Lesson 2: Plant ID

  1. Learning objectives
    1. Identify more than two dozen California native plants
    2. Identify nonnative plants that are compatible with native plant landscape management
  2. Discussion: California Native Plants
    1. California native plants are those that existed for millennia in their present form in California. They evolved together, in the same soils and with similar weather conditions (climate) and animal life.
    2. Explore the most common California native plants for Southern California available in the landscape industry. Learn each plant genus, unless a species or cultivar is listed. If listed, learn that species or cultivar.
      1. Annuals, Groundcovers, Shrubs, Perennials (herbaceous), Grasses, Trees, Cacti and Succulents, Vines
    3. Many of these plants are all part of the Theodore Payne Foundation Flashcard deck-utilize during this class for review.
    4. Microclimate and how these affect plant growth
    5. These plants grow naturally in various compositions to create what are known as plant communities. These are often the basis of many designs and can be useful in informing every level of the landscape, from plant pallet to irrigation, to soil management.
  3. In-class exercises: Sorting flashcards based on conditions | CA alternatives for common landscape plants
  4. Resources
    1. Native Plants for Southern California Flashcards (available only in hard copy)
    2. Calscape.org
    3. Calflora: Planting Guide

    4. Calflora: Information on wild California plants

    5. TPF database
    6. Las Pilitas Nursery and their database of plants
    7. LADWP’s California Friendly Landscaping
  5. Key figures, graphs, and concepts
    1. See flashcards
  6. Homework
    1. “Identify and record native plants”: Identify 3-5 native plants in the landscape either in your neighborhood, at a botanic garden, or your work sites. Photograph and document conditions, stage of plant (dormant or growing), composition etc. Use resources to compare information on plants. Send the homework to your instructor via email.  

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