Building a fire line between your home and the surrounding area is one part of a comprehensive plan to make your home as fire resistant as possible. There are literally hundreds of plants that fit the bill. As you can see from these examples, you do not have to sacrifice beauty for safety. There is no such thing as a fireproof plant, fire resistant is the best you can get. Check with your local cooperative extension to see what plants are available in your area. These are found in California.
Western Redbud(Cercis occidentalis) is a shrub that grows from 6 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Spring time brings magenta flowers and fall brings yellow or red to the leaves. The plant is hardy to 0 degrees F. and likes partial shade and a moist to dry soil. Hummingbirds and butterflies will come for a meal of the nectar.
Concha California Lilac (Ceanothus ‘Concha’) is a shrub that grows from 6 to 8 feet tall and the same in width. The plant features small narrow leaves and dark blue flowers that bloom in the spring growing in clusters. This is salt tolerant and able to be used by the shore. Concha California Lilac is hardy down to 10 degrees F, is drought tolerant and likes partial shade and a sandy soil. This one is a favorite of the local hummingbirds.
Coast Live Oak(Quercus agrifolia) is an evergreen tree that grows from 15 to 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It is suited for coastal and inland areas and is drought tolerant. Coast Live Oak is hardy to 10 degrees F. and likes full sun and a sandy soil. It is another favorite of the butterflies.
Narrowleaf California Fuchsia (Zauschneria canum) is a perennial flower that grows from 2 to 3 feet tall with thin green to gray leaves. The plant is a coastal salt tolerant plant that likes partial sun and is adaptable to different types of soil. Another butterfly favorite.
Royal Beard Tongu (Penstemon spectabilis) is a perennial plant also known as Showy Penstemon. The plant produces blue-purple flowers in the spring and summer and can grow from 3 to 4 feet tall and about the same in width. The plant is hardy to 10 degrees F. and likes partial shade and a sandy soil. Butterflies like this one also.
Ornamental Strawberry(agaria chiloensis) is a perennial ground cover that grows from 4 to 8 inches high that produces white flowers in the spring and red ornamental strawberries in the fall. The plant likes full shade and a sandy soil. Song birds will come for the seeds.
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