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Perennials for a Californian climate - need suggestions

SeedG (Zone 9b - 10b)
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

I've got a garden in the Mediterranean and the climate is very similar to that in the California; in fact, I've already got some californian plants that grow quite well here. I'm sick of the Nerium oleander, lavender, rosemary and delosperma cooperi (every house has them). I want something new, something exotic. What plants do you suggest me? The problem is prolonged drought in the summer, almost flood in the winter, clay and extreme heat (sometimes over 100 F).

Here are some of the plants that weren't watered even once in the prolonged
drought this summer and still looked fine: Oenothera macrocarpa (a true winner),
oenothera speciosa, ratibida columnifera, rosemary, lavandula officinalis, campanula portenschlagiana, veronica spicata, gaura lindheimeri (it was very stressed, though), kniphofia, campsis radicans (nothing beats this one, it's been invasive in immense heat even without water), echinacea purpurea, hypericum calycinum, mirabilis jalapa.

Here are some requirements:

- mainly looking for herbaceous perennials although I could also have a smaller shrub or a succulent

- preferably flowering in the summer (and possibly early fall too)

- full sun or partial shade or full shade (in the recent years there's been almost no plant that wouldn't wilt in the full sun during the summer's heat here)

- plants that need no supplemental watering during the prolonged drought in the summer

- winters are mild, rarely getting below zero degrees C (30 F) (although frost can rarely occur down to -5 C (15 F) and last for a couple of days but only at night)

- plant should withstand heat very well

- plants should tolerate red clay (can be quite dense)

- plants should tolerate wet winter

I know that's a tough one, but I hope someone will come up with suggestions. Thank you.

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