How Calscape Helps Native Gardeners

Calscape home page - series of images of plants, each representing a grouping of plants, such as trees, easy plants, etc. Each images is labeled with the group of plants it represents and the number of plants in that group.

Calscape is a California native gardener’s best friend, for determining how to plant the right plant in the right place, and as a guide to determining locally native plants.

Calscape is a CNPS database that gives you access to 150 years of knowledge about California native plants local to your area. It shows which plants are truly native to any specific location in the state. You can use Calscape to research and decide which native plants you want to grow, and how to grow them.

California is extremely environmentally diverse; we have more native plants than any other state, many found only here. Our native plants evolved to grow in areas with widely varying temperatures, rainfall levels, and summer drought periods.

True native plants are the foundation for nature restoration. When you grow native plants in the areas where they evolved and naturally belong, with the right soil, sun, and water conditions, they are easier to grow, healthier, and require little or no extra water. They attract wildlife—such as birds, pollinators and mammals—that evolved with those plants, and over time establish a natural ecosystem, without pesticides or artificial fertilizers. With the right plants, it’s possible to create small patches of nature even in developed areas.

Before deciding which native plants to grow and exactly where to plant them, please review the Calscape plant descriptions to make sure you place them in spots with the conditions they require.

(This material is adapted from the CNPS “About Calscape” page).

Check out and download Redbud’s step-by-step guide to Using Calscape!

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