San Francisco Botanical Garden

The San Francisco Botanical Garden (formerly Strybing Arboretum) is a large botanical garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Its 55 acres (22.3 ha) include over 7,500 varieties of plants from around the world, making it one of the largest on the West Coast of the United States.

Originally laid out in the 1890s by park supervisor John McLaren, funding was insufficient to begin construction until Helene Strybing willed funds in 1926. Planting was begun in 1937 with WPA funds supplemented by local donations, and the arboretum officially opened in May 1940. As a part of Golden Gate Park, it is officially managed by the city of San Francisco, but the SF Botanical Garden Society plays an important role in providing educational programs, managing volunteers, and curatorial staff. Formed in 1955, the SF Botanical Garden Society (formerly the Strybing Arboretum Society) operates the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, a bookstore, monthly plant sales and offers a wide range of community education programs for children and adults. The Society also raises money for new projects and Garden renovations. Using green building practices, a new Center for Sustainable Gardening is planned to replace the existing nursery. Other planned renovations include a Southeast Asian Cloud Forest and newly paved pathways.

The Garden continues to actively acquire plants; in 2008 it received 1,061 accessions totalling over 7,300 individual plants.

It was the site of the finish line of the eleventh season on the popular CBS reality show The Amazing Race.

The gardens are organized into several specialized collections:

  • Mediterranean
    • California native plants
    • John Muir Nature Trail
    • Redwood Trail
    • Chile
    • Cape Province (South Africa)
    • Australia
    • Mediterranean Basin Region
  • Mild-temperate climate
    • New Zealand
    • Moon-viewing Garden - a Japanese design
    • Takamine Garden - Asian plants
    • Temperate Asia Garden
  • Montane tropic
    • Mesoamerican cloud forest
    • Southeast Asian cloud forest (opening date TBD)
    • Andean cloud forest (in development)
  • Specialty collections
    • Ancient Plant Garden - cycads, etc
    • Succulent garden
    • Dwarf Conifer garden
    • Demonstration Garden
    • Garden of Fragrance
    • Zellerbach Garden of Perennials
    • Dry Mexico
    • Rhododendron Garden
    • Magnolias & Camellias

The mild Mediterranean climate is ideal for plants from surprisingly many parts of the world; the arboretum does not include greenhouses for species requiring other climate types.

See also

  • 49-Mile Scenic Drive

External links

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Megan Allison
16 January 2017
Free for SF residents but paid admission for everyone else, so it's one of the nicest uncrowded secret spots in Golden Gate Park. Great for picnics, dates and meditating.
26 July 2016
For an especially zen break, check out the Japanese-inspired Moon Viewing Garden, located in the mild-temperate climate section of the garden’s northwest corner.
Ashley Rose
9 July 2018
Free admission for SF Residents; they host the best event in all of SF : Flower Pianos, usually the weekend after the 4th of July.
riley starship
11 November 2015
beautiful, well-maintained garden with tons of variety! the redwood grove was amazing. I saw a ton of plants and flowers here that I'd never seen before.
8 July 2018
Come here during Flower Piano and bring your favorite libations. Sipping whiskey from a flask while listening to beautifully played piano is wonderful.
27 June 2018
Attend the Flower Piano event. It is enriching to the soul to hear beautiful music surrounded by beautiful greenery.
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Alexey Dodonov, Sergey Topchiy and 113,758 more people have been here
1100-1198 Lincoln Way, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA Get directions
Mon-Sun 7:30 AM–6:00 PM

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