Los Angeles – Property Owners Association

11.13.2015 | Category, News

Property Owners Association in Los Angeles recommended Kurapia as a Water-Wise Parkway Landscape Alternatives.

  1. Water Issues

    •   California is in a historic drought. Depleted aquifers can take decades to replenish.
    •   What we pay for scarce water in LA can be viewed as cheap. This will not last.
    •   Municipalities have been increasing both water restrictions and the cost of water.
    •   Even if El Niño 2015 brings heavy rains, it will not end California’s drought problems.
    •   We need to conserve water in every way possible, for the environment, and our budgets.
    •   The turf that remains on most of our parkways (and lawns) in not water-wise.
    •   Because of water restrictions, many residents have stopped watering their parkways which are now
      browning or dead.
    •   Even though LA parkways are City property, homeowners are required to maintain them.
    •   Consider replacing parkway grass (and, possibly, front lawns) with better choices.
    •   LA maintains a limited list1 of selected approved plants for parkways. Using other plants or using other
      cover (bark mulch, rocks, decomposed granite, synthetic/artificial turf, etc) is not recommended by us, may
      be dangerous and requires permits and meaningful permit fees.
    •   Property owners are of course free to leave existing parkway plants in place or contract for their replacement as each owner sees fit, within City guidelines. Replacing lawns at the same time would, presumably, involve cost efficiencies.
    •   There are several ways to remove existing turf. We suggest avoiding herbicides which run off into the ocean. We are informed that the simplest method is to first stop watering and allow the grass to die, then water the parkway (to soften the soil) one week prior to grass removal with a pick and shovel. Prior to installing any new plants, homeowners may wish to investigate additional water efficiencies afforded by surface or sub-surface drip irrigation as a modification to existing sprinklers. Re-planting in late October or November at the earliest is preferable as it should be cooler and therefore less stress on new plants. Note that even drought tolerant plants will need regular water until established.
    •   After extensive research, we feel the following groundcovers are the best city-approved alternatives which: require little to very little water; are suitable for our local soil; do well in various sun/shade exposures; take some foot traffic; are low enough (or can be mowed/trimmed) to allow car doors to open; do not have winter or summer dormancy (turn brown); and, will keep the neighborhood attractive year- round. Plants appear alphabetically:

    o Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) - a California native.
    o Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) - several California native cultivars are available. o Kurapia (Phyla nodiflora ‘Kurapia’) - in the form of the Kurapia patented cultivar.

    Existing street trees need special consideration. Please note that, whatever plants you choose, they are best left about 24” from the base of street tree trunks and, whatever irrigation you use, street trees need to be provided with appropriate water or they will eventually die

Screenshot 2015-11-13 12.55.11

Kurapia (Phyla nodiflora ‘Kurapia’)

once established










1 inch



Full Sun Part-Shade



No. Japanese drought-tolerant cultivar of a plant which is also native to California


  •   Kurapia is a newly developed, highly versatile groundcover.
  •   This is a University of California tested drought tolerant turf alternative.
  •   Once established, it requires little maintenance and little water.
  •   Kurapia has a long bloom period and its white flowers are attractive to pollinators such
    as bees and butterflies.
  •   Native California Phyla is an LA City approved parkway alternative, though it grows
    taller, so requires mowing, and uses more water than Kurapia. If you intend to choose Kurapia, please ensure you or your landscaper does not get non-Kurapia Phyla.


Selected Links:
Kurapia Home Page

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