Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Carpenteria californica

Common Name
Bush Anemone
CA Native
California Native
Plant Type
6' x 4'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Glossy Dark-Green
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
  • Butterfly & Other Insect Nectar
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Fragrance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Carpenteria is a dense, bushy evergreen shrub with beautiful, fragrant, white flowers wtih yellow centers. It blooms once a year and then recedes into the background. It is native to the foothills of Fresno County, where it grows along seasonal streams. Companion plants include Vitis californica, Sambucus caerulea, Quercus wizlizenii and Rubus ursinus. This plant looks good in the back of a perennial garden, as a hedge or in a native garden.

Plant slightly above soil grade. It is native to decomposed granite soils but will tolerate clay and loam as long as it has good drainage. Do not fertilze as it will cause rank growth. Tolerates both sun and light shade but looks best in light shade. In hot sun leaves may brown. This plant is garden and drip tolerant but will need some summer water if rainfall is less than 20 inches per year. Prune after blooming to improve shape.

Attracts native insects and bees when in bloom.

This plant is oak root fungus resistant but is susceptible to aphids. Check for Aphids when new growth appears and spray with water to remove.


Master Gardener Comments

C. californica 'Elisabeth' - more compact form with smaller, more abundant flowers

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