Lyonothamnus floribundus aspleniifolius (Fernleaf Ironwood) Identifying Characteristics: Grows to 20’-50’ high and 15’-20’ wide Leaves are rich-green and fernlike (pinnatifid) Bark is peeling and reddish-brown, aging to light-gray (which can be removed to reveal reddish underbark) Flowers are very small and borne in large umbels from late-spring to early-summer, aging from creamy-white to rust to dark-brown
Landscape Values: Moderate to fast growth rate Minimal root-heaving of concrete at least two feet away (with deep watering) Upright habit with strong branches Lacy evergreen foliage filters light, casting dappled shade; leaf-drop forms an attractive mulch Can be clustered for greater impact (as a grove) Some choose to remove old (dark-brown) umbels
Horticultural Requirements: Full to part sun Moderate water (summer water @ coast is O.K.) Good drainage Neutral to acidic soil Basal suckers should be pruned away whenever they occur, before they become woody Structural (drop) pruning is best done in late-summer, if desired, to remove lower branches for clearance/form
Native Range: Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Clemente Islands (nearby mainland distribution 6-19 million years ago)
Uses by Native Americans: The (very) hard wood was used for tools
For more information about the N/E/X/T/Garden, where this Featured Native Plant grows, click here. For additional information about this Featured Native Plant, email: Info@PalisadesBeautiful.org.