Kinnick-kinnick is a glossy deep-green groundcover that does well under trees and shrubs in full sun or part shade. Small pinkish blooms are followed in fall by bird-friendly red berries. Leaves green or deep red in winter.
Fringed Sage is a low growing sagebrush relative forming mats of frilly grey-green leaves, giving rise in summer to foot-high fringed seed-stalks. Trim off seed-stalks to maintain as an ornamental ground cover with good color year- round.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The stems of Red Twig Dogwood (Red Osier Dogwood) turn brilliant red in the fall and are gorgeous all winter. Turning back to green in the spring, the shrub leafs out and then produces clumps of small white blossoms that are popular with pollinators. Tolerates a range of conditions. Can be pruned for shape. Nectar and pollen source for native bees and butterflies. More information here.
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. Tolerates clay. Dramatic!
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. . More info here.
Apache Plume is a sturdy multi-branched Southwest native shrub. Its small white, rose-like flowers emerge over a long blooming season and are a favorite of honey bees and other bees. It is our favorite bee plants! The flowers are followed by charming, fluffy seed heads that give the plant its name. More info here.
Lydia broom, a well-behaved flowering shrub, is a stunning sight in late spring,–covered with bright yellow pea-like flowers. Otherwise, the evergreen mound of wiry stems provide good structure year round. Tolerates clay. Don’t confuse with invasive Scotch Broom. Choice!
Similar to the more common Ocean Spray, but growing in hotter, drier conditions. It thrives in dry rocky desert valleys and hillsides from Idaho south to Arizona and New Mexico. Foamy waves of white flowers cover this native shrub in summer. Supports native pollinators.
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.
Creeping Oregon Grape is a low-growing, evergreen shrub. Bright yellow flowers bloom in spring followed by blue berries. Leaves are evergreen. Adaptable to many soil types and does well in full sun or full shade. Nectar and pollen source for native bees.
Syringa or Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub with lovely four petaled flowers, incredible fragrance. In the wild, Syringa grows in variety of habitats, from streambanks to lava flows. Can adjust to very low water sites. Idaho state flower.
Slow-growing, long-lived, 20 to 30 foot tree native just south of Idaho in the mountains from Nevada, to New Mexico. It is extremely drought and cold tolerant, and adapted to a wide range of soils, moisture conditions and temperatures.
Shrubby Cinquefoil is a small native shrub covered by small, yellow flowers all summer. Attractive foliage makes this a nice accent plant for sun or partial shade. Not currently available. Attracts bees and butterflies.
Chokecherry has profuse racemes of white flowers that turn into edible black fruit. Leaves turn deep glossy red in fall. Freely suckering growth form provides good wildlife habitat, especially for birds. Pollinators: butterflies, bees.
A stout, upright shrub or subtree growing to head-high or higher. Produces many pale yellow, wildrose-type flowers in the spring, each of which produces five feathery plumes with a seed attached. Related to bitterbrush.
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.
Oakleaf Sumac is a dense, mid-sized to large shrub, excellent foundation plant. Yellow bloom in spring and nice orange-yellow leaf color in fall. Female plants can yield a tart fruit traditionally used to make a lemony drink. Deciduous. Good bird habitat. Unrelated to poison sumac.
Golden Currant is a deciduous shrub with fragrant, golden yellow flowers in early spring. Small, bright green maple-like leaves with lovely fall color. Widespread in Boise foothills. Tolerates a wide variety of conditions. More information here.
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.
Silver Buffaloberry is an attractive mid-size shrub with grey-green foliage, similar to Russian Olive. It tolerates a wide range of conditions from wet and heavy to dry soils, but to keep growth under control, give very little water. Pollinators: butterflies, bees.