Open free of charge, 10am–4pm except on Tuesdays and most holidays.
Closed September 3, Labor Day
Phone: (415) 661-1316 ext. 403
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 2,000-volume children's botanical library, Sunday children's story time programs and botanical art exhibitions.
Native Plants of
San Bruno Mountain
Join us in celebrating the beauty and biodiversity of San Bruno Mountain, one of the largest public open spaces in an urban setting in the United States. In this exhibit of new watercolor paintings by artists of the Mary L. Harden School of Botanical Illustration, the artists worked with the San Bruno Mountain Watch to observe and paint plants in the 2,600 acre open space reserve. Native plants exhibited include snowberry, checkerbloom, California buckeye, golden aster, bee plant, among many others. More about this exhibit.
September-December Art Exhibit—
A Gardener's Herbarium: The Art of Pressed Botanicals
Drawn by a mutual interest in the art and science of pressing and preserving plants, Cindy LaMar and Marybeth Kampman developed their own unique process. Their plant pressings are arranged and scanned at a high resolution, which magnifies and exposes their beauty and intricate structure. Artwork includes pressed botanicals in two mediums; the original natural pressings which are mounted on herbarium paper, and the scanned images of the pressing.
Please join us for the artists' reception on Wednesday, September 5, 5–7pm. More about this exhibit >>
Summer Reading Club
June 1-July 31; drop in during the Library's open hours
(10am-4pm six days a week; closed Tuesdays)
For children up to age 12.
Flex your mind and body this summer with the Summer Reading Club at the Botanical Garden's Library. Kids learn about the natural world in a game format and receive seeds to plant as they meet weekly reading and nature activity goals! Special prizes await children who complete the eight-week program. Prevent the "summer slide" and get outside—join the Club.
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.
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
Library's 45th Anniversary
2017 marks the 45th anniversary of the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. The Library a place of enjoyment and
learning for children and families, and is an indispensible resource for Garden staff and volunteers, educators
and students, gardeners, authors, historians, artists, and the general public.
On September 9th, 2017 we held a free, all-day event to celebrate:
Learn more about this event.
Also check out the
Library's 45th Anniversary Photo Exhibit, featuring great historical and current images.