Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina' (Purple Cedros Island Verbena) - A tidy growing evergreen herbaceous subshrub with a mounding habit to 18 to 24 inches tall by 2 to 3 feet wide with mid-green delicately dissected foliage and clusters of sweetly fragrant dark purple, star-shaped flowers with purple stamens. This plant can bloom most of the year with a peak in spring and summer and the flowers rise up on stalks 8 inches to hover above the foliage. Plant in full to part sun. It has low water needs and can go extended periods without any water but a monthly irrigation cycle from late spring through the first rains of fall keeps this plant looking lush with continuous blooming. Hardy to 25° F. This great plant works well as a container specimen or planted in dry borders mixed with other mediterranean climate plants and is great for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden. This plant was collected by Carol Bornstein, then Director of Horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, in the Canyon de la Mina on Cedros Island, an island off the west coast of Baja California. Although not native to California proper, the northern Pacific Ocean islands off Baja California have a mediterranean climate and are considered to be part of the California floristic province and so plants of this area are often treated as "California Natives". This selection differs from previous introductions of the species by having much deeper colored flowers. We have in the past grown the larger pink flowered cultivar 'Paseo Rancho' that Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Introduced but prefer this darker and smaller cultivar. The name for the genus comes from the Latin word for sacred boughs of plants made up of olive, myrtle and other plants (possibly Vebena) and the specific epithet is Latin meaning "lilac in color" in reference to the typical flower color of the species. More information on this plant can be found on the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's Plant Introduction Page. The information displayed on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations that we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how it has performed in our crops out in the nursery field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well, and welcome hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information we do not mention that would aid others in growing Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina'.
California’s varied climate can support a wide variety of plants from around the world. However, our state’s unique and beautiful native plants are often overlooked in garden design. Instead, water-intensive exotic plants that do not support the local ecology often taken the place of California native plants in people’s gardens.
You can enjoy many benefits while bringing in the beauty of California into your own garden by using water-wise native plants. Some of these benefits include:
Water Savings: A sustainably designed, drought-tolerant native garden can use 85 percent less water per year than a traditional landscape with turf and high-water use plants. Also, once native plants are planted, a well-designed drip irrigation system is more efficient than traditional sprayhead irrigation and saves watering costs. Once established, many California native plants need little additional watering beyond normal rainfall.
Maintenance Reduction: A water-wise California native garden can reduce maintenance dramatically once it is established. Eliminating the need for mowing and fertilizing lawns, applying pesticides and fertilizers, and frequently watering thirsty plants leaves you more time to enjoy your garden and other activities.
Wildlife and Biodiversity Increases: Adding native plants helps create functioning ecosystems in the garden by attracting the native insects and wildlife that depend upon these plants. Native plants and animals have developed relationships with each other, and research has shown that native wildlife prefers native plants over non-native plants. Native pollinators can improve fruit and vegetable production in your home garden, and beneficial native insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals can manage pests such as mosquitos, ticks, and aphids.
Landfill Waste Reduction: The reduction in landscape maintenance, such as mowing a lawn, means that less green waste will be produced per year. Because many cities and homes are not set up for composting, most green waste is not composted. Gardening with native plants means less waste going into landfills.
Pesticide Use Reduction: Native plants have not only developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases, they can also attract beneficial insects and animals that attack pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticides keeps toxins out of our waterways and soil, improves environmental and human health, and allows natural and beneficial pest controllers to thrive.
Connection to a California Sense of Place is Enhanced: A garden planted with species unique to California creates a strong sense of place and helps connect you more deeply to the natural world. Including native plants in your garden connects you to the unique biological web created by the environmental history and culture of the land your home sits on. These small patches of habitat become part of a larger collective that nurtures and sustains a living landscape that not only enhances a sense of sanctuary for you, but for the plants, insects, birds, and other animals that have always lived there.
By gardening with native plants, you can enjoy many benefits – including water savings – while giving your home garden an appealing look that reflects California’s unique natural landscapes.
ABOUT GROWING WORKS NURSERY
Growing Works is an innovative, California native and drought tolerant plant nursery established to provide job training, employment, and horticultural therapy to people with mental health challenges.
The nursery helps fulfill an ever-present local need for high quality, drought-tolerant California native and Mediterranean plants and succulents. Growing Works is based on a thriving and sustainable business model where plant sales, job training services, and donations from supporters contribute to its success.
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