The American Agave produces giant flower stalks that can shoot 30 feet in the air. The dried stalks are a favorite nesting site for acorn woodpeckers.
Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) is another native that I really like. It's a low growing sage that spreads by rhizomes and can colonize a whole area. When a colony is in bloom, there are so many hummingbirds it can sound like a swarm of bees. Beyond the flower and the low growth habit, one of the other things I really like about it is it's ability to thrive under live oaks, pine and eucalyptus -- all trees known for being [keep reading...]