Plant Category: Shrub

California Lilac

Genus: Ceanothus

These evergreen shrubs are native to California and tolerant of very little water in the summer. They work well in gardens as hedges and as a backdrop to lower plantings. California lilacs have small clusters of fragrant and attractive flowers in the spring. California lilacs can become quite large, growing to the height of a tree and expanding to a girth of five feet. Avoid planting California Lilac if you have a problem with deer.

Heavenly Bamboo

Genus: Nandana

While this is not an actually bamboo, it is an extremely versatile plant. Heavenly bamboo is hardy in a variety of conditions and can be used in a range of landscape design situations. The plant offers seasonal color along with bright red berries and small white flowers. The plant self propagates in some areas. The foliage changes color seasonally. The berries and foliage and are long-lasting in cut arrangements. The flowers, however, drop once cut.

Lilac Hibiscus

Genus: Alyogyne Huegelii

These large shrubs grow to 5 feet in height and they are nearly as wide. The flowers continue through an extended blooming season that is at its peak in the spring months. The plants require regular watering until they are established. It is great to provide deep watering while the root system is getting established. Following that, they are water efficient. The plants can become unruly unless pruned each year in the spring. Lilac hibiscus originally come from Australia where they are typically found in coastal regions.


Genus: Mahonia Lomarifolia

This tall striking plant creates interest in the winter with spikes of yellow flowers. The foliage is dramatic year round with distinctly pointed leaves. New growth at the top of the plant takes on a rosy shade. The purple berries are an additional focal point. The plant is hardy once established but will require summer watering until then. Pruning is required to keep growth in check. The plant is also called Chinese Holly Grape. It has a vertical growing habit which enables it to work in gardens with space constraints.

Pink Breath of Heaven

Genus: Coleonema

These light green shrubs have attractive feathery leaves and produce a profusion of very small flowers in the early spring. Pink Breath of Heaven can also bloom a second time in the fall giving them interest throughout the year. The plants are drought tolerant once established. The plants can become quite large. Pruning right after blooming helps the plants retain a desired size but the the bushes usually look better and flower more with a more natural style.


Genus: Rosmarinus Officinalis

Rosemary is an exceptional performer in a wide range situations. As an evergreen ground cover or shrub, rosemary is attractive throughout the year. The plant attracts bees, is fragrant and a valued herb. Minimal care is needed even in drought situations. Light pruning is helps rosemary retain a compact and attractive form. As a ground cover, rosemary can be used in expansive areas while mixing well with accent plantings.

Sago Palm

Genus: Cycas Revoluta

The Sago is not actually a palm. It is part of the cycad family, sago palms have primitive origins. Fossilized remains found worldwide show that the variety we see today has changed little over time. The plant’s compact form and long dark green pointed leaves serve as a dramatic garden focal point that works well with nearly all garden styles. Sago palms are slow growing and eventually branch. Water needs are modest. Over-watering can lead to root decay.

Sweet Pea Shrub

Genus: Polygala Myrtifolia

This evergreen shrub has a long blooming season featuring flowers that grow in clusters. Sweat pea bushes require regular watering as they are becoming established. Following that, they perform well with modest supplemental dry season watering. Sweat pea bushes can take on a bushy habit. They also do well formally trimmed as hedges and small tree shapes.