Drought Tolerant Groundcovers and Shrubs - The Arboretum
Lightscape Tickets!

Pearly Bluebush

Maireana sedifolia

Native to Australia, this shrub typically grows up to 3 feet tall. It grows well in dry, alkaline soils and poorly in wet soils. Beautiful green-blue foliage makes a great addition to floral arrangements.

‘Anchor Bay’

Ceanothus gloriosus

Commonly found along the San Francisco Bay Area coastline, this shrub grows 12-18 inches tall and spreads 6-8 feet wide. Prefers full sun on the coast and light shade inland. Good drainage is preferred, as it becomes prone to disease in excess water.


Isomeris arborea

A California native perennial shrub, the bladderpod has yellow blossoms all year round, and produces an unpleasant odor to detract insects. Commonly found along roadsides and in the desert.

Superb Grevillea

Grevillea x ‘Superb’

Prefers well drained, slightly acidic soils with full sun or light shade. Attracts nectar-feeding birds and bees with year round blossoms.


Muhlenbergia rigens

A warm season perennial bunchgrass preferring sandy, well drained soils. Assists in soil stabilization, erosion control, and is able to access moisture far below the soil surface. Provides food and habitat for butterflies, birds, bees, herbivores, and mycorrhizal fungi.

Centennial Ceanothus

Ceanothus centennial

Native to California, this shrub tolerates considerable shade, growing 6-12 inches tall and 4-6 feet wide. Prefers well drained soils and dry summers, blooming mostly in the spring.

Pink Hair Gras

Muhlenbergia capillaris

A warm season perennial grass native to southern Texas and northern Mexico that flowers during the fall season. Grows 2-3 feet tall by 2-3 feet wide, prefers full sun to partial shade, and dry soils.

Dwarf Coyote Bush

Baccharis Pilularis

A low-growing groundcover native to California, Baccharis species provide nectar for predatory wasps and native butterflies. They are resistant to deer and useful for stabilizing slopes.

Turkey Tangle Frogfruit

Lippia nodiflora

Evergreen low-growing groundcover native to South America ranging along sandy, beachy areas. Attracts bees and butterflies, withstands heavy foot traffic.

Coyote Mint

Monardella macrantha

A native perennial blossoming mid to late spring, drawing in hummingbirds and resisting deer. Requires good drainage and prefers dry summers.

Yarrow ‘Paprika’

Achillea millefolium

Grows well in lean, dry, well-drained soils in full sun. Blossoms from summer to fall, attractive to butterflies.

California Goldenrod

Solidago californica

A perennial pollinator shrub commonly found in oak woodlands and valley chaparral. Tolerates sand, clay, and seasonal flooding. Blossoms from summer through fall.


Achillea millefolium

Repels pest insects and attracts predatory wasps, ladybugs, and hoverflies. Works well as a groundcover, tolerating moderate traffic. Prevents soil erosion with deep roots that take up minerals.

Yarrow ‘Island Pink’

Achillea millefolium

A color variant of the white yarrow, attractive to bees and butterflies, tolerating full sun to partial shade.


Justicia californica

A deciduous shrub that can grow up to 4 feet tall, native to the deserts of the Southwest, in dry sandy soils. Attractive to hummingbirds.

Arboretum Logo

© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Phone: 626.821.3222

301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007