Incorporating plants native to your climate means less water, less maintenance, and more wildlife. Here are our top picks around the West
Native to: Pacific Coast states
Eleven species constitute a homogeneous group within the genus Iris, from which breeders have developed hybrids in a broad range of colors and patterns; flowers may be white, blue shades, pink, copper, brown, maroon, violet—many with elaborate veining or patterning. Foliage is narrow; clumps are like coarse grass. Slender flower stems reach 8 to 24 in., depending on variety. Best conditions are sun to light shade, well-drained soil, moderate to scant water in summer. Intense heat coupled with water and poor drainage can be fatal; in clay soil, grow in raised beds in organically amended soil. Plant from containers any time, though spring and fall are best.