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Madia elegans  elegant tarweed
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Madia elegans

(elegant tarweed)

Native ANNUAL growing 3-4 ft. tall with multi branching aromatic stems. Cheerful bright yellow daisies top the stems in the summer and can be solid yellow or may have a maroon spot at the base of each petal. Tarweeds are an important late nectar source for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. The seeds are relished by small mammals and birds, especially finches. Native to grasslands and open forests, well adapted to clay soils and full sun, perfectly adapted to our long, dry summers.
Madia (Anisocarpus) madioides  woodland madia
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Madia (Anisocarpus) madioides

(woodland madia)

A quiet perennial, native to woods and coniferous forests of California from sea level to 4000 ft. Dark green, narrow leaves are covered with soft hairs and forms a sturdy, low, perennial clump. The bright yellow daisies top 8-10 inch flower stems over a long period, from late spring into summer. Able to thrive in dry shady conditions. May seed about in a friendly way.
Maianthemum dilatatum  false lily of the valley
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Maianthemum dilatatum

(false lily of the valley)

This lush, lily relative is native to coastal forests of Northern California to Alaska. When happy, spreads by underground root stocks to form broad mats of heart-shaped, glossy, green leaves with parallel veins. Bears clusters of tiny white flowers followed by red, translucent berries. Dies back to the ground in winter. Loves shade and moisture. Competes well with tree roots.
Maianthemum (Smilacina) racemosum  fat false Solomon's seal
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Maianthemum (Smilacina) racemosum

(fat false Solomon's seal)

Choice herbaceous perennial native to moist woodlands in California and throughout North America. Forms robust clumps of arching branches 2-3 ft. tall. The branch tips carry dense panicles of sweetly fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers in late spring. Clusters of red berries follow in summer and fall. A lovely addition to the shade garden where it thrives in well drained, woodsy soil with some summer moisture. In cooler coastal environments can go summer dry once established. This lily family member slowly spreads to form striking clumps which die back to the ground in the winter. An elegant and long lived beauty.
Maianthemum (Smilacina) stellatum  slim false Solomon's seal
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Maianthemum (Smilacina) stellatum

(slim false Solomon's seal)

Native to California and much of North America, this woodlander makes a worthy and useful addition to the shade garden. Spreading by stout rhizomes forming colonies of lush, green foliage one foot to 18 inches tall. Small, white, star-shaped flowers top the slender stems in the spring and early summer. Berries follow that are often striped with purple or black, eventually turning red. Thrives in shade with moisture but tolerates dryish conditions once established. Can grow in quite a bit of light as long as there is moisture. A variety of insects seek nectar or pollen from the flowers and woodland song birds love the berries.
Malacothamnus fasciculatus  chaparral bush mallow
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Malacothamnus fasciculatus

(chaparral bush mallow)

Native to western Southern California, this fast growing, evergreen shrub grows to 6 + feet tall and spreads to form colonies. A multi-branched mallow with hairy, gray-green, leaves often shaped like those of maples. The pale pink, cup-shaped flowers held in clusters along the stem, bloom from spring into summer. A native bee magnet. Useful as an evergreen screen for full sun. Occasional irrigation to drought tolerant once established. A larval food source for the west coast lady and the northern white-skipper butterflies. Reported to be deer resistant.
Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nuttallii 'Casitas' chapparal bush mallow
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Malacothamnus fasciculatus var. nuttallii 'Casitas'

(chapparal bush mallow)

Plant description coming soon.
Malacothamnus fremontii  fremont's bush mallow
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Malacothamnus fremontii

(fremont's bush mallow)

A fast growing, thicket forming, native shrub with silvery white, felted foliage 4 - 6 ft. tall and spreading. A profusion of pale-pink, cup-shaped flowers decorate the branch tips in summer. A tough and adaptable shrub for sunny dry areas, appreciating occasional summer water once established. Useful on banks or other challenging sites. Host plant for the Painted Lady and West Coast Lady butterfly. An excellent nectar source for orioles. Deer often seem to leave it alone.

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Malacothamnus jonesii

(Jones's bush mallow)

A rare endemic from southern Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, growing in foothill woodland and chaparral plant communities. Fast growing shrub, often coming in after fires or disturbance. Growing 4 - 6 ft. tall and wide with beautiful gray foliage, covered in white, velvety hairs. Lovely, soft pink, cup-shaped flowers appear in profusion on the slender branch tips, late spring into summer. Nectar is highly attractive to a myriad of insects, hummingbirds (who seek both nectar and insects), bees and butterflies. Larval food source for the West Coast Lady and Northern White Skipper butterflies. Plant in full sun to ight shade, where it will be drought tolerant once established.
Malacothamnus palmeri var. lucianus  Santa Lucia bush mallow
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Malacothamnus palmeri var. lucianus

(Santa Lucia bush mallow)

From the hot valleys of the Santa Lucia mountains in central California comes this rare form of the native bush-mallow. Deep pink, cup-shaped flowers appear in late spring and early summer above the fuzzy, light green leaves. Reaches a height of about 6 ft and slowly spreads to form colonies. Give full sun to light shade and provide little to no water once established. A good choice for hot, dry banks with Toyon, Ceanothus and Manzanita. An excellent nectar source for orioles. Deer seem to leave it alone.
Malacothamnus palmeri var. lucianus 'Hanging Valley' Santa Lucia bush mallow
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Malacothamnus palmeri var. lucianus 'Hanging Valley'

(Santa Lucia bush mallow)

Description coming soon!
Marah fabacea  wild cucumber, California manroot
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Marah fabacea

(wild cucumber, California manroot)

Description coming soon.
Marah oregana  coast man-root, wild cucumber
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Marah oregana

(coast man-root, wild cucumber)

A native perennial vine found in coastal counties from Santa Clara, California to British Columbia. Growing from a massive, enlarged tuber in forest edges and riparian habitats. The lush-green, palmate leaves with spiraling tendrils clamber along the ground and climb and sprawl over shrubs and trees. White, star-like flowers bloom in the spring and are favored by native bees as well as honeybees. The flowers lead to showy, inflated, bright-green, fruits with soft spines. The generic name Marah comes from the Hebrew word for bitter, in reference to all parts of the plants being extremely bitter to taste. Completely herbaceous, dying back to the woody root in late summer or fall, returning in the spring. Best with part shade. Quite drought tolerant but will accept moderate irrigation. Probably deer resistant. 
Melica californica  California melic grass
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Melica californica

(California melic grass)

Here is a tough and handsome bunchgrass native to the grasslands and oak woodlands of northern and central coast ranges and the Sierra Nevada foothills. Bright green blades grow about one foot tall. The flower spikes are made up of glistening papery bracts and grow 2 - 4 ft. tall. The ornamental flowering culms remain attractive even after this grass has gone dormant, and is also useful as a “cut” in floral arrangements. Tolerant of many soil types, though it requires good drainage. Plant in full sun to light shade where it is very drought tolerant. Deer resistant.
Melica geyeri  Geyer's oniongrass
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Melica geyeri

(Geyer's oniongrass)

This perennial bunch grass is native to many types of habitat in seasonally moist forests and hillsides throughout much of California. Forms a lush, dense bunch of deep-green, broad blades, spreading slowly by rhizomes. The common name refers to the swollen, onion-like corms at the base of the stems. The inflorescence rises 2-3 ft. tall is made up of long, green, narrow spikelets with purple banding. A perfect grass for dappled shade under oaks and firs. Tolerant of some summer irrigation, but can survive the dry season once established. Goes dormant by early autumn. A host plant of the rural skipper and the white-lined sphinx moth. Deer resistant.

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Melica harfordii

(woodland melic)

A lovely and useful grass native to dryish slopes and canyons of coniferous forests from central California to British Columbia. Forms a loose vertical clump with slightly arching stems 2 to 4 ft. tall. The delicate, narrow flower spikes add a sparkling effect to the woodland garden. Useful in lightly shaded plantings, where it is drought tolerant especially in cooler areas like western Sonoma County. It would benefit from occasional water during the dry season in warmer regions. Adds a nice vertical touch, as a specimen or in mass. Deer resistant.

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Melica imperfecta

(small-flowered melicgrass)

Native to dry hillsides, chaparral and open woodlands of southern and central California. This dainty native perennial grass grows 1 - 3 ft. tall in flower with narrow, glossy leaves at its base. The slender flower panicles provide a delicate effect, starting out cream and aging to beige. Grows best in cool sun or part shade and responds to some irrigation. Goes dormant if allowed to go summer dry once established, turning green with the winter rains. Useful for lightly shaded meadow plantings and stabilizing slopes. Deer resistant.
Melica torreyana  Torrey's melic
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Melica torreyana

(Torrey's melic)

At its best in winter and early spring, this little northern California bunchgrass is a perfect mound of soft green blades. In full bloom it can reach 1 - 3 ft. tall, followed by typical melic fruit resembling small brown rice grains held close to the stem. Grows in sun and shade in nature, but performs best/longest in the garden in part shade. Will go semi-summer dormant with drought, but will be evergreen with some moisture. Deer resistant.
Mimulus (Diplacus)  'Butter Yellow' monkeyflower
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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Butter Yellow'

(monkeyflower)

Description coming soon!
Mimulus (Diplacus)  'Changeling' monkeyflower
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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Changeling'

(monkeyflower)

This charming hybrid monkeyflower offers a beautiful blend of mottled hues of soft orange, red and cream on ruffly-edged, trumpet-shaped blossoms. As the flower color softens with age, each bloom looks a little different from the next, adding to the appealing "changeling" effect. Grows up to 3 ft. tall and wide, in full sun to light shade and well drained soil. Drought tolerant once established, but some occasional summer water is helpful. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds work the flowers and the painted lady and checkerspot butterflies use it as a larval food source. Deer resistant.          
Mimulus (Diplacus)  'Creamsicle' monkeyflower
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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Creamsicle'

(monkeyflower)

This is one of Phil's first hybrid monkeyflowers using Mimulus bifidus from Bowman Lake in the Sierra Nevada (thanks to Ted Kipping).  'Creamsicle' blossoms are a beautiful shade of pastel orange with a white throat and dark orange nectar guides giving it a two toned affect.  It has proved long lived in both Fulton and Sebastopol.  It has the useful characteristic of sprouting new growth from the base so that old growth can be pruned away. Best with light shade and good drainage. Keep the soil on the dry side in summer and fertilize minimally. The flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds.  
Mimulus (Diplacus)  'Eleanor' monkeyflower
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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Eleanor'

(monkeyflower)

The shrubby monkey flowers are native, floriferous subshrubs that bloom spring through the summer. Best with good drainage, light shade and careful watering. They do not flourish with drip irrigation and are best with occasional deep watering once established. Monkey flowers can be brittle and pinching helps produce a good scaffold for these profusely blooming plants. The selection ‘Eleanor’, introduced by Yerba Buena Nursery, offers an abundance of soft orangey-yellow blossoms edged in white. Growing around 3 foot tall and wide. Monkey flowers are deer resistant and are a larval food source for the painted lady and checkerspot butterfly.
Mimulus (Diplacus)  'Fiesta Marigold' monkeyflower
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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Fiesta Marigold'

(monkeyflower)

This monkeyflower hybrid is a selection from plant breeder Richard Persoff, part of his trade marked Jelly Bean series. Selected for its large and frilly, brick-red blossoms edged in orange, on compact plants 18 inches to 2 feet tall and wide. Valued for their long bloom, monkeyflowers perform best with good drainage and sun to light shade. Drought tolerant, but some occasional summer water is helpful. Monkeyflowers benifit from pinching to produce a nice shape and strong structure to hold the abundant blossoms. Highly attractive to bees and hummingbirds. Deer resisitant.       

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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Georgie Red'

(monkeyflower)

This hybrid monkey flower is the result of a breeding program by Ball Horticultural Co. using both wild and commercial material. Compact habit, growing 1-2 ft. tall and wide with large deep brick red flowers that have an apricot edge to the frilly petals. Monkeyflowers prefer good drainage in sun to light shade with occasional deep watering. Humming bird favorites and deer resistant.  
Mimulus (Diplacus)  'Grape' monkeyflower
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Mimulus (Diplacus) 'Grape'

(monkeyflower)

Selected by Bay Area horticulturalist and teacher, Kathy Echols, this monkeyflower is quite remarkable. Astounding, extra large, saturated purple, open mouthed flowers with a narrow white edge and throat decorate the lush, deep green foliage, growing 2 foot or more tall and wide. Plant in sun to light shade with good drainage. Best with occasional summer watering and pinching to keep good form. Hummingbird favorite, along with other pollinators. Checkerspot and buckeye butterfly larval food source. Deer resistant.

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