Salvia leucophylla Greene

Common Name: Purple Sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering Time: May-June

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is very drought tolerant and grows on dry open hills. It is also a feature of coastal bluffs within its range.

Range: Coastal California from Monterey to Baja. Also found on the transverse ranges excluding the San Bernadino Mountains.

Ecology: Once this plant is established in its habitat it requires very little maintenance.

Ethobotanical Info: Native Americans used this plant during rituals and ceremonies.


Salvia mellifera Greene

Common Name: Black Sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering Time: April-July

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant thrives in chaparral environments below 2000 feet on dry slopes.

Range: It is found in Southern California along the coastal ranges.

Ecology: This plant is tolerant of many different types of soil including: sand, clay and serpentine, and very drought resistant. It likes lots of sun, can tolerate some shade, but is intolerant of cold.

Ethobotanical Info: The Ohlone Indians used black sage for medicinal purposes. Its leaves were used to cure coughs, limb paralysis, relieve earaches and sore throats.


Salvia spathacea Greene

Common Name: Pitcher Sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering Time: March-May

Fruiting Time: Early to late Summer.

Habitat: This plant grows in chaparral, coastal sage scrub and southern Oak woodlands.

Range: This sage is found in the South Sacramento Valley, Central Western Ca, South Coast and along the Transverse range.

Ecology: This sage can grow in partial sun, heavy shade and coastal sun. It likes sandy to rocky soils and can tolerant a low level of soil moisture.



Salvia sonomensis Greene

Common Name: Creeping Sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering Time: May-June

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is generally found on dry slopes in chaparrel and coastal scrub.

Range: This plant is found on California’s coastal range from Siskiyou to San Diego Cos., as well as in the Sierra Nevada foothills from Shasta to Calaveras Cos.

Ecology: It likes sandy to clay soils as long as they have good drainage. If soils remain moist for too long the plant rot. It does best in partial to full sun and is tolerant of drought and cold.


Allium unifolium Kellogg

Common name: One-Leaf Onion

Family: Alliaceae

Flowering Time: May-June

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant grows in close-coned pine forests, evergreen forests and chaparrel environments.

Range: It ranges from Central to Northern California (and Oregon) and is a coastal endemic of California

Ecology: This perennial likes to grow in full sun and prefers moist clay soils-including serpentine- on or near sea cliffs.

Ethnobotanical Info: Mendocino Indians avoided this plant because it was considered poisonous.


Malacothamnus fasciculatus (Nutt. ex. Torr. & A. Gray) Greene

Common Name: Chaparrel Mallow

Family: Malvaceae

Flowering Time: March-July

Fruiting Time: Early to late Fall.

Habitat: It lives on coastal sage scrub, and in chaparral communities.

Range: This plant can be found in Mendocino County, the interior of the San Francisco Bay, the outer southern coast range, in South Western California and in Northern Baja California.

Ecology: This plant can tolerate full sun to partial shade and needs very little water once established. It is a very hardy plant and grows in dry soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: Native Americans commonly used this plant for medicinal purposes.


Malacothamnus jonesii (Munz) Kearney

Common Name: Jones’ Bush Mallow, San Luis Obispo Bush Mallow

Family: Malvaceae

Flowering Time: May-July

Fruiting Time: Early to late Fall.

Habitat: Because it is a very drought tolerant plant it is found in chaparral environments.

Range: It ranges from Monterey to San Luis Obispo County.

Ecology: This plant does well in full sun and is very drought tolerant. It grows well in lighter soils.



Forestiera pubescens Nutt.

Common Name: Desert Olive

Family: Oleaceae

Flowering Time: January-March

Fruiting Time: Late Spring to mid-Summer.

Habitat: This plant typically lives in woodlands, on stream banks, in canyons, and in washes.

Range: This plant can be found all over California: high in the Sierras and down to their foothills, in the Tehachapi Mountain areas, within the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, on the outer and inner southern coast ranges, on the transverse ranges and in the Mohave desert.

Ecology: This plant likes medium to full sun, it is drought tolerant and lives in dry soils consisting of sands and rocks.

Ethnobotanical Info: Navajo, Ramah Native Americans used to use the leaves of this plant as ceremonial medicine leaves. They also used their branches to make prayer sticks.



Clarkia unguiculata Lindl.

Common Name: Farewell-to-Spring

Family: Onagraceae

Flowering Time: May and June

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is found in the chaparral communities, the foothill woodland, in valley grasslands and also on the coastal strand. It can survive on slopes that are dry, and open, as well as those that are shaded.

Range: It is found all throughout California excluding the northern region.

Ecology: This plant can tolerate partial to full sun and grows on dry to semi-dry sand and clay.

Ethnobotanical Info: The seeds of these plants were crushed and eaten with acorn mush by Native Americans.


Epilobium canum (Greene) P. H. Raven

Common Name: California fuschia

Family: Onagraceae

Flowering Time: August-October

Fruiting Time: Mid-Fall to late Winter.

Habitat: This plant lives in a wide range of California’s habitats. It is found on dry slopes and ridges ranging from sea level to high in the mountains. It is found in chaparral and coastal sage scrub.

Range: This plant can be found from Southwestern Oregon all the way down to Baja California.

Ecology: This plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and grows on rocky, sandy, and clay soils that are dry to semi-dry.

Ethnobotanical Info: Native Americans used the leaves of this plant for medicinal purposes such as infection and soreness.


Eschscholzia californica Cham.

Common Name: California Poppy

Family: Papaveraceae

Flowering Time: February-October

Fruiting Time: Mid. Spring to late Winter.

Habitat: Grows in a wide range of plant communities including chaparral, coastal sage scrub, in the west Mohave desert. They thrive in disturbed grassy habitats.

Range: They are found all over California, wherever there is some sort of soil and sun.

Ecology: This plant does well in full sun to partial shade, requires little water, and grows on well drained, dry soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: Historically this plant has been used medicinally as a sedative and to relieve pain, relax spasms, and promote perspiration.


Carpenteria californica Torr.

Common Name: Tree-anemone

Family: Philadelphaceae

Flowering Time: April- July

Fruiting Time: Mid. Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant grows on dry granite ridges and slopes. It is found commonly in the foothill woodlands and Yellow Pine forests.

Range: This plant is considered threatened by the state and is an endemic to Fresno County.

Ecology: This plant can tolerate both sun and shade, but does not do well with too much water so it tends to grow in well-drained soils.


Mimulus aurantiacus var. puniceus (Nutt.) D. M. Thomps.

Common Name: Red Monkey Flower

Family: Phyrmaceae

Flowering Time: April to October

Fruiting Time: Early Summer to late Winter.

Habitat: This plant is found in chaparral and coastal sage scrub environments.

Range: It can be found from Laguna County to the Santa Ana Mountains.

Ecology: This plant requires high amounts of water, does best in moist soils, and needs at least some shade.

Ethnobotanical Info: This plant is used for its fragrance. Native Americans also used it for pediatric purposes.


Collinsia heterophylla Buist ex Graham

Common Name: Chinese Houses

Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowering Time: March- June

Fruiting Time: Late Spring to late Summer

Habitat: These plans tend to grow in low elevation, shaded chaparral, coastal sage scrub, and in oak woodlands

Range: They are found mostly in Southern California.

Ecology: They do well in shady places and moist soils.

Keckiella cordifolia (Benth.) Straw

Common Name: Heart Leaved Penstemon

Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowering Time: May- July

Fruiting Time: Mid. Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant grows on dry bushy slopes, and canyons below 4000ft.

Range: It is found on the south coast from San Luis Obispo down to Cismontane California, and Baja California

Ecology: This plant is drought tolerant, so it can tolerate dry soils, and does well in shade and partial shade.

Ethnobotanical Info: Native Americans used this plant as a wash. Also, poultice made from the plant was applied to fistulas and ulcers to relieve soreness and inflammation.


Penstemon eatonii A. Gray

Common Name: Firecracker Beardtongue

Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowering Time: May- August

Fruiting Time: Early Summer to Mid. Fall.

Habitat: This plant grows on dry, rocky slopes at low elevations in chaparral, Juniper/Pinyon woodland and Yellow Pine forests.

Range: This plant is found in southwest California, from San Bernadino to the Desert Mountains.

Ecology: This plant can tolerate full to partial sun, and does well on rocky, dry, well-drained soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: Native Americans used this plant for a variety of medicinal purposes. The Navajo Indians, for example, used this plant to aid spider bites. The Shoshoni Indians used the decoction of the whole plant as a wash for relieving pain and healing burns.


Penstemon heterophyllus (Lindl.) ssp. australis (Munz & I.M. Johnst.)

Common Name: Foothill Beardtongue

Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowering Time: April- July

Fruiting Time: Early Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is commonly found on dry hillsides in grasslands, chaparral environments and forest openings.

Range: This plant ranges all over California from Humboldt County to San Diego California.

Ecology: This plant does well in full to partial sun, and on rocky, dry to semi-dry soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: Native Americans of Northern California commonly used it for medicinal purposes.


Penstemon labrosus (A. Gray) Hook. F.

Common Name: Southern Scarlet Penstemon

Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowering Time: July- August

Fruiting Time: Early to mid. Fall.

Habitat: This plant grows on dry wooded slopes and benches commonly under Ponderosa and Jefferey Pine communities at elevations between 5000 and 10,000 ft.

Range: This plant goes from the mountains of Ventura to the San Diego coast.

Ecology: This plant needs partial shade and well-drained soils to grow. It is tolerant of a wide range of climatic conditions including heavy drought.

Ethnobotanical Info: This plant has been used medicinally to combat chills and fevers.

Family: Poaceae

Festuca rubra L.

Common Name: Red Fescue

Family: Poaceae

Flowering Time: April- September

Fruiting Time: Early Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is commonly found on grasslands, subalpine forests, sand dunes, but is found predominantly in prairies, meadows, and fields.

Range: This grass is found all throughout California from the North and West Sierra Nevadas, to the Cascade ranges, and on the Transverse ranges.

Ecology: This grass can tolerate full sun to partial shade; it does best in clay, loamy soils, but is tolerant of a wide range of soils, and has a medium tolerance to drought.


Muhlenbergia rigens (Benth.) Hitchc.

Common Name: Deer Grass

Family: Poaceae

Flowering Time: April- September

Fruiting Time: Early Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is found in dry chaparral, grasslands, and oak woodlands.

Range: This plant has a wide range. It is found on the Sierra Nevada foothills, on the south coast and transverse ranges, in the Central Valley and in the San Bernadino Mountains.

Ecology: It grows in full sun and is found in seasonally wet to dry soils, but is adapted to grow in drier conditions.

Ethnobotanical Info: Native Americans used this plant to make baskets.

Nassella cernua (Stebbins & Love) Barkworth

Common Name: Nodding Needlegrass

Family: Poaceae

Flowering Time: April- May

Fruiting Time: Late Spring to mid. Summer.

Habitat: This plant is found in grasslands, chaparral, and Juniper Woodlands.

Range: Found on the North and South Coast ranges, in the Sierra foothills and in the Eastern San Francisco Bay

Ecology: This plant grows in full sun, is drought tolerant and is found on rocky we-drained soils.


Gilia tricolor Benth.

Common Name: Bird’s Eyes

Family: Polemoniaceae

Flowering Time: April- May

Fruiting Time: Late Spring to mid. Summer.

Habitat: This plant is found commonly in foothill woodlands and grassy valleys.

Range: It can be found on the Sierra Nevada foothills, the coastal ranges, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Central Valley.

Ecology: This plant does best in full sun, and on dry, well-drained soils.


Eriogonum unbellatum var. polyanthum Torrey

Common Name: Sulfur Buckwheat

Family: Polygonaceae

Flowering Time: June-September

Fruiting Time: Mid. Fall to early winter.

Habitat: This plant lives in dry mountain slopes and ridges, in woodlands and pine forest.

Range: This plant is found throughout the entire state.

Ecology: This plant does well in full sun to partial shade, and tolerates dry, acidic and well-drained soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: Different Indian groups used this plant for different medicinal purposes. The Kawaiisu used mashed flowers as a salve for gonorrheal sores, the Mahuna used the flowers for ptomaine poisoning, and the Navajo Kayenta used it as a disinfectant.


Aquilegia Formosa Fisch ex. DC.

Common Name: Crimson Columbine

Family: Ranunculaceae

Flowering Time: April-August

Fruiting Time: Early Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant lives where there is moisture such as, stream banks and seeps.

Range: This plant ranges from San Bernadino to Shasta County.

Ecology: This plant enjoys partial shade and does well in a moist, sandy loam soil.

Ethnobotanical Info: The nectar of the Columbine flowers was eaten as a sweet treat by the Gitxsan and Wetsuweten peoples. Natives of California boiled the plant before it flowered and ate it as a green. Native Americans also used to ground the plant’s toxic seeds into a paste to get rid of head lice.


Ranunculus californicus Benth.

Common Name: Buttercup

Family: Ranunculaceae

Flowering Time: Winter-Spring

Fruiting Time: Early to late Spring.

Habitat: This herb does well in a number of habitats including grasslands, oak woodlands, mixed evergreen, and coniferous forests.

Range: It is found throughout California’s Floristic Province.

Ecology: This plant does well in part shade and in moist loamy clay soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: Once the poison is boiled out, the roots and leaves of the plant are edible. The yellow from the flower heads is used to create dyes, and their seeds can be ground into meal for bread.


Ceanothus cuneatus Nutt.

Common Name: Buckbrush

Family: Rhamnaceae

Flowering Time: June-July

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: This plant is found in chaparral environments.

Range: This plant is found from Oregon all the way down to Baja California, on Coast Ranges and in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

Ecology: This plant is extremely drought tolerant and enjoys lots of sun, but it can also tolerate very cold weather and is not partial to any one type of soil.

Ethnobotanical Info: The shoots of this plant were used by Indigenous Californians to make baskets.


Physocarpus capitatus (Pursh) Kuntze

Common Name: Ninebark

Family: Rosaceae

Flowering Time: May-July

Fruiting Time: Late Summer to early Fall.

Habitat: You’ll find this plant on moist streams and riverbanks and on north facing slopes below 4500ft.

Range: This plant ranges all over California.

Ecology: It does best in part shade and moist soils. It is sometimes drought tolerant and found in dry soils as well.

Ethnobotanical Info: The Nuu-chah-nulth tribe used the wood of this plant to make bows for children and knitting needles. The Nuxalk, Coast Salish, and Kwakwakawaw used tea made from the bark as a pergative and laxative.


Heuchera maxima Greene

Common Name: Island Alumroot

Family: Saxifragaceae

Flowering Time: February-April

Fruiting Time: Late Spring to mid. Summer.

Habitat: This plant lives on canyon walls and cliffs.

Range: This plant is found only on the Channel Islands.

Ecology: This plant does best in shade with little morning sun and in dry sandy to clay soils.

Ethnobotanical Info: This plant was used as a veterinary aid, to heal saddle sores on horses. It also had a number of anthropogenic medicinal purposes, such as helping with gastrointestinal issues and purgative purposes. A concoction of the root was also used as a mouthwash for teething children



Verbena lilacina

Common Name: Lilac Verbena

Family: Verbenaceae

Flowering Time: March-October

Fruiting Time: Late Spring to early Winter.

Habitat: This plant lives on mountain slopes, silty flats, narrow ravines and in the maritime desert.

Range: You can find this plant in Baja California and Cedros Island.

Ecology: This plant does best in sun to partial shade and in silt, sand or rocky soils that are semi dry.



Rhus integrifolia (Nutt.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex. Rothr.

Common Name: Lemonadeberry

Family: Anacardiaceae

Flowering time: February- May

Fruiting time: Early to late spring

Habitat: This plant lives on ocean bluffs, canyons & dry places below 2500 ft.

Range: This plant occurs in Southern California to adjacent Mexico

Ecology: It can tolerate sun, part shade and occurs in dry soils.

Ethnobotanical information: When the fruit of this plant is soaked in hot or cold water for 10-30 minutes it makes refreshing lemonade, however, when boiled the fruit of this plant releases tannic acids and makes the drink astringent. The fruit can also be roasted and made inter a coffee substitute. The leaves can be chewed to lessen thirst.


Asclepias californica Greene

Common Name: California milkweed

Family: Apocynaceae

Flowering time: April-July

Fruiting time: Late fall early summer

Habitat: This plant can be found on dry, grassy/brushy hillsides that are 600–7,000 (182-2,134 m).

Range: They range from Central California down to the south, but are not found in the Central Valley.

Ecology: The plant prefers light (sandy) soils, requires well-drained soil but can handle moist soil. It can grow in nutrient poor soil with different pH levels, and can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.

Ethnobotanical information: When the plant is dried and in a powder form it can be used to treat spider bites. The milk from the plant, once boiled into a thick substance is also used as a chewing gum.


Asclepias fascicularis Decne.

Common Name: Narrow Leaf Milkweed

Family: Apocynaceae

Flowering time: June-September

Fruiting time: Mid. to late summer

Habitat: Occurs in a variety of dry to moist places below 7000 ft.; uncommon in the desert

Range: This plant extends from Northeast Washington and Idaho south to Baja California.

Ecology: The plant prefers light (sandy) soils, requires well-drained soil but can handle moist soil. It can grow in nutrient poor soil with different pH levels, and can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.


Aristolochia californica Torr.

Common Name: California Pipevine

Family: Aristolochiaceae

Flowering time: Late Winter/Early Spring

Fruiting time: Early to late spring

Habitat: This plant grows on shrubby stream banks; seeps; mixed evergreen forest, below 1500 ft.

Range: This plant is found on the California Coast Ranges from Monterey and the Sierra foothills to Sacramento.

Ecology: This grows in shade in the central Sierras in moist places and it is commonly associated with Tellima grandiflora, Heuchera micrantha and Umbellularia californica. It will carpet the ground and grow into the trees if it is in favorable conditions.


Achillea millefolium L.

Common name: Yarrow

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: April- September

Fruiting time: Late Spring to Later Summer

Habitat: This plant grows in low to high elevations. It grows in most types of grassland habitats ranging anywhere from dry to moist areas.

Range: Found throughout California and the West Coast. Also found on the East Coast, Florida, and British Columbia.

Ecology: Prefers full sun or partial shade. It is tolerant of all types of soil.

Ethnobotanical information: Yarrow is one of the most popular herbs used today in herbal medicine. Abnaki Indians used yarrow leaves and flowers to cure colds, sore throats, and coughs. Roots were used for toothaches. Yarrow was used to flavor beer before the importation of hops.


Artemisia californica Less.

Common Name: California Sagebrush

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: June-November

Fruiting time: Late Summer to Mid. Winter

Habitat: This plant is found on oastal scrublands; semi-alkaline flats; dry slopes. It grows in chaparral, and dry foothill communities, from sea level to 800 m (2600 ft.). It is native to California and Baja California.

Range: This plant is found in Central West and Southwest California, and also extends into Baja California.

Ecology: This plant thrives in full sun and prefers to grow on west and north-facing slopes. It needs little to no water and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. It relies on wildfires for seed germination, but maintains a crown, which can sprout from after a fire. It is claimed to be allelopathic, secreting chemicals into the ground to inhibit other plants from growing near and around the shrub.

Ethnobotanical information: Although Artemisia californica is not a true sage, it can be used in cooking as a spice and can also be made into a tea. In the past the Cahuilla Indians used it in their sweathouses for various medicinal uses, including colds, coughs, asthma, and flushing out toxins. Women of the Cahuilla and Tongva tribes used the plant to alleviate menstrual cramps, ease labor pains, and to regulate the menstrual cycle, and help post-natal recovery.


Aster chilensis Nees

Common Name: Coast Aster

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: Year Round

Fruiting time: Year Round

Habitat: This plant lives in grasslands as well as salt marshes, but is common in disturbed areas.

Range: This plant has a very wide distribution in Northwestern California, Central Western California, South Coast, and on the Channel Islands.

Ecology: Typically grows in moist soils and can survive in full sun to light shade.


Baccharis pilularis DC.

Common Name: Coyote brush

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: July-October

Fruiting time: Late Summer to Early Winter

Habitat: This plant is found in wooded and scrubby coastal hillsides & canyons below 2000 ft.

Range: It is found in coastal areas of California up to Tillamook Oregon.

Ecology: Prefers sun or part shade, requires dry sandy soils and is drought tolerant. Can tolerate high amounts of CaCO3.

Ethnobotanical information: An infusion of the plant has been used as a general remedy or panacea.


Grindelia camporum Greene

Common Name: Great Valley gumweed

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: May-October

Fruiting time: Late Spring to early Winter

Habitat: This plant lives on dry banks, rocky fields and plains, and on low alkaline ground in California.

Range: It ranges from San Francisco to Los Angeles and may extend into Nevada.

Ecology: The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy), well-drained, nutritionally poor soil and can handle various pH levels. It is shade intolerant and drought tolerant.

Ethnobotanical information: Native North American Indians as well as modern herbalists use this plant to treat bronchial asthma. The dried leaves and flower tops are also used as an anti-asthmatic, anti-inflammatory, anti-pasmodic, expectorant, and as a sedative. It is also used to treat burns, poison ivy rash, dermatitis, eczema and skin eruptions.


Berberis aquifolium Pursh

Common Name: Oregon grape

Family: Berberidaceae

Flowering time: April- June

Fruiting time: Spring- Early Summer

Habitat: Slopes, canyons, coniferous forest, oak woodland, chaparral.

Range: All throughout California.

Ecology: Prefers partial shade and moist soil.

Ethnobotanical information: This plants root was used to make yellow dye and its berries were used to make a lavender dye. Its roots were also used to make medicines for coughs, blood purification, pain relief, and headaches. Berries are edible and high in vitamin C. Native Americans used it for stomach trouble, hemorrhages, and tuberculosis. They also used them as a panacea, a tonic, a gargle, eyewash, and as a blood purifier. Leaves and roots were used in steam baths to treat yellow fever and the tips of stems were used to treat stomachaches.


Erysimum franciscanum Rossbach

Common Name: San Francisco wallflower

Family: Brassicaceae

Flowering time: March-June

Fruiting time: Mid Spring to Early Summer

Habitat: Prefers open spaces found in coastal scrub and on coastal bluffs.

Range: It is a relatively rare herb endemic to the San Francisco Bay Area.  It is found in coastal areas from Sonoma to northern Santa Cruz counties.

Ecology: Usually found on unconsolidated, gravely soil, including on disintegrating serpentine soils.  However, this is not a requirement as it is also found on granitic outcrops and in sandy soil.


Phacelia bolanderi (Lindl.) Douglas ex Torr. & A. Gray

Common Name: California Honeysuckle

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Flowering time: June- October

Fruiting time: Mid. Summer to early Winter

Habitat: This plant is found mostly on stream banks and slopes. It is also found on mesic to dry forests in the lowland, such as oak woodlands and within the montane zone.

Range: It ranges from Western North American shrub (vine) and is distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran regions.

Ecology: It is tolerant of clayey soils with moderate nitrogen levels. It prefers sun but can tolerate shade, and occurs in submontane to montane areas where the climate is maritime to submaritime and summers are dry. It is found sporadically on water-shedding sites and also climbs up shrubs and trees in open­ canopy Douglas-fir forests.


Lonicera involucrata (Richardson) Banks ex Spreng.

Common Name: Twinberry Honeysuckle

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Flowering time: March- August

Fruiting time: Late Spring to late Summer

Habitat: These plants are found in open woodlands.

Range: This plant is found in Southern California along the coast.

Ecology: This plant is tolerant of full sun to full shade and it does best in moist soils.

Ethnobotanical information: The bark and leaves can be used to suppress coughs and to cure itchy skin. The leaves can be chewed or rubbed directly on the irritated area. Berries are poisonous; however, the Quileute Indians would chew the leaves as a cure for nausea if they were poisoned by other means.


Arctostaphylos viscida Parry

Common Name: White Leaf Manzanita

Family: Ericaceae

Flowering time: December-February

Fruiting time: Late Winter to early Spring

Habitat: This plant is found mostly on slopes.

Range: It is found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada from Kern County north to Butte County,

California, and in the North Coast Ranges, Klamath Ranges, and Siskiyou Mountains from Lake County, California north to Josephine County, Oregon.

Ecology: This plant has several morphological adaptations to deal with fire. For example, the dormant seeds stored in the soil are stimulated to germinate by fire. Furthermore, during drought, the branches die-back contributing to fuel loading and continuous shedding of bark adds additional fuel. Also, the surface-to-volume ratio of leaves and twigs are perfectly shaped for maximum air circulation – resulting in more complete burning of the plant and adding to fire intensity. Lastly, the leaves and twigs contain flammable oils and terpenes.

Ethnobotanical information: Leaves and bark have been used as an astringent and are useful in the treatments of stomachaches and for urinary tract irritation. All parts of the plant are a source of ethyl gallate, which has exhibited strong antibiotic activity. The bark is a rich source of tannins and has been used medicinally, as dye and a preservative.


Lupinus albifrons Benth.

Common Name: Purple Bush Lupine

Family: Fabaceae

Flowering time: April-May

Fruiting time: Late Spring to early summer

Habitat: This plant lives in a variety of sandy to rocky places below 5000 feet.

Range: It is found in North and Central California Coast Ranges & Sierras.

Ecology: This plant needs full sun, good drainage, and can tolerate some water but thrives in dryer conditions. It is cold tolerant to up to -10oF.


Quercus berberidifolia Liebm.

Common Name: Scrub Oak

Family: Fagaceae

Flowering time: Spring.

Fruiting time: Ripens one season late in the late summer early fall.

Habitat: This plant is native to chaparral environments.

Range: It is the most common scrub oak of central and southern California, and found mostly at mid-elevations in the Coast Ranges. It also occurs in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California.

Ecology: It is adapted to frequent fires.


Ribes malvaceum Sm.

Common Name: Chaparral Currant

Family: Grossulariaceae

Flowering time: October- March

Fruiting time: Early Winter to Mid. Spring

Habitat: This plant lives on Slopes, in Chapparal, and Foothill Woodland.

Range: This plant extends all throughout California.

Ecology: It likes full sun and soil with good drainage.

Ethnobotanical information: The Luiseno Indians used this plant’s roots as a toothache remedey. Its berries are edible and its leaves make a distinctly flavored tea.


Monardella villosa Benth.

Common Name: Coyote Mint

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering time: Summer

Fruiting time: Late Summer

Habitat: This plant lives in Chaparral and Southern Oak Woodland

Range: It is found from Western California up to Oregon.

Ecology: This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does well in well-drained soils and is good and attracts butterflies.

Ethnobotanical information: Cahuilla Indians infused the leaves to ease stomachaches. Costanoan Indians used the plant as a respiratory aid. It was also used as a cure for sore throats.


Eriogonum fasciculatum Benth.

Common Name: California buckwheat

Family: Polygonaceae

Flowering time: May- October

Fruiting time: Late Spring to late Fall

Habitat: These plants are found in Chaparral environments with very hot and dry conditions.

Range: This plant is distributed throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central and Southwestern California, throughout the California Deserts, Arizona, and Utah.

Ecology: This plant likes a lot of sun and dry, rocky soils.

Ethnobotanical information: This plant was used by the Coahuilla and Costanoan Indians for headaches, stomachaches, and urinary problems. Kawaiisu Indians used the wood to pierce ears.

Bees and butterflies love this shrub.


Holodiscus discolor (Pursh) Maxim.

Common Name: Ocean Spray

Family: Rosaceae

Flowering time: May- August.

Fruiting time: Late Spring to late Summer

Habitat: This plant is found mostly on rocky north-facing slopes and on the moist edges of woodlands.

Range: This is only found in the Pacific Northwest along the California Coast Ranges.

Ecology: This plant does well in full sun or partial shade. Can tolerate moist, dry, or rocky soils.

Ethnobotanical information: This plant’s seeds can be used for treating various diseases including smallpox, chickenpox, and black measles. The flowers can be used for stomach troubles. The wood can be used to make hunting and cooking tools. Powdered dried leaves were used for sores and wounds.


Mimulus aurantiacus Curtis

Common Name: Sticky Monkey Flower

Family: Phrymaceae

Flowering time: March- June

Fruiting time: Summer

Habitat: Rocky hillsides, cliffs, canyon slopes, borders of chaparral, and open forest.

Range: This plant has a wide range and is found all throughout California.

Ecology: It does well in both full sun and shade. It is not particular to a type of soil and it tolerates a wide range of soil pH levels.

Ethnobotanical information: This plants leaves can be used to cure stomachaches, as well as kidney and bladder problems. Pomo Indians use this flower with a water mixture as eyewash.


Lasthenia californica D.C. ex Lindl. ssp. Macrantha (A. Gray) R. Chan

Common Name: Perennial goldfields

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: March- May

Fruiting time: Mid to late Spring

Habitat: This plant lives on open masses and in grasslands.

Range: This plant is found along the coast of California from Humboldt to Mendocino.

Ecology: This plant requires lots of sun and does well in dry clays and sandy soils.


Lessingia filaginifolia (Hook. & Arn.) M.A. Lane

Common Name: California aster

Family: Asteraceae

Flowering time: Summer

Fruiting time: Late Summer

Habitat: This plant lives in coastal scrub, oak woodland, and grasslands.

Range: It is found throughout the North Coast, Klamath Range, Outer North Coast Range, Southern Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, Central West, Southwest.

Ecology: Tolerates a wide range of light, drought, and wind conditions.


Arctostaphylos morroensis Wiesl. & B. Schreib.

Common Name: Morro Manzanita

Family: Ericaceae

Flowering time: December- March

Fruiting time: Late Winter to late Spring

Habitat: This plant lives on slopes ridges and is most common in Chaparrel.

Range: This plant is found in the San Bruno and Montara Mountains.

Ecology: It thrives in sun near the coast on the inner sand dunes. Further inland it prefers afternoon shade.


Ribes speciosum Pursh

Common Name: Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry

Family: Grossulariaceae

Flowering time: January- May

Fruiting time: Early to late Spring

Habitat: This plant lives in brushy, shaded canyons below 1500 ft.

Range: This plant is found along the coast of central and south California.

Ecology: This plant does best in partial shade and well-drained soils.


Ribes viburnifolium A. Gray

Common Name: Catalina perfume

Family: Grossulariaceae

Flowering time: February- April

Fruiting time: Early to late Spring

Habitat: This plant lives in shrubby canyon areas.

Range: This plant is found on Santa Catalina Island and in Baja California.

Ecology: This plant does well with little water, in partial shade, and in well-drained soils.


Iris douglasiana Herb.

Common Name: Douglas Iris

Family: Iridaceae

Flowering time: March- May

Fruiting time: Mid Spring to early Summer

Habitat: This plant lives in open woodlands, grassy slopes, and open fields.

Range: It is found along California’s Coastal region from Santa Barbara to Oregon.

Ecology: This plant is tolerant of light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and of varying pH. It is tolerates both semi-shade and no shade. It requires dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought and maritime exposure.


Sisyrinchium bellum S. Watson

Common Name: Blue-eyed Grass

Family: Iridaceae

Flowering time: March- May

Fruiting time: Early to late Spring

Habitat: This plant lives in a variety of places, but is most common in open, grassy places below 3000 ft.

Range: This plant is found in CA west of the Cascades to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ecology: This plant is found in partial shade and various soils.


Juncus patens E. Meyer

Common Name: Blue-green Rush

Family: Juncaceae

Flowering time: May-November

Fruiting time: Late Spring to early Winter

Habitat: This plant lives in seeps and springs.

Range: This plant is found along coastal ranges from Oregon to the Channel Islands, where it grows in seasonally wet or marshy places.

Ecology: This plant is tolerant of sun to moderate shade, and is drought tolerant once established.


Salvia sonomensis Greene

Common Name: Creeping sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering time: May-June

Fruiting time: Late summer

Habitat: This plant is native in San Luis Obispo County and lives on windswept ridges in serpentine soils and in red clay on north slopes.

Range: This plant is found along the Coast Ranges and in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Ecology: This plant grows best in shade/part shade and under shrubs. It requires good to fair drainage and is cold tolerant to 0oF or less.


Allium unifolium Kellogg

Common Name: Pink onion

Family: Liliaceae

Flowering time: May-June

Fruiting time: Late Spring to Mid Summer

Habitat: This plant lives in moist soils in pine, mixed evergreen forest and along the coastal ranges of California

Range: This plant ranges from Central to Northern California Coast.

Ecology: This plant prefers full sun. This plant can tolerate dry conditions when dormant but needs soil moisture while actively growing. It does best on dry, clay soils on or near sea cliffs.

Ethnobotanical information: Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been documented for this species, members of this genus are in general healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds, which gives them their onion flavor, and when added to the diet on a regular basis can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. They also act as a tonic to the digestive system and strengthen the circulatory system.


Festuca californica Vasey

Common Name: California Fescue

Family: Poaceae

Flowering time: March- July

Fruiting time: Mid Spring to late Summer

Habitat: This plant lives in Mixed Evergreen Forest, Douglas-Fir Forest, Yellow Pine Forest, and Chaparral.

Range: It is found throughout California and Oregon.

Ecology: It grows best in full sun, but will tolerate some shade.



Salvia mellifera E. Greene

Common Name: Black sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering time: April- July

Fruiting time: Late Spring to late Summer

Habitat: This plant lives on dry slopes and flats below 2000 ft. It is found in coastal sage scrub and chaparral.

Range: This plant is common in Southern California along coastal ranges.

Ecology: This plant thrives in sun and can tolerate different soils.

Ethnobotanical information: An infusion of this plant has been used in the treatment of heart complaints. They can be chewed to treat gas pains. A poultice of the heated leaves can be applied to treat ear pains and sore throats. A decoction of the plant can be used to treat chronic bronchial coughs and in the treatment of paralysis.


Salvia spathacea E. Greene

Common Name: Hummingbird sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering time: March- May

Fruiting time: Mid. To late Spring

Habitat: This plant lives in open or shaded slopes below 2000 ft.

Range: It is found in Central and Southern California Coast Ranges.

Ecology: It does best in partial shade and moist soil.


Salvia leucophylla E. Greene

Common Name: Purple sage

Family: Lamiaceae

Flowering time: May-July

Fruiting time: Late Spring to late Sumer

Habitat: This plant lives mostly on dry slopes.

Range: This plant is found from Santa Maria to Baja.

Ecology: This plant requires full sun and once established is very drought tolerant.