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Summer Garden Color

Tree of Life Nursery is here to squash those rumors that California native plants are brown in the summer. The following list of plants is sure to bring bright summer color to your natural garden.


Abutilon palmeri – Desert mallow, beautiful orange flowers

Baileya multiradiata – Desert marigold, happy yellow disks

Cleome isomeris – Bladderpod, burst of yellow flowers

Dendromecon sp. – Bush poppy, many bright yellow flowers

Grindelia stricta var platyphylla – Gumplant, bright yellow

Oenothera hookeri, stubbei – Evening primrose, large yellow papery flowers

Solidago sp. – Goldenrod, bright yellow upright flower stalks

Sphaeralcea ambigua – Desert mallow, rich orange flowers


Antigonon leptopus – San Miguel coral vine, abundant hot pink flowers 

Calycanthus occidentalis – Western spicebush, beautiful, large, deep red flowers

Chilopsis linearis – Desert willow, attractive delicate large pink flowers clusters

Epilobium sp. – Fuchsia, bright red tubular flowers 

Fallugia paradoxa – Apache plume, feathery pink tinted seed plumes

Justicia californica – Chuparosa, striking, tubular red flowers 

Lobelia laxiflora – Mexican lobelia, red orange prolific tubular flowers 

Malacothamnus fasciculatus – Chaparral mallow, light pink flowers 

Mirabilis laevis – Four o’clock, many bright pink/purple flowers 

Opuntia sp. – Prickly pear, red edible fruit, preceded by yellow to pink flowers

Prunus ilicifolia, lyonii – Holly-leaf / Catalina cherry, red cherries preceded by cream flowers 

Rhus integrifolia – Lemonade berry, reddish berries


Asclepias sp. – Milkweed, white to pink flower clusters, monarch host plant

Cercocarpus sp. – Mountain mahogany, attractive seed head

Comarostaphylis diversifolia – Summer holly, white flowers followed by red berries

Eriogonum sp. – Buckwheat, many have white/cream flowers that turn rust colored

Holodiscus discolor – Oceanspray/cream bush, cream colored sprays of flowers

Hesperoyucca whipplei – Our Lord’s candle, tall white flower stalk 

Heteromeles arbutifolia – Toyon, large white flower clusters followed by bright red berries

Leymus condensatus – Wildrye, upright tan/gold flower stalks and seed head

Lyonothamnus floribundus – Catalina ironwood, large cream colored flower clusters

Muhlenbergia rigens – Deergrass, long upright slender tan/gold flower/seed heads

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea – Elderberry, cream flower clusters followed by blue berries


Mahonia sp. – Barberry, purple/blue berries preceded by yellow sprays of flowers in spring 

Monardella sp. – Coyote mint, lavender, butterfly attracting flower clusters 

Frangula (Rhamnus) sp. – Coffeeberry, red aging to blue berries

Salvia clevelandii – Sage, a range of lavender to a rich purple blue flower whorls 

Trichostema lanatum –  Woolly blue curls, fuzzy lavender to purple flowers