Shrubs: 150 California natives

This segment includes 150 evergreen and deciduous shrubs. (The one below, Fremontia, Flannelbush, is listed in the evergreen section.) All are interesting and beautiful, and most are easy to grow and are available in native plant nurseries or California Native Plant Society sales, in your own plant community.

Each shrub listing includes:

Description of plant; bloom time and appearance; any aroma; size of plant at maturity; whether it is evergreen or deciduous, and if the latter, when (some are summer deciduous, others winter); whether it likes sun or shade; whether or not it is toxic in any way; if it is allopathic; what medicinal properties are known; how to propagate it; in what plant communities it is found in nature; in what counties and at what altitude; what water and soil requirement is has and how adaptable.

Fremontia, Flannelbush
Fremontodendron californicum

Erect, fast growing, to 10’ or 25’ tall; sometimes becomes a small tree. Generally its branches begin near the ground, and one form, from Pine Hill, in El Dorado county, popular in the nursery trade, is decumbent. Medium green leaves, lobed and fuzzy. The fuzziness is usually irritating to the skin, so this appealing plant should be seen but not felt; use is as a background. Profuse, large yellow flowers, May and June, blooming mostly all at once. Quite a bit of variety. Takes pruning, and works very well as an espallier. Requires perfect drainage and no Summer water. Flowers form a prickly seed capsule, uncomfortable to deal with in the naked hand. Use gloves. Propagate from seeds. Store. Pour very hot water over seeds and leave them to soak for 24 hours. Then cold stratify for 60 to 90 days. Native to dry, mostly granitic slopes, between 3000’ and 6000’ in Chaparral, Yellow Pine Forest and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland communities from the south part of Shasta county to Kern county, and south through the mountains to San Diego county, and then in the coast ranges from Lake to Santa Barbara counties.

Added bonuses:

“Propagating Re-vegetation Shrubs,” by Betty Young, and her “Shrub Propagation Chart.”

And as with the perennial segment, you receive information on how to get started: a two-page sheet on the” Basics of the Basics,” along with a short glossary of words perhaps unfamiliar to you, and a list of most of the native plant nurseries in California.

And: Another bonus, three websites that show, in color, individual native plants, by common or Latin names.