California Native Plant
Why Garden With Native Plants? CNPS site explains how you can bring the beauty of California into your own landscape while also receiving numerous benefits.
To Feed the Birds, First Feed the Bugs NY Times article communicating Doug Tallamy’s message: gardeners could slow the rate of extinction by planting natives in their yards.
Living Landscapes – Designing Native Plant Gardens That Attract Wildlife
Haven Kiers presents how to create native plant gardens that are not only great looking but also great for wildlife.
Preparing and Converting from Lawn
Prepping and Planting Learn the basics of removing grass, caring for soil, planting and watering. CNPS.
Designing and Installing the Garden
Native Planting Guides: Planting for Your Location Regional guides with plant characteristics, plant lists, landscape design templates, and nearby nurseries. CNPS.
Native Design Basics Design fundamentals to help you capture rainwater, choose plants, and plant them in the right place. Take native garden tours! CNPS.
How to design a native plant garden Design and native plant selection tools. Text heavy. Las Pilitas.
Native garden installation E-Z slide show illustrates the process: lawn removal, design, tools and materials, plants, soil, mounds and dry creek beds, irrigation, maintenance. Earthcare Landscaping.
Getting started with native plants A guide to preparing your site, designing your garden, and installing plants. Theodore Payne Foundation.
California native habitat garden A 1000 sf native plant garden design template for birds and pollinators. Designed for the LA area, but useful here. Theodore Payne.
Sac Valley Drought-Tolerant, California Native Plant List Trees, shrubs, flowering plants, and grasses for communities in the Sacramento Valley. CNPS.
Calscape Select the right native plants for your location to create a successful native plant garden. CNPS and UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
My Native Plants Browse or launch a specific search for native plants that will benefit your garden and the neighborhood birds and butterflies. Las Pilitas.
UC Davis Arboretum Plant Database Check California native, leave other selections blank and hit Search to limit the list to CA native plants. Look for native all-stars plants at UC Davis Arboretum plant sales.
CalFlora Comprehensive information on wild California plants. Limit your search to plants native to California, then set other limits that describe your location.
If your landscape includes native oaks, use these California Oak Foundation publications:
- Oak Tree Care Brochures about acorns, lichens, galls, and more.
- Compatible Plants Under & Around Oaks
Planting under oak trees in California Plants that are commonly associated with California oaks. Las Pilitas Nursery.
Gardening with Natives
- Sources and Nurseries for Native Plants Suitable for the Sacramento Area
- Local Native Plant List for the Sacramento Region
- Native Plants That Attract Hummingbirds
- Drought Tolerant Plants
- Deer Resistant Plants
- Aerojet Property, Sacramento County
- American River Parkway, Sacramento County
- Bear Valley and Walker Ridge, Lake and Colusa Counties
- Black Diamond, Contra Costa County
- Bobelaine, Sutter County
- Caples Creek, El Dorado County
- Carson Pass, Alpine County
- Cold Canyon – Vaca Mtns, Solano County
- Cold Creek Basin – Stebbins Reserve, Solano County
- Cosumnes River Preserve 1 (Castello, Denier, Shaw, Whaley Properties)
- Cosumnes River Preserve 2 (Denier #2 Parcel) Sac County
- Gates and Mix Canyon, Yolo County
- Indian Grinding Rock
- Lassen Volcanic Nat’l Park, Lassen County
- Mather Field Vernal Pools, Sacramento County
- Mount Judah
- Nimbus Dam, Sacramento County
- Phoenix Field Ecological Reserve, Sacramento County, 1988
- Phoenix Park, Sacramento County
- Pine Hill Reserve, El Dorado County
- Snipes-Pershing Ravine, Sacramento County
- Spenceville Preserve, Sacramento County
- Table Mountain, Butte County
Rare Plant Lists by County in the SacValley Chapter Area
Digging Deeper Tips and cautions for keeping your landscape healthy. Control weeds and pests, prune, and learn about clean nursery practices. CNPS.
Care and Maintenance of California Native Plants Guidelines for planting, weeding, mulching, and pest management . Sonoma County Master Gardener.
California Invasive Plant Inventory Database Filter by Jepson Region – Great Valley for a list of invasive plants that cause ecological damage.
SacValley Chapter Plant Sales
SacValley Chapter plant sales take place in spring and fall at Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery, located at Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670. Plants are ordered online and picked up at prescheduled times. We announce upcoming plant sales on our website and in our newsletters, the Bulletin and the Hibiscus.
Other organizations and CNPS chapters also hold plant sales each year. Here are some great resources in and near our region:
UC Davis Arboretum Plants and seeds available at sales throughout the year. Davis, CA.
Annie’s Annuals Annuals & perennials, including hard to find California native wildflowers. Richmond, CA.
California Flora Nursery California natives and other plants adapted to a Mediterranean climate. Fulton, CA.
Cornflower Farms Native plants for the wholesale trade. Limited availability at CNPS plant sales. Elk Grove, CA.
Floral Native Nursery Retail and wholesale nursery with California natives for landscaping and restoration. Chico, CA.
Hedgerow Farms Wholesale and retail sale of seeds and plugs of California native grasses, forbs, sedges and rushes. Also available at CNPS sales. Winters, CA.
Larner Seeds. Seeds from over 200 species of California native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, vines, & trees, as well as live plants. Bolinas, CA.
Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery 100% native California plants. Their website contains many links on garden design and plant selection. Santa Margarita, CA.
Theodore Payne Foundation California native seeds and plants, including chaparral shrubs, trees, grasses, vines, wildflowers, and uncommon species. Sun Valley, CA.
Nursery Search Tools
California Native Plant Link Exchange (CNPLX) Choose native plants for a location in the state and find out who sells them and how to grow them. Based on information from CalFlora.
Plant Native Extensive list of nurseries and conservation agencies in California.
A Selected List
Adams, George. Gardening for the Birds. Timber Press, 2013.
Barbour, Michael G. , Julie M. Evens, Todd Keeler-Wolf, John O. Sawyer. California’s Botanical Landscapes: A Pictorial View of the State’s Vegetation. CNPS, 2016.
Bauer, Nancy. The California Wildlife Habitat Garden: How to Attract Bees, Butterflies, Birds, and Other Animals. UC Press, 2012.
Badger, Rob and Nita Winter. Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change. Winter Badger Press. 2019?
Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, Bart O’Brien and John Evarts. Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-conserving Plants, Practices, and Designs. Cachuma Press, 2011.
Capon, Brian. Botany for Gardeners. Timber Press, 2010.
Casebeer, MaryRuth. Discover California Shrubs. Hooker Press, 2004.
Chase, Terry Dunn. How to Eradicate Invasive Plants. Timber Press, 2013.
Darke, Rick and Douglas W. Tallamy. The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. Timber Press, 2014.
Eisenstein, Barbara. Wild Suburbia: Learning to Garden with Native Plants. Heyday, 2016.
Frankie, Gordon W. , Robbin W. Thorp, Rollin E. Coville, and Barbara Ertter. California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists. Heyday, 2014.
Frey, Kate and Gretchen LeBuhn. The Bee-Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity. Ten Speed Press, 2016.
Harlow, Nora and Kristin Jakob. Wild Lilies, Irises and Grasses: Gardening with California Monocots. UC Press, 2004.
Keator, Glenn and Alrie Middlebrook. Designing California Native Gardens: The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens. UC Press, 2007.
Lowry, Judith Larner. The Landscaping Ideas of Jays: A Natural History of the Backyard Restoration Garden. UC Press, 2007.
Lucan, Neil. Designing with Grasses. Timber Press, 2011.
Ogden, Scott and Lauren S. Ogden. Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit. Timber Press, 2008.
Popper, Helen. California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide. UC Press, 2011.
Redbud Chapter, CNPS. Trees and Shrubs of Nevada and Placer Counties, California. 2015.
Redbud Chapter, CNPS. Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, California. California Academy of Sciences, second edition 2017.
Ritter, Matt. California Plants: A Guide to Our Iconic Flora. Pacific Street Publishing, 2018.
Rubin, Greg and Lucy Warren. The California Native Landscape: The Homeowner’s Design Guide to Restoring Its Beauty and Balance. Timber Press, 2013.
Rubin, Greg and Lucy Warren. The Drought-Defying California Garden: 230 Native Plants for a Lush, Low-Water Landscape. Timber Press, 2016.
Schmidt, Marjorie G. and Katherine L. Greenberg. Growing California Native Plants. UC Press, 2012.
Smith, Nevin M. Native Treasures: Gardening with the Plants of California. UC Press, 2006.
Stuart, John D. and John O. Sawyer. Trees and Shrubs of California. UC Press, 2001.
Tallamy, Douglas. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants. Timberlake Press, 2008.
Xerces Society and Dr. Marla Spivak. Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide, Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. Storey Publishing, 2011.
- The Bulletin and Hibiscus Our chapter’s newsletters.
- Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery Source of local native plants for restoration and gardening.
- Homegrown Habitat Help bees, birds, butterflies and the rest of nature by planting natives in your home, school, and community gardens.
- Friday Walks Seed collecting and plant identification.
Cal Flora Wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation.
Local Government Agencies
City of Sacramento River Friendly Landscape Rebates Department of Utilities rebates to customers to help pay for water efficient upgrades.
Sacramento County Water Agency Landscape Rebates Rebates for converting existing turf to native and drought tolerant landscaping.
City of Roseville Environmental Utilities Cash for Grass Rebate Program Landscape and irrigation rebates.
Several websites on the design and planting pages feature plant and garden photos.
CalFlora. Comprehensive information on wild California plants. Limit search to plants native to California.
California Native Plant database. Plant descriptions in the context of their uses in garden design. Regional Water Authority.
Sac Valley CNPS Gardens Gone Native Virtual Tours:
Photo essays on home landscapes featured in CNPS garden tours.
- SacMag article on the Heacox garden, 2014
- Ecological Landscape Alliance Newsletter article featuring GGN gardens
CNPS Garden Ambassadors in your community share their gardens through photos as well as virtual and in-person visits.
Further reading suggested by local native plant gardeners.
Google searches for <California native plant gardening> and related terms turn up troves of information.