San Francisco Botanical Garden About San Francisco Botanical Garden

Open free of charge, 10am–4pm except on Tuesdays and most holidays.

Phone: (415) 661-1316 ext. 403
Brandy Kuhl
Head Librarian
Abbey Levantini
Associate 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 2,000-volume children's botanical library, Sunday children's story time programs and botanical art exhibitions.

Art Exhibit

January-April Art Exhibit—
Looking Closely: the Hidden World of Mushrooms and Lichens by Lucy Martin

Sonoma County artist Lucy Martin's gouache and watercolor paintings focus on the often-overlooked beauty of the forest floor. Each painting begins with a walk in the forest collecting mushrooms along with the lichens, mosses, decaying leaves, cones, bark, and twigs around them. Back in her studio, Martin uses layer upon layer of dense color to create closely focused landscapes that are highly detailed and scientifically accurate. 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.

Featured Story Time book

Story Time

We provide monthly lists of recommended children's books along with a Featured Book of the Month and SFBGS Members and SFUSD teachers can now check-out children's books.

Children's Story Time & Family Walk
Stories at 10:30am with walk in the Garden at 11am on the first and third Sunday every month.

Children's Bibliography
Our collection of over 2,000 books for children.

Find out how to get a Library card.
Library 45th Anniversary Celebration

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.

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

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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