Best Plants to Defend Against Wildfires

How to create defensive space around your home

Not all plants are created equal.

San Diego resident Bernadette Esparza watched the wildfires like everyone else. Now, she's thinking more about creating a defensive space around her home. That means taking out some plants and adding more fire-resistant plants and shrubs. She also wants to save on water.

Ken Andersen with Walter Andersen Nursery says it's smart to take out the plants that add fuel to the fire.

"There are things that will burn slower," Andersen says, "And give firefighters a chance with defensible space to keep things under control."

Here is a list of ***Fire Wise Plants compiled by Walter Andersen Nursery:

Fire Resistant Trees
Lemon bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus)
Toyon, California holly (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
Myoporum (Myoporum laeturn)
Catalina cherry (Prunus lyonii)
Italian buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus)
California pepper tree (Schinus molle)
Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius)

Fire Resistant Shrubs
The trees listed above and Evergreen sumacs (Rhus)
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Fire Resistant Native Plants
Yarrow (Eriophyllum species)
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Deerweed (Lotus scoparius
Annual lupines (Lupinius species
Sticky Monkey Flower (Mimulus species)
Penstemon (Penstemon species)
Chia (Salvia columbariae)
Creeping Sage (Salvia sonomensis)
Woolly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum)
California species (Zauschernia species)

Fire Resistant Introduced Plants
Silver (Artemisia caucasica)
Saltbrush (Artiplex glauca)
Creeping Saltbrush (Artiplex semibaccata)
Rockrose (Cistus crispus)
Sageleaf Rockrose (Cistus salviifolius)
Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
Green Santolina (Santolina virens)

Other Choices:
Sea Fig (Carpobrotus species)
White Trailing Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘Alba’)
Trailing Ice Plant (Lampranthus spectabilis)
Croceum Ice Plant (Malephora crocea)
Rosea Ice Plant (Drosanthemum floribundum)
Cape Weed (Artotheca calendula)
Prostrate Coyote Bush (Baccharis pilularis)
Creeping Coprosma (Coprosma kirkii)
Trailing Gazania (Gazania rigens leucolaena)
Lippia (Lippia canescens)
Myoporum (Myoporum parviollium)
African Daisy (Osteospermum fruticosum)
Lavender Cotton (Santolina species)
O’Connor’s Legume (Trifolium fragiferum var. O’Connor’s)
Periwinkle (Vinca species)

***No plant is entirely immune to fire, but the ones on this list do resist burning better.

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