California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

California Native Shade Garden

California Native Shade Garden

California has a wide array of plants that live in the shade. I often find garden plans that include plants that normally grow in full sun planted in shady gardens. There are some coastal plants that will tolerate shade in an inland garden, but they don't flower as much as they do in the sun and often don't live as long. I think it far more appropriate to choose plants from north exposures, plants from the riparian zones along rivers and plants from woodland settings. There are so many choices I don't see much reason to compromise.

We often plant our houses in oak woodlands. Plants from other regions can grow well on the lean water requirements of our oaks. We have an evolving list of those plants that includes appropriate California Natives in our Dry Shade Garden List

Oaks are quite adaptable when they are young. Old oaks are often living on borrowed time when houses and gardens are planted in their shade. A lawn under an old oak that was there long before the house makes that oak into a widow maker. The roots gradually rot. For some time the tree will look as if it appreciates the water. It will either rot to the point where the leaves thin and the tree dies or it will fall, potentially at an inopportune moment. If instead of a lawn native plants are planted, plants that are from the part of the state where your garden resides, the tree and new plants can get along on a very similar irrigation diet.

California is such a diverse state that has average rainfall amounts that vary from less than 10 inches to well over 75 inches. The plants that come from these different locations are used to getting rainfall amounts that match. Bringing a Northern California coastal plant to a Southern California garden can create much the same problem that a lawn can create. The plants just need too much water to be under these oaks that adapted to a dry climate. It is important to know where the plants that we use in the landscape are native to, what is the soil, rainfall and exposure where these plants live. Plants collected from the Sierra's near Tahoe or along the Monterey or Carmel coastline come from a much cooler and wetter climate than the plants from the mountains of Southern California. When choosing plants for an area that recieves less than 15 inches of rainfall and often recieves weeks of temperatures above the century mark, picking a plant from the Carmel bluffs hardly makes sense. The plants think so, Ceanothus Yankee Point looks dreadful after a week of Southern California inland heat.

Acer macrophyllum * Bigleaf Maple
Acer negundo californicum * California Box Elder, Boxelder
Achillea Cerise Queen
Achillea Paprika
Achillea Pomegranate
Achillea Salmon Beauty
Achillea Sonoma Coast
Achillea Terracotta
Achillea The Beacon
Adiantum aleuticum * Five Fingered Fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris * Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum jordanii * California Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum pedatum * Five Fingered Fern
Aquilegia formosa * Crimson Columbine
Armeria maritima * Thrift or Sea Pink
Artemisia douglasiana * Mugwort
Aster chilensis * California Aster, Pacific Aster
Bacharis pilularis * Coyote Brush
Berberis nevinii * Nevin's Barberry
Bloomeria crocea * Goldenstar

Calochortus albus * Fairy Lily
Calochortus minimus * Sierra Mariposa Lily
Calochortus monophyllus * Yellow Star Tulip
Calochortus plummerae * Plummer's Mariposa Lily
Calycanthus occidentalis * Spice Bush
Campanula rotundifolia * Harebell
Carex praegracilis * Clustered Field Sedge
Carex tumulicola * Berkeley Sedge
Carpenteria californica* California Anemone
Ceanothus oliganthus sorediatus * Jim Brush
Clarkia unguiculata * Woodland Clarkia
Clematis lasiantha * Chaparral Clematis, Pipestems
Clematis ligusticifolia * Creek Clematis, Virgin's Bower
Collinsia heterophylla * Chinese Houses
Collinsia tinctoria * Sticky Chinese Houses, Tincture Plant
Cornus nuttallii * Mountain Dogwood
Cornus sericea * Red Osier Dogwood
Dicentra formosa * Bleeding Heart
Dodecatheon clevelandii * Padre's Shooting Star
Dodecatheon hendersonii * Mosquito Bills, Foothill Shooting Star
Dudleya caspitosa * Sea Lettuce

California Native Shade Garden

Dudleya candelabrum * Candleholder Liveforever, Candleholder Dudleya
Dudleya hassei * Catalina Liveforever
Dudleya lanceolata * Lance Leaf Live Forever
Dudleya traskiae * Santa Barbara Liveforever
Elymus condensatus Canyon Prince * Canyon Prince Giant Rye
Epilobium canum * California Fuchsia
Epipactis gigantea * Stream Orchid
Erigeron glaucus 'Bountiful' * Bountiful Seaside Daisy
Erigeron glaucus Sea Breeze * Pink Seaside Daisy, Sea Breeze Seaside Daisy
Erigeron 'Wayne Roderick' * Seaside Daisy, Wayne Roderick Seaside Daisy
Eriogonum arborescens * Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat
Eriogonum cinereum * Ashyleaf Buckwheat, Coastal Buckwheat
Festuca californica * California Fescue
Fraxinus dipetala * California Ash
Fremontodendron californicum * Fremontea
Fremontodendron Ken Taylor * Flannel Bush
Galium aparine * Bedstraw
Galvezia speciosa * Island Snapdragon
Garrya eliptica 'James Roof' * Coast Tassel Bush
Gilia capitata * Thimble Flower, Globe Gilia
Heteromeles arbutifolia * Toyon
Heuchera Canyon Duet * Canyon Duet Coral Bells
Heuchera maxima * Island Alumroot
Heuchera micrantha diversifolia Palace Purple * Crevice Alumroot, Palace Purple Coral Bells
Heuchera 'Santa Ana Cardinal' * Santa Ana Cardinal Alumroot
Ipomopsis aggregata * Scarlet Gilia
Iris Dorothea's Ruby * Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris Dorothea's Ruby
Iris hartwegii * Sierra Iris, Hartweg's Iris
Iris pacific coast hybrids * Douglas' Iris Hybrids

Juglans californica * California Walnut
Juncus tenuis Blue Dart * Path Rush
Keckiella cordifolia * Bush Penstemon
Lavatera assurgentiflora * Tree Mallow
Lavatera purisima * Island Mallow
Lepechinia fragrans El Tigre * Island Pitcher Sage, Fragrant Pitcher Sage
Lewisia cotyledon elise * Cliff Maids, Siskiyou Lewisia
Lewisia rediviva * Bitterroot
Leymus condensatus Canyon Prince * Canyon Prince Giant Rye
Lilium parvum * Sierra Tiger Lily
Lobelia cardinalis * Cardinal Flower
Lonicera subspicata denudata * Chaparral Honeysuckle
Lupinus succulentus * Succulent Lupine
Lyonothamnus floribundus * Catalina Ironwood
Mahonia nevinii * Nevin's Barberry
Malacothamnus davidsonii * Davidson's Bush Mallow

California Native Shade Garden

Mimulus aurantiacus * Sticky Monkeyflower
Mimulus cardinalis * Cardinal Monkeyflower
Mimulus flemingii * Island Monkeyflower
Mimulus Georgie Red * Georgie Red Monkeyflower
Mimulus Jack * Jack Monkeyflower
Mimulus Midnight * Midnight Monkeyflower
Mimulus puniceus * Red Monkeyflower
Mimulus Ruby Silver * Ruby Silver Monkeyflower
Mirabilis californica * Wishbone Bush
Monardella lanceolata * Mustang Mint
Monardella odoratissima * Mountain Monardella, Desert Mint
Oenothera elata hookeri * Hooker's Evening Primrose
Oxalis oregana * Redwood Sorrel
Paeonia californica * California Peony

Pedicularis groenlandica * Elephant's Head
Pellaea andomedifolia * Coffee Fern
Pentagramma triangularis * Gold Back Fern
Phacelia grandiflora * Giant Flowered Phacelia
Phacelia parryi * Parry's Phacelia
Pholistoma auritum * Fiesta Flower
Phyla nodiflora * Lippia
Platanus racemosa * Sycamore
Polypodium californicum * California Polypody
Polystichum munitum * Western Sword Fern
Potentilla glandulosa * Sticky Cinquefoil
Prunella vulgaris * Heal All
Prunella vulgaris lanceolata * Heal All
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii * Catalina Cherry

California Native Shade Garden

Pteridium aquilinum * Bracken Fern
Rhamnus californicus 'Eve Case' * Coffee Berry
Rhamnus crocea * Red Berry
Rhus integrifolia * Lemonade Berry
Rhus ovata * Sugar Bush
Ribes aureum * Golden Currant
Ribes malvaceum * Chaparral Currant
Ribes speciosum * Fuchsia Flowered Currant
Romneya coulteri * Matilija Poppy
Rosa californica * California Wild Rose
Rosa minutifolia * Baja Rose, Littleleaf Rose
Salvia spathacea * Hummingbird Sage
Sambucus mexicana * Mexican Elderberry
Saxifraga californica * California Saxifrage
Scutellaria siphocampyloides * Greyleaf Skullcap
Silene laciniata * Indian Pink, Cardinal Catchfly
Sisyrinchium bellum * Blue Eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium californicum * Yellow Eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium Rocky Point * Rocky Point Blue Eyed Grass
Smilacina racemosa * False Solomon's Seal
Solidago californica * California Goldenrod
Stipa speciosa * Desert Needle Grass
Symphyotrichum chilense * California Aster, Pacific Aster
Venegasia carpesioides * Canyon Sunflower
Vitis californica * California Wild Grape
Woodwardia fimbriata * Giant Chain Fern
Zauschneria californica (Epilobium) * California Fuchsia