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Cloud Forests at San Francisco Botanical Garden

Featured Plants

Deppea splendens (golden fuchsia)
Deppea splendens by James Gaither

Believed to be saved from extinction in its native home of Chiapas, Mexico through cultivation at three U.S. botanical gardens including SFBG, the show-stopping large yellow tubular flowers with contrasting deep-red calyx can take full sun/partial shade in the Bay Area.

Dahlia imperialis (tree dahlia)
Dahlia imperialis by James Gaither

Reaching up to 18', the nodding, bell-shaped flowers of this tree dahlia are a rich lavender or purple. SFBG also has a 'double white' cultivar that shouldn't be missed.

Cuphea nudicostata
Cloud Forests at San Francisco Botanical Garden

One of many species of cupheas at the Garden, these shrubs are often vigorous and bloom year round in California. The two deep-maroon, enlarged petals on the flowers of this species appear as mouse ears, giving way to one of its common names, "tiny-mice plant."

Pinus pseudostrobus var. apulcensis
Cloud Forests at San Francisco Botanical Garden

Previously known as the Oaxacan Pine, this graceful long-needled pine is most common in the highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico, but its range extends into Central America. It is an outstanding ornamental, best adapted to warm temperate climates and can take severe freezes and some drought. Because of the long drooping needles it is also known as "waterfall pine."

Salvia cacaliifolia (Guatemalan sage)
Cloud Forests at San Francisco Botanical Garden

This exceptional, long blooming Salvia has fuzzy gentian-blue flowers on terminal racemes above the many stemmed emerald-green foliage with thick triangular leaves. It is native to the mountainous regions of southern Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

Saurauia madrensis
Saurauia madrensis by James Gaither

A very common plant in Chiapas, Mexico, this attractive tree has dark green leaves covered with red hairs, contrasting against clusters of white flowers. It is related to the kiwifruit and also has small, furry fruits that are sweet to eat. Native to the cloud forest, for cultivation it prefers our foggy coastal California.

Montanoa spp. (tree daisy)
Montanoa spp. by James Gaither

The real show of the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest collection, these towering trees can reach over 50' and are covered with large white daisies. Several species are grown at SFBG, so be sure to look down on the forest floor, as well, for the petals some call "San Francisco snow."

Telanthophora grandifolia
Telanthophora grandifolia by James Gaither

In their struggle for sunlight in the cloud forests of Central America, some normally herbaceous plants develop a tree habit, with huge leaves, large flowers and woody trunks. One such fascinating specimen, a member of the daisy family, grows over 18' tall, with large scalloped leaves up to 14' long and its dinner plate-size golden inflorescences (flower clusters).

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