Xeriscape Seeds

A xeriscape is a landscape which uses plants that have low water requirements, making them able to withstand extended periods of drought and to survive and actually thrive in areas of low rainfall. Xeric landscapes are a conscious attempt to develop plantings which are compatible with the natural environment and not dependent on irrigation or sprinkler systems. We know that different areas of the country have their own unique climates, so we have decided to simply offer a list of seeds that fall into the low water requirement/drought resistant class. It is up to the individual reading this list to determine if these plants are suitable for their specific area.


Important Note: Most of the seeds on this page will benefit greatly from using the CAPE Smoke Seed Germination Primer that we use in our own greenhouses. We find we receive significantly better germination results when we use this primer on these types of seeds.

Trees and Shrubs best suited for Xeriscaping

2937 Wingstem  ( Actinomeris alternifolia )
2937 Wingstem ( Actinomeris alternifolia )
Charming rear border plant, large green center, yellow petals, strong stem, summer thru fall bloomer, sun or part shade. Grows 48" tall, annual blooming in about 10 weeks after transplanting.
  10 seeds $2.15
PINE28 Pinyon Nut Pine ( Pinus edulis )
The perfect xeriscape plant that will in time produce the famous pinyon nuts for eating.
The pinyon pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which were a staple of the Native Americans, and are still widely eaten. The wood, especially when burned, has a distinctive fragrance, making it a common wood to burn in chimineas
The pinyon (Pinus edulis) is the state tree of New Mexico (pinon in Spanish means nut pine), the trees are relatively small and rarely harvested for timber. However, pinyon nuts and firewood are in demand.
Pinyon is well adapted to the 9 to 15 inches of precipitation it normally receives in its native habitat and is one of the best native plants to use in a low-water use landscapes.
Pinyons grow best when planted in full sun and well-drained soil, at altitudes of 7,500 feet or less.
Just as severe drought stresses pinyons, so does excessive moisture after establishment. Avoid planting them in lawns, except buffalo grass or blue grama. Too much water makes them prone to other insects; established pinyons that receive precipitation only generally have few pest insect problems.
Pinyon needles are 1-2 inches long, medium to dark green, and borne in bundles of two or three. Pinyon cones open up to look like a brown rose. The nuts in the cones are widely sought after by both people and animals.
However, one pinyon in a landscape is unlikely to bear nuts, the shells will be light tan and empty due to lack of sufficient pollen ( a pack of ten seeds should produce several plants ). Where there are more pinyon trees in an area (more pollen), cones may develop chocolate brown shells with nuts. It takes several years for pinyons to reach the size and age necessary to develop cones. Additionally, cones and nuts are not borne every year, but only in years following conducive weather and precipitation.
Pinyon trees can be planted in groups to form a screen or windbreak, or singly as a focal point in the Xeriscape garden along with yarrow, Russian sage, purple coneflower, desert four o'clock and winecups.
USDA zones 5-8.
 10 seeds $2.95
2937 Wingstem ( Actinomeris alternifolia )
Charming rear border plant, large green center, yellow petals, strong stem, summer thru fall bloomer, sun or part shade. Grows 48" tall, annual blooming in about 10 weeks after transplanting.
  10 seeds $2.15
3380 Woolly Blue Curls Trichostema lanatum
A wonderful xeriscape plant that does well in about any dry area. This California native evergreen shrub comes from dry slopes of the south coast ranges. It grows to 3-4 feet tall and sprawls to 4-5 feet with narrow aromatic leaves that are shiny green above and woolly white underneath. From late spring and summer appear the 1 foot long clusters of blue (typically) flowers with long recurved stamens. The bloom period can extend into fall with a little supplemental summer watering (only when soil drains adequately). Plant in full sun in a very well drained lean soil as it will not tolerate summer moisture in heavy soils. Will benifit from having a slight mound built around base to drain off water during wet seasons. Do not amend or fertilize heavily. Hardy to 10 degrees F without freezing back and has been known to recover from the base at temperatures down to below zero. Gets a little leggy with age and benefits from early pruning. Makes a great cut flower for the vase.
Wooly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum) requires smoke treatment to germinate. It is one of the first plants to pop up after a fire. These seeds will benefit greatly from using the CAPE Smoke Seed Germination Primer that we use in our own greenhouses.
 250mg pack ( about 75 seeds ) $2.95
E3102 Juneberry, Saskatoon Serviceberry ( Amelanchier alnifolia )
Low water requirements, grows as high as 10,000 feet. A deciduous shrub that seldom exceeds 15 feet in height and occasionally suckering to form a slowly spreading clump. An easily grown plant, it prefers a rich loamy soil and thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged. The largest yields, and best quality fruits, are produced when the plant is grown in a sunny position, though it should also do reasonably well in semi-shade. The plants are fairly lime tolerant and they will also grow well in heavy clay soils. They are very cold-hardy and will tolerate temperatures down to at least -20°c and probably much lower. Flowers in Early Spring, these white flowers are produced before the plants come into leaf, and are usually produced so abundantly that the whole plant turns white. They look particularly beautiful at this time. By late June, or more commonly early to mid July, the plants will usually be carrying large crops of fruits. These fruits are about 15mm in diameter, they are soft, sweet and juicy with a taste that reminds us of apples. Small enough to be eaten without problems, though they can add a slightly bitter almond-like flavor to the fruit if they are crushed whilst eating. The fruit can also be cooked in pies etc., when dried it is quite sweet and can be used in the same ways as raisins.
  Package of 10 seeds $1.95
3402 Feathery Cassia Cassia artemisioides
A very nice lawn and xeriscape plant that is hardy to zone 8. The silver foliage is quite unique and has a feathery apperance. It creates a smoke or mist-like effect in the garden with its finely textured leaves. It blooms profusely for a long time and has bright yellow, scented flowers. The brown seed pods that follow are ornamental. Cassia artemisioides grows quickly to 6' tall and wide, creates a rounded, upright form. Native to Central Australia. Hardy to about 20 degrees.
Plant is drought, heat and desert tolerant once established. Low maintenance plant that requires light pruning after flowering.
 10 seeds $2.95
3403 Desert Cassia Cassia nemophila
A fast growing evergreen shrub to about six feet tall from Australia. Once established, it has very low water requirements, and tolerates high heat well, making it an excellent xeriscape plant as well as a beautiful lawn shrub.
The Desert Cassia has lightly scented, buttercup shaped, yellow flowers from January to April that are highlighted by it's light silvery green foliage.
 5 seeds $2.95
RLP071 Hop Bush Dodonaea viscosa
Hop Bush (also known as Hopseed Bush) is a drought-tolerant shrub with an upright, branching form. It reaches a height of 12 feet with a 10 foot spread. Its willow-like leaves are 4 inches long.
The foliage is a bronzy-green color that turns a reddish shade in the winter months. Small clusters of yellowish-green flowers bloom in the spring and are followed by winged seed pods. The winged seeds look similar to hops from which beer is made, hence the name.
Makes a very nice informal hedge plant and a good xeriscape plant. Cold hardy to about 15 degrees.
  400mg pack ( about 40 seeds ) $2.95
3334 Orange Urchin Diplolaena angustifolia
This small bushy shrub from Western Australia grows to 3 to 5 feet tall. It has narrow olive green leaves with dense rusty hairs on the underside. In late winter through early spring appear the pendant 1 1/2" wide flowers that have a double row of short greenish cream colored petal-like bracts and large brushes of pale orange stamens. The whole effect is a bit like looking at a upside down sea urchin.
Plant in well drained soils in full sun (coastal) to light shade with little irrigation - can tolerate regular watering if drainage is very good. Tolerates alkaline soils and coastal garden settings it given some protection from direct sea spray. Does best in near frost free locations as temperatures below 26 degrees are liable to freeze back plant before flowering. An unusual and showy plant that is good mixed with other drought tolerant plants or used as a container plant.
 5 seeds $2.95
1A338 White Stemmed Rabbitbush ( Chrysothamnus nauseosus )
A perennial bush growing 4 to 6 feet tall and reaching 6 feet in diameter when mature. You know itís fall in the West when the rabbitbush is in bloom. Billowing clouds of deep yellow flowers cover the bush, providing a dramatic backdrop or centerpiece to any xeric garden. Olive green evergreen foliage can be clipped to make a tough, durable and drought tolerant hedge. The clusters of yellow flowers cover the plant and provide late-season color. Prefers dry, alkaline soil. Zones 4-9. Outstanding show in the fall when other plants are looking drab.
  250mg Package ( a lot of seeds ) $2.50
3384 Beargrass ( Nolina Microcarpa )
Best suited for zones 8-11. This ornamental grass makes a great accent plant around water features. Native to Arizona, it forms clumps to five feet tall by seven feet wide. Bear grass is not only very heat and drought tolerant, but is evergreen as well. The long, slender green leaves are leathery, with finely toothed margins. The leaf tips fray to form highly ornamental curlicues. In the summer, bear grass sends up tall stalks of showy, cream-white to yellow colored flowers. Bear grass is useful for stabilizing hillsides and controlling erosion on slopes. It grows well in sand, sandy loam, clay and other heavy soils. It needs good drainage and aeration. It is remarkably tolerant of alkali.
  Pack of 10 seeds $2.50
B1717 Amur Maple ( Acer ginnala )
A fast growing small and dainty gray-barked tree with white flowers and brilliant fall colors. Excellent specimen for small yards or patios.
Good to 8,500 feet elevation in Colorado. Hardy for zones 2-8. Requires a pH of 7.5 or less.
  Package of 10 seeds $2.25
D1708 Kentucky Coffee Tree ( Gymnocladus dioica )
A large shade tree with long leaves that are pinkish in spring, green in summer and yellow in fall. The seeds can be roasted and eaten like nuts or made into a coffee substitute. The bruised foliage when sprinkled with sweetened water will attract and kill flies. Can be raised in containers.
A very picturesque plant in winter, it is hardy for zones 4-9. Good to 8,000 feet elevation. Tolerates alkalinity, salt and drought.
  Package of 3 seeds $2.00
D2911 Golden Rain Tree Koelreuteria
Golden raintree is a small, open-branching, irregularly-shaped, deciduous tree with a rounded crown which typically grows 30-40' tall and as wide. Features pinnate or bipinnate, feathery, compound leaves (to 18" long), each leaf having 7-17 irregularly lobed leaflets. Leaves emerge pinkish bronze to purplish in spring, mature to a bright green in summer and turn yellow (quality variable) in fall. Bright yellow flowers (1/2" wide) appear in early summer in long, terminal, panicles (12-15"). Falling blossoms may or may not resemble "golden rain", but the fallen blossoms often form an attractive golden carpet under the tree. Flowers give way to interesting, brown, papery seed capsules which somewhat resemble Chinese lanterns. For zones 5-9.
  Package of 5 seeds $2.75
D7880 Rocky Mountain Junifer ( Juniperus scopulorun )

Rocky Mountain juniper is an evergreen large shrub or small tree to 50' tall, but usually much smaller. Specimens are variable in habit, sometimes squat and shrubby, but usually narrowly cone shaped. The trunk is short and stout, often dividing near the ground. The branches are rather thick and spreading to partly erect. Rocky Mountain juniper has reddish bark that is stringy in narrow strips but does not exfoliate. Most of the leaves are like overlapping scales, closely pressed to the twigs. Juvenile leaves, usually only found on young seedlings, are more like needles, and they spread away from the twigs. The foliage is dense and pleasantly aromatic.

Trees may have male or female cones, but not both. The fruits are fleshy berrylike spherical cones, about one-third inch in diameter. They are bright blue with a whitish bloom and sweet tasting, with thin skins. Rocky Mountain juniper is closely related and quite similar to eastern redcedar, and was once believed to be the same species. But eastern redcedar has fruits that mature in a single season, whereas those of Rocky Mountain juniper take two year to ripen. Also, eastern redcedar had exfoliating bark. The two species hybridize where their ranges overlap.

Location: Rocky Mountain juniper occurs in isolated and scattered localities within a wide band from British Columbia to North Dakota, and south to Arizona and New Mexico. It grows from near sea level in the northern part of its range to more than 8000' above sea level in the south. Rocky Mountain juniper grows in alkaline soils on ridges, cliffs and rocky slopes, sometimes in pure stands, but more often in association with other mountain loving evergreens such as ponderosa pine, pinyon pine and Douglas-fir.

Culture: Rocky Mountain juniper is a slow growing tree (6-12" per year), but one that can live more than 300 years. In cultivation it tolerates acidic to alkaline soils, and does best in those that are loose and well drained. It is best adapted to culture in western and northern North America.
Light: Seedlings and saplings can tolerate rather dense shade, but Rocky Mountain junipers, even the smaller cultivars, need full sun to grow to their full potentials.
Moisture: Rocky Mountain juniper is tolerant of drought, but perhaps less so than the other junipers. It should be watered before the soil becomes completely dry. This juniper does poorly in humid climates, but does fine in hot, dry climates.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 - 7.
Usage: Use any of the cultivars of Rocky Mountain juniper for attractive foliage effects in all seasons. This evergreen is useful as a screen, hedge or foundation plant. They make great anchors or focal points for the ends of hedges or mixed borders. Rocky Mountain juniper is a tidy, formal accent shrub alone or in small groups.
Features: Although most cultivars are probably too formal for naturalistic gardens, Rocky Mountain juniper is ideal for neat, well-organized landscapes. Most cultivars require little or no pruning and are relatively free of cultural problems, insects and diseases. They tolerate heat and drought well.

  Package of 10 seeds $1.95
XERI02 Western US Xeriscape Flower Mix
A wonderful mix of flowers suitable for xeriscaping in the Western US, containing:
Arroyo Lupine, Perennial Gaillardia, Poppy-California, Gteenthread, Flax-Blue, Bluebell-California, Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Bird’s Eyes, Tidy-Tips, Blazing Star,Prairie Aster, Desert Marigold, Prairie Coneflower, Gooseberryleaf Globemallow and Evening Primrose.
  6g cup package of seeds will plant on average a 200 square ft. area.   $3.95
XERI04 Eastern US Xeriscape Flower Mix
A wonderful mix of flowers suitable for xeriscaping in the Eastern US, containing:
Purple Conef lower, Perennial Lupine, Annual Gaillardia, Lance Leaved Coreopsis, Scarlet Sage, Pale Purple Coneflower, Partridge Pea, Purple Prairie Clover, Dwarf Evening Primrose, Clasping Coneflower, Prairie Coneflower, White Upland Aster, Lavender Hyssop and Plains Coreopsis.
  1/8 cup package of seeds will plant on average a 200 square ft. area.   $3.95
XERI06 Extra Dry Xeriscape Flower Mix
A wonderful mix of flowers found to do well in extremely dry areas ( of course adequate moisture must be available for plants to become established ), containing:
Perennial Gaillardia, California Poppy, Dwarf Cornflower, Sulphur Cosmos, Blue Flax, Annual Gaillardia, Annual Baby's Breath, California Bluebell, Rocky Mountain Penstemon, African Stick Daisy, Blue Sage, Prairie Coneflower, Tidy-tips, African Daisy, Spurred Snapdragon, Corn Poppy and Sweet Alyssum
  1/8 cup package of seeds will plant on average a 200 square ft. area.   $3.95