Chaparral Exhibit

SoFA Urban Garden

Located at 396 South First Street

California’s chaparral landscape is home to many of the state’s drought-tolerant plants that include woody shrubs, oak trees, and wild grasses. These species are often found in urban and residential landscapes, too, due to their low water usage and survivability during heat waves. The chaparral landscape is known for its distinctive Mediterranean-like appearance, and is a common site while driving through California’s rolling foothills. San Jose is also home to many chaparral open spaces due to the city’s warmer climate.

California Chaparral

Foothill Penstemon

 

Scientific Name: Penstemon heterophyllus

Native Habitat: Found only in California in coastal and northern Sierra mountain ranges.

The Foothill Penstemon is a shrub found in multiple ecosystems ranging from grassland, chaparral, woodland, and forest. It produces clusters of tubular flowers that come in blue, purple, or magenta colors. The flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators, especially bees and bloom in the winter, spring, and summer.

White Sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia apiana

Native Habitat: Coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California and Baja California.

White Sage is most known for the strong aromas in its leaves. The leaves are thick, and covered in hairs that trigger oil glands when rubbed. Its flowers support a wide variety of pollinators, making it an important plant in the coastal sage scrub habitat.

Dara’s Choice Sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia clevelandii ‘Dara’s Choice’


Native Habitat:
California chaparral regions

Dara’s Choice Sage is a fast growing drought tolerant plant that blooms in the spring and summer. The lavender colored flowers also produce a pleasant fragrance, and look dramatic with its dark green background. This makes Dara’s Choice Sage attractive to many pollinators that include hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects. 

California Buckeye

 

Scientific Name: Aesculus californica

Native Habitat: Found only in California in oak woodlands, foothills, and coast ranges.

The California Buckeye is a small tree that is very drought tolerant. It loses its leaves in both the summer and winter. The flowers grow in a cone, and are white in color. Insect pollinators are attracted to the flowers, and are an important source of nectar for migrant butterflies in late spring. 

Western Redbud

 

Scientific Name: Cercis occidentalis

Native Habitat: Dry slopes and foothills from northern California to Utah and Arizona below 4,000 ft.  

The Western Redbud is a pollinator’s delight. Its bright pink flowers bloom from March to May, and are an important nectar source for bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Some native bees also use its leaves to build nests inside trees. The Western Redbud is great for drought tolerant gardens and beautiful during all seasons. 

Wild Strawberry

 

Scientific Name: Fragaria vesca

Native Habitat: Grows naturally throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. Can be found in forests, woodlands, and meadows.

    • The Wild Strawberry is known for its edible fruit. The fruit is strongly flavored, and has been used by humans since the Stone Age. Ungulates like deer and elk eat the leaves. A variety of mammals and birds also eat the fruit and disperses its seeds. The modern day strawberry in grocery stores is a hybrid that shares many of the same genetics as the Wild Strawberry.

California Poppy

 

Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica

Native Habitat: includes California and extends to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and northwest Baja California

The California Poppy is an iconic flower in the American West. It became California’s state flower in 1903, and its image can be found here in SoFA District on the California Theater’s light sign. California poppies bloom between February and September, and its flowers only open during the day time. At night or during cold weather, the flowers close up. California poppies are also drought tolerant, self seeding, and easy to cultivate in any garden. 

California Fuchsia

 

Scientific Name: Epilobium canum

Native Habitat: Dry slopes and chaparral regions of western North America, mostly in California from 1,600-9,800 feet above sea level. 

The California Fuchsia produces red trumpet shaped flowers that support a variety of pollinators. It blooms in the summer and fall with little water needed. This plant is also used as ground cover in pollinator and drought tolerant gardens.

  •  

California Goldenrod

 

Scientific Name: Solidago velutina californica

Native Habitat: Found in oak woodlands all over California.

California Goldenrod is a native herb that produces masses of yellow flowers that flower during the summer and fall. Pollinators love this plant. In the garden, California Goldenrod is drought tolerant and fast growing.

Dara’s Choice Sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia clevelandii ‘Dara’s Choice’


Native Habitat:
California chaparral regions

Dara’s Choice Sage is a fast growing drought tolerant plant that blooms in the spring and summer. The lavender colored flowers also produce a pleasant fragrance, and look dramatic with its dark green background. This makes Dara’s Choice Sage attractive to many pollinators that include hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects. 

Lewis’ Monkey Flower

 

Scientific Name: Mimulus lewisii

Native Habitat: Western North America from Alaska to California and Colorado. Can be found at streambanks 4,000 to 10,000 ft above sea level. 

This flower was named in honor of American explorer Meriwether Lewis, and is an important flower for pollinators in the Sierra Nevadas. It prefers rich soil and is a common flower to use in pollinator gardens.

White Sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia apiana

Native Habitat: Coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California and Baja California.

White Sage is most known for the strong aromas in its leaves. The leaves are thick, and covered in hairs that trigger oil glands when rubbed. Its flowers support a wide variety of pollinators, making it an important plant in the coastal sage scrub habitat.

California Poppy

 

Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica

Native Habitat: includes California and extends to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and northwest Baja California

The California Poppy is an iconic flower in the American West. It became California’s state flower in 1903, and its image can be found here in SoFA District on the California Theater’s light sign. California poppies bloom between February and September, and its flowers only open during the day time. At night or during cold weather, the flowers close up. California poppies are also drought tolerant, self seeding, and easy to cultivate in any garden. 

Red Ribbons

 

Scientific Name: Clarkia concinna

Native Habitat: found along the California’s northern coast ranges from Santa Clara County to Humboldt County

The Red Ribbons wildflower comes in multiple shades of red, purple, and pink. The flower contains a looping pattern that resembles the shape of a tied ribbon. Red Ribbons do not require much water and prefer to live in dry foothills and mountains, which makes it a valuable addition to any drought tolerant garden.

Lewis’ Monkey Flower

 

Scientific Name: Mimulus lewisii

Native Habitat: Western North America from Alaska to California and Colorado. Can be found at streambanks 4,000 to 10,000 ft above sea level. 

This flower was named in honor of American explorer Meriwether Lewis, and is an important flower for pollinators in the Sierra Nevadas. It prefers rich soil and is a common flower to use in pollinator gardens.

Lewis’ Monkey Flower

 

Scientific Name: Mimulus lewisii

Native Habitat: Western North America from Alaska to California and Colorado. Can be found at streambanks 4,000 to 10,000 ft above sea level. 

This flower was named in honor of American explorer Meriwether Lewis, and is an important flower for pollinators in the Sierra Nevadas. It prefers rich soil and is a common flower to use in pollinator gardens.

Dara’s Choice Sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia clevelandii ‘Dara’s Choice’

Native Habitat: California chaparral regions

Dara’s Choice Sage is a fast growing drought tolerant plant that blooms in the spring and summer. The lavender colored flowers also produce a pleasant fragrance, and look dramatic with its dark green background. This makes Dara’s Choice Sage attractive to many pollinators that include hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects. 

Western Redbud

 

Scientific Name: Cercis occidentalis

Native Habitat: Dry slopes and foothills from northern California to Utah and Arizona below 4,000 ft.  

The Western Redbud is a pollinator’s delight. Its bright pink flowers bloom from March to May, and are an important nectar source for bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Some native bees also use its leaves to build nests inside trees. The Western Redbud is great for drought tolerant gardens and beautiful during all seasons. 

Naked Buckwheat

 

Scientific Name: Eriogonum nudum ‘Ella Nelson’s’

Native Habitat: Found all over California in dry and sunny areas. 

The Naked Buckwheat is extremely drought tolerant, and does well in fully exposed sun. Its yellow, pink, and white flowers are an important source of nectar for many pollinators. The plant’s name comes from the naked stem that has no leaves. 

Emerald Carpet Manzanita

 

ScientificName: Arctostaphylos ‘Emerald Carpet’

Native Habitat: Found only in gardens. This plant was cultivated in a nursery from two manzanitas species. 

This ground cover plant is popular in commercial landscaping because of its drought tolerant properties and is green year round. 

California Fuchsia

 

Scientific Name: Epilobium canum

Native Habitat: Dry slopes and chaparral regions of western North America, mostly in California from 1,600-9,800 feet above sea level. 

The California Fuchsia produces red trumpet shaped flowers that support a variety of pollinators. It blooms in the summer and fall with little water needed. This plant is also used as ground cover in pollinator and drought tolerant gardens.

California Goldenrod

 

Scientific Name: Solidago velutina californica

Native Habitat: Found in oak woodlands all over California.

California Goldenrod is a native herb that produces masses of yellow flowers that flower during the summer and fall. Pollinators love this plant. In the garden, California Goldenrod is drought tolerant and fast growing.

California Buckeye

 

Scientific Name: Aesculus californica

Native Habitat: Found only in California in oak woodlands, foothills, and coast ranges.

The California Buckeye is a small tree that is very drought tolerant. It loses its leaves in both the summer and winter. The flowers grow in a cone, and are white in color. Insect pollinators are attracted to the flowers, and are an important source of nectar for migrant butterflies in late spring. 

Red Buckwheat

 

Scientific Name: Eriogonum grande rubescens

Native Habitat: Found only in the Channel Islands in Southern California.

Red Buckwheat is a mat forming plant that produces clusters of red flowers on top. This is a rare island plant, and grows on the dry cliffs of the Channel Islands.

Baby Black Eyes

 

Scientific Name: Nemophila menziesii ‘Penny Black’

Native Habitat: Found all over California in canyons, meadows, and grassy places. 

This plant is a variation of the Baby Blue Eyes. The difference is in the color of the leaves. Baby Black Eyes is a nursery variation that has dark purple flowers, compared to the ones found in the wild that have light blue flowers. 

Foothill Penstemon

 

Scientific Name: Penstemon heterophyllus

Native Habitat: Found only in California in coastal and northern Sierra mountain ranges.

The Foothill Penstemon is a shrub found in multiple ecosystems ranging from grassland, chaparral, woodland, and forest. It produces clusters of tubular flowers that come in blue, purple, or magenta colors. The flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators, especially bees and bloom in the winter, spring, and summer. 

White Sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia apiana

Native Habitat: Coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California and Baja California.

White Sage is most known for the strong aromas in its leaves. The leaves are thick, and covered in hairs that trigger oil glands when rubbed. Its flowers support a wide variety of pollinators, making it an important plant in the coastal sage scrub habitat.

California Poppy

 

Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica

Native Habitat: Includes California and extends to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and northwest Baja California

The California Poppy is an iconic flower in the American West. It became California’s state flower in 1903, and its image can be found here in SoFA District on the California Theater’s light sign. California poppies bloom between February and September, and its flowers only open during the day time. At night or during cold weather, the flowers close up. California poppies are also drought tolerant, self seeding, and easy to cultivate in any garden. 

Red Ribbons

 

Scientific Name: Clarkia concinna

Native Habitat: Found along the California’s northern coast ranges from Santa Clara County to Humboldt County

The Red Ribbons wildflower comes in multiple shades of red, purple, and pink. The flower contains a looping pattern that resembles the shape of a tied ribbon. Red Ribbons do not require much water and prefer to live in dry foothills and mountains, which makes it a valuable addition to any drought tolerant garden.  

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Redwood Forest

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California Wetland

Wetlands are found where land and water meet. Common plants that make up riparian zones include grasses, shrubs, and trees that can tolerate a changing aquatic environment. Riparian habitats are found in many cities and are important for water storage, flood control, water quality protection, recreation, nutrient cycling, and habitat for fish and wildlife. This is a common ecosystem in San Jose, such as the Guadalupe River Park, which runs through downtown San Jose, providing lots of urban wildlife to the city’s center.
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Oak Woodland

The oak woodland is an expansive ecosystem in California, especially here in the Bay Area and large portion of open space around San Jose. Plant species here are very well adapted to dry climates and can survive California’s hottest days. The oaks provide shelter and nutrients for animals including turkeys, coyotes, mountain lions, deer and large birds of prey.
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California Grassland

California’s hills are famous for their decorated wildflowers and grasses. During the spring, these beautiful grasslands emit a wonderful array of colors from orange to purple. The state flower, the California Poppy, is a recognizable native plant that is adopted into the California Theater’s historic and iconic sign on South First Street.
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Coastal Sage Scrub

The coastal sage scrub uniquely exists along California’s coast, Baja California and islands just offshore. The plant community is dominated by shrubs similar to chaparral habitats. The main differences are that coastal sage scrub plants are much shorter and less woody compared to chaparral plants.
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Urban Garden Main Page

SoFA District has a California native plant exhibit Experience SoFA District’s newly imagined landscape along First St. that offers the public a self guided botanical garden tour decorated with plants native to California. Each planter is installed with QR-code signs that connect visitors and the local community to a smartphone accessible online exhibit. Information in our online exhibit can also serve as a source of information about each plant community’s ecology, history, and cultural significance
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