Richie Steffen

Great Plant Pick: Araucaria araucana, monkey puzzle tree

What: Araucaria araucana is a distinctive South American conifer commonly known as a monkey puzzle tree. It has widely spaced branches that extend horizontally from… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense,’ stonecrop

What: Sedum cauticola “Lidakense,” with the common name stonecrop, is an excellent groundcover plant, particularly for hot, dry sites with poor soil. This variety forms… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus ‘Cabaret’

What: Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus “Cabaret,” a type of variegated maiden grass, is noted for its wide green leaves with a creamy, irregular midrib that… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Liriodendron tulipifera, variegated tulip tree

What: Liriodendron tulipifera, or tulip tree, is the queen of the eastern North American woodland and the tallest-growing deciduous tree in North America. Its leaves… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Hosta ‘Francee,’ francee hosta

What: Hosta “Francee,” or simply francee hosta, is a popular and vigorous hosta that quickly forms substantial clumps of bright green and white variegated foliage.… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Center Glow,’ ninebark

What: Physocarpus opulifolius “Center Glow” is commonly called ninebark. It gets this common name for the attractive, exfoliating bark. Unique foliage color and a rugged… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Clematis ‘Helsingborg,’ purple alpine clematis

What: Clematis “Helsingborg,” commonly known as purple alpine clematis, is an easy-to-grow vine that produces a spectacular show in mid-spring of nodding blooms. The flowers… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: ‘Royal Azalea,’ rhododendron schlippenbachii

What: Rhododendron schlippenbachii or “royal azalea,” as its common name suggests, is top class. Its branching structure is shapely and well-balanced, creating a pleasing winter… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Narcissus ‘February Gold’

What: Narcissus “February Gold,” also known as February gold miniature daffodil. Nothing trumpets the arrival of spring like the early blooming miniature daffodils. Narcissus “February… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Primula ‘Guinevere’ aka Guinevere primrose

What: Primula “guinevere,” also known as guinevere primrose. This pretty-in-pink primrose with bronze foliage is beautiful and long lived. Established clumps of primula “guinevere” march… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Hebe ‘Emerald Gem’

Hebe “Emerald Gem” caught the eye of Great Plant Pick judges over the course of a three-year hebe evaluation at North Willamette Research and Extension… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ Maple

A lovely small Japanese maple, Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ Maple, is a bold element with a quiet elegance in the garden. This deciduous tree leafs… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Colchicum autumnale ‘Alboplenum’

What: Colchicum autumnale ‘Alboplenum’ In early autumn, large star-shaped white, fully double flowers burst from the ground. This enduring bulb has broad strappy and shiny… Continue reading