Common name: Pride Of Madeira
Botanical name: Echium candicans
Mature specimens of this evergreen shrub can grow to a size of 6'-8' tall and 8'-10' wide. In the spring, spikes of blue-purple flowers appear above the gray green foliage. It should receive full sun in coastal areas. In warmer inland areas, it should get some afternoon shade and more water during summer. However, once it's established, it needs little or no summer watering. This plant can be severely damaged by frost below 25 degrees F. Prune during fall to encourage lower branches to bloom. Great shrub for hillsides where it can spread. Honey bees love this plant. Does great in poor, dry soil. All parts of plant are poisonous.
Common name: Blue Fescue, Blue Fescue Grass
Botanical name: Festuca glauca
This ground cover/grass will grow less than 1' tall and has small, blue-green, evergreen leaves that are very thin and hair-like. Flowers appear in the summer but are insignificant. This dependable but short-lived ground cover prefers full sun in coastal areas and afternoon shade in warm inland areas. It needs well draining soil and is drought tolerant once it's established. Leaves may burn during the summer but trim in winter to keep it looking refreshed. Does not tolerate wet soil.
Common name: New Zealand Flax Cultivars
Botanical name: Phormium cvs.
New Zealand Flax is a large, bold plant with stiffly vertical, sword-like, green leaves that arise from its base. It should be grown under full sun for best color. Varieties will offer different growth habits and leaf color.
Common name: Bauer's Dracaena
Botanical name: Cordyline baueri
Bauer's Dracaena grows to 10' high, and is topped with a 5' wide crown of evergreen burgundy leaves. In summer, there are clusters of fragrant white flowers. This perennial tends to get leggy so it should be underplanted with lower growing plants. It tolerates full to part sun, moist and well draining soil. When established, this plant has low water needs. It looks great in containers and near swimming pools. It tolerates coastal conditions. It does not tolerate frost so move indoors to protect it unless you live in a frost-free area.
Common name: Pork And Beans
Botanical name: Sedum X rubrotinctum
This groundcover will grow less than 1' tall and spread about 1'. This succulent has small, thick, green leaves with tips that turn red in full sun. Yellow flowers bloom in winter on top of stems, making a bold contrast to red tipped leaves. This reliable succulent looks great in containers, in crevices, with rocks, small spaces. It does best with well draining soil. It becomes drought tolerant, needing little water once it's established. Additional images courtesy of Billy Goodnick.