drought tolerant species
Drought is the new norm in California, and landscape designs need to adjust to this changing environment. In reality, drought is nothing new for our state. My own history records cyclical droughts since the 1970s. These cyclical droughts were predicted, but as research has discovered, California's prehistory records megadroughts that lasted for decades. Are we at the cusp of megadroughts? Will we be reactive or proactive in addressing droughts in our landscapes?
This list includes plants categorized as low and very low water users by following the guidance set by the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species, or WUCOLS, established by the University of California. Increasingly, municipalities are requiring landscape architects and designers to calculate their water use, and segregating plants species through the use of "hydrozones," a specific landscape areas dedicated to plant species of similar water needs. There are four zones: High, Moderate, Low, and Very Low water consumption by plants. The establishment to water use criteria is supported by the State of California's development of the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, or MWELO, that municipalities are also adopting and requiring the landscape industry to follow. For new designers, this means developing landscape designs that emphasize the use of low and very low water users and minimizing plants that require moderate to high water use. Discover the plants listed here that will meet this criteria.