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Research Revealing the Best Low-water Plants

The trial field at UC Davis with participants at one of our 2018 Open House events.
The trial field at UC Davis with participants at one of our 2018 Open House events.

Program Overview

UCLPITTM evaluates landscape plants in a 2-year trial under varying irrigation levels to determine the best level for optimal plant performance in regions requiring supplemental summer water.

Our data is one of the sources that may be used  to supplement The Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) when creating water budgets required by California's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)We use a scientific trialling method and share the results so you can make informed decisions when specifying, selecting, or promoting plant material.

Plant material is submitted by growers, breeders, and brokers to ensure the results reflect current needs  and plant availability for the landscape and nursery industry. Please visit the Contact Us tab if you would like to participate by entering plants or evaluating them at one of our Open House events.


  • WUCOLS-compatible irrigation recommendations for end-user compliance with state landscape water regulations (MWELO).
  • Unbiased, scientific plant performance evaluations critical  for new introductions.
  • Showcase of the best performing low and moderate water use plants in the trials.
  • Promotion of water-conserving landscapes through the use of high performing low-water use plants and the practice of hydrozoning (grouping plants by water need).

Some shots from our fields:

The trial field at South Coast after the plants had just been nestled in, October 2017.

The trial field at South Coast with plants enjoying the June gloom in 2019.

Please note: After clicking the DONATE button, you will be taken to the South Coast REC Fund page where you will need to select UC Landscape Plant Irrigation Trials from the Designation drop-down menu. THANK YOU!
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