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The Plants of Granite Gardens

We started propagating plants in a desperate attempt to find more plants that would be appropriate for dry Sierra Foothill gardens. We have had many failures but also many successes.
The main purpose of this website is to share our experience with you. Our Plant Database information on many of the plants we have succeeded with. Look for the code TNT throughout the database to indicate plants that are "Tried and True" in the Sierra Foothills. These are plants that have proven easy or reliable in gardens known to us.
You can navigate through our database of plants by using the alphabetical index on the sidebar. (The letter corresponds to the Genus.)
Or, if you are patient, by using the numerical pager on the bottom.

Plant Description
Pediocactus simpsonii nigrispinus Deep magenta pink flowers on black spined barrells. Kittitas Co, WA 2500’ 5 6 5
Penstemon azureus angustissimus Another beautiful penstemon. Narrow blue-grey leaves and large radiant blue flowers. This selection from Tehamo County, CA on south facing dry slopes. 12 15 5
Penstemon azureus ‘Lake County Special’ A beautiful penstemon from the higher elevations of Lake County, CA. (7000’) Forms nice compact mounds of glaucous linear blue-grey foliage. Flower buds are bright yellow, but open to rich blue-violet flowers. 15 20 5
Penstemon azureus azureus There are many forms of this plant. The one we grew from the Central Sierra Nevada, Fresno County had narrow silvery blue grey leaves and numerous wide-throated azure blue flowers. A gorgeous plant that does well in our garden, as do most penstemon from this subgenus. 12 15 5
Penstemon barrettiae We have been surprised at how well this plant has done in our berm of western natives as most members of the Dasanthera subgenus just fry in our gardens. Beautiful leathery blue green leaves and large rose-violet flowers in early spring. 15 15 6
Penstemon californicus Very nice mounds of small silvery leaves and small purple flowers on this rare and most beautiful dwarf penstemon from the mountains of southern California. Needs a well drained soil with a gravel mulch. 5 15 5
Penstemon clutei A beautiful Arizona penstemon for larger dryland gardens. Large clumps of attractive leathery blue-grey leaves and spikes of rose pink flowers in late spring. Your hummingbirds will thank you. Needs no water at all once established. Let it self sow in dry gravel beds in the garden. 30 24 0
Penstemon davidsonii praeteritus A famous Penstemon from the Steen Mts in Oregon. Mats of small blue-green leaves are dwarfed by the large lilac-blue flowers. Exquisite. Best above 3000'. In lower gardens, will need some shelter from the sun and may prove short-lived. 4 12 3
Penstemon davidsonii davidsonii A penstemon found in many mountains of the west. Mats of dark green leaves and short erect stems of lavender blue, relatively large flowers. A rock garden classic to be grown on the north side of a rock. A great plant for higher elevation gardens. Below 3000' it may need careful siting and be short lived. 4 12 5
Penstemon duchesnensis A very dwarf species with tufts of gray-green leaves. Short stems of blue flowers white throats. A jewel from the Uintah Basin of Utah, perfect for the trough. We have not trialed it in the open garden yet. 5 5 4