Nursery

SY entranceThe Theodore Payne Nursery, established  1960, encompasses both our growing facilities and retail nursery. We are dedicated to propagating and cultivating native plants from throughout the State of California and within the California Floristic Province (CA-FP). This includes uncommon, rare and endangered species; cultivars and selections; and plants from our local region. To see what’s currently for sale in the nursery, go to our online inventory.

The Theodore Payne Nursery offers a vast selection of native plants, including hundreds of different flowering perennials, chaparral shrubs, trees, grasses, vines and more. At our sales booth, you will find printed information, as well as staff who can help with your native plant questions and choices.

The nursery grounds include our retail nursery and  Wild Flower Hill Trail – both open to the public year round  – and nursery growing yards (employees only).

2.16History
The Theodore Payne Nursery is a continuation of Mr. Payne’s original enterprise, founded in 1903. When the Foundation was created in 1960, Payne’s nursery (pictured, left) was located on Los Feliz Blvd. in Atwater Village  on property owned by Gladding McBean, maker of Franciscan Pottery. It was only a matter of time before the Foundation would be required to move.

Shortly after Payne’s passing in 1963, the Foundation was asked to vacate the Los Feliz site, prompting the nursery to move into the board president’s front yard in La Crescenta, CA. These years were tough for the Foundation and the Theodore Payne Nursery. A search began for a new location and potential sites were identified, including locations in Irvine and Pasadena. In 1963, agreements were made with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to locate the Theodore Payne Nursery at Whittier Narrows. A dedication ceremony was held and plans proceeded, until the Corps determined that retail sales were not allowed on the property. This stopped the Foundation’s plans and the search continued.

In 1967, the Theodore Payne Nursery arrived at its current location in Sun Valley: a beautiful 20-acre site previously occupied by La Tuna Nursery, owned and operated for decades by plantsman Eddie Merrill, a friend of Mr. Payne who donated the property to the Foundation. TPF finally had a place of its own to continue Payne’s commitment and vision to propagate and sell California native plants.

The Theodore Payne Nursery offers more than 900 different species and cultivars of California native plants. Customers are assisted by our knowledgeable staff and volunteers. 
Happy Customers Sales Booth
TPF nursery grounds include a retail nursery and extensive growing areas.