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.
Orange semi-double geum
Size: Under 2 feet tall
Bloom season: Spring, summer, early fall
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; remove spent flower stems.
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week.
Snapshot: What a pretty perennial! This little flower packs plenty of color power with little care. Drought-tolerant and tesistant to frost, geums are free-flowering from late spring through late summer and well into fall. A favorite of butterflies, geums stay evergreen through the winter, then break out with instant bouquets of red-orange flowers on wiry stems. They're deer-resistant, too. The Prinses Juliana hybrid variety looks more tangerine than darker orange. Its flowers are sterile and do not set seed. You can see specimens in the arboretum teaching nursery on the UC Davis campus.
Why it's a favorite:"I love the almost roselike flowers, and the fact that it blooms nearly all summer," said arboretum volunteer Kathryn Shack.
For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click on http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
See a photo gallery of the Community Favorites at http://www.sacbee.com/community-favorites