Native Plants

Learn more about individual native plants found in the Golden Gate National Parks and grown in our nurseries for restoration projects.

Have you seen a beautiful wildflower while in the park and want more information about it? We have over 1200 species of plants native to these Parks (Recreation Area). Here we have information on many of the wildflowers and plants you will see along the trails in the park, and ones we have used to restore habitats and plant communities throughout the Parks. Below is just a sample of what you might see. Click on the name of a plant (scientific name followed by common name) to go to a page with a picture of the plant and information about it:

Native Plants in the Parks

Triteleia laxa (Ithuriel's Spear)
Triteleia laxa is a triplet lily known by several common names, including Ithuriel's spear, common triteleia and grassnut.
Sambucus racemosa (Red Elderberry)
Red elderberry is a widespread shrub to small tree that occurs in moist cool places, including our own Redwood Creek.
Salix lasiolepis (Arroyo Willow)
Arroyo willow is an abundant and widespread native tree or shrub that grows in northern, southern and central California.
Rosa californica , the California wildrose, or California rose, is a species of rose native to the U.S. states of California and Oregon and the northern part of Baja California, Mexico.
Rhamnus californica (California Coffeeberry)
Frangula californica is a species of flowering plant in the buckthorn family native to western North America. It is commonly known as California coffeeberry and California buckthorn.
Trees with crooked, spreading trunks and branches
Quercus agrifolia , the coast live oak, is a highly variable, often shrubby evergreen oak tree, a type of live oak, native to the California Floristic Province.
Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky Monkeyflower)
Diplacus aurantiacus, the sticky monkey-flower or orange bush monkey-flower, is a flowering plant that grows in a subshrub form.
Lilium pardalinum , also known as the leopard lily or panther lily, is a flowering bulbous perennial plant in the lily family.
Iris douglasiana (Douglas Iris)
Iris douglasiana is a common wildflower of the coastal regions of Northern and Central California and southern Oregon in the United States.
Heracleum lanatum (Cow Parsnip)
Heracleum lanatum , commonly known as cow parsnip, is the only member of the genus Heracleum native to North America.
Live Forever (Dudleya farinosa, Crassulaceae family), at the Presidio Native Plant Nursery
Live forever is a succulent that occurs in rocky areas and trail cuts. For example, you can find this plant in the Marin Headlands along the coastal trail above Rodeo Beach.
Cornus sericea (American Dogwood)
The American dogwood, is a species of flowering plant in the family Cornaceae native to eastern North America and northern Mexico.

More about Native Plants

Sharaya Souza sits in Black Point historic gardens surrounded by wildlfowers.
Our Work
Sharaya Souza, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the American Indian Cultural District (AICD), takes us around Black Point historic gardens at Fort Mason and tells us about the Community Gardening Days held in partnership between AICD and the Parks Conservancy.
Collecting seeds at Mori Point.
Gateways Article
For Martine Glaros, it’s “like hiking and going on a treasure hunt at the same time.” Desmond Murray called it “needle in a haystack stuff.” Imagine finding a bloom in the park and going back weeks later when it’s no longer flowering, grasses and shrubs growing up around it, and...
Tamalpais Bee Lab macrophotography. Shown is a blue and yellow Osmia coloradensis.
Gateways Article
Thanks in part to the work of Tamalpais Bee Lab volunteers, we now know there are HUNDREDS of different bees on Mt. Tam. As these photos indicate, you never know what amazing, colorful bees you'll see!
A young volunteer holds up a plant
Gateways Article
One of our Presidio Native Plant Nursery volunteers is so dedicated, he's been volunteering for half his life! Find out what he has to say to fellow volunteers and those thinking about volunteering.
Thanks in part to the work of Tamalpais Bee Lab volunteers, we now know there are hundreds of different species of bees on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County. The work of community scientists has helped immensely as the Parks Conservancy, our One Tam partners, and Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn of San...
Groups of serpentinite rocks lay among grass and flowers on a hill
California's state rock serpentine has two real powers: the ability to host rare and unique vegetation and its potential to help climate change.
Colorful dyed fabric.
Marin Parks Stewardship Newsletter Article
Let’s gather inspiration and delve into the cross-pollination of creativity and restoration!
Clarkia rubicunda, also known as Farewell to Spring.
While this is an exciting change that many look forward to, it is nature's way of telling us that the season of spring is coming to a close.
The Alcatraz Historic Gardens with the Rock's famed water tower in the background.
Gateways Article
Shelagh Fritz, Program Manager for Alcatraz Historic Gardens, has worked to install an innovative rainwater catchment system on the Rock. We sat down with Shelagh to learn more.
California poppies seen in the Golden Gate national parks.
Spring brings so much life and joy into our parks, but did you know you had a special connection to a particular wildflower species based on your sign? Find out which flower is your special match!
California poppies seen in the Marin Headlands.
Gateways Article
Although the wildflowers are numerous and diverse in a super bloom, there are still reasons to not step on or pick your local wildflowers. (As a reminder, it is illegal to pick or collect plants in national forests, parks, and monuments without a permit!)
Yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii) plants.
Have you ever wondered if the various plant and mushroom species you find when exploring San Mateo park sites are edible? You can’t take these with you, but you can get some ideas for your own garden and your next recipe!