Milo Baker Chapter California Native Plant Sales

The plant sale is our primary fundraising event, please support the Milo Baker Chapter by shopping at our sale. In addition to offering a wide range of native plants for sale, we also have many experts on hand to offer gardening advice. Our partners, the Laguna Foundation will also have a great selection of plants for sale.

The sale is held  each year on the second Saturday in October at our Laguna-CNPS nursery, 900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa, CA, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Free admission, free parking.

Consider becoming a Milo Baker Chapter member for early access to the sale!

Save the date!
52’nd annual fall plant sale
October 14, 2023

Join Us

Fall Plant Sale Preview

Liz Parsons – Milo Baker Vice President

2023 Fall Plant Sale inventory list (pdf)
2023 Fall Plant Sale flyer (pdf)

The 52nd annual fall plant sale for our chapter will be held at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation on Saturday, October 14, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Milo Baker Chapter members will get a chance to buy plants on Friday night, October 13 from 3-6 PM. This is a pre-sale for members only. Our flyer (link above) features an illustration of Arctostaphylos by Lynn Colborn. This flyer advertises our sale so please post it on your local bulletin board.

Our chapter nursery volunteer team, led by Betty young and Lynnette Bower, has grown over 2000 plants, 400 more than last year, so we won’t run out. Some were grown from seeds and some from cuttings and others are from small plugs purchased from a wholesale nursery. Cal Flora Nursery helped us by letting us receive the plugs at their nursery.

The Laguna Foundation is located at 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa. Bring your own cardboard box, Please do not arrive early. There is no parking on Sanford Road before the gate opens.

The plant sale is the only fundraiser that the Milo Baker Chapter holds every year. The nursery employees over 100 Best Management Practices to assure that you purchase disease free plants. Please be sure to walk through the disinfectant mat when you enter the nursery and respect all of the protocols to ensure that the nursery remains a clean space.

There will be a huge selection of plants. The following is an overview of the plants at the sale so that you can begin to plan. I included most of the plants that we have more than ten. Check this website on September 15 for the final list. The plants will all be in gallon containers and will be priced at $12.00 each, tax NOT included.

Ceanothus (CALilac) is a very popular evergreen California native shrub that is drought tolerant and a vigorous grower that must have good drainage. CA lilacs have blue flowers in the spring and only need occasional summer water once established. The large shrubs at the sale will be Ceanothus thyrsiflorus—blueblossom that grows to 6’ x 15’. Ceanothus ‘Dark Star’ (6’ x 6’) will bloom in the spring with the vivid cobalt blue flowers and deep green foliage. C. ‘Concha’ is a medium sized (6’ x 9’) shrub with arching branches and dark green leaves. It is a good selection for home gardens. The groundcover C. ‘Centennial’ will create a dense mat 2 feet high and grow to 5 feet wide. Another ground cover is Ceanothus hearstiorum (12” x 6’) that was originally found growing near Hearst Castle. It has very small leaves and a ground hugging habit. C. ‘Yankee Point’ is a spreading ground cover with shiny green leaves and lavender-blue flowers and is the best heat adapted selection. Inland give it some afternoon shade.

Arctostaphylos or manzanitas are another group of drought tolerant CA native evergreen shrubs. We have grown 8 different varieties. The plants that we will offer include the slowly spreading ground cover A edmundsii ‘Carmel Sur’ (12” x 10’). It has glossy evergreen leaves and pinkish flowers followed by red berries. A. edmundsii ‘John Dourley’ ( 3’ x 6’) has a good tolerance for garden watering and blooms with pinkish flowers. One of my favorites is A. ‘Pacific Mist’. I like it because of the size—it is 2’ tall and will spread to 6’. It also has lovely soft grey leaves. It doesn’t have a lot of flowers, so plant it for the foliage.

Salvias are a genus that one can fall in love with. Most are part of the coastal sage scrub community. They are drought tolerant plants. Salvia mellifera, black sage, will form a 4’ mound 3’-5’ across. It has green leaves and white flowers. Salvia apiana ‘Compacta’, compact white sage, is smaller than regular S. apiana, will have flower stalks to 3’ and the flowers will be lavender in tight whorls. Salvia sonomensis x mellifera ‘Dara’s Choice’ is taller and more rounded than creeping sage and is very aromatic. The flower stalks rise to 8 inches from a plant that is about 2 feet tall. The Salvia clevelandii cultivar that we will have for sale is S.c. ‘Pozo Blue’. It has very blue flowers and will grow to 3′-5′ tall and wide.

Hummingbirds love the Epilobium canum or CA fuchsia, which is blooming now and is such an important flower for the fall garden. We will have 5 varieties for sale. Two have coral colored flowers E. ‘Coral Canyon’ and E. ‘Sierra Salmon’. The rest will have the usual fiery red-orange flowers. They are E. ‘Calistoga’, ‘Chaparral Silver’, and ‘Everett’s Choice’. Also the very low growing, with super red flowers is E.septentrionalis ‘Select Mattole’. All of the Epilobiums will spread widely by underground runners.

A very good evergreen shrub for attracting pollinators is coffeeberry. Now called Frangula californica, formerly Rhamnus, it has a small cluster of green-yellow flowers followed by large red/black berries that animals will eat. We will be offering some that are grown from seeds as well as two popular cultivars, F. ‘Eve Case’ (7’ x’8’) and ‘Mound San Bruno’ (5’x 5’). The seed grown plants are the straight native, Frangula californica, not a cultivar.

Other native shrub species that we will be selling include Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia, the popular evergreen shrub with red berries at Christmas time. Baccharis pilularis, coyote bush, was grown from seeds and will be either a male or female plant and will grow to 6’ to 8’ tall and wide. Good for revegetation projects. Give them both some summer water for the best look. The very useful Baccharis ground covers are B. ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘Pigeon Point’. They are male selections with low (to 12”) spreading habits. Fire resistant and long-lived, they need occasional irrigation in the summer.

Eriogonum, wild buckwheat, and Diplacus, the monkeyflowers, I consider being sub-shrubs. They are woody and drought tolerant and rather small to 3’ or so. The flowers of the wild buckwheats attract a lot of small pollinators, especially native bees.

The pink-flowering buckwheat, E. grande rubescens, is a charmer that re-seeds readily. It has a mound of felty grey leaves and sends up a flowering stalk that is about 15” tall and topped with a cluster of small pink flowers.

The monkeyflowers that we will have are Diplacus aurantiacus, the golden flowered plant that we see growing on our hillsides, is very drought tolerant and lovely in a garden setting where it gets a little water to keep it green in the late summer. The same is true of the other species that we will be offering: D. grandiflorus (Azalea flowered) has buff to apricot flowers and glossy green leaves.

The Diplacus cultivars that we have will be D, ‘Changling’, ‘Eleanor’, and ‘Vibrant Red’. Their growth habit is very similar to the Diplacus mentioned above.

We will offer Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita BOP’ as well as the straight P. heterophyllus grown from seed. Both are rather sprawling plants with intense blue flowers. P. heterophyllus is one of the most widely grown of the locally native Penstemon. We will also offer a white flowering form called ‘GMR White’. New to our sale is P. davidsonii. It is a dwarf, shrubby mat-forming plant with purple flowers. And back from last year, P. palmeri, is so popular because of the tall stalks of large fragrant, white/pink flowers and grey-green leaves.

An exciting new Monardella, coyote mint, with unusual orange flowers is M. macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’, It is a rather sprawling plant to 6” tall, but the flowers are a spectacular cluster that is 1 1/2 inches long. The ever-popular M. villosa ‘Russian River’ is a small bush with grey-green fragrant, leaves and small heads of lavender flowers.

The will be many perennials available, including Achilliea millefolium, Yarrow. It is a low growing, spreading plant with dissected aromatic foliage. The inflorescence is a flat cluster of small flowers in the spring. They can be white or pink. Cultivars ‘Island Pink’ and ‘Sonoma Coast’ as well as the straight, a native grown from seeds will be available. Aquilegia formosa, western Columbine, one of the most adaptable and dependable native perennials. It has nodding yellow/red flowers that hummingbirds love. Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’ is a long flowering, low growing mound 1-2’ tall x 2-3’ wide with lavender blossoms for a long period. Many members have grown this in their garden and love it.

Heuchera maxima, alumroot, is a large (12”) perennial for the shade-dry garden. It has large leaves and flowering stalks with small white blossoms that will grow to 1.5 feet. Romneya coulteri, matilija poppy, grown from seed will be for sale. This is a very popular flowering plant, also called the fried egg flower for the white petals and yellow center. It will spread and occupy a nice large space in the garden.

As always we will have native ferns. Polystichum munitum, sword fern, a woodland fern that is green through the summer and requires infrequent watering. A fern that requires constant moisture is Adiantum aleuticum, five-finger fern. It is native to moist habitats. It has several finger-like fronds with a black stems.

Butterfly plants that we will have are the milkweeds that are the food for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterflies. We will have both species that grow in Sonoma County—Asclepias fascicularis, narrowleaved milkweed and A. speciosa, showy milkweed. Another butterfly plant is the Dutchman’s pipe, Aristolochia californica. It is a vining plant that the Pipevine Swallowtail lays it’s eggs on. The caterpillars eat the leaves exclusively. The unusual brown, pipe-shaped flowers bloom before the leaves emerge, creating a very striking spring show. Plant it and they will come.

A new and unusual shrub that we will be offering is Amorpha californica var. napensis, Napa False Indigo. It is the food plant for the larva of the state insect, the California dogface butterfly. It is a deciduous shrub that will grow to 5’ x 4’. A member of the Pea family it has pinnate leaves and a spike-like inflorescence with many small purple flowers with yellow stamens. We will only have 10 plants at our sale, but Cal Flora nursery has a crop that is available.

Grasses that we offer will be Agrostis pallens, Bouteloua gracilis, Mellica californica, Sporobolus airiodes, Stipa lipida and Stipa pulchra. Maybe this will be the year that our customers discover grasses! Please check them out.

There will be a selection of bulbs and seeds. T-shirts and books and posters will all be for sale, so check out that area.

Fall is planting season in California. The soil is still warm and the roots will grow through the rainy season and will be well rooted in the spring, ready to survive the summer heat. See you at the plant sale!

2022 51'st Annual Fall Plant Sale

shoppers at Fall plant sale
center isle nursery
Laguna Foundation plant sale table

Photo credits Gary Morgret

We had another wonderfully successful plant sale at the CNPS/Laguna Foundation nursery selling over 1500 plants between the member’s only sale on Friday and the public sale on Saturday. Over the two days, 511 people came to shop, garnering the chapter $19,000 in sales. The plants looked gorgeous-healthy and vigorous and the volunteers outdid themselves selling more bulbs, seeds, t-shirts, books, and memberships than ever and selling out the first two printings of the Sonoma County Native Plant Gardener, by Betty Young and April Owens.

Thanks to all who volunteered their time to make the sale as smooth as possible, before, during and after!