Rabbitbrush

Rubbery Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa, formerly Chrysothamnus nauseosus) This plant isn’t native to the Sacramento Valley, but it’s quite abundant in harsh, cold desert mountains with gravelly soils all over the state. These photos were taken in Lebec, but there’s a lot of this plant in the Sierras. If anyone is growing this around Sacramento –…

Showy Milkweed

Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). Herbaceous perennial. Monarch butterfly food plant. Showy milkweed is bolder and more structural in the garden than its narrow-leafed cousin. It also benefits from fall planting, and might perhaps like a bit more water than narrowleaf milkweed. These photos were taken in April and May – the shots with the caterpillar…

Narrowleaf milkweed

Narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). Herbaceous perennial. Food plant for Monarch butterfly. In a good year, these plants would be missing leaves devoured by Monarch caterpillars. This is not a good year in our garden. This is an easy enough milkweed to grow. Plant in fall. It will sit pretty much without growth, then die down…