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Many plants are native to dry, arid places in the world and are well-adapted to living without much water. They even manage to look beautiful while doing it! We recommend planting a few of these in your landscape this year. Not only will they help to conserve water but they will add some new and interesting dimension to your garden! All the plants on this list* are well-adapted to our climate and are available at the Evergreen Nursery!

Perennials, Shrubs, and Ornamental GrassesAgaveAgave

  • Agave species (Agave)
  • Alyogyne huegelii (Blue Hibiscus)
  • Arctostaphylos species (Manzanita)
  • Artemisia species (Sagebrush)
  • Ceanothus species (California Lilac)Mahonia aquifolium Compactum
  • Chamelaucium uncinatum (Geraldton Waxflower)
  • Cistus species (Rockrose)
  • Dudleya species (Live Forever)
  • Echeveria species (Hens-and-Chickens)
  • Galvezia speciosa (Island Bush Snapdragon)
  • Grevillea species (Grevillea)
  • Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon)
  • Lavandula species (Lavender)
  • Leucophyllum species (Texas Ranger)
  • Lobelia laxiflora (Mexican Bush Lobelia)
  • Mahonia varieties
  • Melalueca nesophila (Pink Melaleuca)
  • Myrtus communis (Common Myrtle)
  • Many ornamental grasses
  • Penstemon species (Penstemon)
  • Rhus species (Sumac)
  • Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)
  • Salvia, selected species (Sage)
  • Sisyrinchium bellum (Blue-Eyed Grass)
  • Tapetes lemmonii (Copper Canyon Daisy)
  • Verbena, selected species (Verbena)


  • Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
  • Chitalpa tashkentensis (Chitalpa)
  • Geijera parviflora (Australian Willow)Lagerstroemia Muskogee
  • Laurus nobilis (Sweet Bay)
  • Olea europaea: several varieties both fruiting and non-fruiting
  • Pinus eldarica (Afghan Pine)
  • Prosopsis chilensis (Chilean Mesquite)
  • Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak)
  • Rhus lancea (African Sumac)
  • Lagerstroemia (Crape Mytrle)


  • Bougainvillea species (Bougainvillea)
  • Macfadyena unguis-cati (Cat’s Claw)
  • Vitis californica (California Wild Grape)

Ground Covers

  • Acacia redolens ‘Desert Carpet’
  • (Dwarf Prostrate Acacia)Agave
  • Achillea species (Yarrow)
  • Baccharis species (Coyote Brush)
  • Cotoneaster dammeri (Bearberry Cotoneaster)
  • Lampranthus species (Ice Plant)
  • Lantana montevidensis (Trailing Lantana)
  • Myoporum parvifolium (Myoporum)
  • Sedum species (Stonecrop)

* List thanks to the California Water Service Co.