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A special plant community characterized by woody, drought and fire-resistant shrubs. Many plants are evergreen with firm waxy leaves that can provide effective protection for nesting birds, as well as flower nectar in spring and seeds in summer. This sun-loving plant community is well adapted to our Mediterranean climate of dry summers and rainy winters, and most can tolerate fog as well as strong offshore Santa Ana’s and onshore storm-driven winds.


Generally nutrient poor and prone to erosion, plants have adapted by growing long taproots that can control erosion and reach deep water. Average garden soil is usually fine. They like good drainage and do well on slopes. 



Chaparral is the dominant plant community of the Santa Monica Mountains where it overlaps with the Coastal Sage Scrub biome. Also, Los Padres National Forest north of Santa Barbara and the mountains surrounding Ojai contain large swaths of nearly uninterrupted Chaparral. 


The nectar of Manzanita blossoms is a favorite food of Anna’s (magenta/grey) and Allen’s (rust/green) hummingbirds. The pink flowers of Lemonade berry attract butterflies such as the Duskywing (top right) and Hairstreak. 


IF YOU PLANT IT ------------>

1.  Chamise                                                               
    (Adenostoma fasciculatum)

2.  California Sagebrush                                    (Artemisia californica)

3.  California Mugwort

     (Artemisa douglasiana)

4.  Howard McMinn Manzanita

     (Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn')

5.  Big Berry Manzanita                                                (Arctostaphylos glauca)

6.  Paradise Manzanita

     (Arctostaphylos pajaroensis 'Paradise')

7.   Nevin's Barberry

      (Berberis nevinii)

8.   Baja Fairyduster

      (Calliandra californica)

9.   Anchor Bay California Lilac                                 (Ceanothus gloriosus "Anchor Bay')

10.  Celestial Blue California Lilac                             (Ceanothus 'Celestial Blue')

11.   Concha California Lilac                                         (Ceanothus 'Concha')

12.  Ray Hartman California Lilac                             (Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman')

13.  Dark Star Ceanothus                                             (Ceanothus 'Dark Star')

14.  Carmel Creeper Ceanothus                              (Ceanothus griseus horizontalis)

15.  Western Redbud                                                     (Cercis occidentalis)

16.  Golden Yarrow                                                         (Eriophyllum confertifolium)

17.  California Poppy                                                     (Eschscholzia californica)

18.  California Fescue                                         
(Festuca californica)

19.  Flannel Bush 


20.  Coffeeberry                                                              (Frangula (Rhombus) californica)

21.   Evie Silktassel Bush                                                (Garrya elliptical 'Evie')

22.   Yucca                                                                         (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

23.  Toyon                                                                           (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

24.   Laurel Sumac 

        (Malosma laurina)

25.  Deer Grass                                           
(Muhlenbergia rigens)

26.   Bladderpod

        (Peritonea (Isomeris) arborea)

27.   Hollyleaf Cherry                                                       (Prunus ilicifolia)

28.   Lemonade Berry                                                      (Rhus integrifolia)

29.   Matilija Poppy

        (Romneya coulter)

30.  Cleveland Sage                                                       (Salvia clevelandii)

31.   Coast Live Oak                                                           (Quercus agrifolia) 

32.   California Buckeye                                                  (Aesculus californica)

33.   Bay Laurel (European, non-native)                    (Laurel nobilis)



  1. Spotted Towhees and California Towhees; Wrentits

  2. California Gnatcatcher; Western Fence Lizard and Alligator Lizard 

  3. American Lady caterpillar host plant; Provides cover for birds

  4. Allen's & Anna’s hummingbirds; Butterflies; Bees 

  5. Allen's & Anna’s Hummingbirds; Mourning Cloak Butterfly    

  6. Allen's & Anna’s Hummingbirds; Butterflies; Bees

  7. Western Bluebirds and other berry-eating birds 

  8. Allen's & Anna’s Hummingbirds; Butterflies; Seed-eating birds

  9. Honeybees, Bumblebees, Western Fence Lizard; Butterflies

  10. Honeybees, Bumblebees; Western Fence Lizard; Butterflies; Seed-eating birds

  11. Honeybees, Bumblebees; Western Fence Lizard; Butterflies; Seed-eating birds

  12. Honeybees, Bumblebees; Western Fence Lizard; Butterflies; Seed-eating birds

  13. Honeybees, Bumblebees; Western Fence Lizard; Butterflies; Seed-eating birds

  14. Honeybees, Bumblebees; Western Fence Lizard; Butterflies; Seed-eating birds

  15. Tiger Swallowtail & Monarch Butterflies;  Goldfinches; Hummingbirds

  16. Bumble bees; Honey bees; Butterflies; Allen's and Anna's Hummingbirds

  17. Yellow-faced Bumblebees and dozens of solitary native bee species; Crab Spiders

  18. Sandhill Skipper; Common Ringlet Butterfly; seed-eating birds

  19. Honeybees; Butterflies; Ground-feeding birds like California and Spotted Towhee

  20. Host plant for Gray Hairstreak and Pale Tiger Swallowtail butterfly larva; Towhees

  21. Honeybees; Nectar and seed-eating   birds

  22. Host plant for Yucca Moth larva; Bullock's and Hooded Orioles; Hummingbirds

  23. Host plant for Pacific Azure Butterfly larva; American Robins; Cedar Waxwings

  24. Host plant for Ceanothus and Walter's Silkmoth larva

  25. Seed-eating birds; Provides cover for fence lizards and other ground dwellers

  26. Checkered White & Becker's White Butterflies; Allen's & Anna's Hummingbirds

  27. American Robins & Towhees eat berries, Tiger Swallowtail larva eat leaves

  28. Host plant for Walter's Silkmoth; Scrub Jays and Northern Flickers eat seeds

  29. Bumblebees and Honeybees; Monarchs and other Butterflies

  30. Allen's & Anna's Hummingbirds; Lesser Goldfinches eat seeds; Many Butterflies

  31. Confirmed host plant for 41 species of butterflies/moths including Calif. Sister

  32. Host plant for Pacific Azure Butterfly caterpillars; Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies  

  33. Bumblebees and other native bees; Honeybees, Nesting birds

Ceanothus, Holly-leaf cherry, Yucca and Bush poppy provide food and cover for an assortment of birds including Yellow-rumped warblers and Hooded orioles. 





California Chaparral Institute:


Las Pilitas Online Nursery:  

Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants:  

California Native Plant Society chapters: 

Palos Verdes/South Bay/South Coast   

Santa Monica/Los Angeles



iBird PRO app 

iNaturalist app

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

Peterson Field Guides Western Birds  



UC Davis IPM (Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program)

Simple Planting Tips

Theodore Payne Foundation link to Getting Started with Natives:


* Educational websites 

MANHATTAN BEACH                                       

Deep Roots Nursery                                        

207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.


EL SEGUNDO                                      

International Garden Center                          

155 N. Sepulveda Blvd.                      


REDONDO BEACH                                          

South Bay Gardens                                       

2501 Manhattan Beach Blvd.              


SAN PEDRO                                                          

White Point Nature Center                         

EVENTS on website tells monthly sale             

16oo Paseo del Mar (Access via Western Ave.)

310 561-0917 

PALOS VERDES PENINSULA                   

Natural Landscapes                              

Contact Tony Baker 
for appointment:


South Coast Botanic Garden                            

26300 Crenshaw Blvd.


LOS ANGELES                                                             

* Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants                 

10459 Tuxford Street, Sun Valley

818-768-1802 (days/hours seasonal, call first) 


Grow Native Nursery – Part of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden          

1500 N. College Avenue, Claremont          


Marina del Rey Garden Center                                             

13198 Mindanao Way                      

310 823-5956 

* Matilija Nursery                                               

8225 Waters Road, Moorpark              

805 523-8604 (call for hours)

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA                                         

* Tree of Life Nursery

33201 Ortega Highway

P.O. Box 635
, San Juan Capistrano                   

949-728-0685 (call for retail hours) 

* Las Pilitas Online Nursery                                               

8331 Nelson Way, 

760-749-5930 (Great website!) 


California Native Plant Society (CNPS):

CNPS Local Chapter: 

El Nativo Growers :                          

Native Sons:                                

Moosa Creek Nursery:

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