HomeBest and Top of Gardening21 California Native Shade Plants

21 California Native Shade Plants

Embrace California’s Native Shade Plants that are boons to weary travelers. Create a tranquil oasis at home. with these specimens!

California is well known for its trees and this article shall provide a list of the most popular California’s Native Shade Plants. So let’s begin!

Check Out These 52 Common California Plants Here!

Best California’s Native Shade Plants

1. Western Columbine

California's Native Shade Plants 1

Botanical Name: Aquilegia formosa

USDA Zones: 3-8

First on the list of California’s Native Shade Plants, it features unique red and yellow flowers that resemble delicate hanging lanterns. Its elegant appearance attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, making it a wonderful addition to any shaded garden.

2. California Fuchsia

Botanical Name: Epilobium canum

USDA Zones: 7-10

This vibrant perennial boasts striking red-orange tubular flowers that are a magnet for hummingbirds. Fuchsia’s long bloom season and drought tolerance make it a standout choice for shady spots in your garden.

3. Western Bleeding Heart

California's Native Shade Plants 3

Botanical Name: Dicentra formosa

USDA Zones: 3-8

An enchanting woodland plant, this California’s Native Shade Plant displays graceful, pink heart-shaped blooms that seem to “bleed” from their tips, adding a touch of romance to any shady area.

4. Redwood Sorrel


Botanical Name: Oxalis oregana

USDA Zones: 7-9

This charming ground cover has trifoliate leaves that fold up at night, giving it a unique personality. It produces white or pink flowers that brighten up shady spots in late winter and spring.

5. Pacific Coast Iris

California's Native Shade Plants 5

Botanical Name: Iris douglasiana

USDA Zones: 6-10

Renowned for its stunning diversity of colors and patterns, the Pacific Coast Iris adds a touch of elegance to shaded gardens. These California’s Native Shade Plants create a captivating display when in bloom.

Look At This List Of 12 Wild Flowers Of California Here!

6. Red Fescue

Botanical Name: Festuca rubra

USDA Zones: 3-8

As a fine-textured grass, Red Fescue thrives in shady lawns and adds a lush green carpet under trees. Its adaptability and low-maintenance nature make it a favorite choice for shade-tolerant lawns.

7. California Hazel

California's Native Shade Plants 7

Botanical Name: Corylus cornuta var. californica

USDA Zones: 4-8

A small tree or shrub, California Hazel produces edible nuts that are favored by wildlife. Its attractive foliage and charming appearance make it an excellent choice for naturalizing shaded areas.

8. Western Azalea

Botanical Name: Rhododendron occidentale

USDA Zones: 7-9

These California’s Native Shade Plants showcase clusters of fragrant white to pink flowers that fill the air with a delightful scent. Its large, showy blooms attract pollinators, making it a valuable addition to any shaded garden.

9. Western Sword Fern

California's Native Shade Plants 9

Botanical Name: Polystichum munitum

USDA Zones: 5-9

As an evergreen fern, the Western Sword Fern features arching fronds that add texture and greenery to shady spots. Its hardiness and adaptability to various conditions make it a reliable choice for woodland gardens.

10. California Wax Myrtle

Botanical Name: Myrica californica

USDA Zones: 7-10

Known for its aromatic leaves that release a pleasant fragrance when crushed, the California Wax Myrtle is a lovely shrub for shady areas. It also attracts birds with its berries, making it ecologically valuable.

Learn About These 19 Wild Berries That Your Garden Should Have Here!

11. Evergreen Huckleberry

California's Native Shade Plants 11

Botanical Name: Vaccinium ovatum

USDA Zones: 7-9

This native shrub displays glossy, dark green foliage and produces edible berries cherished by both humans and wildlife. Its adaptability to shade and drought tolerance make it an excellent choice for native gardens.

12. Western Spicebush

Botanical Name: Calycanthus occidentalis

USDA Zones: 7-9

The Western Spicebush offers a delightful surprise with its sweetly scented, burgundy flowers. These California’s Native Shade Plants add fragrance and color to the garden spaces, making them a cherished choice among garden enthusiasts.

13. Bishop’s Hat

California's Native Shade Plants 13

Botanical Name: Epimedium spp.

USDA Zones: 5-9

Also known as Fairy Wings, this ground cover features heart-shaped leaves and dainty, spurred flowers that add an ethereal charm to shade gardens. Its deer resistance and ground-covering nature make it a practical choice.

14. California Wild Ginger

Botanical Name: Asarum caudatum

USDA Zones: 7-10

A low-growing ground cover with glossy, kidney-shaped leaves and unique maroon flowers hiding beneath its foliage. This shade-loving plant adds an earthy touch to woodland gardens.

15. California Bay Laurel

California's Native Shade Plants 15

Botanical Name: Umbellularia californica

USDA Zones: 8-10

As an aromatic evergreen tree, the California Bay Laurel is known for its fragrant leaves used in culinary pursuits. Its broad canopy provides cool shade, and it’s a valuable host for native butterflies.

Have A Look At These Fragrant Trees With Beautiful Flowers Here!

16. Deer Fern

Botanical Name: Blechnum spicant

USDA Zones: 5-8

The Deer Fern, an evergreen fern, features lacy, dark green fronds that bring elegance to shaded areas. Its tolerance to cool temperatures makes it an ideal choice for woodland gardens.

17. Coast Silk Tassel

California's Native Shade Plants 17

Botanical Name: Garrya elliptica

USDA Zones: 7-10

These California’s Native Shade Plants have unique catkins that add winter interest to shaded landscapes. Its glossy foliage and elegant appearance make it a visually appealing addition to gardens with filtered sunlight.

18. Western Trillium

Botanical Name: Trillium ovatum

USDA Zones: 4-8

A captivating woodland plant, the Western Trillium bears exquisite three-petaled flowers with maroon markings. Its mottled leaves and attractive blooms make it a sought-after treasure for shade gardens.

19. Western Wild Ginger

California's Native Shade Plants 19

Botanical Name: Asarum caudatum

USDA Zones: 4-9

This low-growing ground cover displays heart-shaped leaves and unique trumpet-shaped flowers that blend perfectly with woodland settings. Its understated charm makes it a subtle yet valuable addition to native gardens.

20. Western Dogwood

Botanical Name: Cornus nuttallii

USDA Zones: 7-9

Known for its showy white bracts in spring, the Western Dogwood is a stunning tree that brightens up shady spots. These California’s Native Shade Plants also provide food and habitat for various wildlife species, adding ecological value to the garden.

21. Sierra Iris

California's Native Shade Plants 21

Botanical Name: Iris hartwegii

USDA Zones: 5-9

This beautiful native iris boasts striking purple-blue flowers with yellow markings that stand out in any shaded garden. Its hardiness and adaptability to different climates make it a rewarding choice for Iris enthusiasts.


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