Explore the Garden
We invite you to explore these special features designed to enhance your next visit to the Botanical Garden.
Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'. Photo by Saxon Holt
Marvel at the sights and scents of this always spectacular annual winter bloom of nearly 100 elegant trees, whose branches burst into a profusion of saucer-sized pink, white, and magenta flowers! In bloom mid-January through March.
Cuphea 'Strybing Sunset'. Photo by Kathryn Rummel
Fall is the best time to discover the enchanting plants of the world's misty, tropical high elevation forests, thriving here, too, thanks to San Francisco's famous fog! Enter the Mesoamerican and Andean Cloud Forest collections and stroll through surprisingly lush jungles representative of typical cloud forest plant communities in southern Mexico, throughout Central America, and those from the western edge of South America. In bloom October through December
Papaver rhoes and more in the Mediterranean Garden at Heidelberg Hill. Photo by Saxon Holt
The Garden is a unique home to a huge variety of remarkable and rare plants, including some no longer found in their native habitats. Fantastical flora from the farthest reaches of the globe can be found in 55 acres of geographically specific gardens from South Africa to Chile. Many of the more than 8,500 kinds of plants in the Garden's collections are native to mediterranean habitats worldwide. Starting in April and extending through September, the largest portion of the Garden's collections comes into bloom, drawing a huge host of pollinators to its bounty of remarkable and rare plants
Flower Piano 2017 Summer of Love Sing-Along with Community Music Center. Photo by Travis Lange
For twelve days in July, in partnership with Sunset Piano, the Garden undergoes an incredible transformation, brought about by the placement of 12 pianos among the collections. The public is invited both to play and listen. In 2017 more than 43,000 people of all ages and walks of life came together to celebrate each other, the role that nature and the great outdoors have in inspiring great music, and to discover the many sights and sounds of the Garden. Flower Piano 2018 is set for July 5-16.
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.'
Podocarpus matudae. Photo by James Gaither
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.
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.
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.