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Acer macrophyllum  big leaf maple
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Acer macrophyllum
big leaf maple

Deciduous tree native to stream banks from California to Alaska. Broad topped dense shade tree 30 to 50 feet tall, sometimes more. Sun to part shade near the coast, part shade inland. Provides interesting fall color. Resistant to oak root fungus. Bay Area Native
                                                       

Achillea  Apple Blossom yarrow
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Achillea 'Apple Blossom'
yarrow

A greenleafed yarrow with umbels of flower heads, rosy lavender fading to lilac, late spring through summer. Drought tolerant, full sun, it can be used as a lawn substitute or in meadows. Good as a cut or dried flower.

Achillea  Salmon Beauty yarrow
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Achillea 'Salmon Beauty'
yarrow

A greenleafed yarrow with umbels of salmon colored flower heads late spring through summer. Drought tolerant, full sun, it can be used as a lawn substitute or in meadows. Good as a cut or dried flower.

Achillea  Terra Cotta yarrow
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Achillea 'Terra Cotta'
yarrow

A green leafed yarrow with umbels of soft, two toned terra cotta colored flower heads late spring through summer. Drought tolerant, full sun, it can be used as a lawn substitute or in meadows. Good as a cut or dried flower. Shear back mid season to reinvigorate.          
                                                       

Achillea borealis  island pink yarrow
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Achillea borealis
island pink yarrow

An attractive greenleafed yarrow from the Channel Islands, the umbels open dusky rose then fade slowly to pale pink, colors that combine nicely. This yarrow blooms over a longer period than most, usually from May through summer. Drought tolerant, full sun, it can be used as a lawn substitute.

Achillea millifolium  yarrow
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Achillea millifolium
yarrow

This native version of the green leafed yarrow stays quite compact, under 1 foot and slowly spreading with umbels of clear white flower heads late spring through summer. Drought tolerant, full sun, can be used as a lawn substitute or in meadows mixed with native grasses and wildflowers. Bay Area Native

Achillea Moonshine  yellow yarrow
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Achillea Moonshine
yellow yarrow

This fast growing perennial grows 2 1/2 feet high, spreads 2 feet or more.  Bright yellow flower heads 3 to 4 inches across appear summer into fall if cut back occasionally.  Full sun, drought tolerant, deer and wind resistant.  Fire retardant.  It makes a good cut flower.

Achillea taygetea  yellow yarrow
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Achillea taygetea
yellow yarrow

Gray green leaves growing to 1 1/2 feet tall support large clusters of soft, primrose yellow flowers late spring, summer. Full sun, drought tolerant, cut back old flower heads for repeat blooming. Good cut flower and can be dried.

Aconitum henryi  monkshood
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Aconitum henryi
monkshood

   Upright perennial 2 to 3 feet tall with striking, dark blue flower spikes in summer. Prefers a cool garden with moist soil, sun or part shade.  Good at the back of the garden or edge of a shaded bog. All parts of plant are poisonous.

Acorus gramineus Ogon golden variegated sweet flag
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Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'
golden variegated sweet flag

Rich golden yellow foliage grows to 10 inches high, 1 foot spread. It grows well in pots, ponds, as an edging or ground cover and even grows indoors. It doesn’t like to dry out but can handle sun or shade.

Actaea rubra  baneberry
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Actaea rubra
baneberry

Native to moist woodlands this perennial has white frothy flowers followed by red berries with black centers that look like little faces. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Good in woodland settings, under bay trees. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous. Bay Area Native

Aesculus californica  California buckeye
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Aesculus californica
California buckeye

This multi-branched summer deciduous tree grows 15 to 30 feet round. Its silvery trunk accents pale, apple green leaves in the spring, large 10 inch fragrant white flower spikes in summer, and large seed pods on its bare branches through the winter. Its twisted trunk is always interesting. Attracts butterflies. Bay Area Native

Allium schoenoprasum  chives
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Allium schoenoprasum
chives

This small clump forming perennial onion has grass like leaves that could reach 2 feet but are usually shorter and produces a clover like rose purple flower in spring.  Best in moist, fairly rich soil in sun or part shade.  Evergreen in mild winter areas but will grow anywhere.  Leaves and flowers are edible.

Allium senescens v glaucum  curly onion
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Allium senescens v glaucum
curly onion

Hardy evergreen perennial 3 to 6 inches tall, 1 foot spread.  Clusters of lavender pink flowers in the summer.  Full sun or light shade, quite drought tolerant.  An unusual and fun plant for the rock garden, works well in containers.

Allium unifolium  ornamental onion
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Allium unifolium
ornamental onion

This clump forming perennial has grass like leaves 1 foot tall and produces clusters of satin pink flowers in spring, longer if given some water. Native to chaparral, woodlands, grassy stream banks. Prefers good drainage and sun but grows almost anywhere except deep shade, dormant towards the end of summer. Bay Area Native

Alnus rubra  red alder
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Alnus rubra
red alder

Ranging along the coast from Alaska to Santa Cruz this deciduous tree grows quickly to 40 feet.  Found in riparian areas it can tolerate salty water and is a nitrogen fixer.  It provides important wildlife habitat.  Sun or shade, it likes water.  Bay Area Native

Aloysia triphylla  lemon verbena
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Aloysia triphylla
lemon verbena

This is the “herb that grew like a wild shrub in your Grandmother’s garden.” Fast growing to 6 feet (less if pinched frequently) it has a wonderful lemon scent, good in teas or potpourri. Loose clusters of small white flowers in spring, grow with average water in sun or part shade. Can be grown as a houseplant.

Anemone drummondii  Windflower
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Anemone drummondii
Windflower

This Anemone is found on rocky slopes, coniferous forests, and the alpine regions. It grows 6 to 12 inches tall, slowly spreading. Pale blue flowers appear above the foliage in spring. Best in light to medium shade with moderate water. Native to northern California, all parts are poisonous.

Anemone x hybrida  Japanese anemone
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Anemone x hybrida
Japanese anemone

Mounding perennial of rich, dark green foliage supports graceful stems, 3 to 5 feet high, with showy, pink flowers late summer and fall. Part to heavy shade, moderate water. Effective in front of tall shrubs, under high trees, a useful addition to the shade garden for fall color. Can be invasive

Anemone x hybrida Honorine Jobert Japanese anemone
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Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert'
Japanese anemone

Mounding, spreading perennial with rich, dark green foliage supports graceful stems, 3 to 5 feet high bear showy, single white flowers late summer and fall. This selection was introduced in 1858. Part to heavy shade, moderate water. Effective in front of tall shrubs, under high trees. Invasive in some gardens

Anemopsis californica  yerba mansa
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Anemopsis californica
yerba mansa

Yerba mansa is found by seeps, stream edges and in wet meadows. It spreads by runners forming a green mat 8 inches high with aromatic flowers in spring with showy, white bracts surrounding a central cone of tiny green flowers. Winter dormant. Grow in light shade with average to low water. Bay Area Native

Angelica  hendersonii  bluff angelica
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Angelica hendersonii
bluff angelica

A large taproot grows each year into a 3 to 4 foot round shrub with large bold leaves and sturdy flowering stalks bearing showy umbels of white flowers. Native to windswept bluffs, it needs good drainage and some summer water. Sun or light shade  Bay Area Native


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Anthemis nobilis
chamomile

Soft mats of bright light green aromatic leaves growing 2 inches high and spreading. Small yellow buttons of summer blooming flower heads. Full sun or part shade, moderate water. Good between stepping stones or as a lawn substitute. Dried flower heads can be used for tea.

Anthemis nobilis alba  chamomile
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Anthemis nobilis alba
chamomile

Soft mats of light green aromatic leaves growing 4 inches high and spreading 1 to 2 feet or more. White balls of double flowers, summer blooming. Full sun or light shade, moderate water. Good between stepping stones or as a lawn substitute. Flower heads can be used for tea.

Apocynum cannabinum  Indian hemp
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Apocynum cannabinum
Indian hemp

Named for the strong fibers of the stems used by the Indians to make ropes and nets,  this member of the Dogbane family grows to 4 feet or more each year with clusters of white flowers. Found in wooded areas and wet spots it  spreads and can be invasive in gardens. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Bay Area Native

Aquilegia formosa  western columbine
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Aquilegia formosa
western columbine

Native to California, Utah and north to Alaska, this woodland perennial produces 2 ft stems with 2 inch red-orange and yellow flowers in late spring. Although delicate looking, it is quite hardy. Without summer water it will die back, to return again in spring.  Partial shade, good under oaks. Bay Area Native       

Aralia californica  elk clover
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Aralia californica
elk clover

This member of the ginseng family has bold palmately divided leaves that grow on 3 to 6 foot stalks with tiny white flowers followed by dark purple fruits. Native to stream banks and seeps it likes water and some shade. Excellent habitat plant for birds, interesting addition for a woodland garden, the root is used in traditional medicine. Bay Area Native

Arbutus unedo Oktoberfest compact strawberry tree
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Arbutus unedo 'Oktoberfest'
compact strawberry tree

Specimen evergreen shrub or small tree 6 to 8 feet tall. Rich brown twisted shredding trunk, very showy, deep rose-pink urn shaped flowers followed by red berries similar to strawberries, attracts butterflies. Tolerates ocean wind, can be grown there in sun or shade, and desert heat if grown in full shade.  Low to average water


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Arbutus unedo compacta
compact strawberry tree

Evergreen shrub or small tree 8 to 10 feet tall. Shredding brown twisted trunk, white urn shaped flowers followed by red berries similar to strawberries, attracts butterflies.  Tolerates ocean wind, can be grown there in sun or shade, and desert heat if grown in shade.  Low to average water, any soil.

Arbutus x Marina  strawberry tree
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Arbutus x Marina
strawberry tree

A hybrid of uncertain origin developing the handsome red-brown trunk, or trunks, of the native madrone. It has quite large clusters of pink flowers, then red berries similar to the strawberry tree. Evergreen, 20 to 40 feet round, full sun or part shade. Drought tolerant. A good garden substitute for the more difficult madrone.

Arctostaphylos  Pacific Mist manzanita
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Arctostaphylos 'Pacific Mist'
manzanita

Mounding evergreen shrub with rapid growth, 2 feet by 6 feet. White flowers in spring followed by berries attractive to birds. Full sun or part shade, quite drought tolerant and more tolerant of garden conditions than some manzanitas. Good under native oaks. A hybrid from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Arctostaphylos  Sunset manzanita
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Arctostaphylos 'Sunset'
manzanita

A naturally occurring hybrid between A. hookeri and A. pajaroensis with coppery red new foliage. This evergreen shrub grows 4 to 5 feet tall, 5 to 6 foot spread with white bell shaped flowers followed by berries. Attractive red trunk as it ages. Sun near the coast, part shade anywhere, quite drought tolerant. 

Arctostaphylos bakeri Louis Edmunds manzanita
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Arctostaphylos bakeri 'Louis Edmunds'
manzanita

Evergreen shrub with gray foliage and a beautiful upright form, grows 6 to 8 feet tall, 6 foot spread. Twisted, wine red trunk looks better each year. Small pink, bell shaped flowers late winter followed by berries. Sun or part shade, quite drought tolerant, good under oaks. Very handsome

Arctostaphylos densiflora Sentinel manzanita
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Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Sentinel'
manzanita

This selection of Manzanita from the North Coast foothills has an upright growth habit to 6 to 8 ft tall, 5 to 7 foot spread. Gray green leaves contrast nicely with a wine red, twisted trunk.  White flowers late winter followed by red berries that attract birds. Full sun or part shade, quite drought tolerant. Excellent under native oaks.


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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Point Reyes'
bearberry

This groundcover manzanita grows 1 foot tall, with an 8 foot spread. White bell flowers in late winter followed by red berries valuable to wild life. Sun near the coast, part shade anywhere. Quite drought tolerant, fairly resistant to interior heat. Slow growing but long lived. Good for erosion control and under native oak trees.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Radiant bearberry
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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Radiant'
bearberry

This groundcover manzanita grows 1 foot tall, with an 8 foot spread. White bell flowers in late winter followed by abundant red berries valuable to wildlife. Sun or part shade. Quite drought tolerant. Faster growing than A. Point Reyes but not as heat resistant. Good for erosion control and under native oak trees.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Wood's Compact manzanita
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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Wood's Compact'
manzanita

This selection of A. uva-ursi is an evergreen groundcover that grows 1 foot high, 3 foot spread or more. Pink bell shaped flowers in late winter followed by large, showy berries turning red, popular with wildlife.  Full sun near coast, part shade anywhere.  Quite drought resistant, fairly deer resistant.  Good under oaks.

Arctostaphylos x Emerald Carpet bearberry
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Arctostaphylos x 'Emerald Carpet'
bearberry

Low growing, evergreen, manzanita groundcover 1 foot tall, 4 to 6 foot spread.  Rich green foliage year round. Small, bell shaped white flowers late winter. Light to medium shade is best, prefers deep irrigation every 2 to 3 weeks in hot climates. Moderately fast growing and can handle heavier soils if not overwatered. This is a hybrid probably between A. uva-ursi and A. nummularia

Argyranthemum gracile Chelsea Girl Chelsea girl dill daisy
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Argyranthemum gracile 'Chelsea Girl'
Chelsea girl dill daisy

Billowing pastel gray green foliage growing 4 feet round and topped with white and bright yellow daisy flowers from late spring to early fall. Sun or light shade, any soil, average to low water. It's good near the coast, in mixed borders and containers. Best known for it's light, airy, kinetic foliage.Hardy to at least the mid 20s.

Armeria alliacea  Portuguese sea thrift
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Armeria alliacea
Portuguese sea thrift

A low growing tuft of stiff green foliage 8 inches tall, 1 to 1 1/2 foot spread.  Pink ball shaped flowers on 1 foot stems most of the  year.  Full sun or light shade, drought and   wind tolerant and fairly deer resistant.  Good in containers, rock gardens, as a low border.  Looks good year round.

Armeria juniperifolia  dwarf sea thrift
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Armeria juniperifolia
dwarf sea thrift

Evergreen, dwarf perennial growing slowly to 3 inches high, 1 foot spread.  1/2 inch light pink flowers spring, summer.  Full sun, likes good drainage and low to average water.  A good container plant, in the rock garden, or as a low border.

Armeria maritima  Rubrifolia sea thrift
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Armeria maritima 'Rubrifolia'
sea thrift

Mounding evergreen groundcover, 4 inches high, 1 foot wide, with rose colored pom-poms on 8 inch stems. Leaves have a reddish tinge which is enhanced in cold weather. Full sun, drought tolerant, deer resistant. Good low border, in rock gardens, in sea coast gardens or in containers.

Armeria maritima californica  California sea thrift
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Armeria maritima californica
California sea thrift

Mounding evergreen perennial 4 inches high, 8 inches wide, with pale pink pom-poms on 10 to 14 inch stems. Full sun, drought tolerant, fairly deer resistant. Good low border, in rock gardens, in sea coast gardens and meadows. This is the native armeria found on rocky bluffs. Bay Area Native

Artemesia californica  California sagebrush
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Artemesia californica
California sagebrush

Low growing, mounding shrub 2 to 3 feet tall, 3 to 4 foot spread. The silver green leaves are sweetly fragrant when crushed. Full sun, quite drought tolerant and deer resistant. Native to coastal areas here growing further inland in Southern California. Good on dry hillsides, under oaks. Bay Area Native

Artemesia douglasiana  mugwort
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Artemesia douglasiana
mugwort

This perennial sage grows each year one to three feet tall with an erect habit and distinctly sweet smell. An important habitat plant as well as used medicinally by Native Americans. Grow in sun or light shade with low to average water. Can be invasive, especially in watered gardens. It can be shaped for tidyness.


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Artemesia drucunculus sativa
French tarragon

Perennial to 1 foot high, spreading slowly by creeping rhizomes, very fragrant leaves.  Dormant in winter.  Full sun, moderate to low water.  Can be eaten fresh or dried.  Works well in containers.


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Aruncus diocus
goat's beard

Winter dormant, this native grows quickly in the spring 3 feet tall with feathery white flower plumes another foot or two above the foliage, good for arrangements. Grow in light to medium shade with average water. Spreads from underground roots, give it room. Good with Ocean Spray, native Spiraea.

Asarum caudatum  wild ginger
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Asarum caudatum
wild ginger

A member of the Pipe Vine family, this evergreen makes an incredibly lush ground cover for dappled to heavy shade. Large heart-shaped leaves hide unusual maroon-purple flowers. Although it will survive with little water it looks better and spreads faster with more.  It has a pleasant gingery aroma when crushed.

Asclepias speciosa  showy milkweed
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Asclepias speciosa
showy milkweed

Growing 3 to 4 feet tall and spreading,with showy purplish flowers followed by large seed heads. Native to warmer valleys and foothills it likes sun and can handle heavy clay soils.  Attracts butterflies and bumblebees and is the only genus used for Monarch larvae. Can be invasive. Marin County Native

Aster chilensis Point Saint George dwarf California aster
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Aster chilensis 'Point Saint George'
dwarf California aster

This perennial grows quickly spreading by underground rhizomes to form a 4 to 6 inch herbaceous mat that can handle light foot traffic. Violet daisy flowers with yellow centers summer into fall. Sun or light shade, any soil, quite drought tolerant, can be invasive in well watered gardens. Attracts butterflies, bees, birds. Bay Area Native

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