Jonathan E. Morris Landscapes

Landscape Design and Installation - Southern California

Author: stlrbrt

What is that plant – Pittosporum tenuifolium

Pittosporum tenuifolium is fantastic for screening. A brilliant screening tree that works well as either a formal or informal hedge. Responds well to pruning and shaping.

This tree is small column shaped tree growing more rounded with age. This tree has small oval shaped greenish silver leaves that are slightly leather in texture. The leaves rest on almost black branches which creates a great contrast in coulor. It produces insignificant flowers in Spring and seed pods going from green to black thereafter.

This tree is known for it ease in growing in a wide range of conditions. Prefers full sun and well drained soils.

As an evergreen, it retains its leaves, therefore is green, all year round.

Pittosporum tenuifolium grows tall enough to provide screening from neighbors, walls and garages. They are usually dense growers with a small or thick leaf that is easy to keep in shape.

These trees are dense and full – perfect for clipping into hedges along walls, paths and driveways.

A tree for an informal screen is one which is tall enough to block views but is left to grow in its natural form. These trees offer a more casual look.

What is that plant – Senecio

Senecio mandraliscae is a popular ground cover in southern California.  It is hearty and drought tolerant and has a unique blue tint that gives it a modern look.  It is spreading succulent that grows to 12 to 18 inches tall with 3 to 4 inch long blue gray pencil-like fleshy leaves and small white flowers in mid-summer.  Senecio forms a dense mat with leaves angled upward from the ground.  It does well in full sun to light shade.



What Is That Plant – Equisetum

A popular plant around Southern California is Equisetum hyemale – Horsetail.  It is great for quickly adding a lot of green color and life to a big space.

modern drought tolerant web

Up close it has an interesting texture.


Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) – Is a vertical, rush-like evergreen spreading plant.  Similar to ferns, Equisetum have no flowers, rather they reproduce by emission of spores. It will grow well in full sun or shade, with occasional to regular irrigation.  It can grow to 5 to 6 feet in height, though usually seen closer to 3 to 4 feet.

Its enthusiastic growth should be considered before planting.  Plans to control its spread such as using dividers should be made. It is often trimmed to make a boxy geometric plant.