Friday, May 14, 2010

Plant of the Week: Bush Anemone

"A wooden cherry scent is faintly breathing the air" Tom Waits rasps in "Watch Her Disappear."  A Carpenteria californica doesn't smell anywhere near cherry, but for some reason, this lyric comes to mind when I'm around it.  It's not so much as a scent as it is a suggestion.  The air seems cleaner, more pure with a softness that you can't put your finger on.  The blooms turn this stately shrub into a confident bride, all white and lovely from Spring into Summer.  Can you guess what my new favorite plant is?

Sun:  Morning or filtered sun seems to be best, although near the Coast it can probably do sun
Soil:  I'm getting mixed messages from my favorite research sites, so just try it and see what happens
Plant:  Ideally in the Fall, but they're usually only available when they're about to bloom
Buy it:  the wholesale nursery has them in 15 gallon containers (looking fabulous!) all the way down to 1 gallon.  You can ask your local nursery to order one for you or try Las Pilitas or Yerba Buena
Good for:  Contrasting with gray foliaged plants, English gardens, scented gardens, setting a flowery background to perennials (would look fabulous with Penstemon heterophyllus!), attracting pollinators


  1. Thank you for the comprehensive info on the Bush Anemone. I was considering putting one into my new native plant front garden in the fall - now it is a must have.

    Love this blog - I'm learning so much from it as a person new to California and its native plants!

  2. Oh Byddi, you are so sweet! Thanks and enjoy your new little Carpenteria! What a great time to get last minute planting done- when we still have the odd shower blowing through.