Thanks to the UC Davis California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), which secured funding from multiple industry partners as well as the California Department of Water Resources, there’s an online resource that is a quick way to learn more about water needs of plants sold by nurseries throughout the state of California. It’s called WUCOLS, which stands for Water Use Classification of Landscape Species
Because only about 1% of plants have been scientifically researched to determine their exact water needs, the WUCOLS list incorporates the extensive field knowledge of 36 horticulturists from throughout the state whose experience has allowed them to evaluate the water use of over 3,500 plants; this knowledge is now documented in the fourth edition of the WUCOLS online database.
Once you start digging around this list we think you’ll find a multitude of low-water plants that you’ve never heard of, but will want to try.
Learn more about WUCOLS: http://ucanr.edu/sites/WUCOLS/
Go directly to the WUCOLS plant search database: http://ucanr.edu/sites/WUCOLS/Plant_Search/