California Buckeye

California buckeye (Aesculus californica). Deciduous shrub/tree. Wonderful bark, impressive flowers and decorative shiny round seed pods (called buckeyes or horse chestnuts) make this a good choice for larger gardens, especially with rock outcroppings where the roots can grow around and over the rocks as the plants mature. Advertisements

Calycanthus occidentalis

Western Spice Bush

Western Spice Bush (Calycanthus occidentalis). Deciduous shrub. This is not a drought tolerant plant, but with regular water it will grow in open shade inland if it gets morning sun. It gets fairly large – up to 12 feet – but can be kept in check by careful pruning. The flowers smell like old wine…

Cornus sericea

Creek Dogwood

Creek Dogwood, American Dogwood (Cornus sericea). Sometimes known as red-twig dogwood. Deciduous shrub. This is not a drought-tolerant plant, as its common name indicates. I remember enjoying this plant while walking along streams in Yosemite Valley for its lush green appearance. In winter, our plant transforms into a maze of bright red twigs backed by…