Description

The Western Sycamore Garden palette has been designed for landscape and garden situations where shade and moisture occur, and where it is desirable to develop an urban habitat style garden. This is a rich and abundant collection of California native plants that are commonly found growing in riparian and woodland communities across the state and that experience limited moisture stress throughout the year.

The associated shrubs and perennials included in this palette are best adapted to filtered sunlight, reduced temperatures and increased amounts of soil moisture. Most will suffer leaf damage if exposed to hot afternoon sun during the summer months. As you read about individual plants in this palette, you will find information about their sun and water needs and whether they are suited for shady or sunny locations. This palette includes many of the most popular and easy to grow California native plants, including western redbud, spice bush, bush anemone, coral bells and Douglas iris.

Plant List

Trees

California bay

Botanical Name: Umbellularia californica
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Partial sun
Height: 30 ft. - 50 ft.   Width: 30 ft. - 50 ft.

Western sycamore

Botanical Name: Platanus racemosa
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 40 ft. - 80 ft.   Width: 30 ft. - 50 ft.

Shrubs

Bush anemone + cv

Botanical Name: Carpenteria californica
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 5 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.

California wild rose

Botanical Name: Rosa californica
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 3 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Botanical Name: Ribes speciosum
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

Golden Abundance barberry

Botanical Name: Berberis 'Golden Abundance'
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Partial sun
Height: 6 ft. - 8 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 10 ft.

Red flowering currant

Botanical Name: Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 6 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Spice bush

Botanical Name: Calycanthus occidentalis
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.   Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.

Western redbud

Botanical Name: Cercis occidentalis
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 15 ft. - 20 ft.   Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.

Perennials

California gray rush

Botanical Name: Juncus patens
Plant Type: Grass, Rush, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Coral bells

Botanical Name: Heuchera cultivars
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.   Width: 12 in. - 15 in.

Douglas iris + cvs

Botanical Name: Iris douglasiana
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 12 in. - 24 in.

Fragrant pitcher sage

Botanical Name: Lepechinia fragrans
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Ground Covers and Vines

California grape + cv

Botanical Name: Vitis californica
Plant Type: Vine, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 30 ft. - 40 ft.   Width: 30 ft. - 40 ft.

California strawberry

Botanical Name: Fragaria vesca
Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Height: 2 in. - 8 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 6 ft.

Creeping barberry

Botanical Name: Berberis repens
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 18 in. - 30 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Horticultural Preferences

This palette of plants grows best with a good winter rain season and deep irrigation applications throughout the summer and fall months. Most of the shrubs, perennials, ferns and grasses included in this palette grow best when protected from hot summer sun exposures and are adapted to filtered sunlight and with organic mulch covering the surface of the soil.

Aesthetic Character

This palette is ideal for achieving landscape and garden plantings that have a natural character and where the bold and rugged character of mature sycamore trees shelters and complements colorful understory shrubs and perennials. Plantings can be enhanced by creating stream-like topography with boulders and meandering pathways and quiet spaces for sitting under trees.

Moisture Needs

The western sycamore grows best in garden and landscape locations where long periods of soil moisture stress is avoided . Young plants will grow faster and larger with regular water during winter and spring; as they mature they can adapt to less water during summer.

The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth. Several winter months noted by an asterisk (*) indicate when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. All plants benefit from a regular summertime schedule to help sustain good foliage and plant character. It is important to note that these plants can successfully grow within a range of supplemental moisture each month; the actual irrigation schedule should be adjusted to reflect specific soil, slope and exposure conditions to achieve best plant performance.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.