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I count Aralia californica aka Elk Clover in the cheap thrills department. This baby was planted two years ago and it grew to four feet its first season. It’s winter deciduous, lending to its fresh, airy look come spring and into summer. Mine is sandwiched between our tropical-themed patio garden, and the shade bed under the apple tree. It makes the transition with aplomb.

Elk Clover last year in June 2016.

Elk Clover registers around 5-8′, though can grow to an impressive 10′ if you’re really lucky. I wish. Pretty good for an herbaceous perennial. Zone 7-10.

It delivers great little Sputnik flowers.

And it ties in nicely with surrounding plants. Woodland style to the left; sunny tropical to the right.

Couldn’t resist this shot with Pumpkin (RIP) photobombing.

It also produces berries in the fall to the birdie’s delight–but do I have a personal picture? Nooooo. I’ll have get one this year. (A nice shot of berries is included on the plant detail page, compliments of Keeping it Green Nursery, one of our contributing nursery. They’re located in Stanwood, WA. I’ve never been there, but hope to visit some day.)

Elk Clover under the shade of the apple tree.

There’s a peek of the Elk Clover under the shade of the apple tree, to the left of the Tetrapanax. Of course, the picture is from last year, because this year–there’s not a Canna to be seen.

We’d love to hear about your cheap thrills department. And, of course, your expensive thrills too.