Tag Archives: xeriscape

White Star Flower

white star flower

Bring a touch of north Africa to your yard with the white Ornithogalum arabicum. It has lots of other common names: star of Bethlehem, star flower, Arab’s eye, lesser cape-lily, Arabian starflower, snake flower or chincherinchee. This bulb is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 7 through 11 and can be enjoyed as a tender bulb or a …

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Lantana is a great landscape plant. It attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is very drought-tolerant once established. Every winter I cut it back to its stumps; every autumn the plant has grown 12 feet wide. Obviously, you can prune it smaller.

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Moon Cactus

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is a species of cactus from South America commonly grown as a houseplant. The most popular cultivars are variegated mutants which completely lack chlorophyll, exposing the underlying red, orange or yellow pigmentation. These cultivars are often called moon cactus. Since chorophyll is necessary for photosynthesis, these mutations die as seedlings unless grafted onto another cactus with normal chlorophyll. …

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Nopal Cactus

Nopal (also known as the Prickly Pear cactus) is hardy, drought-tolerant, and reproduces easily by cuttings. Forty years ago I took a small cactus pad from the home of my wife’s grandmother in Hollister California. Nopal is a species and an ingredient made from the Opuntia cacti, in the subfamily Opuntioideae. They are particularly common in their native Mexico where …

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Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus

Christmas cactus can be grown outdoors in Sunnyvale. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) and Thanksgiving cactus are popular, fall- and winter-flowering houseplants native to Brazil, and are available in a wide variety of colors including red, rose, purple, lavender, peach, orange, cream, and white. These Schlumbergera species grow as epiphytes among tree branches in shady rain forests, and their pendulous stems …

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Jade Plant in winter

During winter in Sunnyvale, the Jade plant is covered with white flowers. It’s is frequently visited by our resident hummingbird. Jade Plant (aka Jade Tree, Money Tree) is a great landscape plant for the Sunnyvale garden. It is a succulent that needs little watering. Jade plant is toxic to pets and can cause vomiting and a slow heart rate. In …

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juniper berries

Juniper is a great plant for filling in space fast, whether as a groundcover, a screen, or vertical punctuation in a border. Its scaly foliage is feathery and graceful, a good contrast to large-leaf plants. For low-water or rock gardens, the low-growing juniper forms a naturalistic mat that often acquires richer color in the winter. Juniper thrives in a full-sun …

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Silk Tree

silk tree flowers

The mimosa or silk tree, umbrella mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), is a tough deciduous tree that grows quickly and has and a flat, umbrellalike canopy made up of ferny leaves and fluffy pink blooms that later turn into flat seed pods. I had one in my front yard but got tired with the yard maintenance of dropped flowers, dropped seed pods, …

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Italian Cypress

italian cypress trees

Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, was popular when the Bahl patio homes were first built in the 1970s. The cypress can grow in small areas (often in the 2-foot wide trench on the zero-lot-side. The cypress is relatively slow growing. But after 40 years, the trees can be over 30 feet tall. Eventually, I removed my two cypresses because the roots …

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Sempervivum /sɛmpəˈvaɪvəm/, is a genus of about 40 species of flowering plants in the Crassulaceae family, known as houseleeks. Other common names include liveforever and hen and chicks. They are succulent perennials forming mats composed of tufted leaves in rosettes. In favorable conditions they spread rapidly via offsets, and several species are valued in cultivation as groundcover for dry, sunny …

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