Kind of Plant: perennial evergreen shrub to small tree
Size of Plant: can be small shrub around 3 ft in height and spread, or grown to a small tree, around 20 ft
Leaves: evergreen, opposite, short-petioled, bluntly elliptical leaves are thick, leathery, 1 1/8 to 2 1/2 in long, 5/8 to 1 1/8 in wide; smooth and glossy on the upper surface, finely veined and silvery-hairy beneath.
Flowering Time: early June in Northern California
Flowers: Conspicuous, bisexual flowers, 1 1/2 in wide, borne singly or in clusters, have 4 fleshy, oval, concave petals, white outside, purplish-red inside; 5/8 to 3/4 in long, and a cluster of numerous, erect, purple stamens with round, golden-yellow anthers.
Fruits: The fruit is oblong or ovoid or slightly pear-shaped, 1-1 1/2 to 2 1/2 in long and 1 1/8 to 2 in wide, with the persistent calyx segments adhering to the apex. The thin skin is coated with a "bloom" of fine whitish hairs until maturity, when it remains dull-green or yellow-green, sometimes with a red or orange blush. The fruit emits a strong long-lasting perfume, even before it is fully ripe. The thick, white, granular, watery flesh and the translucent central pulp enclosing the seeds are sweet or subacid, suggesting a combination of pineapple and guava or pineapple and strawberry in flavor. There are usually 20 to 40, occasionally as many as 100, very small, oblong seeds hardly noticeable when the fruit is eaten.
Cultural Requirements: The feijoa needs a subtropical climate with low humidity. The optimum annual rainfall is 30 to 40 in. The plant thrives where the weather is cool part of the year and it can withstand temperatures as low as 12º to 15º F. The flavor of the fruit is much better in cool than in warm regions.
Prefers rich organic soil and is not very thrifty on light or sandy terrain. Some believe that an acid soil is best but the feijoa has done well on soil with a pH of 6.2. It is drought-resistant but needs adequate water for fruit production. The site must be well-drained. The feijoa can tolerate partial shade and slight exposure to salt spray.
Propagation: Mostly by seeds. Pulp is squeezed into a container with water and left to ferment for 4 days. Seeds are strained out and dried prior to planting
Zones: best nearer the coast
Habitat: native to southern Brazil, northern Argentina, western Paraguay and now spread throughout the world
Other: It doesn't set fruit in all places, but when it does bear fruit, they are delicious. Even without fruits, it makes a handsome, drought tolerant landscape shrub
Kind of Plant: It is a dioecious, perennial, herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to a cold-hardy rhizome in autumn. Strictly speaking it is a bine rather than a vine, using its own shoots to act as supports for new growth.
Leaves: The leaves are opposite, with a 2.8 to 4.7 in leafstalk and a heart-shaped, fan-lobed blade 4.7 to 9.8 in long and broad; the edges are coarsely toothed.
Flowering Time: July to August
Flowers: The male and female flowers spring from the axils of the leaves on separate plants. The flowers of the male plant grow in panicles, 3 to 5 inches long, but are not cultivated. Only the female flowers are used for medicinal purposes.
Fruits: The fruit of the female plant are called strobiles and resemble small pine cones. When fully ripened the strobiles measure about 1 1/4 -2 inches long, in a rounded, oblong shape with a number of overlapping, yellowish-green bracts, attached to a separate central point containing a small fruit (achene) at the base.
Both the bracts and achene contain the bitter principle lupulin, which gives hops its tonic qualities.
Cultural Requirements: Easily grown in a good garden soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a deep rich loam and a warm sheltered position. Plants can succeed in dry shade if plenty of humus is incorporated into the soil, once established they are also somewhat drought tolerant.
Propagation: seed sown in spring, basal cuttings in spring or divisions in spring
Habitat: Hedgerows, woodlands and sunny waste ground
Distribution: All over North America, much of Europe and into Asia
Other: Aside from its fame for preserving and flavoring beer, Hops are used to treat insomnia as well as many female complaints. It blends well with other herbs for anti-anxiety formulas.
Kind of Plant: Perennial, evergreen vine which is woody in warm winter climates and herbaceous (dies to the ground) in cold winter climates.
Size of Plant: Height 6 to 8 feet, spread 3 to 6 feet
Leaves: Leaves are alternate and palmately 3-lobed and occasionally 5-lobed, measuring 2.4-5.9 in. They have two characteristic glands at the base of the blade on the petiole.
Flowering Time: July to September
Flowers: showy, 2.5" diameter, fringed flowers having white petals and sepals and a central crown of pinkish-purple filaments. Flowers bloom in summer and are fragrant.
Fruits: Fleshy, egg-shaped, edible fruits called maypops appear in July and mature to a yellowish color in fall. Ripened maypops can be eaten fresh off the vine or made into jelly.
Cultural Requirements: Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of drought. Roots appreciate a loose mulch. Although this species is the hardiest of the passion flowers, it is not reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 and may not survive extremely cold winters therein.
Propagation: Easily grown from seed. Semi-hardwood cuttings in spring, cuttings of fully matured wood in fall.
Zones: 5 to 9
Habitat: Native to Eastern United States
Distribution: The maypop occurs in thickets, disturbed areas, near riverbanks, and near unmowed pastures, roadsides, and railroads. It thrives in areas with lots of available sunlight. It is not found in shady areas beneath a forest canopy.
Other: Widely used medicinally. The leaves are used for teas and extracts to treat insomnia and anxiety.
Kind of Plant: small shrub, annual or tender perennial
Size of Plant: Shrub to 3 ft or more, 6 ft with equal spread when well established
Leaves: . The purplish, spreading branches are ribbed and covered with fine hairs. The heart-shaped, nearly opposite leaves are 2-1/2 to 6 inches long. They are slightly velvety when compared with the narrower and smoother leaves of the tomatillo.
Flowers: Bell-shaped, nodding flowers form in the leaf axils. They are yellow in color with dark purple-brown spots in the throat, and cupped by a purplish-green, hairy calyx. Fruit buds are produced after 12 to 13 stem internodes are formed.
Fruits: After the flower falls, the calyx expands, forming a straw-colored husk much larger than the fruit enclosed, which take 70 to 80 days to mature. The fruit is a berry with smooth, waxy, orange-yellow skin and juicy pulp containing numerous very small yellowish seeds. As the fruits ripen, they begin to drop to the ground, but will continue to mature and change from green to the golden-yellow of the mature fruit.
Cultural Requirements: The plant likes a sunny, frost-free location, sheltered from strong winds. It does well planted next to a south-facing wall or in a patio. The cape gooseberry will grow in any well drained soil but does best on sandy to gravelly loam. Very good crops are obtained on rather poor sandy ground. The plant needs consistent watering to set a good fruit crop, but can't take "wet feet". Where drainage is a problem, the plantings should be on a gentle slope or the rows should be mounded. Irrigation can be cut back when the fruits are maturing. The plants become dormant during drought.
Propagation: The plant is widely grown from seed. There are 5,000 to 8,000 seeds per ounce, which are sometimes mixed with pulverized soil or ashes for uniform sowing. High humidity is required for good germination. The plants can also be propagated from 1 year old stem cuttings treated with a rooting hormone. Plants grown this way flower early and yield well but are less vigorous than seedlings.
Zones: frost tender and damages at about 30 degrees F.
Habitat: Native to high-altitude tropical Colombia, Equador and Peru
Distribution: Cape Gooseberry has naturalized in tropical regions all over the world.
Other: Highly regarded as a landscape plant that also bears tasty fruit
Botanical Name: Trifolium pratense
Common Name: Red Clover
Kind of Plant: herbaceous, short-lived perennial
Size of Plant: two to sometimes three feet tall when in full bloom
Leaves: The leaves are alternate, trifoliate (with three leaflets), each leaflet 15-30 mm long and 8-15 mm broad, green with a characteristic pale crescent in the outer half of the leaf; the petiole is 1-4 cm long, with two basal stipules that are abruptly narrowed to a bristle-like point.
Flowering Time: blooms May to July with seeds ripening Sept. to Oct.
Flowers: The flowers are dark pink with a paler base, 12-15 mm long, produced in a dense inflorescence, and are mostly visited by bumblebees.
Cultural Requirements: well-drained soils with moisture are best, but can tolerate heavy soils. Full to partial sun.
Propagation: By seeds, best sown in place or in containers. Roots dislike being disturbed
Zones: 3 to 9. Not frost tender
Habitat: Widely grown across North America for fodder and medicine
Other: Widely cherished for its medicinal uses as well as a wonderful bee plant. It is also used for its nitrogen fixing properties.
KIND OF PLANT large, spreading, evergreen tree
HEIGHT AND SPREAD 30 to 50 feet high with a somewhat greater spread
LEAVES shiny, dark green, elliptical leaves lined with prickly teeth, the underside with clumps of tiny hairs, the edges rolled under
BLOOM TIME early spring
FLOWERS tiny, petalless flowers, the males in hanging catkins with long stamens, the females in tiny clusters in the axils of new leaves
FRUITS acorns in scaly acorn cups
CULTURAL NEEDS most soils; full sun, drought tolerant except in the hottest areas
ZONES foothill zones
PROPAGATION fresh acorns
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT widespread on coastal hills from Mendocino County south, sometimes in protected canyons inland in the Coast Ranges
OTHER Coast live oak is abundant in the Bay Area and produced one of the favored acorns for food for the Indians