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The Arboretum has something for every garden at the annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 16

By Tim Stephens

The UCSC Arboretum will hold its annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 16, from noon to 4 p.m. Spring is always a great time to visit the Arboretum, now celebrating its 40th anniversary, and pick out some favorite plants while the gardens are in full bloom. The plant sale will take place at the Arboretum's Eucalyptus Grove on High Street near the intersection with Western Drive.

Among the plants for sale at the Arboretum is Boronia crenulata 'Rosy Splendor.'

A wide variety of native and exotic plants will be available at the sale, including attractive selections of Grevillea, manzanita, pincushion protea, Salvia, succulents, and tea tree. Knowledgeable Arboretum staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.

The Arboretum's sale is held in conjunction with the spring plant sale of the California Native Plant Society. Both sales are open early (from 10 a.m. to noon) to members of the Arboretum Associates and the California Native Plant Society, and to the general public from noon to 4 p.m.

Boronia heterophylla, an Australian member of the citrus family, has fragrant flowers and will also be available at the sale.

A complete list of the plants available at the Arboretum sale is posted on the group's web site, arboretum.ucsc.edu. A few of the many plants that will be available are described below.

Banksia spinulosa 'Red Rock' is a selection with exceptionally large, golden 6- to 8-inch long flowerheads that are well displayed among the linear serrated leaves. This shrub grows 8 feet tall and about as wide. It is best grown in well-drained acidic soils in partial or full sun. There will also be other banksias for sale, including Banksia baxteri.

No garden is complete without Leptospermum 'Queen of Hearts', a hybrid created by the Arboretum's founding director, Ray Collett. This is a low-growing, spreading plant with profuse 1-inch open white flowers with reddish sepals. The flowers smell like butter and cinnamon. Leptospermum turbinatum, the Grampians tea tree, is a larger shrub with shiny elliptical leaves and white-to-cream blossoms.

Leucospermum cordifolium 'Yellow Bird,' a yellow form of the pincushion protea, is rarely available to the public.

Other plants from the Australian collection include many different flower colors of Anigozanthus flavidus (kangaroo paws), Patersonia glabrata, and Adenanthos sericea. From the South African collection, look for Leucospermum cordifolium 'Yellow Bird' and others.

California natives available from the Arboretum will include Romneya coulteri, the Matilija poppy, with its gigantic white flowers with yellow centers. Two low ground covers, Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Little Sur' and Ceanothus hearstiorum will be available. For a large shrub, try Malosma laurina (laurel sumac) and enjoy its aromatic leaves and clouds of tiny white flowers in early summer. The Arboretum will also be selling Dudleya viscida, a native succulent that makes a nice addition to a rock garden. This plant is rarely for sale, except at the Arboretum and one or two specialty nurseries. Dudleya viscida is a narrow endemic from southern California that has open pink flowers on compact inflorescences and fragrant, shiny lime-green leaves.

For more information about the sale, contact the UCSC Arboretum at (831) 427-2998. The Arboretum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Norrie's Gifts is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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