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Desert Jewels Nursery

Low Shrubs & Ground Cover

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Kinnickinnik

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Readily available in commerce. Excellent groundcover for slopes or under pine trees. Important plant to Native Americans.

Region

L

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

pink

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

spring

Size

low shrub/ ground cover

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Matted Buckwheat

Eriogonum caespitosum

Native to all western states except Washington.

Region

W

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

yellow

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

summer?

Size

low shrub/ ground cover

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Northern Buckwheat

Eriogonum compositum

Wild buckwheats are very important to pollinators. This one is one of our locals, a lover of very rocky sites. Good plant for the harshest, dryest, rockiest conditions.

Region

L

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Cream to yellow to pink

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

low shrub/ ground cover

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Wyeth buckwheat, Parsnip flower buckwheat

Eriogonum heracleoides

Native to the western US. Fully hardy in this area. Grows in sagebrush steppe, dry open Ponderosa pine forest, and on dry, rocky soils.

Region

L

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

cream to yellow

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

8- 14” tall, 1-3’ wide.

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Snow buckwheat

Eriogonum niveum

Snow buckwheat is native to the Pacific Northwest. A great plant for restoration and for xeriscapes. Like all buckwheats, important for native pollinators: utilized by the rare Mormon metalmark butterfly.

Region

R

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

White

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Summer

Size

1 ft.

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Cushion Buckwheat

Eriogonum ovalifolium

This wonderful little mat former or bun – shaped plant grows throughout the West in high elevations. The flowers range in color from cream to pink to red to purple.

Region

W

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

White/ cream

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

1 inch tall

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Blue Mountain buckwheat

Eriogonum strictum

Common in NE Oregon sagebrush/juniper communities. Variable over its western range: generally low-growing with light yellow flower clusters.

Region

W

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

butter yellow

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Summer

Size

4-12 inches

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Thyme-leaf buckwheat

Eriogonum thymoides

Small, slow growing, very showy flowering shrublet of basalt substrates. Once known as Ming tree - a bonsai subject. Collector's item - somewhat difficult to keep.

Region

L, R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white, cream, sometimes pink, yellow, red

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

spring

Size

4 - 6 inches

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Sulphur Flower Buckwheat

Eriogonum umbellatum var. majus

A subspecies of Sulphur Flower Buckwheat, from the mountains of WA & ID. Outstanding ground cover for an occasionally watered area.

Region

R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Cream to pink

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring

Size

low shrub/ ground cover

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Horizontal Juniper

Juniperus horizontalis


Juniperus horizontalis, the creeping juniper or creeping cedar, is a low-growing shrubby juniper native to northern North America, throughout most of Canada from Yukon east to Newfoundland, and in the United States in Alaska, and locally from Montana east to Maine, reaching its furthest south in Wyoming and northern Illinois.

Region

M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

inconspicuous

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Size

Up to 1.5 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide.

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Lavender

Lavandula sp.(Hardy English)

Hardy English lavender does well in dry gardens. Fragrant flowers have many uses, and are loved by bees. Goldfinches eat the seeds.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

lavender

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 ft

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Ellagance Pink' Lavender

Lavandula sp.'Ellagance Pink'

Graceful sprays of soft pink flowers amid fragrant silver-green foliage. An exceptionally compact selection. Adored by butterflies and bees.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

pink

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

summer

Size

1 ft. x 1 ft.

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Kent Beauty' Oregano

Origanum rotundifolium x O. scabrum

Fascinating flowers look like hops. VERY long blooming in summer.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

cream & pink

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

summer

Size

6 inches tall x 2 ft. wide

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Barrett's Penstemon

Penstemon barrettiae

Rare in the wild, but easy to cultivate. Native only to the area in and around the Columbia River Gorge. Long lived landscape plant.

Region

R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Purple

Xeric

very

Flower Time

spring

Size

6 - 12 inches tall by 3 - 4 ft. wide

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Shrubby Penstemon

Penstemon fruticosus

One of the very best of the locals. Showy year-round. Likes rocky sites. May spread up to 3 ft. Long lived in the landscape.

Region

L

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Purple, occasionally pink or white

Xeric

very

Flower Time

Spring

Size

1 - 2 ft,

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Cliff Penstemon, Rock Penstemon

Penstemon rupicola

Small ground cover or rock garden plant. Frequently pink flowered, with bluish foliage Very beautiful year-round. Not common in commerce. Long lived in the landscape.

Region

R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

pink to purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring

Size

low shrub/ ground cover

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Purple Sage

Salvia dorrii

Very showy early summer bloomer. Good for pollinators. Some traditional medicinal uses. Important to Native Americans.

Region

L

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

Purple

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Summer

Size

1 - 2 ft, occasionally 3+

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Mojave Sage, Giant Flowered Purple Sage

Salvia pachyphylla

VERY long blooming purple sage is beloved by hummingbirds and bees. This California native loves hot, dry, full sun sites. Reportedly browse resistant. Zone 5 hardy, but not hardy in colder zones (2-4).

Region

W

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Mid to late summer

Size

2 -2 1/2 ft.

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Hens & Chicks, Live-Forever, House Leek

Sempervivum sp.

Thousands of species exist, native to Europe. Great plants for dry, rocky areas or green roofs.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

yellow, pink, white

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring, summer

Size

Ground cover

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Birchleaf Spiraea

Spiraea betulifolia

Forest shrub: not a desert plant - likes occasional watering. Very showy and attractive to different pollinators. Can tolerate dry shade.

Region

L

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

White

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

to 2 ft.

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Douglas' Spiraea, Rose spiraea

Spiraea douglasii

Usually found in wetlands, the Rose spiraea has conical clusters of fragrant pink flowers. In the wild, it spreads
by suckers (under-ground shoots) to form dense thickets.

Region

L, R

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

pink

Xeric

no

Flower Time

Summer

Size

4 ft.+ tall with wide spread by suckers

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Creeping Thyme

Thymus sp.

Great groundcover for dry areas, although it is not a native plant. Plant grows very flat to the ground. Lawn substitute for areas with light foot traffic.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

White, pink or purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

Ground cover

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Creeping Wooly Thyme

Thymus sp.

Great groundcover for dry areas, although it is not a native plant. Very dense and wooly looking carpet. Lawn substitute for areas with light foot traffic.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

almost none

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

Ground cover