This spring, visit the Botanical Garden and wander from Woods to Wildflowers...California's best right here in the heart of the city. Stroll a sanctuary of towering century-old coast redwoods and enjoy a colorful seasonal show as purple irises, wild lilacs, golden poppies, fragrant rhododendrons and hundreds of other California native plants blaze into vibrant bloom.
About the Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants
The Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants features arroyos, ponds, woodlands, and meadows where a diverse variety of native plants found throughout the state flower each spring in one stunning display. California boasts close to 6,000 native plants – more than all other states combined – and the Garden offers a rare chance to see many of them all in one place. Visitors can stroll the lovely, meandering paths, taking in the contented buzzing of bees and other pollinators as they wander amongst the flowers.
A special garden to feature California native plants was stipulated in the original 1926 bequest of Helene Strybing to establish a botanical garden in Golden Gate Park. The native plant garden dates back to 1960 and was subsequently named for Arthur Menzies, who expanded and oversaw the collection during his tenure as Director of Accessions (1956-73). But it was San Francisco landscape architect Ron Lutsko, Jr.'s redesign in 1988 that truly transformed the Garden of California Native Plants into a showstopper. After it won a National Award of Merit from the American Society of Landscape Architects, author Ken Druse enthused in his book The Natural Habitat Garden, "Beyond a collection, it is perhaps the most beautifully planned and maintained public garden in the country dedicated to habitat-style planting."
Wildflowers. Photo by SarahinSF.
In addition to the highlights of this special collection, towards the end of the spring blooming season, the Native Garden takes on a pink palette as the summer flowers of buckwheat and Clarkia begin.
About the Redwood Grove
While at the Botanical Garden, visitors should not miss the opportunity to stroll into the famed Redwood Grove to appreciate one of the most remarkable and unique plant communities in the world. This century-old grove, full of towering coast redwoods, is an otherworldly sanctuary filled with lush shade-loving ferns, flowering currant, western azalea, huckleberry, and more than 100 species of plants that make their home in the redwood forest. This very special plant community can only thrive near the Pacific Coast where near constant cool and foggy weather protects tall trees from frost and drying winds.