California Native Plants and Grasses

California's native plants have co-evolved over time with regional animals, fungi and microbes, to form a complex network of relationships. They are the foundation of our native ecosystems, and provide habitat and food for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and other animals. Simply put, native wildlife prefers native plants.

California native plants can be found growing in various types of soil and exposures including wet, dry and very dry conditions. It is important to choose plants that are tolerant of similar conditions and have similar water needs. To group plants with similar water needs in one area is called a Hydrozone.

Properly establishing native plants is key to the success of each planting. Once established, many California native plants need minimal irrigation beyond normal rainfall. Natives and other drought tolerant plants benefit from deep, infrequent watering as that also replicates the natural climatic conditions the plants are familiar with.

Other benefits of native plants is low maintenance needs since the plants are already adapted to the local environment. They need much less water, which is very important in our semi arid desert climate, little to no fertilizer, less pruning and less of your time.

Native plants have developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases. Since most pesticides kill indiscriminately, beneficial insects become secondary targets in the fight against pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticide use lets natural pest control take over and keeps toxins and chemicals out of our gardens, creeks, watersheds and the ocean!

WUCOLS is an excellent source for detailed information on plant water needs based on type and the environment as well as proper irrigation practices.

Tree of Life's selection of 30 California Natives

California Native Plants and Grasses for Medium Dry Conditions

California Native Plants and Grasses for Very Dry Conditions


California Wild Flowers

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Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
Public Works Department
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: (714) 536-5431
Fax: (714) 374-1573
Email:  
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