Hero Image

The Best Low-water Plants Trialed at UC Davis

We reserve our Blue RibbonTM for plants that maintain high standards of aesthetic quality over the growing season on our lowest irrigation treatment (20% of ETo). Based on our evaluations these plants should perform well on low water in Central Valley landscapes.

  • Plants are listed alphabetically by scientific name
  • Plants were evaluated in full sun or under 50% shade cloth
  • All plants were evaluated in Davis CA (WUCOLS Region 2)
  • The average Overall Appearance rating on Low water during the deficit treatment season is listed as Mean O/A Score (based on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is highest)
  • printer friendly pdf version: UC Davis Blue Ribbon™ Winners
Scientific Name Common Name Exposure Mean OA Score Trial
Abelia x grandiflora ‘Abelops’ Sunshine Daydream Abelia 50% Shade 4.4 2011
Acacia boormanii Snowy river wattle Sun 4.9 2009
Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' Blonde Ambition blue gramma grass Sun 4.2 2016
Buddleia ‘Purple Splendor’ Purple Splendor butterfly bush Sun 4.3 2014
Buddleia × 'SMNBDBT' Pugster BlueTM Pugster Blue™ butterfly bush Sun 4.1 2020
Bulbine ‘Tiny Tangerine’ Tiny Tangerine Cape balsam Sun 4.6 2011
Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Karl Foerster feather reed grass Sun 4.2 2013
Ceanothus × pallidus 'Marie Simon' Marie Simon ceanothus Sun 4.4 2009
Cercocarpus betuloides var. blancheae Island mountain mahogany Sun 4.4 2009
Chondropetalum tectorum Small cape rush Sun 4.3 2015
Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre' Pink Eyre Australian fuchsia 50% Shade 4.1 2015
Delosperma cooperi Hardy ice plant Sun 4 2013
Dianella revoluta 'Allyn-Citation' Coolvista™ Dianella Sun 4.2 2019
Dietes bicolor 'African Gold' Pure Gold® African iris Sun 4.1 2018
Elaeagnus × ebbingii ‘Viveleg’ Olive Martini™ eleaegnus Sun 4.5 2019
Epilobium 'Sidewinder' Sidewinder California fuchsia Sun 4.2 2014
Grevillea 'King's Fire' King's Fire grevillea Sun 4.8 2019
Heuchera maxima Island alum root 50% Shade 4 2011
Hypericum androsaemum 'Seifire' Ignite Red St. John's wort 50% Shade 4.2 2011

Hypericum kalmianum 'Deppe'

Sunny Boulevard® St. John's wort Sun 4 2020
Lagerstroemia indica 'Deleb' Delta Eclipse™ crape myrtle Sun 4.1 2018
Lagerstroemia 'Purple Magic' Purple Magic crape myrtle Sun 4.1 2018
Lavandula allardii 'Meerlo' 'Meerlo' lavender Sun 4.4 2019
Ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’ Sunshine privet 50% Shade 4.8 2011
Lippia 'ECOLOPIA2'  Pink Kurapia® Sun 4.5 2020
Lippia nodiflora 'Campagna Verde' Kurapia® Sun 4.2 2014
Lomandra longifolia 'Katrinus Deluxe' 'Katrinus Deluxe' mat rush 50% Shade 4.3 2020
Lomandra longifolia 'Lomlon' Lime Tuff dwarf mat rush 50% Shade 4.5 2015
Lomandra longifolia 'Lomlon' Lime Tuff dwarf mat rush Sun 4.2 2014
Lomandra longifolia 'Roma13' Platinum Beauty™ mat rush 50% Shade 4.1 2017
Lygeum spartum False esparto grass Sun 4.5 2017
Muhlenbergia dubia Pine muhly Sun 4.3 2009
Muhlenberiga reverchonii 'PUND01S' Undaunted™ ruby muhly Sun 4.2 2017
Penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita BOP' Margarita B.O.P foothill penstemon Sun 4.8 2009
×Pyracomeles 'NCXP1' Juke Box® pyracomeles      
Rhagodia spinescens 'SAB01' Aussie Flat Bush™ Aussie Flat Bush saltbush Sun 4 2020
Ribes viburnifolium Evergreen currant 50% Shade 4.9 2011
Ribes viburnifolium 'Spooners Mesa' Spooners Mesa evergreen currant 50% Shade 4.2 2015
Rosa 'Meijecycka' Limoncello™ rose Sun 4.1 2019
Rosa 'Radcon' Pink Knock Out® rose Sun 4.3 2018
Rosa 'KORsixkono' Kardinal Kolorscape® rose Sun 4.1 2015
Rosa 'Meiradena' Icecap™ rose Sun 4.4 2017
Rosa 'Meitraligh'  Brick House™rose Sun 4.1 2019
Rosa 'Meizorland' White Drift® rose Sun 4 2017
Rosa 'NOA168098F' Pink supreme Flower Carpet® rose Sun 4 2020
Rosa 'Radtko' Double Knock Out® rose Sun 4 2017
Rosa 'Radwhite' White Knock Out® rose Sun 4.3 2019
Sporobolus wrightii Giant sacaton Sun 4.4 2017
Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-I’ Delta Blues™ chastetree Sun 4.3 2018
Vitex 'Bailtexone' Flip Side® chastetree Sun 4.4 2019