California Native Plants from the Arroyo Seco for a Sustainable Future

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Hahamongna Cooperative Nursery is an invaluable asset to the Arroyo Seco and Southern California, providing low-cost native plants for restoration, conservation and park uses. Native plants are best adapted to deal with the variability of local climate as well as the challenges of climate change. California's long drought has underscored the sustainability benefits of native plants for Southern California. River restoration efforts in the Arroyo Seco and along the Los Angeles River have accentuated the largely unmet need for native plants that are regionally sourced and genetically appropriate. In addition to these restoration efforts, it is now imperative that Pasadena and Southern Californians focus on transforming the landscaping of our homes, parks and businesses to meet the challenges of drought and climate change. Native plants are a uniquely appropriate solution, and Hahamongna Cooperative Nursery, in addition to growing native plants, is an educational hub to promote and disseminate these plants.

Teaching Arroyo Communities About Native Plants

Hahamongna Cooperative Nursery is volunteer-driven, so community members have a chance to learn at every step in the process. Our experienced nursery staff guides volunteers through tasks, imparting general horticultural skills specialized knowledge for native species. These include collecting, storing, and processing seed, sowing seed flats, collecting and starting cuttings, caring for seedlings, potting up plants, hardening, and planting.

Buckwheat Seedlings

Why Local Genetics?

The central role of native plants in the Arroyo's ecology is widely known. Local species have adapted to the the unique climate, soil, and other conditions in our watershed, and provide the necessary habitat for hundreds of other species. However, habitat restoration needs to take into account the unique genome of local populations. Growing from stock local to the in addition to planting the right species. Propagating plants from the project site helps to ensure the long-term sustainability of our restoration plantings and neighboring wildlife areas.

Arroyo Seco Canyon Project Area I

Grown at the Source

Located in Hahamongna Watershed Park on the banks of the Arroyo Seco as it leaves the San Gabriel Mountains, the Hahamongna Nursery is favorable to the species we propagate. This gives our plants a better chance from the beginning and further promotes the success of individuals that are well-suited to the local climate. In fact, several of the species we grow occur naturally at and around the nursery, including California sycamore (Platanus racemosa), coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), redberry (Rhamnus sp.), laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), and phacelia (Phacelia spp.).


Sustainable Nursery Practices

The Hahamongna Nursery strives to fit into its surroundings and utilize natural processes to improve growing performance while minimizing resource consumption. A bioswale at the south end catches runoff and allows it to water the native sycamore and a small riparian garden. Native plants growing on site help retain moisture and reduce heat. Flowering plants provide a source of nectar for pollinators. As we continue, we look forward to finding more ways to make the nursery an example of environmentally sound horticulture.

Volunteers Plant Coastal Sage Scrub Species

Volunteers Plant Local Coastal Sage Scrub Species

Volunteers Learn How to Take Toyon Cuttings

Volunteers Learn How to Take Toyon Cuttings (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

California Sycamore Seedlings

California Sycamore Seedlings (Platanus racemosa)

Native Prickly Pear

Coastal Prickly Pear (Opuntia littoralis)

Willow Cuttings

Willow Cuttings (Salix spp.)