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Natives Are Nice, Really Nice

May 10, 2011

Dudleya sp. (what is it?)

Way back in January we went a little California native crazy in our “center bed” (giant sand pit that was stuffed with Senecio mandraliscae and other wayward succulents). Dang I’m glad we did. Things are starting to get exciting in native land. Back in January I had plans for one more Clarkia and more Dudleyas. It’s interesting to look back at past blog posts to see what we were thinking at the time. We now have not one, but THREE Clarkias that are about to burst in to bloom any minute, and four new Dudleyas have joined the gang, too. I’m not even sure what the one above is, but I love them all.

Hurray for California natives (mostly)!

On the left is super yummy smelling Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum in orange. It’s buddy Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium is pretty flowered out right now, but rocked it for the last couple months. Next to that guy is Gilia capitata with some Gilia tricolor peeking out from the Agave. Love them both! The butterflies and bees have really been digging the capitata.

Gilia capitata love

The blue stamens of Gilia tricolor are too gosh darn cute on these guys! I made the mistake of bringing home this guy a little too big. It was already starting to bloom and went all lanky on me. I chopped him back a few weeks ago, and BAM now it’s covered with blooms and buds.

Camissonia cheiranthifolia chilled out “Beach Primrose”

Maybe three or four weeks ago I was updating the sign for Camissonia cheiranthifolia, and decided it would love life on La Playa. It’s native to the beach dunes from Santa Barbara all the way up to Oregon, so I figured it would feel at home next to Ocean Beach. It’s been pumping out pretty yellow flowers ever since.

Cramming them in

I’ve already had to pull at least ten California poppy seedlings I had started out due to space limitations. What was I thinking? On the far right up a little is a poor little Eriogonum grande var. rubescens that’s been moved around too many times for me to admit. I recently jammed it in way to close to Eriogonum ‘The Hub’ which is just starting to bust out buds. The plant in the top leftish corner is Madia elegans. I really hope the claims of “strongly pineapple scented” are true. It should keep the show going through summertime. Squashed between it and the Madia is Clarkia concinna. Dudleya pulverulenta is in the lower center spot.

The only California native we planted that isn’t loving life in our backyard is Mimulus puniceus. You can kind of see it being eaten by poppies in the top right hand corner. I’m not sure what its deal is, the poppy infestation is relatively new. I don’t water it very often, it keeps turning kind of brownish, umm maybe I don’t water it enough? It’s spewed out a few flowers here and there, but for the most part looks kind of pitiful. Perhaps we need to give Mimulus aurantiacus a shot instead?

Before working at Annie’s I had no idea there were so MANY super cool California natives out there, and that so many of them like being shoved in a sand pit with nothing fancy added.  Check out Annie’s vast CA native list here. Wanna learn more, check out these links:

Bay Natives Nursery


California Native Plant Society

Las Pilitas Nursery

Theodore Payne Foundation

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2011 8:54 am

    Not much you can do to keep the native mimulus from going brown, it’s what they do. There’s a propagated version that will stay green and is bigger and prettier, I think, but I’ve only seen it in a couple of nurseries…

    • May 10, 2011 5:46 pm

      I keep seeing these big fluffy ones blooming all along the coast. I think they’re Mimulus aurantiacus.

  2. prometheus permalink
    May 10, 2011 4:23 pm

    i found out a long time ago that natives(for me, s.w. louisiana) are not always a viable option. some are so site specific there’s nothing you can do to get them to thrive. like those aeoniums that rot here. but for the ones that do thrive, i have 2 gardens full of them.

    • May 10, 2011 5:49 pm

      Yeah, I was careful to pick plants that love life in in sandy, cool summered beach lands. It seems like excellent drainage is key to success with quite a few CA natives.

  3. May 10, 2011 5:54 pm

    I adore both types of Gillia. I’m not really sold on Dudleyas. I go between thinking they are cool and thinking they sort of look like they aren’t quite done cooking. I planted a Mimulus aurantiacus from Annie’s at a friends house and it is gorgeous now. I’ve been warned that they get ugly in summer and are sometimes short lived but it is looking great right now.

  4. May 10, 2011 8:55 pm

    I love the dudleyas of course! Yours is beautiful! I believe it is Dudleya farinosa ‘Chalk Rose’. Sure looks like the one I have! Yeah California natives!

  5. Vickie permalink
    May 11, 2011 3:05 pm

    Love that Dudleya! Ever want to share, let me know! LOL

  6. May 12, 2011 3:46 am

    I want a Dudleya too. I wonder if it will survive our heat.

  7. Brendan Lange permalink
    May 12, 2011 11:30 am

    Natives are the best! WOOHOO! Mostly Natives in Tomales has some great plants for great prices – little 4″ beauties a la Annies



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