Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cliff Green

Paxistima canbyi
Also called Canby Paxistima. A rare, slow stolon spreading, low evergreen, groundcover shrub, reaching up to 1 foot in height, that is native to the Appalatian Mountains in the eastern U.S. ( West Virginia and Virginia ) where it is endangered with extinction. Some records include: 3 years - 1 x 3.5 feet. It makes an excellent low edging hedge.
The small, toothed leaves are up to 1.3 inches in length. The fine-textured foliage is leathery and glossy deep green, turning to bronze during winter.
The flowers and fruits are very small and are not very showy.
The stems are square.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun ( or partial shade in hot summer climates ) on dry, acidic, very well drained soil only. It has survived in trials at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada but only on protected sites such as an east facing wall, further south in Ontario it is more tolerant of environmental stresses. It is tolerant of wind and salt breezes making it a good plant for seaside areas. It is usually found on poor soil over shale rock in the wild and can be easily killed or stunted by chemical fertilizers. Cut back hard every few year to maintain vigor and dense habit.

Paxistima myrsinites ( Oregon Boxwood )
A dense, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 6 ( rarely over 2.5 ) feet, that is native to forests of western North America ( from Kitsault, British Columbia to Prince George, B.C. to Banff National Park, Alberta; south to central California to northern New Mexico ). Some records include: 3 years - 2 x 5 feet; 20 years - 4 x 6 feet.
The oppositely-arranged, toothed, oval leaves are up to 1.3 inches in length.
The leathery, foliage is bright green at first, later turning to glossy deep green.
The flowers and fruits are very small and are not very showy.
The stems are square.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( requires a site protected from wind in zone 4...some populations may be hardy to 3 ) in partial shade on moist, acidic, well drained soil. It is tolerant of wind and salt breezes making it a good plant for seaside areas.
Cut back hard every few year to maintain vigor and dense habit. Propagation is from seed or cuttings.

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* photo taken by http://www.nwplants.com

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