North Coast CNPS


Trees and Shrubs
   Arctostaphylos columbiana, Columbia manzanita
   Arctostaphylos manzanita, common manzanita
   Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, bear-berry
   Arctostaphylos uva-ursi X columbiana
   Berberis aquifolium, Oregon grape
   Ceanothus thyrsiflorus, blue blossom
   Garrya elliptica, coast silktassel
   Lonicera involucrata, twinberry
   Mimulus aurantiacus, sticky monkeyflower
   Morella (Myrica) californica, California wax myrtle
   Pinus contorta, shore pine

Herbaceous Plants
   Achillea millefolium, common yarrow
   Angelica hendersonii, Henderson's angelica
   Aquilegia formosa, western crimson columbine
   Euthamia occidentalis, western goldenrod
   Fragaria chiloensis, beach strawberry
   Fragaria vesca, woodland strawberry
   Grindelia stricta, coastal gumweed
   Iris douglasiana, Douglas's iris
   Lilium pardalinum, California Tiger Lily
   Lupinus polyphyllus, many-leaved lupine
   Lupinus rivularis, riverbank lupine
   Solidago californica, California goldenrod
   Symphyotrichum (Aster) chilense, California aster
   Sisyrinchium sp., blue-eyed-grass
   Trillium albidum, giant white wakerobin

   Calamagrostis nutkaensis, Pacific reed-grass
   Deschampsia cespitosa, tufted hair grass

   Polypodium calirhiza, nested polypody
   Polypodium scouleri, leather-leaved polypody




Amphibians and Reptiles
   Rana aurora, Northern red-legged frog
   Pseudacris regilla, Pacific tree frog
   Thamnophis elegans, Western terrestrial gartersnake*
   Elgaria coerulea, Northern alligator lizard*

Mammals                                                                     Microtus sp., Vole*                                                Thomomys bottae, Botta's pocket gopher*                Odocoileus virginianus, white-tailed deer

*= Breed on site


11/08/2014-With the grateful return of fall rains many of the drought stressed herbaceous plants are looking very good. Angelica sp., Western columbine, and maple leaved checkerbloom are all actively growing. Western aster still has a few flowers which are attracting both buckeye and Western lady butterflies and leaf cutter bees.

02/05/2015-Coastal silk-tassel, Garrya elliptica is in full bloom now.  Check out this large evergreen shrub that provides so much winter color. It is on the short list of plants that are gopher proof. With this latest storm many seedlings are appearing including Clarkia amoena, C. unguiculata, Phacelia bolanderi, and lots of California poppy.  Herbaceous perennials are emerging. Angelica spp., Lupinus spp., and Symphyotrichium (Aster) chilense.  When it is clear and warm native bees are just starting to make an appreance.  Look for the small halictid bee, Lasioglossum sp. on areas of bare ground.

03/30-Lots happening in the Garden!  These late rains have given new life to the Clarkia amoenaC. unguiculata and Angelica spp. plants.  The grasses Festuca idahoensis and Stipa pulchra are in full bloom.  A huge flight of painted lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui are coming through our area and many our stopping at the garden.  The female painted lady lays her eggs on many different plant leaves including thistles. Look for painted lady larvae in 2 to 4 weeks.  Female halicitid bees are digging their nests and are common on sunny days.                          Questions? Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


5/15/15-The Garden is rapidly changing this time of year. Plants that are blooming now: Achillea millefolium, Aquilegia formosa, natural hybrids of  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and A. columbiana, Deschampsia cespitosa, Festuca idahoensis, Fragaria chiloensis & F. vesca, Iris douglasianaStipa pulchra, Phacelia bolanderi, Rumex salicifoliusSidalcea malachroides & S. malviflora, and Solidago spathulatae.  Wildlife observations: Elgaria coerulea (northern alligator lizard), Thamnophis elegans (western terrestrial garter snake), and Thomomys bottae (Botta's pocket gopher).  Insect observations: butterflies--larvae and adults of Vanessa annabella (West Coast lady), V. cardui (painted lady), Papilio zelicaon (anise swallowtail), and Phyciodes pulchella (field crescent); other insect species-- adults of Ocypus olens (devil’s coach horse beetle), Megachile perihirta (western leafcutting bee), Agapostemon texanus (green sweat bee), Sphecodes sp. (parasitoid sweat bee) (first record for site), Bombus vosnesenskii (yellow-faced bumble bee), and Halictus tripartitus (sweat bee). Questions? Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 10/5/15- For the first time in the Garden's history we lost plants including--Angelica spp., Mimulus aurantiacus and other plants like Symphyotrichium (Aster) chilense were stunted. Lack of normal rainfall the last two years meant the plants came into spring very dry and we had a very warm spring and summer.  The good news is that the rain in in September helped the plants that survived. Symphyotrichium (Aster) chilense is still blooming and attracting pollinators.  If you want to see what native plants are drought tolerant visit the Garden now.  Questions? Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1/12/16:  The garden is definitely coming to life. Many seedlings are appearing including those of Clarkia amoena, C. unguiculata, Phacelia bolanderi, and California poppy. The grasses I planted on 10/14, purple needle grass (Stipa pulchra) and Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), which appeared dead in late summer, immediately came to life after the first rains this fall.  Both coastal strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) and wood strawberry (F. vesca) are flowering. These strawberry species grow in separate areas of the garden: wood strawberry likes well drained soil and light shade, and coastal strawberry does well in moist areas.  Coastal silk-tassel (Garrya elliptica) is just starting to flower: another good reason to come out to the garden--to see why this is such a popular garden shrub. During the cold weather when we had snow in the hills, the garden was being heavily used by fox sparrows and ground feeding thrushes.  If you want to see what native plants are drought tolerant visit the Garden now.  Questions? Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Native Bees
   Agapostemon texanus, green sweat bee
   Andrena sp., amining bee
   Bombus vosnesenskii, yellow-faced bumble bee
   Ceratina acantha, small carpenter bee
   Coelioxys sp., a cuckoo leafcutting bee
   Halictus sp., a sweat bee
   Hylaeus sp., a colletid bee
   Lasioglossum spp., sweat bees
   Megachile perihirta, a leafcutter bee

   Limenitis lorquini, Lorquinis admiral
   Coenonympha tullia, ringlet
   Colias eurytheme, Westernsulfur*
   Junonia coenia, buckeye*
   Danaus plexippus, monarch
   Papilio rutulus, western tiger swallowtail
   Papilio zelicaon, anise tiger swallowtail*
   Phyciodes mylitta, mylittacrescent*
   Phyciodes pulchella, field crescent*
   Vanessa annabella, west coast lady*
   Vanessa cardui, painted lady*
   Vanessa virginiensis, American painted lady*
   Skippers (3 spp.)

*= Breed on site




On February 27, 1999, volunteers from the California Native Plant Society, North Coast Chapter (CNPS-NCC) first planted a long, triangular section of the steep slope site north of the Arcata Community Center, 321 Community Park Way, Arcata.

The planting was a result of an agreement between the City of Arcata, represented by Parks Superintendent Dan Diemer and CNPS-NCC, represented by Pete Haggard. The City would provide the site and planting stock,and CNPS-NCC would provide volunteers for planting and maintenance.

After 14 years the City now has a beautiful, stable, natural area that requires no City water, fertilizer, or mowing and very little physical maintenance by City employees. CNPS-NCC has converted this weedy slope on poor, fill soil into an urban native plant garden and home for native wildlife.

Both the City and CNPS-NCC have benefited through this cooperation and have provided the public with a permanent garden of natural beauty and increasing wildlife value.

Heavy pedestrian and bicyclist traffic of high school students, college students, and citizens patronizing the playing fields, the playground, the Community Center, and HealthSport make this garden an excellent location in which to demonstrate the worth of biodiverse landscapes in urban areas.

This website provides information to help people identify the plants and animals in the garden and learn how they interact.



You are here: Home TOP_MENU_CONTENT Gardening Arcata Community Center Native Garden