California, with its sunny, mild climate, is home to many beautiful native flowering plants, most of them adapted to dry, hot conditions. The plants presented are all California natives--a few are found nowhere else; others are distributed sparsely along the west coast and southwestern states. To locate seeds listed, contact the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), which maintains an extensive database of local nurseries and suppliers of California native seeds, or check with the California Department of Conservation.
Blue and Purple Flowering Plants
Nothing says wildflowers quite like a field of lupines--along with the California poppy--arroyo lupine (Lupinus ssp.) is the calendar flower of California.
A pale blue annual, baby-blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii) is native to only two U.S. states--California and Washington. It likes moist ground.
Chinese houses (Collinsia concolor) has a clustering habit and looks very much like miniature purple irises. The plant grows 16 inches tall.
Bluehead Gilia (Gilia capitata), sometimes called Blue Thimble Flower, is a slender native with a wide height range--from 4 to 36 inches--that grows well in rocky soil.
California bluebell (Phacelia campanularia) is another blue-flowered, hardy and low-growing (8 to 24 inches) annual adapted to arid regions.
Red, Yellow & Orange Flowering Plants
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) can be weedy or invasive, but oh so beautiful as its orange waves covering fields.
Godetia, Farewell-to-Spring, and Satin Flower (all names for Clarkia amoena) identifies one of the prettiest of the native California wild flowers. It is a medium height (12 to 36 inches) showy, cup-shaped flower, pink with red blotches on each of its four petals.
Tidy tips (Layia platyglossa) is a native daisy-like flower, that is yellow with serrated white petal tips. It is a member of the aster family.
Fiddleneck (Amsinckia douglasiana) is a daintily flowered butter-yellow plant that grows up to 36 inches tall.
White Flowering Plants
The straight stems of the yarrow (Achillea millefolium) plant were used by the Chinese practitioners of the ancient "I-Ching" to tell fortunes. Yarrow leaf applied to minor cuts acts as a styptic to stop bleeding as well.
Five Spot (Nemophila maculata) is a low-growing (12 inches) plant with showy white flowers that have unusual dark blue spots on the tip of each petal--sure to be a conversation piece.
Large-flowered desert trumpets (Leptosiphon grandiflorus) are 4- to 20-inch phlox-like flowers that produce clusters of white (sometimes pale pink or lilac) blooms over an extended period.