In addition to providing a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the view, our Clubhouse picnic area is a demonstration area for easy-care native plants that residents might choose for their own gardens.
Here are varieties that would work well in TOT gardens, and more choices are available. Sponsored plot varieties are at the bottom of the list. For a step-by-step guide to turning your yard into a California native garden, download Getting Started with Native Plants (PDF). For more information, see Native Plants in TOT and Landscape.
Coral Bells hybrids (Huechera species)
Perennial herb, part shade
Grows 1-2 ft tall
Common uses: Path Edging, Hummingbird Gardens, Containers
Called Coral Bells because of its cerise flowers, this plant has heart-shaped leaves to bear loose clusters of small, pink to red, bell-shaped flowers. Bright, coral-red bells hanging in a cluster. The dainty bells and dark green leaves make this a highly popular ornamental. Coral bells are easy to grow and blend easily with most other perennials in the landscape. Find out more on Calscape or The Spruce.
Pigeon Point Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis)
Shrub, full sun
Grows 1-2 feet tall, 6-8 ft wide
Common uses: Groundcovers, Slope Coverage, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens, Perimeter Spaces
Coyote brush is one of the best evergreen ground covers for medium to large parkways, slopes, and perimeter garden spaces. As it matures it will develop woody stems and a mounding habit. The mounding habit and the woody stems can be revitalized by pruning the stems back to the ground in midwinter every 4-5 years; the next spring growth cycle is usually very robust. Find out more on Calscape.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Perennial herb, grows 1-3 ft tall, .5-1.5 ft wide
Full sun, full or part shade
Common uses: Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Bee Gardens, Butterfly Gardens
In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris, for its use in staunching the flow of blood from wounds. Native Americans had many uses for the plant, including pain relief, fever reduction, and blood issues of all kinds. The plant commonly flowers from May through June. It is extremely easy to grow, but looks best with regular water. It easily reseeds and can be aggressive. Find out more on Calscape.
Verbena (Verbena lilacina) (Verbena lilacina De la Mina shown here)
Shrub, full sun or part shade
Grows 2-3 ft tall, 3-4 ft wide
Common uses: Butterfly Gardens, Borders, Containers
This perennial produces mounds of delicate green foliage and dark purple blossoms with lavender streaks. The blossoms are lightly scented. Though there are more flowers in the spring, this plant has blossoms throughout most of the year which attracts butterflies throughout the year! To maintain a dense form shear lightly in summer, and remove spent flowers. Find out more on Calscape.
Catalina Currant (Ribes viburnifolium)
Shrub, part shade
Grows 2-3 ft tall, 8 ft wide
Common uses: Bank Stabilization, Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens
The shrub is known by the common names Catalina Perfume, Island Gooseberry and Evergreen Currant. The shrub grows low to the ground, extending long reddish stems horizontally where the tips may root and establish new growth centers. The leaves are dark green and shiny on their top surfaces, and lighter green or yellowish and leathery on the undersides. The leaves have glands which exude a sticky, citrus-scented sap. Clusters of deep red flowers bloom in late winter and into early spring. The plant yields small red fruits later in the spring that attract birds. Find out more on Calscape.
Foothill Penstemon hybrid Margarita BOP (Penstemon heterophyllus)
Perennial herb, full sun or part shade
Grows 3.3-5 ft tall, 5 ft wide
Common uses: Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens
It is a perennial herb producing upright, branching stems easily exceeding one meter in height and becoming woody at the bases. The leaves are variable in shape and may reach nearly 10 centimeters long. The flower cluster produces several wide-mouthed tubular flowers up to 4 centimeters in length. If conditions are right it can be long-lived. Find out more on Calscape.
Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica)
Shrub, grows 2-6 feet tall
Common uses: Bee Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Borders
The leaves are fern-like and close at night time. The flowers, which appear in early summer, have clusters of red stamens that resemble feather dusters, hence the name. It is very drought tolerant, but additional watering will encourage it to bloom through summer and again in the fall. Seed pods look like “snow peas” and when ripe, explode. After ejecting seeds, the curled open pods remain attached to the plant for some time. In landscaping, it is used in borders, foreground plantings, or as an island accent. Find out more on Wikipedia.
Ceanothus “Yankee Point” (Ceanothus griseus horizontalis)
Shrub, part shade
Grows 2-3 ft tall, 8-12 ft wide
Common uses: Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens, Bee Gardens, Butterfly Gardens
Host to the Spring Azure, Echo Blue, Pacuvius Duskywing, California Tortoiseshell, Pale Swallowtail, and Hedgerow Hairstreak butterflies. Pleasant smelling, variable in form, ranging from low and spreading to rounded and upright. The evergreen leaves are ribbed and have slightly serrated edges and fuzzy undersides. The flower clusters are borne on thick stalks a few centimeters long and are dense with small blue or purple flowers. The fruit is a sticky black capsule about 4 millimeters in length containing usually 3 seeds. Find out more on Calscape.
Mound San Bruno Coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica)
Shrub, full sun, part shade
Grows 6-15 ft tall, 5-15 ft wide
Common uses: Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens
The California Buckthorn is also called coffeeberry because its berries contain seeds which look like coffee beans. The flowers are inconspicuous, small and greenish-white with five petals; they are produced in clusters of 5-60 together. The plant is prized more for its fruit, a berry 10-15 millimeters in diameter, which turn red, then purple and finally black over the summer. Coffeeberry has a dense form and is easy to prune. It makes a great and fire-resistant hedge. Find out more on Calscape.
Conejo Buckwheat (Eriogonum crocatum)
Perennial herb , full sun
Grows 0.6 – 3 ft tall, 1.6 – 3 ft wide
Common uses: Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens
Conejoy Buckwheat is a rare species of wild Buckwheat that is endemic to the Conejo Valley and surrounding regions in Ventura County, California. It grows on open, dry hillsides, often in crags in rock faces. Its foliage is a striking silvery green, with woolly leaves. It flowers from April-August, bearing clusters of tiny bright, sulfur yellow flowers. Find out more on Calscape.
Bees Bliss Sage (Salvia hybrid)
Shrub, full sun
Grows 1-2 ft tall, 5-8 ft wide
Common uses: Groundcovers, Slope Coverage
As the name suggests, Bee’s Bliss is attractive to pollinators who visit its fragrant, lavender-pink flowers in the late spring. It grows very fast. Great for fast slope coverage or inexpensive ground cover. Bee’s bliss needs little to no water once established in most of California. Find out more on Calscape. Sponsored by the TOT Green Group.
Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spatheca)
Perennial herb, full or part shade
Grows 1-3 ft tall, 3 ft wide
Common uses: Groundcovers, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens
It seems to do best in full shade, under oak trees and other dense foliage. Hummingbird Sage is very drought tolerant, and after the first year, can usually make it through the summer without any supplementary water, though it tends to go semi-deciduous without occasional irrigation. If you want it to be green year-round, it’ll tolerate summer water once or twice a month. There are several cultivars including “Topanga”. Find out more on Calscape. Sponsored by the TOT Green Group.
Red-flowered Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens)
Perennial herb, full sun
Grows 0.7 – 1.5 ft tall, 3 ft wide
Common Uses: Ground Cover, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens
Red Buckwheat is a rare native perennial herb endemic to three of the Channel Islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz). It produces tall, stout flower clusters of white, pink or red flowers. The flowers are held in ball-like clusters at the top, and its long bloom time in summer makes it popular with pollinators, especially butterflies. Leaves are wavy along the edges; the upper side is dark green, the underside is very pale. Although it is spreading, it doesn’t spread far or fast and retains a petite form. It is useful in rock gardens, spilling over a wall, or in the understory of larger plants. Find out more on Calscape.
California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum)
Perennial herb, full sun
Grows 0.25-1.5 ft tall, 2-3 ft wide
Common uses: Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens
Also known as the Hummingbird Trumpet, there is perhaps no better plant for attracting hummingbirds. Notable for the profusion of bright scarlet flowers in summer and autumn, it’s usually the only native California plant in an area flowering at the height of summer. They tend to die back and go dormant in the winter. Best to cut them back to the ground as soon as the flowers are spent, and they’ll come back lush and healthy in the spring. This plant will readily self-seed, so once you get this species established, it will usually start springing up around your garden. Find out more on Calscape.