Durable Delights showcased at spring plant sales

Gorgeous and hearty plants that shine without much polish!

Photo of Mulenbergia capillaris on the UC Davis campus.

Durable Delight #14, Mulenbergia capillaris (pink muhly), has been used throughout campus for its long-lasting. unique color and interesting, feathery form.

DIY home landscapers interested low-water, easy-care landscapes do not want to miss the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum plant sale this Sunday, April 28 from 9AM-1 PM at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery. In addition to the community-beloved Arboretum All-stars—100 tough, easy-to-grow, reliable plants, tested in the arboretum for sustainability—this sale will feature 30 unusual and interesting plants that arboretum horticulturists are calling Durable Delights.

“The best plants are ones that demand little of our time, but offer a big return in form, color, flower and durability, hence the Durable Delight name,” explains Ellen Zagory, director of horticulture for the UC Davis Arboretum. Zagory adds, “While wholesale nurseries offer their customers plants in an alluring variety of colors and forms, over the years our team has learned what consistently grows  here in our Valley and persists despite our hot summer, cool damp winters and sometimes heavy clay soils.”

“Some of these plants may need shade in the Central Valley, but many are able to stand up and sparkle with little irrigation in the hot summer sun,” explains Lisa Fowler, nursery manager, UC Davis Arboretum.

Beyond Durable Delights and Arboretum All-stars, customers will find a huge array plants specifically chosen for their suitability to our area’s unique growing environments, trained sales people available to make recommendations as well as stunning demonstration plantings to inspire ideas and design possibilities.

Can’t attend on Sunday? You’ve got one more chance. Saturday, May 18, the nursery will be open to the public for the last time this spring season from 9 AM – 1 PM. For more information, visit the Arboretum’s website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

Durable Delights: The List (Click here to download a .pdf; Adobe Acrobat required.)

  1. Agave americana ‘Variegata’, striped agave
  2. Delosperma cooperi, cerise hardy ice plant
  3. Leucophyllum frutescens ‘Compactum’ and ‘Green Cloud’, cenizo
  4. Muhlenbergia dubia, Mexican deergrass
  5. Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Mozart’, Ed Carman’s rosemary
  6. Saponaria × lempergii ‘Max Frei’, hybrid soapwort
  7. Bupleurum fruticosum, shrubby hare’s ear
  8. Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, coronation gold yarrow
  9. Salvia clevelandii ‘Winnifred Gilman’, Winnifred Gilman Cleveland sage
  10. Anigozanthos ‘Amber Velvet’, The Velvet Range™ kangaroo paw
  11. Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’, little spire Russian sage
  12. Dasylirion wheeleri, desert spoon
  13. Iberis sempervirens, evergreen candytuft
  14. Muhlenbergia capillaris, pink muhly
  15. Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’, blonde ambition blue grama
  16. Salvia chamaedryoides, Mexican blue sage
  17. Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’, azure bush germander
  18. Beschorneria yuccoides, Mexican lily
  19. Geranium × cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’, Biokovo cranesbill
  20. Epilobium canum ‘Sierra Salmon’, Sierra salmon California fuchsia
  21. Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’, variegated Japanese sedge
  22. Viburnum tinus ‘Anvi’, spirit viburnum
  23. Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’, Catlin’s giant bugle
  24. Origanum ‘Marshall’s Memory’, Marshall’s oregano
  25. Glandularia aristigera (Verbena tenuisecta), moss verbena
  26. Garrya elliptica ‘Evie’, Evie’s silktassel
  27. Chondropetalum tectorum, small Cape Rush
  28. Quercus tomentella, Island oak
  29. Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus ‘Cosmopolitan’,
    cosmopolitan silver grass
  30. Juncus patens ‘Elk Blue’, elk blue California gray rush


  1. Lei Putney April 4, 2013 Reply

    Is there any chance that you can put together a slide show with pictures of the 30 Durable Delights? Something to make it easier for the novice gardener, you know, Gardening for Dummies kind of thing. 🙂 This was done for a birding website I recently viewed (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) showing 264 different birds viewed in a 24 hr period (pictures from books, not the real viewing).

    • UC Davis Public Garden April 8, 2013 Reply

      Great idea! In the meantime we have a .pdf of all the “Durable Delights” with a photo included as well as information about why a particular plant made our list. You can download it by clicking the link about the list: “Durable Delights: The List.” You will need Adobe Acrobat though. I hope that helps.

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