Native Plants That Attract Hummingbirds in Yolo County

Yolo County is in northern California, inland from the ocean. The counties of Sacramento, Solano, Lake, Colusa, Napa and Sutter surround it. The city of Davis lies within this largely agricultural area. With its typically hot, dry summers and cool, foggy winters, Yolo County is home to many native plant species, some of which provide nectar for ruby-throated hummingbirds and other species.

Fuchsia

The California fuchsia belongs to the Zauschneria genus and includes several species of small, delicate flowers that range in color from white to pink to red on plants that can reach 2 feet in height. Fuchsias are favorite nectar flowers for hummingbirds during their July through December blooming period, making them an important food source in winter when many other plants are not in bloom.

Columbine

Belonging to the Aquilegia genus, the California columbines are pretty little flowers that resemble shooting stars. They come in shades of white, yellow, red and bicolor combinations. Las Pilitas Nursery reports that hummingbirds "aggressively" use the columbines and that these tiny birds are primarily responsible for pollinating them.

Manzanita

Over 40 species of this red-branched native shrub occur in the Arctostaphylos genus. Blooming from February until May or June, the flowers provide winter sustenance for hummingbirds and other birds. Some manzanitas grow as tall as 20 feet and they become covered with white to pink urn-shaped flowers, according to Las Pilitas Nursery. The manzanitas are very hardy, drought tolerant and evergreen, even in the hot, dry Yolo County summers.

White Sage

The Salvia genus includes hundreds of plants, including the culinary herb called sage, or Salvia officinalis. The white sage, or Salvia apiana, which is used for smudging, is a native shrub in Yolo County and its flowers provide nectar to several hummingbird species. Flowers bloom in summer and are whitish-lavender. In addition to hummingbirds, bumblebees, wasps and hawk moths feed on white sage flowers and help to pollinate this plant.

Keywords: native plants, California hummingbird, fuchsia white sage, manzanita columbine, Yolo Country hummingbirds

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.