Description

This is a list of Waterwise Community Center Staff's favorite plants for inland home gardens. You will find many California native plants that are easy to care for, require little water, bring beauty and color to your yard, and provide important habitat for song birds, butterflies, and pollinators. You will also fine a variety of plants from other regions that are very well adapted to our local conditions and have been included for their beauty, ease of care, and other specific landscape purposes.

Plant List

Trees

Coast live oak

Botanical Name: Quercus agrifolia
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 30 ft. - 60 ft.   Width: 40 ft. - 70 ft.

Desert Museum palo verde

Botanical Name: Parkinsonia x 'Desert Museum'
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 20 ft. - 30 ft.   Width: 20 ft. - 25 ft.

Desert willow + cvs

Botanical Name: Chilopsis linearis
Plant Type: Tree, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 15 ft. - 30 ft. (rarely)   Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.

Large Shrubs That Can Also Be Trained As Small Trees

Catalina Cherry

Botanical Name: Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 30 ft. - 45 ft.   Width: 20 ft. - 30 ft.

Toyon

Botanical Name: Heteromeles arbutifolia
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 12 ft. - 25 ft.   Width: 12 ft. - 18 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: 10 ft. - 15 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 20 ft.

Shrubs

Allen Chickering sage

Botanical Name: Salvia 'Allen Chickering'
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 7 ft.

Apache plume

Botanical Name: Fallugia paradoxa
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Autumn sage + cvs

Botanical Name: Salvia greggii
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Baja fairy duster

Botanical Name: Calliandra californica
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

Black sage

Botanical Name: Salvia mellifera
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 6 ft.

Bladderpod

Botanical Name: Isomeris arborea
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

California buckwheat

Botanical Name: Eriogonum fasciculatum
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Coffeeberry + cvs

Botanical Name: Rhamnus californica
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.   Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.

Concha wild lilac

Botanical Name: Ceanothus 'Concha'
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 6 ft. - 9 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 10 ft.

Coyote brush

Botanical Name: Baccharis pilularis
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.

Creeping barberry

Botanical Name: Berberis repens
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 1.5 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft. then slowly spreading

Hollyleaf cherry

Botanical Name: Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Moderate shade, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 15 ft. - 30 ft.   Width: 15 ft. - 30 ft.

Incienso, Brittlebush

Botanical Name: Encelia farinosa
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

McMinn manzanita

Botanical Name: Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn'
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 6 ft. - 8 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.

Mountain marigold

Botanical Name: Tagetes lemmonii
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 6 ft.

Palmer’s mallow

Botanical Name: Abutilon palmeri
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Pozo Blue sage

Botanical Name: Salvia 'Pozo Blue'
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Red bird of paradise

Botanical Name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 6 ft. - 10 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 10 ft.

Santa Cruz Island buckwheat

Botanical Name: Eriogonum arborescens
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Spanish lavender + cvs

Botanical Name: Lavandula stoechas
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

White sage

Botanical Name: Salvia apiana
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Perennials

California fuchsia

Botanical Name: Epilobium canum
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 0.5 ft. - 4 ft. (in flower)   Width: 3 ft. - 3 ft. then slowly spreading

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.

Common yarrow + cvs

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium
Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 18 in. - 30 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in. then slowly spreading

Desert mallow

Botanical Name: Sphaeralcea ambigua
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Firecracker penstemon

Botanical Name: Penstemon eatonii
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 12 in. - 24 in.

Hummingbird sage

Botanical Name: Salvia spathacea
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in. then slowly spreading

Lilac verbena

Botanical Name: Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina'
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 4 ft.

Margarita foothill penstemon

Botanical Name: Penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita BOP'
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 2 ft.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Mexican daisy

Botanical Name: Erigeron karvinskianus
Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 6 in. - 15 in.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Red buckwheat

Botanical Name: Eriogonum grande var. rubescens
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 3 ft. (with flowers)   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Showy penstemon

Botanical Name: Penstemon spectabilis
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 1.5 ft. (3 ft. while flowering) - 2 ft. (5 ft. while flowering)   Width: 2 ft. - 4 ft.

Grasses and Grass-Like

Berkeley sedge

Botanical Name: Carex tumulicola
Plant Type: Grass, Sedge
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 1.5 ft.   Width: 1.5 ft. - 3 ft.

California fescue

Botanical Name: Festuca californica
Plant Type: Grass, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Partial sun
Height: 1 ft. - 2 ft.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Canyon Prince Wild rye

Botanical Name: Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince'
Plant Type: Grass, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Deer grass

Botanical Name: Muhlenbergia rigens
Plant Type: Grass, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 4' (to 5' with flowers)   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft. (to 6 ft. with flowers)

Western meadow sedge

Botanical Name: Carex praegracilis
Plant Type: Ground cover, Grass, Sedge, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.   Width: 12 in. - 15 in.

Succulents

Aloe vera

Botanical Name: Aloe vera
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 3' then offsets to form a larger clump - 24 in.

Blue finger

Botanical Name: Senecio talinoides ssp. mandraliscae
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft., can slowly spread further

Blue fox tail agave

Botanical Name: Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Fox tail agave

Botanical Name: Agave attenuata
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Red yucca + cvs

Botanical Name: Hesperaloe parviflora
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.