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April 17, 2024

California Native Plant Week: Protecting Native Plants for Generations to Come 

Author: Zoe Bross
This is California Native Plant week, celebrated April 13th through April 20th 2024. Hosted by the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), this year the organization is calling for “8 Days of Action to deepen your relationship with the native plants near you, and protect them for generations to come.” As a part of the celebration, CNPS is hosting multiple native planting events throughout the week. From the Theodore Payne Foundation Native Plant Garden Tour in Los Angeles, to a Water-wise & Habitat-friendly Garden Tour in Chico, there are many ways to participate in the CPNS-led week of celebrating California’s native flora.
There are a huge number of reasons to plant native plants, at home, in projects, or wherever you require new flora. Native plants help to conserve water, protect soil from erosion, create habitats and provide food for birds, pollinators, and small animals.
Great Ecology regularly uses native plants in our ecological designs and restoration and mitigation projects. At San Marcos Highlands, we have implemented a Habitat Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (HMMP) to offset impacts from an 80-acre housing development. Our work involves restoring and enhancing riparian habitat and 12 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub. In the project area, we work to protect the existing native habitat; remove non-native species; salvage native onsite vegetation; and install native seeds, shrubs, and trees.
No matter where you live in California, there is a beautiful and diverse list of native plants to choose from when gardening or landscaping your property. If you are along the Sothern California Coastal region, in San Diego or Los Angeles, sagebrush (such as Artemisia califonica or Salvia mellifera), yellow bush lupine scrub (Lupinus arboreus), and blue blossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus) are natives. In the Great Valley, including cities like Sacramento, Fresno, and Bakersfield, you might find the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). All the way north, in the Klamath Mountains, you’ll find the redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests and woodlands in all of their magnificent glory. Visit the CNPS manual of vegetation or Calflora to find the species you are looking for or explore the different regions of this state. There are about 6,500 different native plants in California, and each one plays and important role in increasing biodiversity.