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.

Drought tolerant plants for the San Jose area.

In the 1500's California went through an 80 year drought. During the winter there were blizzards in Central California, the Salinas river froze solid where it flowed into the Monterey Bay. During the summer there was no humidity, no rain, and temperatures in the hundreds for many  months. During one year in the 1840's there was no measurable rain in Santa Barbara. (The highest measured rainfall in an hour also was in Southern California,  11 inches in an hour)  The same native plants that lived through that are still on the hillsides of California. California native plants that do not normally live in the creeks and ponds are very drought tolerant.
The best way to find your plant is to check and do not water at all. But if you want a simple list of drought tolerant plants that can work for your San Jose garden here are a few of the hundreds you can choose from.
Harmony manzanita is  a selection of the Arctostaphylos densiflora. This is a truly California native plant. - grid24_12
Manzanitas are easy and lively in most Bay area gardens.
Asclepias fascicularis, Narrow-leaf milkweed with Swallowtail butterfly - grid24_12
Milkweeds can jazz up a native garden.
An old  unwatered  groundcover of Baccharis pilularis pilularis, Pigeon Point - grid24_12
Pigeon Point Dwarf Coyote bush can make the appearance of a lawn with no irrigation system.
Calystegia purpurata Purplish Morning Glory - grid24_6
Calystegia purpurata Purplish Morning Glory is a perennial vine well enough behaved to use on a trellis next to your house.
Ceanothus Concha has many colors, shades, and  tones. Some years the plants are more reddish purple, some years bright blue, some years larger flowers, some years more smaller flowers. Always beautiful. - grid24_6
Ceanothus, California lilac is a show stopper.
Diplacus longiflorus 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
Monkey flowers for California gardens
Pictures of California monkey flowers. Hummingbirds will love your flowers, and so will you.
Leymus triticoides - creeping wild rye, Valley Wild rye, alkali rye down at the end of our road in Santa Margarita - grid24_12
Elymus triticoides, Creeping wild rye can be found locally inland or on bluffs where there is seasonal moisture.
Fremontodendron californicum California Flannel Bush. Also known as Fremontia. - grid24_6
Fremontodendron californicum, California Flannel Bush (Fremontia) is an evergreen shrub fast to 5', can grow to 10 ft.
Grindelia stricta venulosa, this  Gum Plant makes a small ground cover on coastal bluffs. - grid24_12
Grindelia stricta venulosa Coastal Groundcover Gum Plant
is a great plant to mix with Baccharis Pigeon Point and Penstemon Margarita BOP t ...
Lepechinia calycina, California Pitcher Plant, has lovely cream flowers that are sometimes tinged with pink/lavender. - grid24_6
Lepechinia calycina California Pitcher Plant
California Pitcher Sage is a 5-8' tall and 3-6' wide evergreen perennial or shrub with white digitalis-like flowers in April to June.
The Pale Swallowtail butterfly loves Monardella villosa, Coyote Mint.  - grid24_6
Monardella villosa Coyote Mint is a two-foot-high perennial with gray-green leaves and light purple clusters of flowers in summer. This Monardella is native to the California coast ranges. This coyote mint likes part ...
Muhlenbergia rigens,  Deer Grass, is shown here with flowering stalks on the edge of a garden path. This native grass has all sorts of uses. - grid24_6
Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass is a 3 foot perennial with 2 foot plumes rising above the plant. It looks like a small pampas grass but without the bad leaf cuts and the aggressive seeding. Native to much of Calif. up int ...
Our Penstemon 'Margarita BOP' with a swallowtail butterfly - grid24_6
Penstemons for California gardens
California Penstemons that grow in DRY areas. These Penstemons will grow in California without much water.
Rhamnus californica, Eve Case Eve Case - grid24_6
Rhamnus californica Eve Case Eve Case,  is a lower form of Rhamnus californica that grows slightly slower, and has a more refined and formal look.
Yerba Buena, Satureja douglasii is a beautiful flat green ground cover that smells good and some use as tea. - grid24_6
Satureja douglasii Yerba Buena
Yerba Buena, is a creeping flat perennial that can spread to 3' but is easily held to 1'.
Sisyrinchium bellum, Blue-Eyed Grass flowers are lavender blue. - grid24_6
Sisyrinchium bellum Blue-Eyed Grass is a 1 foot tall perennial.
Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus, Common Snowberry berries. - grid24_6
Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus Common Snowberry is a chin-high, deciduous shrub
Zauschneria septentrionalis, Mattole River has showy flowers. AKA Epilobium septentrionale, Epilobium canum ssp. septentrionale  - grid24_6
Zauschneria septentrionalis, Mattole River White Leaf Fuchsia is a three-six inch tall perennial with grey-white foliage forming a clump 2-3 foot across.

California Fuchsia attracts more than hummingbirds.