Top 5 drought tolerant shrubs for OC homeowners

If you decide not to water your lawn this summer and plants drought tolerant trees in October, you should consider the following 5 native California shrubs.

1- Lemonadeberry (scientific name: Rhus integrifolia) lemonade-berry

  • bloom period: February to May
  • preference: sun/dry
  • edible: berry is edible and can be used for  lemonade
  • height: 3′
  • other information: evergreen shrub
  • More photos on

2- California Honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula) california-honeysuckle

  • bloom period: May to August
  • preference: sun/moist to shade/dry
  • height: 1′
  • edible: fruit is edible
  • humming bird: attract humming bird
  • other information: climbing deciduous shrub
  • More photos on google

3- Bladder Pod (Isomeris arborea) bladder-pod-shrub

  • bloom period: most of the year
  • preference: sun/dry
  • height: 4′ to 7′
  • edible: fruit is edible
  • other information: evergreen shrub; flame retardant; found only in California
  • More photos of Bladder Pod on google images

4- Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla) purple-sage

  • bloom period: April to July
  • preference: sun/dry
  • height: 4′ to 8′
  • edible: fruit has fragance and is edible
  • other information: foliage has fragance and edible; can only be found in California
  • More photos on Google

5- Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata) sugar bush shrub

  • bloom period: April to May
  • preference: sun/dry
  • height: grow to 10′
  • edible: fruit is edible
  • other information: evergreen shrub; mainly in California with some in Arizona and Baja California
  • More photos on


In Orange county, we googled and found two nurseries that carry California native plants:

If you know any other nursery in SoCal, please let us know we will update the list.


  • Native Plants of the Palos Verdes Peninsula that are Suitable for Gardens –
  • California-Friendly Guide to Native and Drought Tolerant Garden –
  • Wikipedia list of California Native Plants –
Rate this article

Leave a Reply