There are a variety of California native plants that are not only drought resistant but they charm many birds and butterflies into visiting a garden.
"Many plants attract birds," says "Green" Gene Sottosanto, a landscaper in Laguna Beach. "Fennel is the No. 1 bird plant of Southern California. It has flowers, seeds and aphids, which are all treats for birds. Night-blooming jasmine produces a lot of white berries, which attract mockingbirds, while cotoneaster pannosus also attracts mockingbirds, as well as robins, thrushes and purple finches."
Other bird favorites include privets, which are liked by mockingbirds; the magnolia grandiflora, which has red fruit eaten by red-shafted flickers and red-breasted sapsuckers; flowering maple, which is a favorite of hummingbirds, orioles and goldfinches; the strawberry tree, which attracts band-tailed pigeons, thrushes and mockingbirds, and hummingbirds like cape honeysuckle.
If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, fennel is also good, as well as the California Lilac, which attracts the Echo Blue and California Tortoiseshell butterflies; the hibiscus, which is liked by the Common Hairstreak; snapdragons, which encourage the Buckeye; and Baby Tears, which charm the Red Admiral.