It's a good year to be a plant in California. This winter has brought an abundance of much needed rain to the state and an end to the long drought, and some very WILD flowers are getting ready to put on a particularly vibrant show this spring and summer right in the heart of the city at San Francisco Botanical Garden (SFBG). The season will bring vivid and WILD profusions of flowers in the Garden of California Native Plants, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Zellerbach Garden of Perennials. A spectacular variety of protea will explode with huge, fiery flowers in the South African Garden. In the Succulent Garden, the puya will send up massive towers of unearthly flowers that look like something from outer space. And nearby, a native of Mexico, the magic dogwood, will dazzle with spiraling, white flowers that perch on its limbs like exotic lanterns.
The Garden is a unique home to a huge variety of remarkable and rare plants, including some no longer found in their native habitats. Fantastical flora from the farthest reaches of the globe can be found in 55 acres of geographically specific gardens from South Africa to Chile. Many of the more than 8,500 kinds of plants in the Garden’s collections are native to mediterranean habitats worldwide, flowering brilliantly after a wet winter soaks ground parched during the rainless summer.
Starting in April and extending through August, the largest portion of the Garden's collections comes into bloom, drawing a huge host of pollinators to its bounty of remarkable and rare plants. A special population of locally rare, native butterflies now makes its home in the Garden of California Native Plants thanks to SFBG volunteer biologist Tim Wong. These lovely blue and black pipevine swallowtails should be out in full force this spring putting on a spectacular show, nurtured by an abundance of native flowers and the food they offer. Blooming events throughout the Garden occur frequently at this time-some can last for weeks while some may last for just a week or less. Visitors can get the latest on current, must-see flowerings by following the Garden on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for regular photo updates. Garden guests are also encouraged to share tips and photos from their Garden adventures with the hashtag #WILDFlowers_SFBG. Free season-specific plant maps, docent-led tours, special signage, and more, as well as unique classes and activities for families and adults, also offer an array of ways to appreciate and learn about the WILD flora (and fauna) at the Garden.
Succulent Garden - Puya alpestris. Photo by Saxon Holt
Blooming events occur frequently at this time – some can last for weeks while some may last for just a week or less. Visitors can get the latest on current, must-see flowerings at the Garden entrances or, to plan a visit during peak blooms, follow the Garden on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for regular photo updates. Visitors are also encouraged to share tips and photos from their Garden adventures with the hashtag #WILDFlowers_SFBG.