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Products > Carpenteria californica
Carpenteria californica - Bush Anemone
Image of Carpenteria californica
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae (Mock-oranges)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Carpenteria californica (Bush Anemone) - An attractive much branched evergreen shrub that typically grows 6 to 8 feet tall by 3 to 5 feet wide, but when happy can grow a few feet taller and wider with vertically inclined gray stems that peal back annually to reveal new yellowish-tan bark. The 4 to 5 inch long narrow lanceolate leaves are dark glossy green above with dense white hairs on the surface below and have slightly revolute margins. In late spring to early summer at the branch tips appear the clusters of fragrant 3 inch wide white flowers with bright yellow stamens; occasionally some flowers might be seen extending nearly into fall. Plant in sun or light shade (requires shade in inland gardens) in a well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant once established but looks its best in an acidic organic amended soil with occasional to regular irrigation. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F. Its sometimes leggy stems it can look a bit untidy in the garden but tip pinching and judicious pruning can help maintain it as a very attractive plant. It is reported to be oak root fungus resistant, but susceptible to aphids, particularly if plants are drought stressed, and this can disfigure the new growth of the plant. The bitter foliage is not readily browsed by deer so only gets eaten when they are desperate. Bush Anemone is endemic to a very limited range along the foothills of the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where it is often found in abundance on relatively moist north-facing slopes and in ravines. The plant was first discovered in 1845 during one of Captain Fremont's attempts to cross the Sierra Nevada from the west and described in 1953 from specimens collected by the preeminent American botanist Dr. John Torrey (1796-1873). The name honors William Marbury Carpenter (1811-1848), a noted Southern American botanist and physician. Because Fremont mistakenly thought he was in another watershed when he collected the plant, searchers could not find the plant again until it was rediscovered in 1876 near the town of Tollhouse along the toll road to Pine Ridge in Fresno County. 

Information about Carpenteria californica displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.