Riparian Plants

Riparian PlantsRiparian - "of, pertaining to, or situated or dwelling on the bank of a river or other body of water"

The riparian corridor is one of the most fertile habitats in California. The towering trees offer shade to cool the water below and food and nesting sites for birds. The understory supports a diverse community of land mammals, insects and amphibians. And the streams supply water for all as well as habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures. When planting your streambank it's nice to keep this community in mind and indulge in a diversity of plants. This will also help to ensure the eventual success as you discover that some selections do better than others.

Planting along a riparian corridor necessitates choosing plants with different drought tolerances. Those plants closest to the water flow must often be able to withstand seasonal flooding while plants at the highest points of the bank are often droughted in the late summer and fall. Generally all of the plants must be happy growing with at least some shade. And erosion control along the bank sides is an important element in selecting your planting material. All of these factors should be considered when choosing your plants.


Acer macrophyllum  big leaf maple
big leaf maple
Aconitum henryi  monkshood
Acorus gramineus Ogon golden variegated sweet flag
golden variegated sweet flag
Actaea rubra  baneberry
Aesculus californica  California buckeye
California buckeye
Alnus rubra  red alder
red alder
Anemone x hybrida  Japanese anemone
Japanese anemone
Anemone x hybrida Honorine Jobert Japanese anemone
Japanese anemone
Anemopsis californica  yerba mansa
yerba mansa
Angelica  hendersonii  bluff angelica
bluff angelica
Apocynum cannabinum  Indian hemp
Indian hemp
Aquilegia formosa  western columbine
western columbine
Aralia californica  elk clover
elk clover
compact strawberry tree
Arbutus x Marina  strawberry tree
strawberry tree
goat's beard
Asarum caudatum  wild ginger
wild ginger
Baumea rubiginosa v. variegata striped rush
striped rush
Blechnum spicant  deer fern
deer fern
Calamagrostis arundinacea Karl Forester Forester's feather reed grass
Forester's feather reed grass
Calamagrostis nutkaensis  Pacific reed grass
Pacific reed grass
Calamagrostis nutkaensis The King Pacific reed grass
Pacific reed grass
Calycanthus occidentalis  spice bush
spice bush
Carex morrowii Evergold golden variegated Japanese sedge
golden variegated Japanese sedge
Carex nudata  California black flowering sedge
California black flowering sedge
Chondropetalum elephantinum  large Cape rush
large Cape rush
Cimicifuga racemoa  black snakeroot
black snakeroot
Cistus skanbergii  rock rose
rock rose
Clematis ligusticifolia  virgin's bower
virgin's bower
Cornus sericea ssp Occidentalis  creek dogwood
creek dogwood


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