My haul from Annie's Annuals (4/4/20)

As you might have read in my previous post, I went to Annie's Annuals in Richmond, CA last Saturday. Properly gloved and masked and observing social distancing protocols, I slowly wandered through the nursery, loading my cart with plants that were on my wish list as well as some others that caught my eye.

The Agave colorata in the photo below falls into the “caught my eye” category. I've had many Agave colorata over the years, but virtually all over them turned out to be rather generic-looking. The search for the perfect Agave colorata is ongoing: I'm looking for one that doesn't pup excessively, has a symmetrical rosette, and features pronounced banding. It exists; the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson had one a few years ago.

I picked out the Agave colorata seedling below from about three dozen because it has a symmetrical rosette, wide leaves, well-developed marginal teeth, and a twisted terminal spine. I'm hoping this will turn into a beautiful swan someday.

Agave colorata

Three more dudleyas came home with me. I've had more success with them in recent years, planting them on a slight slope and keeping them almost completely dry in the summer.

Dudleya caespitosaDudleya virens ssp. hassei, Dudleya farinosa (the splotches are from the rain)

Both my wife and I like old-fashioned lilacs. We had one for many years, but I removed it in December because it was on its last legs. I was thrilled to find this Korean dwarf at Annie's—look at the small leaves! And it's already flowering! According to the Annie's Annuals website, it grows to 6 ft. but can be kept to 3 ft. with regular pruning. I bought two of these Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'; we'll keep one and the other will go to my mother-in-law.

Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'

You can't ever have enough strappy-leaved plants:

Dianella ensifolia, Arthropodium cirratum

Mediterranean perennials for full sun:

Rudbeckia hirta 'Chim Chiminee', Sideritis oroteneriffae, Papaver atlanticum

Cotula lineariloba

Something for bright shade (i.e. backyard)—look at the awesome flowers in this photo on the Annie's Annuals website:

Corydalis flexuosa

I don't usually buy annuals because, well, they're dead by the end of the year and need to be replaced. But now's the time to change things up, so I'm adding annuals to temporarily fill bare spots:

Lupinus succulentus, Helipterum roseum 'Pierrot', Ursinia anthemoides
Heliophila longifolia, Orlaya grandiflora

No trip to Annie's would be complete without an out-of-left-field plant, something you never expected to find or some oddity you've never even heard of. Here's mine, Bossiaea linophylla or narrow-leaved waterbush:

Narrow-leaved waterbush (Bossiaea linophylla)

Look at the flowers on this Western Australian member of the pea family, “ultra-rare in the United States”! I don't know when Annie's first introduced this plant, but it's now listed as discontinued on their website. They still had a half dozen of them last Saturday.

Here are all my plant purchases in a handy list:

Agave colorata Link
Arthropodium cirratum Renga lily Link
Bossiaea linophylla Narrow-leaved waterbush Link
Corydalis flexuosa 'Porcelain Blue' Link
Cotula lineariloba Big yellow moon Link
Dianella ensifolia Link
Dudleya caespistosa Link
Dudleya farinosa Powdery liveforever Link
Dudleya virens ssp. hassei Catalina Island liveforever Link
Heliophila longifolia Link
Helipterum roseum 'Pierrot' Crisp everlasting Link
Lupinus succulentus Arroyo lupine Link
Orlaya grandiflora Minoan lace Link
Papaver atlanticum Flore Pleno poppy Link
Rudbeckia hirta 'Chim Chininee' Chim Chininee black-eyed susan Link
Sideritis oroteneriffae Canary Island white sage Link
Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'  Dwarf Korean lilac Link
Ursinia anthemoides Solar fire Link

This list is primarily meant as a reminder for myself because I will no doubt refer back to this post in a few years.

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  1. Is there a word for "beyond envy"? My Annie's order is still more than a week away from delivery and I'm already thinking of placing another one. My local garden center is closed to in-store traffic and the call-in order process was less than satisfactory as a shopping experience. Extensive as Annie's mail order catalog is, you have a broader range of options as a walk-in customer, that Bossiaea for example. A word of caution, pretty as it is, that Cotula went nuts in my garden.

    1. I find it very satisfying to keep wish lists even if they don't always result in an actual order.

      Thanks for the heads up about the cotula. I have three now, and they have room to spread. But I'll definitely keep an eye on them.

  2. Maybe 'way beyond envy'. The hardest part of this stay-at-home-bit is the inability to shop personally, as most of the fun is in discovering and choosing your own plants. Looks like you picked up some great treasures. A word of warning re: the corydalis. If it likes it's spot it will seed predigiously. Thanks for the virtual trip.

    1. I don't mind the corydalis reseeding. I may regret saying that in a few years, ha ha.

  3. Excellent haul! I wish Agave colorata were hardy here, I love that plant.

    1. I find it's a bit iffy here, too, especially as far as too much moisture is concerned

  4. Great looking colorata. A real beauty! We are so lucky to still be able to plant-shop. Does raise the spirits.

  5. The Huntington has gorgeous coloratas. I got one but it has struggled on the edge of survival for years. The Bossiaea looks kind of cool.

    Have fun planting!


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