Cistus Nursery

First of all, at least once per day, I make sure that I work with plants. I either look, touch, prune, read about, design with, or order plants. That is why I love my job. Currently at work, we are finalizing our orders for the spring planting season. I needed a few plants for a special project so I decided to look to Cistus Nursery in Oregon. What originally was a search for one plant turned into an order of nearly 15 plants to try at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden.


I had heard about Cistus Nursery for years but had yet to order from them. Cistus was started in the mid-90’s as a retail “micro-nursery” by Sean Hogan and his late partner, Parker Sanderson. The nursery operation is located on an island in the Columbia River, northwest of Portland, Oregon named Sauvie Island. Sean Hogan has become renowned as a great plantsman and Cistus Nursery has become a go to nursery for unusual plants adapted to the Pacific Northwest.

Austrocedrus chilensis

With that in mind, many of the plants in the catalog cannot grow for more than a few summer months in our USDA zone 6a coastal Maine garden. But there are quite a few zone 5 and 6 plants available that I really want to try. Among these is the Chilean cedar, Austrocedrus chilensis (see above). My master’s thesis was on Mediterranean plants from Chile so I of course have to give this one a shot. Another plant that I am looking forward to trying is Stachyurus praecox ‘Sterling Silver’ (see below). I have grown Stachyurus before in Raleigh, NC and I love the way the yellow flowers drip off of the ends of the branches.


In looking through their on-line catalog, I am apt to have zone envy and wish, “oh, if we were just…” Cistus has so many great plants to plant and try in the garden. Check out their listings and let me know if you see plants that you really want to add.


Photos:,, via kanagen

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