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Corylus cornuta ssp. californica  western hazelnut
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Corylus cornuta ssp. californica

(western hazelnut)

Western hazelnut is a handsome, open, multi-stemmed shrub native to forests from Santa Cruz in California northwards to British Columbia. Winter deciduous with decorative dangling catkins in late winter. The soft, somewhat hairy leaves turn yellow in the fall. Small amounts of tasty nuts are produced in late summer and are relished by wildlife and people. Part shade with some moisture but will tolerate fairly dry conditions once established. Grows 4 - 10 ft. tall. Somewhat deer resistant.
Crataegus douglasii  western hawthorn
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Crataegus douglasii

(western hawthorn)

Western hawthorn occurs in wet meadows or borders of forests in northern California. A large deciduous shrub or small tree 6 - 20 ft. tall with reddish-brown bark and formidable thorns. Small white flowers in flat topped clusters in late spring are followed by red fruits that ripen to black. The fruits are highly attractive to birds. Plant in full sun to partial shade with regular to moderate water. This shrub tends to sucker and could be encouraged to form a thicket. Or, amenable to pruning, it can be trained into a slender tree.
Cyclamen hederifolium  hardy cyclamen
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Cyclamen hederifolium

(hardy cyclamen)

Native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, this tough and durable perennial is perfectly adapted to our California climate where it thrives in light shade and dryish conditions. Prolific fall bloomer with white to pink "v" shaped blossoms with swept back petals on 4-6 inch stems. Heart shaped leaves follow often with beautiful patterns variegation forming clumps to around 6 inches tall by a foot or so wide.  The foliage grows through the winter and spring going dormant with the dryness of summer, waiting to remerge with flowers in early autumn. Plant in light shade with moderate to infrequent summer water and woodsy, well drained soils.  Quite drought tolerant in coastal areas. Perfect for the rock garden, under trees and shrubs and a fine container subject too.  
Cynoglossum grande  Western hound's tongue
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Cynoglossum grande

(Western hound's tongue)

From woodlands throughout Northern and Central California comes this alluring bluebells relative. Dainty flower clusters ranging in color from periwinkle blue to lavender appear on slender stalks in the spring. The leaves are what gives this plant its name: grey-green and tongue-shaped, emerging in the winter from basal roots. Plant in bright shade and don’t water once established. Needs decent drainage. Once this plant goes to seed it will go dormant, re-emerging in late winter. A great accent plant for under the dry shade of deciduous oaks.

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Danthonia californica

(California oatgrass)

California oatgrass is a native bunchgrass found throughout mountains and coast ranges in both open and partly shaded areas. Forms dense leafy tufts with flower stalks of nodding spikelets to 1 1/2 ft. tall. Not to be confused with the invasive alien wild oats, this native makes a good basic grass for a meadow planting. Withstands trampling and traffic. Good for soil stabilization. Sun to very light shade. Little to no summer water once established. Deer resistant.
Darmera peltata  umbrella plant, indian rhubarb
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Darmera peltata

(umbrella plant, indian rhubarb)

Native to mountain streamsides of Northern California and Oregon. A spectacular plant for pond, stream, moist woodland, or anywhere there is regular moisture and lightly shaded conditions. The lovely pink flower clusters on tall naked stems are the first to emerge in the spring. Next the very large bright green round leaves on sturdy stalks unfurl, reaching a height of up to 4 ft.. The foliage turns yellow in the fall and dies back to chunky rhizomes in the winter. A bold and beautiful flowering and foliage plant. Does well in containers too. 
Darmera peltata - dwarf form  umbrella plant, indian rhubarb
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Darmera peltata - dwarf form

(umbrella plant, indian rhubarb)

This is a surprising dwarf form of the moisture loving umbrella plant. The normally large round leaves of this species are dramatically reduced in height and width in this novel selection. Only about 1 1/2 ft. tall with leaves 8 - 10 inches wide. Deep pink flower clusters, unusually dark for the species, emerge on slender stems in spring and are soon followed by the bright green leaves. The foliage turns yellow in the fall and dies back to chunky rhizomes in the winter. A nice compact alternative for the smaller garden with part shade and regular moisture. Does well in containers. 

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Delosperma 'Kelaidis'

(aka 'Mesa Verde')

Vigorous, cold tolerant succulent from South Africa. This hybrid from the Denver Botanic Garden grows 2 inches tall by 1 - 2 ft. wide. Blooms over a long period - spring through fall, with 1 1/2 inch pale salmon-pink flowers. Full sun to light afternoon shade. Good drainage with moderate summer water. Excellent container plant too.

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Delosperma congestum 'White Nugget'

A clump forming hardy succulent from South Africa. Forms tight mats of closely packed foliage which spread slowly. Abundant flowers are soft white with yellow centers and bloom over a long period in mid spring. Requires good drainage, full sun and occasional water.  Afternoon shade in hot areas is helpful. An excellent rock garden or container subject.

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Delosperma nuigenum 'Basutoland'

(ice plant)

Thanks to the Berkeley Botanic Garden for sharing this ground hugging perennial from South Africa. Forms a dense, flat mat of succulent leaves 2 to 3 ft. wide. Cheerful golden yellow one inch flowers decorate the bright green foliage in the spring. A tough and durable groundcover for sun to very light shade, good drainage and moderate to little water once established. An excellent choice for a rock garden or container. Drought tolerant.

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Delosperma sphalmanthoides

A real cutie, growing only 1/2 inch high by 8 inches wide. The tiny plump gray-green succulent leaves form a small mat with an early spring show of bright pinkish-purple flowers. An excellent rock garden item with good drainage, full sun to light afternoon shade in hottest areas and moderate to little summer water. Good container plant too.
Dendromecon harfordii  island bush poppy
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Dendromecon harfordii

(island bush poppy)

A beautiful and much sought after shrub native to California’s Channel Islands. Growing 6 - 10 ft. tall with bluish-gray foliage and a showy display of brilliant yellow poppy blossoms - spring into early summer, with scattered flowers throughout the year in mild climates. Requires full sun, good drainage, and little to no irrigation once established.
Dendromecon rigida  bush poppy
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Dendromecon rigida

(bush poppy)

This is our local bush poppy, growing 4 - 8 ft. tall with bluish-gray foliage and a showy display of brilliant yellow poppy blossoms from spring into early summer. Scattered flowers may be seen throughout the year in mild climates. The leaves are narrower than those of the island bush poppy and the plant has a more open form. Requires full sun, good drainage, and little to no irrigation once established.
Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. cespitosa  tufted hairgrass
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Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. cespitosa

(tufted hairgrass)

Tufted hairgrass has a large natural distribution, in both the northern and southern hemispheres, in high elevation mountains as well as lower elevations along the coast. The seed for this crop is from coastal Sonoma County, a good choice for low elevation gardens. Forms a deep-green bunch of finely textured blades up to one foot tall with airy flower panicles extending two foot or more above the foilage. Useful framework among wildflowers or with perennials and shrubs. Sun to light shade and a little summer water. Deer resistant.
Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. holciformis  coastal hairgrass
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Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. holciformis

(coastal hairgrass)

This native coastal hairgrass is a versatile garden subject. Forms deep green bunches, 6 to 8 inches high with golden flower stalks just under 2 ft. tall. Useful framework among wildflowers or with perennials and shrubs. Sun to light shade and a little summer water. Deer resistant.

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Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. holciformis 'Jughandle Creek Dwarf'

(coastal hairgrass)

A University of California Berkeley Botanic Garden selection from coastal Jughandle Creek, Mendocino County. This hairgrass has very short, stout blades and flower stalks and is under 6 inches overall. It would make a handsome, naturally low meadow. Well adapted for west of the Laguna (in Sonoma County), needing a little shade and summer moisture inland. Deer resistant.

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Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. holciformis 'Jughandle'

(coastal hairgrass)

This form of tufted hairgrass from the Mendocino Coast has a different look than those farther south. The bright green blades are relatively broad and stiff. The flower stalks are 1 1/2 to 2 ft. tall with panicles which emerge greenish then turn golden. A natural for along the coast, a little shade and moisture inland. Deer resistant.

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Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. holciformis 'Marin'

(coastal hairgrass)

  An unusually low growing form of the coastal hairgrass, selected by Mostly Natives Nursery in Tomales. Grows just 2-3 inches high and spreads to about one foot wide, forming evergreen, fine bladed bunches. A natural for coastal areas in full sun where it is well adapted, inland plantings requires a little afternoon shade and some summer water. Deer resistant.  
Deschampsia elongata  slender hairgrass
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Deschampsia elongata

(slender hairgrass)

Graceful fine-textured perennial bunch grass, native to partly shaded, seasonally moist areas in California. Features bright green blades and gently arching flower stalks 12-18 inches tall. Yellowish-green in spring, turns soft gold in summer. Deer resistant.
Dicentra formosa  western bleeding heart
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Dicentra formosa

(western bleeding heart)

Ferny foliage makes a lacy groundcover in shady areas. Clusters of pendulous, pink, heart-shaped flowers in spring and into summer. Will spread rapidly when happy, enjoying moist but not soggy woodland conditions. Tolerates dry shade where it goes dormant with drought.  Early nectar source for hummingbirds and bumble bees.  Deer resistant.
Dicentra formosa 'Aurora' white bleeding heart
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Dicentra formosa 'Aurora'

(white bleeding heart)

East meets west with this lovely cultivar bred by the late German nurseryman, Ernst Pagels. A hybrid involving our western native Dicentra formosa and the eastern U.S. native, Dicenta eximia combining the attributes of both. Beautiful blue-grey, ferny foliage 10 - 12 inches tall and spreading. Blooms prolifically in the spring to early summer with elegant white dangling blossoms. A beautiful addition to the woodland garden requiring light shade with moderate water once established. Goes dormant with summer drought. Flowers appeal to bumblebees and hummingbirds. Deer resistant.    

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Dichondra donelliana

(California ponysfoot)

Dichondra is a small genus of flowering plants in the morning glory family that form a thick, mat-like ground cover of rounded leaves, once popular as lawn substitutes. This native species is uncommon in the nursery trade and in gardens, but has potential worth exploring. Native to California coastal plant communities on open slopes and moist grasslands, it forms a flat, perennial ground cover with tidy, rounded leaves, densely packed along creeping stems. The flowers are tiny and greenish-white, not real showy but interesting. An obvious application would be a small scale ground cover or meadow planting in areas with some moisture. Could be a candidate for green roofs or walls, where a low and spreading plant is the ticket. Plant in full sun on the immediate coast, otherwise light shade is necessary. Moderate summer water.        

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Digitalis obscura

(sunset foxglove)

Native to the mountains of Spain and Northern Africa, this rugged perennial tolerates more sun and dryer conditions than many foxgloves. Flowering stems rise 1-2 ft. above the rosettes of narrow evergreen foliage. The tubular, pendulous flowers come in sunset colors of coppery orange, yellow and rusty red covered with fuzzy hairs and often sporting dark venation. Grow in full sun in coastal areas to light shade in hotter regions with moderate to occasional water. Attractive to bees and hummingbirds. Deer resistant.
Dodecatheon hendersonii  broad-leaved shooting star
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Dodecatheon hendersonii

(broad-leaved shooting star)

Plant description coming soon.
Dudleya  'Frank Reinelt' liveforever
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Dudleya 'Frank Reinelt'


The beautiful Dudleya ‘Frank Reinelt’ will form dense mounds 6 - 8 inches tall with silvery finger-like leaves. Slender stalks appear in late spring and display flowers of soft yellow. They make handsome specimens in a rock garden or perform as a striking groundcover in mass plantings mixed with other coastal bluff plants like red buckwheat, seaside daisy, and sea thrift. Avoid over-watering and control snails. Full sun to light shade with good drainage.


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