Friday, September 21, 2012

Site Specific Columnar Plant Recommendations Sought

I have a spot I need something very particular for, and I am thinking maybe one (or some) of my readers can help with a suggestion.  

I am looking for a columnar (tall and narrow) perennial, shrub or small tree—that grows 6 – 12 feet tall, or wouldn’t mind being kept to that height.  It would need to get no more than 3 feet wide (or not mind being shaped.)  It also needs to be drought tolerant when established, adapted to Mediterranean weather (dry hot summers, cool winters with rain), hardy to zone 8 (10F and sometimes a little lower of a winter night).  In addition the spot gets morning sun and then strong somewhat dappled shade the rest of the day.   Last but not least---it needs to not have any thorns or prickles.  The spot will eventually host a picnic table, so it needs to be touchable and non-toxic.

Now, that is asking a lot of any plant.  But if there are choices in the field of possibilities, if it also produced food, fiber, flavoring, medicine, or something else useful—that would be grand.  Attracting pollinators or beneficial insects would be great, as would fixing nitrogen.  However, if there is anything at all that any of you know of that would work for the spot that is absolutely good enough.  Please feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion(s)!

And then, if you have cuttings or seeds to swap—well that would just be totally awesome!