What’s blooming (and feeding wildlife) in our native plant yard

What’s blooming (and feeding wildlife) in our native plant yard

We have an early spring this February with our warm Southern California weather. I’ve been keeping track of what our resident hummingbird – the Anna’s Hummingbird – is taking nectar from in our reconverted lawn, now mostly California natives. The insect life is also rich – which in turn attracts the hummingbirds and other winged life. Seems photos will speak best, so here are a few from the last couple months.

Like the one year log of plants that fed our many bees – both the European honeybee and our native bees – I’m going to keep a 12 month log for our hummingbirds. We opted to not have hummingbird feeders at our Redlands CA home, and instead provide a variety of nectar and insect-friendly plants.

You’ll see a lot of Dark Star Ceanothus below, which is one of the first ceanothus (also called wild lilac) to bloom. There’s much talk about Dark Star not doing well, but of the four we planted here in inland California, three survived, with two of them 4-5 feet tall and wide five years later. Many other varieties can provide later blooms and varying colors.

About Linda Richards

My goal is to educate about the science of nature in layperson speak, through my writing, science and education background. I grew up in the Chicago area, loved living in Minneapolis before gravitating to the West, which is now home.


  1. George Barnett says:

    Our spring in Alpine is running well behind you, Linda. Just now starting to get some buds on the ceanothus, and the sage just starting to green. One or two hummingbirds over-wintered, but we haven’t seen a return yet. We’ve had just one of a number of peach and an almond bud and flower (hardly native though). 🙂 For the most part, most everything is inactive. We have strawberries in several boxes, but they’re still dormant. So far it’s been particularly dry this spring, but still quite chilly in the evenings (40 or so) and cool in the afternoons, so even with limited rain the ground isn’t bone dry. We did have 22 turkeys come up out of the creek bed the other morning; and we are hearing in the mornings and evenings the guys gobbling for the gals. Turkeys, yes. Humingbirds, not quite yet!

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