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Drought tolerant, fire resistant and highly flammable plants

These lists are only guidelines - a starting point, if you will. Use this to learn more about what plants you may want to encourage (or discourage!) in your yard, and reach out to your local nursery or landscape professional for more information.

Drought-tolerant plants

The following is a short list of drought-tolerant plant material. This list is only a starting point, and not the final word. Growing conditions in your yard and maintenance techniques and timing affect the relative fire-resistance and drought tolerance of plants. Those which generally have some fire-resistance are noted, as well as those which may suffer freeze damage inland. Spp. indicates more than one species is commonly grown.

R = Plants with some fire-resistance 
F = Plants which may freeze inland

Genus Species Common Name
Drought-tolerant Trees
R Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree
R Ceratonia siliqua Carob Tree
R Cercis occidentalis Western Redbud
. Cercocarpus betuloides Mt. Mahogany
R Quercus agrifolia Coast Live Oak
. Pistacia chinensis
R Rhus lancea African Sumac
Drought-tolerant Shrubs
. Arctostaphylos spp. Manzanita
R Atriplex spp. Saltbush
. Berberis spp. Barberry
. Ceanothus spp. California Lilac
R Cistus spp. Rockrose
R Cotoneaster spp. Cotoneaster
R Cotyledon spp. No common name
R Excallonia spp. Escallonia
R Feijoa sellowiana Pineapple Guava
R Galvesia speciosa Island Bush Snapdragon
. Garrya elliptica ‘Evie’ Garrya
. Gaura lindheimerii Garua
R Heteromeles arbutifolia Toyon
R Nerium oleander Oleander
R Pittosporum spp. Mock Orange
R Prunus ilicifolia Holly-Leaved Cherry
R Prunus lyonii Catalina Cherry
R Punica granatum ‘Nana’ Dwarf Pomegranate
R Pyracantha ‘Santa Cruz’ Pyracantha
. Raphiollepis spp. India Hawthorne
R Rhamnus spp. Coffee Berry
R Rhus integrifolia Lemonade Berry
R Ribes viburnifolium Evergreen Currant
Drought-tolerant Groundcovers
R, F Aloe spp. Aloe
R Armeria spp. Sea Pink
R Cposrosma kirkii
R, F Drosanthemum floribundum Ice Plant
R Duchesnea indica Mock Strawberry
R, F Dymondia margaretae No common name
R Festuca rubra ‘Creeping’ Creeping Red Fescue
R Fragaria chiloensis Wild Strawberry
R Gazania spp. Gazania
. Hypericum calycinum St. John's Wort
R Liriope gigantea Giant Turf Lily
. Mahonia repens Creeping Oregon Grape
R Malephora crocea Ice Plant
R, F Myoporum parvifolium ‘Prostratum’ Myoporuim
R Phyla nodiflora Lippia
R Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’ Creeping Rosemary
R, F Scaevola ‘Mauve Clusters’ Fan Flower
R, F Sedum spp. Stonecrop
Drought-tolerant Perennials
R Achillea spp. Yarrow
R, F Aeonium spp. Succulents
R Agapanthus spp. Lily of the Nile
R, F Agave spp. Agave
R, F Aloe spp. Aloe
. Bergenia spp. Bergenia
. Centaurea gymnocarpa Dusty Miller
R Convolvulus Cneorum Bush Morning Glory
R Coreopsis spp. Coreopsis
R, F Crassula spp. Jade Plant
R Dietes spp. Butterfly Iris
R Diplacus spp. Monkey Flower
R, F Echeveria spp. Hen and Chicks
. Erigeron spp. Eleabane
. Erysimum linifolium Wallflower
R Exchscholzia californica California Polly
. Geranium spp. Geranium
. Helichrysum petiolaturm ‘nanna’ Curry Plant
R Hemerocallis (assorted) Daylily
R Heuchera maxima Coral Bells
R Iris spp. Iris
R Kniphofia uvaria Red Hot Poker
. Koeleria galuca Blue Hair Grass
. Lantana montevidensis (sellowiana) Lantana
R Lavandula spp. Lavender
R, F Limonium perezii Statice
. Linaria maroccana Toad-flax
R Nerine masonorum Nerine
R Oenothera berlandieri Mexidan Evening Primore
. Pelangonium peltatum Ivy Geranium
R Penstemon spp. Penstemon
. Perovskia atriplicifolia Russian Sage
. Romneya coulteri Matilija Poppy
. Salvia spp. Sage
R Santolina spp. Lavender Cotton
. Senecio spp. Dusty Miller
. Silene maritima No common name
. Sisyrinchium spp. Eyed Grass
. Stachys byzantina Lamb's Ears
R Trichostema lanatum Woolly Blue Curls
R Tulbaghia violacea Society Garlic
. Yucca spp. Yucca
. Zantedeschia aethiopica Calla Lily
Drought-tolerant Vines
R Jasminum spp. Jasmine
. Rosa banksiae Lady Bank's Rose
R Solanum jasminoides Potato Vine
R Tecomaria capensis Cape Honeysuckle
R Trachelospermum jasminoides Star Jasmine
. Witeria spp. Wisteria

Highly Flammable Plants

Use these plants with extreme caution. They can be a hazard near buildings or wooden structures, and will need a higher level of maintenance. Keep any existing plants on this list clear of each other, free of any dry debris, and trimmed clear of any structures.
Those denoted with P are considered Pyrophtyes - they almost attract fire. 

Pyrophtyes Genus Species Common Name
Highly Flammable Trees
. Abies spp. Fir
. Acacia spp. Acacia
. Cedrus spp. Cedar
. Chamaecyparis spp. except dwarf Cypress, Cedar
. Cryptomaria japonica except dwarf Cryptomeria
. Cupressus spp. Cypress
. Cupressocyparis Cypress
P Eucalyptus cladocalyx Sugar Gum
P Eucalyptus globulus BlueGum
P Eucalyptus viminalis Manna Gum
. Larix spp. Larch
. Palms (if fronds left untrimmed) Palm
. Oucea soo, Spruce
P Pinus spp. (including dwarf mugo) Pine
. Schinus spp. Pepper Tree
. Tamarix spp. Tamarisk
. Taxodium spp. Bald Cypress
. Taxus spp. except dwarf Yew
. Thuja spp. Arbor-Vitae
. Tsuga spp. Hemlock
Highly Flammable Shrubs
P Adenostoma fasciculatum Chamis, Greasewood
P Adenostoma sparisfolium Red Shanks
. Artemesia californica California Sagebrush
P Baccharis pilularis consanguinea Coyote Brush
. Cytisus, Genista, Spartium Brooms
. Dodonaea viscosa Hopseed Bush
. Erigonum spp. Buckwheat
P Juniperus spp. Juniper
Highly Flammable Groundcovers
P Baccharis spp. (when overgrown) Coyote Bush
. Hedera canariensis Algerian Ivy
P Juniperus spp. Juniper
Highly Flammable Perennials
. Bamboo spp. Bamboo
. Cortaderia selloana Pampas grass
. Miscanthus spp. Grasses
. Muehlenbergia spp. Deer Grasses
. Pennisetum setaceum Fountain Grasses
. Salvia melilifera Black Sage


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