Plants with a Favorable Fire Performace Rating

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The following list of plants contains those found in the references that were recommended for use in fire prone environments by at least 3 references. All of the plants listed here were given either a high or moderate fire resistance rating in the references where a rating was assigned, or found listed in the references that categorized plants as fire resistant without assigning a degree of resistance. In most cases, the terms used in the ranking were not defined, and if they were, there is no agreed upon standard definition. For this reason, the plants are listed in this chapter without any attempt to rank them.

The list is sorted by plant form -- groundcovers, shrubs, trees, etc. Some species may appear twice (e.g. once as a groundcover and then again as a shrub) because they have properties attributed to both forms

It is important to note that a plant's fire performance can be seriously compromised if not maintained. Plants that are not properly irrigated or pruned, or that are planted in climate areas not generally recommended for the plant, will have increased fire risk and will likely make the mature plant undesirable for landscaping in high fire hazard zones.

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Table 1. Plants with a favorable fire performance rating in 3 or more references.
Some plants may have invasive (indicated as ), or other negative characteristics that should be considered before being selected for use in parts of California. For more information please go to http://www.caleppc.org/ .

Scientific Name
Common Name
Plant Type
Plant Form
References at bottom
Achillea millefolium white
White yarrow
perennial
shrub
25, 40,41, 53
Achillea tomentosa var. Moonshine
Woolly yarrow
perennial
groundcover
7,11,12,13,23,25,26,28,
32,35,36,37,39
Aeonium decorum
Aeonium
succulent
shrub
7,10,38,53
Aeonium simsii
Aeonium
succulent
shrub
7,10,53
Aesculus californica
California buckeye
deciduous
tree
11,15,17
Agapanthus 'Peter Pan'
Lily of the Nile, dwarf
evergreen
shrub
9,10,25
Agave americana 'Alba Picata'
Century plant
succulent
shrub
9,25,37
Agave victoriae-reginae
Agave
succulent
shrub
7,10,53
Ajuga reptans
Carpet bugle
perennial
groundcover
7,9,10,11,17,23,28,35,
36,40,41,53
Alnus rhombifolia
White alder
deciduous
tree
9,11,17,25,53
Aloe arborescens
Torch aloe
succulent
shrub
9,25,53
Aloe aristata
Aloe, Dwarf aloe
succulent
shrub
7,10,40,41,53
Aloe brevifolia
Aloe
succulent
shrub
7,10,40,41,53
Arbutus menziesii
Madrone
evergreen
tree
11,15,17
Arbutus unedo
Strawberry tree
evergreen
tree
8,9,11,12,17,25,30,40,41,42,53
Arctotheca calendulaInvade
Silver spreader
evergreen
groundcover
7,8,9,10,11,12,18,20,21,23,24,25,26,
28,30,31,34,35,36,37,38,40,41,42,53
Armeria maritima
Thrift, Common thrift
evergreen
groundcover
9,10,11,12,15,25,40,41
Artemisia caucasica
Silver spreader
evergreen
shrub
9,10,12,23,28,30,35,36,37,38,42,53
Artemisia pycnocephala
Sandhill sage
evergreen
shrub
6,11,16,25
Asarum caudatum
Wild ginger
perennial
shrub
11,15,40,41
Atriplex canescens
Four-wing saltbush
evergreen
shrub
5,6,16
Atriplex lentiformis breweri
Saltbush
deciduous
shrub
5,11,19
Atriplex semibaccataInvade
Saltbush
evergreen
shrub
7,10,11,13,21,23,24,27,28,35,36,37,
40,41,42
Callistemon viminalis
Weeping bottlebrush
evergreen
tree
26,30,37
Campsis radicans
Trumpet vine, Trumpet creeper
deciduous
vine
12,26,30,32,37
Carpobrotus edulisInvade
Ice plant, Hottentot fig, Sea fig
succulent
groundcover
7,9,10,11,23,24,28,31,35,36,37,53
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus
Blueblossom
evergreen
shrub
11,14,15
Centranthus ruber
Red valerian, Jupiter's beard
evergreen
shrub
8,11,25,40,41
Cerastium tomentosum
Snow in summer
evergreen
groundcover
7,10,17,24,30,37,39,40,41,53
Ceratonia siliqua
Carob, St. John's beard
evergreen
tree
5,8,9,11,13,22,34,37,42
Cercis occidentalis
Western redbud
evergreen
tree
8,9,11,12,15,17,25,30,34,40,41,42,53
Cistus purpureus
Orchid rockrose, Purple rockrose
evergreen
shrub
25,30,53
Cistus villosus prostratus (C.salviifolius)
Purple rockrose, Prostrate rockrose
evergreen
groundcover
9,19,22,37
Citrus spp.
Citrus
evergreen
tree
8,12,30,34,40,41
Convolvulus cneorum
Bush morning glory
evergreen
shrub
8,9,11,12,30,32,39,40,41,42,53
Coprosma kirkiiInvade
Creeping coprosma
evergreen
groundcover
8,11,12,18,30,40,41,53
Cotoneaster congestus
Likiano
evergreen
shrub
40,41,53
Cotoneaster dammerii
Bearberry cotoneaster
evergreen
groundcover
9,25,40,41
Crassula argentea
Jade plant
succulent
groundcover
9,25,33
Crassula lactea
Crassula
succulent
groundcover
7,9,10,25,36,53
Crassula multiclava
Crassula
succulent
groundcover
7,9,10,25,36,38
Crassula tetragona
Crassula
succulent
groundcover
7,10,36,53
Delosperma alba
White trailing ice plant
succulent
groundcover
7,9,10,11,18,22,23,24,26,28,35,36,
37,39,,40,41,42,53
Dietes bicolor
Wild yellow iris, African iris
evergreen
shrub
9,25,40,41
Dietes vegeta
Fortnight lily
evergreen
shrub
9,11,12,25,40,41
Diplacus longifolius (Mimulus sp.)
Monkey flower
perennial
shrub
11,15,17,25,40,41,42,53
Drosanthemum floribundum rosea
Ice plant, Rosea ice plant
perennial
groundcover
8,9,10,11,23,25,26,31,35,36,40,41,
42,53
Drosanthemum hispidum
Rosea ice plant
perennial
groundcover
7,9,10,18,23,24,25,28,36,39,40,41,53
Drosanthemum speciosum
Drosanthemum, Dew flower
perennial
groundcover
7,38,53
Duchesnea indica
Mock strawberry
perennial
groundcover
8,9,11,12,25,40,41
Dymondia margaretae
Dymondia
evergreen
groundcover
8,9,25
Erigeron karvinskianus
Santa Barbara daisy, Fleabane
perennial
groundcover
9,12,17,25,40,41
Eriodictyon trichlocalyx
Yerba santa, Hairy yerba santa
shrub
5,13,19
Eriophyllum confertiflorum
Golden yarrow
perennial
shrub
40,41,53
Eschscholzia californica
California poppy
perennial
groundcover
8,9,11,12,25,42,53
Eunymous fortunei radicans
Winter creeper, Common winter creeper
evergreen
shrub
7,10,30,41
Feijoa sellowiana
Pineapple guava
evergreen
tree
89,11,12,17,25,30,40, 41,42,53
Festuca rubra
Creeping red fescue
perennial
groundcover
8,9,11,12,15,25,40,41
Fragaria chiloensis
Wild strawberry, Sand strawberry, ornamental
evergreen
groundcover
7,8,9,10,11,23,25,28,35,36,39,40,
41,53
Fraxinus spp.
Ash
deciduous
tree
18,34,40,41
Fremontodendron spp.
Fremontia, Flannel bush
evergreen
shrub
11,15,17
Galvezia speciosa
Showy Island snapdragon, Hummingbird flower
evergreen
shrub
8,11,12,15,25,30,53
Gazania ringens leucolaena (G. uniflora)Invade
Trailing ganzania
perennial
groundcover
7,10,11,12,23,24,25,27,28,35,36,37,
38,39,40,41,42,53
Gazania uniflora (G.ringens leucolaena)Invade
Trailing ganzania
perennial
groundcover
7,10,11,12,23,24,25,27,28,35,36,37,
38,39,40,41,42,53
Grindelia stricta
Gum plant,Coastal wild gum
perennial
groundcover
40,41,53
Grindelia stricta venulosa
Coastal wild gum
perennial
shrub
25,40,41
Helichrysum petiolatumInvade
Licorice plant, Curry plant
perennial
shrub
8,11,17,25,40,41
Hemerocallis spp.
Daylily
deciduous or evergreen
shrub
8,9,11,12,14,25,40,41
Hesperaloe parviflora
Red yucca
evergreen
shrub
9,25,40,41
Heuchera maxima
Island alum root, Coral bells
perennial
groundcover
8,12,15,25,40,41
Iberis sempervirens
Evergreen candytuft, Edging candytuft
evergreen
groundcover
40,41,53
Iris douglasiana
Pacific coast iris, Douglas iris
bulb
shrub
11,15,17,40,41
Isomeris arborea (Cleome isomeris)
Bladderpod, Bladderbush, Burrofat
evergreen
shrub
6,16,53
Kniphofia uvaria
Red hot poker
perennial
shrub
8,9,11,12,17,25,40,41
Lampranthus aurantiacus
Trailing ice plant, bush gold, bush ice plant
succulent
groundcover
7,9,10,22,25,39,53
Lampranthus filicaulis
Redondo creeper
succulent
groundcover
7,10,22,53
Lampranthus spectabilis
Trailing ice plant
succulent
groundcover
7 ,9,10,11,22,24,25,38,42,53
Lantana camara & cultivars
Trailing lantana, Yellow sage
evergreen or annual
groundcover
9,23,28,35,36,53
Ligustrum texanumInvade
Texas privet
evergreen
shrub
11,30,40,41
Limonium perezii
Statice, Marsh rosemary, Sea lavender
perennial
shrub
8,9,11,12,14,25,30,40,41,53
Lippia canescens
Carpet grass, Lippia
perennial
groundcover
7,41,42
Liriope gigantea
Giant turf lily
perennial
groundcover
8,25,40,41
Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'
Hall's honeysuckle
evergreen
groundcover
7,10,53
Macadamia hybrids
Macadamia nut, Queensland nut
evergreen
tree
9,11,25,40,41
Mahonia repens
Creeping mahonia
evergreen
shrub
8,11,40,41
Malephora croceaInvade
Ice plant, Croceum ice plant
succulent
groundcover
7,8,9,10,11,22,23,24,26,28,31,35,
36,40,41,42,53
Malephora luteola
Yellow trailing ice plant
succulent
groundcover
7,10,22,24,40,41,53
Metrosideros excelsus
New Zealand Christmas tree,Pohutukawa
evergreen
tree
11,12,18,30,40,41,42,53
Mimulus longiflorus (Diplacus longiflorus)
Monkey flower
perennial
shrub
11,17,15,25,40,41,42,53
Myoporum parvifolium prostrataInvade
Creeping boobyalla, Myoporum
evergreen
groundcover
8, 9,10,11,12,21,23,24,25,28,35,36,
38,39,40,41,42,53
Myrica californica
Wax myrtle, Pacific wax myrtle, California wax myrtle
evergreen
shrub
11,15,17
Nerine masonorum
Nerine
bulb
shrub
8,9,11,25
Nerium oleanderInvade
Oleander
evergreen
shrub
5,12,13,17,11,26,27,30,32,33,42,
40,41
Oenothera berlandieri
Mexican evening primrose
perennial
groundcover
8,11,25,40,41
Osteospermum fruticosumInvade
Trailing South African daisy, Freeway daisy
perennial
groundcover
1,5,6,7,9,10,11,13,16,22,23,24,28,30,
34,36,38,39,40,41,42
Pelargonium peltatum
Ivy geranium
perennial
groundcover
7,9,10,11,12,23,24,25,28,36,38,40,
41,53
Phyla nodiflora LippiaInvade
Lippia
perennial
groundcover
8,9,10,11,12,23,28,35,36,40,21,41
Pittosporum crassifolium
Dwarf karo
evergreen
shrub
25,40,41
Pittosporum tobira
Mock orange, Wheeler's mock orange
evergreen
shrub
11,12,25,40,41
Populus spp.
Aspen, Cottonwood, Poplar
deciduous
tree
11,15,18
Populus tremuloides
Quaking aspen
deciduous
tree
9,11,15
Portulacaria afra
Purslane tree, Elephant's food
succulent
groundcover
7,9,10,24,40,41,53
Potentilla tabernaemontanii (P.verna)
Spring cinquefoil
evergreen
groundcover
7,10,37,40,41,53
Prunus ilicifolia
Holly-leaved cherry
evergreen
shrub
8,11,12,15,26,30
Prunus lyonii
Catalina cherry
evergreen
shrub
5,8,9,11,12,13,25,37,40,41,53
Prunus spp.
Plum, Peach, Cherry, Apricot, Evergreen cherry
evergreen
tree
11,15,42
Punica granatum
Pomegranate
deciduous
shrub
11,30,40,41,42,53
Punica granatum 'Nana'
Dwarf pomegranate
deciduous
shrub
9,8,11,12,25
Pyracantha 'Santa Cruz'Invade
Pyracantha, Firethorn
evergreen
shrub
8,11,12,25,40,41
Quercus agrifolia
Encina, Coast live oak, California live oak
evergreen
tree
8,9,11,15,17,25,30,31,33,53
Rhamnus alaternus
Italian buckthorn
evergreen
shrub
5,9,11,12,13,22,30,32,40,41,42,53
Rhamnus californica
Coffeeberry
evergreen
shrub
9,11,12,15,17,25,26,30,53
Rhamnus crocea
Spiny redberry, Redberry, Hollyleaf redberry, Red-berried buckthorn
evergreen
shrub
11,25,53
Rhododrendron occidentale
Western azalea
evergreen
shrub
17,40,41
Rhus integrifolia
Lemonade berry
evergreen
shrub
8,9,12,13,14,15,22,26,37,40,41,53
Rhus lancea
African sumac
evergreen
tree
8,11,12,26,37,40,41
Ribes viburnifolium
Evergreen currant, Catalina perfume
evergreen
shrub
8,9,11,15,17,25,30,53
Salvia sonomensis
Sonoma sage, Creeping sage
perennial
shrub
7,9,10,11,15,16,21,25,27,38,40,41,
42,53
Santolina chamaecyparissus
Santolina, Lavender, Gray lavender
evergreen
shrub
7,9,10,17,23,24,25,32,36,37,40,41,
42,53
Scaevola 'Muave Clusters'
Fan flower
perennial
groundcover
8,9,11,12,25
Schinus molleInvade
Peruvian pepper tree, California pepper tree
evergreen
tree
5,9,11,13,17,22,25,30,37,40,41,53
Schinus terebinthifoliusInvade
Brazilian pepper tree
evergreen
tree
5,9,11,12,22,40,41,42,53
Sedum acre
Goldmoss sedum
succulent
creeper
7,10,53
Sedum album
Green stonecrop
succulent
creeper
7,10,53
Sedum brevifolium
Stonecrop
succulent
groundcover
7,9,24,25
Sedum confusum
Stonecrop, Sedum
succulent
groundcover
7,10,24,40,41,53
Sedum rubrotinctum (S. guatemalense)
Brown bean, Pork and beans
succulent
groundcover
7,10,24,38,40,41,53
Sedum spathulifolium
Stonecrop
succulent
groundcover
11,15,25
Senecio mandraliscae
Blue ice plant
succulent
shrub
9,10,25
Senecio serpens (Kleinia repens)
Senecio, Dusty miller, Blue-chalksticks
succulent
shrub
7,24,40,41,53
Simmondsia chinensis
Pignut, Jojoba, Goatnut
evergreen
shrub
9,11,15,40,41,42,53
Sisyrinchium bellum
Yellow-eyed grass, Blue-eyed grass
perennial
grass
11,15,40,41,53
Sisyrinchium californicum
Yellow-eyed grass
perennial
grass
15,25,41
Solanum jasminoides
Potato vine
evergreen or deciduous
vine
8,9,12,17,26,30,37,40,41
Solanum xanti
Purple nightshade
evergreen
shrub
17,40,41
Strelitzia reginae
Bird of paradise
perennial
shrub
27,40,41
Symphoricarpos mollis
Waxberry, Creeping snowberry, Trip vine
deciduous
groundcover
11,15,40,41
Tecomaria capensis
Cape honeysuckle
evergreen
vine
8,11,26,37,40,41,42,53
Thymus praecox articus
Mother of thyme, Creeping thyme
perennial
shrub
9,10,23,36,40,41
Thymus pseudolanuginosus (T.lanuginosus)
Woolly thyme, Thyme
perennial
groundcover
7,10,23,28,35,36
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Star jasmine
evergreen
groundcover
9,11,12,17,25,40,41,53
Trichostema lanatum
Woolly blue curls, Romero
perennial
shrub
8,11,12,15,25,26,42,53
Trifolium fragiferum
O'Connor's legume
perennial
groundcover
40,41,53
Tulbaghia violacea
Society garlic
perennial
shrub
8,9,25,40,41
Vinca majorInvade
Periwinkle
perennial
groundcover
7,9,10,11,20,23,24,30,34,36,38,
39,53
Vinca minor
Dwarf periwinkle myrtle, Dwarf running myrtle
perennial
groundcover
7,10,11,23,24,28,30,36,38,39,53
Zauschneria californica
California fuschia, Hummingbird flower
perennial
shrub
9,11,17,40,41,53

Plants with an Unfavorable Fire Performance Rating

The following list of plants contains those found in the references that are definitely not recommended for use in fire prone environments by at least 3 references. All of the plants listed here were given either a low fire resistance rating in the references where a rating was assigned, or found listed in the references that categorized plants as being fire prone, without assigning any relative degree of resistance.

The list is sorted by plant form -- groundcovers, shrubs, trees, etc. Some species may appear twice (e.g. once as a groundcover and then again as a shrub). For a complete description of the plant, including its mature characteristics, climate zones, and information on erosion control, drought tolerance and cold tolerance, please refer to the landscape vegetation database.

Characteristics of plants not recommended for fire prone areas.

The plants in this group have some commonly shared characteristics. Most of these plants are characterized by:

  • a high surface area to volume ratio.
  • a low moisture content.
  • a high percentage of dead matter or debris.

Plants that possess all of these characteristics are likely to have an unfavorable fire performance rating. Comparison of the general characteristics of a plant not included in this list with those listed above could result in a decent estimate of the plant's fire performance.

It is possible that a plant listed as fire resistant, but allowed to grow unchecked and poorly maintained could possess the characteristics listed above and therefore be a liability. Proper maintenance of landscaping is crucial and cannot be overlooked. Conversely, it is also possible that a plant with an unfavorable rating could perform well with special irrigation and maintenance regimes. However this approach is not advisable since long term irrigation and maintenance cannot be guaranteed.

 

Table 2. Plants with an unfavorable fire performance rating in 3 or more references.

Scientific Name
Common Name
Plant Type
Plant Form
Reference #
Abies spp.
Fir
evergreen
tree
4,8,40,41
Adenostoma fasciculatum
Greasewood chamise
evergreen
shrub
3,4,8,9,30,40,41,42
Adenostoma sparsifolium
Red shanks
evergreen
shrub
8,9,30,42
Coprosma pumila
Prostrate coprosma
evergreen
groundcover
9,25,53
Cortaderia selloana
Pampas grass
evergreen
grass
4,8,9,40
Eriogonum fasciculatum
California buckwheat
perennial
shrub
4,40,41,42
Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus globulus, Blue gum
evergreen
tree
4,9,8
Larix spp.
Larch
deciduous
tree
8,40,41
Lonicera japonica
Japanese honeysuckle
evergreen
vine
8,40,41
Palms
Palm
evergreen
tree
8,40,41
Picea spp.
Spruce
evergreen
tree
4,8,40,41
Pickeringia montana
Chaparral pea
evergreen
shrub
8,40,41
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas-fir
evergreen
tree
4,40,41
Spartium junceum
Spanish broom
evergreen
shrub
4,40,41
Taxus spp.
Yew
evergreen
tree
4,40,41
Thuja spp.
Arborvitae
evergreen
tree
4,8,40,41
Tsuga spp.
Hemlock
evergreen
tree
8,40,41

 

List of References for Plant Fire Performance Ratings:

Ref #
Author
Title
Year
Publisher
Reference Summary
1
California Department of Forestry
Fire Safe: Inside and Out
Date Unk.
California Department of Forestry Publication
Defines fire retardant plants as those easily maintained and pruned, drought tolerant in some cases, can be grown without accumulating dead branches, needles or leaves, have a low sap or resin content, and grow close to the ground.
2
Gaidula, Peter
Wildland Fuel Management Guidelines for the CA State Park System
1976
California Department of Parks and Recreation
This reference does not offer a definition of fire retardance with respect to plants, however it offers suggestions of certain plant characteristics to keep in mind when clearing brush to reduce fire hazard: plant vigor, poisonous plants, effects of plants on soils, value for wildlife food and cover, aesthetic values, and relative flammability.
3
Tarbes, J.A.
Physical Characteristics of Chamise in Relation to Flammability and Combustibility
1980
San Francisco State University, CA
Defines fire performance characteristics of chamise species only.
4
Sunset
Big Job #1: Landscape to Fight the Fire
1992
Lane Magazine and Book Company, June
Defines highly flammable plants as those that are accumulators of fuel, not maintained or pruned periodically, and contain high oil, high resin or low moisture in leaves and branches.
5
Sunset
Brush Clearing for Fire Safety
1968
Lane Magazine and Book Company, October
Describes fire retardant plants as those that are low-growing shrubs, non-native brush, and well maintained and watered brush.
6
California State Fire Marshal Journal
Landscape for Home Fire Safety
1989
CSFM Journal, No. 2, March/April
Defines flammable vegetation as plants containing volatile resins, oils, gums and terpenes, and plants that have accumulations of dead twigs and branches on mature live plants. This reference also defines fire retardant plants as those with a high moisture content, high in ash, well irrigated, free of dead matter, and low volume shrubs.
7
City of Los Angeles, Department of Arboreta & Botanic Gardens
Green Belts for Brush Fire Protection and Soil Erosion Control in Hillside Residential Areas
Date Unk.
City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Arboreta & Botanic Gardens, Arcadia, CA
The term fire retardant is used to describe plants inherently less flammable than others. Rates plants as HIGH(greatest fire retardance) low-growing succulent plants with thick, fleshy leaves and/or stems. MODERATE(moderate fire retardance) low-growing herbaceous perennials and sub-shrubs not distinctly succulent. LOW(low fire retardance) low-growing shrubs and sub-shrubs with rather dry, leathery or rigid leaves and branches.
8
East Bay Municipal Utility District Water Conservation Division
Firescape: Landscaping to Reduce Fire Hazard
1995
Community Services Department and EBMUD Board of Directors
Defines flammable or hazardous vegetation as any vegetation, including ornamental, that either by it's intrinsic characteristics, placement, or lack of care is easy to ignite, spreads fire rapidly, produces high heat, or creates fires that are difficult to suppress. Defines a fire resistant plant as less likely to burn, grows close to the ground and takes longer to ignite.
9
Brende and Shapiro Tree And Shrub Care
List of More and Less Fire Prone Plants
Date Unk.
Brende and Shapiro Tree and Shrub Care, Berkeley, CA
This reference suggests that any plant can be fire-prone if not properly maintained. Arrangement, spacing, density and dryness of the vegetation is probably more crucial than what species are planted.
10
Gilmer, Maureen
California Wildfire Landscaping
1994
Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX
Plants are grouped as the most fire retardant if they retain high levels of moisture in their leaves and stems; these plants are mostly succulents and have low-growth habits. Moderate fire retardance is given to plants that are non-succulent with leaves that retain a high moisture content. Plants with low fire retardance are those with leathery and dry leaves.
11
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Fire-Safe Demonstration Garden
Date Unk.
Santa Clara Ranger Unit
A list of plants is offered without definition of fire retardance.
12
Berkeley Horticulture Nursery
Fire Resistant Plants
1991
Berkeley Horticulture Nursery, Berkeley, CA
Defines fire resistant as being able to withstand high temperatures for prolonged periods without igniting and does not readily support open flames.
13
Maire, Richard G.
Landscape to Prevent Fire
1962
University of California Agricultural Extension Service
Fire retardance is not defined in this publication.
14
Northeast Ridge, Southwest Diversified
Final Habitat Fire Buffer Program
1990
Northeast Ridge, Brisbane, CA, Southwest Diversified, INC.
This reference states that all plants will burn under the worst conditions, but some are more suitable for fire-prone areas because of one or more of the following characteristics: high mineral content, high moisture content, low volume of fuel.
15
D'Alcamo, Susan; Rice, Carol L.
Appropriate Landscaping Plants to Reduce Fire Hazard
Date Unk.
East Bay Chapter, California Native Plant Society, Berkeley, CA
Supplies a list of California native plants to be used to establish a more fire retardant environment because of one or more of the following characteristics: high mineral content, low fuel volume, high moisture content.
16
Red Shingle & Handsplit Shake Bureau
The Green Fireman Plan
1988
Red Cedar Shingle & Handsplit Shake Bureau, Bellevue, WA
This references bases its recommendations of fire retardance on the following: plants with a high moisture content, low volume shrubs, and (up to a point) plants with a high ash content.
17
Phoenix Team of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
After the Vision Fire
1996
Phoenix Team of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
This reference provides a list of suggested fire retardant plants; fire retardant is not defined.
18
Morris, Wendy; Barbar, J.R.
Design and Siting Guidelines: Bush Fire Protection for Rural Houses
Date Unk.
Country Fire Authority, Victoria
This reference suggests that the degree of fire retardance of a tree or shrub depends on the amount of moisture in the leaves, the amount of oil or resin in the leaves, and/or the amount of dead matter that remains on the tree. Trees and shrubs were rated as follows: HIGH - most suitable; MODERATE - suitable. Groundcovers were rated as follows: HIGH - very succulent, MODERATE - semi-succulent.
19
Brush Fire Safety Committee
Make it Safe to Live in the Hills: Fire Resistant Plants
Date Unk.
Brush Fire Safety Committte, Los Angeles, CA
This reference explains that some plants are relatively non-flammable because they are able to withstand high temperatures for prolonged periods without igniting and do not readily support open flames.
20
Radtke, Klaus W.H.
A Homeowner's Guide to Fire and Watershed Management at the Chaparral/Urban Interface
1993
County of Los Angeles, CA
Fire retardance was rated as follows: HIGH - very highly fire retardant. MODERATE - medium fire retardance. LOW - low very retardance.
21
Radtke, Klaus W.H.
Living More Safely in the Chaparral/Urban Interface
Date Unk.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experimant Station, Gen.Technical Report PSW-67
Fire retardance was rated as follows: HIGH - very highly fire retardant. MODERATE - medium fire retardance. LOW - low very retardance.
22
Maire, Richard G.; Goodin, J.R.
Landscape for Fire Protection
1969
University of California Agricultural Extension Service
Refers to Los Angeles Arboretum research. Makes clear the point that the term "fire resistant" is used, but that there is not a plant that exists that will not burn given the right conditions. Also suggests that well-maintained and well-watered plants will not burn as readily as those left dry and unmaintained.
23
Grounds Maintenance
Flirting With Fire
1988
Grounds Maintenance, August 23(8):32,36,38,104.
Erosion control was rated as : LOW - 30% or less. MODERATE - 60%. HIGH - 60% or steeper.
24
County of Los Angeles Arboreta & Botanical Gardens
Fire Retardant Plants for Hillside Areas
1970
County of Los Angeles Arboreta and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles, CA
Bases fire retardance on relatively high moisture content and prostrate or creeping growth characteristics. Rated as follows: HIGH - succulents (90-95% moisture content). MODERATE - non-succulents(80-95% MC) or 70-80% MC. LOW - 60-75% MC.
25
Santa Barbara City Fire Department
Firescape Demonstration Garden
Date Unknown
Santa Barbara City Fire Department, Santa Barbara, CA.
This reference offers only a list of suggested fire retardant plants, no criteria are given.
26
Coate, Barrie
Water-Conserving Plants and Landscapes for the Bay Area
1990
East Bay Municipal Utility District
Only offers a list of plants considered to be more fire retardant than most plants. No criteria offered.
27
Rice, Carol
Effects of Drought on Landscaping in the Paint Fire
1991
Wildland Resource Management, Walnut Creek, CA
Lists species with the highest moisture content and therefore probably the most fire retardant. Also lists the driest plants -- these were classified as not being recommended for fire prone areas.
28
City of San Carlos
Fire Resistive Plants
1996
The City of San Carlos, CA
Gives a list of herbaceous perennials, succulents, trees and groundcovers considered to be fire retardant. No definition offered.
29
Beatty, Russell
Designing Gardens for Fire Safety
1991
Department of Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
Rates plants fire retardance based on the following: Broad-leafed plants tend to be more fire retardant than those with needle-like or very fine leaves; dense compact forms and low prostrate plants are more effective at retarding fire than more open or upright plants.
30
Harlass, Sherry
How to Firescape to Reduce the Fire Hazard
1993
Nursery Manager, December
Defines a fire retardant plant as one that burns slowly.
31
Orinda Fire Protection District
Protect Your Home: Landsape For Fire Protection
Date Unk.
Orinda Fire Protection District
Offers a few fire retardant landscape plants with no criteria for classifying them as such.
32
California Department of Forestry
Fire Safe, California!
Date Unk.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Sacramento, CA
Classifies fire retardant plants as those that are hardy succulents and flat ground covering plants that are kept groomed and free of dry leaves.
33
City of Santa Barbara Fire Department
City of Santa Barbara Firescapes Demonstration Garden
Date Unk.
City of Santa Barbara Fire Department, Santa Barbara, CA
Defines fire resistant plants as those plants that can regenerate growth, despite burning and fire retardant plants as those which are less flammable than others.
34
Bowker, Mike
High Danger this Year: Preventing the Firestorm
1995
Motorland/CSAA, July/August
Considers that fire retardant plants share the following characteristics: grow close to the ground, have a low sap or resin content, grow without accumulating dead matter, are easily maintained and pruned, and are often drought tolerant.
35
South County Fire
Protecting Your Home From a Brush Fire
Date Unk.
South County Fire
Offers only a list of plants, without explanation or definition.
36
Sunset
Protecting Your Home Against Brushfire
1983
Lane Publishing Company
Lists succulents as having the greatest fire retardance. Herbaceous perennials if well-watered and woody groundcovers if well-watered are also highly recommended.
37
Department of Water Resources, The Resources Agency
Plants for California Landscapes: A Catalog of Drought Tolerant Plants
1979
State of California, The Resources Agency, Department of Water Resources, Bulletin 209, September
Offers a list of recommended plants without explanation or definition.
38
LeMay, David B; Wayne G. Mitchell
Recommended Low-Fuel Volume Species for San Luis Obispo County
1978
San Luis Obispo, CA: Central Coast Fire Prevention Association
Rates species of plants as either having HIGH/MODERATE or LOW fire retardance; no explanation or definition of terms.
39
Martin-Richardson, Brenda; San Luis Obispo County Fire Department
A Homeowner's Guide to Fire Resistant Plants for the San Luis Obispo Area
Date Unk.
San Luis Obispo, CA: CA Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protection and The San Luis Obispo County Fire Dept.
Lists fire retardant plants for the San Luis Obispo area; no criteria offered.
40
Moritz, Ray; Pavel Svihra
Pyrophytic vs. Fire Resistant Plants
1996
University of California Cooperative Extension HortScript February No. 18
Defines fire resistant as: most broad leaf deciduous trees; leaves tend to be supple, moist and easily crushed; trees tend to be clean, not bushy, and have little deadwood; shrubs are low-growing (<2') with minimal dead material; tall shrubs are clean, not bushy; sap is water-like and typically does not have a strong odor; and plants that will not sustain a flame when ignition is attempted.
41
Moritz, Ray
Pyrophytic vs. Fire Resistant Plants
1995
San Rafael Fire Department, FireSafe Marin. May
Defines fire resistant as: most broad leaf deciduous trees; leaves tend to be supple, moist and easily crushed; trees tend to be clean, not bushy, and have little deadwood; shrubs are low-growing (<2') with minimal dead material; tall shrubs are clean, not bushy; sap is water-like and typically does not have a strong odor; and plants that will not sustain a flame when ignition is attempted.
42
Perry, Bob
Trees and Shrubs for Dry California Landscapes
1989
Land Design Publishing, Claremont, CA
Fire retardance was rated as follows: LOW - high fire hazard species and undesirable domestic plant. MODERATE - acceptable domestic plant that requires ample amounts of water for best performance and valuable watershed species that should be thinned to reduce foliage mass, and be retained in limited numbers to prevent high intensity fires. HIGH - low-growing and high fire retarding plants and low fuel volume native and introduced species.
43
Ellefson, Connie Lockhart; Thomas L. Stephens; Doug Welsh, Ph.D.
Xeriscape Gardening
1992
Macmillian Publishing Company, New York
Offers plant lists only with no definition of drought or drought tolerance.
44
Brenzel, Kathleen Norris (editor)
Sunset Western Garden Book
1995
Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Publishing Corporation, March
This reference was used to gather mature plant characterisitics and information on drought tolerance, climate zones and erosion control. Drought tolerance is defined as requiring little or no dry season water. Climate zones are defined for the western states, each species is listed with a list of zones that it will tolerate. The zone map for this publication was generated from Sunset Western Garden Book's climate zone information. Note is made if a plant is considered to be useful in erosion control, but further explanation is not offered.
45
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Davis, CA
Plant Materials Study
1976
U.S Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Davis, CA
Offers information on plants suitable for erosion control.
46
Deering, Robert Bowman
A Study of Drought Resistant Ornamental Plants
1955
Davis, CA: University of California, Davis
Offers plant lists only with no definition of drought or drought tolerance.
47
International Erosion Control Association
Proceedings of International Erosion Control Association, 8th Conference
1977
Seattle, WA: The Association. Feb 24-25, 1977, Airport Marina Hotel, Burlingame, CA.
Offers species recommended for erosion control without providing a rating or a definition.
48
Edmuson, George C.
Plant Materials Study: A Search for Drought-Tolerant Plant Materials for Erosion Control, Revegetation and Landscaping along California Highways: Final Report
1976
U.S Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Davis, CA
Offers plant lists only with no definition of drought or drought tolerance.
49
Resource Management International, Inc.
Windbreaks Demonstration Project: Final Report
1988
Sacramento, CA: The Office of Land Conservation, California Department of Conservation
Offers plant lists only with no definition of drought or drought tolerance.
50
Lenz, Lee W.; Dourley, John
California Native Trees And Shrubs
1981
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA
Offers plant lists only with no definition of drought or drought tolerance.
51
Nehrling, Arno; Irene Nehrling
Easy Gardening with Drought-Resistant Plants
1975
New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
Defines drought as less than 1" of rainfall/week or </= 20" for growing season. Plants considered drought tolerant will survive under these conditions.
52
Hazlewood, Walter G.
A Handbook of Trees, Shrubs, and Roses
1968
Sydney, Australia: Angus & Robertson, LTD
Defines drought tolerant plants as those recommended for "hot, dry areas where they will not get any watering."
53
Orange County Fire Department
Report of the Wildland/Urban Interface Task Force
1994
Developed by the Orange County Wildland/Urban Interface Task Force Subcommittee on Fuel Modification. July Attachment C
Defines plants that are not suitable for fire prone areas as possessing some or all of the following characteristics: are known to be especially combustible; have dry or deciduous foliage during part of the year; develop deciduous or shaggy bark; develop dry or dead undergrowth.
54
Perry, Bob
Landscape Plants for Western Regions: An Illustrated Guide to Plants for Water Conservation
1992
Claremont, CA : Land Design Publishing
Categorizes landscape plants based on the water needs. Also provides information on the mature characteristics of plants.
55
Hickman, James C. (editor)
The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California
1993
University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA
Provides information on plant classification and mature plant characteristics.
56
The Staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University
Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada
1976
New York, NY: MacMillan Publishing Company, Inc.
Provides detailed information on mature plant characteristics.
57
Costello, L.R.; K.A. Jones
Water Use Classification of Landscape Species: A Guide to the Water Needs of Landscape Plants
1994
Half Moon Bay, CA: University of California Cooperative Extension, San Mateo/San Francisco Counties
Provides recommended watering for over 1200 landscapes plants based on 6 climate regions of California.
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