Tapertip Onion. Western US and BC native growing in open rocky areas, stabilized screes, subalpine meadows. One of the best colored natives with nice heads of magenta rose flowers on stems from 5-12 inches tall depending on how happy and mature it is. The leaves wither before flowering leaving the stage to the star. Ideal for rock gardens.
Flat-stemmed Onion. Really nice pink flowers on short flattened stems on this Oregon, California and Nevada native where it grows on open stony slopes between 1500 and 2500 meters. The falcate or sickle shaped leaves are fairly broad and a nice gray-green. Great rock garden subject. Young bulb from seed which may or may not flower this year.
Our native Columbine from seed collected on the way up to Mt Townsend in the Olympics. One of our most endearing natives with pendulous flowers which have reddish petals and spurs backing a soft yellow cup. This has a grace and charm so lacking in the garden hybrids. One of the first wildflowers I learned tottering around in the woods.
Our collection in the Siskiyous up 8 Dollar Road on a bench just above a stream in open light shade growing with Darmera and Lilium pardalinum ssp. vollmeri. Big compound pinnate leaves and terminal spikes of small airburst white flowers turning to black fruit. Herbaceous.
A fine little tight mat-forming alpine from the Wallowas in Oregon that appeals only to the most nerdacious of plant nerds in the elevated stratosphere of alpine plant and rock garden geekdom because this is essentially a small swatch of closely clipped putting green astroturf. It flowers but you will likely miss it.
Our selection from the California Redwoods of a large-leafed and vigorous clone of Wild Ginger. This sports large glossy green leaves which mask the sizeable brown starfish flowers hidden underneath. We always like surprises. A dense big groundcover in shaded rich moist soil.
Siskiyou Wild Ginger. This is a little gem found only in the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains in far southern Oregon and rarely in far northern California. A little clumper which doesn't make spreading mats like the more familiar Asarum canadense or A. caudatum but makes a dense mound of glossy foliage often well-marbled in silver. Small reddish purple flowers are interesting to people like us.
Showy Milkweed. Feed the Monarch butterflies! This is the preferred species of Milkweed for the colorful caterpillars to feed on and having these flamboyant critters with their white-black-yellow rings crawling about the gray-green foliage is over-the-top ornamentation plus you get to chalk one up for the environment.
Tatting Fern. Perfect for you all lace-makers out there as the very narrow fronds resemble tatted lace. I have to say I don't know anyone who tats lace anymore. Tattoos yes but lace, no. Delicate and intricate texture with 12"-18" long fronds. Deciduous, moist & bright shade.
Our native Deer Fern needs little introduction. One of the best of our native plants and a first-rate fern which can go toe-to-toe with the best ferns from the rest of the world and quite able to hold its own. Evergreen with dark vertical sterile fronds as an accent on mature plants.
An Idaho native loving a moist place. This is a spreader so give it room or contain it. Showy stems of lots of small pure white flowers to 4' high. This sent me into paroxysms of delight when it first bloomed. It just had so much muchness. In the Saxifrage family. Best in sun to half sun.
Tolmie Star-Tulip or Pussy Ears are the colloquial sobriquets for this diminutive Oregon and California native. Historically in Washington but extirpated. This species is very tolerant of winter rains growing from the coast up into the Cascades. Very fuzzy flowers with 3 broadly rounded generally white petals and 3 narrow lavender petals.
Heartleaf Bittercress. A western US and BC native which prefers the proximity of streams, springs or seeps and this one is an Alex Wright collection from Swauk Creek in Kittitas Co., WA. Loves a rich moist soil where it will form dense colonies with flower stems holding white flowers with a cream eye 10"-24" high. This was formerly the subspecies lyallii but has been lumped.into the species.
White Arctic Heather. Cute little heather relative from the high mountains of Washington and Montana spreading broadly across Canada and Alaska. This gets just 4"-8" tall and spreading with white bells in late spring. Needs a cool spot with acidic soil that drains well but never dries out. This might be var. saximontana since it has been easy to grow.
Giant Indian Paintbrush. Beloved native wildflower found from Caliornia to Alaska and east to the Rockies and into Canada. This will have showy red to orangish long bracts which enclose the insignificant true flowers and can flower all summer. These non-harmfully parasitize perennials and grasses so plant near one. Feed well until it has a host.
This is a selection from the northern part of its range in sw Oregon and has smaller deep evergreen leaves and masses of turqouise flowers in May-June. This loves a crummy well-drained soil where it quickly becomes a small nitrogen-fixing tree. Can be clipped to a big shrub but why create work.
A Ron Ratko collection of this shrubby gem that flies under everyone's radar. Native to ID, OR and the SW, we saw this in the White Mts growing with the ancient Bristlecone Pines. Like a shrubby Spiraea but with white Potentilla-like flowers highlighted by yellow anthers. Lacy moth antennae leaves. Dry and well-drained.
One of our beloved natives colonizing rich bottomland along the shoulders of woodland streams. This has succulent delicato ferny foliage of fresh green munchable (Please Don't) appearing foliage and small terminal flower clusters of pink cornucopias. Moist to damn near wet.
Indian Rhubarb. California native that is an imposing sight in the garden. This is a superior form with darker flowers and somewhat more textured foliage. Streamside dweller that loves a wet rich soil where the big rounded leaves can really do their thing.
A rich reddish purple foliage form of our native Western Stream Orchid. Totally hardy outside and loves a wet spot but is perfectly happy in a garden bed that doesn't dry out. This makes a colony of vibrant colored leafy stems bearing numerous orange-brown-yellow flowers.
Nice native bulb surprisingly seldom available. Mottled leaves and multiple pale yellow to creamy yellow flowers in multiples hang above the foliage. Very good naturalizer from seed and one of the most requested plants in our shade garden.
Our native Fawnlily which grows from California up to BC. It is difficult to imagine having too many of these but judging from the copious self-sown seedlings in our shade garden, we'll soon see. Dormant in early summer so they aren't in the way. Pink flowers, leaves mottled when young.
Coast Silktassle. Exceptional selection by Wayne Roderick of this fine West Coast native evergreen shrub. This has a much denser habit than 'James Roof' and very profuse greenish 8"-10" catkins sometimes purple tinged in the early spring. Tough plant needed not much from you and deer proof.
A hybrid from Pat Ballard's garden in Issaquah with parents of G. fremontii and G, elliptica. This is a phenomenal winter blooming plant with silver-sage and mauve pencil thin pendulous catkins up to 12" long in winter which look as though the lustrous evergreen leaves had been festooned with some sort of botanical tinsel in the most artistic manner.
Our Washington native Columbia Tiger Lily. Often glimpsed along road edges or growing in scattered abandon on lower slopes in the Olympics and Cascades if one is lucky enough to be hiking. Usually 6-10 (rarely up to 30) orangish Turk's Cap flowers with purple spots.
One of the wildflower kings of the Columbia Gorge. This is an awesome Desert Parsley that can be found near Lyle growing out of basalt rubble outcrops in the grasslands. Billowing mounds of blue green ferny foliage and big rich pink flower umbels. Yowlza! Ask us how to grow it.
Our selection from near the extirpated location of a dwarf population above Carbonado relayed to us by NW plant legend Edith Dusek. This has proved to be very atypical in that it produces a zillion crowns in a single plant, A one gallon pot plant had 50 divisions, a large garden clump over a thousand. Smaller than lowland clones.
Mountain Lover or Oregon Box. Nice evergreen native shrub which grows 1-3 feet tall with small leaves and tiny red flowers crowding the stems in late spring. Part to full shade is the main requirement for this understory woodland plant. This has a history of ceremonial/ medicinal ethnobotanical usage from the Navajo to the Bella Coola. Zone 5-8.
Let's talk drought tolerance. This is one step up from cactus. We always marvel at this growing out of cracks in sheer basalt cliffs on the dry Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and looking oh so good despite the most rigorous of conditions. Great for the rock garden. Good drainage. Purple-pink flowers on this evergreen subshrub.
Egg-Leaf Beardtongue. Pretty impressive mountain native from the Olympics and along the Cascades from BC to Oregon. This adapts very easily to the lowlands where it lives the good life with multiple stems to 30" of shimmering sky blue to lavender-blue flowers for weeks in late spring. Low water needs and avoid waterlogged or too fertile soils.