Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS IV)
Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS IV)
Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS IV)
University of California
Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS IV)

The Evaluation Process

Species were evaluated by committees of horticulturists representing six different climatic regions of California (see the section “Regions”). Selection of committee members was based on knowledge of landscape plants and experience growing a large number of species in the respective region. Essentially, the best professional horticulturists available in the region were invited to participate in the project.

Assignments were based on a committee member's experience growing the plant or observing it in the region of California being considered --- not in another part of California or the world. For example, if a committee member had observed a plant only in South Africa, this was not taken as a basis for making a water needs assignment in the region of California under consideration. However, if that member had observed the plant in the California region in addition to South Africa, the observations in South Africa would be included in the evaluation.

Committees represented the following regions of California: North-Central Coastal, Central Valley, South Coastal, South Inland, Low Desert, and High and Intermediate Desert. For a listing of members in each region, see Regional Committees. For a listing of representative cities in each region, see Regions.

Multiple meetings were held in each region in 2013, with committee members reviewing all plants added to the WUCOLS list. In addition, some prior evaluations were revisited and changed if deemed warranted by the committee. The key question addressed by each committee was:

In order to be maintained in good condition in the region of California being considered, and under the standard conditions outlined, does the species need a high, moderate, low, or very low amount of irrigation water?

This question served as a starting point for the evaluation process. Prior to making evaluations, however, each committee received instruction on water needs categories and standard conditions. A consensus-based approach was used in which committee members discussed the species, and decided on an appropriate water needs category.

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