This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds” series – 30 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that attract hummingbirds.
Size: Slowly grows to 25 to 30 feet in Sacramento area.
Bloom season: Clusters of rosy-pink urn-shaped flowers in spring and fall.
Exposure: Full sun or partial shade.
Pruning needs: Shape young tree to either single or multi-trunk as desired; remove lower branches to display attractive muscular branches and peeling bark.
Water needs: Medium to low; once established water deeply every week or every other week.
Snapshot: Nicknamed the strawberry tree for its attractive red fruit, this unusual madrone is smaller and better behaved than California’s native variety. Considered one of the best small trees for low-water landscapes, this madrone slowly grows into a small evergreen tree with glossy dark green foliage and beautiful coppery-brown branches. The trunk’s dark red bark, which looks like manzanita, peels off as the tree grows, adding more interest to the garden. In spring and often in fall, clusters of rosy-pink, urn-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds and bees. Those flowers are followed by pretty red strawberry-like berries; more food for birds.
For more on “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.