This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.
Coastal California honeydew
Horkelia californica var. californica
Size: Up to 10 to 12 inches tall and wide; spreads slowly over time.
Bloom season: In summer, small inconspicuous white flowers; extremely popular with native bumblebees.
Exposure: Full shade to partial sun.
Pruning needs: Cut back spent flower spikes after bloom.
Water needs: Low to medium; once established, water deeply once a week or every other week.
Snapshot: Never heard of California honeydew? You’re not alone. This plant is still rare in nurseries. A little known, low-growing California native perennial herb, honeydew grows naturally on the Central Coast from San Luis Obispo to the San Francisco bay. Its divided leaves give honeydew a fern-like appearance, perfect for dry shade. It’s a great choice for a wildlife garden; native bees love its little white flowers.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.