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Zones 2-11, 14-24
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Zauschneria

California Fuchsia, Hummingbird Flower
Onagraceae
Perennials, Shrubs, Flowers

Typically low, spreading plants with narrow leaves in green, gray-green, or gray. In late summer or fall, they put on a profuse show of bright orange or scarlet (sometimes white or pink), narrowly trumpet-shaped, 1–2-in.-long flowers that attract hummingbirds. Good in informal gardens, among stones, or to help stabilize banks or hillsides.

Drought-tolerant, but look best with an occasional soaking in summer; prefer excellent drainage but adapt to heavier soils. These fast-growing plants can get a bit rangy. After their first year of growth, cut back to 1–2 in. high in late fall or winter when flowering has finished. To keep taller types bushy, lightly shear or pinch back new growth in late spring. Some species spread by invasive roots or reseeding.

Zauschneria californica

Native to much of the western U.S. and northern Mexico. Upright or arching growth from 6 in. to 4 ft. tall (depending on the variety), spreading as wide as 3–4 ft. There are many varieties available. All are improvements over the basic species. Flowers are orange to red and sometimes white (‘Summer Snow’). ‘Ghostly Red’ has especially nice, silvery gray foliage.

Zauschneria septentrionalis

From the Northern California Coast Ranges. Mat-forming species to 6–12 in. tall and 12–18 in. wide, with gray-green to silvery leaves and red-orange flowers. Needs afternoon shade in hottest climates.

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