Gardening sheets may 2013 talk


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Gardening sheets may 2013 talk

  1. 1. * White Alder – Alnus rhombifolia (AL-nus rom-bee-FOH-lee-uh)Family: Betulaceae (Birch Family)Native to: Western United States from Baja to British Columbia. In California, much of the stateexcept the Mojave Desert, including the Santa Monica & San Gabriel Mtns; along stream banks,canyon bottomlands and gulches to about 7000 ft., often in small stands along permanent streams.Growth characteristics: woody tree mature height: 40-70+ ft. mature width: 30-40 ft.Lovely winter-deciduous tree with striking white-gray bark. Fast growing – to 30 ft. in less than adecade. Leaves alternate, rounded with serrated edges, prominent veins – shiny above. Leaveson long petioles (stalks) so they quiver in the wind. May have one or several trunks. Sweetfragrance. Roots are invasive (water-seeking) and may damage sidewalks/concrete.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in winter/early spring in our area. Separate male and female flowers oneach tree. Male flowers on drooping branches (catkins); female flowers develop into small, woodycones < 1 inch long. Wind pollinated. Seeds are small – spread by wind and water.Uses in the garden: Usually planted as a lawn tree in large lawns or as a street tree. Provides goodshade – few other plants can grow beneath it when mature. Excellent choice for stream banks andmoist, shady canyons.Sensible substitute for: Non-native deciduous trees.Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover, nest sites and seeds for food.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Full sun to part-shade.Soil Any local.Water Needs regular summer water – Water Zone 2-3 or 3.Fertilizer Not needed – probably not harmful.Other Use an organic mulch (or let leaf mulch accumulate).Management: Watch for Alder Borers, which can kill trees. Relatively short-lived (to 80 years).Can prune up to a more open shape.Propagation: from seed: fresh seed in fall; 180 day cold-treat stored seed by cuttings: yesPlant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 3, 6, 8, 13, 14 4/30/13© Project SOUND
  2. 2. *Tanbark Oak – Notholithocarpus densiflorus (no-tho-lith-oh-KAR-pus den-si-FLOR-us )Family: Fagaceae (Beech/Oak Family)Native to: Primarily grows in Coastal Ranges of CA and OR from Ventura and Santa BarbaraCounties northward; on wooded slopes in humid Redwood, Mixed Evergreen, Yellow Pine Forest andRed Fir Forests up to about 4500 ft. elevation. Formerly called Lithocarpus densiflorus.Growth characteristics: woody tree mature height: 50-75 ft. mature width: 25-40 ft.Elegant evergreen woody tree; broad in open areas or more shrubby in shade. Leaves are toothedwith a hard, leathery texture. Young leaves covered in orange hairs which persist only on underside.Bark is thick, gray and fissured – tannins extracted from bark were used to tan leather. Forms aburl at base. Relatively slow-growing (to 8 ft in 5 yr.). Plants are very susceptible to sudden oakdeath (Phytophthora ramorum) disease.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring/summer. Male catkins are long and drooping (like oak) whilefemale flowers (which produce fruit) are nearly inconspicuous. Trees can be covered in malecatkins in a good year – quite dramatic! The seeds, which resemble acorns with a very hard shell,take 2 years to develop and ripen in fall. Seeds contain high levels of tannins – but are edible ifprocessed to remove them. The seeds were an important food crop for Native Californians.Uses in the garden: Most suited for woodland garden with redwoods and pines. Lovely trees –would do well in a watered lawn in our area.Sensible substitute for: Non-native hardwood trees.Attracts: Excellent habitat plant: provides cover, nest sites and seeds for food.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Part-shade; good to east of taller treesSoil Well-drained, deep soils best; pH: 5:00-7:00 best.Water Needs summer irrigation – Water Zone 2-3 (water every 1-2 weeks).Fertilizer Would be fine.Other Use an organic mulch (like redwood bark) or plant grasses beneath.Management: Prune out dead branches as needed.Propagation: from seed: fresh seed; stratify 2 month; plant pointed end up by cuttings: ??Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13, 14, 16 4/30/13© Project SOUND
  3. 3. * Canyon Gooseberry – Ribes menziesii (RYE-bees men-ZEE-see-eye )Family: Grossulaceae (Gooseberry Family)Native to: Central & North Coast of CA to OR as well as western Sierra foothills; several differentvarieties grow from moist or marshy areas to drier hillsides, coastal canyons and foothills inRedwood Forest, Mixed Evergreen Forest, Chaparral between 0 and 3500 feet.Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 4-8+ ft. mature width: 5-7 ft.Open, many-branched shrub with arching branches. Branches very prickly (typical of gooseberries).Leaves medium green, rounded, aromatic and velvety with glandular hairs. Very attractive growthhabit; slightly more open/graceful than our local Fuschia-flowered Gooseberry (Ribes speciosum).Will drop leaves in hot summer/fall conditions.Blooms/fruits: Blooms late winter/early spring (Feb. to April depending on weather). Flowers alsosimilar to Ribes speciosum: sepals are fuchsia or purple, petals are white and extend forward to forma loose tube from which the stamens emerge. Flowers dangle from branches and resemble tinyfuschia flowers; truly spectacular in bloom. Spiny dark fruits ripen in summer; edible.Uses in the garden: Mostly used as an ornamental shrub because of its flowers. Also popular in birdand butterfly habitat gardens – attract hummingbirds and fruit-eaters. Spines make this a goodchoice for a barrier or hedge. Fine under oaks. Beautiful and unique plant – just plant it back farenough that you don’t brush against it. Native Californians cooked and dried berries for food.Sensible substitute for: Non-native gooseberries.Attracts: Excellent bird & butterfly habitat: provides cover, nectar and fruits for food. Alsoprovides cover for small creatures like lizards.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Part-shade (morning sun fine) or dappled sun.Soil Well-drained soils best; any local pH.Water Best with occasional summer water – Water Zone 1-2 or 2. Don’t water on hot daysor get water on leaves/trunk.Fertilizer Not needed; low doses likely fine.Other Likes an organic mulch.Management: Prune out old, dead branches when dormant in fall. Be careful not to over-water insummer; consider locating this plant near an area that gets fairly regular water.Propagation: from seed: dried seed needs 2-3 month cold treatment by cuttings: yesPlant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 6, 8, 13 4/29/13© Project SOUND
  4. 4. * Fendler’s Meadowrue – Thalictrum fendleri var. polycarpum(Thal-IK-trum FEND-ler-eye poly-CAR-pum )Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)Native to: Western N. America from Baja, NV/UT to OR. In forested areas including the SantaMonica/San Gabriel Mtns; moist, open/shaded places in forests, along streams usually < 5000 ft.Growth characteristics: herbaceous perennial mature height: 2-4 ft. mature width: 2-3 ft.Drought-deciduous herbaceous perennial that dies back to the root in dry summer conditions.Foliage primarily in basal rosette. Leaves bright green, much divided with rounded leaflets. Plantlooks fern- or columbine-like. Pretty and unusual. Plants do have a strange odor – smell beforeyou purchase. Note: stems and roots may be poisonous if eaten.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in mid- to late spring – usually Aril-June in local gardens. Plants aredioecious (separate male & female plants); male flowers are the showy ones, so most plants sold bynurseries are male. Male flowers in clusters on drooping stalks – very unusual and showy (in a quietway). Flower color: green or white with pink-purple (see photo).Uses in the garden: Most often used as a perennial for shady areas of the garden. Lovely additionto the woodland garden, with native ferns, grasses, Heuchera. Fine under oaks and other largetrees. Should do fine in a large container or in a shady flower bed. Plant where you can enjoy theunusual flowers (near seating; along a shady walkway). More showy when massed. NativeCalifornians used an infusion externally for pain.Sensible substitute for: Non-native perennials.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Part-shade to quite shady in our area.Soil Any texture – sandy to clay; any local pH.Water Needs moist soil until after flowering; then does fine at Water Zone 2 or 1-2 (veryoccasional summer water)Fertilizer Loves a leaf litter mulch; would accept low doses of fertilizer.Other Leaf or other organic mulch.Management: Prune out dead foliage in late summer after seeds have spread.Propagation: from seed: fresh seed – no pre-treatment by divisions: in springPlant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 3, 5, 8, 10-14, 19, 20, 25 4/29/13© Project SOUND
  5. 5. Catalina Nightshade – Solanum wallacei (so-LAN-um wah-LASS-ee-eye)Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)Native to: Channel Islands of S. CA and Baja; uncommon on slopes and canyons in chaparral <1500 ft. elevation.Growth characteristics: perennial sub-shrub mature height: 2-4 ft. mature width: 3-8 ft.Sprawling/spreading perennial, similar to Solanum xanti, but larger. Leaves rounded, to 4 or moreinches long with soft hairs. Leaves sticky due glandular secretions. Note: All parts of plant aretoxic if eaten.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring – usually between March and May. Flowers are typical in shapefor the Nightshades, but very large and showy. The blue-purple flowers with yellow centers bloom inclusters at the tip of the stems. Fruits begin green, ripening to dark purple. Birds eat the berries.Uses in the garden: Most often used in dry perennial beds or gardens with a ‘Catalina Island’ theme.Easy to grow and water-wise. Good choice for slopes, canyon bottoms. Best with some shade, soconsider for use under oaks, other water-wise shade trees. Pair with yellow-flowered sunflowers orDiplacus species. Rare in the wild.Sensible substitute for: Non-native Nightshades.Attracts: Good bird habitat: provides cover and fruits for food.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Full sun only on immediate coast; Part-shade or dappled sun elsewhere.Soil Well-drained soils; any local pH.Water Drought tolerant once established ; Water Zone 1-2 or even 2Fertilizer None neededOtherManagement: Pinch during growing season to promote bushy growth. Easy.Propagation: from seed: ?? fresh seed in spring by cuttings: ??Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13, 14 4/30/13© Project SOUND
  6. 6. * Desert Olive – Forestiera pubescens var. pubescens (for-es-tee-AIR-uh pew-BES-ens)Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family)Native to: Southwestern N. America from TX & CO west to CA and south to Mexico. In CA, infoothills of Sierras, Desert Mountains, Tehachapi; dry slopes and washes in creosote bush scrub,chaparral, coastal sage scrub and foothill woodland.Growth characteristics: large shrub/tree mature height: 12-18 ft. mature width: 10-15 ft.Winter-deciduous woody shrub to small tree. Stems have irregular growth habit, sometimes almostvine-like, with spiny branchlets. Young bark dark – older bark white, somewhat like aspen. Leavesbright green in spring, provide yellow fall color. Spreads and may be thicket-forming.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in early spring, often before the leaves. Plants are dioecious – separatemale & female plants – must have both for fruiting. Flowers are small, yellow. Fruits are small(~ ¼ inch) blue-black olives. Fruit is very showy.Uses in the garden: Very adaptable in the garden. Makes a great hedge or screen, alone of mixedwith other desert shrubs. Can be pruned to form a small, drought-tolerant tree. Fine for areas thatreceive little maintenance – or can be managed as a more traditional garden shrub. Nice accentplant with fall color, showy berries, white bark. Tolerates harsh winds – strong wood.Sensible substitute for: Non-native large shrubs; privets, Siberian Pea-shrub, European olive.Attracts: Excellent habitat plant. Provides early nectar for pollinators and larval food forHairstreak butterflies and Sphinx Moths. Birds eat the fruits. Provides dense cover.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Full sun to part shade; adaptable.Soil Any local soil; not particularWater Water well first year; then does best at Zone 1-2 or 2 (occasional summer water).Fertilizer noneOtherManagement: Easy to grow. Best if regularly pruned or hedged to keep a more formal shape. Willspread with regular water – plant only male trees near riparian areas.Propagation: from seed: clean seeds; plant spring. May cold treat 1 mo. by cuttings/layering: yesPlant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13, 20 2/2/11© Project SOUND
  7. 7. * Bigelow Beargrass – Nolina bigelovii (no-LIE-nuh big-el-OH-vee-eye )Family: Ruscaceae (Ruscus Family) – formerly in Lilliaceae (Lily family)Native to: Southeastern S. CA deserts to AZ, NV and Baja ; desert mountains, Mojave and SonoranDesert, slopes and canyons especially along the Colorado River in Creosote Bush Scrub from ~1000-5000 ft elevation.Growth characteristics: clumping perennial mature height: 6-10 ft. mature width: 3-5 ft.Herbaceous to half-woody perennial that resembles a yucca or very large bunch grass. Leaves arelong (to several feet) and strap-like, in a basal rosette of up to 150 leaves around the thick stem.Leaves do not have barbs or sharp tips – an advantage over the Yuccas & Agaves. A large, dramaticplant that remains grass-like for many years before flowering.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in late spring/early summer – usually May or June. Mature plants producea stout flowering stalk rising 3-5 ft above the leaves. Clusters of pure- to creamy-white flowers aresweetly scented. Clusters superficially look like Yucca – but more open and with smaller flowers.Uses in the garden: Usually used in desert-themed gardens – appropriate for both Mojave andSonoran Desert collections. Extremely showy and dramatic – would look nice with modernarchitecture. Very drought tolerant, so could be used in any water-wise garden. Could probablyfeature it in a large container – slow-growing. Native Californians baked and ate young floweringstalks; leaves can be used for basketry (green or bleached).Sensible substitute for: Non-native Agaves, large grasses (like Pampas Grass).Attracts: Excellent pollinator habitat plant: provides nectar & pollen.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Full sun.Soil Any well-drained – sandy is excellent; pH 6.0-8.0.Water Drought tolerant once established (Water Zone 1-2). Give one watering in August,then none until the fall/winter rains.Fertilizer None.Other Inorganic mulch, if any.Management: Best if ignored and left to grow as it wishes. Remove spent flowering stalks.Propagation: from seed: store cool; no pre-treatment for fresh in winter by offsets: in winterPlant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13 4/30/13© Project SOUND
  8. 8. * Banana Yucca – Yucca baccata (YUK-uh bah-KAY(or CAH)-tuh)Family: Agavaceae (Agave Family)Native to: Widespread in Southwestern U.S. from California’s eastern desert mountains to CO, TXand Mexico. Occurs in Mojave, Sonoran and Great Basin Deserts; uncommon on on dry slopes andin dry Joshua tree woodlands up to ~ 7000 ft (lower in CA).Growth characteristics: clumping perennial mature height: 3-6+ ft. mature width: 3-10+ ft.Part-woody sub-shrub that looks like a typical Yucca. Long (1-2 ½ ft), strap-like leaves in a basalrosette. Leaves have sharp spines on their tips and curling fibers along their sides. Plant is ratherstiff in appearance. Size and other characteristics depend greatly on available water. Producesoffshoots (pups) on spreading rhizomes – slowly spreading.Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring – as early as April and as late as June. Flowers are on a stoutstalk that rises slightly above the leaves. Large (1-3 inches), white-purple Yucca flowers clusteralong the flowering stalk for several weeks. Very dramatic! Pollinated by the nocturnal pronubamoth. Fruit is fleshy, resembling a small banana (hence the common name) and edible (usuallyroasted or baked). Important food plant for people and small creatures, birds.Uses in the garden: Most often used in rock gardens or desert-themed gardens. Nice accent plantin Mediterranean or Central American style gardens. Would also complement modern architecture.Can be grown in large containers. Make good barrier plants, rustic hedges. Sometimes grown asa food plant, source of fibers for basketry or source of soap (saponins from roots).Sensible substitute for: Non-native Agaves.Attracts: Excellent habitat plant: provides cover for lizards, habitat for a wide range of insects andfruits/seeds which are eaten by many animals and birds.Requirements:Element RequirementSun Full sun to light shade.Soil Well-drained (rocky/sandy are best); any local pH.Water Very drought tolerant but looks better with monthly summer water – Zone 1-2.Fertilizer None needed.Other Little to no mulch; inorganic mulch fine.Management: Carefully (wear protection) remove spent flower stalks. Easy. Don’t overwater.Propagation: from seed: best with 2 month cold treatment by offsets: ?winterPlant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 2, 6, 8, 16, 24, 44 4/29/13© Project SOUND