Share/Save

Plant Lists for your Specialized California Native Plant Garden

California Native Plants for Bonsai Gardens

Bonsai enthusiasts are already well-acquainted with a number of California native plants that make excellent subjects for this ancient art. The abundance of oak and conifer species (Juniperus, Pinus, Chamaecyparis, Cupressus, Thuja, etc.) in our flora are perhaps the most obvious choices due to their Asian counterparts, but a host of other possibilities are also worth considering. Even if bonsai isn’t your ‘thing’, these woody species are both beautiful and functional additions to gardens. Look for them at the Garden Growers Nursery.

Adenostoma fasciculatum (Chamise)
Arctostaphylos species (Manzanita)
Cercis occidentalis (Western redbud)
Cercocarpus betuloides (Mountain mahogany)
Comarostaphylos diversifolia (Summer holly)
Eriogonum arborescens (Santa Cruz Island buckwheat)
Eriogonum giganteum (St. Catherine's lace)
Fraxinus dipetala (Flowering ash)
Garrya elliptica (Coast silk-tassel)
Myrica californica (California wax myrtle)
Rhododendron occidentale (Western azalea)
Rhus ovata (Sugar bush)
Rhus integrifolia (Lemonade berry)
Ribes species (Currants and gooseberries)
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba)

California Native Plants for Fiber & Dye:

Abies breweri - baskets
Acer macrophyllum - cordage, baskets - inner bark fibers, stems
Adiantum aleuticum - overlay materials - black stalks
Agave deserti - cordage - leaf fibers
Alnus rhombifolia - baskets, dye - inner bark
Alnus rubra - baskets
Apocynum cannabinum - cordage - stem fibers
Artemisia tridentata - cordage - outer bark fibers
Asclepias eriocarpa, A. fascicularis - cordage - stem fibers
Berberis species - dyes - roots
Carex barbarae, nebrascensis, obnupta, utriculata, vesicaria - baskets - rhizomes
Ceanothus integerrimus - baskets
Cercis occidentalis - baskets - stems, bark
Chlorogalum pomeridianum - cordage - bulb coating?
Cladium californicum - baskets - rhizomes
Corylus cornuta - baskets - stems
Dalea emoryi - dyes
Equisetum hyemale - baskets - rhizomes
Fremontodendron californicum - cordage - inner bark fibers
Iris macrosiphon, I. douglasiana, I. fernaldii, I. missouriensis - cordage - leaf fibers
Juglans californica - dye
Juncus acutus, balticus, textilis, effusus, lesueurii - baskets - stems
Juniperus occidentalis - baskets - roots
Muhlenbergia rigens - baskets - flowering stalks
Nuphar lutea ssp. polysepala - dye
Picea sitchensis - baskets - roots
Pinus jeffreyi, P. lambertiana, P. ponderosa, P. sabiniana - baskets - roots
Pinus species - baskets - needles (modern usage)
Populus balsamifera var. trichocarpa - baskets
Pseudotsuga menziesii - baskets - roots
Pteridium aquilinum - baskets, dye - rhizomes
Purshia tridentata var. glandulosa - cordage - outer bark fibers
Rhus trilobata - baskets - stem fibers
Salix coulteri, lasiolepsis - baskets - stems
Salix exigua, laevigata - baskets - roots, shoots, branches
Salix gooddingii - cordage - inner bark fibers
Salix lucida, lutea
Sambucus mexicana - dyes
Scirpus acutus - baskets, cordage, dye - whole stems
Scirpus americanus, californicus - baskets - rhizomes
Sequoia sempervirens - cordage, baskets - inner bark fibers, roots
Smilax californica - baskets - roots
Suaeda species - dyes
Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia, T. domingensis - baskets, cordage - leaves
Urtica dioica var. holosericea cordage stem fibers
Vitis californica - baskets - roots
Washingtonia filifera - baskets - leaves
Woodwardia fimbriata - overlay material - leaves
Xerophyllum tenax - overlay material - leaves
Yucca brevifolia, schidigera - baskets - roots
Yucca whipplei - cordage - leaf fibers
Yucca species - baskets - roots
Note: In all, 13 species of Salix are used in basketry.

California Native Plants for Dried Floral Arrangements

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Artemisia ludoviciana (Silver Wormwood)
Bothriochloa barbinodis (Silver Beardgrass)
Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama)
Calycanthus occidentalis  (Spicebush)
Cercocarpus betuloides (Mountain Mahogany)
Clarkia species
Clematis species
Cornus sericea (Creek Dogwood)
Dudleya species (Live-forever)
Eriogonum arborescens (Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat)
Eriogonum cinereum (Ashy-leaved Buckwheat)
Eriogonum grande var. rubescens (Red-flowered Buckwheat)
Eriogonum fasciculatum (California Buckwheat
Eriogonum giganteum (St. Catherine's Lace)
Eriophyllum nevinii (Catalina Silver-lace)
Fallugia paradoxa, Apache Plume
Gnaphalium microcephalum (White Everlasting)
Gutierrezia californica (Matchweed)
Juncus acutus (Spiny Rush)
Juncus patens (Wire Grass)
Keckiella cordifolia (Climbing Penstemon)
Lessingia filaginifolia (California aster)
Leymus 'Canyon Prince'
Lyonothamnus floribundus var. aspleniifolius (Santa Cruz Island Ironwood)
Monardella species (Coyote Mint)
Penstemon spectabilis (Royal Penstemon)
Rosa species
Salvia 'Starlight'
Salvia apiana (White Sage)
Salvia brandegeei (Brandegee Sage)
Salvia columbariae (Chia Sage)
Salvia leucophylla (Purple Sage)
Salvia mellifera (Black Sage)
Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)
Sisyrinchium bellum (Blue-eyed Grass)
Sporobolus airoides (Alkali Sacaton)
Typha species (Cattail)