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Achillea millifolium
  • Common name: Western White Yarrow
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 24-30 in. x 24 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Western White Yarrow is a tough evergreen native that has fragrant, lacy foliage with dense umbels of tiny white flowers in summer. Can spread. Great attractor for beneficial insects.  Tolerates variety of soil conditions. Pollinators: Butterflies and native bees. More information here.

Artemisia tridenta ssp. vaseyana
  • Common name: Mountain Big Sage
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 3 ft. x 3 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Mountain Big Sage is a more compact, tidy version of the common big sagebrush. Grey-green foliage provides structure in the garden and winter interest.  More info here.

Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata
  • Common name: Basin Big Sagebrush
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 6' x 4'
  • Native to: Idaho

The keystone species in our native landscape. Big sagebrush grows at lower elevations and needs no water once established. It is the  principal food and cover for sage grouse.   More information here.

Artemisia versicolor
  • Common name: Curlicue Sagebrush
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 10-16" high x 6-8' wide
  • Native to: Eurasia

Curlicue Sage has frothy mounds of silvery leaves that provide four season texture and color-contrast to any xeric landscape. This delightful Asian sagebrush cousin will add structure and interest to a colorful border.

Asclepias fascicularis
  • Common name: Narrow Leaf Milkweed
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 1-3' x 1'
  • Native to: Idaho

Narrow Leaf Milkweed, native to Southern Idaho, is smaller and more drought-tolerant than the better-known Showy Milkweed. Mauve-pink flowers emerge in mid-summer. With extra water, bloom time is extended. Host plant for Monarch butterflies.

Celtis reticulata
  • Common name: Netleaf Hackberry
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: to 20 ft. x 20 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Hackberry is a deciduous native tree, growing on rocky outcroppings on dry slopes in Southern Idaho. Often gnarly, graceful and sculptural in form. Great tree for small areas; orange berries loved by birds; Native Americans crushed and ate the fruit with parched corn.

Cercocarpus ledifolius
  • Common name: Curleaf Mountain Mahogany
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 10-15 ft. x 8-10 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Mountain Mahogany is an attractive evergreen, large shrub to small tree with spreading open crown of thick, twisted branches and furrowed reddish brown bark This beautiful Owyhee County native will tolerate heavy pruning and is browsed into beautiful bonsai-like shapes in the wild. More information here.

Chamaebatiaria millefolium
  • Common name: Fernbrush
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 5 ft. x 5 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Fernbrush is a multi-stemmed native shrub to small tree with red, shredding bark. Fragrant fern-like foliage and white clusters of rose-like flowers in mid-summer. Adaptable to many soil types and requires little or no additional moisture once established.

Ephedra viridis
  • Common name: Mormon Tea
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 4 ft. x 4 ft.
  • Native to: Nevada, Utah

Mormon Tea is an evergreen shrub is native to the high desert of Nevada, Utah and other western states. The bare green stems are marked by the tiny brown ridges which are actually the plant’s leaves. Dramatic!

Ericameria nauseosa
  • Common name: Rubber Rabbitbrush
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 2-6 ft. x 2-4 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Rubber Rabbitbrush is a tough native shrub covered with brilliant display of golden flowers in fall. Its upright form and graceful silver foliage make it an ideal foundation plant in the xeric garden. Supports butterflies & birds. Needs good drainage. Pollinators: butterflies, small bees.    Not currently available. More info here.

Eriogonum compositum
  • Common name: Arrow Leaf Buckwheat
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 12-18 in. x 12-18 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Arrow Leaf Buckwheat has big oval, pointed leaves basal leaves with leafless stems of cream to yellow pom-poms overhead. Thrives in hot, dry and poor soils. Unusually large buckwheat.

Eriogonum heracleoides
  • Common name: Whorled Buckwheat
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 12-18 in. x 12-18 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Whorled Buckwheat has leathery leaves which form a basal mat sending up brilliant white, cream or yellow bon-bons in early summer. Likes well-drained soil. Boise foothills native. Pollinators: butterflies, bees.

Water needs: • Bloom period:  
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. purpureum
  • Common name: Cushion Buckwheat
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 10" x 10"
  • Native to: Idaho

This Buckwheat forms dense mounds of grey-green leaves topped by pinky-white pom-poms in late spring. Great for rock gardens or for any small space in the landscape. Choice!

Eriogonum strictum
  • Common name: Strict Buckwheat
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 18 in. x 24 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Strict Buckwheat has gorgeous sprays of pinkish-white flowers that glow in the late summer/early autumn garden. Late season nectar source for honeybees. Boise foothills native.

Eriogonum umbellatum
  • Common name: Sulfur Buckwheat
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 6-12 in. x 1-2 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Sulfur Buckwheat has bright yellow flower heads, silvery foliage. Spreading, mat-forming perennial that produces cream to sulfur- yellow ball-like clusters of flowers that become copper-red tinted with age. Begins flowering in early summer and continues until the fall. Prefers moderate to dry, well drained soil, do not overwater. Pollinators: butterflies, bees.

Eriophyllum lanatum
  • Common name: Woolly Sunflower
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 3 in. x 6 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Woolly Sunflower, also called “Oregon Sunshine” (in Oregon!), is one of the real standouts among native Idaho flowering plants. Relatively abundant but usually small in the wild, Woolly Sunflower grows to impressive size in the garden with a bit of extra water. It puts on a beautiful flush of yellow daisies in the late spring; foliage is semi-evergreen and handsome otherwise.

Fallugia paradoxa
  • Common name: Apache Plume
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 3-5 ft. x 3-5 ft.
  • Native to: Southwest US

Apache Plume is a sturdy multi-branched southwest native shrub provides good bird habitat. Small white, rose-like flowers emerge over a long blooming season and are followed by charming, fluffy seed heads. More info here.

Helianthus maximiliani
  • Common name: Maximilian’s Sunflower
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: to 6 ft. high
  • Native to: Southwest US

Maximilian’s Sunflower is a vigorous perennial sunflower that comes back from roots every spring and grows to 5 or 6 feet. In late summer a profusion of smallish sunflowers, cover the upright stalks. Excellent fall interest, great along fences. Late season nectar source for bees and butterflies.

Hesperaloe parviflora
  • Common name: Texas Red Yucca
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 4' x 3'
  • Native to: Texas

Tall spikes of tubular red flowers in summer attract hummingbirds. The basal leaves are long and narrow, but not sharp as in a true Yucca. Needs well-drained soil.

Heterotheca villosa
  • Common name: Hairy Goldenaster
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 6-12" x 6-12"
  • Native to: Idaho

Hairy Goldenaster  covers itself completely with small yellow aster-like flowers in early summer. Needs no water once established.

Krascheninnikovia lanata
  • Common name: Winterfat
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 3 ft. x 3 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Winterfat is a low-growing, compact xeric shrub. Produces tiny white flowers in summer followed by ornamental woolly white seed heads in fall. Exciting in dried arrangements. Attracts birds & tolerates alkaline soils. An eye-catcher.

Machaeranthera canescens
  • Common name: Hoary Aster
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 18-24 in. x 18 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Hoary Aster: The big purple daisies of this fall-blooming biennial light up the Boise foothills in fall. In the garden, the plants will flower vigorously, then self-sow and reappear the following year. Pollinators: bees, butterflies.

Oenothera caespitosa
  • Common name: Fragrant Evening Primrose
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 6 in. x 12 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Fragrant Evening Primrose: Silken white blossoms unfurl each morning over shiny deep green mounds of leaves, slipping to a rosy tint with midday heat. The fragrance is sweet and exotic, contrasting sharply with the native surroundings of dry foothills, shrub steppe and pinyon-juniper. Tolerant of poor well-drained soils, and clay. More information here.

 

Oenothera pallida
  • Common name: Pale Evening Primrose
  • Zone: 3-4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 12" x 12"
  • Native to: Idaho

This Boise Foothills native produces scads of lovely white flowers and, given a little extra water, can bloom all summer. The plants spread by root and could be invasive in the wrong situation. Needs no water once established.

Oenothera speciosa
  • Common name: Showy Evening Primrose
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 1 ft. and spreading
  • Native to: Southwest US

Showy Evening Primrose is a heat-loving beauty and thrives in sunny, dry areas along baking south and west facing walls and pavement areas. It can spread rapidly on shallow roots when the hot summer weather arrives and can overrun smaller, less vigorous plants. Preferring unimproved, well-drained soils, this plant requires little extra water once established. More information here.

 

Purshia tridentata
  • Common name: Bitterbrush
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 5-6 ft. x 4-6 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Bitterbrush is a highly branched native shrub often with spectacular yellow spring bloom. Could replace forsythia in native, xeric gardens. Good wildlife habitat. Pollinators: butterflies, bees. More info here.

Rosa woodsii
  • Common name: Woods Rose
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 4 ft. x 4 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Woods Rose has fragrant, pink rose flowers which profusely bloom. A freely suckering native. Can bloom in full shade as well as full sun.

Salvia officinalis-Dwarf
  • Common name: Dwarf Culinary Sage
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun or part shade
  • Height x Width: 1-2' x 4-6'
  • Native to: Mediterranean

Dwarf Culinary Sage grows into a shrub covered with a dense mound of edible leaves. Covered with showy lavender-blue flowers in early summer, it becomes a magnet for honeybees. Unlike ordinary culinary sage, this dwarf form is completely evergreen, creating a beautiful gray-green mound in the winter garden. Tolerates clay and shade.

Water needs: • Bloom period:  
Yucca glauca
  • Common name: Soapweed Yucca
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 3' x 2'
  • Native to: West central U.S.

This handsome yucca has narrow, evergreen, spiky leaves and sends up a tall stalk of fragrant white flowers in late summer. Likes full sun and well-drained, sandy loam. More information here.

Yucca toftiae
  • Common name: Toft's Yucca
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 18" x 15"
  • Native to: Utah

Clumps of thin, stiff, leathery white-margined leaves eventually produce flower stalks with creamy white bells. Evergreen.