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Galvezia (Gambelia) speciosa  island bush snapdragon
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Galvezia (Gambelia) speciosa

(island bush snapdragon)

Evergreen shrub native to the Channel Islands off the So. California coast. Forms an arching mound of medium green foliage 3-4 ft. tall x 5 ft. wide, but can climb or lean on other shrubs to grow even taller. Clusters of scarlet, tubular flowers decorate the branch tips in spring and intermittently throughout the year and are adored by hummingbirds. Full sun along the coast, light shade in hot areas. Drought tolerant and amenable to pruning. Hardy to around 20°F.

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Galvezia (Gambelia) speciosa 'Firecracker'

(Island snapdragon)

An interesting, evergreen subshrub from the California Channel Islands. Showy, deep-red, tubular flowers decorate the branch tips and are highly attractive to hummingbirds. The cultivar ‘Firecracker’ was selected by Tree of Life Nursery for its compact habit, growing 3 foot tall and 5 foot wide, with fuzzy, pale green leaves and larger, red, snapdragon-like flowers. A natural along the coast where it will grow in full sun to light shade, afternoon shade is best in hotter inland sites. Drought tolerant once established, but enjoys occasional summer water, especially away from the coast. Hardy to 15 -20 degrees F.
Garrya elliptica  coast silktassel
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Garrya elliptica

(coast silktassel)

Garryas are grown primarily for their flower catkins. The longer pendulous male catkins have traditionally been the most sought after with selections like 'James Roof' and 'Evie'. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants and both must be present for the female to produce their lovely grapelike clusters of fruit. These plants are seed grown so males and females are of equal probability. Sun or partial shade. Moderate irrigation inland. Decent drainage. Somewhat deer resistant.
Garrya elliptica 'Evie' coast silktassel
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Garrya elliptica 'Evie'

(coast silktassel)

This cultivar of the native silktassel bush is more compact than the better known ‘James Roof’. The 8 to 10 inch catkins are shorter but more profuse. Evergreen, grows 10 ft. or taller. Sun to part shade, good drainage. Provide moderate to occasional irrigation inland. Winter is its showiest time when it is covered in silvery catkins. Discovered on the northern Sonoma Coast. Somewhat deer resistant.

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Garrya elliptica 'James Roof'

(coast silktassel)

Outstanding cultivar of the native silktassel bush. Evergreen shrub 10 ft. tall or more. Striking 12 inch long silvery catkins in winter. Sun to part shade and drought tolerant. Enjoys moderate summer water inland. Discovered along the coast of Prairie Creek State Park in Humboldt Co.. Somewhat deer resistant.
Garrya elliptica - FEMALE  coast silk tassel
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Garrya elliptica - FEMALE

(coast silk tassel)

Description coming soon!
Garrya fremontii  Fremont's silk tassel
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Garrya fremontii

(Fremont's silk tassel)

Evergreen shrub with leathery leaves and handsome dangling catkins in late winter and early spring. The male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Native to the west coast where it grows in mixed evergreen forest and chaparral plant communities.  This species is a good choice for summer-hot interior sites with well drained soils. Grows 8 - 10 ft. tall and wide in full sun to light shade and is drought tolerant once established. A good specimen shrub or candidate for hedgerow or screen where it provides cover and food for birds and small mammals. Somewhat deer resistant.
Garrya issaquahensis 'Pat Ballard' silktassel
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Garrya issaquahensis 'Pat Ballard'


An elegant winter flowering shrub, uncommon in the trade. A hybrid between Garrya elliptica and Garrya fremontii, 'Pat Ballard' is a tough evergreen growing 6-10 foot tall and wide. Pendulous pinkish gray catkins dangle from the branch tips in winter providing a spectacular display. Plant in full sun to part shade with occasional to infrequent water once established. More cold & drought tolerant than Garrya elliptica. An excellent screen, hedge or foundation shrub, amenable to pruning. Somewhat deer resistant.
Gaultheria  shallon  salal
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Gaultheria shallon


A handsome evergreen shrub, happiest in fog shrouded coastal zones. Large, leathery, dark green leaves are a gorgeous foil to the loose clusters of white to pinkish urn-shaped flowers. Fat, blue-black berries follow and are relished by wildlife and eaten by people too. Salal can grow tall in moist coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest but usually forms a ground cover 2 - 4 ft. tall and spreading in California. Best with some shade and acidic, humus-rich, moist soils. The foliage is prized for flower arranging. Deer resistant.
Grevillea  'Canberra Gem'
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Grevillea 'Canberra Gem'

Fast growing, drought and deer tolerant, evergreen shrub from Australia. Forms a spreading shrub, growing 8 ft. or more tall and wide. The dark green needle-like leaves are a perfect foil for the vivid cherry-red, slender, curved flowers that are custom made for hummingbirds. Blooming begins in late winter and flowers over a long period. Grow in full sun to light shade with good drainage. No summer water is needed after established. Hardy to around 12 degrees. Deer resistant.      

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Grindelia camporum

(Great Valley gum plant)

A tough and attractive native perennial found in valleys and lowlands of California. An upright grower, 18-24 inches tall, with resinous foliage and stiff leaves and flower stems. Thick green flower buds hold bright yellow daisies summer through fall which are attractive to bees and butterflies. Best in full sun where it is drought tolerant once established. Tolerates heavy soils and is said to be deer resistant.
Grindelia hirsutula  hairy gum plant
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Grindelia hirsutula

(hairy gum plant)

Easy to grow, vigorous native perennial that is adaptable to a variety of soils and watering regimes. Grows 1 - 2 ft. tall with good-sized bright yellow daisies over a long period from spring into summer. An excellent nectar plant to add to a habitat garden. With a little grooming and dead heading this sometimes rough looking perennial can look quite handsome in a garden setting. Requires full sun and little to no summer water. Said to be deer resistant.
Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla 'Mendocino' spreading gum plant
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Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla 'Mendocino'

(spreading gum plant)

This selection features particularly large bright yellow 2 1/2 inch daisies over a long period in the summer. Each fat green flower bud holds a dollop of gummy white resin which protects the blooms from predators, hence the name “gum plant”. 'Mendocino' is a particularly prostrate form under 8 inches tall. Native to dunes, marshes and bluffs in coastal scrub throughout coastal California. Excellent pollinator plant. Useful in a meadow planting or with other low groundcovers and shrubs. Looks nice draping over a wall too. An adaptable plant for sun to light shade, moderate to occasional water. A natural along the coast where it tolerates wind and salt spray. Deer resistant.
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