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Chamaebatiaria millefolium (also known as Desert Sweet or Fernbush) is a beautiful native shrub that brightens the garden in mid-summer with big clusters of bright white flowers. It also has attractive dried seed heads and olive-green foliage. Drought resistant perennial plant (xeric).
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(based on 11 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Most Liked Positive Review
LOVE Fernbush, also called Desert Sweet and rightly so.
Fernbush is a beautiful, fragrant plant. It is well adapted to the severe high desert conditions we live in. Extreme temperature swings 0 to 105, hot, dry, sandy soil, heavy winds,...Read complete review
Fernbush is a beautiful, fragrant plant. It is well adapted to the severe high desert conditions we live in. Extreme temperature swings 0 to 105, hot, dry, sandy soil, heavy winds, snow in winter, not much precip the rest of the year. As with most plants, the first two years there wasn't much growth as it got itself established, then it took off. In 5 years time it was at mature size. The honey bees absolutely love it. Not only are the flowers fragrant, the leaves have an amazing soft sweet smell all year. In our most severe winters it has shed about 1/2 the leaves, in milder (for us) winters it hardly drops any. We have a long row of Fernbush all along our retaining wall in front of the patio. We love to sit and watch the bees and smell the sweet fragrance. The older the plants have gotten the more dense they have gotten and thus make a nice, natural screen. We also planted several others around different areas of the yard where we wanted to attract the bees and act as a backdrop to certain other plants. Love this versatile (almost) evergreen.
Most Liked Negative Review
Planted last fall to replace a barberry bush - it survived the winter and is starting to grow. Although healthy, for a bush/shrub, it was a small plant and seems like it...Read complete review
Planted last fall to replace a barberry bush - it survived the winter and is starting to grow. Although healthy, for a bush/shrub, it was a small plant and seems like it might take years to reach proper size, but we'll see what this summer brings.
Reviewed by 11 customers
Displaying reviews 1-11
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Not happy in zone 9 Northern California
By no nickname
from Flournoy, CA
About Me Avid Gardener
Comments about High Country Gardens Chamaebatiaria millefolium:
Planted two in red clay, amended. Watered regularly through very hot summer (Zone 9, well over 100 some days) and covered with shadecloth. In separate locations but both received full sun and were exposed to strong north wind typical of this area. Growth very slow and they both look very scraggly and struggling, sun or wind-burned. Per Sunset, this plant is for zones 1-3, 7, and 14-21, not zone 9. Wish I had double checked before ordering. I will try moving them to where they can have shade in the hottest part of the day because I would really like to feed the bees, and it is too late to request a refund. If they do not show spring growth, will give up on them.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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from Klamath Falls, OR
Ordered three. One arrived dead and was quickly replaced, thanks! Of the three, two grew strongly and are now about 1.5' tall. The third is in poorer soil and is less than a foot. All got nibbled by deer/rabbits, but not devoured. For my garden, that's a win! I expect great things next year.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
from southern Colorado
See all my reviews
I have used this shrub in gardens in both northern & southern Colorado in both sandy-clay soil and on a steep hillside in a decomposed coal/clay mix and it has performed well. It does not receive much extra care (after establishment) on challenging hillside. Slow grower but worth the wait.
Great quality (again) in your products.
from Apache Junction, Arizona
I'm delighted to finally get a fernbush! I first noticed them traveling around southern California but couldn't find them online or in nurseries around town. Finally I found your website and am delighted!
Not Worth It
from Mountainair, NM
Bought 3, 1 made it through the winter. A year after planting it is less than a foot tall. Pictures are pretty but it wasn't worth the cost.
I like it!
from New Cuyama, CA
The plant arrived in perfect condition, suffered no transplant shock, and seemed to thrive in our unusually hot summer.
(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
By High Alt Gardener
from Cotopaxi, CO
Using several of these to encourage pollinators and fill in empty spots in the back yard. Plants have doubled in size meaning they went from 4" to 8" during the growing season. Can't wait for them to fill out to full size in a couple of years. Meanwhile they are tough little shrubs withstanding poor (alkaline) soil amended with compost and regular watering and intense sunlight and heavy winds. Have stayed grey-green all winter. Looking forward to the flowers when they get older.
Lovely no-care plant; Ultimate size a concern
from Fort Collins, CO
I purchased two of these the year before last and liked them so much that I added a third. One survived a child-trampling, which broke or damaged most branches. Mine have been fairly fast growers for a no/low water plant and maintenance free. They have a nice aroma and year-round that varies by season. I'd highly recommend this shrub to anyone planting western natives.This is a Plant Select plant, where is as listed as 3-5' W and 3-5' H. Since putting the first two in the ground I've seen some locally that make me worry they might eclipse the 8' W and 6' H listed here. PS says, "Less water promotes a more compact and upright growth pattern," and that it can take pruning, so we'll see if I can keep the size in check.
(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)
Small but growing
from Pueblo West Colorado
I purchased the fern bushes to fill in space and to add year long color. They arrived fairly small in size but nice and healthy. Planted them in the fall and they stayed green all winter as promised. Now that its spring they look very healthy and are getting nice and full. Overall I am pleased with them and will probably order a few more.
(6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)
from Denver, CO
(34 of 34 customers found this review helpful)
from Minden, NV elevation 4500 ft
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
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