Scientific Name

Pholistoma auritum

Full Sun

Part Sun

Part Shade

Low

Moderate

Max. Height × Width

1 foot × spreading

More information

calscape.org

Price & Availability

Seed package

$5

2 available

It’s said that in early Spanish California, women would decorate their skirts with the flowers of Pholistoma auritum on festive occasions, giving it its popular name, “Fiesta Flower.”

Why is this charming, L.A.-local annual, with its diminutive, purple-ish flowers beloved by pollinators almost never offered at native plant nurseries? Could it be that it’s such a prolific self-seeder that it can overwhelm smaller gardens? Maybe. But not to worry: the vine-like Fiesta Flower does tend to spread quickly but is “self-limiting” and completely fades away by the end of spring, leaving only a mat of wispy, paper-thin leaves and – if you leave them to dry out – a zillion seed pods.

In our local hillsides, you will most often find Fiesta Flower sprawling on the ground in the semi-shady understory of Oak, Elderberry and Toyon, where it also likes to clamber up the scaffolding of their sturdy branches. Plant it in the vicinity of similar trees or shrubs to lend your garden a touch of the wild.

Drawing of plant with berries

Bitter Gooseberry

Ribes amarum

flowers

Blue Dicks

Dipterostemon (Dichelostemma) capitatus

Drawing of plant with berries

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

Drawing of plant

California Four O’Clock

Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

California Prickly Phlox

Linanthus californicus

Drawing of plant

Canyon Dudleya

Dudleya cymosa

Drawing of plant

Cardinal Catchfly

Silene laciniata

Caterpillar Phacelia

Phacelia cicutaria

Drawing of plant with acorn

Coast Live Oak

Quercus agrifolia

Coast Prickly Pear

Opuntia littoralis

Illustration of plant in planter

Coffeeberry

Frangula californica

Drawing of plant with handing flowers

Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry

Ribes speciosum

Drawing of plant

Hollyleaf Redberry

Rhamnus ilicifolia

Longstem Buckwheat

Eriogonum elongatum

Drawing of plant with feathery flowers

Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus betuloides

Drawing of plant

Poison Oak

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Drawing of plant

Punch Bowl Godetia

Clarkia bottae

Rooreh

Claytonia perfoliata

Drawing of plant

Round Leafed Boykinia

Boykinia rotundifolia

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

Drawing of plant

Santa Barbara Honeysuckle

Lonicera subspicata var. denudata

Illustration of plant in planter

Saw-Toothed Goldenbush

Hazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides

Drawing of plant

Scarlet Larkspur

Delphinium cardinale

Silver Puffs

Uropappus lindleyi

Drawing of plant

Soap Plant

Chloroglaum pomeridianum

Drawing of plant

Southern Bush Monkeyflower

Diplacus longiflorus

Drawing of plant with berries

Southern California Black Walnut

Juglans californica

Drawing of plant with spotted flowers

Spotted Humboldt’s Lily

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum

Sunflower

Helianthus annuus

Threadleaf Ragwort

Senecio flaccidus

Drawing of plant with berries

Toyon

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Drawing of plant

Western Columbine

Aquilegia formosa

Drawing of plant

Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Wild Heliotrope