. Named for noted SanFrancisco nurseryman who we can thank for many fine introductions. Plant in full sun with good drainage. Quite drought tolerant once established. Deer resistant.  
Cistus aguilari  rockrose
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Cistus aguilari

(rockrose)

Fast growing tall rockrose 6 - 8 ft. tall and 4 - 6 ft. wide. Good evergreen informal screen. Scarlet tinted buds open to large (to 4 inches across!) white beautiful crepe-papery flowers with yellow centers in spring. Full sun, most soils, moderate to litttle water. Needs good drainage if they are to be watered. Some pruning/shearing right after bloom can help keep growth denser. Formerly sold as Cistus ‘Blanche’. Somewhat deer resistant.

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