Q & A - Topics of interest

New subspecies
New subspecies can be created from natural cross-pollination.   Native plants start out geographically isolated - which allows them to pollinate and create a somewhat stable population.  As multiple species of a genius are brought into a common garden, they now have the opportunity to cross-pollinate - usually done by bees, Hummingbirds or other.  The offspring is called a hybrid or a "cross" (abbreviated as an "X").  These seeds can germinate and grow as volunteers.   If the volunteer shows desirable characteristics it can be propagated - by cuttings only.  This first generation, if left to go to seed, will not produce the same identical plant.  
Some examples of these plants are Erigeron glaucus X (Wayne Roderick Daisy), Salvia "Pozo Blue", Salvia "Bees Bliss" and others.  Usually these are designated with the Genus name and "sp" designation along with the common name - although this is variable.
Hybrid volunteers that we have seen at Blossom Hill are usually of the Salvia or Penstemon genera.
If a Native Species is repeatedly crossed and refined by conventional breeding, then it would lose the status of "Native".  This process of breeding is how ornamental plants are produced commercially.  This is not a bad thing, but does not keep with the intent of encouraging and preserving the natural diversity and benefits of Native Plants.
Just fyi - conventional breeding is not the use of GMOs.  It is manually crossing parent plants to guide and express beneficial characteristics - these could be different flower colors, more vigorous plants,  or higher yield and disease resistance for farmers.
Selections
Within a Species population is a large amount of genetic diversity (think of the many types of dogs).  This diversity can be expressed in the wild or nursery through the plants normal reproductive process.  Usually the "Selection" has a minor difference.  An example is Sentinel Manzanita (Arctostaphylos densiflora).  Howard McMinn is the same species but slightly larger than Sentinel.  To preserve this characteristic, and produce plants identical to McMinn, new plants can only be produce by taking cuttings.  This is of course not a new Species but a selection within an existing Species.
Will Natives grow where I live?
The short answer is probably.
California is a big State with Diverse climate conditions.  From the highest point to the lowest point in the US, from coastal to desert areas.  To best answer that question you need to know the geographic region where the Species is from.  Your situation can adapt to their needs - coastal Species can be successfully grown inland with some shade, and desert plants can be grown with much less supplemental water.  Best to know  what plants you like and then understand your specific situation and adapt or place plants accordingly. At Blossom Hill the plants we sell have proven to be adaptable to the Central Valley/Sierra Foothill regions.  
Species we no longer grow
Here is a list and a short explanation.  This is our experience only  - and yes sometimes a Species can be "unlucky" after 2-3 tries - so some may work very well for others.
 
 
 
 

Antirrhinum multiflorum
Arctostaphylos sp
Arctostaphylos glauca

Artemisia ludoviciana
Artemisia tridentata
Ceanothus cuneatus
Diplacus longiflorus
Hyptis emoryi

Lupinus arboreus
Malacothamnus densiflorus

Nassella pulchra
Penstemon h.  - Frosty Margarita

Penstemon sp
Penstemon palmeri
Ribes speciosum
Ribes viburnifolium

Salvia sp
Salvia apiana

Salvia dorrii
Salvia munzii

Viguiera deltoidea parishii
Wyethia angustifolia

Multiflowered Snapdragon
Emerald Carpet
Ramona Big Berry Manzanita

White Sagebrush
Great Basin Sage
Buckbrush
Conejo monkey flower
Desert Lavender

Yellow Flowered Bush Lupine
Many Flowered Bushmallow

Purple Needle Grass
White Foothill Penstemon

Margarita BOP
Scented Penstomen
Fuchsia-Flowering Gooseberry
Evergreen Currant, Catalina Perfume

Celestial Blue

White Sage
Desert Sage and Purple Sage
San Diego Sage

Desert Sunflower
Narrowleaf Mule Ears

Did not survive
Low survival
Did not survive

Aggressive spreader, poor appearance
Very poor appearance
Not that attractive, died
Did not survive, have other Diplacus available
Interesting, but not attractive for landscape

Did not survive
Not appealing

Aggressive re-seeder, invasive
Did not survive

Not significantly different from P heterophulus, Died.  Very popular however.
Nice, but only lived 2-3 years
Nice Fuschia, very spiny however and did not sell
Died

Nice colored flower but not that distinct, low survival
Uninteresting, indistinct flowers.  Like Salvia "Vicki Romo" better.

Low survival, small sage - may try again
Died, not distinct from other sages offered

Did not survive
Low survival