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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Leaves on CA Native Plants Fight Drought

San Nicolas Island buckwheat
Despite the drought, you can still have green landscaping in California if you go native. Take a minute and appreciate the variety of leaves among our native plants.


These natives are green and healthy even at the end of a dry summer. 
CA coast redwood

How do they do it?  Adaptations to their leaves help them avoid moisture loss. 

Some leaves are fuzzy with tiny filaments that help break of the sun's pounding rays. A velvety leaf also reduces air movement across the surface, thereby reducing transpiration of moisture.

Waxy leaves help seal in moisture, also reducing transpiration. 

San Nicolas Island chamise
Narrow leaves reduce surface area exposed to the sun. Some plants like the fairy duster (Calliandra) respond to direct sunlight by closing up their leaves to further reduce exposure. When the sun is less severe, the narrow leaves unfurl and open wide.

sword fern
Many California native plants have evolved with combinations of these adaptations making them successful drought survivors and good choices for planting in yards.

Here is a list of the plants as they appear in the video:
  • hollyleaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ilicifolia) more on CA native cherry
  • ceanothus (Ceanothus variety of species) flowers in the spring
  • white sage (Salvia apiana)
  • San Nicolas Island buckwheat (Eriogonum grande timorum)
  • manzanita (Arctostaphylos variety of species)
  • hollyleaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ilicifolia
  • coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)
  • toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) more on toyon
  • lemonadeberry (Rhus integrifolia)
  • penstemon (Penstemon variety of species)
  • prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica)
  • San Nicolas Island chamise (Adenostoma fasciculaton 'Nicolas') See more of San Nicolas Island
  • pink fairduster (Calliandra eriophylla)
  • sword fern (Polystichium munitum)
  • CA coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
  • giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
  • Santa Rosa Island torrey pine (Pinus torreyana insularis)
  • western sycamore (Platanus racemosa)
  • mallow (Sphaeralcea variety of species)

See how native plants create habitat in a backyard

For more California Native plants see:
Visit Malibu Legacy Park - Hidden Gardens of L.A. #2
Visit Pierce College Botanical Garden - Hidden Gardens of L.A. #3
Visit Conejo Valley Botanical Garden - Hidden Gardens of L.A. #4

for weekly 1-minute videos of the natural world. 

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