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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
E. 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
R. 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, 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, douglasiana, fernaldii, 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, lambertiana, ponderosa, 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
S. exigua, laevigata - baskets - roots, shoots, branches
S. gooddingii - cordage - inner bark fibers
Salix lucida, lutea
Sambucus mexicana - dyes
Scirpus acutus - baskets, cordage, dye - whole stems
S. americanus, californicus - baskets - rhizomes
Sequoia sempervirens - cordage, baskets - inner bark fibers, roots
Smilax californica - baskets - roots
Suaeda species - dyes
Typha latifolia, angustifolia, 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, Rose
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