dwarf statice and what else is new in June


The dwarf statice, Limonium minutum, are new this June. Planted along the spine of rocks laid down last November, their tight cushions send out slender stems that branch upward to hold aloft sparkling clouds of everlasting blooms, creating a gauzy mist over surrounding succulents. Hardy to at least zone 5 too. I love the effervescence they add from a small footprint, bringing a see-through performance that doesn’t smother other plants. So far, unless they’re terribly intrusive reseeders, we’re good.


Very new this June, as in just planted yesterday, are two rectangular planters filled with Anigozanthos ‘Tequila Sunrise,’ Leymus condensatus ‘Canyon Prince,’ Teucrium azureum, and Cuphea micropetala. The leymus grasses will most likely be moved into the parkway in fall. I used this grass in the no-water hellstrip for a local pocket park, and its flourishing icy blueness is one of my favorite sights when walking Billie to the park. So I may break my “never planting our hell strip again, oh, hell no” rule and use it in our own parkway, where it just might be able to outcompete car doors and careless shoes and trash where other plants failed.

Kangaroo paws ‘Regal Velvet’ and ‘Tequila Sunrise’ — the fading flowers on ‘Regal Velvet’ have been cut and brought into the house for dried flowers. I dislike the color as it ages in the garden, especially since ‘Tequila Sunrise’ has a much longer period of vibrancy and holds its color better

‘Tequila Sunrise’ is possibly my favorite paw of all, and I may add it to existing clumps in the garden in fall, replacing the red ‘Regal Velvet’ — a good grower but I dislike the way the color ages. ‘Regal Velvet’ might be good if separated from the orange paws and moved against the grey east fence.


The cuphea, aka Giant Mexican Cigar Plant, should be able to handle summer in a container. It’s too much of a sprawler to squeeze into an already packed garden, but I knew my hummingbirds would be furious if I didn’t bring it home. (I rarely see this cuphea for sale locally but found it at Village in Huntington Beach.) The back planter holds the kangaroo paws and a leymus, giving the paws sun and light at their crowns; the front planter got another leymus and the big spreaders like the cuphea and teucrium, so they can spill onto the bricks and not on the paws.

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the potted Yucca linearifolia was brought back from the dead, dug up from the garden and nursed back to health — and yes, I’m very proud that I stuck by it during an extended ugly period, something I find difficult to do!

Even though I haven’t had much luck with the parrot’s beak plant, Lotus berthelotii, in the past, I added a couple among the new plantings along the rock spine, and it seems happy here, along with Hebe ‘Quicksilver’ and Marrubium bourgaei ‘All Hallows Green’ (formerly a ballota).

lotus, hebe, and marrubium near the base of Leucospermum ‘Tango’ — large succulent-ish leaves upper left are Brassica cretica subsp aegae grown from seed from Liberto Dario

Planted a couple months ago from a 4-inch pot mail-ordered from Dancing Oaks Nursery, Bupleurum fruticosum surprised me with throwing a bloom. Which was intense instant gratification to see the umbels for which this evergreen shrub is justly famous and the reason why I’ve repeatedly tried to make it happy in my garden.


I’ve been reading nothing but good reports on Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’ and found three small plants locally. E. ‘Dean’s Hybrid’ is another one I’d like to try.


I was crazy happy to find this unlabeled herbaceous euphorbia locally at Green Touch Nursery. I splurged on the 3-gallon, about 3-feet tall, but gallons were available too and I’m debating whether to go back and grab a couple more.


It’s not mellifera, lambii or stygiana, all of which I have grown. Those red petioles are an insanely brilliant touch. It reminds me of Euphorbia ceratocarpa, a plant I grew and lost many years ago. It was Oscar’s day off when I found it, so I need to call him and see if he has an ID for it.


The bloom on bromeliad Alcantarea odorata is taller than me, and I’m 5’8″ — the growth seems to be slowing and the buds are fattening, so maybe flowering is imminent.


For someone who loves to change up the garden, for once that’s not the case — I’m really going to miss this big bromeliad under the tetrapanax.


At Upland Nursery in Orange I found Vriesea ‘Nova,’ which may get the alcantarea’s spot once it’s done blooming. When the alcantarea’s pups make size, though, I’d love to see that silvery rosette sidled up against the tetrapanax again.


On the northeast side of the house I finally planted my long-suffering Cussonia paniculata after seeing how well Max’s are doing in the ground in Oakland (check his Instagram feed here). Mine has been so slow, countless years, in building a rounded canopy. It will actually get good morning sun here, and some late afternoon sun as well. Adjacent Cussonia spicata, still potted, has the same problem — spindly leaf growth but atop a much longer trunk.


Deeper in the shade against the house, Sansevieria cylindrica was recently added for some height and line to balance all the big leaves.

Schefflera taiwniana at lower left, potted sansevieria on a pedestal, Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ on the right

The new scheffleras are starting to come in to local nurseries. I think I found this Schefflera taiwaniana at H&H in Los Angeles. The sheltered, northeast exposure is my best guess for giving it a decent chance. The new mystery euphorbia has a very similar foliar effect, but for sun.

Begonia luxurians

I’ve had such a hankering for the palm-leaf begonia this summer and have been looking everywhere for it. Village Nursery in Huntington Beach is where to find them locally — and nowhere else because, believe me, I’ve looked.

Grown from seed from Liberto Dario

Malabaila aurea is one of those plants in the category of you’ve got to grow it for yourself to believe it. Tiny, insignificant yellow umbels transform into the most extraordinary seedheads. A few plants are flowering, and if I want more plants next year I’ll have to resist saving the dried seedheads for vases and leave them to self-sow. Just wow.

not new but returning for several summers now, Eryngium pandanifolium

Grevillea ‘Poorinda Blondie’ is hanging in there its first summer, which so far has been very mild and nothing to complain about here in coastal Southern California. My heart goes out to all of you currently coping with extreme weather events. And if you are considering celebrating with fireworks this upcoming holiday, please reconsider — they don’t mix well with the extreme drought conditions out West.


Billie now has many friends that stop by our gate when walking their dogs throughout the day, and everyone comments on how comically looong she’s gotten, and also how skinny! She’s definitely in a growth spurt, corgi style!

Affectionately, AGO.

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11 Responses to dwarf statice and what else is new in June

  1. Wow, so much to see in this post!

    I’m a novice to the statice game. In fact, I just recently bought my first “regular” statice, Limonium perezii. I like yours, Limonium minutum, even better since it’s smaller and easier to cram into tighter spaces. Where did you find it?

    Anigozanthos ‘Tequila Sunrise’ – on my wish list it goes.

    Cuphea micropetala – I planted one in the ground last winter, and it’s doubled in size. Doesn’t seem to mind the heat but is shy to flower. Weird.

    Cussonia paniculata – it’ll do great in the ground. Mine’s a good 10 ft. tall now. It’ll be even happier in Long Beach than here in Davis.

    Schefflera taiwaniana – what a cool find! Keep it well-watered. I found one locally a few years ago but it died of underwatering.

    I’m so happy you ended your post with a photo of the impossibly cute Billie!

  2. Denise says:

    @Gerhard, the statice came from Worldwide Exotics. I need to get up there again, so I’ll grab a couple if still available and we’ll figure out how to get them to you 😉 The scheffie was planted near a rain gutter spout, not that that means much when there’s been very little rain, but it’s near a hose bib and easy to water — thanks for the input!

  3. Gerhard Bock says:

    Limonium – awesome! I hope to be in your neck of the woods in August for the Intercity Show.

  4. Kris P says:

    I’m going to have to make another trip to H&H! As always, your garden is full of interesting plants. It seems you’ve been enjoying wandering local – and not so local – nurseries and garden centers since COVID-19 restrictions have eased too. Euphorbia ‘Dean’s Hybrid’ is my favorite member of this genus (with the possible exception of ‘Ascot Rainbow’). It moves about quite a bit and, in my garden, has been happiest on my back slope of all places. I found Begonia luxurians at Seaside Nursery when I visited in 2020 shortly before the shutdown. Logee’s offers it by mail order periodically but it’s pricey when available.

    It’s nice to see Billie again!

  5. Chris Kelley says:

    Another wonderful ‘see through’ plant with a mist of lavender flowers is Verbena officinalis ‘Bampton’. It thrives here in our Midwestern (near St. Louis) heat and humidity. I have it planted in pots with succulents. My plant was purchased from Select Seeds.

  6. Denise says:

    @Kris, I did see ‘Dean’s Hybrid’ local too but will confine my euphorbia trials to ‘Blue Haze’ this summer. I hate to mail order stuff like that begonia in summer — if it wasn’t local I was going to go without!
    @Chris, I’m taking notes on that verbena — thanks!

  7. hb says:

    Too many wonderful plants, as if such a thing were possible.

    Billie, adorable.

  8. Oh those anigozanthos!!! They don’t usually show up here at the nurseries until about now, and sadly I’m not getting out and about much. This may be a summer without kangaroo paws for me.

    So many fabulous photos/plants but that last shot is my fav. Your collection of plants and objects on the steps makes my heart beat faster (making little displays like that it one of the things I’m missing most!) and of course Billie is a doll!

  9. Dee says:

    Denise, I so enjoyed looking at all of your sweet plants, so many of which I can grow in Oklahoma too if we’re having a normal precipitation year, unlike this one. I love all the little succulents, and all the precious little blooms. I bet pollinators love your garden. Thank you for helping them. ~~Dee

  10. Denise says:

    @Hoov, too many wonderful plants? Not possible. Billie adorable? It’s a good thing she is, because you know how pesky puppies can be 😉
    @Loree, the pots on the porch have been thinned out, and Billie has mostly stopped messing around with them. I would love to have steps like that to stage completely with plants. This summer is throwing you so many curveballs — fingers crossed August will be your month!
    @Dee, we do find a way, don’t we, whether on an acre or small city garden, in wet weather or drought — the plants we can grow and live with day to day, such a privilege, such a joy. Thanks for all you do to help the garden community.

  11. Elaine says:

    Great plants. I really like the rich colour of Regal Red Anigozanthus. Have a question re: spider’s web Fatsia: leaves are turning solid green. Is this too much light or not enough? It is planted in semi-shade but we are in the middle of a heat wave so wondering if that might cause it to lose it’s cool patterning?

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