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Gardening sheets evergreen shrubs

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Plant & garden information sheets from lecture on using California native evergreen shrubs in garden design.

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Gardening sheets evergreen shrubs

  1. 1. *Pink-flowered sumac – Rhus lentii (RUSS (or ROOS) LEN-tee-eye) Family: Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family) Native to: Cedros Island, and western coastal Baja CA Mexico; on bluffs, in canyons and among desert scrub vegetation. Growth characteristics: large evergreen shrub mature height: 4-8+ ft. mature width: 6-15+ ft. Dense, evergreen shrub with upright, rounded habit. Branches are thick, much-branched; reddish when young, becoming gray-tan. Leaves leathery, elliptic, gray-green to blue-green and somewhat succulent. Slow growing while establishing, then moderate growth. Foliage and shape are attractive. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in winter-spring with many small blooms in clusters, attracting hummingbirds. Flowers like Lemonadeberry, but often darker pink and more numerous. Mature plants can be covered in blooms; very showy! Fruits are like Lemonadeberry, and can be used to make ‘Rhus-aide’ drink, syrup and jelly. Fruits are pink-red when ripe in late spring-summer. Uses in the garden: Most often used as a large shrub or in hillside plantings. Makes a nice, dense background plant. Excellent choice for tall hedges and screens in frost-free areas; takes heat. Can be pruned as formal hedge, or pruned up as a small tree. Can even be treated as a bonsai! Sensible substitute for: Non-native evergreen shrubs. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover and seeds for food. Attracts hummingbirds & butterflies. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade. Soil Most except very poorly draining; local pH range is fine. Water Very occasional to occasional (up to 1-2 times per month); Water zones 1-2 to 2. Fertilizer None needed unless grown in container. Other Light leaf or self-mulch is fine. Management: Plant where can become large. Prune when plants are growing, as desired. Plants are frost-sensitive. Species has reputation for being more ‘difficult’ than Lemonadeberry. Propagation: from seed: yes by cuttings: likely yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13, 14 11/29/18 * CA Floristic Province native, but not native to Western Los Angeles County © Project SOUND
  2. 2. California Boxthorn – Lycium californicum (LISS-ee-um kal-ih-FOR-ni-kum) Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family) Native to: S. coast and Channel Islands of S. CA to Baja; washes, hillsides and coastal bluffs, in coastal sage scrub, below 1500'. Rare in nature due to limited (and decreasing) habitat. Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 3-8+ ft. mature width: 3-8+ ft. Drought-deciduous (evergreen with more water) erect shrub with many spiny branches. Overall shape roughly mounded. Leaves are succulent, small (< ½ inch), arise directly from the branches. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring (Mar-Jul). Flowers small (< ½ inch across), green-white to purple-tinged, on short stems. Fruits are firm, red, like a very small tomato. Fruits are more showy than the flowers. Uses in the garden: Mostly used in restoration and habitat gardens. Unique addition to the drought- tolerant garden. Tolerates seaside conditions. Good under Torrey Pines. Would make a good large shrub, natural hedge or barrier. Edible cooked fruits can be used to make a tomato-like sauce. Sensible substitute for: Non-native drought-tolerant shrubs. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover and berries for food. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun (coast) to part-shade. Soil Any well-drained, but sandy or rocky best; any local pH. Water Dry to semi-dry soil – Water Zones 1-2 to 2. Fertilizer None Other Management: Little needed under dry conditions. Remove dead branches. Propagation: from seed: yes; fresh seed by cuttings: use growth hormone; difficult Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 6, 13, 14 3/28/09
  3. 3. *Common/Mountain juniper – Juniperus communis var. montana (saxatilis) (ju-NIP-er-us COMM-you nus mon-TAN-uh ) Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress Family) Native to: Much of Western North America from AK to CO, NM and CA. In CA. Klamath Ranges, High Sierra Nevada, Warner Mountains ; Dry rocky soil and rock crevices on slopes and summits in Yellow Pine, Douglas-Fir, North Coastal Coniferous, Lodgepole and Subalpine Forests > 3500 ft. Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 1-4 ft. mature width: 4-10+ ft. Low-growing, woody shrub with many branches. Form may be mat-like or rounded and shrubby. Blue-gray needles are short-pointed, sharp (wear gloves), in whorls of three, emerging at a right angle to the stem. Mature bark is red-brown, shreddy. Fragrance of Juniper. Long-lived (> 150 yr). Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring. Separate male & female plants (usually). Female cones are berry-like, starting green-red and ripening to bright blue with a white bloom. Showy – many per plant. ‘Berries’ are among the best flavored of all junipers. Used as seasoning, flavoring. Uses in the garden: Most often used as a woody groundcover plant. Does well on slopes. Nice addition to rock garden or Asian-themed garden. Very adaptable in garden setting. Hardy – tolerant of air pollution. Nice color; interesting texture. Plants used medicinally and ceremonially. Note: all junipers are flammable. Sensible substitute for: Non-native Junipers. Attracts: Birds make frequent use of juniper berries and help disseminate the indigestible seeds’; he shrubs provide cover for small mammals and birds. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to light shade. Soil Just about any local soil texture, pH. Water Very adaptable; takes moist to fairly dry conditions. NO STANDING WATER. Fertilizer ½ strength OK. Other Thin layer organic mulch fine – or let self-mulch. Management: Relatively low maintenance. Best pruned in winter. Susceptible to juniper blight. Propagation: from seed: warm, then cold-moist pre-treatment by cuttings: yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 13, 14, Monrovia Nursery 12/3/13 © Project SOUND
  4. 4. Nuttall’s scrub oak – Quercus dumosa (KWER-kus doo-MO-suh) Family: Fagaceae (Oak Family) Native to: Sierra Nevada and S. CA and Baja Coastal Ranges, including Catalina Island and Santa Monica Mountains; dry slopes in chaparral, coastal-sage scrub at elevations below 5000 ft. Growth characteristics: evergreen shrub/tree mature height: 6-15 ft. mature width: 6-15 ft. Woody, evergreen large shrub or small tree. Shape upright, becoming mounded at maturity. Leaves small, leathery, shiny above and hairy beneath. Leaf margins holly-like. Slow-growing (1-2 ft/yr) but lives 50-150 years. Blooms/fruits: Blooms Feb-April. Wind-pollinated so flowers are not showy. Separate male and female flowers on each plant. Fruit is an edible acorn. Acorn production varies between trees and is abundant in some years. Uses in the garden: Often used in garden margins, especially in wildland interfaces. Grows well on slopes. Suitable size for large background shrub, hedge/hedgerow or small tree. Excellent habitat plant – supports wide range of insects, birds, animals. Good choice if you want a small, attractive native oak. Sensible substitute for: Non-native evergreen large shrubs. Attracts: Excellent habitat plant for insects, butterflies, birds and animals: provides cover and food. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade. Soil Most well-drained soils; pH 6.0-8.0. Water Drought-tolerant to occasional summer water; Water Zones 1-2 to 2 (sandy soils) Fertilizer None needed Other Let plants self-mulch. Management: Easy to grow. Thrives on neglect and very occasional summer water, particularly to establish. Propagation: from seed: easy from fresh seed by cuttings: not usually done Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 3, 7, 11, 14, 20, 24, 52 11/29/18 © Project SOUND
  5. 5. CA Buckwheat – Eriogonum fasciculatum vars. fasciculatum & foliolosum (air-ee-OG-oh-num fas-sick-yoo-LAY-tum) Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family) Native to: Central coast of CA south to Baja; var. fasciculatum grows in coastal areas in coastal scrub, coastal sage scrub and on bluffs. Var. foliolosum on rocky/sandy flats and slopes in mixed grassland, chaparral communities, oak and conifer woodlands. Growth characteristics: clumping sub-shrub mature height: 2-5 ft. mature width: 4-5 ft. Evergreen, many-branched sub-shrub. May be upright or more reclining. Leaves are linear, dark green on top and white beneath, in bundles (fascicles – hence the name). Blooms/fruits: Blooms off and on throughout the year, but mostly from May to Nov. Flowers are small, pink-white, in dense clusters. Very showy in bloom! Seed heads are rust-brown, also quite showy. Plant looks nice most of the year. Uses in the garden: Plant is often used in habitat gardens. Is nice paired with other local native shrubs and perennials. Does well as a groundcover on hills and slopes. Cultivars 'Bruce Dickinson', ‘'Theodore Payne' and 'Warriner Lytle' are all low-lying forms (around 1 ft tall). Cultivar ‘Dana Point’ has brighter green leaf and mounded habit – grows to 5+ ft. wide. Sensible substitute for: Non-native summer-flowering shrubs. Attracts: Excellent butterfly habitat plant: larval food source for Morman Metalmark, Bramble Hairstreak, Common Hairstreak, Avalon Hairstreak. Birds love the seeds. Cover for birds, lizards. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun best; some shade OK, but will become leggy. Soil Any (sand to clay) but well-drained is best. Water Drought-tolerant but looks better with occasional summer water (Zone 1-2 to 2) Fertilizer None needed. Other Management: Fairly easy. Cut back to about 6-15” in late fall to keep it looking nice. Propagation: from seed: yes; may need cold treatment by cuttings: yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 12-14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 46, 50 7/3/14 © Project SOUND
  6. 6. *California copperleaf – Acalypha californica (ak-uh-LY-fuh kal-ih-FOR-nik-uh ) Family: Euphorbiaceae (Euphorbia/Spurge Family) Native to: San Diego Co, Sonoran Desert to Baja CA, Mexico; dry, granite slopes, along washes from 700-4000 ft. elevation in Chaparral, Southern Oak Woodland. Growth characteristics: woody shrub/sub-shrub mature height: 3-4 ft. mature width: 3-4 ft. Evergreen, woody shrub unlike any other native. Neat, mounded form with slender branches. Leaves simple, alternate, oval to heart-shaped and green. Twigs are red – gray bark with age. Blooms/fruits: Blooms off and on with rains/irrigation with main periods in spring (Mar-Apr) and fall (Sep-Nov). Flowers quite unusual and decorative. Separate male and female flowers. Male flowers clustered about a spike which often appears pink. Female (pistillate) flowers have long, thinly divided red stigmas. Very interesting a pretty when in bloom – looks like a tropical plant. Uses in the garden: Most often used as an evergreen shrub or accent shrub. Can be used as hedge plant. Does fine in planters and pots. Good choice for mixed beds or as a foundation plant. Sensible substitute for: Non-native small evergreen shrubs like Raphiolepis Attracts: Good bird habitat: provides cover and seeds for food. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade (afternoon shade in hot gardens). Soil Adaptable. Clays are fine. pH: 6.0-8.0. Water Wide range – occasional to weekly water (Water Zones 1-2 to 2-3). Fertilizer None needed; ½ strength once a year for container plants. Other Organic mulch is fine. Management: Fairly easy to manage. Has a nice natural shape. Wear gloves when pruning – may cause mild skin rash in some. Propagation: from seed: fresh seed - ?? pre-treatment by cuttings: hardwood – cut summer/fall Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 8, 11, 13, 14 11/3/08 * California native, but not native to Western Los Angeles County © Project SOUND
  7. 7. Hoaryleaf ceanothus – Ceanothus crassifolius (see-an-OH-thus krass-ih-FOH-lee-us) Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family) Native to: Coastal mountains of S. California & Baja; coastal and montane chaparral. Growth characteristics: evergreen shrub/small tree mature height:3-12 ft. mature width: 6-8 ft. Erect evergreen shrub with open, vase-like shape. Leaves small, toothed, medium green above, gray green and hairy beneath. Looks somewhat like a scrub oak in overall appearance. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring – usually Jan-April and earlier than other S. CA Ceanothus. Flowers small, pure white in clusters on short stalks. In a good year, plants are covered in flowers, attracting numerous bee and butterfly pollinators. Uses in the garden: Often used for erosion control on slopes. Good plant for garden/wildland transition areas. Makes a nice background shrub or small tree. Can be included in hedgerows with other local native shrubs. Good in habitat gardens, moonlight gardens (white flowers, light bark). Sensible substitute for: Non-native evergreen shrubs. Attracts: Excellent bird & pollinator habitat: provides cover, nectar, pollen and fruits/seeds for food. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to light shade. Soil Most local, including clays; pH 6.0-8.0. Water Drought-tolerant to occasional (monthly); Water Zone 1-2 or 2. Fertilizer None needed. Other Moderate organic mulch; let self-mulch. Management: Prune up as tree after flowering (late spring) if desired. Little pruning required. This is one of the better suited ceanothus for our area – takes hot, dryish conditions. Propagation: from seed: fresh seed; 1 hr. dry heat treat by cuttings: like other ceanothus Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 11, 13, 14, 28 11/29/18 * California native, but not native to Western Los Angeles County © Project SOUND
  8. 8. Chamise – Adenostoma fasciculatum var. fasciculatum (ad-en-OS-to-ma fa-sik-yoo-LAY-tum) Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Native to: CA to NV and Baja. In CA, in foothills of most mountain ranges from N. to S. CA; on dry slopes, mesas and ridges, in chaparral at elevations below 5000 ft. Growth characteristics: woody perennial shrub mature height:6-10 ft. mature width: 4-6 ft. Woody evergreen shrub with erect stems from a woody burl. Clusters of small, needle-like leaves are resinous, aromatic. Bark red-brown in youth, becoming gray and shreddy. Often grows in stands in the wild. Few stems are older than 50 years (fire-prone) but clones may be 100’s of years old. Re-sprouts from burl after fire or severe pruning. Blooms/fruits: Blooms late spring, usually May-July. Tiny white tubular flowers in dense clusters - very conspicuous and showy. Individual flowers rose-like. Fruit a dry capsule. Insect pollinated. Uses in the garden: Most often used for erosion control on slopes or in hedges or hedgerows. Heat tolerant. Excellent habitat plant (see below) and deserves consideration on that merit alone. Excellent choice for the scent garden or garden with Chaparral plant palette. Use as a dark-colored background to lower-growing shrubs like Salvias, Artemisia californica, native grasses. Little will grow beneath it. Cultivar ‘Black Diamond’ is a slow-growing dwarf form & ‘Nicolas’ forms a 2-3 ft tall groundcover. Teas and salves from leaves and bark were used to treat skins sores/infections. Sensible substitute for: Non-native evergreen shrubs. Attracts: Excellent habitat plant for birds, small mammals and reptiles. Low growth provides cover and nesting sites. Deer & rabbits browse young shoots. Nectar attracts pollinators. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun Soil Prefers a well-drained soil; most local clays are fine. pH: 5.0-8.0. Water Needs little water (Zone1-2) but treating as Zone 2 (occasional water) decreases flammability dramatically. Fertilizer None – likes a nutrient-poor soil; organic mulches fine. Other Management: Prune back to just above the burl when foliage becomes over-mature (after 10+ years). Otherwise, quite pest-free and easy to grow. Propagation: from seed: treat with heat & smoke by cuttings: soft & semi-soft wood, layering Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 3, 7, 10, 12-14, 16, 19-21 1/29/10 © Project SOUND
  9. 9. *Red barberry – Mahonia/Berberis haematocarpa (muh-HOE-nee-uh hem-at-oh-KAR-puh) Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry Family) Native to: Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, including mountains of the Mojave Desert. Grows on rocky slopes and canyons of mountains, in Pinyon-juniper woodlands, grasslands, and desert chaparral from ~3000-7500 ft. elevation. Growth characteristics: evergreen shrub mature height: 6-12+ ft. mature width: 6-12 ft. Large, evergreen shrub with stiff, erect branches. Leaves compound, leathery, with a waxy coating. Leaves medium to gray-green. Narrow, holly-like leaflets are sharply spined. Very unusual and decorative accent. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring (Feb to June, depending on weather). Small, bright-yellow flowers in showy clusters. Flowers and sweetly fragrant and attract a range of pollinators. Like other Berberis/Mahonia species, this shrub is very attractive in bloom. Edible fruits are red-purple, juicy and sour. The fruits are most often used to make jelly, syrup and sauces. Uses in the garden: Most often used as a hedge or hedgerow plant in water-wise and desert gardens. Excellent all-round habitat plant. Attractive all year long (flowers; fruits). Can be pruned up as a small tree. Good background plant – don’t plant too close to walkways. Accent plant. Sensible substitute for: Non-native evergreen shrubs. Attracts: Excellent bird and pollinator habitat: provides cover, nectar and fruits. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade Soil Well-drained soils (sandy or rocky best); local pH fine (6.0-8.0) Water Occasional summer water is best (Water Zone 1-2 to 2) Fertilizer Not needed. Other Gravel or thin organic mulch. Management: Prune out ¼ to 1/3 of oldest branches each fall. Dress appropriately – leaves are sharp! Plant my be pruned up as a tree or tip-pruned for fullness or a neater hedge. Propagation: from seed: clean seeds; 2-3 month cold/wet treat by cuttings: divisions in spring; leaf cuttings fall Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 47, 61, 81 11/29/18 * California native, but not native to Western Los Angeles County © Project SOUND

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