Wild in the City

Wildflowers at San Francisco Botanical Garden

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), tidy tips (Layia platyglossa), and baby blue eye (Nenophilia menziesii). Photo: Don Mahoney

California boasts close to 6,000 native plants—more than all other states combined—and in spring, its mountains and valleys come alive with color as these plants burst into flower. But you don’t have to head to the hills to see them. This vibrant seasonal show takes place right in the heart of the city as the four-acre Garden of California Native Plants blazes into bloom from April through mid-May at San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. With hundreds of species on view, the Garden’s native wildflower meadow becomes a carpet of bright blue wild lilac, gleaming golden poppies, delicate white and yellow meadowfoam, purple irises, and more. Visitors can wander the Garden’s arroyos, ponds, and woodlands and take in the contented buzzing of bees and other pollinators amongst the riot of flowers.

Visitors to the garden can take advantage of free native plant maps, docent-led tours, special signage, and more, as well as unique classes and activities for families and adults, to celebrate and learn about California’s one-of-a-kind plant life. Visit the SFBG website for details.

Everyone can enjoy the following photo gallery of beautiful blooms just coming into bloom:
(Click thumbnail to start the slides, then toggle between shots with onscreen arrows or your keyboard)