A Native Garden

Plants of the Ortega Highway

When designing Gardens we strive to create an inviting environment.  Our goal is to create a situation which reflects our tastes and the land we live on.  Incorporating plants which live naturally in this area is not only good stewardship of the land but smart as a gardener.  Using native plants increases our chance for success and provides more food and habitat for the creatures living around and with us.  Using the plants which thrive in our back yard without man’s intervention is a bonus.  However any plant you bring into the garden will need your intervention by supplying it water until the plant can develop a root system to support it.  The plants of the Ortega Highway are the plants which grow here naturally and would have been found on the site where your home is located.  Knowing these plants will make your choices easier and your garden beautiful and more successful.

Following is a list of plants I have found growing on or near the Ortega Highway from the San Juan Capistrano Mission to Lake Elsinore.

  • Arcto byrd hill 2yrsArctostaphylos Manzanita
  • Adenostoma fasciculatum Chamise
  • Artemisia californica Costal Sagebrush
  • Asclepias fascicularis Narrow Leaf Milkweed
  • Baccharis pilularis Coyote Brush
  • Baccharis salicifolia Mule Fat
  • Calystegia macrostegia Morning glory white
  • Ceanothus
  • Clematis pauciflora Small-flowered Clematis
  • Cleome isomeris Bladderpod
  • Dendromecon rigida Bush Poppy
  • Image103Dichelostemma capitatum Wild hyacinth
  • Dudleya edulis San Diego Dudleya
  • Dudleya lanceolata Lance Leaved Dudleya
  • Dudleya pulverulenta Chalk Dudleya
  • Eschscholzia californica California poppy
  • Epilobium californicum California Fuschsia
  • Eriogonum fasciculatum California Buckwheat
  • Eriogonum giganteum St. Catherine’s Lace
  • Heteromeles arbutifolia Toyon
  • Keckiella antirrhinoides Yellow Bush Penstemon*
  • Leymus condensatus Giant wild rye
  • Lonicera subspicata Chaparral Honeysuckle
  • Lotus scoparius Deer Weed
  • Malacothamnus fasciculatus Chaparral Mallow
  • Malosma laurina
  • Mimulus aurantiacus Bush or Sticky monkey flower
  • Mirabilis californica Wishbone Bush
  • Nassella pulchra Purple Needlegrass
  • Opuntia littoralis Coastal Prickly Pear, Tuna
  • Penstemon heterophyllus Foothill Penstemon
  • pens MB close upPolypodium californicum California Polypody fern
  • Polystichum Munitum Western Sword Fern
  • Populus fremontii Western Cottonwood
  • Quercus Agrifolia Coast Live Oak
  • Quercus berberidifolia Scrub Oak
  • Rhamnus crocea Redberry
  • Rhus integrifolia Lemonade Berry
  • Rhus ovata Sugarbush
  • Ribes aureum Golden currant
  • Ribes malvaceum Chaparral currant
  • Ribes sanguineum Red flowering currant
  • Risis bell and Escholzia californicabes speciosum Fuchsia Flowering Gooseberry*
  • Romneya coulteri Matilija poppy*
  • Rosa californica California Wild Rose
  • Salvia apiana White sage
  • Salvia mellifera Black sage
  • Sambucus mexicana Mexican Elderberry
  • Sisyrinchium bellum Blue-eyed Grass
  • Solanum xantii Purple Nightshade
  • Solidago californica California Goldenrod
  • Trichostema lanatum Woolly Blue Curls*
  • Woodwardia fimbriata Giant Chain Fern
  • Yucca whipplei Our Lord’s Candle

*Plants which grow wild here, but can be tricky in a domestic garden.


Included in this list are mainly perennials and only the plants which are available for purchase from native plant nurseries.  It is unwise and unlawful to gather plants from the wild.

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