Fire Resistant Plants

LANDSCAPE PLANTS WITH FIRE RESISTANT CHARACTERISTICSAll of these listed are hardy in the Pacific Northwest.

I need to stress that one needs to PLAN before planting. I will include one of my own mistakes as soon as I get a picture. One also needs to understand that all properties have microclimates, created by ones own home, surrounding trees, prevailing wind patterns (especially in the summer) and the structures of your neighbors. Usage of rock paths and large rocks is also especially worth considering and can be very attractive.SHRUBSAbeliaArctostaphylos columbianum (native) many great varieties to pick from.
Arbutus unedoBerberis all varietiesCactus – Hardy species
Caryopteris cland. “Blue Mist”
Cistus laurifolius and other dwarf formsDaphne burkwookdii (Carol Mackie Daphne)Eunoymous elatum (Burning bush) E. alatus
Paxistima myrtifolia (Oregon Boxwood)
PyracanthaPhormium tenax (dwarf forms)Rhomneya coulteriGarrya eliptica (slow)Mahonia aquifolium, repens or othersPerovskia (Russian Sage)
Rhododendron mac. Pacific Rododendron and other specie Rhododendrons. ‘occidentale’ N.Rhamnus frangula ‘Aslenifolia’Ribies species Western Flowering Current (N) Some dwarf forms are available.
Rosa RugosaSalix purpurea (very nice with carex comans)Spirea species. Some are native such as S. douglasia. I however love “Limemound”
WiegeliaYucca (dwarf varieties)
Ribies sanguineumGROUNDCOVERSAchilea dwarfs such as A. tomentosat.Ajuga dwarf varieties (for shadier situations)
Anacyylus depressus (Atlas Daisy)Antennaria rosea (pussytoes)Arctostaphylos uva ursi (nice with wooly thyme)Campanula (many varieties)Ceanothus gloriosusCerastium (Snow in summer) can be very invasive!Deleosperma (dwarf hardy iceplants) cooperi and nubignum
Dianthus (dwarf species)Fragaria chiloensis (dwarf miniature strawberry) (Native) ‘Green Pastures’ is a nice choice.Pachysandra (plant with native ginger) for shady sites.
Pensteman pinifolius. There are many other forms of dwarf penstemons as well P. barrettiae (N)
Zauschneria californicaSedum hispanicum as well as many others. S. Nevii
Sempervivum – Heuvellii (Hen and chicks — hundreds to pick from).Thymes such as T. Pink Chintz


Acanthus mollis


Alliums — many wonderful choices

Armeria (Sea-thrift)


Bergenia cordifolia

Chyrsanthemum hosmariense (new name now)

Daylillies use dwarfs

Erysimum kotschyanum

Hardy geraniums. Dwarf cranebill geraniums. Can be weedy!

Heuchera (Coral Bells)

Hellianthemum (sun rose)

Hosta, dwarf or large forms for shadier moist areas.

Iris unguicularis

Kniphofia (Poker Plants) Dwf. forms only

Lewisia species.

Pacific Coast Iris




Acer circinatum (native) or Korean Maple. A. pseudosieboldianum

Alders and Birch

Cercis species

Eleagnus angustifolia

Hippophae rhamnoides

Japanese Hornebeam

Myrica californica

Prunus laurocerasus

Prunus lusitanica

Tsuga heterophylla

Quercus garryana  (N) OAK  Usually too large for the garden. Red Oaks and Pin Oaks are more suitable.

Campsis radicans  (Trumpet vine)

Lonicera (honeysuckle)  ???

Vitis purpurea  (dwarfish purple foliaged grape)

always remember Fire Resisitant does not mean “Fireproof”!

Even fire-resistant plants will burn if not well maintained. Be sure to keep all of your land-scape plants healthy with appropriate watering and dead heading!

Fire conditions and forest fires will get worse and funding for prevention has been lost to the costs of fighting them. A must read !


Anyhow, I was a bit surprised when the Daily News printed an article of a former Fire Chief presenting a course of “Fire Resistant Plants” at the Masters Gardeners.   So much like what I have posted and sent to the Daily News weeks ago and to the Fire Chief in Sequim in 1995.  As expected the newspaper did not print my article on Fireworks as it would offend. Trouble is that a Canadian company now owns ALL the newspapers in Clallam County. Bit of a problem there! (Black Press — so appropriate! They also tried to absorb the Pt. Townsend newspaper as well.

Just a strange set of circumstances? I did edit it and added more suggested plants. More will be done when I have time. Including a damning photo of my own place and my own bad landscaping. For now I picked on your own or lack of it. Many, Many years ago I suggested the City of Sequim or the Fire station should do a display garden of fire-resistant plants/landscaping which would also include nice rocks! The second link is the plant list I gave to the Fire marshal back in the mid nineties.
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