Cliff Goldenbush is a California native plant which is found occasionally in the foothills growing in improbable locations. This hardy, small bush gets very little water in the summer as it grows clinging to exposed rock crevices and hillsides. We can use these attributes in our low water use home and public gardens. It has flourished planted in poor soils in one at the Tule River Parkway in Porterville. The Tule River Native Plant Demonstration Gardens are largely planted in fast draining river bank soils, but the Alta Peak Chapter garden is planted in an area which was used as a construction waste dump. This challenging location has served as a unplanned testing ground for determining which native plants can grow and flourish in soils which contain asphalt, concrete, and other construction waste.
The yellow flowers make a STATEMENT in late summer and early fall. Plant with Penstemon and California Fuchsia to get about 3 months of flowering. Cliff Goldenbush grows almost always in rocky outcrops throughout southwestern North America, and into Mexico. Got a rock wall, ugly retaining wall, or dry slope that needs a bright apple-green wildlife plant, this plant will, in three years, grow to an even rounded bush 1 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide.
The photo shows a plant which has been two years in the Alta Peak garden. It was planted from a 2-inch pot. The garden is cared for by volunteers from the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. These Cliff Goldenbush are planted in poor soils, watered once weekly during the dry months, weeded as needed, and mulched with wood chips. This is a very low water use plant and needs a minimum of care. It thrives in our hot summers in fast draining soils with or without organic mulch. Pairing it with other California native plants which need very little summer water such as sages, fuchsia, and mulefat will enhance your deer resistant, butterfly, bird rock, or bee garden. The Cliff Goldenbush prefers a sunny site with well-draining soil. Water only occasionally or not at all. With no supplemental water, Cliff Goldenbush will die back slightly but will remain green.
More information on this plant can be found at calscape.org by searching for the plant by name.
The following are just five of the plants which you can see blooming this month in a quarter mile walk along the Tule River Parkway between Jaye Street and Parkway Drive.
1. Cliff Goldenbush (Ericameria cuneata)
2. Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
3. Showy Penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis
4. Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
5. California Fuchsia (Epilobium sp.)
Many California native plants are available at Quercus Landscape Design in Springville https://quercuslandscapedesign.com/availability, Dry Creek Nursery 35220 Dry Creek Dr, Woodlake, CA 93286 Call: 559-738-0211x115, Luis’ Nursery 139 S Mariposa Ave, Visalia, and Alta Vista Nursery in Three Rivers which is open by appointment 559 799 7438.
Each of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens are featured on the website tuleriverparkwayassociation.org
The Tule River Parkway is a City of Porterville public park which provides a three-mile paved walking and bicycle path. The gardens were planted and maintained by volunteers with project management by the Tule River Parkway Association. We have volunteer garden days each month. During November we welcome you to come out and volunteer on November 12, 17, and 19 in the morning. Guided tours are available on Friday November 18 from 11 am till 1pm. Contact Cathy Capone if you are interested in scheduling a volunteer service day for a group. This planting season volunteers will add over a hundred new plants to the gardens and restoration areas.
Follow Tule River Parkway Association on Facebook or our website for announcements. Volunteers are welcome to join us to care for the gardens. Cathy Capone the volunteer project manager can be reached at 559-361-9164.
Submitted 11-08-2022 by Cathy Capone.
Photos by Cathy Capone
Tule River Parkway Association – President
Alta Peak Chapter of CNPS