Liquid News

Fire Resistant Plants – Pretty and Practical

 

Autumn SageOver the past several years, fire season in Southern California has not been limited to the hot summer and fall months. Fires have been reported in winter and spring, as well.

Irvine Ranch Water District customers who live in the foothill and canyon areas are more vulnerable to fires and would benefit from including fire resistant plants in their landscaping plans. Two things many of these plants have in common – they use little water and are attractive.

Below is a small sample of options for homeowners to consider when planting:

  • Monkeyflower – this entire species is endorsed for use by the Orange County Fire Authority. Be sure to check out the drought-tolerant varieties.
  • California lilac - the California lilac is a large shrub with a dense mass of dark green, one-inch leaves, with dark blue clusters of flowers appearing in spring. It requires good drainage, can tolerate summer water and grows to six feet.
  • Autumn sage - nothing evokes California quite like a sage-scented hillside. Beloved by hummingbirds and firefighters alike, the autumn sage is endorsed for use by the Orange County Fire Authority.
  • Common yarrow - this appears on fire-resistant lists for the California Native Plant Society and the Orange County Fire Authority.
  • French lavender - although not a true California native, this attractive drought-tolerant plant makes fire-resistant lists for Orange County.
  • Coast live oak – a handsome shade tree. Round-headed with dense foliage, it grows 20-70 feet tall. It has smooth, dark grey bark, with leathery dark green leaves. It is native to coastal central and Southern California.
  • California sycamore - sycamores have delighted generations of Californians, and this particular variety is endorsed for use by the Orange County Fire Authority.
  • Toyon - a classic California native, it has white flowers in the summer and berries in the winter. It gets good marks from the Orange County Fire Authority.

For more information about water-efficient planting, check out our website.

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