Arboretum All-Star plantsLoading
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  • ARGENTINE RAIN LILY

    Zephyranthes candida
    Size: Under 1 foot tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This South American summer bulb resembles a spring crocus but blooms all summer long and well into fall. The bulbs form good-looking clumps of shiny, grasslike leaves while the pretty white lilies attract beneficial insects. Ultra-easy to care for, this perennial works well along borders as an edging plant or informal ground cover. It's pretty in rock gardens, too. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus.

    For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • AUSTRALIAN BLUEBELL CREEPER

    Sollya heterophylla
    Size: 4 to 6 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This bushy evergreen climber can form a small shrub or be trained up a trellis as a vine. Its pretty, bell-shaped flowers range from light blue to pink and bloom profusely from late spring into fall. This Australian import is reliably drought-tolerant and looks handsome all year with glossy dark-green foliage. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Australian Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • AUTUMN SAGE

    Salvia greggii or Salvia x jamensis
    Size: Under 4 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks. Prune to maintain compact shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Its nickname is autumn sage, but this colorful shrub actually produces loads of bright orange-red flowers from spring until frost. These showy blooms are a hummingbird magnet. Beneficial insects like them, too, as this drought- and heat-tolerant favorite keeps pumping out color without much water. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Arboretum's Terrace Garden and the Ruth Risdon Storer "Valley-Wise" Garden at UC Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • AZTEC LILY

    Sprekelia formosissima
    Size: Under 2 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring, summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old stems after flowering.
    Water needs: Once established, water once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This deep-red lily adds instant drama to water-stingy, low-care gardens. It thrives with almost no maintenance. The eye-catching blooms attract hummingbirds in spring and summer. Aztec lilies can bloom more than once in a season; the trick is to withhold water, then irrigate deeply. The extra water triggers another bloom cycle. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Southwest USA Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • BLADDERPOD

    Isomeris arborea
    Size: 4 to 6 feet
    Exposure: Full to partial sun
    Bloom season: Year-round
    Pruning needs: Little or none is needed. Prune to shape and control growth.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a month.

    Snapshot: This shrub with a funny nickname is one of the few California natives that bloom year-round. Its showy yellow flowers attract beneficial insects as well as hummingbirds, then develop into attractive seed pods. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Desert Collection at the UC Davis Arboretum on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • BLUE GRAMA GRASS

    Bouteloua gracilis
    Size: 1 to 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Mow once in late fall or winter
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Tired of the same old lawn? Blue grama grass is a California native gaining in popularity for its easy care and drought tolerance. The flower stalks start green and age to tan while staying tidy and upright -- even when dormant. And this grass only needs mowing once a year. You can see specimens in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • BUSH ANEMONE

    Carpenteria californica
    Size: 4 to 6 feet
    Exposure: Partial shade
    Bloom season: Late spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: At home in filtered sunlight, this California native offers clusters of large, sweet-scented white flowers from late spring into early summer. The glossy, dark-green foliage keeps this shrub looking handsome year round. A bonus: The shrub develops attractive, papery bark as it matures. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Desert Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • BUSH GERMANDER

    Teucrium fruticans 'Azureum'
    Size: Under 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, fall and winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This tough shrub creates a low, informal hedge with silvery leaves and striking blue flowers. It looks great in sun or shady spots. Beneficial insects love germander, which has no disease problems. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden and the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • BUTTERFLY ROSE

    Rosa chinensis mutabilis
    Size: Up to 6 feet
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Remove old flowers in bloom season. Prune in winter to keep compact.
    Water needs: Water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Nicknamed the butterfly rose for its big, showy, single-petaled flowers, this old garden rose keeps blooming for months on end. Changing color as they open, the flowers offer a rainbow of hues, from pale gold to warm, orangy red. The new stems are a dark burgundy, a nice contrast to the blooms. Besides being drought-hardy, these roses attract bees and other beneficial insects. You can see specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum Terrace Garden on campus or at Sacramento's Old City Cemetery Heritage Rose Garden at 10th Street and Broadway. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CALIFORNIA FESCUE

    Festuca californica
    Size: 1 to 3 feet
    Exposure: Prefers partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks in fall for a tidy appearance.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks in sun, once a month in shade.

    Snapshot: Want to go native? This California native is at home in the Sacramento Valley. With graceful, gray-green leaves, this pretty perennial tolerates summer drought (as well as sun or shade) and a wide range of soil types. It lives a long time with little maintenance and features airy flowers in the spring that mature to a golden yellow. (Butterflies love them!) You can see specimens in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA

    Epilobium canum
    Size: 1 to 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Cut to the ground after flowering in late fall
    Water needs: Water deeply once or twice a month

    Snapshot: In the hottest heat, this California native keeps putting out brilliant, lipstick-shaped flowers throughout summer and into fall. It's easy to grow and tolerates both high temperatures and drought. Different varieties have interesting leaves, too, ranging from silver to bright green and narrow to broad. You can see specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Saxon Holt
  • CALIFORNIA PIPEVINE

    Aristolochia californica
    Size: Trailing vine
    Exposure: Full to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none; train stems up trellis to support.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Along the American River bike trail or in other underveloped, you may have spotted this vine with flowers that look very much like -- you guessed it -- pipes. It's the California pipevine, a native plant that can climb up trees (or trellises) or form a dense groundcover in dry shade. Besides being a garden curiosity, the pipevine also attracts butterflies. Its bright green foliage provides food for swallowtail butterfly larvae. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Pat Rubin
  • sage
    CALIFORNIA WHITE SAGE

    Salvia apiana
    Size: Under 4 feet
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks once a year.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: With its gray-green leaves, this California native makes an attractive shrub in water-wise gardens. The easy-care shrub contains fragrant oils in its leaves. The white flowers in spring attract pollinating bees. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Nikhil Joshi
  • CANYON SNOW PACIFIC IRIS

    Iris "Canyon Snow"
    Size: Under 2 feet
    Exposure: Partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old flower stalks; can be dug up and divided in the fall.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: With showy white flowers, this California native shines brightly in dappled shade. Canyon Snow is a tough hybrid of Pacific iris, found naturally up and down the coast. The drought-tolerant perennial grows (and flowers) with little if any maintenance. The narrow leaves form an attractive evergreen, grasslike mound. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants and the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • CAPE BALSAM

    Bulbine frutescens
    Size: Under 2 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks for a tidy appearance
    Water needs: Water deeply once or twice a month

    Snapshot: This small, evergreen perennial is a wonderful addition to dry perennial borders with its long-blooming spikes of delicate, star-shaped yellow flowers. Fleshy, bright green foliage adds a sculptural element to the garden. Almost indestructible, it tolerates drought and poor soils. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CASCADE CREEK CALIFORNIA GOLDENROD

    Solidago californica "Cascade Creek"
    Size: 2 to 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground after it flowers in late fall.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: "Cascade Creek" is a variety of California's native goldenrod. From spring through fall, it bears massive displays of bright yellow flowers, beloved by bees and butterflies. Because it's such a favorite with beneficial insects, this goldenrod can make a nice addition to native-grass meadows, providing color while many natives turn brown. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on campus at the University of California, Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CENIZO OR TEXAS RANGER

    Leucophyllum frutescens
    Size: 6 to 10 feet
    Exposure: full sun
    Bloom season: summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none is needed. Prune to shape and control growth.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This striking silver-leafed shrub is covered all summer with bright, pink-violet blooms that attract bees and other beneficial insects. Not only is it very drought-tolerant, but cenizo (which means "ash- colored") loves heat, making it a natural for Sacramento summers. Although it needs little if any pruning as a shrub, this Texas native also can make a handsome hedge with shearing. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden at the UC Davis Arboretum on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CHAPARRAL CURRANT

    Ribes malvaceum
    Size: 4 to 6 feet
    Exposure: Partial shade
    Bloom season: Fall and winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This California native shrub offers a winter bouquet of pale-pink flowers, a favorite for hummingbirds. The leaves have an attractive scent, too. This shrub's easy-care profile (little water, less work) make it a favorite for spaces with partial shade, such as under heritage oaks or other large trees. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CHILEAN JASMINE

    Mandevilla laxa
    Size: Trailing vine
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune in winter to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This attractive, twining vine can cover trellises or act as a groundcover. Throughout the summer, it's covered with clusters of white, funnel-shaped flowers with a delightful tropical fragrance. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Arboretum Terrace Garden near Davis Commons, First and D streets in downtown Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • CHILEAN LILY OF THE VALLEY TREE

    Crinodendron patagua
    Size: 15 to 25 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: s the name might imply, this South American native has found a home in the Central Valley. Its small, shiny, evergreen foliage looks a lot like a live oak's. But in spring, it produces masses of delicate, white, inch-long, bell-shaped flowers -- like lilies of the valley but dancing overhead. Reliably heat- and drought-tolerant, it grows very upright with a narrow profile, making it a good screen or patio tree. You can see specimens in the arboretum's White Flower Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
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    CHINESE FRINGE TREE

    Chionanthus retusus
    Size: 20 feet
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape in winter.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This deciduous tree adds interest to the garden year-round. In spring, it bears hundreds of large, frilly white flowers that give this popular ornamental tree its nickname. The impressive blooms appear shortly after the first leaves and hold their form for about three weeks. In summer, the attractive green foliage provides shade. In autumn, the leaves turn bright yellow before falling. That reveals the attractive grooved bark, which puts on its own interesting show in winter as it peels. This tree, which tends to grow with multiple trunks, is not fussy, can tolerate all sorts of soils and has no known diseases. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus.

    For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • CHINESE GROUND ORCHID

    Bletilla striata
    Size: 1 to 2 feet
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Cut stems to the ground in winter for a tidy appearance.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This pretty perennial is considered the easiest orchid to grow in the Central Valley. The plant gradually spreads to form small colonies of purple orchids in shady areas. Tough and hardy, this orchid blooms dependably every spring. Its vivid purple color and distinctive orchid shape give gardens a tropical feel. Bees and other beneficial insects love them, too. You can see specimens in the arboretum's East Asian Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum
  • CHRISTMAS CHEER POKER PLANT

    Kniphofia "Christmas Cheer"
    Size: More than 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This drought-tolerant perennial lives up to its "Christmas Cheer" nickname. Poker plants bloom in December and January, bringing a jolt of bright orange and yellow to the dreary winter landscape. This dramatic variety boasts brilliant orange buds that open to deep-gold tubular flowers, a favorite for hungry hummingbirds. The narrow, strappy leaves form an attractive clump over time. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • COMPACT OREGON GRAPE

    Berberis aquifolium "Compacta"
    Size: Under 4 feet tall
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Winter, spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once it's established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This California native with an Oregon name isn't really a grape, but its dark, grapelike fruit is a favorite for birds -- and people. Oregon grape can be made into tasty preserves. In winter and early spring, this compact shrub produces loads of bright yellow flowers framed by its pretty foliage. Plus, this tough plant can flourish in dry shade. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CONCHA CEANOTHUS

    Ceanothus "Concha"
    Size: 4 to 6 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Prune to shape after spring flowering, then little or none.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: One of the best California native lilacs for the drought-tolerant garden, it looks good year-round with dark green leaves. In spring, the shrub is covered with deep-blue flowers with reddish bracts, making it a favorite for beneficial insects. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CORAL FOUNTAIN

    Russelia equisetiformis
    Size: Over 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune in fall to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: What a showstopper! This low-maintenance, high-impact perennial produces a fountain of bright, lipstick-red tubular flowers that start blooming in spring and keep blooming into fall. This drought-tolerant shower of flowers is a favorite of hummingbirds. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Arboretum's Southwest USA Collection on campus at the University of California, Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CORAL YUCCA

    Hesperaloe parviflora
    Size: Under 4 feet
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks in winter.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: With its tower of coral-pink blooms and spiky long leaves, this yucca adds a striking architectural note to landscapes. A desert native, it's extremely drought-tolerant and withstands harsh summer heat. A hummingbird magnet, coral yucca blooms all summer long into fall, then the flowers turn into attractive seed pods. You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden at the UC Davis Arboretum on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • CORSICAN HELLEBORE

    Helleborus argutifolius
    Size: 2 to 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Winter, spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks in summer for a tidy appearance.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: A green "rose" in January? This variation on the Lenten or wood rose bears brilliant green flowers that last for weeks and brighten the winter garden. This perennial tolerates dry shade with very little maintenance or summer water. The stiff, gray-green foliage adds interest to rock gardens and shady borders year-round. You can see specimens in the arboretum's teaching nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • CRAPE MYRTLE

    Lagerstroemia hybrids
    Size: 20 to 30 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Prune in winter to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Crape myrtles rank among Sacramento's favorite trees for good reason: They provide year-round interest and drought resistance, too. In summer, these fast-growing trees are covered with masses of bright blooms in pink, red, lavender or white, attracting many beneficial insects. In fall, their leaves are colorful, too. In winter, their distinctive bark makes this tree a handsome ornamental. New hybrids are more mildew- resistant. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden and the arboretum's White Flower Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
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    CUT LEAF LILAC

    Syringa x laciniata
    Size: 6 to 8 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune after bloom to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: A hybrid dating back to 17th century China, this true lilac is grown for its beautiful lacy foliage as much as its fragrant lavender flowers. The deciduous shrub bursts into bloom in mid-spring, and the attractive leaves keep it interesting all summer and into fall. It's also more drought-tolerant and disease-resistant than other lilacs. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Lezlie Sterling | Bee file, 2009
  • DEERGRASS

    Muhlenbergia rigens
    Size: 3 to 5 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground every three years to renew.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: How about a grass that needs mowing only every three years? Tall and elegant, this California native moves with the breeze, swaying gently on a warm summer evening. Clumps can form a low, informal screen while adding interesting texture to a drought-tolerant garden. Flower stalks reach 5 feet tall. With almost no care and very little water, it looks great in combinations with other natives or on its own. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants and the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the University of California, Davis, campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Nikhil Joshi
  • DESERT GOLDENEYE

    Viguiera parishii
    Size: Under 4 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Prune plants in late winter to encourage tidy, compact form.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: With almost nonstop flowers, this California native brightens the drought-tolerant garden from early spring well into fall. Attracting beneficial insects, the golden daisies seem to hover above triangular leaves. Goldeneye tolerates both full sun and partial shade and needs very little maintenance to look great. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • DESERT SPOON

    Dasylirion wheeleri
    Size: Under 4 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month -- or not at all.

    Snapshot: Native to southern Arizona, desert spoon has found a home in drought-tolerant gardens as an almost-no-care accent plant. Because it tolerates cold winter nights at elevations up to 6,000 feet, this desert shrub survives where agaves won't. Specimens grow 4 feet tall and almost as wide. One caution: Its attractive, silver-blue foliage has sharp, sawtooth edges. The plant gets its name from its spoon-shaped base. In spring, spikes -- up to 15 feet tall -- of cream-colored flowers emerge, attracting beneficial insects. You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • DWARF GERMANDER

    Teucrium chamaedrys "Nanum"
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Mow in early spring to maintain compact form.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This low-growing ground cover boasts hundreds of dark pink flowers from late spring into fall. A favorite of beneficial insects, this germander is one of the few ground covers that does well in both full sun and partial shade. It works great planted as a companion under roses or other shrubs. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of valley-wise plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • DWARF OREGANO

    Origanum vulgare 'Betty Rollins'
    Size: Under 1 foot tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old flower stalks in winter.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This edible ornamental offers plenty of appeal. In sun or dappled shade, it's a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant groundcover that smells good enough to eat. The Betty Rollins hybrid variety sends up masses of tubular pink flowers that attract butterflies all summer and well into fall. Use the leaves any time of year to flavor Mediterranean and Latin dishes. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • DWARF PLUMBAGO

    Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground in winter for tidy appearance.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This attractive ground cover boasts clusters of intense blue flowers all summer and well into fall. As the temperatures cool in autumn, the foliage turns a colorful maroon. Easy to grow, plumbago tolerates both full sun and partial shade, making it adaptable to many parts of the garden landscape. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden at the UC Davis Arboretum. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • ED CARMAN'S ROSEMARY

    Rosmarinus officinalis "Mozart"
    Size: Under 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape and keep compact form.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This evergreen shrub doesn't just look great; it tastes great, too. Besides providing oil-rich rosemary for cooking, this variety -- known as Ed Carman's or Mozart rosemary -- pumps out loads of the darkest blue flowers of any rosemary. The compact shrub blooms in spring and summer, then offers a second wave of flowers in fall, making it very attractive to bees. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • EVERGREEN CURRANT

    Ribes viburnifolium
    Size: Groundcover
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Late winter, spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Also called the Catalina currant or island gooseberry, this popular California native thrives where other groundcovers struggle -- in the dry shade under oaks. As its nickname implies, it's native to Santa Catalina Island off Long Beach, but it has spread to several coastal areas in Southern California and northern Baja California. Its shiny, dark-green, fragrant foliage (which exudes a citrusy scent) looks attractive year-round. In late winter and early spring, the star-shaped red flowers attract hummingbirds and beneficial insects. In late spring, the plant bears small red berries. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • FALSE DITTANY

    Ballota pseudodictamnus
    Size: Under 1 foot tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks at end of blooming season.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Silver and pink; what a pretty combination! This perennial offers soft, silver leaves with whorls of tiny, pink flowers that pop out in abundance from late spring through summer. False dittany tolerates poor soils and infrequent watering. It's ideal as a groundcover or in a dry perennial border. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • FORMOSAN FLAME TREE

    Koelreuteria elegans subsp. formosana
    Size: 20 to 40 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Fall
    Pruning needs: Little to none; prune to shape in winter.
    Water needs: Once it's established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: his Asian shade tree adds a tropical note to drought-tolerant gardens, along with lots of color. In autumn, it boasts broad clusters of bright yellow flowers, followed by large coral-red seedpods. "It's my all-time favorite tree," said former arboretum superintendent Warren Roberts. "Even before the flowers fade, it forms these fruit that start out like dark red fingernails that grow to the size of pingpong balls. ... It's absolutely gorgeous." Besides offering its unusual beauty, this flame tree is adaptable to various soils and watering schedules. You can see specimens in the arboretum's East Asian Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • GIANT CHAIN FERN

    Woodwardia fimbriata
    Size: More than 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Full shade
    Bloom season: None
    Pruning needs: Remove old fronds for a tidier appearance.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week.

    Snapshot: Native to California's redwood forests, this fern makes itself right at home in shady spots. Once established, it needs very little care. The impressive fern looks great as part of a naturalized oasis near a pond or fountain and also grows well in containers. It spreads by runners. As the name implies, giant chain ferns can get quite large. This species ranks among North America's largest native ferns, often reaching 3 to 5 feet tall. (In areas with abundant water, these ferns can grow 9-foot fronds.) You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum
  • GIANT FEATHER GRASS

    Stipa gigantea
    Size: 6 to 8 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks in winter.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Nicknamed golden oats, this showy evergreen grass puts on an amazing display that lasts for months. One clump can make an instant impact as an accent planting, especially in a rock garden or tall border. Each spring it sprouts dramatic blooms of lavender flowers -- often 8 feet tall -- that mellow into golden seed heads. These giant feathers, as the name implies, sway in the breeze and add movement to a drought-tolerant garden. The grassy foliage stays low and green in an attractive mound. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Saxon Holt
  • GOLDEN CURRANT

    Ribes aureum
    Size: 6 to 10 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to intermediate shade
    Bloom season: Winter, spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Another outstanding currant, this California native shrub features bright clusters of yellow flowers with a light, spicy scent in late winter and early spring. Butterflies and beneficial insects love this easy-care shrub, which makes itself very comfortable under native oaks. It also can make a handsome hedge or privacy screen. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • GOODWIN CREEK GREY LAVENDER

    Lavandula x ginginsii
    Size: Under 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Cut back after it flowers
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This popular lavender variety is considered the best for Sacramento gardens. It's more heat-resistant than most English lavenders and has a bloom season nearly nine months long. It's easy to renew the flowers with a little pruning. Hummingbirds and beneficial insects naturally gravitate to the fragrant blooms. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • HEN AND CHICKS

    Echeveria "Imbricata"
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old flower stalks.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This old-fashioned favorite spreads by producing plantlets ("chicks") that slowly cover the ground. The sculptured foliage forms rosettes that look like blue-green flowers, but the blooms are actually carried on bright pink spikes each spring. This succulent is naturally drought-tolerant and makes an interesting edging in partial shade. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum
  • HUMMINGBIRD SAGE

    Salvia spathacea
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter to spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks at the end of the blooming season.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Some sages grow tall, but this California native likes to spread out, forming a colorful and fragrant groundcover with a pleasant fruity scent. As the name implies, hummingbirds flock to its magenta flowers. With light-green aromatic foliage, this sage works great as a drought-tolerant alternative to other groundcovers in full sun or partial shade. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • HYBRID CATMINT

    Nepeta x faassennii
    Size: 1 to 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground in winter to renew.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This pretty catmint smells as good as it looks with aromatic gray-green foliage. Abundant lavender-blue flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. This tough, low- growing perennial tolerates a wide range of soil types and makes an excellent border. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Steven Still.
  • HYBRID SOAPWORT

    Saponaria x lempergii "Max Frei"
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none. Prune to maintain compact shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Hybrid soapwort has pretty, pink flowers that bloom through summer into autumn. Dependable in even the hottest weather, this low-growing perennial is perfect for rock gardens or around roses and taller plants. Its low-maintenance and low-water needs make it ideal in Sacramento. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Arboretum's Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory /Special to The Bee
  • HYBRID TEA OLIVE

    Osmanthus x fortunei
    Size: 15 to 20 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once the plant is established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This small tree or shrub makes a dependable, low-maintenance screen or hedge in partial shade, even on the north side of buildings where other shrubs often refuse to grow. It thrives with low or medium irrigation and tolerates heavy clay soil. The white blooms have a fabulous fragrance and attract beneficial insects. You can see specimens in the arboretum's White Flower Garden near the gazebo on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Barbara Stubbs
  • ICEBERG FLORIBUNDA ROSE

    Rosa "Korbin" or "Iceberg"
    Size: 3 to 5 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Prune in winter; remove spent flowers to prompt more blooming.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Introduced in 1958, Iceberg has become America's favorite white landscape rose, thanks to its hardy character and nonstop bloom. A strong honey fragrance and double-white flowers make it attractive, but this versatile bush also is very disease-resistant and can tolerate some shade. With pruning, Iceberg can be trained into a medium or large bush, or a graceful hedge. A climbing version is available, too. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's all-white flower garden on the University of Calfiornia, Davis, campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • ISLAND ALUMROOT

    Heuchera maxima
    Size: 1 to 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This easy-care California native loves to hang out in dry shade. With spikes of bright-pink flowers, it makes a pretty ground cover under large trees and attracts bees and hummingbirds in spring. The frilly green leaves look good year round. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • ISLAND MOUNTAIN MAHOGANY

    Cercocarpus betuloides var. blancheae
    Size: 15 to 20 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none; light pruning to shape
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: California native, this small tree thrives in full sun and dry soil, although it tolerates a little shade, too. In early winter, tiny white flowers attract beneficial insects. More noticeable are the unusual seed pods; they curl upward and are covered with bright, silky fuzz. These seed pods also give this tree its botanical name, Cercocarpus, which means "fruit with tail." You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden and the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the University of California, Davis, campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • ISLAND PINK YARROW

    Achillea millefolium
    Size: Medium
    Exposure: Full sun, part shade
    Bloom season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks; divide when clumps get crowded.
    Water needs: Low-Medium

    Snapshot: California native plant; colorful pink flowers in spring, summer, and fall make good cut flowers; ferny green foliage will spread; flowers attract butterflies and beneficial insects.

    For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • IVY LEAF CYCLAMEN

    Cyclamen hederifolium
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: his easy-to-grow cyclamen produces spikes of scented rose-pink or white flowers in late summer and early fall before leaves emerge. Then, the foliage takes its star turn with silver-patterned leaves that glisten all winter. This hardy plant tolerates a wide variety of soil types and thrives in containers. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. Don't miss the arboretum's fall sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory /Special to The Bee
  • JAPANESE HOLLY FERN

    Cyrtomium falcatum
    Size: 1 to 3 feet
    Exposure: Full shade
    Bloom season: None
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old fronds for tidy appearance.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Looking for a fern that loves dry shade? This evergreen fern offers dramatic dark-green fronds that resemble holly leaves when open. It provides a lush look in dark, shady areas of the garden without much moisture. This species also can tolerate irrigation water with high mineral content. You can see specimens in the arboretum's East Asian Collection and the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum
  • JAPANESE SILVER GRASS

    Miscanthus sinensis
    Size: More than 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground in winter
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Dwarf varieties of this popular ornamental grass put on quite a show each fall as leaves turn red, orange and yellow. Many kinds are available in a wide range of leaf patterns and size. This grass thrives in clay soil. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of Valley-Wise plants on the University of California, Davis, campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • KARL FOERSTER FEATHER REED GRASS

    Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
    Size: Large
    Exposure: Full sun, part shade
    Bloom season: Spring, Summer
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground in winter
    Water needs: Low-Medium

    Snapshot: Attractive, upright dark green foliage; fluffy blooms in spring turn into attractive buff spikes that last all summer and fall; a vertical plant that performs well in narrow spaces.

    For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • LENTEN ROSE

    Helleborus x hybridus
    Size: Under 1 foot tall
    Exposure: Full shade
    Bloom season: Winter and spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This shade-loving perennial fits perfectly under trees and brightens the winter landscape with nodding, roselike flowers in soft shades of pink. The leathery evergreen foliage looks good all year. Hellebores require very little maintenance and not much water. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Terrace Garden and the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden on campus at the University of California, Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • LILAC VINE

    Hardenbergia violacea
    Size: Climbing vine; 6 to 8 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Trim annually to fit available space; cut back after bloom to prevent tangling.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Native to Australia, this vigorous evergreen vine is also known as Purple Coral Pea, Happy Wanderer and False or Australian Sarsaparilla. A fast and easy grower, it can cover an arbor, pergola, fence or wall with pretty foliage and striking clusters of flowers. This variety bears small, purple sweetpealike flowers in late winter or early spring. Other varieties come with white or pink blooms. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Australian Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum
  • LILLIAN'S PINK CORAL BELLS

    Heuchera "Lillian's Pink"
    Size: Under 2 feet
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old flower stalks.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: What a pretty flower for shady (and dry) spots! That's why Lillian's Pink was voted the best flower among the 100 Arboretum All-Stars. A California native, this tough perennial forms an excellent groundcover for small shady areas or along borders. Its bright-pink flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants and the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • LYNN'S LEGACY LEUCOPHYLLUM

    Leucophyllum langmaniae
    Size: 4 to 6 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none; trim to shape
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: With little care or water, Lynn's Legacy will grow into an attractive silver-leaf shrub with showy lavender flowers. With dense, compact growth, it thrives where other plants can't survive, tolerating heat, wind, alkaline soil and drought. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • MARIE SIMON CEANOTHUS

    Ceanothus x pallidus "Marie Simon"
    Size: Up to 6 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Light pruning in spring after bloom to remove twiggy growth and shape the bush
    Water needs: Water deeply once or twice a month

    Snapshot: A drought-tolerant native, this California lilac puts out clouds of fluffy pink blooms in large, loose clusters with a delightful scent. The flowers contrast nicely with maroon stems and attract bees as well as other beneficial insects. Specimens are now in bloom in the UC Davis Arboretum's Valley-wise Ruth Risdon Stover Garden on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • MEXICAN DEERGRASS

    Muhlenbergia dubia
    Size: 1 to 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground every three years to renew.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: With its upright growth, this deergrass makes a great accent plant for a low-water garden. It requires very little maintenance. The feathery flower stalks stick around almost year-round. With the strappy leaves, they add texture and movement to garden spaces. You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • MEXICAN TULIP POPPY

    Hunnemannia fumariifolia
    Size: 1 to 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Cut back old flower stalks for tidy appearance and prolonged bloom
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: With graceful gray-green foliage and bright yellow flowers, this poppy keeps blooming spring through fall. Perfect for Sacramento summers, it can take the heat without working up a thirst. A native of the Mexican highlands in the Chihuahuan Desert where it thrives on a rocky terrain, this perennial fits well into rock gardens and easily reseeds itself, season after season. You can see specimens in bloom now in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of Valley-Wise plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • MINT BUSH SAGE

    Salvia microphylla
    Size: Under 4 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter, spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Water deeply every two weeks

    Snapshot: This small shrub is an almost-nonstop bloomer with attractive bright red flowers, a favorite for hummingbirds. Unlike most flowering plants, it thrives under native oaks. The leaves have a fruity, mintlike smell that gives this sage its nickname. Specimens are now in bloom in the UC Davis Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website
    Saxon Holt
  • lavender
    OTTO QUAST SPANISH LAVENDER

    Lavandula stoechas "Otto Quast"
    Size: Under 3 feet
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Cut back to remove old flower stalks and keep compact.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Considered the showiest of all lavenders, the Otto Quast variety of Spanish lavender pumps out lots of beautiful purple blooms, attracting plenty of bees and butterflies. It thrives in sunny, dry conditions, making it ideal for drought- tolerant gardens. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden and the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of "Valley-wise" plants on the campus of the University of California, Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PALMER'S SEDUM

    Sedum palmeri
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This popular sedum features large clusters of deep-golden-yellow, star-shaped flowers from spring into summer. A low-growing perennial, it tolerates shade and drought. It can double as a ground cover over small areas or as a companion planting to larger shrubs. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Southwest Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PERLE D'OR POLYANTHA ROSE

    Rosa "Perle d'Or"
    Size: 4 to 6 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Prune in winter; remove old flowers to prolong bloom.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This rose smells great and saves water. Also called Golden Pearl, this polyantha rose -- first introduced in 1884 -- is an excellent shrub variety for Central Valley gardens. It has fewer thorns than many roses and is drought- resistant. The clusters of dainty blooms change from near-orange to golden pink as they open; they have a strong perfume. * You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. * For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PIGSQUEAK

    Bergenia crassfolia
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This classic California perennial has a funny nickname, but it's been a favorite for generations. It thrives in shady borders (under dry or moist conditions) while pumping out dense clusters of pink flowers throughout winter into early spring. The broad, shiny leaves make a nice contrast to small-leaf plants. Bees and other beneficial insects love pigsqueak, too. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of "Valley-Wise" plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PINEAPPLE GUAVA

    Acca sellowiana or Feijoa sellowiana
    Size: 8 to 12 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: You can have an attractive, drought-tolerant hedge -- and eat it, too. An edible ornamental, pineapple guava is gaining popularity in the Central Valley for its pretty evergreen foliage, exotic flowers and flavorful fruit. Each spring, the white and red flowers (which are edible, too, and sweet) attract hummingbirds. In the fall, the smooth, silver-green fruit matures into 3-inch long kiwi-like "berries" that taste like pineapple and make great preserves.. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PINK GRÜSS AN AACHEN FLORIBUNDA ROSE

    Rosa 'Grüss an Aachen'
    Size: 3 to 4 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Prune in winter. Remove spent flowers throughout season to promote bloom.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: Originally introduced in 1929, this may be the perfect Sacramento rose for an eastern exposure. It's a "sport" (a natural mutation) of the first floribunda rose, the lighter pink Grüss an Aachen. This variety boasts beautiful pink flowers in showy sprays April through November. The blooms smell as good as they look. In fall, the rose hips look attractive, too. And the stems are nearly thornless. In hot Sacramento summers, this bush prefers afternoon shade to protect the leaves from sunburn. It also grows well in areas of the garden that receive less than six hours of sun a day. You can see specimens in the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PINK PHLOMIS

    Phlomis purpurea
    Size: Under 4 feet
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring to summer
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks; prune to maintain compact form.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: From spring into summer, this small shrub boasts loads of showy, lavender-pink flowers with a few more scattered blooms popping out year-round. The compact shrub is tolerant of heat and dry soil. Offering a contrast to other evergreens, its velvety, yellow-green leaves stay on the bush all year. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mediterranean Collection on the campus at the University of California, Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PURPLE BOTTLEBRUSH

    Callistemon "Violaceus"
    Size: 6 to 15 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter, spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune in winter to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This variation of the familiar red-flowered bottlebrush has rosy purple blooms that start in winter and continue sporadically through summer. A medium to large evergreen shrub, bottlebrush is tough and adaptable. It grows best in full sun but can take a little shade. It also tolerates infrequent waterings. Hummingbirds and beneficial insects flock to its funny flowers. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • aster
    PURPLE DOME ASTER

    Aster "Purple Dome"
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full to partial sun
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Cut to ground in winter to renew.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks during growing season.

    Snapshot: Want a shot of eye-popping purple in your summer garden? You can count on Purple Dome aster to come through year after year. Also known as Purple Dome Michaelmas daisy, this dwarf and compact perennial pumps out a long-lasting display of deep violet flowers, attractive to bees and butterflies. As a plus, this aster resists mildew and tolerates wet soil -- or dry. You can see specimens in bloom now in the Arboretum Terrace Garden at UC Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • PURPLE SPOT MOCK ORANGE

    Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'
    Size: Up to 6 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer
    Pruning needs: In winter, cut back older stems to the ground to rejuvenate the bush.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This is a fragrant favorite. Starting in late spring, this deciduous shrub bears abundant clusters of creamy white flowers with a spicy perfume. The large flowers stand out in the summer moonlight. This variety has a maroon splotch at the center of each bloom, hence the name. After winter pruning, the new stems are mahogany red. This bush tends to prefer a little shade in the Sacramento Valley and looks great at the back of a perennial border. You can see specimens in the arboretum's White Flower Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Emily Griswold
  • RAY HARTMAN CALIFORNIA LILAC

    Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman'
    Size: Up to 15 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Here's another wonderful California native lilac, well-adapted to Sacramento gardens. With beautiful lavender blossoms, the Ray Hartman hybrid is considered one of the best ceanothuses for home gardens because it can tolerate some summer irrigation. It makes a good screen hedge or small specimen tree. Bees love it, too. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • RED ARGENTINE AMARYLLIS

    Rhodophiala bifida
    Size: About 1 foot tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none; trim off spent bloom stalks.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Showy, easy-to-grow bulbs explode with dark-red trumpets in late summer and early fall. Hummingbirds love these attractive flowers. The bulbs are extremely heat- and drought-tolerant, too. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Teaching Nursery on the University of California, Davis, campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • ROSADA CORAL BELLS

    Heuchera ‘Rosada’
    Size: Medium
    Exposure: Part shade, shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks
    Water needs: Low

    Snapshot: California native plant; one of the best flowering perennials for dry shade; introduced to the nursery trade by the UC Davis Arboretum.

    For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • SAINT CATHERINE'S LACE

    Eriogonum giganteum
    Size: 4 to 6 feet
    Exposure: Full to partial sun
    Bloom season: Summer
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks. Prune to maintain a compact form.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: A California native, this shrub produces large, showy clusters of lacy white flowers throughout the summer -- a big draw for butterflies and beneficial insects. Fast-growing, this plant quickly develops into a large rounded shrub with woolly, light gray foliage. You can see specimens mixed in with the conifer collection at the UC Davis Arboretum on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • SANTA BARBARA DAISY

    Erigeron karvinskianus
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old flower stalks.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: It's no wonder this little daisy is a Central Valley favorite. The drought-tolerant California native pumps out blooms almost nonstop spring through fall. A low-growing ground cover, it attracts lots of butterflies as well as beneficial insects. You can see specimens in the arboretum's White Flower Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • SANTA MARGARITA FOOTHILL PENSTEMON

    Penstemon heterophyllus "Margarita BOP"
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none; remove old flower stalks
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks

    Snapshot: This California native puts on an ever-changing show. The flowers start as golden yellow buds, then open into bright blue blooms before fading to purple pink. Unlike many penstemons, this one thrives in home garden conditions. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    UC Davis Arboretum
  • SERPENTINE COLUMBINE

    Aquilegia eximia
    Size: 1 to 3 feet tall
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Spring and summer
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks and cut back foliage in fall.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: In shady spots, this California native attracts oohs and aahs -- as well as lots of hummingbirds. Its bright-orange blooms are larger and showier than those of its columbine cousins. The gray-green leaves are pretty, too, as the delicately cut foliage forms attractive mounds. This perennial got its nickname because it's tolerant of soils containing serpentine (California's controversial state rock). You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • SILVER CARPET CALIFORNIA ASTER

    Lessingia filaginifolia var. californica "Silver Carpet"
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Prune lightly to remove seed heads.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: This California native makes a great ground cover in both sun and partial shade. Butterflies and other beneficial insects are attracted to its light purple flowers, which bloom in abundance spring through fall. With its attractive silver foliage, this plant looks especially nice spilling over a wall or cascading down steps. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • SNOW-IN-SUMMER

    Cerastium tomentosum
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer
    Pruning needs: None
    Water needs: Water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: With almost ever-present white flowers six months a year, this spreading ground cover gives a cool look to hot Central Valley gardens. It can thrive with low to medium amounts of irrigation, allowing it to blend into both flower and rock gardens. Its silver foliage makes a good contrast with green-leaved plants. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • SNOWY RIVER WATTLE

    Acacia boormanii
    Size: 15 to 20 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month

    Snapshot: This beautiful little tree pumps out limbs-full of fragrant yellow flowers in the heart of winter, adding a major splash of vibrant color and scent to an otherwise bleak landscape. Naturally heat- and drought- resistant, it's very adaptable and hardy but grows best in well-drained soils. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Acacia Grove at UC Davis. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory/Special to The Bee
  • TOYON OR CHRISTMAS BERRY

    Heteromeles arbutifolia
    Size: 10 to 15 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: Native to California, this handsome shrub with leathery, dark-green leaves blooms in spring, but its winter berries make it a standout. Throughout the colder months, large clusters of berries decorate the plant, giving it the nicknames "Christmas Berry" or "California Holly." Native toyon has red berries, but the university's arboretum has developed a toyon with golden fruit. Appropriately called "Davis Gold," this hybrid is a UC Davis exclusive. Toyon berries are a favorite food of the cedar waxwing, a bird that migrates through the Central Valley. You can see specimens of toyon in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Maureen Gilmer
  • VALLEY OAK

    Quercus lobata
    Size: More than 40 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: None
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month or not at all.

    Snapshot: This familiar California tree forms the backbone of native habitat in the Sacramento Valley, providing shelter and food for many native insects, birds and other animals. That also makes it a major attraction to beneficial insects and birds in a native garden. Nature made this tree perfect for Valley conditions; it tolerates triple-digit heat, drought and alkaline soil. Once established, it needs little irrigation, if any, and provides refreshing summer shade. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Gary A. Monroe
  • VALLEY VIOLET MARITIME CEANOTHUS

    Ceanothus maritimus "Valley Violet"
    Size: Under 4 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Late winter, early spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape after flowering.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Native to beach bluffs and beaches, this California lilac is considered the best small ceanothus for Central Valley gardens. As the weather turns from winter to spring, it offers large clusters of sweet-scented dark-violet flowers, a favorite for butterflies and beneficial insects. It thrives on neglect, needing little care or water. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • VINE HILL MANZANITA

    Arctostaphylos densiflora "Howard McMinn"
    Size: 4 to 6 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: This California native is well-known for its smooth, almost wine-red bark. In late winter, it also sports dense clusters of light-pink blooms, a favorite for hummingbirds and beneficial insects. This variety is one of the few manzanitas that can tolerate Sacramento's clay-loam soil. With its attractive foliage, it looks good year-round with very little water or care. You can see specimens in the arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum
  • VIOLET TRUMPET VINE

    Clytostoma calystegiodes
    Size: Climbing vine
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring to summer
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune in winter to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Voted "best flower" by UC Davis Arboretum members, this violet trumpet blares with blooms, attracting hummingbirds from near and far. The flowers are veined with darker purple and cover the vine from late spring into summer. Needing very little water, this vigorous climber covers walls or spreads out as ground cover. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. Sale alert: The arboretum hosts its final plant sale of the season from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 15 at its teaching nursery near the small-animal veterinary hospital on Garrod Drive. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • WALKING IRIS

    Neomarica caerulea
    Size: Up to 3 feet
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Summer and fall
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks as needed
    Water needs: Water deeply once or twice a month

    Snapshot: Looking for an unusual addition to a shady section of your garden? The walking iris produces bountiful clusters of violet-blue blooms with intricate patterns. A semi-tender perennial, this accent plant also has attractive arching, swordlike leaves. Flower stems bend to touch the soil and form new plants, giving the impression that it's walking around the bed. Another nickname is "Apostle Plant," derived from the belief that it needs 12 leaves before blooming. Once established, it flowers repeatedly during the hottest part of the summer. All it needs is some shade and just a little water. You can see specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum Terrace Garden on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • WASHINGTON HAWTHORN

    Crataegus phaenopyrum
    Size: 20 to 30 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: This beautiful tree evokes year-round interest, starting with profuse white spring flowers. In fall, the pretty foliage turns scarlet or purple, followed by bright-red ornamental fruit clusters that last through the winter, attracting songbirds to the garden. The graceful, open-limb structure makes it a natural as a patio tree or specimen. Besides being drought-tolerant, this small tree is usually disease-free in the Sacramento area. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Fran Clarke
  • WAYNE RODERICK SEASIDE DAISY

    Erigeron "Wayne Roderick"
    Size: Less than 1 foot tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
    Pruning needs: Cut to the ground in winter to renew.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: A hybrid of California's native seaside daisy, this rugged perennial offers months of profuse bloom with little effort. Bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects love its pretty, 1-inch lavender flowers. This drought- and salt-tolerant plant grows well in containers and looks great cascading over a wall. It stays put in one place, eventually growing to about 3 feet wide, and spreads sparingly by seed. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants and the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • WESTERN REDBUD

    Cercis occidentalis
    Size: Up to 10 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Early spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Ubiquitous along area highways, this small California native tree boasts bright-purple blooms in spring, followed by attractive red seed pods in summer. New stems in winter (bearing the distinctive redbuds) were used by American Indians for making baskets. Besides being a low-maintenance plant, this tree offers an added plus -- it attracts beneficial insects. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
  • 805-149
    WESTERN SPICE BUSH

    Calycanthus occidentalis
    Size: 6 to 12 feet tall
    Exposure: Partial sun to full shade.
    Bloom season: Spring
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: At home under taller trees or on a northern exposure, this shade-loving California native offers maroon-red flowers in spring and attractive gold foliage in fall, adding seasonal color to the dry garden. The flowers attract beneficial insects, including pollinating beetles. The leaves give this shrub its nickname; they have a sharp, clean fragrance. You can see specimens in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Saxon Holt
  • WINNIFRED GILMAN VARIETY OF CLEVELAND SAGE

    Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'
    Size: Under 4 feet
    Exposure: Full to partial sun
    Bloom season: Spring and early summer
    Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks in summer after bloom. Prune to maintain a compact form.
    Water needs: After established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: Of the different cultivars of Cleveland sage, the arboretum's experts chose the Winnifred Gilman variety for its striking color combination: maroon stems topped by blue-violet flowers. Hummingbirds and butterflies love this evergreen shrub, a California native that's both heat- and drought-tolerant. This variety particularly likes Sacramento's weather. You can see specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • WINTER DAPHNE

    Daphne odora "Aureomarginata"
    Size: Less than 4 feet
    Exposure: Partial to full shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every one to two weeks.

    Snapshot: What a sweet addition to a winter garden! This fragrant December bloomer perfumes the holiday air when few other plants are in flower. Shiny, variegated leaves look good all year on this low-maintenance, shade-loving shrub. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • WINTER HONEYSUCKLE

    Lonicera standishii
    Size: 4 to 6 feet
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shadebr/> Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

    Snapshot: One of retired arboretum Superintendent Warren Roberts' all-time favorites, this distinctive fountain-shaped shrub offers a delicious winter treat -- sweet-smelling white flowers. The blooms appear on semi-leafless stems in December and January, attracting hummingbirds to the midwinter garden. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's East Asian Collection on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • WINTER JASMINE

    Jasminum nudiflorum
    Size: Under 4 feet tall
    Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Bloom season: Winter
    Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape after bloom.
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

    Snapshot: With glossy, dark-green stems exposed in winter, this attractive deciduous shrub's bright yellow flowers cheer up the winter garden. Although the blooms don't have that strong jasmine scent, this drought-tolerant variety can be used as an arching shrub or trained as a cascading vine. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
  • YELLOW AUTUMN CROCUS

    Sternbergia lutea
    Size: Under 1 foot
    Exposure: Full sun
    Bloom season: Early fall
    Pruning needs: Little or none
    Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month or not at all.

    Snapshot: Surprise! And you thought crocuses bloom only in spring. But this bright yellow crocus pops up out of nowhere in early fall, saving its golden show for September instead of March. Lustrous deep-green foliage emerges soon after the blooms and lasts through the winter. This ultra-easy-care plant thrives in full sun and is extremely drought-tolerant; it will bloom even if you forget to water it. You can see specimens in bloom next month in the Arboretum's Teaching Nursery on the UC Davis campus. For more information on the Arboretum All-Stars, see the UC Davis Arboretum website.
    Ellen Zagory
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