Emerald Necklace Native Plant Palette

The Emerald Necklace Expanded Plan plant palette was developed as a  reference list for restoration and greening projects in the public spaces throughout the Emerald Necklace Regional Park Network.

This document was originally created for our greening projects along the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Rivers. Our hope is by making it available to everyone it will encourage people to reconnect with their environment and become excited about changing landscape architecture to include the multiple benefits of planting natives.

Native plants mitigate the effects of Climate Change by reducing water consumption, in addition to reducing greenhouse gases. 

We greatly appreciate any support you can provide.

  Thank you!

The source documents for this plant palette are the Los Angeles River Master Plan Landscaping Guidelines and Plant Palettes (January 2004) and the San Gabriel River Corridor Master Plan (June 2006).
The plant lists were developed by a cross-disciplinary team of professionals concerned with protecting the seed bank and biological integrity of the river corridors – to be used by jurisdictions participating in greening and re-vegetation of the river corridors.
This multi-disciplinary team included: Ecologists, Landscape Architects, Botanists, artists, the native plant society, local conservancies, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, City Parks and Recreation departments, the Audubon Society, Friends of the Los Angeles River and the local watershed councils.
The document is divided into the following categories:

• Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes

• Groundcovers and Vines

• Perennials

• Shrubs and Subshrubs

• Trees

Each plant is labeled to identify which are appropriate to be planted along the San Gabriel River, Rio Hondo River or Park/School sites not located near the rivers.

We commissioned Barbara Eisenstein to take original photos of many of the plants as high-quality
photos were not always available from the nurseries.   

Photo credits also include:

Tree of Life, El Nativo, Martin Hale, and Ron Luxemburg.

We have found that plant managers at school districts and other facilities; both adjacent to the river and within the urban core are equally interested in planting California Watershed sensitive plants for their water conservation properties, ecological value, habitat enhancing properties as well as their heritage/educational value. This is an exciting trend.

Supplemental source documents have included the Army Corp of Engineers Plant list for ecological restoration at Santa Fe Dam as well as plant list for restoration of Monrovia Canyon within the City of Monrovia and nestled against the boundary of the Angeles National Forest. The Angeles National Forest Management plan September 2005 – Los Cerritos Watershed Impacts Report was also consulted.


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