Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2007
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Pacific Orchid Exposition
Orchid Fantasia, the 55th Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition will be held at Fort Mason Center, February 15 to 18, 2007. There will be lectures to attend and plants to buy. The Exposition is sponsored by the San Francisco Orchid Society. The hours are Friday 10-6; Saturday 9-6; Sunday 10-5. Admission is $12, seniors/disabled $8, children under 12 free. For more information, call (415) 665-2468, or visit: http://www.orchidsanfrancisco.org.

Favorite or New Plant

Cushion Bush
Cushion bush (Calocephalus brownii) is a gray foliage plant with small, scaly leaves that grow along many tangled stems. The overall effect of the plant can be called "dense." It has a round growth habit and eventually reaches a height and width of about 3 feet . The yellow, button-like flowers appear in late spring and early summer. It is impervious to drought, wind, and sandy soil, and in fact, it prefers all of the above, along with full sun and moderate watering.

Annual pruning is not required, but to keep the plants compact, a light overall trim is beneficial just before active growth begins. Never remove more than one quarter of the foliage at one time. Cushion bush makes a handsome addition to a rock garden. The silver foliage is attractive in flower arrangements, and it retains its color and texture when dried so it makes wonderful wreaths, especially when combined with another dried flower such as Limonium perezii.

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