Plant Life You'll Find at Our Gardens

Acacia stenophylla Shoestring Acacia

This Australian native was introduced to the desert southwest decades ago, but gained wide popularity only in the last 10 to 15 years. Shoestring Acacia is reasonably fast growing, maturing to a height of 20 to 40 feet with a 15 to 20 foot spread. The trees are moderately drought tolerant, but cannot be naturalized to subsist on the annual rainfall in the desert southwest. Shoestring Acacia grows well in full sun or partial shade, and is cold hardy to about 18° F

Caesalpinia pulcherrima Mexican Bird of Paradise

The crowning glory of the Mexican Paradise is its beautiful flowers that are held aloft above the large shrub. Drought tolerant once established, it does best if watered once a week in spring through fall. Varying shades of red, orange and yellow appear on each flower, making these shrubs highly desirable in landscaping. The flowers are a huge favorite of hummingbirds. Flowers appear in April through October in certain areas.

Prosopis Chilensis Chilean Mesquite

Chilean Mesquite is the classic desert tree with a wide canopy of soft, bright green, fern-like foliage. They are known for being extremely drought tolerant and easy to grow in all landscape styles. Chilean Mesquite trees are also known for their quick growth and cooling shade.

Aloe vera barbadensis Medicinal Aloe

Aloe vera barbadensis is a stemless, or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 24-39 inches tall, spreading by offsets. peeling the outer green skin off the leaf yields a clear, mucous-like fluid with many healing properties. All species of Aloe vera yield this fluid, but the species that seems to be the most effective and widely used is Aloe vera barbadensis. This fluid may be used on the skin, and taken orally. Some of Aloe Vera's healing properties are used as an astringent, fungicide and antiperspirant among others.

Aloe arborescens Krantz Aloe

Krantz Aloe is a large multi-headed sprawling succulent. Typical height for this species reaches 6-9 feet high. Its leaves are succulent and green with a slight blue tint, armed with small spiked along its edges and are arranged in rosettes situated at the end of branches. Flowers are arranged in a type of inflorescence called a raceme. The racemes are not branched, but two to several can sprout from each rosette. Flowers are cylindrical in shape and are a vibrant red orange color.

Brachychiton populneus Bottle Tree

Brachychiton populneus is a relatively slow growing tree that sometimes becomes seme-deciduous during early summer. it has a pyramidal shape when young. As it ages, its overall shape is narrow, growing wider with age. It has very dense foliage. When young, the base of the trunk has a bottle shape, thus the name. It has a dark brown hard woody seed pod, about 3 - 4 inches by 1 inch, containing round yellow seeds. The hairs on the seed will cause itching and have been used as itching powder.

Olea europaea wilsonii Fruitless olive

Olea europaea wilsonii (Non-Fruiting) olive is a Mediterranean native seemingly tailor-made for California landscapes, where water is precious and heat is expected. This evergreen olive is not like other 'wilsonii' varieties in the industry and is distinguished by its non-fruiting custom. Topping out at about 25 feet tall and wide, it has a lovely open form that appeals to landscape architects and contractors seeking a less densely foliated olive.

Lantana montevidensis Trailing Lantana

Popular ground cover prized for its masses of beautiful colorful flowers that appear almost year-round. Very useful in containers and hanging baskets. Lantana is a vital nectar source for a wide range of butterflied and moths. This trailing species is native to much of South America and has naturalized all over the Southern United States, in particular Southern California.

Citrus paradisi Marsh Seedless Grapefruit

Discovered as a spontaneous seedling in 1860, this seedless variety was propagated in a Florida nursery, and Marsh soon became the most popular new cultivar to be planted. The fruit is almost completely round, very juicy and rich in flavor. Marsh is medium to late in the season, holds well on the tree, and keeps after harvest.

Prunus cerasifera Cherry Plum

Prunus cerasifera is commonly called Cherry Plum. It is native to western Asia. 'Krauter Vesuvius' is a purple-leaved cultivar that typically grows as a dense, upright-rooted tree 15-20' tall. It is a very popular ornamental landscape tree, in large part because of its showy purple foliage and its profuse spring bloom of pink flowers.

Tecoma stans Yellow Bells

Yellow trumpet bush is an attractive plant that is cultivated as an ornamental. It has sharply toothed, lance-shaped green leaves and bears large, showy, bright golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. It is drought-tolerant and grows well in warm climates. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Duranta erect Golden Dewdrop

The Duranta flowering plant (Duranta erecta) may reach up to 10ft. in height and flowers profusely from summer until the first heavy frost. The shrub-like plant is multi-stemmed and the branches are somewhat droopy. Orchid-like flowers may be light blue to light purple in color.

Ficus benjamina Ficus Tree

The weeping fig, also known as the Benjamin's fig of ficus tree. This tree adds a tropical flair to the landscape with its shiny, dark green and ovate leaves. These plants are also indoor plants. Ficus trees need lots of room to grow and plenty of water during hot summer days.

Parkinsonia aculeata Palo Verde

The name Palo Verde literally translated means "green stick" in Spanish, and is a very appropriate name. All parts of the tree from the leaves to the branches, limbs and trunk are green. The bark of the tree is green and can photosynthesize - something that in most plants, only leaves can do. This allows the leaves to be very small, which decreases water loss through evaporation and transpiration. The leaves can also be shed if extreme drought occurs. If months were associated with color, April would be yellow.

Pinus eldarica Mondale Pine

This evergreen tree provides sturdy wind protection to the home landscape as well as visually pleasing cones and green needled foliage. Mondale pines grow best in areas of the garden that provide full sun exposure and well-drained soil. These trees tolerate both acidity and alkalinity as well as clay soil and drought.

Gaura lindheimeri Butterfly Guava

This American wildflower is a bushy, clump-forming, vase-shaped perinnial with lance-shaped or spoon-shaped toothed leaves on slender, wand-like stems. Leaves may be occasionally spotted with maroon. White flowers open only a few at a time and fade slowly to pink, blooming from late spring to early autumn. Well-drained, fertile, moist soil is preferable, but it will tolerate drought and partial shade.

Ficus carica Fig Tree

The fig was one of the first plants ever to be cultivated by humans. Fossilized figs dating to 9400-9200 BC were found in an early Neolithic village in the Jordan Valley. In Southern California, the fruits ripen 4 1/2 to 6 months after flowers appear. You will have to share your tree with birds that flock in for a meal and partake of the fruits of your labor. This tree is a birder's dream, but a fruit picker's nightmare.

Citrus x paradisi Ruby Red Grapefruit

Ruby Red has an interior color that is twice as red as 'Henderson,' and its color persists throughout the season. 'Rio Red' has an overall reddish tinge on the peel and a lighter-colored halo in the flesh when viewed in cross-section. The biggest detriment of the 'Ruby Red,' is that its basic shape is more spherical than oblate and sheep-nosing of the stem end is a persistent problem. Watering should be slow and thorough; every couple of weeks would suffice in any but the most sandy soils.

Feijoa sellowiana Pineapple Guava

The feijoa is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that can reach 15 ft. high and 15 ft. wide. The bark is pale gray and the spreading branches are swollen at the nodes and white-hairy when young. In addition to the fruit it provides, the shrub also doubles handsomely as a landscape specimen. When planted close together, the shrubs make a nice hedge, screen, or wind-break. Feijoas can also be espaliered or trained as a small tree (20 to 25 ft. tall) with one or more trunks. The wood is dense, hard, and brittle.

Calliandra brevipees Pink Powder Puff

One look at the flowers and you'll know how the Pink Powder Puff Tree got its name. Slow growing mounding deciduous shrub can reach a height of 8-12 feet with equal spread. Likes full sun, plenty of water, and good drainage. Blooms usually in winder, 2-3" pink puffball flowers.

Schinus molle California Pepper

Schinus molle is a quick-growing, drought tolerant tree that sprouts to 50 feet tall and 16-33 feet wide. It is the largest of all Schinus species and potentially the longest lived. Schinus molle has been known in treating a variety of wounds and infections due to its antibacterian and antiseptic properties.

Ceratonia siliqua Carob Tree

Ceratonia siliqua have a lot to offer to the home landscape, given suitable growing conditions. This age-old tree has an interesting history as well as a number of uses. In the Bible, the carob tree is also called St. John's bean or locust bean in reference to the "locusts" eaten by John the Baptist, which were represented by the hanging pods or legumes of the plant.

Rosa iceberg White Shrub Rose

A popular shrub rose that has double white flowers, held in large clusters that are medium sized, open wide and then fall cleanly from the plant. The plant itself is a strong shrub that is bushy and well branched with smooth slender stems and glossy rich green foliage. 

Dasylirion longissimum Mexican Grass Tree

One of the very best accent plants, great architectural form used in containers or out in the landscape, displays wonderful shadows when illuminated by night lighting. This plant has flexible, smooth, leathery, needle-like leaves that are about 4' long. Mature specimens will slowly develop a trunk to 10 feet tall. Provide good drainage to prevent base rot.

Justicia spicigera Mexican Honeysuckle

This ever blooming shrub makes for year-round hummingbird bliss! Quickly growing to about 3’ tall by 5’ wide, it produces vivid orange flowers almost continuously, even blooming right through Winter! Drought tolerant and able to get by just fine with little-to-no maintenance, but it really does look best with a light pruning in Fall & regular water.

Citrus lisbon lemon Lisbon Lemon

This variety of lemon tree tolerates heat, cold and windy conditions as well as producing several crops each year, with the main harvest occurring in early spring. In cold winter areas, lemon trees are grown in containers where they can be brought indoors during cold weather. This variety of lemon tree starts producing juicy fruit in three years.

Citrus mexican lime Mexican Lime

Mexican lime is known by many names such as Key lime, Bartender’s lime, and West Indian lime. The trees are moderately-sized and bushy, almost shrub-like, and the leaves are distinctively aromatic when crushed.  Some selections are quite thorny. Mexican lime trees are sensitive to cold. The blossoms are pure white and fragrant. The fruits are small, approximately one and one-half inches in diameter, and almost round, with a thin, smooth, greenish-yellow rind at maturity that is especially fragrant. The flesh is greenish-yellow, seedy, and highly acidic, with a fine texture.  Once Mexican limes reach full maturity, usually in autumn to early winter, they drop from the tree.

Myoporum parvifolium Myoporum

Creeping myoporum is a spreading ground cover that forms a dense mat of foliage, making it a good choice for use in larger areas where you want green coverage but do not want to mow grass. Because it spreads over such a large area, creeping myoporum is best planted by itself rather than in a mixed bed. The semi-succulent leaves mean it will not withstand foot traffic. Its low water requirements make it a recommended ground cover in areas where water conservation is important.

Hesperaloe parviflora Red Yucca

A stemless succulent with clumps of arching and spreading grass-like foliage to 3 to 4 feet tall. The leathery long, narrow blue-green leaves have deep grooves and white fraying fibers along the margins and winter temperatures sometimes turn the foliage slightly purple. Clumps spread slowly to up to 6 feet wide. In mid-summer the clusters of rose-pink flowers are borne on tall red flower stalks to 5 feet long, that arch up and outward. These flowers, opening from the bottom up, are quite attractive to hummingbirds.

Hibiscus syiacus Santa Ana Hibiscus

Among the showiest flowering plants in the western garden. Glossy green leaves on a upright shrub growing 3-5 foot tall and wide. Very showy medium single flowers edged in orange bloom throughout a warm season. Can withstand temperatures to 30* F. Needs excellent drainage and heat to thrive and bloom well. Give regular water. Makes a great house plant.

Nandina domestica nana Heavenly Bamboo Nana

This unique variety forms a clumping mound of cup-shaped multi-colored leaves that exhibit a wonderful blend of green and purplish-red throughout the warmer months intensifying to more vibrant shades of deep-purple and red in the cooler months of fall and winter. This variety rarely if ever flowers. Well suited as an accent border or massed groundcover and does well in containers. Prefers well-drained soil regular watering and a sun to moderate shade exposure.

Phlomis fruticosa Jerusalem Sage

 A large, multi-stemmed, broad shrub growing to about 4 feet tall and wide with 2 to 3 inch long lance-shaped, soft woolly-gray leaves that are white beneath. The 1 inch long bright lemon-yellow woolly flower are in whorls on erect stems from spring through summer. Plant in full sun to light shade. Drought tolerant and cold tolerant.

Schinus molle standard California Pepper

 A graceful, bright green, weeping, evergreen tree with a dark, gnarled trunks. The leaves are divided into many narrow leaflets. Whitish yellow flowers bloom in summer and produces red berries in the fall and winter. Tolerates many adverse conditions, like poor soil, wind and drought.

Stipa tenuissima Mexican Feather Grass

 No other grass exhibits quite the refinement of texture as this species. Its bright green foliage resembles delicate filaments that arise in elegant, vase-like clumps and spill outward like a soft fountain. All summer it bears a profusion of feathery panicles, which mature from foamy-green to blonde. 

Salix babylonica Weeping Willow

 This graceful giant is known for its open crown of wispy, ground-sweeping branches and long, slender leaves. Often seen as one of the first indications of spring, the weeping willow’s yellow twigs and green foliage appear early in the season sometimes as early as February.

Rosmarinus o prostrata Prostrate Rosemary

The 'Prostratus' grows to a height of 2-3' with a spread to 8'. Its flowers are pale, lavender-blue in color, and the leaves are needle-like with a dark, blue-green color. This plant makes a good ground cover, and its leaves can be used as seasoning in cooking.

Rose carpet Flower Carpet Rose

Flower Carpet roses are also drought and low-water tolerant. These roses have a two-tier root system which allows their surface roots to use any available water near the surface and, once established, their tap roots seek out any lower level water in drought conditions.

Pyracantha graberi staked Firethorn Vine

With its lustrous dark green foliage, profuse white bloom and abundant supply of red berries, Graber's Pyracantha is nice addition to any landscape where it can be trained to form a beautiful espalier that offers year round interest.

Prunus caroliniana Carolina Cherry

The naturally upright conical shape is dense with dark green, lustrous foliage held on brown thorn less stems, which exude the scent of maraschino cherries when broken. These evergreens grow rapidly and produce a seasonal white spring flower.

Citrus dancy tangerine Dancy Tangerine

Easily peeled, tasty red-orange fruit covers this dwarf tree in winter. As a landscape feature it offers year round glossy foliage and fragrant flowers. Makes a superb patio container specimen. Thrives in heat and humidity. Dancy are often called the Christmas Tangerine. You won’t find this on your supermarket shelf, though.

Erigeron karvinskianus Santa Barbara Daisy

This is a trailing groundcover that is beautiful cascading over walls or pots. It spreads 3-5 feet wide and grows 1-2 feet tall. The small white daisies with a touch of pink bloom almost year-round. It looks its best in a cool spot with sun to light shade.

Quercus virginiana South Live Oak

 Southern live oaks are majestic trees that are emblems of the South. When given enough room to grow, their sweeping limbs plunge toward the ground before shooting upward, creating an impressive array of branches.  An open-grown live oak is a massive, picturesque, wide-spreading tree with magnificent horizontal and arching branches that form a broad, rounded canopy. A squat, tapering trunk (larger in diameter than that of any other oak) supports the huge, irregular limbs which often rest their elbows on the ground.