Fire Resistant Plants

Fire Safe PlantsChoosing Fire-Resistant Plants

  • Use this list as a reference for fire resistant plants suitable for Marin's climate and soils.
  • There are no “fire-proof” plants!  Even the most resistant plants must be maintained in good health, properly irrigated, and free of dead material, dry twigs, or fallen leaves and needles.
  • Select fire-resistant hedge plants for screening, which may help catch wind-blown embers if properly spaced and maintained.
  • Plant hardwood trees from this list that are less flammable than conifers like pine and fir.
  • Use proper spacing between plants to slow the spread of fire.  More space is required on slopes.

 

Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium bellum
  • Blue-eyed Grass
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

Blue-Eyed Grasses

Sisyrinchium spp.
  • Blue-Eyed Grasses
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum
  • Blueberry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Brush of Heaven

Coleonema pulchellum
  • Brush of Heaven
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bush Anemone

Carpenteria californica
  • Bush Anemone
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bush Ice Plant

Lampranthus spp.
  • Bush Ice Plant
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bush Morning Glory

Convulvus cneorum
  • Bush Morning Glory
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Buttercup

Ranunculus californica
  • Buttercup
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

California Fuchsia

Zauschneria californica
  • California Fuchsia
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

California Poppy

Eschscholzia spp.
  • California Poppy
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

Cape Honeysuckle

Tecomaria capensis
  • Cape Honeysuckle
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Carob

Ceratonia siliqua
  • Carob
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Carolina Laurel Cherry

Carolina Laurel Cherry

Prunus caroliniana

General Notes

Carolina Laurel Cherry is grown as an evergreen shrub or tree standard, favored for its shiny green foliage. However, the flower and fruit litter is a problem in paved areas, and it may reseed unwantedly. It withstands heat, dryness and wind, and is quite durable once established. Variety Compacta generally grows 8-10' tall. It may require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain its height below 25'.

Has fragrant Flower.

Native to Southeastern United States.

Family: Rosaceae

Additional Common Names

CAROLINA LAUREL CHERRY, CHERRY LAUREL

Tree Characteristics

Compact and Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.

Conical or Oval Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 20 - 30 feet.

Width: 15 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity 50 to 150 years.

Leaves Lanceolate to Oblong, Glossy Medium Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring or Winter. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Black Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Winter, Spring or Summer.

Bark Dark Gray or Light Gray, Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Flowers and Wet Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 5 - 24.

USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 10.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.

Pests & Disease Information

Resistant to Oak Root Fungus. Susceptible to Scales, Fire Blight, Root Rot, Rust, Gummosis and Verticillium.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Medium.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Allergy and Poisonous Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Low.

Fire Resistance is Favorable.

Attracts Birds and Bees.

Not Deer Palatable.

Special Uses & Values

Screen.

Hedged or Topiary.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Prunus caroliniana Tree Record." 1995-2017. May 4, 2017.
http://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/prunus-caroliniana

  • Carolina Laurel Cherry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Carolina Laurel Cherry

Carpet Bugle

Ajuga reptans
  • Carpet Bugle
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

  • Catalina Cherry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

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