Scientific Name

Opuntia littoralis

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One of only a few cacti truly native to the Los Angeles area, Coast Prickly Pear can be found clinging to steep, southwest-facing canyon walls. As it grows larger, top-heavy sections of the cactus sheer off at the seams where new paddles have formed and tumble downhill, tending to root wherever they land.

The mother cacti for our Opuntia littoralis has passed along its unusual and voluptuous red flowers (they’re more commonly yellow), which bloom in late spring to early summer.

This is, perhaps, the most care-free local native you’re likely to encounter. We usually only water these once – when they’re first planted. After that, they’re on their own.

You can trim the “pups” that form on the edges of larger paddles with a sharp knife to propagate your own plants. Just let the cut surface on the trimmed piece “scab over” for about a week. Then bury it a couple of inches in fast-draining potting soil (add a little extra perlite and/or sand), compacting lightly. Let the medium just barely dry out between watering and you’ll have a nicely rooted cactus-in-a-pot, ready to plant out in only a few months’ time.

Please note that Coast Prickly Pear is indeed prickly and the tiny, hair-like spines (Glochids) are annoyingly painful and difficult to see, let alone remove. We recommend handling them (when you must) with two pairs of extra-thick gardening gloves on each hand.

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Bitter Gooseberry

Ribes amarum


Blue Dicks

Dipterostemon (Dichelostemma) capitatus

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Blue Elderberry

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Blue Wildrye

Elymus glaucus

Branching Phacelia

Phacelia ramosissima

Brickell Bush

Brickellia californica

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

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California Four O’Clock

Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

California Prickly Phlox

Linanthus californicus

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Canyon Dudleya

Dudleya cymosa

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Cardinal Catchfly

Silene laciniata

Caterpillar Phacelia

Phacelia cicutaria

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Coast Live Oak

Quercus agrifolia

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Frangula californica

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Fiesta Flower

Pholistoma auritum

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Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry

Ribes speciosum

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Hollyleaf Redberry

Rhamnus ilicifolia

Longstem Buckwheat

Eriogonum elongatum

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Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus betuloides

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Poison Oak

Toxicodendron diversilobum

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Punch Bowl Godetia

Clarkia bottae


Claytonia perfoliata

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Round Leafed Boykinia

Boykinia rotundifolia

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

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Santa Barbara Honeysuckle

Lonicera subspicata var. denudata

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Saw-Toothed Goldenbush

Hazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides

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Scarlet Larkspur

Delphinium cardinale

Silver Puffs

Uropappus lindleyi

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Soap Plant

Chloroglaum pomeridianum

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Southern Bush Monkeyflower

Diplacus longiflorus

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Southern California Black Walnut

Juglans californica

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Spotted Humboldt’s Lily

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum


Helianthus annuus

Threadleaf Ragwort

Senecio flaccidus

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Heteromeles arbutifolia

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Western Columbine

Aquilegia formosa

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Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Wild Heliotrope