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Friday, October 30, 2015

Why are some plants drought tolerant?

'Garden of Dreams' (CSUDH) features local native drought tolerant plants
After four years of serious drought and water restrictions, most California gardeners are concentrating on drought tolerant solutions.  But what makes one plant drought tolerant and another water-loving?   The answer is more complex than you might imagine.  



Monday, October 19, 2015

Aches and Pains? Mother Nature May Have a Cure for That

Making a tincture from Telegraph Plant.  This is a great medicine for aching hands!

California native plants are useful as well as attractive.  In fact, many have significant histories as medicinal plants. This should not surprise us; plants produce a wide range of chemicals for their own protection.  It turns out that some are also effective against human pathogens and conditions. 

Western medicine is just beginning to discover the benefits of chemicals produced by locally native plant species.  There is also increasing interest in the many practical uses of California native plants.   That’s one reason why we created Mother Nature’s Garden of Health at the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve  (

Most of us suffer from joint and muscle aches every so often. Pain medications can cost a lot – and have serious side effects.  What if there were an inexpensive alternative that could be applied externally to help reduce the aches?  

It turns out that several native plants have long been used to ease painful muscles and joints, usually in combination with warm water.  If you grow these plants, you may want to try them to see if they work for you.  They may provide a useful complement to Western medicines, working in concert with them.

For more, see: