Why Natives

Beauty and biodiversity

Credit Stephen Rosenthal.

Restore a sense of place

While California’s native plants have graced gardens worldwide for over a century, few of the landscapes designed for our state’s gardens, parkways, and recreational areas reflect the natural splendor of our extraordinary state. By gardening with native plants, you can bring the beauty of California into your own landscape, enjoy numerous benefits, and help preserve our local ecosystems.

California is home to nearly 7,000 plants – many found no where else in the world!

What are Native Plants?

Learn what native plants are and why they are the foundation to our ecosystems.

Native Plants 101

Why garden with natives?

A barrel cactus
Fig. 2 A barrel cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus) amidst blooming Englemann’s hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) and Eastern Mojave buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum); nested within a Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodland stand.

Biodiversity hot spot

The California floristic province is one of only 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, and is the only one in North America.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

Plants are habitat

California’s wildlife has evolved in conjunction with our native plant species, which means they need them to survive!

Bees on mondardella. Credit Brad Jenkins.
Bees on mondardella. Credit Brad Jenkins.

Benefits of natives

Native plants are perfectly suited to our climate, soil, and animals, which comes with a number of important advantages!

See what’s possible with a California native garden!

Poppies at Elderberry Farms. Credit Jim Wadsworth.
Poppies at Elderberry Farms. Credit Jim Wadsworth.

Plant California

Urban gardens planted with California natives can provide an important “bridge” to nearby wildlands.