Perfect Perennials - Notes


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Perfect Perennials - Notes

  1. 1. 1/6/2013Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Perfect Perennials California Native Perennials for a Colorful Garden C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants April 7 & 11, 2012 Project SOUND – 2012 (our 8th year) © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDSo darned many perennials – where to begin? Our challenge today: the maturing garden We’ll be considering CA native herbaceous perennials in the next few classes © Project SOUND Time to assess what’s missing © Project SOUND 1
  2. 2. 1/6/2013What is a perennial? Herbaceous  A perennial plant or simply perennial (Latin per, "through", perennials annus, "year") is a plant that lives for more than two years.  Live more than 1 year The term is often used to differentiate a plant from  Have soft/succulent above- shorter lived annuals and ground foliage biennials.  Usually are medium to small  Technically, perennials include: size - < 3-4 ft  Woody plants  Have a dormant period –  Sub-shrubs often die back to the  Herbaceous perennials ground during that period  Bulbs  Ferns  Perennial grasses Wild Ginger - Asarum caudatum © Project SOUND © Project SOUND What is the difference between Herbaceous perennials usually have a herbaceous perennials & sub-shrubs? dormant period  Perennial sub-shrubs:  Drought-induced  Local S. CA herbaceous  Part-woody; woody part extends at perennials like Diplacus least partway up the stem  Plant goes dormant and  Usually don’t die back all the way – dies back in summer re-sprout from wood  Cold-induced  Often the ‘juicy parts’ are eaten  Usually plants from back in the wilds – but not in our colder climates than ours gardens; that’s why we have to cut – N. CA; S. CA mountains them back ourselves in the fall What happens when we grow  Plant goes dormant in  Some S. CA native plants are these plants in our local gardens late fall/winter difficult to categorize – continuum – and don’t have drought- or between herbaceous & woody cold-induced dormancy? © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 2
  3. 3. 1/6/2013Native herbaceous perennials in S. CA Herbaceous perennials: might enhance gardens may be a bit different, but… our maturing garden So, you go to your favorite source of inspiration … © Project SOUND © Project SOUND …and feel like you fell These clearly are not down the rabbit hole ‘New California Gardens’… pathways.html …but they are sort of pretty and interesting © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 3
  4. 4. 1/6/2013 How do we apply the inspiration from Where do herbaceous perennials fit into‘non-California’ perennial gardens to our the ‘New California Garden’ design? own gardens?  The ‘perennial bed’ has been out of fashion for a while – but that’s changing (as the new books suggest)  The classical perennial bed is much more suited to colder climates than ours native-gardens.htm  It’s difficult to build an entire bed/garden around just CA native perennials – they just aren’t ‘backbone plants’ © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Native herbaceous perennials can be And that’s where the new books on perennial used in several ways in our gardens gardens can be a source of inspiration  Use them as filler plants  In a new garden – until the larger woody plants grow  In mature gardens – to fill gaps or ‘difficult’ places  Use them as ‘fitted plants’ that provide specific additions to the mature garden – the plants are carefully chosen for their attributes © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 4
  5. 5. 1/6/2013What can herbaceous perennials bring to Lessons from the new perennial garden the garden? books (for the New CA Garden)  Flower color 1. Learn to ‘read the pictures’ – what is it I like about the  Specific foliage attributes – colors, feel of this garden? shapes, textures  Sun and (especially) shade tolerance 2. Try to ‘capture the spirit’ -  Habitat value: particularly food not duplicate the plants (nectar, pollen, seeds, even foliage) 3. Take the time to choose the  Attractants for beneficial insects right native plant for the job  Food & medicinal plants 4. Choose ‘value added’ native  Other: dyes, fiber, scents plants that still capture the spirit of the image you love © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDOur mission: find the perfect perennials for this shady garden ch_term=tellima Delicate bloom spikes – succulent leaves © Project SOUND that-flowers-for-eight-months-a-boo.html © Project SOUND 5
  6. 6. 1/6/2013 Heucheras are only one possibility Saxifragaceae - The Saxifrage Family  ~ 1250 species in 80 genera  Found worldwide, many from northern temperate regions.  Mainly perennial herbs and shrubs, some evergreen, with only a few annuals or small trees.  Includes many common garden plants;  Hydrangea  Astilbe  Bergenia  Heuchera  Escallonia © Project SOUND © Project SOUND * Fringe Cups – Tellima grandiflora * Fringe Cups – Tellima grandiflora  Central to N. CA north to AK, MT, including coastal areas  Cool, moist woods & rocky places below 5000 ft.  Redwood Forest, Mixed Evergreen Forest, Yellow Pine Forest© 2007 Matt Below © Project SOUND © Project SOUND © 2003 Craig Smith 6
  7. 7. 1/6/2013 Fringe-cups: a woodland plant Flowers are enchanting  Size:  1-2 ft tall – flowers to 3 ft  Blooms: spring - usually April- May in S. Ca  spreading 2-4 ft wide  Flowers:  Growth form:  Like Heuchera – but fancier;  Herbaceous perennial fringed petals  Mounded – like Heuchera  Start pale, age dark pink  Foliage:  Long bloom season – flowers open in succession  basal clump of toothed, shallowly-lobed, rounded,  Sweet fragrance hairy, long-stalked, dark green  Hummingbirds adore them leaves  Leaves, twigs, and seeds  Seeds: tiny – like fine pepper inside fleshy berries are all  Vegetative reproduction: poisonous if eaten, and spreads by thick underground potentially fatal to small © 2007 Matt Below rhizomes© 2004, Ben Legler: child, animal © Project SOUND © 2007 Neal Kramer © Project SOUND  Soils: Fringe-cups: perennial delight Plant Requirements  Texture: most  pH: any local, though likes  Groundcover for shady moist slightly acidic, well-drained spots – under pine or redwood trees  Light:  North-facing exposures  Light shade to quite shady  Mixed beds  Typical woodland plant  Rain garden or pond edges  Water: show/2009/view+of+a+grouping+of+Alpine+plants+in+a+garden/606/  Winter: supplement in dry spells  Summer: regular water (Zone 2-3 to 3); older plants may tolerate Zone 2  Fertilizer: likes organic soils; amendments/compost fine  Other: use organic mulch © 2008 Steve Matson © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 7
  8. 8. 1/6/2013 Our mission: find the perfect perennials ‘Forest Frost’ for this shady garden  Has variegated leaves – otherwise no different from straight species Tellima_grandifloraForestFrost.html © Project SOUND © 2007 Matt Below © Project SOUND Something a little taller, bolder – with Common Cowparsnip – Heracleum maximum white flowers to brighten the area Are their any choices that would also attract butterflies? George G. Hawxhurst © California Academy of Sciences © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 8
  9. 9. 1/6/2013 Common Cowparsnip – Heracleum maximum The Apiaceae – Carrot Family  Throughout continental U.S.  Formerly called Umbelliferae except the Gulf Coast; locally in the San Bernardino Mtns  Commonly known as carrot or parsley  In a variety of habitats including family woodlands, forest openings,  Mostly aromatic plants with hollow grasslands, and riparian areas (wet meadows, stream terraces, stems. alluvial benches, floodplains, and  Large (16th largest flowering plant stream and lake margins. family) - more than 3,700 species/ 434 genera  Includes many well known plants:  Angelica  Anise, caraway, coriander/cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel  Carrot, celery, parsley, parsnip Many make excellent habitat plants for home gardens  Hemlock, lovage, Queen Annes Lace © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Charles Webber © California Academy of Sciences Common Parsnip is ‘back of the bed’ big Flowers light up shady areas  Size:  3-8+ ft tall  Blooms: spring/summer usually  2-4 ft wide May-July  Growth form:  Flowers:  Herbaceous perennial; winter  Small and white deciduous  Sweetly scented – many  All parts large, robust butterflies are attracted  Stems succulent, hollow  In dense to more open umbels – like a starburst –  Foliage: typical of the family  Medium green  Leaves very large, coarsely  Seeds: toothed & lobed – sort of  Flat, ribbed seeds typical like Acanthus leaves for the family  Roots: stout taproot and/or  Vegetative reproduction: ??© 2005 Robert Sivinski fibrous © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 9
  10. 10. 1/6/2013 Common Parsnip  Soils:  Texture: well-drained best – but Deadheading  What is deadheading? Likes water adaptable Perennials  Removing spent flowers/seed heads after  pH: any local except very alkali the plant stops flowering  Clipthe stalk back to the first set of  Light: healthy leaves below the flower stalk;  Part-shade best leave the clippings as mulch/food  Takes over with full sun & lots of water  Why deadhead?  To make the plant look more attractive  Water:  Winter: supplement in dry years  To prolong the bloom season/encourage a  Summer: likes moist soil second bloom season  For many native perennials, and a few  Fertilizer: adaptable; does well in shrubs, a decent deadheading may be all amended soils the pruning they need! Plants that have a woody base but produce lots of lush growth  Other: Always wear gloves when cutting, each season, such as Monkeyflowers and breaking stems – the juices of all parts Penstemon seem to respond especially well to contain a phototoxin that can act on this technique. contact with skin and exposure to Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database ultraviolet light © Project SOUND  Must I deadhead? no © Project SOUND Big habitat plant Our mission: find the perfect perennials  Large filler plant in shady areas for this shady garden  Woodland gardens  Shady slopes  Butterfly gardens  Pond/poolside, other moist areas  Medicinal uses © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND © 2007 Matt Below © Project SOUND 10
  11. 11. 1/6/2013 * CA Lomatium – Lomatium californicum * CA Lomatium – Lomatium californicum  Central & Northern CA from ]; Ventura and Kern Cos to S. OR  Wooded or brushy slopes to 5500, chaparral and foothill woodlands,426,428 J. E.(Jed) and Bonnie McClellan © California Academy of Sciences © Project SOUND © Project SOUND CA Lomatium: shrubby perennial Flowers are pretty  Size:  2-5 ft tall  Blooms: spring-summer; usually May-July  4-5 ft wide  Flowers:  Growth form:  Typical for the carrot family  Herbaceous perennial  Many, small yellow flowers  Shrubby-looking; clumped © 2007 Matt Below  In a rather open umbel  Dies back to short stem/root in drought  Flowers attract a wide range of insect pollinators,  Foliage: including butterflies  Usually blue-green  Seeds:  Looks like celery – and  Flat, winged seed – typical of smells like it too! Carrot family  Larval food – Anise  If growing from seed, rinse Swallowtail several times in water –  Roots: taproot stout, thickened takes several days© 1998 Dean Wm. Taylor © Project SOUND © Project SOUND © 2009 Vernon Smith 11
  12. 12. 1/6/2013 Garden uses for Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: any well-drained Lomatiums  pH: any local  Accent plant – dry shade  Light:  In a mixed planting with  Part-shade; morning sun or grasses, annuals dappled shade best  In dry parts of the vegetable/medicinal garden  Water:  Winter: adequate © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Marys College  Summer: let plants dry out after flowering  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: cut back almost to ground in fall (or whenever you can’t take the dead branches any more!) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND © 2010 Jean Pawek Lomatiums:  Spring leaves, stems and roots eaten useful plants raw or cooked as greens We’ll introduce some other great habitat  Leaves used as seasoning : perennials in the next few months  Pick it before it blooms for a more even, mellow flavor, or during or after the bloom for a stronger flavor.  Shade dry it in a warm spot with good ventilation, turning the leaves over every day or two. The flavor resembles celery.  Medicinal  Root chewed for sore throat; dried root smoked or decoction of roots taken for colds – makes at least 4 compounds with antibacterial action  Used as poultice for rheumatism Angelica hendersonii Lomatium utriculatum Native CA hunters chewed plant  Ceremonial uses to conceal their scent when hunting © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 12
  13. 13. 1/6/2013 In another part of our shady backyard… * California Hemp – Hoita macrostachya © 2009 Lynn Watson © Project SOUND © Project SOUND * California Hemp – Hoita macrostachya Characteristics of CA Hemp  Western CA (except Great  Size: Central Valley)  4-6 ft tall  4-6 ft wide  Locally Long Beach, LA River, Santa Monicas, San Gabriels  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial  Wetland-riparian between 0  Erect to sprawling and 5000 feet; in many plant  Looks like a large shrub, but communities (Yellow Pine dies back in fall Forest, Foothill Woodland, Chaparral, Valley Grassland,  Foliage: Coastal Prairie)  Medium to blue-green  Leaves compound (3-part),  ho-IT-tay – Maidu name for sparse on stems this genus  Roots: nitrogen-fixing (nodules)  AKA: Psoralea © 2012 Aaron Arthur © Project SOUND © Project SOUND© 1994 Lee Dittmann 13
  14. 14. 1/6/2013 Plant Requirements  Soils: Flowers are fantastic  Texture: just about any  Blooms: spring/summer usually  pH: any local May-July in S. CA  Light:  Flowers:  Best in light- to part-shade  On a club-like stalk that  Water: elongates  Winter: fine with flooding;  Flowers pea-like supplement if needed  Color is lovely: shades of  Summer: regular water (Water purple/pink/magenta Zone 2-3); taper off after  Beautiful contrasts – flowers blooming & foliage  Fertilizer: not picky; likes poor  Seeds: soils but OK with some fertilizer,  Bean-like amendments  In hairy, pea-like pods  Other: cut off old, dead branches in late fall © 2003 Michael Charters © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Garden uses for Fall/Winter tasks: native herbaceous  As a soil stabilizer along a perennials  In general, these plants are sunny stream, in a marsh or at the ponds edge. low maintenance: properly placed they come back year  As an accent plant for shady after year parts of garden  Plant near or around trees  Many need cutting back/removing dead© 2009 Lynn Watson © 2003 Michael Charters such as alder, sycamore, box elder, and dogwood for a material in fall/winter woodland garden retreat  Be sure you know which  Practical uses: roots perennials need to be  Fibers handled with care:  Yellow dye  Eaten (raw or cooked)  Toxicities  Pulverized for salve/poultice  Rashes/allergies for sores, skin ulcers © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 14
  15. 15. 1/6/2013 Why do the perennials Now a little something low to fill in… produce such interesting chemicals?  Plants in the genus Hoita produce furanocoumarins;  These substances can cause a serious photosensitive rash in some people  Precautions  Wear gloves, long sleeves  Be careful not to get plant juices on skin – wash off immediately if you do with soap & water  Always wash skin and clothes after pruning © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Native Honeysuckles make good * Orange Honeysuckle - Lonicera ciliosa groundcovers (as well as vines) for shade © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 15
  16. 16. 1/6/2013We could use Woodmints (Stachys spp.) Now a little something low to fill in… © Project SOUND © Project SOUND* Creeping Leather-root – Hoita orbicularis * Creeping Leather-root – Hoita orbicularis  California Floristic Province (except Great Central Valley) S. to Baja  Locally: very occasionally in San Gabriels – more common in San Bernardino Mtns  Many plant communities including Yellow Pine Forest, Foothill Woodland, Chaparral, Valley Grassland up to 4-5000‘ ft elevation  In moist places: meadows, stream sides, moist hillsides, pond edges, seeps© 1995 Lee Dittmann © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 16
  17. 17. 1/6/2013 The flowers & Creeping Leather-root: it creeps (of course)  Size: leaves give it away  < 1 ft tall  1-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Proud member of the Pea  Herbaceous perennial Family - Fabaceae  Winter-dormant  Prostrate habit  Foliage:  Leaves a trefoil – like a giant clover (2-4” across)  Edible (young); used to fevers  Roots: N-fixing (nodules); produce yellow dye © 2012 Jean Pawek © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Easy plant in the  Soils: Flowers:clover on steroids  Texture: most right place  pH: any local except > 8.0  Blooms: spring - usually May- June in western L.A. county  Light:  Part-sun to shade  Flowers:  Good under trees or N-facing  On long spikes – up to 2-3 exposures ft long; flowers open up sequentially  Water:  Each of the many flowers is  Winter: fine with extra winter up to 1” long, pea-like, and water generally a shade of light  Summer: regular water keeps it to medium purple in color. looking best: Zone 2 to 3  Very showy for a ground- cover – like the Woodmints  Fertilizer: not picky; OK with a little fertilizer, compost, organic  Seeds: in a small, hairy pea-like mulch pod  Other: cut back old (dead/dying) foliage in fall © 2011 Barry Breckling © Project SOUND © 2011 Barry Breckling © Project SOUND 17
  18. 18. 1/6/2013 Creeping Leather-root works And that’s not all… well in shade gardens  As a groundcover – alone or mixed  In rain gardens, infiltration swales  In pots and planters (incl. ‘mini-bogs’)  On slopes  Shady areas in a butterfly garden  Edges of vegetable or medicinal garden © 2011 Barry Breckling © 2012 Jean Pawek © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Round leaved boykinia – Boykinia rotundifolia Round leaved boykinia – Boykinia rotundifolia  endemic to southern California, where it grows in shady forested areas near streams in the mountains  Locally: Santa Monica Mtns (Malibu Cyn); more common in San,7093,7096 Gabriels  Boykinia:  Dr. Samuel Boykin (1786-1848), an eminent field botanist - did the majority of his collecting in Georgia.  He was one of the many collectors who sent significant numbers of plant samples to John Torrey and © 2011 Neal Kramer Asa Gray © 2008 Thomas Stoughton © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 18