Experience San Francisco in Bloom.

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February 20, 2020
Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Guide to Golden Gate Park: Flowers in Bloom

Unlike many destinations, San Francisco has spectacular blooming seasons not limited to a particular time of the year. You don’t have to venture far to find these beautiful blooms, either. Just look in Golden Gate Park.

This year marks Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary. There will be special events and celebrations in the park all year-round. Notable events to see more flowers in bloom include the Pacific Garden Orchid Exhibition at the SF County Fair Building (Feb. 20-23), the Surrealistic Summer Solstice Concert at Conservatory of Flowers (Jun. 7), and Flower Piano at the San Francisco Botanical Garden (Jul. 11-22).

Floral Highlights 

Tulips
The Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden is a yellow, purple and hot pink extravaganza each spring. Visit these beauties by the windmills on the far western edge of the park.

Rhododendrons
Rhododendron Island, also known as Rhododendron Dell, is off John F. Kennedy Drive and 6th Avenue near the de Young Museum. In March, the bold colors of pink and deep reds decorate the landscape.

California Poppies
California state flower’s shiny, golden-orange flowers are bowl shaped and can be seen throughout the San Francisco Botanical Garden in spring. 

Azaleas
The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest of its kind in the U.S. Azaleas and cherry blossoms appear in March and April. Don’t overlook the notable examples of bonsai throughout the garden. 

Dahlia Garden
The dahlia is San Francisco’s official flower. Visitors can enjoy dozens of varietals among the  blooms growing within the fenced-in treasure trove adjacent to the Conservatory of Flowers

London Plane and Scotch Elm
At the Music Concourse, London Plane and Scotch Elm trees line the center of the plaza. A verdant, lush canopy offering a shady spot for visitors changes drastically after annual pollarding transforms the Concourse into a sculpture garden of bare trees until their foliage returns.

Seasonal Specialties

Spring

California Poppies, Tulips, Fuchsias, Dogwoods, Azaleas and Rhododendrons
From March to May, visitors will find these flowers at the National Memorial AIDS Grove, the Rhododendron Dell near the de Young Museum, and the Japanese Tea Garden. If you’re feeling like a drive, these flowers are also along John F. Kennedy Boulevard. 

Summer

Roses, Hydrangeas and Dahlias
From June to July, these flowers may be seen blooming in Golden Gate Park.  They look their best in the Conservatory Valley, Shakespeare Garden and the Tulip Garden. Roses bloom from May through September in San Francisco. 

Autumn

Liquid Ambers, Swamp Cypress and Gingkoes
These autumn trees’ colors begin to show signs of winter in late October and early November, They can be found at the Conservatory of Flowers, the Music Concourse, Tulip Garden and Shakespeare Garden.   

Winter

Ribes, Camellias, Native Ceanothus (California Lilacs), Tulips, Lavender, Grevillea, Protea, Leucadendrons
These showy flowers are in full bloom in winter. The best places to find them thriving are the Music Concourse, the National AIDS Memorial Grove and the San Francisco Botanical Garden, one of the most diverse gardens in the world.

Year Round

Magnolias, Hibiscus, Orchids and Redwood Trees
Because of San Francisco’s Mediterranean climate, many plants and flowers bloom all year round. Magnolias, hibiscus, and orchids tend to be most common. San Francisco is also lucky enough to have a century-old gigantic redwood grove right in our backyard. Surrounded by other young trees, you can find the Redwood Grove at San Francisco’s Botanical Garden. There is also a small stand of redwoods near the Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery St.

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