Arctostaphylos 'Arroyo Cascade'
Arctostaphylos 'Arroyo Cascade'
press to zoom
Ceanothus 'Pt. Sal'
Ceanothus 'Pt. Sal'
press to zoom
Ceanothus arboreus 'Powder Blue'
Ceanothus arboreus 'Powder Blue'
press to zoom
Condea (Hyptis) emoryi 'Silver Lining'
Condea (Hyptis) emoryi 'Silver Lining'
press to zoom
Constancea nevinii 'Canyon Silver'
Constancea nevinii 'Canyon Silver'
press to zoom
Corethrogyne (Lessingia) 'Silver Carpet'
Corethrogyne (Lessingia) 'Silver Carpet'
press to zoom
Encelia californica 'Paleo Yellow'
Encelia californica 'Paleo Yellow'
press to zoom
Gambelia (Galvezia) juncea 'Gran Canon'
Gambelia (Galvezia) juncea 'Gran Canon'
press to zoom
Iris 'Purple Velvet'
Iris 'Purple Velvet'
press to zoom
Keckiella cordifolia 'Mt
Keckiella cordifolia 'Mt
press to zoom
Salvia 'Pacific Blue'
Salvia 'Pacific Blue'
press to zoom
Salvia leucophylla 'Amethyst Bluff'
Salvia leucophylla 'Amethyst Bluff'
press to zoom
Solanum xanti 'Mt. Pride'
Solanum xanti 'Mt. Pride'
press to zoom
Symphyotrichum (Aster) chilensis 'Purple Haze'
Symphyotrichum (Aster) chilensis 'Purple Haze'
press to zoom
Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina'
Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina'
press to zoom

Cultivars

 

A cultivar (abbreviation of cultivated variety) is a plant that possesses one or more unique features. Most of the fruits and vegetables we eat are cultivars. They are the product of breeding programs whose aim is to create flavorful, colorful, or vigorous plants. Many landscape ornamentals are cultivars as well. Some (e.g. roses, camellias, daylilies) are the handiwork of breeders, whereas others are chance discoveries made in the wild or in a garden setting. Most California native plant cultivars fall into the latter group, with monkey flowers, irises, and coral bells being three notable exceptions.

 

Most of the cultivars featured here are selections that I made from various wild populations in California or from the living collections of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG). Each one exhibited an unusual physical feature that caught my eye and made me want to share it with other gardeners. After testing at SBBG and other sites around the state, these selections were deemed garden-worthy and given cultivar names to distinguish them from other closely related plants.

 

For more information about SBBG’s cultivars and plant introduction program, see http://www.sbbg.org/learn-discover/gardening-with-natives