Gardening with California Native Plants
California has the richest flora of any state in the nation, and one of the most interesting and diverse in the world. Of the 6300 plants that are native to California, over one-third are endemic -- they grow naturally nowhere else. Our flora is under increasing pressures from urbanization, agriculture, recreation, pollution, and introduced plants and animals. Biological diversity is essential to the health of our planet, and the great variety of California's plant species is a critical component. Thoughtful conservation planning depends on education and an understanding of our flora. Growing California natives is one way to develop an appreciation of its beauty and diversity.
Before choosing plants for your garden, observe them in their natural habitats, and in preserves, botanical gardens, and home gardens. Compare the natural conditions where they grow in the wild with those in your yard. Groups plants with similar needs. Combinations of plants in nature can be an inspiration for your own garden.