UCSC Arboretum's Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 11, features new introductions from Australia

New Australian introductions available for the first time in the United States will be among the plants on sale at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum during its annual Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 11, from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

As in previous years, the Arboretum's plant sale is a joint event with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). For Arboretum and CNPS members only, the sale starts at 10 a.m. It will take place at the Arboretum's Eucalyptus Grove, on High Street at the intersection with Western Drive.

For gardeners on the Central Coast, fall is an excellent time to get new plants established. The Arboretum offers a wide range of plant selections, including California natives and drought-tolerant plants from Australia and South Africa.

This year's sale will include new Australian plants introduced by the Koala Blooms partnership. This plant introduction program is structured to return some of the profits to the Australian nurseries that developed the plants and some to the Arboretum, which has imported the plants, grown them in trials, and distributed them to nurseries. At least two new introductions, described below, will be available for the first time in the United States at this year's sale.

Verticordia plumosa 'Pink Lace' is a dwarf, rounded, evergreen shrub about 18 to 24 inches tall. It has attractive bluish foliage and lavender-pink, delicately fringed flowers in tight clusters, with a light honey fragrance. This selection blooms profusely in winter and spring. V. plumosa is drought-tolerant and should be planted in a sunny location with good drainage and minimal fertilizer.

Philotheca myoporoides 'Galaxy' is a rounded, evergreen shrub that grows to a height of three to four feet. It has fragrant foliage and pink buds that open into white flowers. With a profuse, showy bloom from fall through spring, it is excellent for landscaping and cut-flower use. P. myoporoides is moderately drought-tolerant and can be grown in any well-drained soil in partial shade to full sun.

An extensive list of plants available at the Fall Sale will be posted on the Arboretum's web site (www2.ucsc.edu/arboretum) by October 1.

The UCSC Arboretum is open for visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Norrie's Gifts is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Jean and Bill Lane Horticultural Library is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. For more information, call (831) 427-2998.