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.
Australian bluebell creeper
Size: Under 6 feet tall
Bloom season: Summer, fall
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape.
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week.
Snapshot: This pretty creeper can grab attention. A climbing evergreen with glossy, dark leaves, it can form a 3-foot shrub or, with support, reach 6 feet tall. In summer and early fall, it's loaded with graceful blue flowers, a favorite for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The flowers are followed by dark-blue edible berries, another boon to wildlife. Bluebell creeper thrives in light shade or on eastern exposures where it can get a break from hot afternoon sun. It's drought- and salt-tolerant but can't stand wet feet; good drainage is a must. You can see specimens in the arboretum's Australian collection on the UC Davis campus.
Why it's a Favorite: "Especially nice positioned in a close-up spot, where you can view the beautiful blue bell-shaped flowers," said Kathy Olson, a longtime arboretum volunteer. "Easy to grow!"
For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click onhttp://arboretum.ucdavis.edu
See a photo gallery of the Community Favorites online at Community Favorites