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Life After Lawn: Hedge blooms in shades of blue

Azure bush germander makes an attractive water-wise flowering hedge.
Azure bush germander makes an attractive water-wise flowering hedge. Special to The Bee

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Azure bush germander

Teucrium fruticans “Azureum”

Size: Can get 4 to 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide if left unsheared

Bloom season: Small but prolific blue flowers in winter and early spring

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Pruning needs: Shear annually to shape and keep bushy; can be cut to the ground to rejuvenate

Water needs: Low; once established, deep water once a month

Snapshot: This fast-growing evergreen shrub offers a lot for a little water. Tough and drought-tolerant, bush germander can handle poor soil and rocky slopes, making it ideal for water-wise foothill gardens. Its silvery foliage shimmers in the sunlight. In winter and early spring, the bush is covered with dark blue flowers, attracting beneficial insects. (The “Azure” variety is more intensely blue than others.) As a plus, this bush can be sheared as a hedge or left to grow in a looser open form. It grows great in containers, too, as an accent plant.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.