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Ceanothus velutinus  snowbrush ceanothus
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Ceanothus velutinus

(snowbrush ceanothus)

Plant description coming soon!

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Ceanothus x delileanus 'Gloire de Versailles'

East meets west with this hybrid Ceanothus, combining an Eastern U.S. species with a Mexican species for lovely results. Glossy green leaves on red stems form a rounded shrub 6 ft. or so tall. Large panicles of smokey-blue flowers bloom over a long period, late spring, summer and sometimes into autumn, which are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Plant in sunny areas with decent drainage and moderate summer water. Appreciates a little afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Benefits from an annual trim to maintain a dense habit. Semi-evergreen.  
Ceanothus x delileanus 'Topaz' ceanothus
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Ceanothus x delileanus 'Topaz'


This non-native ceanothus is one of the French hybrids, similar to Ceanothus 'Gloire de Versailles'. They are the result of crosses between a Mexican species (C. coeruleus) and C. americanus from the eastern U.S.. In Europe they are espaliered for cold protection and tend to be fully deciduous. Here they can be grown as free-standing summer blooming pyramidal shrubs growing to 6 ft. tall and wide. The flower color is richer than 'Gloire de Versailles', a frosted blue or light indigo. Provide sun to light shade and moderate to infrequent irrigation. A hard pruning in late fall will encourage stronger flowering and keep a more compact form.
Ceanothus x pallidus 'Marie Simon' ceanothus
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Ceanothus x pallidus 'Marie Simon'


A valuable but underutilized, semi-deciduous shrub with long blooming big, billowy pink flower clusters late spring to mid-summer. Grows 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide with handsome red stems. This French hybrid from the early 19th century is well used in mixed flower borders or with roses and other shrubs. Responds well to a hard cutting back while dormant which will help keep this shrub more compact. Provide moderate to occasional irrigation.
Cephalanthus  occidentalis  button willow
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Cephalanthus occidentalis

(button willow)

Button willow is a large deciduous shrub, at times becoming treelike, growing 6-12 ft. (infrequently as much as 20 ft.) tall and wide. It lines waterways in foothills and warm interior valleys. Smooth, glossy bright- green leaves clothe this shrub during the growing season, turning yellow in the autumn. Creamy white flowers are arranged in spherical heads with protruding styles which give the flowers a pincushion-like appearance.  The summer blooming, fragrant flowers are extremely rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.  The globe-like fruits persists into winter and attract birds. Plant in sun to light shade with regular summer water or continuously moist or wet soils.  An excellent habitat plant offering food and cover for a wide array of insects and birds.
Cercis occidentalis  western redbud
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Cercis occidentalis

(western redbud)

Beautiful in all its seasons, the native redbud is well worth growing. Highly ornamental multi-trunked shrub or small tree 6 - 20 ft. tall and wide. Masses of brilliant rose-purple blossoms in early spring followed by conspicuous long seed pods that start out lime green and age to purple-brown. The rounded heart-shaped leaves emerge apple green and develop to bluish-green. In colder areas, the leaves take a nice fall color of yellow or red. The smooth silvery-gray branches are picturesque in the winter landscape. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage. Drought tolerant. Important nectar and pollen source for bees. Attracts hummingbirds too.
Cercocarpus betuloides  mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus betuloides

(mountain mahogany)

Mountain mahogany is an adaptable, semi-evergreen native shrub (8 to 12 ft. high and wide) or small tree with charming birch-like leaves set against silver-grey bark. Small, honey-scented flowers appear in spring followed by seeds with intriguing silky, curled, feather-like tails. The open habit contrasts nicely with evergreen shrubs or rock walls where its pleasing silhouette can be seen. Flowers are attractive to bees. Mountain mahogany is one of those rare native shrubs which can easily be pruned for narrow garden beds. Grows on dry slopes in chaparral or at the edges of woodlands. Provide full sun to light shade. It is surprisingly adaptable to diferent water regimes, from moderate irrigation to no water once established. Somewhat deer resistant.
Cercocarpus betuloides var. blancheae  Island mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus betuloides var. blancheae

(Island mountain mahogany)

This rare and beautiful variety of our native mountain mahogany offers larger, birch-like leaves with fuzzy and whitish undersides. The highly useful from generally reaches 8 – 15 ft. tall, but only spreads to about 6 ft. wide, making it ideal for narrow locations where a screening, evergreen, fast-growing bush is needed. Small, disk-like, creamy flowers appear in the spring, followed in summer by seed pods with hairy, grey tails which curl upwards, giving the plant a silver halo. Over time, the trunks are covered in a smooth, grey bark. The Island mountain mahogany typically grows much more rapidly than our local variety and is tolerant of moist or dry soils once established and part shade to full sun. Heat isn’t an issue. A great candidate for a container, where it is very amenable to pruning.
Cercocarpus ledifolius  curl-leaf mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus ledifolius

(curl-leaf mountain mahogany)

Large shrub or small, multitrunked, evergreen tree, 6 - 30 ft. tall, native to arid mountains of the western US. Often takes on a gnarled, picturesque form depending on the conditions it is growing in. Adapted to dry, rocky slopes where it weathers drought, extreme heat and cold, wind and snow. Slow growing, densely branching, with dark green, leathery leaves with curled under edges and silvery undersides. Trunks develop beautiful, red-brown bark with silvery new growth. The flowers are similar to our local mt. mahogany species, small, greenish- yellow, smelling of honey, and attractive to pollinators. The fruits are long, silvery, plumes that glow when back lit. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage where it will blend well with other dryland shrubs and perennials and requires little input. Fixes nitrogen. Interesting container or bonsai subject. 
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana  Lawson's cypress
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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

(Lawson's cypress)

Plant description coming soon.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Nidiformis' dwarf Port Orford cedar
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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Nidiformis'

(dwarf Port Orford cedar)

A very unusual and hard to find form of the native Port Orford cedar. Nidiformis is Latin for “having the form of a nest”, an apt descriptor for this dwarf with dense growth and graceful, cascading branches. The delicate, finely dissected foliage is grey-green with hints of blue, providing an excellent contrast to large-leaved, dark-colored perennials. Very slow growing, usually forming a low mound a few ft. high and several ft. wide. Needs good drainage and moderate to infrequent irrigation. Enjoys full sun near the coast, but wants some afternoon shade in hot climates. Good in a container.
Chilopsis  linearis  desert willow
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Chilopsis linearis

(desert willow)

A graceful, summer-blooming, deciduous shrub, native to desert washes where it grows in gravelly soils and intense heat. Forms a large, multi-branched shrub or small tree reaching up to about 15 ft. tall with narrow, willow-like leaves. Terminal clusters of showy, trumpet-shaped flowers in summer come in shades of white, to pink and purple that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Long, bean-like pods follow and hold on into winter. Enjoys hot climates with plenty of sun, decent drainage and occasional to moderate water. Avoid cool coastal conditions and heavy wet soils. Grows fast when happy with no pest or disease problems, demanding little. A great option for along sidewalks.
Chlorogalum angustifolium  narrowleaf soap root
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Chlorogalum angustifolium

(narrowleaf soap root)

You may be familiar with the common soap plant and its tall stalks of delicate white flowers. But this unusual, diminutive species of soap root is much smaller, only reaching 1 – 2 ft. high. Rarely offered in nurseries, this species has short, narrow leaves which are not wavy like the common soap plant. Grows in dry grassland and open woodlands in the northern Sierra foothills and coast range. Enjoys full sun to light shade and no additional irrigation once established. Tolerates clay. The seed for these plants came from Windsor and was generously given to us by Vicki Wilson.
Chlorogalum pomeridianum v. pomeridianum  soap plant
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Chlorogalum pomeridianum v. pomeridianum

(soap plant)

Known for their large, fibrous bulbs historically used by indigenous peoples and early settlers for soap, food and to stupefy fish. Long, wavy-margined leaves form a rosette in winter followed in late spring by tall, airy flower stems bearing small white flowers that open in the late afternoon and evening. Great in naturalistic settings in full sun to light shade. Needs to go summer dry once established. Larval food source for the Western Brown Elfin butterfly.
Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. chrysophylla  golden chinquapin
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Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. chrysophylla

(golden chinquapin)

Description coming soon!
Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. minor  bush chinquapin
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Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. minor

(bush chinquapin)

Description coming soon!
Cirsium occidentale  cobweb thistle
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Cirsium occidentale

(cobweb thistle)

A beautiful NATIVE and NON-WEEDY thistle. Forms a  rosette of gray woolly and spiny leaves the first year. A BIENNIAL, flowering occurs the second year with tall spikes of showy maroon-red flowers with cobweb hairs on the bracts. A striking plant for sunny areas with good drainage and low to no irrigation. An excellent addition to the habitat garden where it attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Butterflies such as the painted lady and the mylitta crescent depend on cobweb thistle as a larval food source. Deer resistant.
Cistus aguilari 'Blanche' rockrose
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Cistus aguilari 'Blanche'


Fast growing tall rockrose 6 - 8 ft. tall and 4 - 6 ft. wide. Good evergreen informal screen. Scarlet tinted buds open to large (to 4 inches across!) white beautiful crepe-papery flowers with yellow centers in spring. Full sun, most soils, moderate to litttle water. Needs good drainage if they are to be watered. Some pruning/shearing right after bloom can help keep growth denser. Formerly sold as Cistus ‘Blanche’. Somewhat deer resistant.

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Cistus monspeliensis 'Vicar's Mead'


Sun loving drought tolerant shrub grows around 4 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide. Blooms in the spring with one inch soft yellow flowers that have a pleasing rose-like fragrance. Rockroses require good drainage, full sun with little to no water once established. Deer often leave rockroses alone.
Cistus salviifolius  sageleaf rockrose
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Cistus salviifolius

(sageleaf rockrose)

This rockrose is an excellent and dependable bank or groundcover for rough situations. Once established it’s very drought tolerant. A wide spreading shrub to 2 ft. tall by 6 ft. wide covered with 1 1/2 inch white flowers in spring. Best in full sun with good drainage. Often deer resistant.

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Clarkia amoena ssp. whitneyi

(Whitney's Clarkia)

Nearly extinct in the wild, this beautiful ANNUAL was found in coastal communities in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties. Growing 3 ft. tall and wide,  the branched leafy stems are topped with a long succession of 3 inch cup- shaped flowers.  The large flowers are light lavender-pink with whitish areas at the base of the petals.  Clarkias make excellent garden plants needing very little and giving much in return.  Plant in full sun to light shade, as a filler among trees or shrubs, in mixed flower border or meadow planting. A little water while flowering will extend their show.   Good container subject too.  Excellent cut flowers.  Seems to be deer resistant.  Attractive to bees and butterflies.
Clarkia  rubicunda ssp. blasdalei  ruby chalice Clarkia
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Clarkia rubicunda ssp. blasdalei

(ruby chalice Clarkia)

Central coast native ANNUAL with gorgeous lavender-pink cupped shaped flowers with dark red centers. Growing 18 inches- 2 1/2 ft.  tall and wide with a long progression of flowers from late spring into summer. Excellent garden subject for full sun to very light shade, tolerating tough conditions and a wide variety of soil types. Responds to a little extra water during flowering to extend the show. Attractive to bees and butterflies though not a deer favorite. Excellent cut flower.
Clarkia williamsonii  Fort Miller fairyfan
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Clarkia williamsonii

(Fort Miller fairyfan)

The incredibly showy flowers of this native ANNUAL will take your breath away in late spring and early summer. The large, lavender-pink, papery flowers feature deep, burgundy-red brush strokes and cheery white centers. Plants form a loose mound about 1 ½ ft. around. Butterflies and other pollinators love Clarkias. Native to the Sierra foothills, where it grows in full sun to light shade. Plants enjoy moisture while they are developing in the winter and spring, but are accustom to hot and dry summers. Needs decent drainage. Reseeds readily, as long as there is exposed soil nearby. Deer resistant!
Claytonia sibirica  candy stripe, Indian lettuce
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Claytonia sibirica

(candy stripe, Indian lettuce)

This native perennial with white to pink candy-striped flowers seeks shady, moist conditions. Our form is from Sonoma Coast and has particularly pink flowers. Related to miners lettuce, candy stripe produces dark green, succulent, edible leaves in low rosettes. Blooms over a long period beginning in spring and will frequently reseed. A sweet, spreading, low ground cover for a shady area with regular moisture. A charming and colorful addition to the forest garden, combining beautifully with ferns, wild ginger and false Solomon’s seal.
Clematis integrifolia  bush clematis, Mongolian bells
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Clematis integrifolia

(bush clematis, Mongolian bells)

This clematis, from central Europe, Russia and China, only grows a few feet tall and doesn't climb like most of its relatives in the genus. It has an upright, spreading habit and can grow 1 - 3 foot tall and 2 - 3 foot wide. Can be staked to stand erect or allowed to go its natural way, mounding and weaving itself among other perennials and shrubs. Lovely, bell-shaped, flowers in summer are followed by attractive silvery seed heads. Blossoms can be blue, rose or white. Plant in full sun to very light shade with regular water. Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and the seeds favored by songbirds. Foliage is toxic and bitter and not eaten by deer or rabbits. 


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