Wooly and fuzzy plants

gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)April 5, 2010

I thought I had a list but I don't.

And finding such plants on the internet is limited.

What fuzzy- or wooly-leafed plants do you have?

I'm looking for plants for a Sensory Garden. I have the senses of sight, taste, smell and even sound covered.



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Wooly lamb's ear is one of my favorites. Also a couple of year's ago I received a cutting of Calif geranium which also goes by velvet groundsel or senecio petasites...it gets pretty tall and has large velvety leaves. I think it can be invasive but is well behaved for me...and it has pretty yellow flowers at this time of year.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:14PM
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This is what I've constructed so far:

Acacia podalyriifolia PEARL ACACIA
Acacia vestita
Achillea fillipendulina GOLDEN YARROW
Achillea x King Edward KING EDWARD YARROW
Achillea x kellereri SILVER YARROW
Anthemis marschalliana SILVER MARGUERITE
Artemisia stellerana SILVER BEACH WORMWOOD
Artemisia vulgaris ÂSeafoam SEA WORMWOOD
Buddleja marrubiifolia WOOLY BUTTERFLY BUSH
Cheilanthes tomentosa WOOLY FERN
Convolvulus cneorum BUSH MORNING GLORY
Cyanotis somaliensis
Echeveria pulvinata
Eriogonum crocatum CONEJO BUCKWHEAT
Eriophyllum lanatum arachnoideum WOOLLY SUNFLOWER
Festuca glauca ÂElijah BlueÂ, ÂSiskiyou Blue BLUE FESCUE
Foeniculum vulgare ÂSmokey BRONZE FENNEL
Helichrysum petiolare ÂLimelight GOLDEN LICORICE PLANT
Helichrysum petiolare LICORICE PLANT
Helichrysum thianshanicum ÂIcicles SILVER VELVET STRAWFLOWER
Kalanchoe beharensis
Kalanchoe eriophylla
Kalanchoe orgyalis
Kalanchoe tomentosa
Origanum dictamnus CRETE DITTANY
Pelargonium appendiculatum
Plectranthus argentatus ÂLongwood Silver SILVER PLECT.
Sagina subulata IRISH & SCOTCH MOSS
Salvia apiana WHITE SAGE
Salvia argentea SILVER SAGE
Salvia canescens var. daghestanica
Salvia pinguifolia ROCKY SAGE
Senecio cristobalensis
Senecio haworthii
Senecio petasites
Senecio scaposus
Brachyglottis 'Dormouse'
Stachys byzantina LAMBS' EARS
Stachys byzantina ÂSilver CarpetÂSILVER CARPET LAMBÂS EARS
Tanacetum ÂBeth Chatto SILVER TANSY
Tanacetum densum var amanum
Tanacetum haradjanii
Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum
Thymus pseudolanuginosus WOOLY THYME
Thymus THYME
Tradescantia sillmontana
Verbascum bombyciferum
Verbascum olympicum

I KNOW there's a lot more.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:57PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

What an interesting idea. I have many plants in my garden that will stimulate the sense of touch (Greek aesthesis= to feel a touch, aesthetics, to be touched by art, anaesthesia= not able to feel a touch).

How about cholla? :)

But seriously, my favorite fuzzy plant is moss. Zoysia grass is also fun to pet.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 2:38PM
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Garden Peach tomatoes are fuzzy, and they produce over a long period.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 5:03PM
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I would add Echeveria setosa (easy to grow) and *perhaps* Mammillaria plumosa.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 5:40PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Oh yeah, how about those little African violets? Don't they have fuzzy leaves?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 9:03PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I'd add Kalanchoe pumila, Pelargonium peltatum/Pineapple geranium, and the various Siderits species such as S. cypria and Stobilanthes gossypinus to your list. Muhlenbergia pubescens is another soft/furry plant. Plectranthus neochilus is also softly hairy, but with the fragrance of skunk when the leaves are touched/watered, probably not what you had in mind.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 9:42PM
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queerbychoice(USDA 9a/Sunset 8 (CA))

In my yard, Malacothamnus fremontii and Grindelia hirsutula are fuzzy.

In fact, anything with hirsutula or hirtissima in the name should probably be on your list.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Gynura aurantiaca

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:42AM
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bettyn_gardener(9 Sunset 14)

Joe - what a great idea! You've already listed to few fuzzies in my garden. When my Schnauzer was a puppy she would curl up on top of the Lamb's ears and snuggle right in. Quite endearing. Good thing Lamb's ears are tough.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:09AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

What about pelargonium tomentosum? Phlomis fruticosa? Plectranthus barbatus? Gynura aurantiaca?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:24AM
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Wow -- some great additions already.

Keep 'em comin'.

And yes bahia, I am NOT going to include Plect. neochilus on my list. I know it too well.

Thanks so much,

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:52AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Tibouchina heteromalla - big(5'Tx6'W) and beautiful, although it's much more frost-sensitive than T.urvilleana. It is a show-stopper even when not in bloom. I'm trying to grow it in another location right now, the first site was too cold and too sunny:

T. heteromalla flowers only once a year, but it holds them in tall spikes, quite different than its sibling:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 1:26PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I had meant to write Pelargonium tomentosum(not peltatum) as well, which for a sensory garden has both the fuzzy leaf characteristics as well as the great fragrance, but also requires sufficient space to accomodate its rampant growth.

For those who aren't familiar with the Plectranthus neochilus, it is a very useful, drought tolerant ground cover that does as well in full sun as well as fairly deep shade, and is quite beautiful in full bloom which can be nearly all year long. A very useful plant where it doesn't freeze, and for those who are not averse to the smell, it does have its uses. Reminds me that some people hate Tulbaghia violacea because it smells like garlic with high temperatures and planted in mass, as at the Getty Garden.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 2:47PM
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queerbychoice(USDA 9a/Sunset 8 (CA))

I ran a search on calflora.org for natives with "hairy" or "woolly" or "fuzzy" or "felt" in the common names (excluding annuals, because they're less likely to be garden-worthy) and came up with the following. I know not all of them are garden-worthy, or even necessarily all that hairy, but a fair number would make good additions to your list.

Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus var. hirtellus - hairy goldenhead
Agoseris apargioides - woolly goat chicory
Ambrosia eriocentra - woolly bur sage
Amsonia tomentosa - woolly bluestar
Angelica tomentosa - woolly angelica
Antennaria lanata - woolly pussy toes
Arabis hirsuta - hairy rockcress
Arabis sparsiflora - hairystem rockcress
Arctostaphylos columbiana - hairy manzanita
Arctostaphylos tomentosa - woollyleaf manzanita
Arnica mollis - hairy arnica
Asclepias vestita - woolly milkweed
Astragalus leucolobus - Bear Valley woollypod
Astragalus purshii - woollypod milkvetch
Baileya pleniradiata - woolly desert marigold
Balsamorhiza hirsuta - hairy balsam root
Balsamorhiza lanata - woolly balsamroot
Brickellia incana - woolly brickellbush
Calochortus tolmiei - hairy star tulip
Calystegia malacophylla - woolly morning glory
Carex gynodynama - Olney's hairy sedge
Carex hirtissima - fuzzy sedge
Carex lanuginosa - woolly sedge
Carex lasiocarpa - woolly-fruited sedge
Carex pellita - woolly sedge
Castilleja foliolosa - woolly Indian paintbrush
Castilleja lanata - Sierra woolly Indian paintbrush
Castilleja lanata - whitefelt Indian paintbrush
Caulanthus pilosus - hairy wild cabbage
Ceanothus arboreus - feltleaf ceanothus
Ceanothus oliganthus - hairy ceanothus
Ceanothus tomentosus - woolyleaf ceanothus
Chamaesyce polycarpa var. hirtella - hairy small-seeded spurge
Constancea nevinii - Nevin's woolly sunflower
Dalea mollis - hairy prairie clover
Epilobium halleanum - hairy willowherb
Eriastrum densifolium - giant woollystar
Eriodictyon crassifolium - felt-leaved yerba santa
Eriodictyon tomentosum - woolly yerba santa
Eriodictyon trichocalyx var. lanatum - hairy yerba santa
Eriogonum elatum - tall woolly buckwheat
Eriogonum ochrocephalum - white woolly buckwheat
Erioneuron pilosum - hairy woollygrass
Eriophyllum jepsonii - Jepson's woolly sunflower
Eriophyllum lanatum - common woolly sunflower
Eriophyllum latilobum - San Mateo woolly sunflower
Eriophyllum staechadifolium - seaside woolly sunflower
Funastrum hirtellum - hairy milkweed
Grindelia hirsutula - hairy gumweed
Heterotheca villosa - hairy false goldenaster
Hieracium scouleri - Scouler's woollyweed
Hieracium triste - woolly hawkweed
Hydrophyllum capitatum - woolen breeches
Hymenopappus filifolius - hairy-podded Columbia cutleaf
Juncus supiniformis - hairyleaf rush
Leptodactylon californicum ssp. tomentosum - fuzzy prickly phlox
Lomatium dasycarpum - woollyfruit desertparsley
Lonicera hispidula - hairy honeysuckle
Lotus heermannii - woolly lotus
Lotus incanus - woolly bird's foot trefoil
Lupinus pratensis - hairy-bannered Inyo Meadow lupine
Luzula comosa - hairy woodrush
Marsilea vestita - hairy waterclover
Monardella hypoleuca ssp. lanata - feltleaf monardella
Nama lobbii - woolly fiddleleaf
Oenothera elata ssp. hirsutissima - hairy evening primrose
Oenothera villosa - hairy evening primrose
Oreonana vestita - woolly mountainparsley
Oxalis albicans - hairy woodsorrel
Packera cana - woolly groundsel
Phlox hirsuta - hairy phlox
Plantago eriopoda - hairy-fruited plantain
Pleuraphis rigida - woolly galleta grass
Pteridium aquilinum - hairy brackenfern
Pyrrocoma hirta - woolly goldenweed
Rhamnus pilosa - hairyleaf redberry
Romneya trichocalyx - hairy Matilija poppy
Salvia dorrii - hairy sage
Salvia funerea - woolly sage
Sphenosciadium capitellatum - woollyhead parsnip
Stemodia durantifolia - white woolly twintip
Stenotus lanuginosus - woolly mock goldenweed
Suaeda taxifolia - woolly seablite
Tetradymia comosa - hairy horsebrush
Tetradymia stenolepis - narrow scaled felt-thorn
Townsendia condensata - hairy Townsend daisy
Trichostema lanatum - woolly bluecurls
Trifolium eriocephalum - woollyhead clover
Viola tomentosa - feltleaf violet
Wyethia mollis - woolly mule ears

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 3:07PM
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I like my Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus)and the leaves are certainly soft & fuzzy, but I don't love the lingering smell of the blooms if I brush against them. I think only Salvia transylvanica and lantana bother me more. But the Plectranthus genus sure does have some nice drought resistant types that look good with sages and mints.

That, princess flower, and certain sages, like S. spathcea, were the first that came to my mind.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 5:23PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Jkom- I love your photos of t. heteromalla. What an unbelievably beautiful plant.

I'm off to look up "wooly mule ears".

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 9:41PM
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Thanks everyone.

jkom51 -- I wish we could grow that Tibouchina here. Even the more common T. urvilleana just doesn't look good long enough.

queerbychoice -- what a FRIGGIN' fantastic list. Thanks for the legwork.

bahia -- I like looking at P. neochilis. No touchy, though.

Wish we could grow Gynura outdoors here.


Thanks all,

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 10:24PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Mullein. Artic Summer is very fuzzy and has big leaves.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 10:58PM
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Is Dusty Miller there somewhere? Maybe it's not fuzzy enough to qualify.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 5:47PM
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I would have to post a photo. I think its a Plectanthus. I didnt buy it-it came up in a potting mix I got from UC Berkeley-a source of a couple of other plants that have spread around....
btw,I have been told its edible as somebody knew it under a name from the Phillipines.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 9:16PM
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CA Kate

Salvia canariensis and Phlomis purpurea are two furry ones I just planted.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 1:29AM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

I'll add Marrubium rotundifolia (horehound), very fuzzy and soft. My Salvia confertiflora is also furry and soft.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 1:37AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Not woolly or fuzzy, but a wonderful texture on a plant is Scleranthus biflorus, common name Australian Astroturf. It's bouncy. It's sort of like a cross between grass and a rubber ball.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:01PM
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My favorites are culinary bergamot sage and wooly butterfly bush.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:25AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

This is very pretty, but I don't know where you would find it, may be more silver than fuzzy, though silver is caused by small matted hairs on the leaf surface.

Also Tufted Wild Buckwheat, Eriogonum ovalifolium-


    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 5:55PM
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I am surprised not to see Glaucium flavum or "Yellow Horned Poppy" listed It is certainly a plant a blind person could identify by its feel. Al

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 11:35AM
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Davallia trichomanoides, or Squirrel's Foot Fern

Typha or Cattails, there are 11 species, says Wikipedia

Moss roses, my favorite is Alfred du Dalmas, sometimes called Mousseline, for the scent of the flowers is reminiscent of French linens. There are cultivars with mossier buds.

Some Lavenders have very soft leaves, and soft velvety flowers especially right before they open, I love to feel them.

Sinningia, or florists, Gloxinia.

Roman Chamomile makes a wonderful "rug."

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 5:51AM
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