Ellen Zagory / Special to The Bee, 2009

The evergreen shrub Caledonia bush veronica puts up with a lot. It can look beautiful while tolerating salt, pollution and poor soil.

Community Favorite: Caledonia bush veronica

Published: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 - 8:52 pm

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Community Favorites, 75 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region and recommended by local gardeners.

Caledonia bush veronica

Hebe "Caledonia"

Size: Under 2 feet tall

Bloom season: Late spring, summer, fall

Exposure: Sun to partial shade

Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape in late winter

Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week

Snapshot: This attractive evergreen shrub puts up with almost anything. It can tolerate salt, pollution and poor soil – and still look beautiful. Its striking glossy foliage is bordered with red-purple margins. Staying compact, the shrub is covered with purple flowers from late spring into October, making it a favorite for bees. Hardy in winter, bush veronica can make an attractive border or container plant year-round. In Sacramento, it can get sunburned in full-sun locations, particularly in summer, but thrives with morning or filtered sun. It does particularly well with a northern exposure where other blooming shrubs may struggle. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus.

Why it's a Favorite: "The mature green leaves look gorgeous and unique with the purple-red stems, new growth and flowers," said Francesca Claverie, the arboretum's assistant nursery manager. "There's nothing 'jeebie' about this Hebe! Dainty, but tough."

• Read more about the Arboretum's 75th anniversary at arboretum75th.ucdavis.edu. For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

See a photo gallery of the Community Favorites online at www.sacbee.com/ home_garden.

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