San Francisco Botanical GardenSan Francisco Botanical Garden Plant Collections

Go Native!

Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants

April and May are the best times to experience California natives at the peak of their bloom. Take in bright blue wild lilac amidst a carpet of meadowfoam, iris, poppies and other amazing plants in the Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants. This garden is awash in color, buzzing with pollinators and awaiting your next visit. Join us in celebrating one of San Francisco Botanical Garden's most cherished gardens with this special feature, including art, resources, photos, events and more.


Featured PlantsFeatured Plants

Aesculus californica     |     California Buckeye

Aristolochia californica     |     California Pipevine

Asarum Caudatum     |     Western Wild Ginger

Ceanothus     |     California Wild Lilac


Eschscholzia californica     |     California Poppy

Iris douglasiana     |     Douglas Iris

Sambucus racemosa     |     Red Elderberry

Sequoia sempervirens     |     Coast Redwood

Rhododendron occidentale     |     Western Azalea

Ribes spp.     |     Flowering Currant

Romneya coulteri     |     Matilija Poppy

Vaccinium ovatum     |     California Huckleberry


Featured PlantsResources

California Native Plants Highlights Walk– A map to help you tour and identify the highlights of our collection. The map corresponds to green identification signs throughout the Garden.

California Native Gardening– A Month-by-Month Guide
by Helen Popper ($29.95; members get 10% off)

Edible Gardening in California– Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs & Seeds
by Jennifer Beaver ($22.95; members get 10% off)

The New Sunset Garden Book– The Ultimate Gardening Guide
($34.95; members get 10% off)

The Native Wildflower Meadow at Its Peak!
Hortiphile     |     3/4/10

The Native Garden on View from the Bay
Hortiphile     |     4/30/10

The Best "Native" Palm for Bay Area Gardens
Hortiphile     |     5/21/10

Three Native Beauties for Your Garden
Hortiphile     |     3/25/10

Information on wild California plants for conservation, education and appreciation. Includes extensive search tool.

California Native Plant Society
CNPS works to protect California's native plant heritage and preserve it for future gnerations.

California Native Plant Wiki
An information resource created by the Theodore Payne Foundation to help you garden with California native plants.


Special EventsAbout the Collection

With displays of over 500 taxa (species and cultivars), the four-acre Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants features arroyos, ponds and woodlands, and at its center, a wildflower meadow. This historic collection of plants is at its peak bloom now! April and May are the best times to visit and catch a glimpse of bright blue wild lilac amidst a carpet of meadowfoam, iris, poppies and other amazing California native plants.

Natural Habitat Garden magazine author Ken Druse wrote of the Arthur L. Menzies Garden, "Beyond a collection, it is perhaps the most beautifully planned and maintained public garden in the country dedicated to habitat-style planting."

Eschscholzia californica.

Eschscholzia californica

California Buckeye by Paul Louie, �2002

California Buckeye by Paul Louie, ©2002.


Did you know that native peoples threw crushed seeds of the Buckeye tree in the water to paralyze fish? Look for interpretive signs around the California Native Garden to find out more about how native peoples used native plants.

Splashes of brilliant color. Photo by Saxon Holt.

Splashes of brilliant color. Photo by Saxon Holt


Catch the Native CA Plant Garden at different times of the day. From the muted shades of a foggy morning to the impressionistic hues of a sunny afternoon, the changing light brings fresh perspectives. Especially good for photographers and artists who want to capture flowers in a certain light.

ADMISSION  FREE for all SF City & County Residents, Members & School Groups     /     $7 Non-residents     /     Discounted fee: Seniors & Children

LOCATION Entrances at the corner of 9th Ave at Lincoln Way & at MLK Jr. Dr. off the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park

(415) 661-1316    |     © Copyright , San Francisco Botanical Garden. All Rights Reserved.