Fire-Smart Plants

Choosing landscaping plants in a fire-prone environment.

We provide a curated list of plants favorable to Marin’s climate and soils. Considerations like ease of maintenance, lack of volatile oils, drought tolerance, and non-invasive status, are also part of the selection process.

This list is not exhaustive: other online resources are available to help you select additional species. Cal Poly’s and CAL FIRE’s SelecTree tool includes 178 fire-resistant tree species for Marin’s climate zones (Sunset Zones 15, 16, 17).

  • These plants tend to share characteristics of plants that are preferred in a fire-prone environment.
  • Choose natives and/or pollinator-friendly plants where appropriate.
  • Choose hedge plants that share these characteristics for screening.
  • Plant hardwood trees from this list that are less likely to ignite than conifers like pine or cypress.
  • Be aware of the potential for leaf and needle litter in the fall.
  • Maintenance is the most important factor when maintaining landscaping plants in a fire-prone environment. There are no “fire-proof” plants. All plants must be maintained in good health, properly irrigated, and free of dead material, dry twigs, or fallen leaves and needles.
  • Use proper spacing between plants to slow the spread of fire. More space is required on slopes.

Download a PDF of fire-smart and fire-hazardous plants

Aeonium

Aeonium spp.

African Iris

Dietes bicolor

African Sumac

Rhus lancea

Agave

Agave spp.

Aloe

Aloe spp.

Alpine Cinquefoil

Potentilla neumanniana

Amur Maple

Acer ginnala

Angel’s Trumpet

Brugmansia spp.

Apple

Malus spp.

Ash

Fraxinus spp.

Native to CA

Barberry

Berberis spp.

Beach Aster

Erigeron glaucus

Native to CA

Beach Strawberry

Fragaria chiloensis

Native to CA

Beard Tongue

Penstemon spp.

Beech

Fagus spp.

Bergenia

Bergenia spp.

Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia reginae

Blue chalksticks

Senecio serpens, mandralisce, vitalis

Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium bellum

Native to CA

Blue-Eyed Grasses

Sisyrinchium spp.

Native to CA

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Boxwood

Buxus spp

Breath of Heaven

Coleonema pulchellum

Buckthorn

Rhamnus spp.