I want to start a California native garden but the number of new and different plants overwhelms me.

Consult the California Classics Plant Palette , created at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. The plant lists represent reliable, garden-worthy and available native plants for southern California gardens and public landscapes. The plant groups—Oak Woodlands, Riparian Woodlands, Scrubland/Chaparral, Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert—are organized according to horticultural and ecological conditions.