Alphabetical Plant Listing

Native Plants / California


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California

California Native Plants

A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region or ecosystem without human introduction. There are many benefits in growing native plants. First, these plants are better adapted to soils, moisture and weather than exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world. They need less fertilizers, pesticides or use less water. Second, they are unlikely to escape and become invasive, destroying natural habitat. Third, they support wildlife, providing shelter and food for native birds and insects, while exotic plants do not.


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Abies grandis (Grand Fir)

One of the tallest firs in the world, Abies grandis (Grand Fir) is a large evergreen conifer of narrow, conical habit becoming round-topped or straggly with age. Its spreading and drooping branches are densely clad with sharp-tipped needles, shiny dark green above with two silver bands beneath. The needles are arranged in 2 distinct, flattened rows. They exude an orange aroma when crushed.

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Acacia farnesiana (Sweet Acacia)

Prized for its highly fragrant flowers, Acacia farnesiana (Sweet Acacia) is a semi-evergreen multi-trunked shrub or small tree with a naturally spreading, vaselike shape. Its zig-zag stems are fully armed with sharp thorns and clad with feathery, finely divided leaflets of a soft green color. Clouds of small, bright golden-yellow, puff-like flowers, 1/2 in. (1 cm), appear in clusters in late winter to early spring, then sporadically after each new flush of growth, providing a long-lasting floral display.

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Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow)

Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow) is a graceful perennial wildflower which produces an abundance of huge, flat clusters, 5 in. across (12 cm), packed with 20-25 creamy-white flowers.

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Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry)

Perfect for shade gardens, Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry) is herbaceous perennial forming bushy clumps of finely divided, bright green foliage, enhanced by clusters of small fluffy white flowers in late spring and early summer. Borne on conspicuous red stems which rise above the foliage, they give way to pea-sized glossy scarlet berries in summer.

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Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern)

Incredibly attractive, Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern) is a deciduous or semi-evergreen, perennial fern with graceful, bright green fronds which open like the fingers of a hand atop upright, shiny, purple-black wiry stems. Each finger is further divided into a series of triangular segments (pinnules).

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Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern)

Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern) is a slowly spreading, semi-evergreen fern forming a mound of gently arching or pendant, twice divided, delicate fronds adorned with wiry, black stems.

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Aesculus californica (California Buckeye)

Aesculus californica (California Buckeye) is a deciduous large shrub or small tree with an open somewhat flattened canopy that holds attractive palmately compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets. Emerging pale apple green, the leaves mature to lustrous dark green leaves.

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Agave americana (Century Plant)

Incredibly beautiful and majestic, Agave americana (Century Plant) is a very large, evergreen perennial forming handsome rosettes of thick, spiny-edged, blue-green leaves, up to 6 ft. long (180 cm).

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Agave shawii (Shaw's Agave)

Particularly stunning when lit by the morning or late afternoon sun, Agave shawii (Coastal Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a rosette of fleshy, sword-shaped, green leaves which radiate gracefully from the center of the plant, giving it a neat and rounded shape. They are lined with gray spines which exhibit coral, gold, pink or red shades when backlit, adding intriguing beauty.

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Agave Utahensis (Utah Agave)

Regarded as one of the most cold-tolerant agaves, Agave utahensis (Utah Agave) is a small, evergreen perennial succulent forming rosettes of thick, narrow, upward-curving, spiny-edged, blue-gray leaves with a long dark spine at their tips.

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Allium unifolium (Oneleaf Onion)

Allium Unifolium (Oneleaf Onion) is a compact perennial with delicate clusters of up to 30 fairly large, star-shaped, satiny, rose-pink flowers. The blossoms are borne atop the foliage of short gray-green basal leaves. Blooming in late spring to early summer, this charming Allium spreads freely in the garden without being a pest.

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Amelanchier alnifolia (Serviceberry)

Domesticated for fruit production, Amelanchier alnifolia (Serviceberry) is a deciduous, upright, suckering shrub with four seasons of interest. In mid spring, compact clusters of fragrant, white flowers emerge just before the leaves.

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Ammophila breviligulata (American Beach Grass)

Found on the Atlantic coast and the lower Great Lakes, Ammophila breviligulata (American Beach Grass) is an evergreen perennial grass arising from horizontal and vertical underground rhizomes that can reach 20 ft. long and deep (6 m).

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Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo Bush)

Native to North America, Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo Bush) is a vigorous deciduous shrub of upright-spreading habit with bright green leaves composed of up to 35 spiny-tipped, oval leaflets. In late spring to early summer, showy racemes, up to 6 in. long (15 cm), of small, scented, purplish blue flowers with protruding stamens and orange-yellow anthers are on display.

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Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)

Ideal to complement colorful perennials in beds or borders, award-winner Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is a rewarding bushy perennial topped with bountiful clusters of long-lasting, buttonlike flowers which are perfect for dried floral arrangements.

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