Connie Beck's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Perennials and Small Shrubs for Southern California.
Asclepias curassavica - Butterfly Milkweed
This is a variety from Central and South America that grows readily here with almost no care or irrigation. Bright yellow and red flowers look like lantana blossoms. This is one of the plants to grow if you want Monarch butterflies in your garden. The seeds do float around and germinate readily, but I have no trouble finding people who want my extra seedlings.
Lobelia laxiflora - Mexican Lobelia
Mexican lobelia. Red, orange and yellow tubular flowers attract hummingbirds. Easy to grow, it spreads very slowly and has a long blooming season.
Salvia clevelandii - Cleveland Sage
Cleveland sage, native to our mountains. Silvery foliage and lavender blossoms. Given full sun and good drainage this is an easy to grow native that smells wonderful.