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Lasthenia californica ssp. macrantha

(perennial goldfields)

Native along the immediate coast of California and just into Oregon, where it forms low, tight mounds of deep green succulent foliage. Cheerful, bright yellow daisies bloom over a long period. Best in full sun with some sumer water and good drainage. Long blooming, open faced flowers are excellent sources of nectar and pollen for butterflies, bees and other pollinators.  
Lathyrus vestitus  hillside pea, Pacific pea
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Lathyrus vestitus

(hillside pea, Pacific pea)

From woodland to chaparral throughout much of the California coast ranges comes this charming sweet peat relative. Clusters of dainty flowers ranging in color from white to pink and lavender grace this evergreen vine in the spring, followed by clusters of small peapods. Plant along a fence or amongst shrubs where it will climb up to 8 ft. tall and wide. Provide light shade inland but will tolerate full sun near the coast. Drought tolerant once established but will also accept occasional irrigation. This vine is a host plant to the silvery blue butterfly and the arrowhead blue butterfly.
Laurus nobilis  Grecian laurel
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Laurus nobilis

(Grecian laurel)

This is the traditional bay leaf used in cooking. Naturally grows as a broad-based shrub, 12 - 40 ft. but takes well to training. The dense, evergreen habit makes for a good large background shrub, screen or small tree. A good candidate for topiary shapes and works well in containers too. Little yellow flowers enjoyed by bees appear in April followed often by 3/4” dark berries. Full sun to partial shade with decent drainage. Little water needed once established. Deer resistant.  
Lavandula   'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender
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Lavandula 'Goodwin Creek Grey'

(lavender)

This cultivar is a cross between French lavender and wooly lavender, from Goodwin Creek Gardens in Williams, Oregon. Forms a dense, compact silver-gray shrub, 2 -3 ft. tall and wide. Blooms over a long period with rich, blue-lavender flowers. Lavenders are sun loving, drought tolerant shrubs, requiring good drainage and occasional summer watering. A bee favorite, especially honey and bumble bees. Butterflies and hummingbirds visit the flowers too.  Deer resistant.   

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Lavandula 'Lisa Marie'

(dwarf lavender)

A really nice dwarf lavender hybridized and introduced by Ken Montgomery of Anderson Valley Nursery. Silver, downy foliage on a compact plant 18 inches tall by 2 ft. wide. Flowers are blue-violet and attract a wide array of pollinators. A tough little shrub for sunny areas with decent drainage and occasional summer water. Drought and deer tolerant.
Lavandula angustifolia  English lavender
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Lavandula angustifolia

(English lavender)

The traditional lavender of perfumes and sachets. Good landscaping plant for sunny dry areas with good drainage. Forms a rounded gray shrub topped with long wands of fragrant lavender flowers. 3 - 4 ft. tall. A native of southern France, despite its name. Lavenders are loved by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Deer resistant.

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Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Blue'

(dwarf English lavender)

A strain of the popular 'Hidcote' English lavender, which sports compact foliage and intense, velvety, dark lavender-blue flowers. The fragrant grey foliage forms a chubby shrub 12 - 18 inches tall by 2 ft. wide. The sweetly fragrant flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and are highly attractive to pollinators. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy this plant but deer do NOT. Plant in sunny areas with good soil drainage, where it will be drought tolerant once established.
Lavandula  angustifolia 'Hidcote' dwarf English lavender
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'

(dwarf English lavender)

This dwarf lavender forms a chubby shrublet of grey, fragrant foliage 12 - 18 inches tall and wide. Spring and summer bring short flower spikes of rich violet-blue flowers that are highly attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Plant in full sun with good drainage and occasional water. Deer resistant.

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Lavandula stoechas 'Silver Anouk'

(spanish lavender)

Developed in the Netherlands, this spanish lavender selection offers outstanding silver-grey foliage. Abundant deep-purple flower spikes topped with large violet petals, contrasts beautifully with the bright silver foliage. Growing about 2 ft. tall and wide, this fragrant evergreen likes full sun and is drought tolerant once established. Attracts bees and butterflies. Deer resistant.  
Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' lavender
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'

(lavender)

This variety of lavender is planted widely in Europe for commercial harvest of the fragrant flowers. Forms a compact shrub of grey foliage, 2-1/2 ft. tall and wide, topped with long wands of violet-blue flowers in summer. Lavenders require conditions similar to rosemary, well drained soil and full sun to very light shade. Once established they are drought tolerant requiring occasional water. Very drought tolerant along the coast. The flowers are highly attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Deer resisitant.
Lavandula  x intermedia 'Provence' lavender
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence'

(lavender)

A very popular lavender variety which forms a rounded mound of gray-green foliage. The slender, fragrant, lavender-blue flowers appear in spring and summer on long, graceful stems. Grows 3 -  3 1/2 ft. tall. Lavenders are sun loving, drought tolerant shrubs, requiring good drainage and occasional summer watering. A bee favorite, especially honey and bumble bees. Butterflies and hummingbirds visit the flowers too. Deer resistant.
Lavatera  assurgentiflora  Island mallow, malva rose
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Lavatera assurgentiflora

(Island mallow, malva rose)

Light green, maple-like leaves with showy, rose-pink flowers with dark veination bloom over a long period from spring to fall. Native to the Channel Islands, this fast growing shrub will grow 10 ft. tall or more. Useful as a drought tolerant, wind resistant, fast growing screen or hedgerow plant, at its best in coastal environments. Inland needs some protection and periodic summer water. Pruning helps maintain a nice habit. Probably best in naturalistic garden designs. A favorite nectar source of orioles.

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Layia platygosa

(tidy tips)

Easy to grow native ANNUAL for open sunny areas.  Wide distribution, from the coast to inland valleys, Mendocino County to Baja. Foliage grows 6-12 inches tall in lean soils and taller with more fertility. Cheerful, one inch, lemon-yellow daisies with pure white tipped petals entice bees and butterflies. Birds love the seeds. A knock out mixed with blues and purples of lupines or baby blue eyes.  Does not need water once established.

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Lepechinia calycina

(pitcher sage)

A super fragrant sage relative with a wide distribution in California’s coastal ranges. White to pale pink or lavender, open-mouthed, tubular flowers appear in late spring and early summer. Fuzzy, grey leaves clothe the plant all year but less densely in the winter. Can grow 2 - 4 ft. tall and wide with a rather lank form which can be improved with regular pinching. A fast growing perennial for sunny to lightly shaded areas with good drainage. Very drought tolerant once established. Attracts hummingbirds. Deer resistant.
Lepechinia calycina 'Rocky Point' pitcher sage
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Lepechinia calycina 'Rocky Point'

(pitcher sage)

An excellent form of a native pitcher sage selected by Tilden Botanic Garden. Features a more compact habit, growing 2 ft. or so tall by 4 ft. or so wide. Pale lavender, tubular flowers appear in spring and summer, drawing hummingbirds into the garden. The fragrant, felted foliage is basically evergreen but is less dense in the winter. Plant in full sun to very light shade and provide good drainage. Very drought tolerant once established and deer resistant.
Lepechinia fragrans 'El Tigre' fragrant pitcher sage
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Lepechinia fragrans 'El Tigre'

(fragrant pitcher sage)

A wonderful addition to the dry garden, this fragrant pitcher sage is native to the Channel Islands off of California but is quite happy in Sonoma County gardens. Forms a shrub 4 - 5 ft. tall, with soft lavender flowers adored by hummingbirds in spring and summer. Plant in full sun on the coast, but provide partial shade inland. Needs good drainage and is drought tolerant once established. Deer resistant.

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Lepechinia hastata

(pitcher sage)

A bold and beautiful sage relative which grows 4’-6’ tall and slowly spreads to form a small thicket. Large, fragrant, grey-green leaves are an excellent foil to the reddish-purple flowers which appear on branch tips in summer and early fall. Great in the flower border or out in the “wild” part of the garden. Easy and tough. Full sun to light shade with moderate to occasional water. Looks best when cut to the ground after blooming is done. Attractive to hummingbirds. Deer don’t seem to eat it.

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Lessingia filaginifolia

(common sandaster)

A California coastal native perennial. Ground hugging, spreading widely, it threads its silvery foliage decoratively among other plants. Bright lavender yellow centered aster-like flowers give a summer long season of bloom. Full sun, some summer water and reasonable drainage. Nectar and larval food source for butterflies. Deer seem to leave it alone.

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Lessingia filaginifolia 'Silver Carpet'

(common sandaster)

A variable species, this cultivar hails from the Big Sur Coast and was introduced by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Forms an attractive ground hugging mat 3 ft. or more wide. The gorgeous silver foliage is the perfect foil for the 1 inch lavender-pink daisies with yellow centers. Tolerates a wide range of conditions including full sun to light shade, drought and wind. Useful groundcover, meadow plant or spiller where its flowers are enjoyed by bees and butterflies. Best with some summer water inland.
Lewisia cotyledon  cliff maids
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Lewisia cotyledon

(cliff maids)

Named for Meriwether Lewis, this attractive, succulent, rock garden plant is native to No. California and So. Oregon at higher elevations, typically on or near granite outcrops. The frost hardy plants form evergreen rosettes that slowly increase by year, approx. 8 - 10” tall by a foot or so wide. This strain of flowers may be yellow to pink, held about 6” above the foliage. Lewisias need very good, sharp drainage, are heavy feeders, and love a granite rock mulch. They like to be grown sideways, in rock walls, where their crown can drain any moisture away. Plant somewhat high in a fast draining mix and feed every now and then. Morning sun, afternoon shade is best inland. Water as you would any succulent, sparingly, and keep the crown high and dry.

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Lewisia longipetala 'Little Raspberry'

(Lewisia)

The parent of this hybrid Lewisia is found in rocky outcroppings of the Sierra Nevada Mts. Forms low, fleshy rosettes of tough evergreen leaves. Raspberry-red flowers bloom on short stems above the leathery foliage in the spring into summer and often again in the autumn. Requires good sharp drainage and rock mulch, but appreciates partial shade in hot summer areas. Perfect for rock walls, rock garden, containers and troughs. Water as you would any succulent, sparingly, and keep crown high and dry. This is not the plant for your perennial border, but it is easy to make happy in containers.  
Leymus  condensatus 'Lottie's Choice' giant wild rye
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Leymus condensatus 'Lottie's Choice'

(giant wild rye)

An exceptional form of giant wild rye selected by Roger Raiche from the Santa Lucia Mts. in southern Monterey County.  Big, bold and beautiful native grass with stunning wide silver blades four foot or more tall.  Dense flower spikes rise on tall stems  to 7 ft. or more in the summer.  Spreads slowly to form substantial clumps. A dramatic specimen that needs room to sprawl, and benefits from adjacent shrubs or structures to lean on. Cutting down old growth each spring will renew and showcase the gorgeous new stems and leaves.  Best in full sun with moderate to occasional water once established.  Deer resistant.

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Leymus triticoides

(beardless wild rye)

Native perennial grass that spreads by creeping rhizomes to form a dense colony. Blades have a bluish cast and grow 2 - 4 ft. tall. The flowers are narrow spikes 4 to 6 inches long on tall stems that emerge green and mature to a wheat color. Tolerates a wide range of conditions, but prefers moist, fertile soils in full sun to light shade. Does well in heavy clay soils. An excellent choice for erosion control. May be too invasive for small gardens or mixed borders. Deer resistant.
Ligusticum apiifolium  celeryleaf licorice root
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Ligusticum apiifolium

(celeryleaf licorice root)

We love members of the carrot family, with their flat-topped clusters of star-like flowers and excellent habitat value. This species is no exception, though it is rarely grown in nurseries. In spring the clear-white flowers appear in delicate umbels on slender stalks 2 - 4 ft. high. The ferny, bright-green foliage stays close to the ground, rarely reaching more than a foot tall. Occurs in the Coast Range from the San Francisco Bay Area northwards. You may find this species in full sun near the coast or in bright woodlands further inland. Needs decent drainage and occasional summer water. 

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Lilium humboldtii ssp. humboldtii

(Humboldt lily)

From the mountains of northern California comes this dramatic, drought tolerant lily, reaching upwards of 10 feet tall in its native habitat of chaparral and open forest. Lowland gardeners can expect a height of 6 feet or so. Large, orange flowers with magenta spots form many stately tiers around the robust stalks with lance-shaped leaves climbing up the base in tidy whorls. Give this rare lily excellent drainage and withhold summer water. Plant in dappled shade.  

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