Hello and welcome back for another week of gardening advice from the Aspiring Gardener. We’re continuing last week's topic and talking about native plants. It comes as no surprise that many of the plants native to Butte County and Chico are drought tolerant, which makes them prime choices for your garden and lawn into something a little less water-intensive. For trees, there are several oak species, including valley oak and interior valley oak, that are drought tolerant after settling, along with mountain mahogany and western sycamores. Northern California Black Walnut and Pacific Madrone trees are not only native to Chico but also produce edible nuts and fruits, respectively. And while they’re not trees, blue elderberry, field mint, and western spicebush plants all have edible parts. Ornamentally speaking, they also make lovely additions to any garden. Deergrass, white sage, giant blazing star, and several ceanothus species are common additions to drought-tolerant gardens that also happen to be Chico natives. The choices for garden design with native plants are not nearly as limited as you might initially think! Have fun, and see what you can come up with!
For further information on plants native to Chico, visit calscape.org, or visit the Chico State page on the Butte Creek Ecology Preserve.