logo Calflora Illustrated Plant List 

Low flammability plants for shady hillsides

I am developing this list in response to homeowner's needs for fire safe plants on shady slopes or hillsides in need of bank stabilization. Some of these are annual or perennial grass/wildflower species which can be seeded in the later fall, but most of these are perennial plants with rhizomatous roots. Wild ginger (Asarum caudatum) and Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana) should only be planted in full shade as they are adapted to redwood forest understory. Rubus ursinus, Lonicera hispidula, Artemisia douglasiana, and Stachys bullata are great for wild areas, but not as appropriate for gardens as they can spread more than desired in a tidy setting. For questions, please contact me at: Nikki@cal-sisters.com
19 PLANTS
Artemisia douglasiana    California mugwort,  Douglas' sagewort
native
Perennial herb

ASTERACEAE

Artemisia douglasiana
2021 Mike Russler
Artemisia douglasiana
2017 Alison Sheehey
Artemisia douglasiana
2013 Brent Morgan

Asarum caudatum    Creeping wild ginger,  Longtail wild ginger
native
Perennial herb

ARISTOLOCHIACEAE

Asarum caudatum
2007 Shawn DeCew
Asarum caudatum
Gerald and Buff Corsi 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Asarum caudatum
2017 Gregory Arena

Bromus laevipes    Chinook brome,  Narrow flowered brome,  Woodland brome
native
Perennial grass

POACEAE

Bromus laevipes
2008 Keir Morse
Bromus laevipes
2010 Robert Steers/NPS
Bromus laevipes
2012 Jake Ruygt

Clinopodium douglasii    Yerba buena
native
Perennial herb

LAMIACEAE

Clinopodium douglasii
2019 Gary McDonald
Clinopodium douglasii
2012 Gary McDonald
Clinopodium douglasii
2012 Gary McDonald

Dryopteris arguta    California wood fern,  Coastal wood fern,  Shield fern
native
Fern

DRYOPTERIDACEAE

Dryopteris arguta
2019 Ron Vanderhoff
Dryopteris arguta
2004 Brent Miller
Dryopteris arguta
2019 Rebecca Crowe

Festuca occidentalis    Western fescue
native
Perennial grass

POACEAE

Festuca occidentalis
2008 Keir Morse
Festuca occidentalis
2011 Steve Matson
Festuca occidentalis
2011 Steve Matson

Fragaria vesca    California strawberry,  Wild strawberry,  Wood strawberry
native
Perennial herb

ROSACEAE

Fragaria vesca
2020 Cara Wilcox
Fragaria vesca
2020 Cara Wilcox
Fragaria vesca
2020 Susan McDougall

Iris douglasiana    Douglas iris,  Douglas' iris
native
Perennial herb

IRIDACEAE

Iris douglasiana
2020 R.A. Chasey
Iris douglasiana
2020 Susan McDougall
Iris douglasiana
2009 John W. Wall

Melica geyeri    Geyer's onion grass,  Geyer's oniongrass
native
Perennial grass

POACEAE

Melica geyeri
2008 Keir Morse
Melica geyeri
2013 Aaron Arthur
Melica geyeri
2019 John Rawlings

Melica torreyana    Torrey melic,  Torrey's melica,  Torrey's melicgrass
native
Perennial grass

POACEAE

Melica torreyana
2012 Al Keuter
Melica torreyana
2019 John Rawlings
Melica torreyana
2017 MCOSD Restoration Crew

Oxalis oregana    Redwood sorrel
native
Perennial herb

OXALIDACEAE

Oxalis oregana
2020 Kim Cabrera
Oxalis oregana
2021 Cyril Guyot
Oxalis oregana
2020 Janice Kuch

Polypodium californicum    California polypody
native
Fern

POLYPODIACEAE

Polypodium californicum
2013 Neal Kramer
Polypodium californicum
2015 Keir Morse
Polypodium californicum
2013 Neal Kramer

Polystichum munitum    Western sword fern,  Western swordfern
native
Fern

DRYOPTERIDACEAE

Polystichum munitum
2008 Matt Below
Polystichum munitum
Gerald and Buff Corsi 2007 California Academy of Sciences
Polystichum munitum
2011 Toni Corelli

Scrophularia californica    California bee plant,  California figwort
native
Perennial herb

SCROPHULARIACEAE

Scrophularia californica
2020 Bob Sweatt
Scrophularia californica
2019 Ron Vanderhoff
Scrophularia californica
2020 Bob Sweatt

Stachys bullata    California hedge nettle,  California hedgenettle,  Southern hedge nettle
native
Perennial herb

LAMIACEAE

Stachys bullata
2018 Sheila Lodge
Stachys bullata
2020 Bryant Baker
Stachys bullata
2020 Ken Lunders

Symphoricarpos albus    Common snowberry
native
Shrub

CAPRIFOLIACEAE

Symphoricarpos albus
2021 Suzanne L. Weakley
Symphoricarpos albus
2020 Bob Sweatt
Symphoricarpos albus
2007 Neal Kramer

Symphoricarpos mollis    Creeping snowberry,  Trailing snowberry
native
Shrub

CAPRIFOLIACEAE

Symphoricarpos mollis
2019 Ron Vanderhoff
Symphoricarpos mollis
2020 Cara Wilcox
Symphoricarpos mollis
2019 Ron Vanderhoff

Symphyotrichum chilense    California aster,  Pacific aster
native
Perennial herb

ASTERACEAE

Symphyotrichum chilense
2020 Suzanne L. Weakley
Symphyotrichum chilense
2020 Mary Conway
Symphyotrichum chilense
2018 Stacie Wolny

Whipplea modesta    Modesty,  Whipplea,  Whipplevine
native
Vine, Shrub

HYDRANGEACEAE

Whipplea modesta
2004 Steve Matson
Whipplea modesta
2018 Paul Preston and Tim Lukaszewski
Whipplea modesta
2018 Mary Conway