International Women’s Day, California Native Plant-Style

If California native plants represented women everywhere, it would be a beautiful and diverse landscape, reflecting the different cultures, experiences, strengths, and perspectives of women from all around the globe. Just as California native plants come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, women worldwide bring their unique talents, skills, and experiences to their communities and societies.

Some women might be like our California redwood, towering and majestic, with deep roots and a strong sense of purpose. Others might be like the golden California Poppy, bright and cheerful, spreading familiarity, joy, and optimism wherever they go. Still, others might be like the California Sagebrush, strong and resilient, able to adapt to changing conditions and overcome obstacles.

Together, these women would create a vibrant and diverse tapestry of ideas, perspectives, qualities, and experiences, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table. They would work together to address and support their communities’ challenges, leveraging their diversity and creativity to find innovative solutions and build a brighter future for all.

Create a Diverse and Bountiful Garden with Native Plants

These varied California native plants are perfect for celebrating International Women’s Day. Each has unique characteristics, adaptations, and support for the larger environment around them, making them ideal for honoring women’s strength, resilience, and beauty everywhere. We can find symbolism in these life forms as we identify strengths that we reflect in ourselves.

  1. California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica): The California Poppy is the state flower of California. An early bloomer and food source for our native pollinators, it symbolizes strength and resilience. Easily started from seeds cast onto a hillside, their bright orange petals are often associated with the Golden State’s sunny disposition and beauty.

  2. Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.): Manzanita is a group of evergreen shrubs and small trees native to California. They are known for their beautiful red bark and delicate flowers.

  3. Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia): While Toyon is the name the Ohlone people assign, it is also known as California Holly. This drought-tolerant shrub or small tree native to California, known for its clusters of bright red berries, is a bird’s favorite fall through winter food and served as a food source for indigenous peoples.

  4. Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis): The Western Redbud, a member of the legume family, is a slow-growing small tree native to California. Native pollinators are attracted to its early to mid-spring bloom of vibrant purplish-pink and occasionally white blossoms.

  5. Strawberry (Fragiria californica): This little strawberry is a hardy groundcover, spreading on above-ground stolons, and is deer-proof. The flavorful small berries are edible to both wild animals and humans.

  6. California Sagebrush (Artemesia californica): Pulling your slightly cupped hand up the feathery stem of this lovely, highly drought-resistant shrub results in an aroma of lovely earthiness that, once experienced, will be hard to forget.

  7. Coffeeberry (Frangula californica): This fire-resistant plant, named for its berry’s resemblance to coffee beans, produce numerous berries that range in color from light red to black as they ripen. It is an important food source for native bird populations.

On International Women's Day, and always, let's honor the power of women by taking action to protect our planet. Planting native plants nurtures our ecosystems, combats climate change, and supports biodiversity. Join us in making a positive impact today!

The San Lorenzo Valley Native Habitat Restoration Program integrates environmental and community needs to restore the riparian habitat and ensure the ongoing health and beauty of the watershed.

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