Tag Archives: xeriscape

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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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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Salvia leucanthus – Mexican bush sage

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is a beautiful, hardy plant for Alta California. This downy, bushy, evergreen subshrub produces white or purple flowers clasped by soft purple calyces from late summer to frost. It grows 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide, and is great for the border. Salvias are some of the showiest plants for containers, annual borders, and …

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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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Common Cosmos, Mexican Aster. Cosmos are annuals, grown for their showy flowers. The flowerheads may be bowl– or open cup–shaped and are atop of long stems. Cosmos are easy to grow and make good border or container plants. They make for good decorations in flower arrangements and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies to your garden.   Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info) …

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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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Jade plant

Jade Plant (aka Jade Tree, Money Tree) is a great landscape plant for the Sunnyvale garden. It is a succulent that needs little watering.

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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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