Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Plant Pick: Isoplexis Canariensis

Isoplexis Canariensis
The Canary Island foxglove is another vertical wonder for small and large gardens alike. It is native to Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands and is a member of another large plant family, scrophulariaceae (the figworts). Plant relatives include digitalis, hebe, mimulus, penstemon, phygelius and verbascum to name just a few of the nearly 3000 species.


The Isoplexis is a short-lived shrub but well worth the effort for its tall spikes of soft apricot flowers and its Bay Friendly quality as a hummingbird haven. I treat it more as a perennial treasure rather than a truly woody shrub. The size is usually about 4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide and it tolerates pruning well. Sun or part shade is fine as is moderate watering.  It is not very cold hardy so be careful where you plant it.

Currently, Suncrest Nursery (wholesaler), Digging Dog Nursery and Annie’s Annuals are the two growers who offer it. I’ll let you know if I find another grower.

-Georgia Madden, Feyerabend & Madden Landscape Design


Georgia Madden is a Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional who has had several gardens on past Bay-Friendly Tours. Her company Feyerabend & Madden Landscape Design creates gardens all over the Bay-Area. She writes a plant pick for the Bay-Friendly Blog about once a month.

7 comments:

  1. I have been trying to find this plant but Annie's is not producing it now. Maybe in the spring?

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  2. Could it be that you are actually referring to the isabelliana species?

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  3. Georgia is referring to the isoplexis. I'll check in with her and see if she has any more information about availability.

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  4. You can order it from Digging Dog Nursery's website: http://www.diggingdog.com/pages2/plantpages.php/S-0641. If I find it anywhere else I'll post a comment here.

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  5. The plant sounds great! Can it survive in zone six, since it is short lived!? I love the flowers!

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  6. Georgia told me that zone 6 winter temps are too low. She thinks it could take the rain (with decent drainage) but not the low temps.

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  7. Georgia just let me know that she was just at Suncrest Nursery in Watsonville and they have a bunch of 1 gallon Isoplexis canariensis available now!

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