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Achillea  Terra Cotta yarrow
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Achillea 'Terra Cotta'


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


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.
Aconitum henryi  monkshood
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Aconitum henryi


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.
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


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.
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.
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.
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 foot 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.
Arbutus unedo compacta  compact strawberry tree
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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'


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'


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 uva-ursi Point Reyes bearberry
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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Point Reyes'


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


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'


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 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


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.
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.

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Asclepias fascicularis

Narrow leaf milkweed

Growing 2 feet tall, half as wide with curious greenish white flowers tinged with purple followed by large seed heads. Native to dry valleys and foothills as well as salty coastal areas it likes sun and low water but can handle boggy clay soils in winter. Attracts butterflies and bumblebees - sap can be poisonous. Native to Marin and Sonoma County as well as much of the Western United States.

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Asclepias speciosa

Showy milkweed

Growing 3 to 4 feet tall and spreading,with showy, fragrant white and purplish flowers followed by large seed heads. Native to warmer valleys and foothills it likes sun and can handle heavy clay soils. Can be invasive. Attracts butterflies and bumblebees - sap can be poisonous. 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.
Aster cordifolius Little Carlow blue wood aster
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Aster cordifolius 'Little Carlow'

blue wood aster

This low growing perennial with 3 foot stalks bears prolific sprays of small lavender blue single daisies late summer into fall. Moderate water. Easy, disease resistant, no mildew in full sun. It's a great beneficial insect plant and makes a good cut flower. Vigorous but not aggressive.
Aster frikartii Monch Monch's aster
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Aster frikartii 'Monch'

Monch's aster

One of the finest, most useful and widely adaptable perennials. Open, spreading growth to 2 feet high with clusters of 2&1/2 inch lavender blue flowers with golden centers May through October if old flowers are removed. Full sun, moderate water, resists diseases, attracts beneficials. Good cut flower.

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Aster lateriflorus 'Lady in Black'

black aster

This is a striking perennial growing 6 inches tall, 1 to 2 foot spread with plum purple leaves and tiny white dancing daisy flowers with raspberry centers on 3 foot stems in fall. Attracts bees and butterflies. Grow in full sun with moderate water.
Aster novi belgii Tiny Tot dwarf New York aster
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Aster novi belgii 'Tiny Tot'

dwarf New York aster

This perennial grows only 6 inches high. Sprays of small bright purple single daisies late summer into fall. Moderate water. Easy, disease resistant, no mildew in full sun. Vigorous but not aggressive. Good container plant, low border. This perennial grows only 6 inches high. Sprays of small bright purple single daisies late summer into fall. Moderate water. Easy, disease resistant, no mildew in full sun. Vigorous but not aggressive. Good container plant, low border.
Asteriscus maritimus  gold coin
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Asteriscus maritimus

gold coin

This evergreen groundcover from the Mediterranean grows 1 foot tall, 3 to 4 foot spread with silvery green foliage and 1&1/2 inch golden yellow flowers. It’s a tough plant tolerant of most soils and seaside conditions. Full sun, low or no water once established. Fairly deer resistant.
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