The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. Many of them are California native plants and support native birds and insects. Most All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout California.
Below are just a few of the All-Stars. For a complete list, visit: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/arboretum_all_stars.aspx.
Island Pink Yarrow
Latin name: Achillea millefolium
This medium sized perennial is a California native plant with colorful pink flowers in spring, summer and fall. The Island Pink makes good cut flowers and has ferny green foliage that will spread. Its flowers attract butterflies and beneficial insects.
The Island Pink has low to medium water needs with full sun with part shade.
Cascade Creek California Goldenrod
Latin name: Solidago californica
This medium sized perennial is a California native plant that bears bright yellow flowers in summer and fall. The Cascade Creek attracts butterflies and beneficial insects and is ideal for native grass meadow.
The Cascade Creek has very low to low water needs with full sun and part shade.
Latin name: Isomeris arborea
This medium sized shrub is one of the only native shrubs that blooms year round. It has yellow flowers that attract beneficial insects and hummingbirds to the garden and then develop into attractive seed pods.
The Bladderpod has very low water needs with full sun and part shade.
Latin name: Ribes viburnifolium
This California native plant offers good shade-tolerant groundcover under native oaks and in other dry, shady areas. Its shiny and fragrant foliage looks attractive all year and attracts hummingbirds and beneficial insects.
The Evergreen Currant has very low to low water needs with part shade and shaded areas.
Ray Hartman California Lilac
Latin name: Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’
This small tree is a California native plant and one of the best ceanothus cultivars for gardens because it can tolerate some summer irrigation. It also makes a good screen or small garden tree.
The Ray Hartman California Lilac has very low to low water needs with full sun exposure.