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.
Elizabeth’s bush anemone
Carpenteria californica ‘Elizabeth’
Size: When full grown, 4 to 8 feet tall.
Bloom season: White flowers produced in late spring and summer.
Exposure: Partial sun or speckled shade.
Pruning needs: Prune when young to encourage branching.
Water needs: Low to medium; once established, deep water every other week.
Snapshot: You’ll fall for “Elizabeth.” A medium-sized, rounded shrub, this California native features thick, dark green leaves and beautiful summer flowers. Blooming in clusters, its big white fragrant flowers feature puffy yellow centers and look like giant anemones (hence the nickname). “Elizabeth” is more compact with more flowers than other bush anemones. It was discovered in 1971 by legendary plant hunter Wayne Roderick and named for Elizabeth McClintock, longtime curator in the California Academy of Sciences’ botany department. In its native habitat, the bush anemone tends to grow under big trees and prefers filtered sun. That makes it a great choice for semi-shady spots in the dry garden. Another plus: Deer don’t like it.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.