The Town's Conservation Committee recently reviewed and updated the Native Plant List and Discouraged Plant List for Portola Valley, and they will soon be incorporated into the Town's Design Guidelines. Landscape design in Portola Valley should seek to preserve the qualities of the natural environment through the use of native plant materials and landscaping plans that provide a blended transition to adjacent open areas.
In 2013, the Portola Valley Backyard Habitat Award program was created to encourage creation of backyard habitats that preserve or recreate the natural spaces that allow native flora and fauna to thrive. Successful applicants receive a unique marker that designates their property as a friend to nature. To learn more about this program and/or download an application, please visit the Backyard Habitat webpage.
Native Plant List
The updated Native Plant List is divided up into Native Trees, Native Shrubs, Native Ground Covers, Native Perennials, Native Bulbs and Native Annuals/Wildflowers. These plants and trees are indigenous to (living naturally in) Portola Valley. Therefore, they are highly recommended choices for use here not only for their beauty and contribution to the rural aspect of the valley, but also because they are among those most likely to thrive with the least care.
Additionally, supplemental lists of plants native to California, but not found in Portola Valley naturally, have been compiled. While not indigenous to Portola Valley, these Supplemental Trees, Supplemental Shrubs, Supplemental Perennials, and Supplemental Ground Covers are native to other parts of California and will perform well here.
The Strongly Discouraged List (Discouraged Trees, Discouraged Shrubs, and Discouraged Ground Covers) highlights plants that are not appropriate for use in Portola Valley as they are non-natives, have been introduced here, and have adapted so well as to crowd out the natives, presenting a real threat to the local plant community. These plants should be avoided.
These lists are intended for use in conjunction with the Town’s approved landscape guidelines (see Design Guidelines document) that provide additional insight and guidance into appropriate plantings for particular locales.
Portola Valley Approved Native Seed Mixes
The following approved seed mixes should be used for erosion control and hydroseeding of areas disturbed by construction. For your convenience, you can download a the seed mix list as a handout.
Where to find these mixes**:
Pacific Coast Seed (800) 733-3462 www.pcseed.com
Hedgerow Farms (530) 662-6847 www.hedgerowfarms.com
**When purchasing your seed mix, please ask the seller to provide you with
the full series of steps required to prepare the ground before planting. If
the seed is applied without prior control to kill all of the weed seeds in the
soil, the native seeds will not be able to compete and grow.
Bay Area Habitat Native Seed Mix
10 Bromus carinatus (native California brome)
8 Elymus glaucus (blue wildrye)
8 Hordeum californicum (California barley)
5 Festuca idahoensis (Idaho fescue)
5 Nassella pulchra (purple needlegrass)
4 Poa secunda (native pine bluegrass)
Blue Oaks Native Seed Mix - for residents of Blue Oaks Subdivision
Bromus carinatus (California brome)
Elymus glaucus (blue wildrye)
Nasella pulchra (purple needlegrass)
Lupinus nanus (sky lupine)
Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
Castilleja exeria (purple owl’s clover)
Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed grass)
Sidalcea malvaeflora (checkerbloom)
Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat - Join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. These individuals have provided the essential elements for healthy and sustainable wildlife habitats and have earned the distinction of being part of National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program.
Sustainable Sites Initiative - an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.