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California Native Plants & Grasses

Tolerant of Medium Dry Conditions  

California native plants can be found growing in various types of soil and exposures including wet, dry and very dry conditions.  It is imperative that when choosing a plant palette that all of the material on the palette is tolerant of similar conditions.  One common misconception is that native plants do not need water.  This is far from the truth; remember that all plants (even the most drought tolerant ones) need some water.   Properly establishing native plants is the key to the success of each planting.  Irrigation frequency is dependent on the type of irrigation being used, soil type, climatic conditions and exposure.  Natives and other drought tolerant material benefit from deep, infrequent watering.

As a general rule, native plants should be planted during October through May.  Though some plants that are tolerant of regular water can be transplanted without any problems during the summer, to increase the success of the planting, it is not recommended that certain genera be planted.  Some of these include, but are not limited to:  Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Malosma, Mimulus, Nassella, Rhus and some species of Salvia.

*Without a contractual agreement, material may be unavailable or only in limited quantities during certain times of the year.

Taxonomic Name Common Name
Achillea millefolium   Common Yarrow 
Achillea millefolium 'Heidi' Pink Common Yarrow Selection
Achillea millefolium 'Hoffnung' Yellow Common Yarrow Selection
Achillea millefolium 'Lilac Beauty' Lilac Common Yarrow Selection
Achillea millefolium 'Paprika' Red Common Yarrow Selection
Achillea millefolium 'Pink Island Form' Pink Common Yarrow Selection
Achillea millefolium 'Lavender Beauty’ Lavender Common Yarrow Selection
Aescelus californica California Buckeye
Aquilegia formosa Scarlet Columbine
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’ Manzanita Selection
Arctostaphylos ‘Emerald Carpet’ Manzanita Hybrid
Arctostaphylos edmundsii Little Sur Manzanita
Arctostaphylos edmunsii ‘Carmel Sur’ Little Sur Manzanita Selection
Arctostaphylos hookeri 'Monterey Carpet'  Manzanita Selection
Arctostaphylos hookeri 'Wayside'  Manzanita Selection
*Arctostaphylos nummularium 'Small Change'  Manzanita Selection
Arctostaphylos 'Pacific Mist'  Manzanita Hybrid
Arctostaphylos 'Point Reyes'  Manzanita Hybrid
*Arctostaphylos purissima 'Vandenberg'  Manzanita Selection
Artemesia californica  California Sagebrush
*Artemisia californica 'Canyon Grey'  California Sagebrush Selection
*Artemisia ludoviciana                     Silver Mugwort
*Artemisia ludoviciana 'Silver King'     Silver Mugwort Selection
Atriplex lentiformis breweri Quail Brush
Baccharis ‘Centennial’ NCN 
Baccharis emoryi Emory’s Broom
Baccharis pilularis Coyote Brush
Baccharis pilularis 'Pigeon Point' Coyote Brush Selection
*Brickellia californica Brickellbush
Calliandra californica Red Fairy Duster
Calliandra eriophylla Pink Fairy Duster
Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’ Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’ Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus ‘Louis Edmunds’ Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus ‘Owlswood Blue’ Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’ Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus 'Concha' Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus 'Dark Star' Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus 'Frosty Blue' Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus gloriosus ‘Anchor Bay’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus gloriosus ‘Blue Jeans’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus gloriosus exaltatus ‘Emily Brown’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus gloriosus 'Heart's Desire'   Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus gloriosus 'Point Reyes'    Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus griseus ‘Kurt Zadnik’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus griseus horizontalis ‘Yankee Point’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus griseus 'Louis Edmunds' Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus griseus 'Santa Ana'    Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus hearstiorum San Simeon Ceanothus
Ceanothus 'Joan Mirov' Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus 'Joyce Coulter' Wild Lilac Hybrid
*Ceanothus leucodermis Chaparral Whitethorn
*Ceanothus maritimus    Maritime Ceanothus
*Ceanothus megacarpus Big Pod Ceanothus
Ceanothus rigidus ‘Snowball’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus ‘Sierra Blue’ Wild Lilac Hybrid
Ceanothus spinosus Greenbark Ceanothus
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus                    Blue Blossom
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’ Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Louis Edmunds'   Wild Lilac Selection
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' Wild Lilac Selection
Cercidium floridum Blue Palo Verde
Cercis occidentalis Western Redbud
Cercocarpus betuloides Mountain Mahogany
Cercocarpus ledifolius Curl-leaf Mountain Mahogany
Cercocarpus minutiflorus San Diego Mountain Mahogany
Chilopsis linearis   Desert Willow
Chilopsis linearis ‘Burgundy’ Desert Willow Selection
Encelia californica Coast Sunflower
*Encelia farinosa Brittlebush
Epilobium (see Zauschneria) California Fuchsia
*Eriogonum cinereum Ashyleaf Buckwheat
*Eriogonum crocatum Conejo Buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum California Buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum ‘Bruce Dickinson’ California Buckwheat Selection
Eriogonum fasciculatum ‘Dana Point’ California Buckwheat Selection
*Eriogonum giganteum St. Catherine’s Lace
Eriogonum grande rubescens Red Buckwheat
*Eriogonum parvifolium Coast Buckwheat
Galvezia juncea Baja Bush Snapdragon
Galvezia speciosa Island Bush Snapdragon
Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker' Island Bush Snapdragon Selection
Heuchera ‘Canyon Pink’ Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera 'Blushing Bells'                 Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera 'Canyon Delight' Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera 'Lillian's Pink'              Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera ‘Wendy’ Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera maxima  Alum Root 
Heuchera maxima hybrids Alum Root Selection
Heuchera 'Opal' Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera 'Old La Rochette'                      Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera 'Rosada'                                 Alum Root Hybrid
Heuchera 'Santa Ana Cardinal'                 Alum Root Hybrid
Iris ‘Canyon Snow’ Iris Hybrid
Iris douglasiana Douglas Iris
Iris Pacific Coast Hybrids Iris Hybrid
Iva hayensiana Poverty Weed
Lavatera assurgentiflora Island Tree Mallow
Lavatera 'Blackheart'                           Mallow Hybrid
Lavatera 'Purissima'                           Mallow Hybrid
*Lepechinia fragrans Pitcher Sage
*Lepechinia fragrans ‘El Tigre’ Pitcher Sage Selection
Lessingia ‘Silver Carpet’ NCN
Lonicera involucrata Twinberry
*Lupinus albifrons Silver Bush Lupine
Mahonia aquifolium Oregon Grape
*Mahonia nevinii                              Nevin’s Barberry
Mahonia repens Creeping Barberry
Malacothamnus fasciculatus Mesa Bushmallow
Malacothamnus fasciculatus ‘Casitas’ Mesa Bushmallow Selection
Mimulus aurantiacus Bush Monkeyflower
Mimulus bifidus Sticky Monkeyflower
Mimulus longiflorus Bush Monkeyflower
Mimulus puniceus Red Monkeyflower
*Monardella crispa                               Crisp Monardella
*Monardella macrantha 'Marian Sampson'  Coyote Mint
*Monardella odoratissima Coyote Mint
*Monardella 'Russian River'                     Bee Balm Hybrid
Penstemon centranthifolius Scarlet Bugler
Penstemon eatonii Firecracker Penstemon
Penstemon spectabilis Showy Penstemon
Prunus ilicifolia Holly-leaf Cherry
Prunus lyonii Catalina Cherry
Quercus agrifolia Coast Live Oak
Quercus berberdifolia Scrub Oak
Quercus chrysolepis Canyon Live Oak
Quercus dumosa Scrub Oak
Quercus engelmannii Engelman’s Oak
Rhamnus californica Coffeeberry
Rhamnus californica ‘Eve’s Case’ Coffeeberry Selection
Rhamnus californica ‘Mound San Bruno’ Coffeeberry Selection
Rhamnus crocea Redberry
Rhamnus crocea ilicifolia  Holly-leaf Redberry
Rhus integrifolia Lemonadeberry
Rhus ovata Sugarbush
*Ribes sanguineum 'Claremont'  Red-flowering Currant Selection
Ribes sanguineum glutinosum  Pink-flowering Currant
Ribes virburnifolium Evergreen Currant
Rosa californica California Wild Rose
Rubus ursinus Pacific Blackberry
Salvia apiana White Sage
Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ NCN 
Salvia clevelandii Cleveland Sage 
Salvia clevelandii 'Allen Chickering' Cleveland Sage Selection
*Salvia clevelandii 'Betsy Clebsch'           Cleveland Sage Selection
Salvia clevelandii 'Winifred Gillman’    Cleveland Sage Selection
Salvia clevelandii 'Aromas'                     Cleveland Sage Selection
Salvia leucophylla Purple Sage
Salvia leucophylla ‘Point Sal’ Purple Sage Selection
Salvia mellifera Black Sage
Salvia mellifera 'Terra Seca' Black Sage Selection
Salvia munzii                                 San Miguel Mountain Sage
*Salvia munzii 'Emerald Cascade'    San Miguel Mountain Sage Selection
*Salvia sonomensis ‘Dara’s Choice’ Creeping Sage Selection
Salvia sonomensis ‘Ms. Beard’ Creeping Sage Selection
Salvia spathacea                                Hummingbird Sage
*Salvia ‘Vicki Romo’             NCN
Sambucus mexicana Mexican Elderberry
*Silene laciniata Indian Pink
Sisyrinchium bellum Blue-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium californicum Yellow-eyed Grass
Solanum xantii Purple Nightshade
Sphaeralcea ambigua Apricot Mallow
Thalictrum polycarpum Meadow Rue
Verbena lilacina Lilac Verbena
Viguiera lacianata San Diego Sunflower
Vitis californica Wild Grape
Zauschneria californica  California Fuchsia  
Zauschneria californica latifolia ‘Solidarity Pink’ California Fuchsia Selection
Zauschneria cana Hoary Fuchsia
Zauschneria septentrionalis  Humboldt County Fuchsia

California Native Grasses, Reeds, Rushes & Sedges

Most of the grasses listed below will go semi- dormant and in some cases, fully dormant during the hot, dry summer months.  This is a natural way for these types of plants to survive in the wild.  Though some of the grasses will tolerate additional summer water to remain green, grasses such as Melica and Nassella will die if too much summer water is applied.

Taxonomic Name Common Name
Bouteloua gracilis Blue Gramma
Carex pansa  California Meadow Sedge
Carex praegracilis  Clustered Field Sedge
Carex spissa  San Diego Sedge
Deschampsia caespitosa Tufted Hairgrass
Deschampsia caespitosa ‘Goldenhaenge’ Tufted Hairgrass Selection
Deschampsia caespitosa ‘Susan’s Choice’ Tufted Hairgrass Selection
Deschampsia elongata Slender Hairgrass
*Festuca californica  California Fescue
Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince' Canyon Prince Giant Wild Rye
Leymus condensatus  Giant Wild Rye
Leymus triticoides  Creeping Wild Rye
Leymus triticoides 'Grey Dawn'  Beardless Wild Rye Selection
*Melica californica California Melic
*Melica imperfecta Coast Range Melic
Muhlenbergia asperifolia Alkali Muhly
Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass
*Nassella lepida Foothill Needle Grass
*Nassella pulchra Purple Needle Grass
Sporobolus airoides  Alkali Dropseed

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This page was last updated on 01/15/2009