Portola Valley Plant List

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Some of Portola Valley’s most obvious and valued assets are its natural features:

  • meadows and woodlands,
  • creeks and ponds,
  • native plants, and
  • creatures of the land, water, and sky.

In keeping with the Town’s emphasis on sustaining the natural environment, the Town Center’s landscaping has a minimum of hardscape, a daylighted stretch of creek, and plants that are native to the local area and California. A remarkable aspect of the Town Center landscape is its variety of habitats: dry meadow, riparian (streamside), and stands of oaks and redwoods with diverse understories.  

This brochure is a guide to the Town Center’s plantings, combining a map of 23 beds and some noteworthy plants in each. The plantings contribute to a peaceful, varied environment that attracts and benefits wildlife as well as people. Through the seasons you can see plants at different life stages; observe insects and birds collecting nectar, pollen, fruits, and seeds; view combinations of plants that naturally do well together because of similar requirements for sunlight, water, and drainage; and enjoy landscaping that is successful and beautiful without pesticides or supplemental watering after establishment.

Most of the beds have too many plants to list all of them here, so this brochure emphasizes some of the showy, dependable native plants in each bed. Plants are listed by common name and scientific name. Cultivar names are included if known with reasonable confidence, but other cultivars may be similar. 

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