(Dalmation Iris) Bearded Iris are always a welcome sight with their stately height, ruffled flowers and broad blades. This variegated cultivar of Dalmation Iris has spectacular gray-green blades with pale creamy yellow stripes.
Iris pallida is called Dalmatian Iris, because the species is native to Dalmatia, a coastal province of Croatia. It is a summer bloomer.
The genus name comes from Iris, the Greek goddess of rainbows, whereas the epithet pallida refers to the flower's pale shade of purple. They are a sweetly fragrant, lacy lavender with yellow beards.
Variegata tolerates heat and drought, but prefers moist, well-drained soil. Until it is well established, be careful to provide average watering based on local conditions. You can expect good growth in full sun to partial shade. In fact, this species is more shade-tolerant than most bearded varieties.
(Orange Bat-Faced Cuphea) A corolla of irregularly sized petals -- two tall and four short -- give the opening of this Cuphea's bright red-orange flowers a bat-like look. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love the abundant, nectar-rich, cylindrical blossoms that flower nearly year round in areas with mild climates.
San Francisco's Strybing Arboretum notes that the floral structure of a Cuphea often is referred to as a calyx flower, because calyx and flower are one rather than being separate.
In contrast to the more humorous bat faces of bicolor Cupheas, the blossoms of Cuphea oreophila are a solid color except for some variation in the red of the petals.
In Greek, oreo refers to "mountain" and phila means "to love." Put the terms together and you have a "mountain-loving" plant. However, it grows beautifully in low-altitude coastal areas as well.
Lance-shaped, mid-green leaves cover the slender stems of this subshrub, which has both woody and soft herbaceous growth. Orange Bat-Faced Cuphea forms a weed-suppressing mat of foliage.
This heat-tolerant Cuphea grows well in full sun to partial shade. In areas with chilly winters, it works well as a houseplant or seasonal bedding choice. Outdoors, it is good for edging, container planting and suppressing weeds as groundcover. Although it thrives with average watering based on local conditions, this is a water-loving plant and can serve as a solution in moist areas of your yard.
Overall there are 260 species of Cupheas and most are native to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and parts of the American South.
(Speckled Dwarf Pineapple Lily) The ‘freckles’ on this petite South African plant are the reddish-purple speckles on its long, lance-shaped, olive-green leaves. It flowers from summer to fall. Shaped somewhat like a pineapple with a top-knot of green leaves, the spikes of short, rose-red flowers rise from the center of the plant's fleshy foliage.
Speckled Dwarf Pineapple Lily is about 10 inches tall to 14 inches wide. It’s heat tolerant, easy to grow in USDA Zones 7 to 10 and a fascinating selection for a border or pathway edging. In cooler zones, you can grow it as a seasonal bedding plant.
Eucomis are fragrant, water-loving succulent bulbs. They do well in full sun or partial shade. Give them average to ample water and rich soil that drains well. Their leaves may wilt a bit during hot midday temperatures, but they plump up again by the following morning.
(Pineapple Popsicle Hot Poker) This genus has become very popular in the last few years - for good reason. They feed hummingbirds and butterflies. And this superior variety from Oregon's TerraNova Nurseries is compact, free blooming and amazingly hardy.
In 2011 and 2012 we grew dozens of the new Kniphofia varieties, and only a few stood out from the pack. We love this one for its bright, neutral color that goes with anything. One of our nursery friends in Portland, Oregon said that it continued to bloom through January, even though the foliage was covered with a foot of snow.
We don't grow many non-Salvias, and when we do it has to be special. This is one of those very, very good new plants. A must have plant.
Although used in cooking, this mild tasting oregano is particularly ornamental. Its gold-green leaves turn bright gold in autumn adding a glow to herb gardens, borders and container plantings. In summer, it shoots up 20-inch-tall spikes of pink flowers.
Norton’s Gold is a hybrid, but the species is native to Greece and Turkey. This short variety rises up 3 to 6 inches and spreads 24 inches or more. So it works well as a fragrant, drought-resistant groundcover. It's also cold tolerant and grows well in USDA Zones 6 to 9.
Give this perennial partial to full shade or a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. Any soil will do as long as it is well drained. Regular watering is fine, but as with so many herbs, Norton’s Gold Oregano thrives in dry conditions.
Historically, oreganos have been used as in herbal remedies for problems including respiratory difficulties, heartburn and urinary tract afflictions. Oregano oil also is used in insect repellant; in the garden, oregano plants deter many garden pests while attracting honeybees and butterflies. You might say they are golden.
(Dancing Dolls Sage) Sages can be such tough plants. Many, such as Salvia 'Dancing Dolls', withstand heat and drought yet have delicate looking blossoms. Dancing Dolls features cream and rose bicolor flowers.
Dancing Dolls was developed by Suncrest Nurseries in Watsonville, California. It is part of Suncrest's Western Dancer™ series, which contains hybrids of Southwestern species including Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) and Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii). Suncrest Salvias are bushy, sun-loving plants. This one has upright form.
Dancing Dolls' leaves are deep green, and its stems and calyxes are dark. Suncrest Salvia foliage differs in color and leaf shape from one hybrid to another. However, all have larger leaves than those of Autumn Sage. Their leaves also are veined like those of Mountain Sage.
Similar to other members of the Autumn Sage-Mountain Sage group, Dancing Dolls needs little watering when established. Until then, provide average watering based on local conditions. This may mean no watering at all if your region has regular rainfall during the planting season.
(Tangerine Ballet Hybrid Jame Sage) Soft pinkish-orange flowers with contrasting yellow eyes make this Jame Sage look as tasty as sorbet. Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, Tangerine Ballet is also heat tolerant, drought resistant and long blooming-- all marks of Salvias in the closely related Autumn and Mountain Sage group.
Jame Sage is a cross of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) and, possibly, other Salvia species. Determining a Jame Sage's precise parentage can be complicated, because one or both of its Autumn/Mountain sage parents may also be hybrids. This hybrid-of-a-hybrid phenomenon may be the case for Tangerine Ballet, which is one of our taller Jame Sage varieties.
Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sage occurs in areas where the closely related species of Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains.
Upright in form with leaves that closely resemble the tiny, smooth foliage of its Autumn Sage parent, Tangerine Ballet is perfect massed as a groundcover or in spots calling for small shrubbery, such as path edges. Jame Sage loves full sun, but tolerates a bit of shade.
Highly recommended by butterflies, honeybees, hummingbirds and gardeners!
Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.