Cal Wise Plant Materials

Cal Wise Plants

The water conditions in San Diego County are a key factor when planning any landscape project; commerical or residential. Steve has compiled a list of his favorite varieties of drought resistant, drought tolerant plants chosen for both heartiness and presentation. We’ve included each plant’s botanical and common names, a general description with size potentials, blooming periods, water and light requirements, and other pertinent information to help you make your water wise planting decisions.

  • Salvia leucantha

    Salvia leucantha

    Description: Flowering perennial. Upright plant with velvety purple blooms. 3-4’tall 5-6’ wide

    Commom Name: Mexican Bush Sage

    Blooming Period: Late summer into spring

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Sun to part sun

    Other Comments: Attractive to hummingbirds

  • Salvia gregii

    Salvia gregii

    Description: Flowering perennial. 3-4’tall

    Commom Name: Autumn Sage

    Blooming Period: Spring to fall in wetter areas and fall to winter in drier areas

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Sun to part sun

    Other Comments: Needs well drained soil

  • Tagetes lemmonii

    Tagetes lemmonii

    Description: Flowering perennial. 6’tall 4’ wide

    Commom Name: Copper Canyon Daisy

    Blooming Period: Fall and early spring ,dormant in winter

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: High heat tolerance

  • Quercus agrifolia

    Quercus agrifolia

    Description: 20-70' tall. Native evergreen tree

    Commom Name: Coast Live Oak

    Blooming Period: Attractive foliage all year

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

    Other Comments: Extensive horizontal root branches

  • Gaura lindheimeri

    Gaura lindheimeri

    Description: Native flowering perennial 4' tall 3' wide

    Commom Name: Whirling Butterfly

    Blooming Period: Buds spring-fall

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: White, pink & crimson varieties

  • Erigeron karvinskianus

    Erigeron karvinskianus

    Description: Evergreen groundcover 1-2' tall 3-5' wide

    Commom Name: Santa Barbara Daisy, Fleabane

    Blooming Period: Daisy flowers year round

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Sun/light shade

    Other Comments: Sun/light shade

  • Rosmarinus prostratus

    Rosmarinus prostratus

    Description: Low spreading evergreen shrub 3' tall 4-8' wide

    Commom Name: Prostrate rosemary, creeping rosemary

    Blooming Period: Year round

    Water Requirement: Medium to low

    Lighting Requirements: Sun to part shade

    Other Comments: Distinctive herb with culinary uses

  • Muhlenbergia ‘El Toro’

    Muhlenbergia ‘El Toro’

    Description: Evergreen clumping grass with blue green foliage. 2-3' tall/wide

    Commom Name: Bull grass

    Blooming Period: Purple flowers in fall

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Very drought tolerant

  • Callistemon ‘Little John’

    Callistemon ‘Little John’

    Description: Evergreen shrub 3' tall 3' wide

    Commom Name: Dwarf Callistemon

    Blooming Period: Bright red bristle stamens year round, peaks early summer-fall

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun to light shade

    Other Comments: Native to Australia

  • Aloe striata

    Aloe striata

    Description: Succulent, 2-3' tall 1-2' wide

    Commom Name: Coral Aloe

    Blooming Period: Winter/spring, red flowers

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Leaf color varies, reddish in sun and bluish-green in cool spots

  • Anigozanthos flavidus

    Anigozanthos flavidus

    Description: Evergreen perennial. 2-3' tall foliage. Flower wands 4-5' tall

    Commom Name: Kangaroo Paw

    Blooming Period: Yellow-green flowers, spring

    Water Requirement: Low - needs well drained soil

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Native to Australia. Attracts hummingbirds.

  • Arctostaphylos ‘Point Reyes’

    Arctostaphylos ‘Point Reyes’

    Description: Native groundcover

    Commom Name: Point Reyes Manzanita. Also sandberry, kinnikinnick and bearberry

    Blooming Period: Pale pink, mid-spring to early summer

    Water Requirement: Low to moderate

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Requires excellent drainage

  • Bougainvillea

    Bougainvillea

    Description: Evergreen climbing vine

    Commom Name: Bougainvillea

    Blooming Period: Summer/fall

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Many varieties, wide range of colors. Nearly pest-free

  • Geranium incanum

    Geranium incanum

    Description: Evergreen perennial. >1' high width 'spreading'

    Commom Name: Carpet geranium

    Blooming Period: Pale mauve flowers, spring/fall

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Sun or shade

    Other Comments: Great groundcover, native to South Africa

  • Santolina virens

    Santolina virens

    Description: Evergreen 2' tall 3' wide

    Commom Name: Green Santolina

    Blooming Period: Solitary yellow flowers, summer

    Water Requirement: low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Fragrant. Dark green foliage

  • Cercidium ‘Desert Museum’

    Cercidium ‘Desert Museum’

    Description: Native, semi-deciduous tree 20-30' tall 20-40' wide

    Commom Name: Hybrid Palo Verde

    Blooming Period: Yellow flowers, spring

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Fast growing. Attractive to bees

  • Cercis occidentalis

    Cercis occidentalis

    Description: Leguminous shrub 7-20' tall. Native

    Commom Name: Western redbud

    Blooming Period: Blooming Period Magenta flowers for 2 week periods, Feb.-April

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Full sun

    Other Comments: Attractive to hummingbirds

  • Scirpus cernuus

    Scirpus cernuus

    Description: Grass-like rush, >1' tall 2-3' wide

    Commom Name: Low bulrush

    Blooming Period: Brown, summer

    Water Requirement: Aquatic

    Lighting Requirements: Light shade, part sun

    Other Comments: Great grass for mixed containers

  • Echeveria elegans

    Echeveria elegans

    Description: Succulent evergreen. Groundcover, 8" tall 12" spread

    Commom Name: Hens and Chicks

    Blooming Period: Pink blooms, spring/summer

    Water Requirement: Low

    Lighting Requirements: Sun or shade

    Other Comments: Leaves are grey green rosettes

To see more of Steve’s favorite plants, check in on our blog and search for "Plant of the Month". You can also follow/subscribe there to get all the latest news from Steven Smith Landscape.