California Natives

This is only a partial list of the plants and seeds we have available. For our complete illustrated catalog send $2 ($4 international)

To assure we are distributing the highest level of genetic diversity, all of the plants we offer are grown from seed unless noted otherwise

Unless noted otherwise, seed packets contain 15-40+ seeds (with very tiny seed like Gaultheria, Nicotiana, etc the seed count is in the hundreds).

California, land of my birth, does that make me native? My maternal great-grandmother moved out west from Oklahoma seeking a better life and fleeing her Indian identity, a classic case of bioinvasion? My father rambled here from the east coast, an obvious exotic… But is not “native” a relative term? What scientific merit does it truly hold? We use such terms with care, for are we not all “native” to this fecund planet? Nature does not conform to such transitory simian notions of of how she should behave, or comply with our abstract ideas of geographical boundaries. California’s diverse terrain boasts 6,000+ “native” species. She has flung open her golden arms to lovingly embrace a just-as-impressive number of so called exotics, some long lost lovers like Ginkgo returning after millions of years in the hands of peripatetic primates. I spent my childhood wandering the central California landscapes, in perpetual romance with the land. In my youthful eyes the biologically rich groves of introduced Eucalyptus were just as sacred as the native oak forests. I’ve spent the last 2 decades exploring northern California, and many native seeds have found their way home to our gardens. We offer here a small smattering of superlative species that we’ve collected wild or have been growing on our land here in western Sonoma County. All deserve wider cultivation. For California Ephedra, Sedum & Yucca, look at the Succulents webpage.

We encourage everyone, especially those who live in the state, to experiment with growing a few of California’s plants, in particular the rare species. Try cultivating the lily family (Allium, Brodiaea, Calochortus, Erythronium, Lilium, Triteleia, etc.) not only for their incomparable blossoms, but also for food. Plant some Perideridea and Claytonia in your vegetable garden for Spring greens, chia for the nutritious seed. Vaccinium and Gaultheria in the perennial garden or food forest for the delicious berries. Monardella and Satureja for tea, Angelica, Grindelia, Salvia, etc. for medicine. A large portion of California’s ecosystems were the result of at least ten thousand years of interaction between the land and peoples who relied directly on the local flora for food, medicine, and shelter. From the formerly mighty oak to the humble tarweed, all were once kin of man. Though this has irrevocably changed, true sustainable conservation can only come from each of us rediscovering and maintaining a meaningful relation to the the ecosystems and their inhabitants around us. Scapegoating so called “exotic” plants as the cause of ecosystem loss cannot hide the fact that the true blame lies with each of us and our alienation from the land that numbs our hearts into complicity with the continual destruction of habitat for urban sprawl, strip malls, industrial agriculture, the hungry ghost of “progress”…. unarguably the primary cause of biodiversity loss and extinction. We can never truly restore the indigenous landscapes the Spanish first encountered here or all the vistas that inspired John Muir’s splendorous paper scratching, but we can plant the seeds of something new that integrates and honors California’s botanical inheritance and all the strange, fabulous species that have found a new home in this golden and green land.

Allium dichlamydeum “Coastal Onion”

Alliaceae or Liliaceae. Thick onion leaves to 10″ and dense umbels of intense red-pink flowers. Native to northern coastal areas, often growing in the cracks of serpentine outcrops. Edible. One of the showiest American onions. Perennial, resprouts from the bulbs every year. Drought tolerant. Cold stratify seed. Z8/9a
Seed packet $3
Inquire for bulbs

Allium falcifolium BK10808.3

From the bulb grows 2 or more annual falcate leaves that stay close to the ground. Short flower stalk to 2″ with umbels of starry bright-purple flowers. Grows in the talus slopes at the Cedars, Sonoma Co. A unique and very beautiful onion for the rock garden. Blooming size bulbs. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3.25
Plant/bulb 3-4 years old $6.50 (grown from seed collected elsewhere in CA)

Allium jepsonii “Jepson’s Onion”

Perennial bulb with a cylindrical leaf and flower stalk 6-14″+ tall. Rounded cluster of flowers with white petals and dark pink midveins. A very rare species found only in a limited area of the Sierra Nevada foothills, Butte and Plumas Co., on serpentine outcrops. Edible like other onions. Sun to part shade and a dry Summer. Blooms late June, the flowers remain through late September. Give seed 30+ days cold. Z6?
Seed packet $3.50

Allium unifolium

Keeled grass like leaves to 2′. Rounded umbels of star shaped flowers start off rose-pink and quickly fade to pale pink. Seed from seasonally wet areas near our home in western Sonoma Co. Widespread but uncommon, this is a great native onion for naturalizing and is a tasty “wild” food. Sun to partial shade. Cold stratify seed. Z7?
Seed packet $3

Allium haematochiton BK08426.1

Dwarf species, 2-4″ tall. Small tasty bulbs and spheres of white flowers with pink midstripes. Collected on the hills southeast of San Luis Obispo. The plants grew by the thousands, a sea of puff flowers, a white-pink foam hovering above the ground. Full sun, let dry during Summer. Cold stratify seed. Z8/9a
sold out

For additional Allium species see our Medicinals/Edibles offerings

Angelica tomentosa “Ba?cowa”

Apiaceae. Herbaceous perennial with stalks 3 to 5’+. Large ternate-pinnate glaucus leaves, spherical umbels of white flowers. CA woods and edges, oftern in serpentine soils. The Pomo ate the young Spring shoots, the roots were used for all manner of ailments including colds, headaches, wound healing, sore throats, to regulate menses, etc. Roots shavings were smoked or chewed by the shaman while curing. Cold stratify seed. Z7a
Seed packet $2.50

Arnica cordifolia

Asteraceae. Rhizomatous perennial 1’+ tall. Balsam scented arrow to heart-shaped leaves. Bright yellow flowers. Higher elevation forests of California and the western states. The whole plant is the favored medicinal for all manner of injuries and pain. Prefers moist well draining soil. Fire tolerant. Z6a
Seed packet $3

Artemisia californica “California Sagebrush” “Khapshikh” “Hulvel”

Asteraceae. Aromatic shrub to 6′. Fine silver green foliage, small yellow flowers. One of the signature plants and scents of California. Dried foliage is burned as incense and smudge. Like all wormwoods, the plant is strongly antimicrobial and antiparasitical. Surface sow. Z8b
Seed packet $3

Brodiaea stellaris “Dwarf Grass Nut”

Alliaceae or Liliaceae. Grass-like leaves from small geophytic bulbs. Slender stems to 1-6″ tall bearing several violet colored flowers with recurved petals and white staminodes held close to stamens. Grasslands and open woodlands of coastal northern California. The bulbs are edible and were once eaten by native tribes. The bulbs offset with age and have a sweet nutty flavor eaten raw or cooked. Seed from western Sonoma Co. populations. Easy, prefers wet Winters and hot dry Summers. Give the seed 30-60 days cold treatment. An excellent addition to garden borders and rock gardens. Dormant late Summer through Winter. Z8a
Seed packet $3
Inquire for bulbs

Calochortus luteus BK091028.1 “Golden Mariposa Lily”

Liliaceae. Perennial bulb with annual grass like leaves. 6-18″ flower stalk bearing upright cup-shaped flowers, brilliant yellow petals painted with an amazing intricacy of orange patterns and splotches, each flower is unique. Collected on serpentine outcrops, western Sonoma Co. The bulbs are edible and were once a food for California natives. Can naturalize in a sunny garden. Give it a dry Summer rest. Cold stratify seed. Z7b?
Seed packet $3.25

Calochortus raichei BK10807.7 “Cedar’s Fairy Lantern”

Bulb with glaucus-blue annual grass like leaves. 6-36″ flower stalk with up to 6 nodding spherical yellow flowers. Blooms later than any species, from June to August. A narrow endemic of the Cedars. Named after horticulturalist Roger Raiche who has dedicated much of his life to botanizing and protecting this amazing hidden pocket of botanical and geological wonder. Bulbs likley edible. Needs a well drained soil and dry period at the end of Summer. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3.50

Camassia quamash  “Camas”

Alliaceae or Liliaceae. Forms a 1–1.5″ bulb with annual grass like leaves and flower stalk to 3′ clothed in dark blue flowers. Native to western USA. The sweet bulbs were a staple food of many indigenous tribes, gathered in huge quantities and eaten boiled, baked, and roasted. Has potential as a modern food crop, organic farmers take note. Prefers sun, rich soil and a wet Spring. Can take dry or wet Summers. The bulbs offset with age, the large “mother” bulb can be harvested and the “babies” replanted. 30+ days cool temperatures to germinate. Z6a
Seed packet $3
Inquire for bulbs

Chlorogalum pomeridianum “Soap-root” “Pash”

Liliaceae. Slender blue-green leaves, often with wavy margins, grow from an egg-sized bulb. Small white flowers are borne on a graceful inflorescence to 3-5′. Grows throughout California, seed from Sonoma Co. populations. The saponin rich bulb was once widely used to make a soap and shampoo and the fibrous bulb-scales made into brushes. Crushed bulbs were placed in water to stun fish. The bulbs and young shoots of the plant were also eaten after boiling in several changes of water or extensive roasting. Sun to part shade, tolerant of drought and diverse soils. Cold stratify seed. Z7a
Seed packet $2.50

Claytonia siberica  “Perennial Miner’s Lettuce” “Spring Beauty”

Portulacaceae. Rosettes of succulent, deep green, edible leaves. Clusters of small white and pink flowers, spring through summer. Spreads by runners and seeds prolifically. Wide distribution from California to Alaska and eastern Russia. This is a fantastic, long season, low maintenance salad green for our family. Seeds traditionally eaten as a pinole. The crushed leaves were used as a poultice for wounds. Spreads vigorously in moist or shady areas. Z4
Seed packet $3
1 gram seed (aprox 600+ seed) $8

Dudleya abramsii ssp. murina BK0612.2

Crassulaceae. Rosettes of slender glaucous leaves from a small branching caudex to about 4″. Flower stalks to 6″ with small purplish flowers. Endemic to the serpentine outcrops in the hills around San Luis Obispo. Sow seed like cacti. Plants need bright light and a dry Summer rest, when the leaves will shrivel until Autumn rains revive. Z9a-b
Seed packet $3.50

Dudleya cymosa BK09725.4

Clusters of glaucus white sculpted rosettes to 6″ across. 6-10″ flowers stalks bearing dozens of small pale yellow flowers. Collected on a south facing serpentine cliff, Lookout Rock, Coleman Creek, Occidental. Z8/9a
Seed packet $3.50

Dudleya farinosa  “Bluff Lettuce”

2–4″ tall multistemmed caudex with rosettes of compact succulent leaves, green to powdery silver-blue, turning bright red with age. Red flower stalk with pale to vibrant yellow flowers. Forms extensive colonies on dunes, craggy outcrops and cliffs along the northern California coast. The leaves were eaten by a number of tribes and have an interesting astringent flavor. A diverse and beautiful species. Z8b
Seed packet $3

Dudleya lanceolata BK11822.1

3–6″ succulent rosettes of deep green pointed leaves. Yellow to reddish flowers. Seed collected from plants growing on serpentine rocks, oak understory, hills of San Luis Obispo, CA. Lovely and easy to care for. Sun to filtered shade. Z9a
Seed packet $3.25

Dudleya pulverulenta BK0612.1

One of the largest of the genus, forms a rosette up to 30″, usually unbranched. The leaves can be up to 18″ long and 3″ wide, covered in a fine white powder that gives the plant an spectacular appearance. Large multi-branched flower stalk to 4′ with dozens of bright red flowers. Native to isolated areas, from San Luis Obispo County, south to Baja. A hummingbird magnet when blooming. This seed is from the northernmost populations, growing on steep south east facing sandstone outcrops in the hills near Avila, San Luis Obispo Co. Needs soil with excellent drainage and a dry summer rest. Z9a-b
Seed packet $3.50

Dudleya pulverulenta ssp. arizonica

Rosettes to 8″, leaves covered in a fine white powder. Large flower stalk with red flowers. Rare subspecies native to south east California and adjacent Arizona. Smaller but hardier than the coastal species. A gorgeous plant. Needs soil with excellent drainage and a dry summer rest. Z8b
2–3″+ plant 2 years old $6.50

Elymus californicus “California Wild Rye”

Poaceae. Ornamental perennial grass to 5’+ tall. Erect infloresence which nods as the seed ripens. A northern California endemic, seed from western Sonoma Co. where it occurs in colonies within openings of oak/bay/fir woodlands. Friends have recently observed this grass succeeding patches of poison oak. The edible seed was once a native grain for California tribes. The adventurous may try using it forbewing a ‘native’ beer. Sun or light shade. Z7?
Seed packet $3

Eriodictyon californica BK081111.1 “Yerba Santa”

Hydrophyllaceae. Shrub to 8′ tall. Thick resinous linear leaves with toothed margins, dark green with white undersides. Clusters of small tubular white flowers. The flavonoid rich sticky leaves are a powerful decongestant. Smoked and chewed as a tobacco substitute. Leaves used as natural bandages. Does best in full sun and poor soil. A rugged plant, can take drought. Seed collected on Mt. St. Helena (Mt. Mayacmas), 4,000′, Calistoga. Z8a
Seed packet $3.50

Erythronium californicum “Trout lily” “Fawn Lily”

Liliaceae. Bulb that produces 2 oval leaves, green with darker mottling. Erect flower raceme to 8″+ bearing several drooping white flowers with recurved petals. A lovely spring ephemeral endemic to the forests of northern California. The tooth-shaped bulbs were once a valued food. Seed from Mendocino Co. Dappled shade, dry Summer rest. Cold stratify seed 30+ days. Z7a
Seed packet $3

Erythronium grandiflorum “Maxa” “Glacier Lily”

Deep set bulb with dark green narrow leaves 4–8″ long. Inflorescence to 6–12″ with one to three vibrant yellow flowers with reflexed petals. Often occur in large drifts of hundreds of plants, higher altitudes of California and throughout the western states. The bulbs are relished by grizzly bears and were eaten by numerous tribes. Edible raw but reported to be best after long slow baking. The leaves and immature seed pods are also eaten. Cold stratify seed 30 days. Z5a
Seed packet $3

Erythronium revolutum  “Pink Fawn Lily” “Trout Lily”

From deep set bulbs arise dark green mottled leaves and intense rosy-pink nodding flowers with recurved petals. Considered endangered in California, occurs in the northern Coast Ranges up to BC. Bulbs edible. Easy and rewarding in a semi shady spot. Cold stratify seed. Z6b
Seed packet $3

Fritillaria biflora BK08426.2 “Chocolate Lily”

Liliaceae. From small bulbs arise thick, polished, lanceolate basal leaves and a flowering stalk 4-8″ tall bearing 2-6 nodding, bell-like flowers, dark chocolate-purple. Native to the coastal ranges of California. The bulbs may have been eaten like other Fritillaria species. Prefers a heavy soil, the plant goes dormant by Summer and should be kept dry. We collected seed of this exquisite species on the hills southeast of San Luis Obispo. Cold stratify. Z8b
Seed packet $3.50

Fritillaria pudica “Yellowbells” ” ‘sikni”

Perennial bulb with narrow basal leaves. Flowers stalk 3–10″ high with pure yellow bell-shaped blossoms that age to orange. Northern California through the western states and Canada. The bulbs were eaten raw or baked by many North American tribes, said to have a delicious nutty-rice flavor. Cold stratify seed. Sunny spot with a dry summer rest. Z5a
Seed packet $3

Gaultheria shallon “Salal”

Ericaceae. Evergreen spreading shrub 2-6′ tall. Simple glossy green leaves arranged alternately on the hairy stems. Large clusters of white to pink urn shaped flowers. Dark blue to purple edible berries. This blueberry relative grows throughout the Pacific Northwest. The berries are an important food for many animals and were valued by many tribes. The leaves were used for wound healing and as a tea for cough and stomach health. Part sun to shade, acid soil, fairly drought hardy once well established. Z6a
Seed packet $2.50

For additional Gaultheria species see our Chilean , Andean &  Medicinals/Edibles offerings

Gentiana affinis v. ovata BK06906.1 “Gentian”

Gentianaceae. Small perennial caudex from which 4-12″ annual stems grow. Small ovate leaves and large, intensely dark-blue bell shaped flowers, often with flecking of lighter blue. This rarity is native to open meadows and hillsides. Seed is originally from populations growing in the hills near the coast in Sonoma County. Gentian are used the world over as bitter digestive tonics. Sun to part shade. Can take some drought. Becomes very floriferous in the garden. Z8b
Seed packet $3.50
Plant 3-4 years old $12  (limited)

Grindelia hirsutula “Gumplant”

Asteraceae. Perennial to 12″, waxy slender leaves with serrated edges. Yellow daisy like flowers that exude a sticky resin. Seed from western Sonoma Co. Grindelia species are very important medicinals whereever they occur, from North to South America. Traditionally used to treat all manner of respiratory problems and skin disease. It was used in US hospitals to treat tuberculosis until 1960. Prefers sun, drought hardy. Z7a
Seed packet $2.50

Hierochloe occidentalis BK09725.1 “Western Sweet Grass”

Gramineae. Perennial bunch-grass to 18″. Graceful flowering panicles. The leaves have a sweet vanilla/coumarin scent, especially upon drying. A forest understory plant from California to Washington. The western source of sweet grass braids, a sacred incense of Native Americans. Seed collected on the north facing banks of Coleman Creek, Occidental. Enjoys part shade and tolerates dry Summers once established. Sow seed in Autumn. Z8a
Seed packet $3.50

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum

Liliaceae. Bulb with annual stems to 8′, whorled leaves. Dark yellow flowers with recurved petals with dark red splotches. Endemic to seasonally moist areas of southern California, up to 5500′. Endangered like many of California’s lilies. The bulb is edible like other species. Nearly flowering size bulbs. Z6a
Sold out

Lilium pardalinum BK09902.1

Softball size scaled bulb from which arise annual stems to 8’+ tall. Whorled lanceolate leaves and arching branchlets of pendant 4″ carmine flowers with recurved petals, and orange centers splashed with brown spots. Growing in dark rich boggy black soil at a natural spring seep with bracken fern, Aralia californica, and Asarum canadense. This robust population grows near our home in western Sonoma County and is the only population we know of in this particular part of the county. The large bulbs were eaten by many California tribes. Sow in Autumn.
Seed packet $4
Inquire for bulbs

Lilium pardalinum ssp. vollmeri Ratko06-336

Unbranched bulb with annual stems to 6′, whorled leaves. Up to 12+ flowers with recurved petals of orange-red with yellow centers and brown spots. Seed from plants growing in a serpentine seep, Siskyou Mountians, Del Norte Co., 1275’. This rare subspecies is considered endangered. The bulbs were a traditional native food. Bulbs are small, but we expect them to bloom in the next year or so. Z5a
Plant/bulb 3–4 years old $7.50

Nicotiana quadrivalvis BK10911.1 “Indian Tobacco”

Solanaceae. Annual species 3–6’+ tall. Lanceolate leaves, 1.5″ tubular white flowers. Seed from plants growing along a creek bed, hills east of Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co. the main native tobacco that was once widely cultivated by numerous tribes, but has become scarce in recent times. For medicinal and religious purposes the leaves were smoked or chewed with lime made from burnt shells. We can help honor and revitalize relations with this ancient plant ally through cultivation. Z9a
Seed packet $3.25

Monardella purpurea “Coyote Mint”

Labiatae. Low growing perennial with small dark-green smooth leaves. The stems terminate in dense rounded heads with numerous pale-purple flowers. All parts of the plant are highly aromatic with an alluring mint-like fragrance. A scarce species found in serpentine outcrops where it is a favorite of native bees. Sometimes interbreeds with the more common Monardella villosa. Seed from western Sonoma Co. Makes a delicious and refreshing tea, great for stomach ailments. Easy to grow, good for garden borders or rockeries. Sun and drought hardy. Z7a
Seed packet $3.25

Monardella viridis BK10808.6 “Green Deermint”

Forms small colonies of densely packed 6″+ stems with smooth green leaves. Rounded flower heads with purple flowers. Wonderfully aromatic like all the members of this cheery genus. Collected from populations growing in the cypress understory at the Cedars, Sonoma Co. This is the far western limit for this species. May tolerate a little more shade than other species. Makes a great potted plant and is a real gem for the rock garden.
Seed packet $3.50

Montia parvifolia

Portulacaceae. 1-3″ rosettes of small paddle-shaped succulent leaves. Straight flowering stems to 12″ bearing 1/2″ white-pink flowers. Small plantlets grow along the flowering stems and eventually drop off and root wherever they land. The plant turns red in bright light. The edible leaves have an interesting taste and were once used as a relish. Quite showy and easy, shade to part sun. Self propagates readily and is very drought tolerant. Our plants are from seed originally collected on the north side of mossy rocks along the north fork of the Trinity River, Trinity Co. Z8a
Plantlet $4.50

Pedicularis densiflora “Betony” “Indian Warrior”

Scrophulariaceae. Deciduous herbaceous plant with feathery fern like leaves, dark green to purple in color. Flower heads to 1′ high, densely packed with gorgeous bright red flowers. Considered semi-parasitic on the roots of other plants, but can grow on its own as well. Seed from western Sonoma County. Tea made from the plant is a superb skeletal muscle relaxant and has found its way into modern suburban pharmacopoeias as a smoke. Shade to sun. Give seed 30+ days cold. Z7b
Seed packet $4

Perideridia kellogii “Yampah”

Apiaceae. From a perennial rootstock arises slender pinnately divided leaves and a flowering stalk to 4′. Delicate umbels of white flowers, sometimes with a blush of pink. Native to vernal-meadows of the Pacific Northwest. Develops thickened rootlets, eaten by many tribes, but not as coveted as P. gairdneri. The tender new Spring growth is an eagerly awaited delicacy. The aromatic seeds can be used as a caraway substitute. A fantastic native for the veggie garden. Likes a rich moist soil and at least partial sun. Seed from plants that grow naturally around our home. Needs 30-90 days cold to sprout. Z7a
Seed packet $3

Phacelia californica

Hydrophyllaceae. Low growing perennial that forms mats to 3′. Fuzzy pinnately lobed leaves that turn purplish in bright light. Small lavender flowers born in clusters on curiously coiled stalks. Native to rocky areas. The leaves were traditionally crushed and used for wound healing, the roots boiled for coughs. An important nectar source for the endangered Mission Blue butterfly; Icaricia icarioides missionensis. Easily grown, tolerant of drought once established. Seed from western Sonoma County populations. Z8a
Seed packet $2.50

Rubus parviflorus “Thimbleberry”

Rosaceae. Elegant spineless shrub 4–8′. Large soft maple-leaf like foliage. White flowers and 1″ raspberry like edible fruit. Native to the Pacific North West. The thin, tender and sweet berries are one of our favorites. We can never harvest enough and usually eat them on-site as they squish easily when picked. Prefers partial shade and rich moist soil. Give seed 30+ days cold stratification. Z4b
Seed packet $3

Rubus spectabilis “Salmon Berry”

Moderately prickled, upright arching stems 5–10′ tall. Trifoliate leaves. Clusters of rose-pink flowers become sweet orange-red berries. Found along streams and moist forests from northern California to Alaska. Seed from Marin Co. A favored fruit of many indigenous tribes. Cold stratify seed. Z7a
Seed packet $3

For additional Rubus species see  Medicinals/Edibles offerings

Salvia apiana “White Sage” “We’wey”

Labiatae. Shrub up to 10′ tall with white resinous leaves. Large flower stalks up to 4′ long with white to palelavender colored flowers. The sacred sage of the arid mountains and deserts. Important medicinal to many native tribes, bundles of the aromatic leaves are burned as a physical and spiritual antiseptic. Loved by bees. An excellent companion plant to many of the columnar cacti. Seed germinates in 1-4 weeks. Z8b
Seed packet $3

Salvia columbariae “California Chia” “Ilipesh”

Annual 1-2′. Resinous dissected leaves. Spiky globular heads with blue flowers. Southwest US native. Seed highly nutritious source of EFAs. An important food of many desert tribes. One of the few sources of the anti-seizure compound tanshinone. Easy to grow, tolerant of hot, dry conditions. Z9b
Seed packet $3

Salvia sonomensis “Sonoma Creeping White Sage”

Spreading groundcover 4–6″ tall. Simple grey-white leaves. 6″ flower spikes bearing round clusters of numerous small blue violet blossoms. Seed collected from plants growing beneath manzanita, ridge tops in the North Coast Ranges, Lake Co. Strongly aromatic, makes a fine smudge or incense similar to white sage. Prefers a sunny spot to light shade and well draining soil. Drought hardy, happiest with minimal summer water. Z7a
Seed packet $3.50

Salvia spathacea “Pitcher Sage”

Clumping perennial to 3′. Globular 3″ whorls bearing large magenta colored flowers, a hummingbird mecca. The whole plant is wonderfully aromatic, being covered in sticky oil glands. Used by the Chumash to sweeten Yerba Santa tea. Often grows as an oak understory, this seed was collected from such a habitat in the hills around San Luis Obispo. This has been our favorite sage since early childhood. Part sun to part shade. Z8a
10+ seed $3.50

For additional Salvia species see our Andean &  Medicinals/Edibles offerings

Satureja douglasii “Yerba Buena”

Labiatae. Groundcover with runners to several feet. Ovate pale-green leaves with a sweet mild mint aroma and flavor. Small white to purplish flowers at the leaf nodes. Found growing throughout California woodlands and under scrub, seed from Sonoma Co. The plant was used by indigenous Californians to treat parasites as well as all manner of intestinal issues, fevers, colds, toothache, and menstrual cramps. It makes a pleasant tea and we enjoy chewing on the leaves whenever we come across the plant. The small seeds are very time consuming to collect! Shade tolerant. Z7a.
Seed packet $3.50

Saxifraga mertensiana   “Merten’s Saxifrage”

Saxifragaceae. Small herbaceous plant, tufts of annual, semi-succullent, rounded, dark green leaves with scalloped edges grow from a small perennial caudex. Flower stalks 6–10″+ with airy clusters of tiny white blossoms. Small bulblets form on the inflorescence that drop to produce new plants. Growing on seasonally damp west facing cliffs, Sonoma Co. An easy and rewarding plant, we grow it in pots on our deck railing. Z7a
Seed packet $3

Triteleia grandiflorum

Alliaceae or Liliaceae. Bulb with grass like leaves and inflorescence 1–2′ tall. Umbel of up to 20 deep blue flowers with purple-blue midvein. Found in northern California and the Pacific North West with disjunct populations in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. The bulbs are said by some to be the tastiest of the North American bulbs. Crunchy water chestnut flavor raw turning sweet with cooking. Cold stratify seed. Z6/7?
Seed packet $3

Triteleia laxa (=Brodiaea laxa) “Grass Nut” “Wally Basket”

Several narrow grass-like leaves up to 15″ from small geophytic bulbs. Slender stems to 2’+ tall bearing wide loose umbels of 6-18+ lavender colored funnel form 1″ flowers arise as the leaves wither in early Summer. Native to grasslands and open woodlands. The flowers and bulbs are edible, the bulbs once being an important staple food of many native tribes who carefully tended wild populations of the plant. The bulbs offset with age and have a delicious sweet nutty flavor eaten raw or cooked. Our seed is originally from populations growing in western Sonoma Co. in what appears to be relic Pomo “gardens” that include high densities of other important root crops-Brodiaea, Dichelostemma, and Perideridea. Easy to grow in most soils, they prefer wet Winters and hot dry Summers. Cold stratify seed to sprout. Plants usually flower in 3-4 years from seed. An excellent addition to the garden, we’ve also found them to grow well in association with cacti. The plants are dormant late Summer through Winter and should be fine to Z8a.
Seed Packet $3
1 gram seed (aprox 1000 seed) $15
Inquire for bulbs

Vaccinium ovatum “Evergreen Huckleberry”

Ericaceae. Evergreen shrub 3-8’+. Small dark green leaves and pink/white bell shaped flowers. Delicious 1/3″ black berries. New growth is an attractive red-bronze. The small berries are esteemed by people and wildlife. Part sun to full shade, though a few hours of sun is needed to flower and fruit. Plants in the sun tend to be smaller and more compact than those in shade. Seed from our backyard. Prefers an acid soil. Seed needs 60-90 days cold. Z7a
Seed packet $2.50

Vaccinium parvifolium “Red huckleberry”

Erect shrub 3-10’+ high. Angled stems and small oval leaves. Rounded pink-white flowers and shiny red edible berries, sweet-tart. Pacific Northwest native. Seed from Mendocino County. Can take shade but fruits prolifically with more sun. Cold stratify. Z6a
Seed packet $2.50

For additional Vaccinium species see our Andean &  Medicinals/Edibles offerings

Seeds from the Cedars

The following seeds were collected in the remote part of northern Sonoma Co. known as the Cedars, a 7,500 acre chunk of serpentine and the pristine headwaters of Big and East Austin Creek. It is an isolated and rugged area of steep canyons, rocky ridges, cypress forests, talus barrens, undulating watersheds, and calcium carbonate springs. There is nothing else like it geoligically or botanically. At least 8 endemic plants occur in the area and disjunct populations of many other species occur here that you’d have to travel hundreds of miles to see otherwise. The Cedars is also peculiar for the many Californian plants and common exotics that occur just a stone’s through away, but are not found anywhere within its boundaries. We only have a limited amount of seed on hand, so take advantage of this unique opportumity to grow some of these glorious rare species. The hardiness of these plants should be somewhere within Z7-8

Aquilegia eximia BK10807.1 “Serpentine Columbine”

Ranunculaceae. Stems 1-4′ with glaucus-blue sticky leaflets. Evocative red-orange flowers with yellow highlights have upward facing petals and spurs. Rare throughout California, but an abundant species at the Cedars, favoring the watersheds and seeps. The roots of the closely related A. formosa were used by the Chumash for stomach problems, the seeds to treat lice, and the whole plant used as food after boiling.
Seed packet $3

Allium falcifolium BK10808.3

From the bulb grows 2 or more annual falcate leaves that stay close to the ground. Short flower stalk to 2″ with umbels of starry bright-purple flowers. Grows in the talus slopes at the Cedars. A unique and very beautiful onion for the rock garden. Blooming size bulbs. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3.25
Plant/bulb 3-4 years old $6.50 (grown from seed collected elsewhere in CA)

Calochortus raichei BK10807.7 “Cedar’s Fairy Lantern”

Bulb with glaucus-blue annual grass like leaves. 6-36″ flower stalk with up to 6 nodding spherical yellow flowers. Blooms later than any species, from June to August. A narrow endemic of the Cedars. Named after horticulturalist Roger Raiche who has dedicated much of his life to botanizing and protecting this amazing hidden pocket of botanical and geological wonder. Bulbs likley edible. Needs a well drained soil and dry period at the end of Summer. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3.50

Cupressus sargentii BK10807.9 “Sargent’s Cypress”

Cupressaceae. Evergreen tree up to 50’+. Aromatic scale-like leaves, 1″e; rounded cones and rough furrowed bark. Found scattered throughout the coastal mountains of California. This is the dominant tree at the Cedars, from which the erroneous name comes. Here it can be seen as forests of large majestic trees to contorted bonsai just a few feet tall on some of the ridges and barrens. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3

Erigeron serpentinus BK10807.4 “Serpentine Fleabane”

Asteraceae. A low spreading perennial to 5-8″ tall. Slender foliage and daisy-like flowers with yellow centers and pale lilac petals. A strict Cedars endemic, prefering the cypress forests, but also found along the watersheds. Tolerates sun or shade. Surface sow seed.
Seed packet $3.50

Eriophorum criniger BK10807.3 “Cotton Grass”

Cyperaceae. Clusters of grass-like leaves to 12″. Fringed white inflorescence on the end of a slender stalk that turns to a fuzzy cotton ball. The populations of this plant at the Cedars are the far southern limit of the species. A very attractive sedge. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3

Iris macrosiphon BK10808.5 “Long-tube Iris”

Iridaceae. Clumping rhizome with narrow blue-green leaves 8-12″ long. The elegant flowers can vary from pale to deep-purple or even yellow. Prefers sun to part shade and a dry Summer. Cold stratify seed.
Seed packet $3

Monardella viridis BK10808.6 “Green Deermint”

Forms small colonies of densely packed 6″+ stems with smooth green leaves. Rounded flower heads with purple flowers. Wonderfully aromatic like all the members of this cheery genus. Collected from populations growing in the cypress understory at the Cedars. This is the far western limit for this species. May tolerate a little more shade than other species. Makes a great potted plant and is a real gem for the rock garden.
Seed packet $3.50

Phacelia corymbosa BK10808.10

Hydrophyllaceae. Forms rounded cushions 4-6″ tall and 12″+ diameter made up of rosettes of fuzzy gray-green leaves. Small curled flowers stalks with white flowers. Grows throughout the serpentine barrens and talus slopes at the Cedars. A prime candidate for the rock garden, give it a well drained mineral soil and a bright sunny spot.
Seed packet $3.25

Streptanthus morrisonii ssp. hirtiflorus BK10807.6 “Jewelflower”

Brassicaceae. Biennial 1-4′ tall. Fleshy purplish leaves reminiscent of its cabbage relatives. Unusual flowers with yellow sepals and pale yellow petals, sometimes veined with purple. Another Cedars endemic and rarest of the jewelflower subspecies. An interesting addition for the rare flower garden.
Seed packet $3.50

An excellent article written by our friend Roger Raiche about the Cedars can be downloaded at-
http://www.cnps.org/cnps/publications/fremontia/Fremontia_Vol37-No2.pdf

BOOK

Tending the Wild:

Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources

by M. Kat Anderson
The most significant and impacting book we’ve read in the last few years. A thorough and unparalleled account of the profound interrelationship Native Americans had with the California landscapes and how this influenced the evolution of plant and animal communities over millennia. Plenty of insight into how we might begin to use indigenous knowledge in our own conservation efforts, how we can rekindle the human-nature relationship through restoring and reinhabiting our neglected and damaged lands. The author presents a wealth of information on native land management practices gleaned from interviews with indigenous Californian elders and an extensive survey of historical records. The complex picture that emerges from this explodes the myth of Native Californians as “hunter-gatherers” or “foragers.” What early European explorers and settlers mistook as pristine untouched wilderness was in fact a vast intimately managed “garden.” This volume carefully illuminates the variety of ways early Californians purposefully tended their environment and how these practices gave rise to California’s unique habitats, increased biodiversity and sustained beneficial vegetation types. Through annual controlled burning, coppicing and harvesting, California’s once majestic woodlands, sweeping grasslands, dazzling wildflower meadows, and expansive wetlands were shaped and maintained. This provided an abundance of food and material goods for what was one of the most dense and diverse native populations in North America. The astounding loss of biological and cultural diversity, the extreme and drastic changes brought on by European colonization, the far ranging affect of the decline of California tribes and suppression of their land management practices is hard to fully grasp today, but the author does an excellent job presenting this history. She helps to reshape our understanding of native cultures and environments, not just in California, but around the world. We come to see indigenous people as active agents of environmental change and stewardship. This volume offers a view of human beings as full participants in the natural world, a much needed remedial middle ground to the modern polarity between the industrial overexploitation of nature and the preservationists’ hands off approach. Traditional ecological knowledge is vital to developing a meaningful sustainable life in our modern global age, this work offers much practical wisdom. It has radically altered the way we look and relate to the ecosystems around us. We consider this book required reading for anyone living in California and recommend it widely to everyone interested in deepening their relations with nature.
Softcover, black and white illustrations, 555 pages $24.95 (2 lbs)

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