Eriodictyon californicum (California Yerba Santa)
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Eriodictyon californicum (California Yerba Santa)

California Yerba Santa


Eriodictyon californicum (California Yerba Santa) is an erect, much-branched, evergreen shrub with lance-shaped, shiny, highly resinous leaves, 6 in. long (15 cm). The leaves contain aromatic compounds that give them an unpleasant odor and bitter taste. As a result, the shrub is unpalatable to most animals. In spring, clusters of bell-shaped white to lavender flowers appear just above the leaves. They attract many pollinators, especially bees. Native to California and Oregon, California Yerba Santa grows along the Coast and Klamath ranges from Monterey County north to Siskiyou County, California. It occurs in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range from Kern County north to Klamath and Jackson counties, Oregon. It is found on dry, rocky slopes and ridges in several types of habitat, including chaparral and forest. It occurs in a wet, mild winters and hot, dry summers. California Yerba Santa is both a residual colonizer and a survivor in disturbed communities, establishing either from seed or by sprouting from rhizomes. California Yerba Santa is useful for soil stabilization. Leaf extracts were used by Native Americans and early settlers as a remedy for cough, colds, and asthma.

  • Grows up to 3-10 ft. tall (90-300 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Will spreads by underground rhizomes to form a colony over time.
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in a variety of well-drained soils. Soil texture varies from sandy loam to heavy clay. Tolerates serpentine soil. Requires little irrigation in summer once established (twice per month). Drought tolerant
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Good choice for hedges and screens, butterfly gardens, bird gardens.
  • Native to California and Oregon.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 10
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 24" – 36" (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Melissa McMasters, Alan Schmierer, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 10
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 24" – 36" (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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