Explore the Garden
We invite you to explore these special features designed to enhance your next visit to the Botanical Garden.
Magnolia stellata 'Rubra'. Photo by David Kruse-Pickler
Don't miss a spectacular array of blooms each winter in one of the finest collections of deciduous magnolias in the United States. Experience an eruption of riotous blooms and celebrate with us as we usher in Magnolia season with a host of unique programs that celebrate our historic collection.
Anigozanthos flavidus. Photo by James Gaither
Winter is a great time of year to get lost in the Australian Garden. You can stand in any one spot in the Australian Garden and see dozens of wildly different shapes and textures without moving an inch. This garden encompasses an awe-inspiring tapestry of leaves and flowers with some of the most fascinating shapes and textures in the plant kingdom.
Ancient Plant Garden
Footprints. Photo by Ron Sullivan.
What is old is new again, and again, thanks to evolution. One of the most visceral and enjoyable ways to experience time unfolding is in our Ancient Plant Garden. Tunnel your vision from any number of purviews here and you can imagine dinosaurs grazing just beyond the fern fronds. Many non-extinct living plant groups are represented in this garden, some of which are known as 'living fossils.'
Andean Cloud Forest and Chilean Garden
Passiflora parritae. Photo by James Gaither
Fall is a perfect time to visit the Andean Cloud Forest and Chilean Garden. Both collections include plants from these "biodiversity hotspots" in South America that are rapidly losing ground and in danger of extinction. The collection includes the passifloras, salvias and fuchsias, framed by the most comprehensive collection of high-elevation palms found in any botanical garden. Come see two amazing collections: The Chilean Garden started during the earliest days of SFBG and has been fully renovated; the Andean Cloud Forest is an exciting new collection for conservation of rare and endangered species.
Monterey Cypress. Photo by Joanne Taylor
Conifers are among the cornerstone plants at the Botanical Garden, framing our vistas and truly setting the tone for our 55 acres of plant life. They sport a stunning array of botanical features – foliage in an array of color from green to gold to blue; size from the tallest tree in the world (Sequoia sempevirens) to small dwarf forms; the oldest known trees in the world (bristlecone pine) to some of the fastest growing – we invite you to explore our collection of conifers spread throughout the Botanical Garden.
The Redwood Grove. Photo by Saxon Holt.
The Coast Redwoods at San Francisco Botanical Garden were planted around the turn of the 20th century and are among the oldest trees in the Garden. More than 100 species of associated plants have been added over the past 40 years representing a typical redwood forest community.
The Zellerbach Garden. Photo by Patsy Kobe.
June to July is the perfect time of year to appreciate the full, colorful splendor of the Jennie B. Zellerbach Garden of Perennials, the breathtaking western-most focal point of the dramatic axis across the Garden from the Main Gate. Anchoring the west end of this major east-west axial vista, the Jennie B. Zellerbach Garden is one of the most prominent and architecturally significant gardens at the Botanical Garden.
California Native Garden
Splashes of brilliant color. Photo by Saxon Holt
April and May are the best times to experience California natives at the peak of their bloom. Take in bright blue wild lilac amidst a carpet of meadowfoam, iris, poppies and other amazing plants in the Arthur L. Menzies Garden of California Native Plants. This garden is awash in color, buzzing with pollinators and awaiting your next visit.
Garden of Fragrance
The Garden of Fragrance was designed in 1965 for the handicapped – especially the visually impaired – to be able to experience plants through smell and touch. Take the tour guided by Docent Ernie Ng.
Urbia Adventure League: A San Francisco 'Sense of Place" Treasure Hunt
The SF Botanical Garden issue of the URBIA Adventure League series, a self-guided adventure experience, is available at the Garden Bookstore. Families follow clues in a booklet that makes exploring the garden more exciting than ever, and a special hidden box rewards those who complete the botanical adventure!
Developed in collaboration with Urbia, this adventure is both educational and entertaining for all ages.