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Products > Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla 'Ray's Carpet'
 
Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla 'Ray's Carpet' - Coastal Gum Plant
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: <1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla 'Ray's Carpet' (Coastal Gum Plant) - A ground hugging spreading evergreen perennial/ subshrub that grows no taller than 8 inches and spreading to 2 to 3 feet or more wide, rooting as it spreads to become as wide as space allows. Its fleshy 2 1/2 inch long by 1/2 wide mid-green colored leaves are spatulate in shape and crenate (shallow rounded lobes) near the tips. From May through fall appear the rounded buds (technically involucres) with narrow soft but spiny looking phyllaries with sticky white gum in the center that burst open to display 2 inch wide sunny yellow daisy flowers from late spring through fall. Plant in full sun to part shade where and performs best in sandy soils, but also tolerates clay. Coastal Gum Plant is moderately summer dry growing - irrigate infrequently to occasionally but looks its best with occasional overhead spray to wash the foliage. It is cold hardy and evergreen to 20-25° F and semi-deciduous a bit below this and tolerant of near coastal conditions with Seaspray and resistant to predation by deer. Deadhead older flowers to encourage longer flowering period and to tidy up in the fall. This is an attractive fast growing native ground cover that makes a solid carpet of green that displays well the bright yellow flowers that are attractive to bees and butterflies. It will trail over a wall and it toughness makes for a good plant that can be stepped on in the parking strip. This plant was distributed by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for trial in January 2016 as Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla (SBBG 88-126). It came to them from the Theodore Payne Foundation in 1988 but was traced back to a collection made in 1987 by the late Ray Walsh of Wildwood Nursery located in Upland, California. Walsh, who passed away in the early 1990s, collected the plant on the Devil’s Slide on Montara Mountain near Pacifica at an elevation of 100-150 feet. He was also responsible for the selection of several other California native plants, including Artemisia californica 'Montara' and Eriogonum fasciculatum 'Wildwood'. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden decided to honor Ray by giving this low growing plant the name 'Ray's Carpet' There are three varieties of Grindelia stricta found within California and while varieties angustifolia and stricta are restricted to northern California, variety platyphylla is distributed the coast from Oregon south to Los Angeles County and also on the northern Channel Islands. It grows on tidal flats, marshes, dunes, seabluffs and the coastal strand, where it receives extra moisture from fog and sea spray but also can be found away from the ocean in the coastal sage scrub plant community. The variety platyphylla is distinctive by having a mass of sticky white sap on the flower buds, which protects the plant from browsing and gives it the common name "Gum Plant". The native American tribe used this gummy sap as a skin ointment and an adhesive. The name for the genus honors the Latvian botanist David Hieronymus Grindel (1776–1836). The specific epithet means "upright" as some forms of the species are so and the varietal name means broad-leafed.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Grindelia stricta 'Ray's Carpet'.
 
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