Fire Resistant Plants for Your Landscape

Danger from wildfire is a reality that many people have to deal with. Creating a defensible space around your home and property is crucial to helping to prevent fire damage.  Also important is the choice of plants that you decide to plant in your landscape, since some plants are more resistant to fire then others.

Chaparral Sage (Salvia clevelandii)

There are certain characteristics of fire-resistant plants that you can look for in your nursery.

  • Deciduous plants are generally fire-resistant because their leaves are full of moisture and in winter, their bare branches make the spread of fire difficult.
  • Drought tolerant plants tend to be resistant to fire due to their succulent or small leaves.
  • Choose plants that don’t accumulate a lot of dead leaves and branches.
  • Look for plants that do not have a high resin content. Plants with low resin also tend to be deciduous.
  • Slow-growing plants that do not require a lot of pruning are good examples of fire resistant plants.

Purple Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violaceae)

More examples of fire resistant plants:

Shrubs:

  • Alyogyne huegelii - Blue Hibiscus
  • Calliandra californica - Baja Fairy Duster
  • Eremophila maculata - Valentine Shrubs
  • Lavendula species - Lavender
  • Leucophyllum species - Texas Ranger (Sage)
  • Nandina domestica - Heavenly Bamboo
  • Nerium oleander – Oleander
  • Pittosporum tobira – Pittosporum
  • Photinia fraseri - Fraser’s Photinia
  • Pyrachantha fortunei - Pyracantha
  • Rhus ovata - Sugar Bush
  • Salvia leucantha - Mexican Bush Sage
  • Simmondsia chinensis – Jojoba
  • Tecomaria capensis – Cape Honeysuckle

Parry’s Penstemon (Penstemon parryi)

Perennials:

  • Coreopsis species - Coreopsis
  • Dietes vegeta - Fortnight Lily
  • Gaura lindheimeri  - Gaura (Whirling Butterflies)
  • Penstemon species - Penstemon
  • Salvia greggii - Autumn Sage

Bush Morning Glory (Convolvulus cneorum)

Groundcovers:

  • Drosanthemum species – Ice Plant
  • Gazania species - Gazania
  • Lantana species - Lantana
  • Myoporum parvifolium - Myoporum
  • Vinca minor - Dwarf Periwinkle

Vines:

  • Trachelospermum jasminoides - Star Jasmine

Blue Palo Verde

Trees:

  • Acacia farnesiana - Sweet Acacia
  • Acacia salicina - Willow Acacia
  • Acacia stenophylla - Shoestring Acacia
  • Brachychiton populneus - Australian Bottle Tree
  • Callistemon viminalis – Weeping Bottlebrush
  • Chilopsis linearis - Desert Willow
  • Citrus - Citrus
  • Fraxinus species - Ash
  • Olea europaea - Olive
  • Parkinsonia species - Palo Verde
  • Pistacia chinensis - Chinese Pistache
  • Prunus species - Plum/Peach/Apricot Trees
  • Rhus lancea - African Sumac
  • Schinus terebinthifolius – Brazilian Pepper

Looking for more info on firewise landscaping? Check out firewise.org.

  1. says

    Love your list of fire-resistant plants! Do you mind telling where you got your list? I’m writing an article on this, and some of our favorite South Texas plants are on your list. I’d love to include them if I can document the source.

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