Do you want California songbirds, butterflies and hummingbirds in your garden? If the answer is “yes” then plant California native plants. Our birds and butterflies are “programmed” to seek the native plants. It makes sense when you think about it. Although many plants from other parts of the world may adapt and look quite lovely, they don’t hold the same attraction to our local wildlife.
We recently introduced Asclepias (bloodflower or milkweed) to our garden and the Monarch butterflies “got the memo”. The bright red and yellow flowers on two-foot tall stems are attractive in their own right but with the addition of stained glass windows on wings flickering about, the sight is thrilling. And, we should mention, all the aphids that hitchhiked on the new plants have magically disappeared. Ahhhh nature.
Another suggestion is Rhamnus californica (coffeeberry). This lovely shaped shrub can grow from 4 to 8 feet tall and puts forth large berries that turn from green to red to black as they ripen. Move your garden chair nearby so you can enjoy the birds feasting on the beautiful berries.