Oaktown Native Plant Nursery


Lot size: 10,000 sq. feet

Garden Age: 6 years

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 12

702 Channing Way, Berkeley[SinglePic not found] across the street from Vik’s Chaat Corner (510) 387-9744

Website E-mail

View Oaktown’s plant list here

Hours Thursdays and Fridays 10:00-5:00, Saturday 10:00-4:00, or by appointment.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour Special! Shop during the Tour’s Native Plant Sale Extravaganza, when Oaktown will be open from 10:00–5:00 on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, 2017.



Talks in the Nursery

Saturday, May 6, 2017, 12:00

Native Garden Design Primer by Todd Gilens
Thinking of digging up your lawn, or redoing your garden with native plants? This short workshop will cover basic considerations for all gardens, how to apply and adjust these factors to your own situation, and ways of working with measurements and drawings to help you figure out what you need.

Todd Gilens is a designer, artist, and native ecosystem enthusiast who has been coaching Bay Area residents in garden design for several years.


Saturday, May 6, 2017, 3:00

Dyeing with California Natives by Maia Discoe

Interested in dyeing with plants? What if you could use plants native to your area? We will discuss how to make dyes using California native plants and how to start planning your own dye garden. The basic concepts of natural dyeing will be covered and a resource list for learning more will be provided.
Maia Discoe
A life long maker, Maia has been knitting since she was 8. The intersection of plants and knitting is natural dyeing which she has studied for ten years.



Sunday, May 7, 2017, 12:00

Learn How to Prune Natives by Leslie Buck

Leslie Buck, aesthetic pruner and author of the garden memoir Cutting Back will demonstrate how to prune California native plants using natural pruning techniques. Bring your pruning questions; this is the place to ask them!

Leslie is the author of the new garden memoir Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto, which tells the story of a Berkeley gardener who trains with traditional gardeners of Japan, working in some of the most naturally designed (not miniaturized or overly-sheared) native gardens in the world. Leslie is an aesthetic pruner, teacher, and design consultant with over two decades of gardening experience.


Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3:00

How to Make a Succulent Planter by Maia Discoe

The drought tolerant and compact nature of California native succulents makes them perfect for planters. We will demonstrate how to make and care for a succulent planter made with California natives, including how to pick suitable plants, pots, and soil. To spark your imagination, there will be examples that range from simple and elegant to whimsical and fun.

Maia has loved plants all her life. Sadly, she is also a chronic under waterer. She found garden success by putting in a back yard pond and filling her property with plants native to her neighborhood. California native succulents are a particular love, and not just for their delightful ability to withstand neglect.



Oaktown Native Plant Nursery began as a hobby plant propagation club in a friend’s back yard in Oakland in 2001. Oaktown Nursery is currently (ironically) located in Berkeley, and produces custom grown plants for contractors and home gardeners. Oaktown specializes in propagating California natives appropriate to local conditions. Plants are grown from permitted local seed and cutting collections. Oaktown’s resume of custom grow projects covers a wide range, from private native habitat gardens to riparian species for Napa’s Fish Friendly Farming, to intertidal plants for the Lake Merritt Channel restoration. We take pride in growing healthy plants using low tech, least toxic methods for the sake of the environment. Oaktown is open year-round Thursday through Saturday for retail customers.


Standards to Look For

Dutchman’s Pipe Vine – A curious vine with a Dutch meerschaum pipe-shaped flower that must have been admired by Dr. Suess himself. Purple-striped flowers appear in early spring. Dutchman’s pipe vine is the only larval host plant for the beautiful, large black and blue pipevine swallowtail butterfly.

Narrow Leaf Milkweed - This herbaceous perennial is the locally native milkweed that is the larval host plant for the marvelous migratory monarch butterfly.

Woodland Strawberry – For a shady area in need of a ground cover. Woodland strawberry provides the added benefit of producing tiny but tasty wild strawberries.

Fairybells – This whimsical shade lover, with its delicate, white bell-shaped flowers, grows up to three feet and then dies back each year, providing seasonal interest in the shade.

Checkerbloom – Checkerbloom, a perennial sun lover native to grasslands, produces attractive spikes of pink mallow-like blooms.

Soap Plant – Every native plant lover just has to have at least one. White lily flowers open in the afternoon and attract bumblebees. Ask about it’s interesting ethnobotanical uses.


Other Nursery Attractions

• The entry gardens often show off the plants for sale inside.

• Oaktown grows a diverse selection of species from all major native plant communities of the greater San Francisco Bay Area.


Gardening for Wildlife

Most of Oaktown’s plants are grown for their habitat value. Feel free to ask which attract birds, butterflies or other pollinators.



Oaktown is located on Channing Street in Berkeley, just west of 4th Street. The entrance ramp is on the south side of the Channing, just before you hit the Amtrak railroad tracks. Oaktown is across the street from Vik’s Chaat Corner.

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