California is a massive state with a lot of diversity—there are mountains, there’s desert, and of course a long and winding coastline. Suffice to say, The Golden State is rich in flowers, from hardy cacti and climbing succulents to strong, but delicate blooms.
Here is a look at the most popular California native flowers, as well as some under-the-radar blossoms we love to include in our Bouqs or a drought-resistant garden made from more than just rocks.
A spring annual, these little wildflowers are especially darling—featuring daisy-like blooms atop a long, slender stem that sprouts forth from a succulent. The yellow flowers feature sharp, white tips–hence the name–which add a graphic appeal to the tiny blooms.
The seeds germinate when winter rain comes along, and they don’t require a ton of water from there on out–making them a solid candidate for California gardeners looking for a sustainable addition to their yard. While Tidy Tips are native to California and you can find them from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego, you can also find them across the American Southwest—as far east as Texas.
Hummingbird Sage is a standout plant–this particular type of sage is native to the whole of the California coast–growing from Orange County to Napa.
As the name suggests, these tall pink blooms are especially attractive to hummingbirds. The plant grows year-round, and requires a little extra water during winter months, and some trimming when things start to heat up. A couple of these long-stemmed blooms stand to shake up any standard bouquet.
Somewhat of a rarity among California desert flowers, this mallow variety produces sunshine yellow, cup-shaped blooms sure to brighten up any arrangement in the ground or in the vase. The plants themselves grow in dry climates and can top over six feet—making for long stems perfect for arranging any way you like.
Lewisia comes in a variety of colors–pink, yellow, and orange–but all are marked by a signature stripe-y streak of white, rose, or red. These California cuties bloom during spring and summer months, but it may take a couple of years before the succulent starts producing its own rosettes–patience is a virtue, here. While care for the Lewisia requires minimal effort on your end, you’ll want to make sure you plant these in fast-draining soil–i.e., one of those cactus-specific blends you can find at the nursery.
Ah, the California state flower. Since 1903, the flower has been something of a symbol for the gold rush era, representing “fields of gold.” The native poppy grows along the west coast of the US–from Mexico to Washington state. It’s also been found in far-flung places like France, Chile, and Australia.
The golden orange flower grows year-round and can reach up to 20 inches in height. The cheery bloom features delicate petals, and a more delicate appearance than traditional opium poppies–here the entire flower is orange–lacking that black middle synonymous with the seeded plant.
Pacific Coast Iris
The Pacific Coast Iris is a slender species with leaves streaked with darks and lights for a unique effect. While they bear some resemblance to their bearded relatives, they are smaller–and sometimes feature a yellow streak down the middle–providing a stark contrast to the dreamy purple-blue petals. And if purple’s not your bag, there this flower can also be found in pink, white, and yellow.
Phacelias are California native flowers, present in several different regions. Though, it’s worth pointing out that they do especially well in the sunny, Southern part of the state. These blue, bell-shaped beauties are a drought-tolerant annual that produces both pollen and nectar, attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinating critters. At home in a low-water rock garden–these flowers are the perfect complement to a vibrant orange arrangement like sunflowers or California poppy, the state flower.
A word of warning: phacelia buds are covered in little hairs that may cause a skin reaction–tread carefully, or you’re sure to be battling some serious itching.
Support Our California Flower Farmers
With its temperate climate and plenty of sunshine, California is home to so many blooms, native and transplant. For some sunny inspiration, see what our California farmers have to offer. From sunflowers and tulips to orchids, roses, and more–the Golden State brings some serious style to our fresh-cut lineup.Shop All