Colorful California Natives
Groove out with these real California natives. Sporting a swirl of color, these plants are eager to soak up the California sunshine. These Natives of coastal and inland regions thrive on lots of sunshine and good drainage. Moderate to occasional watering in summer is required, but too much water can limit habit and performance.
Achillea millefolium 'Assorted Varieties' – Full of natural grace, this charming compact yarrow also has a tough side as it is deer resistant and drought tolerant. Easy to grow, the white flowers help "cool down" the garden in the summer. Deadhead for continual bloom. The green foliage is soft and feathery, reminiscent of ferns. Forms aromatic clumps to 24 inches wide.
Chilopsis linearis – So lovely it could be a mirage, the fragrant Desert Willow is a visual oasis that will capture your eye with its exotic pink-to-lavender blooms and long, narrow leaves. Named for its resemblance to willow trees, this multi-trunked or low-branching small tree has a spreading crown and generally grows 15-25 feet tall. This tree is living proof that not all the fun happens at the beach.
Epilobium canum (Zauschneria californica) –In bloom July through November, the California Fuchsia is a radiant lady in red who will stay at your garden party long after all the others have gone home. This densely-branched shrub sports long and soft gray-green foliage and produces blooms in pink, orange or red, up to two inches long and one inch wide. It prefers cool sun, but tolerates part-shade or hot sun with a little extra something to drink.
Mahonia aquifolium 'Compacta' (Berberis a.) – Small deep-blue berries give the Oregon Grape its fitting name, while glossy and richly-hued spiny leaves give it yet another: the Holly Grape. Shorter than the species, 'Compacta' only reaches two feet in height. Adorned by three-inch clusters of bright-yellow and sweetly scented flowers from February through May, this dynamic shrub changes its colorful garb to juicy, sour berries that ripen in late June.
Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps' – The intoxicating fragrance of the California Lilac makes this richly flowered vision in violet a dual cocktail for the senses. Adorned with deep purple flowers and green, ovate leaves, this showstopper grows up to six feet near the coast and eight feet inland. This one is a real California beach bum, so skip the haircut and stick to tip pruning.
Heuchera 'Wendy' – Delicate bright-pink flowers on wand-like stems lend magic to the garden when Wendy Coral Bells ring in the summer season. Tiny, bell-shaped blooms and large, slightly frilly medium-green foliage make this an ideal edging plant or group in masses beneath shade trees. This perennial evergreen grows up to two feet tall and wide, and thrives in shady locales.
Erigeron glaucus 'WR' ('Wayne Roderick') – The cheerful simplicity of summer is worn well by the Seaside Daisy, a charming evergreen perennial with soft flowers of lavender-blue and thick, leathery leaves. This coastal native grows to one foot tall and two feet wide, bearing blooms about one inch in diameter, each with a sunny yellow eye. Blooming kicks off in spring and lasts for weeks. Deadhead to make summer last just a little longer.
Salvia clevelandii – The richly comforting aroma of this common and easy-to-grow native sage is exactly what makes it so uncommonly captivating. The scent of home for many Californians, the Cleveland Sage is adorned with muted gray-green leaves and small clusters of blue-violet to lilac-blue flowers that open in stages. This hardy shrub can grow up to six feet in span and five feet in height, with graceful flower stems that rise up to a foot above the plant during the summer months.