Native Plants of the Southern California Coast

This article was written by Pat Welsh and appeared in her blog, Pat's Garden Forum Southern California is not a desert. Only the area east of the mountains can correctly be characterized as a desert having plants we know as desert plants.

The coastal zones of California, west of the mountains have a Mediterranean climate, which means dry summers with brilliant sunshine and blue skies, and almost all rainfall concentrated during the mild, winter and spring, averaging 10 to 40 inches per year (worldwide average for Mediterranean climates). Snowfall is rare except at high elevations.

Mediterranean climates occur on approximately 2% of the world’s total land, on the south and southwestern portions of a large land mass. There are 5 main areas: California, the Mediterranean Basin, Central Chile, Western Cape of South Africa, and Southwest and South Australia (which also faces West.)...