California Native Plants

California Native Plants17 Mar 2014 06:58 am

Rikki and Jordan went hiking yesterday and found some very photogenic succulents.

Dudleya farinosa Pt Reyes

Dudleya farinosa is the most common of the local native Sea Lettuces. Still, the plants are small and often found in rocky crevices, so look for them!

Dudleya farinosa

Thanks Rikki!


California Native Plants03 Mar 2014 09:11 am

California Lilacs are not just lilac color. First for comparison we have a lilac colored Ceanothus.


Ceanothus “Vandenberg”
Santa Barbara Ceanothus
Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: 5ft. x 5ft.
Small dark green leaves, compact clusters of dark blue flowers in late winter. Deer resistant. Hardy to 15F.


Ceanothus “Snow Flurry” is the white flowered one.
White Wild Lilac
Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low, some in summer
Size: 12 max.

Provides seeds that native birds thrive on. Huge sprays of brilliant white flowers in spring. Rich green leaves. Perfect for Bay Area gardens – drought-tolerant, easy to grow.


Ceanothus “Ray Hartman” is too blue for my eyes.
Mountain Lilac
Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: 20’max.

Light blue flowers, dark green leaves. Fast-growing, completely drought-tolerant. Cold and heat hardy. Do not irrigate.

California Native Plants31 Jan 2014 08:28 am

Ceanothus Emily Brown

Ceanothus “Emily Brown” is always the most popular of the Holly Leaf Lilacs. And the Holly Leaf Lilacs are always very popular because they are so very deer resistant. As deer resistant as a Euphorbia? No! Not quite that deer resistant, but resistant enough. You can really see how sharp-edged those leaves are. That’s a lot of resistance.

Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Moderate to Full Sun
Water: Drought tolerant
Size: 2ft. to 3ft. tall

Low-spreading shrub with rich dark green leaves, dark blue blooms in spring. Edible seeds are favored by native birds. Deer-resistant, cold-hardy, doesn’t like temps over 100F.


California Native Plants28 Jan 2014 07:15 am

Well actually just one popular California Sage, a useful and pretty sage, a Lavender Sage.

How useful? You can use the dried leaves for cooking or for tea, or you could leave the whole plant in place in your garden and have a pretty and fragrant garden plant. Or all three! It’s that popular.

Salvia Allen Chickering

Salvia “Allen Chickering”
Lavender Sage

California Native
Evergreen perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: 4 to 6 ft.

Fragrant leaves make a nice tea. Lavender flower whorls make this a Bay Area garden favorite. Deer resistant, attracts butterflies, fragrant flowers. Hardy to 20.

California Native Plants27 Jan 2014 08:11 am

This particular popular Ceanothus is a very tall shrub, some would say a tree but some would say that technically its a shrub. Excellent arguments all around!

Ceanothus Ray Hartman

Ceanothus “Ray Hartman”

Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: 20’max.

Light blue flowers, dark green leaves. Fast-growing, completely drought-tolerant. Cold and heat hardy. Do not irrigate.

California Native Plants26 Jan 2014 08:07 am

I posted a picture of this Ceanothus last week, but this new picture is even better so you get a double dose.

Ceanothus Joyce Coulter

Ceanothus “Joyce Coulter”

You’ll have to click back to see the plant information that goes with this. And then you can judge for yourself whether it was worth reblogging so soon after.

California Native Plants23 Jan 2014 12:41 pm

Lotus crassifolius otayensis

Lotus crassifolius v. otayensis

Native to California
Herbaceous perennial

Sun: Moderate to Full
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: 3 feet

Furry grey upright stems, clusters of purple and white pea-sized flowers in spring, grey-green oblong leaves.

California Native Plants18 Jan 2014 07:19 am

Ceanothus Joyce Coulter

Ceanothus “Joyce Coulter”
Creeping Mountain Lilac

Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Moderate to Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: 2′ to 3′ tall x 6′ wide

Fast growing, mounding shrub with dark green leaves. Medium blue flower clusters in late spring. Full sun in coastal gardens. Hardy to 15 F

California Native Plants13 Jan 2014 07:09 am

Achillea Moonshine

Achillea “Moonshine”
Golden Yarrow
Cultivated variety, including a California Native species
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: Fern-like foliage to 36″

A rich yellow bloom Spring/Summer that fades as it ages. Remove spent flowers for a late summer rebloom.

California Native Plants03 Jan 2014 08:06 am

Ribes Dancing Tassels

Ribes “Dancing Tassels”
Chaparral Currant
California Native
Deciduous shrub

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water: Occasional
Size: 6 ft.

Winter blooming hummingbird plant. Spectacular pendant rose flower clusters. Woody branches have peeling red bark as they age. Hardy to 25F.

California Native Plants&Photography03 Dec 2013 07:10 am

Lewisia cotyledon

Normally the California Native Lewisia cotyledons bloom in spring and summer, but we do always have a few that will bloom at other times of the year, like now.

In fact, we find that as these plants mature they can bloom up to 6 times per year! That’s a lot of blooms. You just have to dead-head them to prevent them from going to seed in case they were pollinated. If they go to seed then they are done blooming for the year.

Lewisia Alba

Bonus picture of an Owl after the break… (more…)

California Native Plants&Photography19 Nov 2013 07:00 am

calystegia candy cane

First we have a profile shot of the very attractive flower of the:

Calystegia macrostegia “Candy Cane” – California Morning Glory

California Native
Herbaceous Perennial Vine

Sun: Full Sun near coast, Afternoon Shade inland
Water: Moderate, deciduous in summer if dry
Size: Twining Vines

Long lasting colorful blooms for a good part of the year. Great for climbing on fences. Keep watered through the summer to keep green.

And then we have a head-on shot too.

calystegia candy cane2

If you click the link above you can see another picture with both a head-on and a profile shot, togethewr in one amazing picture. Calystegia macrostegia California Morning Glory

California Native Plants10 Nov 2013 12:20 pm


Fremontodendron “California Glory”
Flannel Bush
California hybrid
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water: Summer-drought
Size: 15ft. to 20ft. max.

Unbelievable spray of yellow flowers in Spring. Rounded shrub with dark green lobed leaves. Saucer-shaped buttercup yellow give an unbelievable showing in spring. Will espalier well. Hardy to 20F.

California Native Plants10 Oct 2013 08:10 am

Is it time to plant California Native grasses? It may be a couple weeks early, but if you are willing to water them in until the rains really do start up then sure! Go ahead! Planting in October is ideal.


Deschampsia “Northern Lights
Native to US, Europe, Asia
Evergreen Grass

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water: Moderate
Size: Clumps to 12 inch tall

A dramatic variegated selection. So many colors. Thin slightly arching tapered blades in a tight clump.

California Native Plants30 Sep 2013 12:01 pm

The California desert can come alive with cactus flowers late in the summer when the rain is just right.

The nipple cactus blooms in response to summer rains in the deserts of California. James Cornett/Special to The Desert Sun

Recently, I was hiking over a remote desert mountain range in eastern Riverside County. I was looking for one of California’s rarest species of cactus, Graham’s nipple cactus, Mammillaria grahamii. To find it one doesn’t actually look for the cactus but rather its flower. This is the state’s only cactus species that predictably blooms in response to summer rains and it has rained a lot this summer in the deserts of California.

Read on for the tale of California’s three Mammillaria species.

California Native Plants09 Sep 2013 07:26 am


It’s the beautiful Asclepias tuberosa.

Butterfly Milkweed
Native throughout the US, including California
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Prefers Full Sun, Handles Light Shade
Water: Moderate, drought-tolerant
Size: 2 feet tall

Dies back in winter and re-sprouts from its underground tuber each spring. The brilliant orange or red flower clusters appear in midsummer followed by attractive green pods.

California Native Plants&Nursery&Questions30 Aug 2013 12:14 pm

Did you know that Google stopped by and photographed the inside of the nursery and you can see the result of that here on Google See Inside?


Now it is true that this happened 3 years ago so the nursery looks very different now. In a good way! But still, you get a pretty good idea from the googles.

Now we have a question about a plant someone saw on our google page.

Hi cactus jungle!

I was being a creep and looking at the google maps street view of your store when I saw a plant I fell in love with immediately! It’s the one to the right of the bamboo in that picture, to the left of the white arrow. Looks like a little tree with bright green neon leaves. What is that thing and how can I get one I must have it!


Anyway, thanks for having such a great blog I love it!

– Mary


That is a Manzanita (Arctostaphylos). We do have lots in stock. That one was potted into a terra cotta pot and trimmed up to look like a bonsai. I’m not sure exactly which species since the photos for Google’s See Inside were taken over 3 years ago.



California Native Plants26 Aug 2013 09:26 am

My god these are some darling little flowers. Buttercups! Buttercups for everyone!

ranunculus californicus

Ranunculus californicus
California Buttercup

California Native
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full to Partial Sun
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: 2 feet

Sprawling perennial. Common to chapparal and woodlands. Grows well in clay soils. Semi-deciduous in summer. Hardy to 10F.

My eyes are hurting from the cuteness of the Buttercup flowers.

California Native Plants22 Aug 2013 06:34 am


Dendromecon harfordii – Island Bush Poppy
California Native
Perennial Shrub

Sun: Full to Part Sun
Water: Low
Size: 6 feet

Moderately-fast growing, evergreen poppy native to the Channel Islands.  Bright yellow, 3″ flowers in spring and summer.  Low water once established.  Hardy to 20F.

California Native Plants&Questions19 Aug 2013 09:40 am

Hi Peter,
I just had my Dr. Seuss repotted, and he doesn’t look so great. I chopped back all his dead hair, he was quite lush before, but had out grown his pot. He’s about 5.5 feet tall from base of trunk. We potted him in a sandy mix of soil. He has gotten all this new growth, and the flowers since he was potted. I’m not sure how much water he needs, in old pot he was doing good with twice a week. Also, do you know his technical name? Can’t seem to find anything about him online.

coreopsis gigantea

Also, he’s getting a couple extra hours of sun each day in the new location. More afternoon sun than before.


It is a Coreopsis gigantea. It’s a California native from the Channel Islands and the coastal cliffs of SoCal, so it is a winter grower and goes dormant in the summer, often loosing most of it’s leaves. In your large pot I would recommend watering well once every week or two and letting it dry out well before re-watering. Being a summer dormant plant too much water in the summer can cause rot and disease issues. It should perk up and take off this fall and look great again by Thanksgiving.


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