Gabi McLean, President of our local CNPS chapter, asked me at one point for a list of ‘bulletproof plants.’  Bulletproof plants are ones that grow in a variety of situations without much attention, and are what many people ask for in a garden plant: reliable and sturdy. They are tolerant of some water, since most gardens look better with some irrigation, but live without lots of water.   They have a predictable shape and size, and are often floriferous.  Many of the groundcover plants are listed because they are so useful, other plants are useful because they are taller than they are wide.  The following plants are the list that I used from my May talk at the San Gabriel Mountains CNPS chapter.  It is not comprehensive;  I had to fit the talk into an hour.  I’m putting the list here because people at the lecture asked me to.  If this post is helpful to people, I may expand it to its own page at some point, with commentary and pretty photos.

‘Island Pink’ Yarrow
‘Sonoma Coast’ Yarrow
‘Carmel Sur’ Manzanita
‘Howard McMinn’ Manzanita
‘John Dourley’ Manzanita Groundcover
‘Wayside’ Manzanita Groundcover
‘Golden Abundance’ Oregon Grape
Creeping Oregon Grape
‘Pigeon Point’ Coyote Brush
Baja Fairy Duster
‘Anacapa Pink’ Island Morning Glory
Meadow Sedge
Bush Anemone
‘Concha’ California Lilac
‘Ray Hartman’ California Lilac
‘Snow Flurry’ California Lilac
‘Yankee Point’ California Lilac
Island Bush Poppy
Britton’s Dudleya
California Sunflower Bush
‘W.R.’ Seaside Daisy
‘Dana Point’ California Buckwheat
Rosy Buckwheat
‘Siskyou Blue’ Idaho Fescue
Island Snapdragon
‘Wendy’ Coral Bells
‘Susanna’ Coral Bells
Desert Lavender
Douglas Iris and Pacific Coast Hybrids
Chuparosa, yellow variety
‘Canyon Prince’ Giant Wildrye
‘Silver Carpet’ Aster
‘Margarita BOP’ Penstemon
Eaton’s Penstemon
Catalina Currant
‘Mound San Bruno’ Coffeeberry
‘Allen Chickering’ Sage
‘Winifred Gilman’ Cleveland Sage
‘Bee’s Bliss’ Sage Groundcover
‘Mrs. Beard’ Sage Groundcover
Blue-eyed Grass
Apricot Mallow
Cedros Island Verbena
San Diego Sunflower
California Fuschia
Achillea millefolium
Achillea millefolium selection
Achillea millefolium selection
Arctostaphylos edmundsii
Arctostaphylos densiflora hybrid
Arctostaphylos hybrid
Arctostaphylos hookeri selection
Berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium
Berberis (Mahonia) repens
Baccharis pilularis
Calliandra californica
Calystegia macrostegia
Carex praegracilis
Carpinteria californica
Ceanothus hybrid
Ceanothus hybrid
Ceanothus hybrid
Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis sel.
Dendromecon harfordii
Dudleya brittoni
Encelia californica
Erigeron glaucus
Eriogonum fasciculatum selection
Eriogonum grande rubescens
Festuca idahoensis
Galvezia speciosa
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Heuchera hybrid
Heuchera hybrid
Hyptis emoryi
Iris douglasiana and PCH
Justicia californica
Justicia californica
Leymus condensatus
Lessingia filaginifolia selection
Muhlenbergia rigens
Penstemon heterophyllus hybrid
Penstemon eatonii
Ribes viburnifolium
Rhamnus californica
Salvia clevelandii x leucophylla
Salvia clevelandii
Salvia sonomensis hybrid
Salvia sonomensis hybrid
Sisyrinchium bellum
Sphaeralcea ambigua
Verbena lilacena
Viguera laciniata
Zauschneria (Epilobium) californica

Printable Easy Natives List (pdf)