In September, the California State Legislature designated an annual California Native Plant Week to begin each year on April 17. Sunday marks the first such celebration of our state's abundant natural plant heritage.
A native plant is any species that grew here before the arrival of Europeans. Among these natives are the tallest trees on earth (redwoods), the largest trees (giant sequoias) and the oldest trees (bristlecone pines). Our shrubs and annuals are beautiful, fragrant and wonderfully diverse.
Unfortunately, California's native plants have been under constant assault over the past 200 years from invasion by introduced plant species and loss of habitat due to development.
California is unusual in having more than 6,000 native plant species and subspecies. Of those plants, 2,150 are endemic to California, meaning that they exist nowhere else. California Native Plant Week celebrates this rich horticultural heritage.
One of the goals of this weeklong celebration of native plants is to encourage people to conserve and restore native plants, and to make use of them for landscaping.