This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.
California purple nightshade
Solanum xanti “Mountain Pride”
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide.
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Bloom season: Clusters of purple flowers with yellow centers in winter and spring.
Exposure: Partial sun or shade.
Pruning needs: Prune back long stems to induce branching.
Water needs: Low to none; once established, deep water once a month or not at all.
Snapshot: Found in woodlands and chaparral, this sprawling California native sub-shrub bears clusters of attractive purple flowers and furry gray leaves. It thrives in the dry shade under native oaks. Super drought-tolerant, nightshade needs little or no irrigation once established. Its one drawback: All parts of this plant are toxic to people. That toxicity also makes it highly deer resistant.
For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.