Regions / Northern California

 

Northern California, Northern California gardening, Northern California garden, Northern California Climate, Northern California Region

Northern California

Selecting plants suited to the Northern California climate is a key step to success.

A plant's performance is governed by many climate related factors including the length of the growing season, the amount of rainfall, winter lows, summer highs, wind or humidity. Various initiatives have taken place to determine how well plants would withstand the cold winter temperatures (Plant Hardiness Zones) or when plants would start suffering from the heat (Plant Heat Zones). A more sophisticated approach has been followed by Sunset which defines Climate Zone Maps based not only on hardiness or heat tolerance, but also on precipitations, wind, humidity and various other climate related factors.

Northern California lies in Climate Zones 1 through 9, and 14 through 17. If you know your climate zone, find the best plants or exciting garden ideas for your geographic area.




Acer palmatum 'Omure-Yama' (Japanese Maple)

Noted for its spectacular cascading branches and striking fall color, Acer palmatum 'Omure-Yama' is a particularly interesting Japanese Maple. First, it changes from an upright habit when young to a semi-pendulous form at maturity, when its graceful, long new shoots start cascading down.

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Acer palmatum 'Orange Dream' (Japanese Maple)

Award-winning Acer palmatum 'Orange Dream' is a medium sized deciduous shrub with a striking foliage, season after season. Emerging golden-yellow with pink edges in early spring, the delicate foliage of lobed leaves matures to chartreuse in summer before turning brilliant orange-yellow in fall.

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Acer palmatum 'Orangeola' (Laceleaf Japanese Maple)

Regarded as one of the most spectacular cascading Laceleaf Japanese Maples, award-winning Acer palmatum 'Orangeola' is also one of the most admired for its remarkable leaf color.

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Acer palmatum 'Ornatum' (Laceleaf Japanese Maple)

Noted for its reliability and distinctive foliage color, Acer palmatum 'Ornatum' is a slow-growing deciduous shrub with an elegant, rounded habit.

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Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' (Japanese Maple)

Award-winning Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' is a large deciduous shrub or small rounded tree with large, 7-lobed, serrated, bright green leaves turning brilliant orange-scarlet to crimson-red in fall.

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Acer palmatum 'Red Dragon' (Laceleaf Japanese Maple)

Noted for keeping its rich purple-red foliage color better than any other Laceleaf Japanese Maples, Acer palmatum 'Red Dragon' is a compact, slow-growing deciduous shrub with elegant dissected leaves reminiscent of the claws of a dragon.

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Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku' (Coral Bark Maple)

Noted for its showy coral bark and fall color, award-winning Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku' (Coral-Bark Maple) is a large deciduous shrub or small tree that is highly desirable.

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Acer palmatum 'Seiryu' (Laceleaf Japanese Maple)

Noted for its unusual upright habit within the Laceleaf Japanasese Maples, award-winning Acer palmatum 'Seiryu' is a medium-sized deciduous shrub with small, deeply cut, dissected leaves of great beauty.

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Acer palmatum 'Shaina' (Japanese Maple)

Acer palmatum 'Shaina' is a compact deciduous shrub or small tree with a pretty foliage of five pointed, narrow lobed, bright red leaves in spring, deepening to dark maroon-red in summer, and brightening again to brilliant crimson-red in fall.

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Acer palmatum 'Shin-Deshojo' (Japanese Maple)

Regarded as the best red spring foliage color of any of the Japanese maples, award-winning Acer palmatum 'Shin-deshojo' is a compact deciduous shrub or small tree, primarily grown for its striking spring foliage color. Emerging bright and showy crimson-red in spring, the small, pointed, lobed, serrated leaves gradually fade to green speckled with white in summer.

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Acer palmatum 'Skeeter's Broom' (Japanese Maple)

Acer palmatum 'Skeeter's Broom' is a miniature deciduous shrub with a pretty foliage of small, sharply lobed leaves which emerge bright red in spring, and mature to rich purple-red throughout the summer. In the fall, the attractive foliage turns bright scarlet, before shedding to the ground.

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Acer palmatum 'Trompenburg' (Japanese Maple)

Adding drama to the garden wherever grown, award-winning Acer palmatum 'Trompenburg' is a deciduous shrub or small tree of outstanding interest.

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Acer palmatum 'Ukigumo' (Japanese Maple)

A fascinating Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum 'Ukigumo' or 'Floating Clouds' is a deciduous shrub or small tree with a most outstanding variegated foliage.

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Acer palmatum 'Wilson's Pink Dwarf' (Japanese Maple)

Noted for its miniature size and striking leaf color, Acer palmatum 'Wilson's Pink Dwarf' is a particularly charming Japanese Maple. Emerging salmon pink to bright orange in spring, the delicate foliage of small 5-lobed pointed leaves gradually mature lime green in summer before changing again to delightful shades of salmon, pinky-orange and carmine red in fall

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Acer palmatum 'Winter Flame' (Coral Bark Maple)

Smaller but as desirable as the highly popular 'Sango kaku', Acer palmatum 'Winter Flame' is noted for its showy coral bark and fall color. This medium-sized deciduous tree features delicate 5-lobed leaves which open lime green in spring, mature to mid green in summer, and warm up to golden-yellow, orange and red in fall before they shed to the ground.

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Acer palmatum 'Yasemin' (Japanese Maple)

Vigorous, Acer palmatum 'Yasemin' is a deciduous small tree of outstanding interest. Its unusual foliage of 7-9 pointed, sharply-serrated, lobed leaves resembles an open hand with outstretched fingers. Emerging rich and deep reddish purple in spring, the shiny leaves hold their extraordinary color until late summer and turn bronze-red, then brilliant purple-red in fall before shedding to the ground.

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Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)

Native to Japan, Korea and China, Acer palmatum is a species to which most Japanese Maples belong. It includes a rich variety of deciduous shrubs or small trees with graceful habits, elegantly cut leaves and extraordinarily colorful foliage, particularly in the fall when the leaves warm up to dazzling shades of golden-yellow, red-purple and bronze, before shedding to the ground.

Acer palmatum Dissectum Viride Group (Laceleaf Japanese Maple)

Acer palmatum Dissectum Viride Group or Acer 'Viridis' is a dwarf, often multi-stemmed, Japanese maple of low, spreading habit with strongly cascading branches forming a graceful, dome-shaped specimen over time. The delicate foliage of ferny, lace-like leaves with very long, thin lobes, each further dissected into sub-lobes, is bright green through the spring and summer and stands out beautifully in the landscape. In the fall, the leaves warm up to golden-yellow with occasional splashes of crimson before shedding to the ground.

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Acer platanoides 'Crimson King' (Norway Maple)

Majestic, award-winner Acer platanoides 'Crimson King' (Norway Maple) is a vigorous medium-sized deciduous tree prized for its large, rich purplish-crimson leaves that last throughout the summer and its purple fruits. Its oval to rounded, dense crown fills with ornamental clusters of reddish-orange flowers in the spring, just as the leaves emerge. They give way to purple samaras. In the fall, the leaves turn brown, dark maroon or bronze before dropping. Excellent as a shade tree or specimen to add accent to the landscape.

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Acer rubrum (Red Maple)

Noted for its lovely fall color, Acer rubrum (Red Maple) is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree of pyramidal habit when young, becoming rounded to oval at maturity. In early spring, tiny red flowers, borne in erect clusters, appear before the leaves and are followed by red fruit. Emerging red tinged in spring, the leaves change to dark green with whitish undersides and often develop dazzling yellows and red in the fall. This Red Maple also provides some winter interest, with its attractive, smooth gray bark, often ridged and furrowed with age.

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Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' (Golden Full Moon Maple)

Highly prized, award-winning Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' (Golden Full Moon Maple) is a bushy, medium-sized deciduous shrub or small tree noted for its spectacular foliage. Emerging intensely bright yellow in spring, the rounded, palmate leaves, adorned with 7-9 sharply pointed lobes, gradually turn pale chartreuse as the season progresses. In fall, they turn magnificent shades of orange, red, occasionally blended with purple tones. Regarded as one of the best yellow-leaved Japanese maples.

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Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' (Full Moon Maple)

Vigorous and easy to grow, Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' (Full Moon Maple) is a bushy tree or large shrub of upright habit noted for its beautiful summer and fall foliage. Emerging clear yellow or chartreuse in spring, the rounded, palmate leaves, adorned with 9-11 lobes, are tinged with an unusual burnt-orange color. These colors are strongest in full sun or very light shade. In the fall, they turn rich shades of orange and red.

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Acer shirasawanum 'Jordan' (Full Moon Maple)

Acer shirasawanum 'Jordan' (Full Moon Maple) is a vigorous small tree of upright habit, noted for its outstanding yellow-leaved foliage. Emerging bright yellow with rose-orange edges in spring, the rounded, palmate leaves, adorned with 9-11 lobes, change to stunning bright yellow through the summer. These colors are strongest in full sun or very light shade. In the fall, they turn brilliant shades of orange and red.

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Acer shirasawanum 'Kawaii' (Full Moon Maple)

Acer shirasawanum 'Kawaii' (Full Moon Maple) is a dwarf, deciduous shrub or tree of cute appearance (Kawaii means "cute" in Japanese) noted for its deep reddish-orange, dissected foliage. Emerging pink-red in spring, the small, palmate, deeply divided leaves turn burgundy with green highlights as the season progress, before changing to brilliant shades of orange and red in the fall. Forming a low, spreading mound of cascading foliage, this slow growing maple cultivar is perfect for small gardens or containers.

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