The Native Plants of
The dry landscapes of Southern California
are home to hundreds of water and nutrient conservative, slow
growing native plants. They thrive in long dry summers, survive
and re-establish themselves after fire, but have difficulty competing
The palette of native plants in Rubio Canyon is a fine representation of Southern California’s transverse range plant communities. Our steep, rugged and diverse terrain offers opportunity for hundreds of native plant species, and many that have been introduced from around the world.
Coast Wild Buckwheat
Rubio Falls, Altadena, California, circa 1920
Native to Mexico, Sticky Eupatorium (Ageratina
adenophora) invades coastal canyons from San Diego County north to Marin
and has earned a place on the B list of Exotic Pest Plants of Greatest
Ecological Concern of CalEPPC, a non-profit organization which deals
with problem plants throughout the state.
Tree tobacco (Nicotiana
glauca) was originally introduced from South
America by the Spaniards. It blooms nearly year-round, pausing only in
extended drought or in the coldest part of winter. It has
been naturalized in waste and disturbed areas, stream beds and roadsides.
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)
has been introduced as an ornamental
plant in the 1950’s and is widely used in residential and commercial
landscaping. This African grass crowds out native species by creating
monocultures that consume scarce water and nutrient resources, and
(Technical supplement: Fountain grass can reproduce by either fertilized or unfertilized seeds (Simpson and Bashaw 1969, Dujardin and Hanna 1989). The plants flower from July through October. Fountain grass is apomictic, meaning that it can reproduce asexually by producing seeds from the cells of female plants other than egg cells (Simpson and Bashaw 1969, Dujardin and Hanna 1989). It may also reproduce by seeds produced following pollination and subsequent fertilization of a female egg cell. Seeds remain viable in the soil for at least seven years (Tunison et al. 1995).
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