Plant family: Rosaceae - Rose
Plant type: Shrub, Tree
Plant origin: N/A, California
Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, Creosote Bush Scrub
Clay, Decomposed Granite, Sand, Sandy Loam, Adaptable, Alkaline, Rocky
Hedges and Screens, Slope Stabilizer, Tolerant of Clay Soil
Also known by the common names Red Shank or Ribbonwood, Adenostoma sparsifolium is a native shrub or small tree that is usually found on dry, well drained slopes in the chaparral and coastal sage scrub of northern California down to the border of Mexico. This native plant’s richly red peeling bark makes an attractive contrasting texture in the landscape, while its feathery evergreen canopy makes a casual screen or hedge. Tolerating both clay and sandy soils, Red Shanks is easy to grow in most residential settings, adapting to traditional wetter garden conditions quite well. Red Shanks prefers full sun exposure and grows 6 to 18 feet tall with a rounded form dense with foliage from multiple branches. It has small white flowers that bloom July through September, and green foliage even in winter. Drought and heat tolerant, yet able to withstand average watering as well, Red Shanks’ contrasting elements make this plant an unusual and striking addition to the landscape.
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