This is one part in a new 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.
Galvesia speciosa ‘Firecracker’
Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Bloom season: Spring and summer.
Pruning needs: Prune to shape; may be necessary to clean up frost damage in our area.
Water needs: Low water; once established, water once or twice a month.
Snapshot: Snap to it! This California native forms a medium-sized, fast-growing shrub with fuzzy, lime-green foliage and bright red flowers, a favorite for hummingbirds. Native to the Channel Islands, this perennial is amenable to shaping and use as a hedge. In severe frost (under 26 degrees F), galvesia may be damaged so benefits from some protection, but it easily recovers when weather warms.
▪ For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.