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Mounds of Color
Lemon Swirl Lantana
Oriental Fountain Grass
Mexican Feather Grass
Sweet Alyssum
Deer Grass
Crape Myrtle
California or Golden Poppy
Garden or Common Geranium
Firebird Border Penstemon (red)
Little White Oleander
Semi-trailing Yellow Gazania
Century Plant
Lemon Swirl Lantana

Common name:Lemon Swirl Lantana
Botanical name:Lantana 'Lemon Swirl'

This bloomer is reliable almost all year. This variety has cheerful yellow flowers, and prospers from deep, infrequent watering and some pruning.

Oriental Fountain Grass

Common name:Oriental Fountain Grass
Botanical name:Pennisetum orientale

Oriental Fountain Grass is a clumping, warm-season grass with spectacular pinkish white flowers in summer and sometimes fall. Flower plumes change to light brown. Foliage is a bright green that changes to straw color as winter approaches. This grass is 1'-2.5' tall and wide. It usually does not reseed. This grass is striking if backlit to show off flower plumes.

Mexican Feather Grass

Common name:Mexican Feather Grass
Botanical name:Nassella tenuissima

The Mexican Fan Grass is a fine, airy grass that is emerald green in color. It has many soft yellow-beige flower stalks in the spring.It is extremely invasive; the California Invasive Plant Council is working to halt commercial sale of this grass because it is taking over natural areas. This grass grows 10"-12" tall , 1'-2' wide, and is drought tolerant.

Sweet Alyssum

Common name:Sweet Alyssum
Botanical name:Lobularia maritima

Lobularia maritima is an annual. It is a low branching, trailing plant to 1' tall, with narrow or lance-shaped leaves .5"-2" long. There are tiny, four-petaled, white flowers crowded in clusters.

Deer Grass

Common name:Deer Grass
Botanical name:Muhlenbergia rigens

The Deer Grass is a warm season perennial that forms dense clumps from the base. The spike-like, straw yellow, flower stalks grow 4' tall, creating a striking foundation form in fall. The Deer Grass is native to California and needs watering once or twice a month after it's established. The more water it has, the greener it is.

Crape Myrtle

Common name:Crape Myrtle
Botanical name:Lagerstroemia indica

The new leaves of this species are 2" long, bright green, and tinged with bronze. Some cultivars have spectacular fall color. When it has a bare outline, its rounded seed capsules add interest. Its delicate flowers bloom in 6"-12" long clusters. The flower colors could be shades of red, rose, pink, purple, and white, blooming in summer. It thrives on heat, and new cultivars have been created that resist mildew. This tree prefers full sun and has low watering needs once it's established.

California or Golden Poppy

Common name:California or Golden Poppy
Botanical name:Eschscholzia californica

This small annual (sometimes acts as a perennial) plant will grow to less than 1' tall and has light, small blue-green leaves with gold and orange flowers that bloom in spring and summer.

Garden or Common Geranium

Common name:Garden or Common Geranium
Botanical name:Pelargonium X hortorum

Pelargonium X hortorum is a shrubby, succulent annual stemmed to 3' or more. Round or kidney-shaped leaves are velvety and hairy, soft to the touch, aromatic, with edges distinctly lobed and scalloped toothed. Single and double flowers are flatter and smaller than those of Pelargonium domesticum variety, but clusters bear more blossoms. Comes in many colors such as white, pink, red, salmon and bi-colored.

Firebird Border Penstemon (red)

Common name:Firebird Border Penstemon (red)
Botanical name:Penstemon 'Firebird'

Penstemon gloxiniodes 'Firebird' is perennial with spectacular red flowers in spring and fall. This dependable plant quickly reaches 2'-4' tall, with lance-shaped, dark green leaves on stems. Trumpet shaped flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Plant in full sun in coastal areas but provide afternoon shade in warm inland areas. It has low watering needs but will do better with extra summer water in hot inland valleys. It need well draining soil. Penstemon should be replaced every 5 years.

Little White Oleander

Common name:Little White Oleander
Botanical name:Nerium oleander 'Little White'

Oleander is an evergreen shrub with moderate to fast growth. Leaves are narrow, 4"-12" long, dark green, leathery, and glossy, attractive in all seasons. Flowers are in clusters on branch ends; blooms from late spring through fall. 'Little White' grows 8'-12' tall and wide with white flowers.

Semi-trailing Yellow Gazania

Common name:Semi-trailing Yellow Gazania
Botanical name:Gazania hybrid 'Mitsuwa Yellow'

This somewhat hardy perennial will grow 6"-12" high, spreading 3' wide. It produces wonderful, bright yellow flowers during the warm season. Plant in full sun. It is drought tolerant once it's established. This is a great ground cover for erosion control on hillsides or used as a lawn substitute.

Century Plant

Common name:Century Plant
Botanical name:Agave americana

This agave is fast growing to about 6-10' tall and 8-13' wide. Wide, gray leaves have stiff terminal spines and recurved teeth on margins. It prefers full sun and well-drained situations. It is prone to agave snout weevil which will eat the roots and leaves. After blooming, which could take several years, it will die but will send up new pups from around the base. Some people are allergic to the sap. Removal is difficult if unwanted. Water once a month during the summer.

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Mounds of Color

Photographer: GardenSoft

Water Saving Tip:

Change spray sprinklers to low-flow bubbler or drip systems. Shrubs and trees are ideal candidates for this type of irrigation because the water is applied directly to the root zones.