At last! V. carpesioides

The weather is a bit crisper, I've made sure my heater is working, and Trader Joes is selling spiced apple cider. These are all the signs of fall, so we can start thinking about native gardening again.

One of the hallmarks of recent falls for me has been the fall sale at the Theodore Payne Foundation which starts today. At the sale they offer 15% off for members. However, they are open Thursday with their regular prices (members still get 10% discount) but with the best selection that they will have all year long and no crowds, so it behooves you to go early and pay slightly more for hard to find items.

A quick trip to the Theodore Payne Foundation the other day netted me TWO Venegasia carpesioides (Canyon Sunflower) in 1 gallon containers. They had about 10 set out for sale, but 30 are listed on the plant inventory for this week, so I may have only just managed to scoop up 1/15th of the southern California output for this year. I was told that the seeds were wild harvested locally, so this is really the species and not V. carpesioides "Estrella".

For those that have been following along, V. carpesioides is a sunflower that doesn't need sun and for which I have been searching for what seems like forever. I credit Chuck b. over at My back 40 (feet) for bringing it to my attention. Alas, my quest for Wyethia ovata continues.

I also picked up some relative rarities along with some garden staples to quickly spruce my yard up.

Lessingia filaginifolia 'Silver Carpet' (Silver Carpet aster) a ground cover that ought to work well for me along the driveway.

Lotus grandiflorus (Large-Flowered Lotus)

Based on my success with Wooly Blue Curls and a forgotten name manzanita in pots, I think I'll put these in pots for a year or so:

Arctostaphylos 'Elizabeth McClintock'

Ceanothus 'Powder Blue'

Sidalcea malvaeflora 'Palustre' (Checkerbloom) in 4" pots. I struggled to find this previously, lasat year eventually latching onto a few in 1 gallon pots. This time at the more favorable 4" price I scooped up three.

I have so many plants for pots that I think I need to go to the Pot Depot.


  1. Congratulations! I feel there is no hope of finding the Venegasia up here and I can't imagine why.

    Is there some surfeit of plants for dry shade available that I'm not aware of? Sigh.

  2. You're welcome to seeds or cuttings from my plants.

  3. Great blog, Brent. Happy to learn about the shade sunflower!

  4. Yay, I love Venegasia carpesoides - and it's even funner to stumble across it on trails (SM Mtns).