San Francisco Botanical GardenAbout San Francisco Botanical Garden

Open free of charge, 10am–4pm except on Tuesdays and most holidays. The Library will be closed September 5, November 11 and 24–25.

Phone: (415) 661-1316 ext. 403
Brandy Kuhl
Head Librarian
Abbey Levantini
Assistant Librarian



The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, established in 1972, is northern California's most comprehensive horticultural library. The library houses approximately 27,000 volumes and 350 plant and garden periodicals. The library collections cover all aspects of horticulture including gardening, garden design, botanical art, ethnobotany and pest management, with an emphasis on plants grown in Mediterranean and other mild temperate climates. The library also features a 1,600-volume children's botanical library, Sunday children's story time programs and botanical art exhibitions.

Ernest Clayton Wildflower Images

Art Exhibit – Reflections: The Art & Photography of Margo Bors

From May to August the Library will exhibit Reflections: The Art and Photography of Margo Bors, a retrospective show covering work from the last 25 years including watercolors, linocuts, photography and also new work. Margo Bors' passion for the flora and fauna of San Francisco is seen in her stunning artwork, which often features the close relationship between native plants and pollinators.
More about this Exhibit

Upcoming Art Exhibit

Upcoming Art Exhibit –
The Park: A Love Story

Our upcoming art exhibit opening in September features Golden Gate Park landscapes and flora by Stephen Kane. Steve's love for Golden Gate Park is evident in his vast collection of images taken over eight years of walking and photographing the abundant variety of plants and landscapes in the Botanical Garden and Golden Gate Park. This will be Steve's second show at the Library, the first was his wonderful 2014 exhibit, Trees Love Light. Please join us for the Artist's Reception on September 15, 5–7pm. More about this exhibit.

Library Subject Guides

Library Subject Guides

Want to know more about magnolias? Or maybe you're looking for a California native tree for your garden. Library staff created these subject guides to help visitors find resources on popular gardening and horticultural topics. Resources include books, periodicals, articles, images and vertical files. More about library subject guides.

Summer Reading Club

Summer Reading Club

Keep young minds and bodies active this summer by joining the Helen Crocker Russell Library's Summer Reading Club. This free* reading club engages children's learning about the natural world around them. Each week children are introduced to new nature-related reading themes and garden activities and receive seeds to plant as they reach weekly reading goals. Participants will receive a special prize for completing the entire eight-week program. Stay tuned for the fun hands-on activities we have in store for 2016!
More about the Summer Reading Club

Library Collections

Library Collections

The Library maintains a comprehensive reference collection of material including books, periodicals, nursery catalogs, pamphlets, slides and videos. The latest addition is a teachers' resource collection devoted to children's nature education. In it teachers will find K-12 lesson plans, math and science in the garden, games, crafts, ecoliteracy, school gardens and more. Also included are children's book lists by subject and a list of free online resources.
More about the Collections

Children's Collection Now Circulating

Children's Collection Now Circulating

SFBGS Members and San Francisco teachers can now check-out children's books. Find out how to get a Library card.

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.
SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

ADMISSION  FREE for Members, SF Residents (with proof of residency) & School Groups | $8 Non-residents | Discounts for Seniors, Families & Children

LOCATED In Golden Gate Park, with entrances at the corner of Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way (Main Gate) & at MLK Jr. Drive off the Music Concourse (Friend/North Gate) | Phone: (415) 661-1316 | Mail: 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2370

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