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Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

If you have an interest in gardening, garden plants or flowering shrubs, are looking for pictures of landscape design, water gardens, Japanese gardens or garden ponds, you have come to the right place.


click to enlarge
picture of flowers and flowering shrubs
Garden of Fragrance
More garden pictures in each linked garden listed below
flower pictures
Inca Queen
More flower pictures
in each linked garden listed below

Follow the highlited links below for additional information, pictures and panoramas of some of the gardens at Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. You will be able to view several garden ponds, landscape design ideas, garden design and plant arrangement ideas in addition to tree, shrub and flower pictures of plants from around the world. Check the about page frequently for additions and updates as I continue to add plant and flower pictures through the various seasons.
picture of trees at Strybing Arboretum "Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a living museum for the enjoyment and exploration of the natural world" is the way Strybing's mission statement begins. Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a public garden serving San Francisco residents and visitors with its diverse collection of plants from around the world, educational programs and conservation of rare and unique plants.
When Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens officially opened in May of 1940, the original eight acre collection contained 2,000 plant specimens. Today fifty-five acres of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is dedicated to Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens with over 7,000 different species of plants from around the world.

Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is open to the public, admission free, 365 days a year. Strybing is owned and operated by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department in cooperation with the non-profit, member-supported Strybing Arboretum Society.
John McLaren, Golden Gate Park Superintendent for over 50 years begining in 1887, developed a plan for the garden in the 1890's, and began some plant collections, but there wasn't enough money to fully realize his plans for the garden until 1926, when Helene Strybing willed funds in memory of her late husband Christian M. Strybing.

Works Progress Administration contributions in the 1930's and the ongoing efforts of the Strybing Arboretum Society make this one of the most highly regarded public botanical gardens in the U.S.

You may wish to open the Strybing map I've provided (opens in new window) and switch back and forth as you view the following gardens.

Waterfowl Pond
(click for panorama, pictures, description)
The Waterfowl Pond in Strybing is the largest of seven ponds in the Botanical Gardens and a great place for birdwatching. A ‘Checklist of the Birds of Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens’ available from the Bookstore and Gift Shop — located near the entrance to Strybing — lists 50 species of birds that are commonly or fairly commonly seen within Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens and another 118, in 43 families — from Herons and Egrets to Hummingbirds, that have been spotted less frequently.

Primitive Plant Garden
(click for panorama, several pictures and a detailed description)
The Primitive Plant Garden contains plants that are living relatives of plants that were more abundant in the Earth's geologic past. I’ve tried to provide a representative sample of tree pictures, shrub pictures and flower pictures taken from the raised wooden walkway that loops through the Primitive Plant Garden as well as some facts from the many informative plaques you will find along the trail.

Mediterranean Climate Gardens
(click for two panoramas, several pictures and descriptions of six gardens)
Mediterranean climate regions have dry summers and mild, wet winters, mainly between 30° and 40° latitude and include California, lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, the Western Cape of South Africa, central costal Chile, and Southern and Southwestern Australia. Mediterranean climate regions, on western and southern continental coasts, make up only about 2% of the world's land area. Plants from one Mediterranean climate region can usually be grown in other Mediterranean climates.
In addition to many plants from other mediterranean climate regions around the world, gardeners can see native California plants in natural settings ranging in size from California poppies to coast redwoods. . Ofcourse most of these native and non-native flowers, trees and shrubs are suitable as garden plants, and indead you may recognize many from private and public gardens in the Bay Area.

Temperate and Mild Temperate Climate Gardens
(click for two panoramas, several pictures and descriptions of six gardens)
Temperate Climates have distinct seasonal temperature changes , like those found in Northern Europe, North America, China and Japan. Milder temperate climates don’t experience such dramatic seasonal variation, such as those found in Eastern Australia and New Zealand.
The temperate and mild temperate climate provide San Francisco Bay Area gardeners with landscape design ideas for water gardens and japanese garden ponds and specific flowers, flowering shrubs, trees and other garden plants that thrive in this climate. I’ve included panoramas to provide landscape pictures and individual flower pictures, shrub pictures and tree pictures.

Montane Tropical Climate Gardens
(click for panorama, pictures and description of two gardens)
Cloud forests in the mountain regions of tropicala America and Asia have average temperature and humidity similar to San Francisco’s foggy coastal climate. The best indicators that you're in a cloud forest are plants like bromeliads, orchids, and tree ferns. Cloud forests are also home to an abundance of mosses that cover both the tree trunks and the forest floor. Occasionally moss forest is used as a synonym for cloud forest. A challenge for visitors to most cloud forests is that they must climb steep slopes to see them. The two cloud forest areas in Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are much more accessible.

Eric Walther Succulent Garden
(click for panorama, pictures and detailed description)
Eric Walther, who had been working in Golden Gate Park for a number of years when funds from Mrs. Strybing's bequest were received in the mid-1930's, was put in charge of development of the Arboretum and remained in that position until his retirement in 1957. Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s third director, Roy L. Hudson supervised the completion of the Succulent Garden which was dedicated April 14, 1971.
The garden is a terraced area with limestone walls in a warmer section of Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and provides an appropriate setting for agaves, aloes, barrel cactus, puyas and other succulents. I hope you enjoy my individual cactus pictures and the 360° panorama that is ment to give you a better idea of the landscape design that went into this beautiful garden. By the way you can see more pictures of cacti and other succulent plants in a well designed and landscaped succulent garden near the Conservatory of Flowers in another area of Golden Gate Park.

Jennie B. Zellerbach Garden of Perennials
(click for panorama, picture and description)
The Jennie b. Zellerbach Garden of Perennials was completed in 1967 with funds obtained by the Strybing Arboretum Society. One of many areas of Strybing that provides landscape design ideas for visiting gardeners it includes one large arbor, flanked by two smaller arbors. There's plenty of seating to relax and enjoy a view that stretches beyond the flowering Garden of Perennials, across a large lawn and all the way to the central fountain through a ribbon of lawn between the New Zealand and Eastern Australia Gardens.

Main Entrance
There are a number of mostly smaller gardens near the main entrance to Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, including a small circular rock garden, entry garden and demonstration gardens as well as the library courtyard garden.
Just to the left as you enter the main gate — off 9th Avenue/Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive near Lincoln Way — you will find the San Francisco County Fair Building and the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture which has a non-circulating, comprehensive reference collection of horticulture and related information open to everyone, free of charge.
Information about classes, workshops, field trips and other educational oportunities at Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens can be found at the Strybring website. Free guided walks are given daily.
Other on-line Botanical Gardens, Conservatories and Arboretums
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London England
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York
Steinhardt Conservatory at BBG, New York
Conservatory of Flowers — Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
Garfield Park Conservatory — Chicago, Illinois
Lincoln Park Conservatory — Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois
University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley
The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden
Chicago Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Wellington Botanic Garden (New Zealand)
Missouri Botanical Gardens
The New York Botanical Garden
The Arboretum of Los Angeles County
The United States National Arboretum
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
Great British Gardens

Website and all photos copyright © 20012015 Lee W. Nelson