Approved Plant List
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Botanical NameFormer Name (if applicable, for reference)Most Common NamePotential to Grow Over Six Feet?Type of PlantLocally Native?Local HabitatSunWater Requirements Will summer irrigation damage it?Flower ColorBloom PeriodDeer Browsed? Field Notes
Acer circinatumvine mapleyesTreenon/apartial shadehighnored, yellowMar - MayrarelyCalifornia's answer to the Japanese maple, needs some moisture and shade, handsome foliage, fall color. Tends to do well at PVR.
Acer macrophyllumbig leaf mapleyesTreeyesWoodlandpartial shademoderatenoyellowApr - MayrarelyBig leaf maple is a big beautiful tree - it needs plenty of shade and moisture and room. Good for creek banks.
Acer negundoboxelderyesTreeyesRiparianfull sunmoderatenopinkFeb - MarunkAcer negundo ssp. Californicum is our locally native varietal. From literature: small, fast growing, multi-trunked, short lived.
Achillea millefoliumcommon yarrownoPerennial herbyesGrasslandfull sun to shadelownowhiteApr - AugsometimesGreat for butterflies and other pollinators, the straight species has white flowers but there are myriads of colored cultivars. Not a fussy plant, adapts to many situations.
Acmispon americanus Lotus purshianusSpanish lotusnoAnnual herbyesChaparralfull sunlown/apinkApr - JulrarelyAcmispon americanus var. americanus is our locally native variety. Cute subtle chaparral plant.
Acmispon glaberLotus scopariusdeerweednoPerennial herbyesChaparralfull sunlownoyellowMar - AugrarelyWonderful plant for full sun and poor soil. Quickly establishes drought tolerancy. Many tiny yellow-orange flowers all up and down the thin stems.
Acmispon parviflorusLotus micranthushill lotusnoAnnual herbyesChaparralfull sun to partial shadelown/awhiteMar - JunrarelyNitrogen fixer like all others of its genus.
Acmispon wrangelianusLotus wrangelianusbirds-foot trefoilnoAnnual herbyesChaparralfull sunlown/ayellowMar - AprrarelyTakes foot traffic, yellow flower, cheerful low-key ground cover. Source from habitat restoration nurseries or sow from seed (annual).
Actaea rubrabaneberrynoPerennial herbyesWoodlandpartial shade to full shadehighnowhiteMay - JulrarelyAlthough locally native and fairly showy, this species has not been used much at PVR, so it's unknown how it would work with our particular challenges.
Adiantum aleuticumAdiantum pedatumfive-finger fernnoFernnoWoodlandpartial shadehighnon/an/ararelyOstenstibly easy to grow, handsome little fern. Needs water year-round, good for irrigated areas.
Adiantum jordaniiCalifornia maidenhair fernnoFernyesWoodlandpartial shade to full shademoderatenon/an/ararelyGorgeous fern with black stems, not too easy to source or to get growing, but if it's happy it'll spread. Can be divided and transplanted successfully in shady moist locations.
Aesculus californicaCalifornia buckeyeyesTreeyesWoodlandfull sun to shadelownowhiteMay - JuloftenLocally common drought-deciduous medium size tree. Showy, scented, early spring flower. Protect young trees from deer. Pick off dry leaves for a tidy appearance.
Allium amplectensnarrow-leaf onionnoBulbyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shadelowyespurpleMar - JulrarelyLike all bulbs, practically maintenance free. Deer resistant, tolerates clay soil. Pretty purple flower. All parts of the plant are edible. Avoid irrigating in summer as this will rot out the bulb.
Allium unifoliumoneleaf onionnoBulbyesChaparralfull sun to partial shadelowyespurpleMay - JunrarelySee Allium amplectens.
Amelanchier pallidaservice berryyesWoody Shrubnon/afull sun to partial shademoderateunkwhiteMay - JunoftenA type of Juneberry, berries are edible.
Angelica hendersoniibluff angelicanoPerennial herbnon/afull sun to partial shademoderatenowhiteMay - AugrarelySee Angelica tomentosa. Does want water all year. Natural distribution range closely hugs the central coastline.
Angelica tomentosawoolly angelicanoPerennial herbyesChaparralfull sun to partial shademoderatenowhiteJun - AugrarelyGenerally found near creeks or in at least partly shaded areas. Handsome white flowers, good for pollinators.
Anisocarpus madiodesMadia madiodeswoodland madianoPerennial herbyesWoodlandPartial to full shademoderatenoyellowApr - JulrarelySmall, soft, resinous woodland herb. Deer proof. Nobody's garden show-stopper, but worth the habitat value and cheerful yellow in the shade if you can source it.
Anthoxanthum occidentaleHierochloe occidentalisvanilla grassnoGrass / GrasslikeyesWoodlandpartial shademoderatenon/an/ararelyPer literature, it's a good grass for shaded woodland gardens or redwood understory. Likes water.
Aquilegia eximiaVanHoutte's columbinenoPerennial herbyesRiparianfull sun to partial shadehighnoredMay - Octsometimes"The other Columbine" (Aquilegia formosa is used to great success at PVR). Stunning plant. Deer will eat flowers.
Aquilegia formosaWestern columbinenoPerennial herbyesRiparianpartial shadehighnoredMar - MaysometimesPVR superstar! Although sometimes deer browsed, this Columbine still survives often enough to show us its gorgeous flowers, beloved by hummingbirds and bees. Does need some water. Can tolerate full sun but naturally found in shaded woodlands.
Aralia californicaelk cloveryesPerennial herbyesRiparianpartial shade to full shadehighnowhiteJun - SepsometimesNot a clover but a large-leafed, white umbel flowered, water loving plant, similar to Cow Parsnip and Angelica. Only locally native member of the Ginseng Family. Dies to the ground and returns every year. Unknown performance at PVR.
Arbutus menziesiimadroneyesTreeyesWoodlandpartial shademoderatenowhiteApr - MayoftenPVR superstar! Handsome red trunks, evergreen, stately plant. Can be finicky to establish, go to the woods and get a bucket of soil from an existing Madrone grove and top dress your planting with this to innoculate with beneficial fungi. It works!
Arctostaphylos: all California native subspecies, varietals and hybrids of the Arctostaphylos genusnative California manzanitas yes (some)Woody Shrubvariesn/afull sun to partial shadelowyeswhite, pinkvariesrarelyOne of the most widely used representatives of the California flora in the garden, there are over 100 species and sub-species of Manzanita, and many more varietals and cultivars. Manzanitas are evergreen, mostly deer-tolerant, mostly smooth red-trunked, usually dislike summer water, and generally bloom small bell-shaped flowers in the late winter and early spring. Super for bees. Pick your selection carefully; with this much diversity there is a wide variety of size and performance. "Howard McMinn" was widely planted in historic PVR landscapes. There are several locally native species, check habitat restoration nurseries for selection.
Aristolochia californicaDutchman's pipevinenoVineyesRiparianpartial shademoderatenocreamJan - AprrarelyOne of our only native vines that's shade tolerant (deciduous like all our native vines). Larval plant for the pipevine swallowtail.
Armeria maritima ssp. californicasea pinknoPerennial herbnon/apartial shademoderatenopinkMay - JunsometimesIt's important to get the subspecies, because the regular Armeria maritima is from Europe. This is an adorable little plant with pink pom-pom flowers. Doesn't get much taller than 6 inches.
Artemisia californicaCalifornia sagebrushnoWoody ShrubyesChaparralfull sunlownoyellowApr-OctrarelyThis plant tends to do well at PVR. Feathery, silver-grey foliage, aromatic scent, deer proof, drought tolerant. Not showy, plant in background.
Artemisia douglasianamugwortnoPerennial herbyesRiparianfull sun to partial shademoderatenocreamMay - OctrarelyLocally common deer proof, not showy, widely used medicinally, spreads through rhizomes, does like some available water. Dies back in winter. Great for holding up streambanks.
Artemisia ludovicianasilver wormwoodnoPerennial herbnon/afull sunlowunkyellowFeb - MarrarelyPer literature: Native to eastern spine of California, aggressive spreader with dramatic silvery foliage.
Artemisia pycnocephalacoastal sagewortnoPerennial herbnon/afull sunlownogreenMay - AugrarelyLike a smaller and more compact version of our locally native sagebrush (Artemisia californica) this plant is native to coastal areas of California and likes consistent water (although the amount can be very low). Easy maintenance.
Asarum caudatumwild gingernoPerennial herbyesWoodlandpartial shade to full shademoderatenoredMar - MayrarelyThis plant is often successful at PVR. Its striking flowers are often hidden under its thick, glossy leaves. Good redwood understory plant.
Asclepias californicaCalifornia milkweednoPerennial herbyesRiparianfull sunlownolavenderApr - JulrarelyEasiest to source by seed. Grows in seepy meadows. Larval plant for Monarch butterflies.
Asclepias fascicularisnarrow-leaf milkweednoPerennial herbyesRiparianfull sunlownolavenderJun - SeprarelyOur most common locally native milkweed. Not a star performer but important habitat plant. Often covered with golden milkweed aphids. Dies away when done blooming, returns yearly.
Asclepias speciosashowy milkweednoPerennial herbyesRiparianfull sunmoderatenolavenderJun - JulrarelyBig and showy. Not as drought tolerant or as locally native as the other two listed milkweeds. Probably deer proof; very fuzzy leaves.
Athyrium filix-feminaWestern lady fernnoFernnon/apartial shadehighnon/an/ararelyNative to coastal and creekside areas, this would do well in a redwood grove or shady, irrigated area. Called "tough and easy to grow" in literature.
Atriplex lentiformis quail bushyesWoody Shrubnon/afull sunlownocreamJun - JulrarelyNeither locally native nor gorgeous, Quailbush is a tough, hardy, superb habitat plant. Try it on a rocky barren hillside.
Baccharis glutinosaBaccharis douglasiimarsh baccharisnoPerennial herbyesRiparianfull sun to partial shademoderatenowhiteJun - OctrarelyGreat plant to hold up an eroding creek bank or to outcompete Italian thistle, French broom, or other wet area weed. Doesn't look much like coyote brush, our locally common Baccharis, unless you compare the flowers.
Baccharis pilulariscoyote brushyesWoody ShrubyesChaparralfull sun to partial shadelownowhiteSep - JanrarelyOne of the most common members of the local plant community. Keep it fire safe by pruning to the ground every other year or so. Or, get one of the dwarf varietals, but then keep the undercarriage pruned from dead twigs.
Baccharis salicifoliamule fatyesWoody ShrubyesRiparianfull sunmoderatenowhiteJan - DecrarelyLarge meaty shrub, grows on the edge of riparian areas. Very high habitat value. Chop to ground every other year or so to control size and fire danger. More common in Southern California than up here, similar look and function as Arroyo willow.
Berberis aquifoliumMahonia aquifoliumOregon grape yesWoody ShrubyesWoodlandfull sun to partial shademoderatenoyellowFeb - AprrarelyBerberis has a lot to offer year-round. Bright yellow flowers in spring, bright blue berries in summer, attractive red foliage in fall. Sharply pointed leaves are deer resistant and a little people resistant too, not a good plant for next to a path or walkway. Once established it can be fairly drought tolerant. Spreads through underground rhizomes and forms thickets.
Berberis nervosa Mahonia nervosaCascades Oregon grapenoWoody Shrubnon/apartial shade to full shademoderatenoyellowApr - MayrarelySee Berberis aquifolium. Berberis nervosa is a lower, ground-cover form.
Berberis nevinii Mahonia neviniiNevin's barberrynoWoody Shrubnon/afull sunlownoyellowMar - JunrarelySimilar to Berberis aquifolium, but extremely rare species; listed as endangered by both the federal and state government.
Berberis pinnataMahonia pinnataCalifornia barberrynoWoody ShrubyesWoodlandpartial sun to partial shademoderatenoyellowFeb - MayrarelySimilar to Berberis aquifolium. This is our locally native species; if you are trying to choose amongst Berberis species and this is available, you could consider going with this one.
Blechnum spicantdeer fernnoFernnon/apartial shade to full shadehighnon/an/ararelyGreat little fern for containers, borders. Handsome and dependable. Does need year-round water. Native to north coast of CA.
Boechera breweriArabis breweriBrewer's rock cressnoPerennial herbnon/afull sun to partial shadelowunkpurpleFeb - MayunkPer literature, grows in rocky slopes. Not widely sold, not much info available.
Bothriochloa barbinodisAndropogon barbinodiscane bluestemnoGrass / Grasslikenon/afull sunlownon/an/ararelyNot widely used in native gardens. Some literature cites as very attractive, others as ugly.
Bouteloua graciliseyelash grassnoGrass / Grasslikenon/afull sunlownon/an/ararelyAlthough not an obligate summer-dry plant, this grass doesn't like soggy soils. Was historically a key component in the shortgrass praries of the midwest. Low and tufty, good for meadows or borders, very cute grass.
Brodiaea: All California native subspecies, varietals and hybrids of the Brodiaea genusnative California brodiaeas noBulblowyespurple, bluevariessometimesSmall genus of west coast (Canada to Mexico) blue-purple flowering, grassland/chaparral bulbs. In general they flower in early summer, are sometimes browsed by deer, like full sun, and require no maintenance. Like most of our native bulbs, summer water will rot them out.
Bromus carinatusCalifornia brome noGrass / GrasslikeyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shadelownon/an/ararelyOne of our most common locally native grasses, not particularly handsome or showy, but recruits readily from seed, is great for erosion control, and can help as a placeholder against invasive weeds. Only lives a couple years but once establishes, it will re-seed itself.
Bromus laevipeswoodland bromenoGrass / GrasslikeyesWoodlandpartial shade to full shadelownon/an/ararelyNeither widely sold nor used, it's still a good grass to be aware of when planning for erosion control or shade plantings. Locally common.
Calamagrostis foliosaleafy reed grassnoGrass / Grasslikenon/afull sun to partial shademoderatenon/an/ararelyShowy and petite native bunchgrass. Limited natural distribition; north coast. Per literature, inland of coastal sites it will want some afternoon shade and water.
Calamagrostis nutkaensisPacific reed grassnoGrass / GrasslikenoRiparianpartial shademoderatenon/an/ararelyBig tussocky interesting looking grass, does need water and some shade in our area. Wide blades.
Calandrinia menziesiiCalandrinia ciliatared maidsnoAnnual herbyesGrasslandfull sunlown/ascarletFeb - MayrarelyLike most annual wildflowers, it's probably better to try this from seed than from plants. Gorgeous color.
Calochortus albusglobe lilynoBulbyesWoodlandpartial shade to full shadelowyeswhiteApr - MaysometimesLovely delicate woodland species needs at least some shade, grows well nestled up underneath something larger that is summer dormant - no summer water.
Calochortus luteus yellow mariposa lilynoBulbyesGrasslandfull sunlowyesyellowMay - JunsometimesNot much is prettier than a mariposa lily, they grace the summer-brown of the California grassland with fresh, urn-shaped flowers, each patterned with its own unique nectar guides. No maintenance, no summer water. Calochortus luteus is gold in color, and can be found by the sharp eye in the midsummer grasslands of PVR.
Calochortus venustusbutterfly mariposa lilynoBulbyesGrasslandfull sunlowyeswhiteMay - JunsometimesSee Calochortus luteus. Calochortus venustus is white with red and yellow nectar markings.
Calycanthus occidentalisspice bushyesWoody ShrubyesRiparianpartial sun to shadehighnoscarletMay - JunrarelyHandsome shrub for a moist shady area. Glossy, evergreen leaves, large red flowers smell like wine, leaves have a spicy scent.
Calystegia occidentalisWestern morning glorynoVineyesChaparralfull sunlownowhiteMay - AugrarelySee Calystegia purpurata. Both Calystegias are locally native.
Calystegia purpuratasmooth Western morning glorynoVineyesChaparralfull sun to partial shadelownopinkApr - SeprarelyHandsome native deciduous vine needs full sun and room to scramble. Winter dormant but glorious in summer. Great pollinator and insect plant.
Carex barbaraeSanta Barbara sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shadehighnon/an/ararelyAll our native sedges have some things in common. They are mostly ignored by deer, mostly intolerant of hard freezes, they love moisture. Many of them spread through rhizomes or seeds or both. Most of them are evergreen unless unduly stressed by a drought or a freeze. Sedges are grasslike bunchy plants that naturally occur in streambanks and are good for erosion control in same. They are often mislabled and miscategorized so buyer beware!
Carex densadense sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesRiparianfull sun to partial shadehighnon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Likes moisture but can tolerate seasonal drought Good for erosion control, can be aggressive.
Carex globosaround fruit sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesWoodlandfull sun to partial shademoderatenon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Mostly coastal in range, widely available horticulturally.
Carex harfordiiHarford’s sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesRiparianpartial shadehighnon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Harford's sedge is a locally native woodland and wetland sedge. Not a lot of information available and it doesn’t seem widely sold, check habitat restoration nurseries.
Carex nudatanaked sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesRiparianfull sun to partial shadehighnon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Per literature, naked sedge can be grown in shallow standing water or in containers. Dies back and turns brown in winter.
Carex pansadune sedgenoGrass / Grasslikenon/afull sun to partial shademoderatenon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Per literature, dune sedge is one of the most widely used in as lawn substitutes due to its soft, creeping habit. Will go drought-dormant without summer water, but should return with fall rains.
Carex praegracilisfield sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shademoderatenon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Field sedge is hardy, tolerant of much abuse and poor soils, used as a lawn substitute, sometimes called "freeway sedge" for its use near highways. Likes water. Originally misidentified horticulturally, be sure what you buy is California in origin.
Carex serratodensserpentine SedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesRiparianfull sun to partial shademoderatenon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Likes water. Good option if you have serpentine soil (serpentinite is the California state rock, it's greenish, somewhat oily feeling, high in heavy metals). Locally native, not always widely available, check habitat restoration nurseries.
Carex spissaSan Diego sedgenoGrass / Grasslikenon/afull sun to partial shademoderatenon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Per literature: Large clumping sedge that tolerates a variety of different conditions.
Carex tumulicolaBerkeley sedgenoGrass / GrasslikeyesRiparianpartial shademoderatenon/an/ararelySee Carex barbarae. Sometimes confused with a non-native European sedge, Carex divulsa, also called Berkeley Sedge (although not native). Make sure what you are buying is the REAL Carex tumulicola!
Carpenteria californicabush anemonenoWoody Shrubnon/apartial shade to full shademoderatenowhiteMay - JulrarelyA rare species in its native range (Fresno County), Carpenteria is widely available horticulturally. It has huge white showy blooms. When not blooming, it can tend to look ratty, pick off yellow leaves and keep it carefully pruned.
Castilleja affinisIndian paintbrushnoPerennial herbyesGrasslandfull sunlownoredJunerarelyGorgeous hemiparasite, not easy to find, sold with host plant (often yarrow), check habitat restoration nurseries.
Castilleja exserta owl's clovernoAnnual herbyesGrasslandfull sunlownopurpleMar - JunrarelyLike most annual wildflowers, better to try from seed. Unparalleled beauty and habitat value. Try with poppies and blue eyed grass, or yarrow and purple needlegrass.
Castilleja foliolosawoolly Indian paintbrushnoPerennial herbyesChaparralfull sunlownopurpleFeb - JunrarelySee Castilleja affinis
Castilleja wightiiWight's paintbrushnoPerennial herbyesGrasslandfull sunlownoscarletMar - AugrarelySee Castilleja affinis
Ceanothus: all California native subspecies, varietals and hybrids of the Ceanothus genusnative California lilacsyes (some)Woody Shrubdepends on specieslowyesblue, whitevariesoftenCeanothus are often one of the backbones of the California native garden. There are about 60 naturally ocurring species, with many more hybrids and cultivars - sizes range from groundcover to trees. Ceanothus are nitrogen fixers with early spring flowering blue or white flowerheads. Unfortunately, deer will go to great lengths to eat, rub on, and otherwise mangle them. Varieties with small, warty leaves may stand a better chance. You can also try caging your ceanothus until some of the foliage is above the deer browse line (about 5 feet). Prune only in summer and withhold water in summer to avoid fungal rot and extend the life of your plant. Our locally native species are: Ceanothus oliganthus var. sorediatus (Jimbush) and Ceanothus cuneatus (buckbrush).
Cercis occidentalisWestern redbud yesTreenon/afull sun to partial shadelownopinkFeb - AproftenEvery part of this tree is showy and beautiful. Unparalleled pink flowers in spring, heartshaped leaves with deciduous fall color, even the bark is a handsome smooth grey. Not locally native. Needs some water to get established, but then can be drought tolerant, especially if given some shade.
Cercocarpus betuloidesmountain mahoganyyesWoody ShrubyesWoodlandpartial shadelownowhiteMar - MaysometimesReally a handsome shrub/tree, could be used more at PVR. Locally native, flowers are insignificant, but seeds are an elaborate tufted curlicue. From a distance, large heavily seeded bushes appear to be covered in snow.
Chlorogalum pomeridianumsoap plantnoBulbyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shadelownowhiteMay - AugoftenVery cool locally native bulb. Species name refers to flowers that open in the evenings (pomeridianum = post meridian = PM.) Easy and a nice addition to any garden. Deer will hurt this one, but it will survive and make more of itself.
Chrysolepis chrysophylla Castanopsis chrysophyllagolden chinquapinyesTreenon/afull sun to partial shademoderatenocreamApr - MaysometimesNot quite locally native but grows nearby. With enough water, this can become a truly huge, massive tree. Handsome gold leaves, evergreen, drought tolerant once established. Not easy to source, try habitat restoration nurseries.
Clarkia amoenafarewell-to-springnoAnnual herbyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shadelown/apink/redJun - AugsometimesMost Clarkias have this in common: They like some water for showiest bloom, they are gorgeous when many other things are brown, they recruit readily from seed, deer might munch all their little heads off…or not…and they are definitely worth a try! Keep their area weeded from annual grasses so that they can re-seed. Add more seed when blooms start to decline (every three years or so). Since there are a lot of species and some are endangered, stick to local sourcing when possible!
Clarkia bottaeshowy farewell-to-springnoAnnual herbnon/afull sun to partial shadelown/apinkMay - JunsometimesSee Clarkia amoena.
Clarkia concinnared ribbons clarkianoAnnual herbnon/apartial shadelown/apink, purpleMay - JulsometimesSee Clarkia amoena.
Clarkia purpureawinecup clarkianoAnnual herbyesGrasslandfull sun to partial shadelown/apink/roseApr - JulsometimesSee Clarkia amoena.
Clarkia rubicundaruby chalice clarkianoAnnual herbyesWoodlandpartial shademoderaten/apinkJun - OctsometimesSee Clarkia amoena.
Clarkia unguiculatamountain garlandnoAnnual herbyesWoodlandpartial shademoderaten/apinkJun - OctsometimesSee Clarkia amoena.
Claytonia perfoliata miner's lettucenoAnnual herbyesWoodlandpartial shademoderaten/awhiteMar - JuloftenTiny, insignificant flowers, miner's lettuce is favored mainly because of its tasty and edible leaves! Perfect for a munch if you are working in the garden, or leave them to the deer and other critters who like them as well! At PVR, it's OK to grab a handful of almost-dried ones from the Ranch House or other nearby location and strew them in your yard where you would like them to come up next year.
Clematis lasianthachaparral clematisnoVineyesChaparralfull sunlownowhiteMar - JulrarelyWe have two locally native Clematis, and they have this in common: large pretty white flowers, leaves that could look like poison oak to the uninitiated, scrambly crawly growth habit, winter deciduous. Pick off dried leaves, but don't cut back dried stalks, as new leaves will bloom on them next year. Could work in containers or on a trellis. Underutilized at PVR. Funny woolly seedheads look like the hair of a Dr. Seuss character. Clematis lasiantha is a bit more drought tolerant of the two, and is sometimes found scrambling over sagebrush in chaparral areas. Clematis lingusticifolia is a bit more of a wetland plant.
Clematis ligusticifoliavirgin's bowernoVineyesWoodlandfull sun to partial shademoderatenowhiteJun - AugrarelySee Clematis lasiantha.
Clinopodium douglasiiSatureja douglasiiyerba buenanoPerennial herbyesChaparralfull sun to partial shademoderatenowhiteMay - JulrarelyTolerates some foot traffic, aromatic and edible, small flat locally native mint. Unparalleled as a well-behaved groundcover in areas with some shade.
Clinopodium mimuloidesSatureja mimuloidesmonkeyflower savorynoPerennial herbnon/afull sun to partial shadehighnoredJun - OctoftenMint with an orange flower that looks similar to monkeyflower, spreads readily, needs at least some moisture. Endangered in its own limited home range. Careful with this one; could have some invasive potential in wet areas.
Clintonia andrewsianared clintonianoBulbnon/apartial shade to full shadehighnoredFeb - MayoftenPer literature: Showy red flower, good for redwood understory, bright blue berries. Takes 5-8 years to flower once sown, so sourcing may be a problem and plants may be pricey.
Collinsia heterophyllaChinese housesnoAnnual herbyesRiparianpart shadehighn/apurpleFeb - MaysometimesUnderutilized, gorgeous annual wildflower for dappled shade. Does want a little water to get started. Tends to recruit easily and be successful.
Comarostaphylis diversifoliasummer hollyyesWoody Shrubnon/afull sun to partial shadelownowhiteApr - JunrarelyPer literature: Native to San Diego coast, wants some fog drip (this translates in our area to at least some summer water). Despite name, it's in the same family as manzanita and has similar flowers, but is less fussy and easier to grow.
Corethrogyne filaginifoliaLessingia filanginifoliacommon sandasternoPerennial herbyesChaparralfull sun to partial shadelownowhiteJun - OctrarelyPerformance of this plant depends on the varietal and your maintenance of it. In the wild it's found on wicked steep slopes, totally summer dry, sometimes with partial shade.
Cornus glabratabrown dogwoodyesTreeyesRiparianpartial shadehighnowhiteMay - JunsometimesCornus glabrata and Cornus sericea, our two locally native dogwoods, have this in common: when happy, they will give you year-round interest. creamy white flowers in spring, fall foliage, winter deciduous form makes a nice sillhouette. Birds like the berries. They do spread, so give them some room.
Cornus nuttalliimountain dogwoodyesWoody Shrubnon/apartial shademoderatenowhiteApr - MaysometimesThis is the Sierra mountains dogwood, common in northern California. One single flower instead of many small umbels.
Cornus sericeared dogwoodyesWoody ShrubyesRiparianpartial shadehighnowhiteJun - AugsometimesSee Cornus glabrata.
Corylus cornuta California hazelnutyesWoody ShrubyesWoodlandPartial to full shademoderatenopinkFeb - MarsometimesLocally common, deciduous, soft felty leaves (also called "toilet paper plant") graceful form. Yes, the hazelnuts are edible. Not super easy to source, try habitat restoration nurseries.
Cynoglossum grandewestern hound's tonguenoPerennial herbyesWoodlandpart shade to shadelowyesblueFeb - MayoftenNot easy to source (try habitat restoration nurseries) but if you can find it, it's SO worth the effort! Intense bright blue-lavender flowers are often one of the first wildflowers you will see all year. Great for dry shade, returns year after year.