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Little Prince of Oregon Nursery always has something to inspire plant lust. Here is a selection of some new and old crushes.

Oddities and rarities:

Alocasia ‘Red Secret’

First up on my list of plants making me swoon is Red Jewel Alocasia. Ooh la la. Alocasia ‘Red Secret’ lends an exotic and tropical look to gardens with metallic maroon-brown leaves. I love thinking about growing it as a houseplant to enjoy inside.

detail of deep burgundy shield shaped, heavily creased metallic looking leaves
Alocasia cuprea ‘Red Secret’ has sculptural looking bronzed leaves that really pop against bright green. Place it strategically for maximum impact. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’

A longtime favorite plant of mine which deserves a home in all gardens is Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’. I first got into Santolina when studying about medieval monastic gardens. It would provide evergreen structure and color to the lovingly tended monk’s herb gardens. It smells wonderful and in Spring is covered in charming little flowers.

Close up of chartreuse, twiggy mound-like plant growing in gravel.
Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’ has a mounding habit which works well in naturalistic plantings but can also be pruned into more formal shape, even topiary. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’

Next up is the marvelously weird mayapple, Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty,’ which really thrives in the Portland rain. It makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream with its pale green leaves dotted in burgundy. Make it happy and it will reward you by multiplying considerably each year.

A cluster of flat maple-leaf shaped leaves in light green covered in chocolate brown spots.
Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ emerging from the soil and unfurling its impressive leaves is a favorite Spring show. Photo by Patricia Cunningham for Plant Lust.

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Dianthus ‘Sooty’

In the flower department we have Dianthus, or Sweet William, which is such a long-lasting cut flower but largely ignored by the current trend-setting florists. I think the very stylish ‘Sooty’ could help turn things around.

Close up of a flower cluster in deep red burgundy.
Dianthus ‘Sooty’ is a sophisticated version of this old cottage garden favorite. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Unusual and wonderful groundcovers:

Ledebouria cooperi

Ledebouria cooperi is a Spring showstopper from South Africa which has striped grassy foliage and is adorned by racemes of star-shaped pink flowers. It’s makes a nice groundcover or use it in containers where you can really appreciate all this little plant has to offer.

Short, wide grassy blade leaves with dark burgundy stripes surrounded by a sea of pink star-like flowers.
Ledebouria cooperi is a Spring charmer with sophisticated green and maroon striped leaves. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Muehlenbeckia axillaris

Among my favorite groundcovers is Muehlenbeckia axillaris, also know as Mattress Vine, for its ground-hugging growth habit. It’s a vigorous grower which can easily engulf large areas so is best used with some caution and intent. I love the way it’s used here–confined to an area and then allowed to really do its thing.

A mossy textured ground edged with a short bamboo fence.
Muehlenbeckia axillaris is a fast growing groundcover and climber that can withstand some light foot traffic. Photo by Anna Kullgren.

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Sagina subulata

Finally, Sagina subulata, also known as Irish Moss, is a charming evergreen or semi evergreen groundcover. Like Muehlenbeckia axillaris it can tolerate some foot traffic and provides a pretty, low-growing tufted texture. As an added bonus it’s covered in cute little flowers come Spring!

A close-up view of a field of green plants dotted with little white flowers.
Sagina subulata forms a cushiony mat of green dotted with yellow flowers in Spring. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Shop the entire Little Prince Catalog:

Shop more of the wonderful offerings from Little Prince of Oregon including the plant collector’s dream, Agave attenuata shown in the cover image.
Shop Agave attenuata
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