San Francisco Botanical Garden About San Francisco Botanical Garden

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

Closed December 24-26, 31
January 1

Phone: (415) 661-1316 ext. 403
Brandy Kuhl
Library Director
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.

Upcoming Art 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 >>

Upcoming Art Exhibit

January-April Art Exhibit—Tree Portraits, Golden Gate Park

Heath Massey's beautiful pastel Tree Portraits draw our attention to and sharpens our appreciation of the wonderful variety of trees in Golden Gate Park. Massey’s tree portraits convey the charm, beauty, and character of individual trees, as well as show a range of landscapes in the park.

Please join us for the artists’ reception on Thursday, January 10, 5-7pm. More about this exhibit >>

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 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.

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

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.

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 | $9 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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