Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Achillea millefolium var. lanulosa, Mountain Yarrow has grown as a pure white ground cover. - grid24_6
Achillea millefolium lanulosa, Mountain Yarrow Yarrow can grow only few inches tall or a few feet according to how it's pruned. It has soft lacy foliage. Flower stalks are a few feet tall and terminate in large white flower clusters. It makes an excellent groundcover for part shade. It tolerates sea side conditions.
Diplacus longiflorus, Conejo monkey flower is sometimes called Mimulus aurantiacus, which is what they call almost all the monkey flowers. It's like everyone is Bob and Mary. - grid24_6
Diplacus (Mimulus) aurantiacus, 'Sierra' Sticky Monkey Flower In the demonstration garden we have a Sierra Sticky monkey flower under a coast live oak in nearly full shade. It will flower more in part shade than in full shade. This monkey flower was watered 3 times when we planted it 5 years ago. Now it thrives on rain alone ( ~15 in).
Red Monkey is red - grid24_6
Diplacus (Mimulus) puniceus, Southern Monkey Flower Southern Monkey flower likes part or full shade. This monkey flower fries in full sun here. This plant was watered three times when we planted it two years ago.
Found in a weedy filed in Ramona, this monkey flower has wonderful azalea like flowers. - grid24_6
Ramona Monkey flower, Diplacus aurantiacus australis grows int a neat little bush in sun or part shade.

A short video about Diplacus aurantiacus australis Ramona Narrow Leaf Southern Monkey Flower.

Diplacus rutilus, velvet red monkey flowers. - grid24_6
Diplacus (Mimulus) longiflorus Var. rutilus, Pasadena Red Monkey Flower, Pasadena red monkey flower was planted in full shade here and has never been watered. Although we've used it in full sun everywhere else, we've lost every one we've put in full sun here.
Fremontodendron californicum California Flannel Bush. Also known as Fremontia. - grid24_6
Fremontodendron californicum, California Flannel BushCalifornia Flannel Bush is an evergreen shrub that can reach 10 ft high. It is drought tolerant and cold tolerant. It prefers well drained soil.
Christmas berry or Toyon with berries is what Hollywood was named after. Toyon will grow in most of Los Angeles with no water after first year. - grid24_6
Heteromeles arbutifolia, Christmas Berry Christmas berry or Toyon is a large dense evergreen shrub. Toyon grows 6 to 8 ft tall and 4to 5 ft wide. It is covered with red berries around Christmas. The birds love this shrub. They use it for cover and eat the berries. It will grow in part shade or full sun.
Heuchera merriamii, Siskiyou Alum Root, is very diminutive, with delicate creamy white flowers, and is at its best grown in groups. of three or more.  - grid24_6
Heuchera merriamii, Siskiyou Alum Root Siskiyou alum root has bright green foliage and cream colored flowers. It is very cold tolerant.
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Heuchera rubescens glandulosa, Jack o the rocks This hearty alum root tolerates -10 deg F. It grows to 3 ft tall and has tall reddish flowers. It likes part shade,
Annas Hummingbird, Calypte anna, hanging on a wire for Keckiella cordifolia, Heart Leaf Penstemon. This Penstemon likes part shade. - grid24_6
Keckiella cordifolius, Climbing Penstemon This is also called heart leafed Penstemon. The foliage is a dark shiny green and heart shaped. The branches are arching and terminating in multiple orangish-red Penstemon-like flowers. This isn't a vine but it will hold on to neighboring shrubs when the branches get to long to support their own weight. In part shade it will get around 6 to 8 ft tall. It is very drought tolerant. Hummingbirds like it.
Lepechinia ganderi, San Diego Pitcher sage likes part shade or a north slope. - grid24_6
Lepechinia ganderi, San Diego Pitcher sage This is our most delicate Pitcher sage. New stems are dark brown showing of large faint purple flowers.
Pink chaparral honeysuckle, Lonicera hispidula in flower. - grid24_6
Lonicera hispidula, California Honeysuckle California Honeysuckle is a showy pink honeysuckle. It is popular with hummingbirds. It is very drought tolerant and does well in part sun.

A short video of Lonicera hispidula California Honeysuckle.

Lonicera involucrata ledebourii,  Twinberry honeysuckle. - grid24_6
Lonicera involucrata ledebourii, Twin berryTwin berry is a deciduous shrub with orange flowers that emerge in pairs. Later fat black berries take their place. Birds like the berries.
Monardella subglabra, with a pale swallowtail butterfly - grid24_6
Monardella subglabra, Mint Bush isn't much of a bush but it is bigger and bushier than the other Monardellas. It is also very popular with the butterflies. It likes a little moisture and part sun.
Holly Leaf Cherry, Prunus ilicifolia with cherries - grid24_6
Prunus ilicifolia, Hollyleaf Cherry reaches about 15 ft high. It will grow in part shade or full sun. It is very drought tolerant. The berries are edible. It is a good bird plant.
Prunus lyonii, Catalina Cherry - grid24_6
Prunus lyoniii, Catalina Cherry is a cherry native to the islands. It likes part shade of full sun. Young trees are not cold tolerant. It produces large black berries that are mostly seed with little meat on them.

A short video about Prunus lyonii, Catalina Cherry

Philadelphus lewisii, Wild Mock Orange,  which is shaped and pruned like a lilac, is shown here in a closeup in our Santa Margarita garden. In inland gardens it needs some shade. - grid24_12
Philadelphus lewisii, Wild Mock Orange has lots of white flowers that smell like orange blossoms. It can survive in dry conditions but it prefers part shade and a little moisture. It grows any where from 3 ft to 6ft tall. Generally it is shorter in full sun.
In Santa Margarita Mountain Spiraea flowers in part shade and regular water. Should be drought tolerate at places like Tahoe or Big Bear.
Spiraea douglasii, Western Spiraea is a 4 to 5 ft tall deciduous shrub with long arching branches. It has attractive foliage that turns red and orange in the fall. It likes moist areas in part or full sun.

Shade is relative to what climate you live in.

Many of the plants on this page grow in full sun along the coast, but in the interior they are much happier with some shade. Also many of these species will grow in full shade, but they may not flower as much.

Calycanthus occidentalis, Spice Bush photo of flowers. - grid24_6
Calycanthus occidentalis, Spice Bush is a rounded shrub that reaches about 4 ft high and 4ft wide. It has large shiny leaves and is deciduous. The flowers are red and smell like red wine. It is deciduous in the winter. The attractive seed pods dry on the plant and hang around through the winter.
A Pale Swallowtail butterfly on  the Redbud, Cercis occidentalis, the inset shows Golden Currant, Ribes aureum gracilentum flowered exactly right.  - grid24_6
Cercis occidentalis, Western Redbud is a small deciduous tree. It has a nice upright form. It is popular for its showy, burgundy flowers that emerge in spring before the leaves. The leaves are glossy and heart shaped.
Diplacus grandiflorus Slender Monkey Flower and Azalea Monkey Flower.  - grid24_6
Adelaide Monkey Flower in the demonstration garden is growing in an area with morning sun in the shade of Cercocarpus alnifolius. It has never been watered.
Fremontodendron californicum decumbens, Dwarf Flannel bush or Apricot flower - grid24_6
Dwarf Flannel Bush, Fremontodendron californicum ssp. decumbens.We've lost more Fremontias to under watering than to over watering in sandy soils that they prefer. (In clay soils plant them on a rock mound.)
An old picture of Fremontia Ken Taylor - grid24_6
Fremontodendron californicum ssp. californicum X californicum ssp. decumbens, 'Ken Taylor'. We planted 4 barely rooted plants a year ago, then watered them 2 to 3 times and forgot about them. The ones in the shade died and the ones in part shade (not much just enough to take the heat off) are 6 ft. across and 3 ft. tall.
Heuchera hirsutissima, Idyllwild Rock Flower, is here shown massed together, in its natural mountain habitat.  - grid24_6
Heuchera hirsutissima, Idyllwild Rock Flower likes moist areas. It does well in part shade. It is very cold tolerant as it is native at high elevations.
Heuchera maxima, Island Alum Root - grid24_6
Heuchera maxima, Island Alum Root has large palmate leaves and tall creamy flower stalks. It likes part or full shade. It seems pretty drought tolerant if it has a lot of mulch.
This pink alum root came from the bottom end of it's elevation and looks like it has some Heuchera micrantha in it. - grid24_6
Heuchera micrantha, Alum Root is very floriferous. Flowers are cream colored and denser than H. maxima,not as cold tolerant as Siskiyou alum root but more tolerant than Island alum.
Douglas Iris can vary from blue through violet into a kinda blueish-pink. - grid24_6
Iris douglasiana, Douglas Iris is a delicate native iris with deep purple flowers. It is very drought tolerant in the shade. It likes a little mulch. It does well in part or full shade.
An old photo of Keckiella ternata, Summer Bush Penstemon, Scarlet Keckiella, Whorl Leaf Penstemon - grid24_6
Keckiella ternata, Summer Bush Penstemon is a bush Penstemon is similar to climbing bush Penstemon but it is a bit neater. It makes a nice open shrub about 3 ft tall. The foliage is shiny and dark green.
Lepechinia fragrans, Wallace's Pitcher Sage, grows well in filtered shade, and more flowers in morning sun. - grid24_6
Lepechinia fragrans, Wallace's Pitcher sageWallace's Pitcher sage has fuzzy foliage and purple flowers. It is very floriferous even in shade. It doesn't like dense shade. It is drought tolerant.
Lonicera interrupta, Chaparral Honeysuckle, is a quiet background plant that grows well in the shade of oaks, and also likes morning sun.  - grid24_6
Lonicera interrupta, Chaparral Honeysuckle Chaparral honeysuckle is very drought tolerant.
A Checkerspot Butterfly  on a Mahonia nevinii - grid24_6
Mahonia neviniii is a very showy shrub with prickly but just don't plant it near a walk way. It has gray holy-like leaves. In spring it is covered in yellow flowers that are popular with insects.
Monardella antonia with Fritilary Butterfly - grid24_6
Monardella antonina, Butterfly Mint Bush Butterfly mint is a fragrant little perennial with purple flowers. The flowers are a big hit with butterflies. Butterfly mint likes part shade or full sun.
Western Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana demissa - grid24_6
Prunus virginiana demissa, Choke Cherry has large white flower clusters. It has soft foliage and an open erect form.
Elderberry, 
Mexican Elderberry, Western Elderberry berries can be eaten raw by some, other folks will be violently ill if they eat them raw. If cooked, all seem to be fine with them. - grid24_6

Sambucus mexicana, Elderberry Elderberry is a small tree with fragrant yellow flowers and bluish black berries. The berries are used to make wine and cobbler. It makes an excellent little shade tree.