Summer and Fall Blooming Favorites

Gardeners’ Corner | Questions and Answers with Local Experts 

By Dan Songster, 2016 September

This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. The request for this Edition of the OC-CNPS Newsletter is: “Which Summer and Fall blooming native plants are your favorites?”

Thea Gavin -“I have several buckwheat species in my backyard garden; all are profuse summer bloomers that hold onto the lovely dried flowers for a long time.”

Leon Baginski – “Oenothera hookeri, given enough water in late spring and mid summer will throw out big yellow flowers well into the fall while the already formed seed pods further down the stem attract American finches.”

Antonio Sanchez –“Abutilon palmeri – This roundish ball of orange flowers does well in the summer heat and responds to heavy pruning to keep it flowering thru much of spring, summer and fall.  Doesn’t seem to mind a little extra water during the summer, much like the monsoons it gets from its native desert areas, to keep it fresh looking and flowering for months. Also, Eriogonum x blissianum—a nice hybrid of E. giganteum and E. arborescens, it can look like a Cleveland Sage when young and full of leaves, and the spring-summer flowers are an excellent mix of its 2 parents, pinkish-white, large and showy. Excellent bee and butterfly plant.  Has responded well to aggressive dead-heading to keep it lightly flowering through fall. Good for gardens that may not have room for E. giganteum.”

Rama Nayeri —“I know this is not 100% native but I really like Autumn Sage because of all the varying flower colors.”

Bart O’Brien –‐“Big favorites include Arctostaphylos refugioensis and Ribes malvaceum – always the first shrubs to bloom of the “new” year – sometimes even starting before the first rains of the fall. The zauschnerias of course! And the myriad fall–‐blooming composites and buckwheats for both beauty and beneficial insects (as well as pollinators).”

Jeanne Carter –‐“I love yarrow because of the many colors it comes in and it is a great cut flower. I find that it along with sages lasts a long time in a vase, and it is such an easy care plant.”

Sarah Jayne —“One plant that consistently blooms its heart out spring, summer and fall and tolerates a wide variety of conditions, including neglect, is Bahiopsis laciniata, San Diego Marguerite. Cut back severely in late winter to make room for spring ephemerals, it snaps back vigorously in early summer to provide a patch of golden sunshine for the rest of the year.”

Dan Songster –‐“Seaside Daisy (Erigeron sp), all the California Fuschias of course, and Corethrogyne filaginifolia, California sand aster. For an amazing array of pollinators as well as the bright yellow blooms I really like the Isocoma menziesii, Coastal goldenbush. But for length of summer bloom and a variety of blossoms, the buckwheats can’t be beat.”


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