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California Native Plants for Parkways & Parking Strips

Not always the focus of your landscape plan, the parking strip often becomes one of ‘those areas’. Keeping plantings low enough to be safe and also durable, makes the parking strip hard to decide on for the home gardener. Below are some suggestions for planting your parking strip with natives that are sure to create a pleasing workable frame to your property.

  • design a pathway from the street to the sidewalk, using stepping stones, decomposed granite or bordered mulch path – for larger sections of the parking strip, plan for two or three areas that can act as crossings
  • avoid the monoculture parkway, a mix of plants will provide for pollinators, interest and seasonal change 
  • when choosing plants keep in mind your irrigation hydrozones and valve zones
  • choose plants appropriate for your geographic location

The Coastal Parking Strip


Erigeron species
  • Achillea millefolium – may die back in summer, can handle some foot traffic 
  • Artemisia ‘Montara’ – fragrant grey textured foliage 
  • Symphyotrichum chilense – cut back after blooming to encourage spreading 
  • Baccharis ‘Pigeon point’ – bright green, trim back to refresh 
  • Eriogonum fasciculatum ‘Dana Point’ – Summer blooming 
  • Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ – Silver foliage, hearty 


  • Carex pansa – can handle some foot traffic 
  • Cleome isomeris – showy yellow flowers 
  • Erigeron species – profuse lavender to pink flowers

The Inland Parking Strip

Adenostema fsciculatum ‘Nicolas’


  • Achillea millefolium – use in areas of afternoon shade, may die back in summer, can handle some foot traffic 
  • Adenostoma fasciculatum ‘Nicolas’ – slow initial growth but consistent performance. 
  • Baccharis ‘Pigeon point’ – Bright green foliage, trim back to refresh 
  • Eriogonum fasciculatum foliosum – summer blooming, desert variety of CA buckwheat
  • Salvia ‘Bee’s bliss’ – Silver foliage, Hearty Highlights


  • Justicia californica – desert themed, hummingbirds love 
  • Penstemon ‘Margarita’ – splash of almost iridescent blue in the spring 
  • Sphaeralcea ambigua – Profuse spring and summer blooms