Tag Archives: native

Rhus trilobata: A Winner by Any Name

All summer, the shrub sat in the back corner of our yard, quietly filling the space between the fence and a dry creek bed. The olive-green leaves were a bit drab, but provided a nice, neutral backdrop for an adjacent … Continue reading

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(Not Just) Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) used to be purple. You can still buy the purple-flowered version of this perennial (actually more of a pink, at least to my eye), but purple is only the beginning. Consider passionate hues such as raspberry … Continue reading

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Impressive Pineleaf Penstemon

  Looking for a small perennial with a big impact? Consider Pineleaf Penstemon (Penstemon pinifolius). True to its common name, this low-growing plant has long, narrow leaves similar to pine needles. They hang on well into winter, and may be evergreen … Continue reading

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Natural Landscaping

Two years ago, our new home was a blank slate. Nothing grew on our lot, not even weeds. We’re located on a hillside, and the summer rains were eroding the subsoil left by the builder. It could have been discouraging, … Continue reading

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Going Native

We hear that it’s better to choose native plants over exotics for a variety of reasons. They’re perfectly adapted to the soils and climate. They host native insects that provide food for birds and other wildlife. They fit into the … Continue reading

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Creeping Mahonia

When you have a smaller yard, you want every plant to earn its keep. With fragrant yellow flowers, blue berries, and green leaves that turn purple in winter, Creeping Mahonia (aka Oregon Grape, Mahonia repens) definitely deserves a spot! These … Continue reading

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Applauding Leadplant

Sometimes I think of leadplant (Amorpha canescens) as the ugly duckling of xeric shrubs. It’s just not appreciated. Consider this quote from the Missouri Botanic Gardens (MBG) webpage: A somewhat ordinary looking, small shrub with an attractive bloom but otherwise … Continue reading

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