California native plants blooming in May.

Let’s take a look at California native plants – most of them drought and deer tolerant ones established, well suited for xeriscape, dry slopes and water wise gardens. They create natural habitat for wildlife. During spring time it’s really hard to pass by without  admiration – plants are buzzing with life, showing off all those vibrant colors and spreading enticing aromas.

Spring lures many of us into “a native plants buying spree” and unless we will take into consideration their particularities – as short blooming period, dormancy without supplemental summer water, our yards may end up weedy and tattered looking most of the year to many traditionally oriented gardeners. Pruners are also shouldn’t be forgotten if you are planting natives – plants in the natural habitat are trimmed by grazing deer and other wildlife.

Take a look at the pictures below of those wonderful plants, wouldn’t you agree that we are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful state?

California Monkey flowers (Diplacus species) are drought tolerant, woody perennials. In summer without water they will lose their leaves and become deciduous. In the garden plant them in full or partial sun on the slope or dry rocky site, give a little water during hot summer and prune hard to keep them tidy and green.

San Diego Sunrise Monkey flower

San Diego Sunrise Monkey flower

 

 

Penstemon ‘Margarita BOP’ is a shrubby evergreen perennial has neat, compact shape and its flowers are gorgeous – blue with rosy purple tint and when fading become violet. It is drought tolerant, low maintenance and hardy to 10 F. This penstemon will survive garden conditions (too much water!). It should be watered a little only at the beginning to help it get established.

Penstemon Margarita BOP

Penstemon Margarita BOP

 

Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) is a tall (up to 8 feet) perennial shrub. It has large flowers – white petals and yellow center – looks like a giant poppy.

Matilija Poppies Romneya coultery

Matilija Poppies

 

Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) flower closeup

Matilija poppy flower

 

California Lilac ‘Skylark’ (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’) is blooming in May. This is a late blooming cultivar and does well in the garden. The shrub has nice structure with its upright to outward growing branches, deep green leaves and beautiful bright blue flowers.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Skylark Blue Mountain Lilac in full bloom

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Skylark

Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) ‘Winnifred Gilman’ a nice compact variety of Cleveland Sage that seems to be a little more garden and frost tolerant, growth 3’ x 3’. Upright in growth, it makes outstanding filler in a dry garden, excellent for slopes.

Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'

Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'

 

California Buckeye (Aesculus californica ) is covered with blooms – white sweetly scented panicles are very showy, you cannot notice this tree.

California Buckeye blooming

California Buckeye blooming

 

 

 

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