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Camassia leichtlinii ssp. suksdorfii  great camas
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Camassia leichtlinii ssp. suksdorfii

(great camas)

Similar to the common camas, but with larger, star-shaped flowers ranging in color from soft to dark violet-blue on stems up to 3 ft tall. Native to grasslands and moist meadows that dry out in the summer. Also found in open, well lit woodlands. Easy to grow in full sun to light shade in a variety of soil types, including heavy clay. Allow to go dry after seed is set, where it will go completely dormant. This eye catching beauty is appealing to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. An excellent container plant and cut flower. Deer resistant.
Camassia quamash  common camas
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Camassia quamash

(common camas)

Camas lily is a beautiful native bulb, producing stunning displays of sky blue to violet-purple, star-shaped flowers. Found throughout much of the western United States, growing in moist meadows and grasslands that dry out in the summer. Important species to native peoples, who encouraged the bulb through fire management. Historical accounts describe fields of blue from the massive floral displays. Easy to grow in full sun to very light shade and tolerant of a wide variety of soils, including heavy clay. Long, slender leaves give way to erect racemes of blossoms, to 2 ft. tall in late spring. Allow to go dry once seed set commences. Dormant in the winter. An excellent container plant and cut flower. A favorite of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Deer resistant.
Campanula prenanthoides  California harebell
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Campanula prenanthoides

(California harebell)

Plant description coming soon.
Campanula rotundifolia  harebell
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Campanula rotundifolia


This charming little perennial is found growing around the world in the Northern Hemisphere, including Northern California. Forms a basal mound of small, heart-shaped, green leaves with slender flowering stems rising to about a foot tall. Sweet, little, pendant, lavender-blue, bell-shaped flowers, bloom sporadically in the summer and into the fall. Grow in lightly shaded woodland settings with gravelly soils and regular moisture. Perfect rock garden, crevice or container plant. Bee pollinated.
Cardamine californica  milk maids
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Cardamine californica

(milk maids)

One of California's most widespread and earliest spring wildflowers, often beginning to bloom in the winter. Found in somewhat shady locations in a number of plant communities, this slender perennial has rounded basal leaves. Flower stems 10 inches to 20 inches tall are topped with four petaled flowers of pure white to soft pink. This sweet harbinger of spring is easy to grow given a little shade and winter rain. After flowering and setting seed it dies back to its roots where it goes dormant until next year's rains awaken it. Good under oaks.
Carex amplifolia  bigleaf sedge
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Carex amplifolia

(bigleaf sedge)

Plant description coming soon.
Carex barbarae  basket sedge
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Carex barbarae

(basket sedge)

Widely distributed native sedge that is an important traditional basket fiber plant. Bright green sharp blades in clumps 1 - 3 ft. tall and spreading. Oval-shaped tufts of small reddish-brown flowers on spikes at the tip of the flowering stems. An attractive sedge, though it can be invasive. For sunny or partly shaded areas with regular to moderate moisture. Drought tolerant in clay soils or with some shade.  Handsome container plant too. Often used in bio swales and riparian restoration. Deer resistant.
Carex densa  dense sedge
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Carex densa

(dense sedge)

While uncommon in nurseries, this semi-evergreen sedge forms green tussocks which are very useful in seasonally moist meadows and open woodlands. Elongated, chunky seed heads rise above the dense leaf blades on slender stalks up to 2 ½ ft. tall. The foliage reaches 1 to 2 ft. high and slowly spreads to form small clumps. Useful for smaller gardens where you want a sedge that doesn’t spread super vigorously. Tolerates summer drought in somewhat heavier soils. A little extra irrigation will keep this sedge more evergreen. Native to much of California and north to Washington. Deer resistant.
Carex globosa  round-fruit sedge
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Carex globosa

(round-fruit sedge)

Here is a sturdy and useful woodland sedge native to well-drained soils in wooded areas. Grows 6 - 12 inches tall and spreads slowly to form bright green tussocks. Useful as a filler among shrubs or trees in filtered shade where it tolerates drought; but some summer water will keep it looking fresh for longer. Great under oaks. Deer resistant.
Carex mertensii  Mertens' sedge
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Carex mertensii

(Mertens' sedge)

This is one of our most ornamental native sedges, forming clumps up to 2 ft. wide with gracefully arching leaves radiating out from the center. Tall flower stalks reaching up to 3 ft. high sit well above the foliage with dangling, soft, fuzzy inflorescences perched elegantly from the tips. The Mertens’ sedge hales from moist meadows and bright woodlands in the Klamath Mountains of Northern California, but does well in lowland climates as long as it is kept moist. Plant in light shade. Combines beautifully with columbines, angelicas, cardinal and seep monkeyflowers, and fringecups. Will go dormant in winter, only to remerge with lush green growth in the spring. Deer resistant. 
Carex nudata  torrent sedge
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Carex nudata

(torrent sedge)

Native to below the high water mark along perennial water courses. Forms a bright green, dense, arching mound with interesting black flowers in spring. Best in moist soils, full sun to light shade. 1 - 2 1/2 ft. tall and wide. Lovely yellow fall color in colder locations. Winter deciduous. Beautiful in containers too. Deer resistant.
Carex obnupta  slough sedge
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Carex obnupta

(slough sedge)

From moist coastal sites to shady redwood forests comes this tall sedge, one of the tallest of our native sedges. Spreads vigorously to form dense drifts up to 4 feet in height. One of the more shade tolerant sedges, the slough sedge can grow under the darkness of a redwood canopy but will also accept full sun as long as it has access to moisture. A great plant for naturalizing in moist areas. Used by native peoples for basket making.  
Carex pansa  California meadow sedge, dune sedge
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Carex pansa

(California meadow sedge, dune sedge)

A durable spreading sedge which can be used as a lawn substitute or unmowed meadow. Growing 8 -12 inches tall and spreading by rhizomes to form dense colonies of curling dark green foliage. The foliage is evergreen in mild climates and grows well in full sun to partial shade with regular to occasional water. Too much drought causes summer dormancy. Flowers appear in early spring but are not real showy. Deer resistant.
Carex praegracilis  field sedge, clustered field sedge
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Carex praegracilis

(field sedge, clustered field sedge)

Similar to Carex pansa but growing taller. The fine textured grass-like blades can reach 12 inches tall and spreads freely by rhizomes to form a thick weed smothering groundcover. Useful for meadows, green roofs, bio-swales, erosion control and as a lawn substitute. Can be left natural where it has a lush tousled appearance or trimmed occasionally for a low turf-like appearance. Tolerates drought, inundation, poor soils, salt spray, heat, cold, shade and foot traffic. Plant in sun to light shade where it requires some summer moisture but far less than a conventional lawn. Will go summer dormant if allowed to get too dry. Deer resistant.

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Carex praegracilis 'Chisai'

(compact field sedge)

An excellent cultivar of the native field sedge, selected for it's compact form and slower spreading habit. Increases by short rhizomes to form a sturdy, dark-green carpet, 6 -8 inches tall and 1 - 2 ft wide. Grows more clumping and significantly tighter than the rapidly spreading forms more typical of the species. Still, it will form a solid, small scale ground cover or turf substitute, between stepping stones or mixed with bulbs and perennials for a meadow affect. Plant in full sun to light shade with occasional to moderate water. Tolerates light foot traffic. Deer resistant.
Carex serratodens  two tooth sedge
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Carex serratodens

(two tooth sedge)

From serpentine meadows comes this lush, blue-green sedge. Our form grows 1 - 2 ft. tall and spreads at a moderate pace, creating broad drifts over time. Needs moderate to regular moisture and full sun to part shade. Often goes semi-dormant in winter at which time the plants can be cut back to just a few inches. A useful sedge for gardens on serpentine or for bank stabilization where it can provide cover for tree frogs and other critters. Does not require serpentine soils to thrive. Deer resistant.
Carex spissa  San Diego sedge
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Carex spissa

(San Diego sedge)

Native to watercourses in coastal sage scrub, chaparral and oak woodlands from San Luis Obispo County to San Diego County. Has proven adaptable and easy to grow here. Wide silvery blades 3 - 4 ft. tall with brown nodding flowers. Sun to light shade. Regular to moderate water. Deer resistant.
Carex tumulicola  foothill sedge
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Carex tumulicola

(foothill sedge)

This is the TRUE Carex tumulicola, the foothill sedge, not to be confused with the so called Berkeley sedge which is correctly identified as Carex divulsa and is non-native AND invasive.  Foothill sedge has a wide distribution in California and north to Washington.  A tough and adaptable tufted evergreen growing 12 inches (or more) tall and spreading slowly by underground rootstocks. Useful as an informal groundcover under shrubs or trees, for a meadow planting or for soil stabilization where the spreading roots help control erosion.  Best with some shade unless right along the coast.  Responds to water but is able to tolerate periods of dryness.
Carpenteria californica  bush anemone
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Carpenteria californica

(bush anemone)

Long in cultivation, this native, evergreen shrub is rare in the wild, with a limited distribution in their native habitat. Forms a multi-branched shrub, 5 - 7 foot tall or more and nearly as wide, with dark green, leathery, lanceolate shaped leaves, which provides a dark foil to the brilliant white flowers. Late spring brings terminal clusters of white, 2 -3 inch, sweetly scented, anemone-like blossoms with yellow centers. An adaptable shrub which makes a striking specimen or foundation plant in a woodland area with morning sun and afternoon shade. Responds well to pruning and can be trained as an espalier. Drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional summer water. Flowers enjoyed by bees and butterflies.
Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth' California bush anemone
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Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth'

(California bush anemone)

A beautiful native evergreen shrub 5 - 7 ft. tall and 4 ft. or more wide. Blooms May-July with sweetly scented, pure white, yellow-stamened, camellia-like single flowers. This cultivar is especially free flowering with smaller than usual (2 inch) flowers in masses of up to 20 in each of the terminal clusters. Said to be more disease resistant. Has a narrow upright appearance which is unusual for a native shrub. Best with light shade or morning sun. Drought tolerant, but appearance is improved with some summer water. Does want decent drainage.
Ceanothus  'Antonette' California lilac
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Ceanothus 'Antonette'

(California lilac)

An exciting introduction by Native Sons Nursery which was discovered in their landscape. ‘Antonette’ is believed to be a cross between Ceanothus arboreus and Ceanothus ‘Cynthia Postan’ with unusual elongated leaves which remind us of a rockrose. Grows 8 – 10 feet tall and 6 – 8 feet wide with spectacular displays of frosted, violet-blue flowers in early spring. Before they fully emerge, the flower buds display a pleasing rosy color. Plant in full sun with occasional to little summer water once established. Valuable habitat plant, providing food and cover for birds, bees and butterflies.
Ceanothus  'Berkeley Skies' California lilac
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Ceanothus 'Berkeley Skies'

(California lilac)

A seedling selection from the Botanic Garden at UC Berkeley, thought to be a cross between Ceanothus megacarpus and Ceanothus gloriosus. Forms an upright shrub 8-15 ft. tall with small leathery leaves and stiff arching habit.  The eye-catching flowers are soft lilac in color with a deep purple center eye to each flower.  It comes into bloom quite early, often beginning in late January and February where they are much adored by bees in search of nectar. Ceanothus require decent drainage, full sun and are drought tolerant once established.
Ceanothus  'Better Than Ray Hartman' California lilac
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Ceanothus 'Better Than Ray Hartman'

(California lilac)

A friend of ours, Eric Nelson, discovered this spectacular selection growing on a property near where he lived. Masses of rich, blue-purple flowers held in large sprays cover the plant in spring, attracting bees and butterflies. The seeds which follow feed an array of birds. Reaches 10 – 15 ft. tall and wide with larger, deep-green, rounded leaves. We believe this plant is an existing cultivar, but none of the Ceanothus experts have been able to reach a consensus on exactly which one, hence the peculiar name referencing a selection which it resembles. Plant in full sun to light shade and water occasionally or less once established.
Ceanothus  'Blue Jeans' California lilac
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Ceanothus 'Blue Jeans'

(California lilac)

Not the color of denim exactly, the profuse springtime blossoms of 'Blue Jeans' are a rich lavender-purple. Erect evergreen shrub 6 ft. tall and wide with small shiny green leaves. Vigorous and fast growing. Best in full sun with little to no water once established. Tolerates heavy soils. Shrubby Ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.

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Ceanothus 'Blue Ray'

(California lilac)

  A Suncrest Nursery introduction, this is a cross between two popular cultivars, Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' and Ceanothus 'Dark Star'.  Grows 10 feet tall by 15 ft. wide with deep green textured leaves on sturdy stems forming a large mound. Deep vivid blue flowers in dense clusters cover the shrub in spring. Plant in full sun with occasional to no summer water once established. Ceanothus, when in flower, are highly attractive to pollinators of all sorts.  


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