Sacramento Valley Native Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

Creating a hummingbird garden in your Sacramento Valley landscape isn't difficult, say David Bergendorf and Shelley Gardner of the Sacramento Valley California Native Plant Society. Choose native plants that have nectar or draw hummingbird-attracting insects. For continuous hummingbird visits, find plants that bloom at different seasons. Those standing 2 feet or higher will protect the birds from marauding cats.

California Fuschia

California fuschia (Epiloblium canum), also known as Hummingbird Trumpet, is an 18-to-36-inch shrub that grows wild in Northern California's rocky canyons. It has narrow to round green leaves. From summer to late autumn, the shrub's brilliant red, 1.5-inch tubular blooms are hummingbird magnets, according to the university of California at Davis. While its rhizomes (roots) can withstand a winter temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the shrub usually dies to the ground in winter and re-emerges in spring. Plant in full sun to part shade where it has room to spread. Water weekly in prolonged dry periods. Pinch terminal flower buds to create bushier plants.

Salmonberry

Salmonbery (Rubus spectabilis), a rose family shrub, grows wild along stream beds and on mountain slopes from Alaska south to California. It stands between 3 and 9 feet high. Between March and June, its bristly stems bear showy, tube-shaped red-violet flowers. Salmonberry has toothed, three-lobed green leaves. Its edible yellow-to-red berries taste milder than the raspberries they resemble, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Hummingbirds feed on the flowers' nectar, and other birds and small mammals eat the berries. Plant salmonberry in sun to shade and moist soil. An aggressively spreading plant, it forms dense thickets when not controlled.

Scarlet Gilia

Scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata), also called Skyrocket, blooms abundantly between August and October with the trumpet-shaped red flowers that hummingbirds love. A wildflower common throughout California, it grows easily from seed. Scarlet gilia's one drawback, cautions the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is the faintly unpleasant scent of its leaves. Plants bloom only once before dying. Plant scarlet gilia in dry sandy or sandy loam soil and full sun. Drought-tolerant, it's a good choice for xeriscapes as well as hummingbird gardens.

Clarkia

Clarkia (Clarkia amoena), or farewell-to-spring, is a spring-and-summer-blooming annual native to central California. Standing 24 to 30 inches high, it has lance-like green leaves and multiple stems. They bear showy, cup-shaped blooms between late May and July. Each for the flower's four pink petals has a distinctive red splotch. Some cultivated Clarkia varieties have red or lavender blooms and double petals, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Plant Clarkia in moist, rich, well-drained soil and full sun. It will appreciate afternoon shade in Sacramento's warm summers.

Keywords: Sacramento hummingbird plants, hummingbird garden, CA native plants, Sacramento wildflowers

About this Author

A freelance writer, Judy Wolfe has owned Prose for the Pros, a freelance writing business, since 2006. She's been an inveterate traveler since 1961 and draws on her travel experiences to provide articles for such websites as Chincoteague Island Vacations and Berlin Dude. Wolfe holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from California State University at Pomona.