The coast of California is home to a wide variety of plants, including scrubs, grasses and strands that grow near the ocean but far enough away that they are protected from the spray of saltwater. Nearly 80 species of wildflowers are also present along the coast of California. A number of distinctive plant species grow at and around the fragile sand dunes of the California coast, while other plants grow low on the bluffs of the coast.
There are at least 79 kinds of wildflowers growing along the coast of California, including the Bermuda buttercup, butterfly mariposa lily, common California aster, climbing morning glory, coast paintbrush, fetid adder's tongue, five-fingered fern, flowering currant, horsetail ferns, Indian warrior, Mediterranean linseed, morning glory, pacific hound's tongue, redwood wood sorrel, sticky monkeyflower, sunflowers, western coltsfoot, yellow-eyed grass and yellow skunk cabbage.
Coastal scrubs are typically found in areas that don't have many trees -- if there are any at all -- but are abundant in low shrubs. The different families of scrubs that are located along the coast of California include creosote bush scrub, sagebrush scrub, shadscale scrub, coastal sage scrub and northern coastal scrub. Scrubs can grow near beaches and in areas known as scrublands.
Many species of grasses grow along the coast of California during the springtime and throughout the summer. Grass species that grow along the California coast include bentgrass, hairgrass, reedgrass and oatgrass, as well as some species that are not native to California but are still often found along the coast, such as wild oat and bromegrass.
Coastal strand plant species that grow along the California coast include the four-wing salt bush, the California poppy plant, sand strawberry, yellow-eyed grass, clustered field sedge, bluff California lilac, deerweed, camphor dune tansy and the yellow sand verbena. These plants grow in areas of the California coast that have saline soils, shifting sands and windy beaches where the ocean often has many waves.