The topography of California is so varied that the state is home to six different USDA plant hardiness zones. The largest area is zone 9 where temperatures may reach as low as 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The varying zones allow flower lovers to see more variety in petal color and shapes. Become familiar with some of the common California flowers you’ll see in the state’s countryside and gardens.
California Fuchsia California fuchsia (Zauschneria californica) is a spreading flower perfect for use as ground cover in cultivated gardens. The orange-red flowers bloom from summer to fall. The flower tops are long and tubular with matching stamens that protrude from their openings. This hardy plant requires little water and is drought-tolerant. California fuchsia prefers well-draining soil and may grow in sun or shade. The soft gray leaves make a stark contrast against the colors of the vibrant blooms. Scarlet Monkey Flower Scarlet monkey flower (Mimulus cardinalis) is a perennial that grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet and produces 2-inch-long tubular flowers. The blooms have four large petals and an open stamen, making these flowers a favorite for hummingbirds. Scarlet monkey flowers grow well in sandy and clay soils. This flowering plant is an evergreen, and its bright red flowers bloom continually throughout the year. California Aster Another vibrant flower common in the state is the California aster, or Aster chilensis. Growing to heights of 2 to 3 feet, California aster has spindly stems that produce heavy lavender flowers. The leaves of this plant are sparse, but a healthy plant will have an abundance of blooms. This perennial blooms out quickly in summer with daisy-like tops. The aster prefers lots of sun and needs occasional watering.
Western Wallflower California is also home to the Western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) which grows to only 1 foot in height. The flower stalk makes up much of the plant, with each stalk containing dozens of small yellow flowers. The flower heads are flat with four rounded petals and a flat center stamen. The blooming season for Western wallflower is brief. Despite the short spring color season, it is a drought-resistant plant that doesn’t mind receiving sun.