This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.
Great Valley gum plant
Size: Clumps 2 to 3 feet high and wide
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Exposure: Full sun
Bloom season: Yellow flowers in spring and summer
Pruning needs: Little or none; remove spent flowers in winter and shape as desired.
Water needs: Low water; once established, water once or twice a month.
Snapshot: A hardy, colorful plant, the Great Valley gum plant is truly “native here” – it’s a Central Valley wildflower that can adapt to the home garden. An evergreen perennial, it has attractive yellow daisy-like flowers that attract butterflies and other beneficial insects. Grindelia earned the nickname “gum plant” because the flowers produce a sticky white liquid that has been coveted for medicinal uses. Gum plant can tolerate deer browsing as well as salty soil, making it adaptable to a wide area. Depending on source, some individual plants may have a gangly appearance. To keep them growing upright, they should be combined with other lower-growing plants around the base.
▪ For more on 40 Plants, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.