I’ve known about Rare Plant Research for as long as I’ve been interested in plants, but it wasn’t until a coworker tipped me off that I became aware of their renowned annual plant sale and open house. Of course, long-time Portland residents like Loree of Danger Garden have been in on the secret for years. But if you think a true plant fanatic is going to pass on the opportunity to scope out and scoop up some rare plants, even after years of visits, well. You’d better think again.
The home of Rare Plant Research.
As a first-timer, you can imagine my surprise at finding this enormous Spanish-style villa overlooking the surrounding farmland just minutes outside of downtown Oregon City. And you can imagine my non-plant-obsessed boyfriend’s surprise at just how many people had turned up for the event. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and he was content to sit under a tent next to the food truck while I plundered the greenhouses.
Around the greenhouses are beds growing Eucomis and Canna in-ground, as well as one devoted to hundreds of different kinds of Lewisia, like this one.
Surely one of the main draws of Rare Plant Research is the large selection of succulents. I can’t say I’ve fallen back in love with them, but seeing them so out of place here in Oregon does give me a new sense of appreciation.
Alpinia zerumbet, common name variegated ginger.