The coastal sage scrub uniquely exists on California’s coasts, Baja California, and on neighboring islands. The plant community is dominated by shrubs, and is similar to chaparral habitats. The main differences are that coastal sage scrub plants are much shorter and less woody overall compared to chaparral plants.
Scientific Name: Dudleya caespitosa
Native Habitat: Pacific coast of Baja California and southern California. Prefers well drained soils.
This succulent produces silver colored fleshy leaves that do well in sandy and dry soil. In the winter and spring, the plant sends up a flower stalk 1-2 feet tall that blooms pale yellow flowers. The Coast Dudleya is a great plant to use in any drought tolerant or rocky garden.
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.
Scientific Name: Chilopsis linearis
Native habitat: Native to southwestern United States and Mexico. Can be found along desert riverbanks.
When the Desert Willow blooms, all sorts of pollinators are attracted to its flower’s fragrant scent. Although dormant during the winter, the flowers bloom during the rest of the year and are highly visited by humming birds and bees. It’s a shrub that is easy to take care of and perfect for any pollinator garden.
Scientific Name: Polystichum munitum
Native Habitat: Along the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to southern California
The Western Sword Fern is one of the most common ferns in western North America, and is often seen living in the understories of coniferous woodlands.
Scientific Name: Sequoia sempervirens
Native Habitat: Coasts of California with the southernmost border at Monterey County.
The Coastal Redwood is one of the most iconic trees in California, and became the state’s official tree in 1937. Many of the oldest and tallest trees in the world are Coastal Redwood trees. During California’s early development in the 1850’s, redwood trees were a valuable resource of lumber until the species were nearly exhausted. Since then, a statewide replanting effort has restored many lumbered areas into Coastal Redwood ecosystems. Even downtown San Jose has a few!
Scientific Name: Cornus nuttallii
Native habitat: Pacific coast range from Canada to Central California. Usually found at the edge of forests.
Pacific Dogwoods are small to medium sized trees that produce bright 6-petal flowers that support many bird and insect pollinators. Their seeds are also eaten by bears and beavers in wild areas. It requires low moisture and is great to use in any bird garden.
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