Efforts to Boost Native Plants in California Take Root

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Wildflowers blooming near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, on April 6, 2023. - California's biologically diverse landscapes are home to more than 7,000 species of native plants, and the California Poppy, also known as golden poppy, a flowering plant native to the United States and Mexico became the official state flower in 1903.  (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Some people may think palm trees are native to California, but they’re not. In fact, non-native flora abound throughout our state. A bill moving through the California Legislature aims to boost the proliferation of native plants by requiring landscaping on some public and commercial areas to use at least 75 percent low-water, native plants by 2035. The idea is to promote cultivation of California’s native plants, increase biodiversity, and respond better to climate change. Native plants play an important role in supporting wildlife and insects that have evolved together over thousands of years. We’ll talk about efforts to grow more native plants in California, how they benefit the environment and how to incorporate them into your garden.


Andrea Williams, director of Biodiversity Initiatives for the California Native Plant Society

Michael Wilcox, senior lecturer of Native American Studies and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University

Kathy Crane, owner of Yerba Buena Nursery at Pastorino Farms

Nina House, museum scientist at the University and Jepson Herbaria, at University of California Berkeley