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

Platanus racemosa

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

Umbellularia californica

Common Name: California bay
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Partial sun
Height: 30 ft. - 50 ft.   Width: 30 ft. - 50 ft.

Shrubs

Berberis ‘Golden Abundance’

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

Calycanthus occidentalis

Common Name: Spice bush
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.   Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.

Carpenteria californica + cv

Common Name: Bush anemone
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 5 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.

Cercis occidentalis

Common Name: Western redbud
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.

Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum

Common Name: Red flowering currant
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.

Ribes speciosum

Common Name: Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

Rosa californica

Common Name: California wild rose
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 3 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.

Perennials

Heuchera cultivars

Common Name: Coral bells
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.   Width: 12 in. - 15 in.

Iris douglasiana + cvs

Common Name: Douglas iris
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 12 in. - 24 in.

Juncus patens

Common Name: California gray rush
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.

Lepechinia fragrans

Common Name: Fragrant pitcher sage
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Ground Covers and Vines

Berberis repens

Common Name: Creeping barberry
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.

Fragaria vesca

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

Vitis californica + cv

Common Name: California grape
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.

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, click here.