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Great California Native Plants
Shrubs
California Redbud California Redbud
An interesting plant all year long, with magenta flowers on leafless stems in summer, followed by crimson seedpods and heart-shaped blue-green leaves. Deciduous, with yellow or red fall foliage falling away in winter to reveal smooth reddish brown trunks. Long lived, very drought tolerant, and flowers more profusely as it matures.
Cleveland Sage Cleveland Sage
With nearly 100 species available in Western nurseries and an estimated 900 the world over, it was hard to choose just one sage to include, but we did. The Cleveland sage is the most fragrant, its scent carrying 20 feet on a warm night. Its fragrant pale lavender to violet blue flowers bloom in early summer. Drought tolerant.
Ceanothus ‘Concha’ Ceanothus ‘Concha’
This California lilac is a large shrub with a dense mass of dark green, 1-inch leaves, with dark blue clusters of flowers appearing in spring. Requires good drainage; can tolerate summer water. Grows to six feet.
Coffee Berry Coffee Berry
Very drought tolerant, particularly when established. Dark green to yellowish green leaves can be either shiny or dull. Berries turn from green to red to black during a lengthy ripening period. Moderate growth that can be pruned and shaped. Grows from 3-15 feet tall, 8 feet wide.
Trees
Coast Live Oak Coast Live Oak
Handsome shade tree. Round-headed with dense foliage, grows 20-70 feet tall. Smooth, dark grey bark, with leathery dark green leaves. Native to coastal central and Southern California.
California Sycamore Western Sycamore
Smooth, gracefully twisted branches, multiple or leaning trunks. Patchy brown, gray and white bark. Can grow 15-20 feet in 5-10 years. Drought tolerant once established. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Perennials and Annuals
link to description of California Poppy California Poppy
What native plant list would be complete without the flower chosen as the state emblem in 1903? Great for grassy slopes, foothills, along drives or in naturalized gardens. Cup-shaped yellow, orange or white flowers bloom from February sometimes through summer. A perennial more often grown as an annual, this wildflower is easily grown from seed and may intrude where it is not wanted.
Deer Grass Deer Grass
Bright green leaves in a dense clump growing to 4 feet wide and high. Slender yellow or purplish flower spikes in autumn are erect at first, and then leaning. Takes full sun or light shade; little or no water.
link to description of Island Alum Root Island Alum Root
This evergreen perennial plant attracts hummingbirds each spring when hundreds of pinkish white flowers blossom in 2-3 foot clusters. Makes a good ground cover or border. Very drought tolerant and cold resistant. Grows to approximately 1 foot high by 2 feet wide.
Succulents
Chalk Dudleya Chalk Dudleya
A picturesque succulent that thrives in containers with little attention. Needs well-drained soil, sun, and very little water. Increases in size through formation of new rosettes.