Home & Garden

Go gray with this attractive California native

Garden Gems: Dwarf coastal sagebrush grows on campus at UC Davis. This silvery gray ground cover needs little water.
Garden Gems: Dwarf coastal sagebrush grows on campus at UC Davis. This silvery gray ground cover needs little water.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.

Dwarf coastal sagebrush

Artermisia californica‘Canyon Gray’

Size: Spreads up to 10 feet wide, 1 to 2 feet tall.

Bloom season: Flowers in summer are inconspicuous and hidden in the foliage.

Exposure: Full sun; in valley, tolerates some afternoon shade.

Pruning needs: Tip prune when young to produce a well-branched plant; can be mowed every three to five years.

Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

Snapshot: This attractive California native can cover a lot of ground. As its name implies, dwarf coastal sagebrush grows naturally along California’s rugged coastal canyons. This low-growing native perennial is covered with silvery delicate thread-like foliage that’s intensely aromatic when crushed. It’s wonderful for slopes or other areas in the dry garden that can be hard to maintain. Coastal sagebrush also can trail over retaining walls, creating a fragrant silver fringe. Extremely drought tolerant, this ground cover is almost deer proof.

For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

  Comments