Herbs at your neighborhood

map of San francisco

Origin Of Genus Name Presidio Locations Range In State Description
San Francisco Willow Herb Epilobium from the Greek epi "upon", lobus "a pod", ion "a violet." Found in seeps and other wetland areas. Northern and central coastal California. This native perennial species grows up to 5 feet high and has deep pink flowers on a single, slender, elongated stem with willow-like leaves 4-8 inches long. Blooms July to September.
Fennel(Foeniculum vulgare)

is Latin for "fennel."

Found in disturbed areas. Throughout most of California. This exotic perennial of the Carrot Family is from southern Europe and has tiny, yellow, five-petaled flowers growing in umbrella-like clusters. Feathery, almost hairlike foliage is licorice scented and the lacy, finely dissected leaves have swollen petioles (leaf stems) that clasp the main stalk, which can reach 6 feet in height. Blooms May to September.
Epilobium ciliatum ssp watsonii (San Francisco Willow Herb) Pebble Beach to bean Hollow trail

calla lily
Zantedeschia is named for F. Zantedeschi, early Italian botanist. Found in seeps and other wetland areas. Throughout coastal California. This exotic perennial from South Africa has showy, white, funnel-like bracts or modified leaves surrounding a fleshy, yellow spike which is actually many tiny flowers. Large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves grow from a rhizome or underground stem capable of producing new stems up to 3 feet in height. The European name 'Calla' originates from the Greek word kallos for "beauty." Although not related to true lilies, the Calla Lily is a popular houseplant and is highly toxic to both animals and humans. Blooms April to August.
searocket, a white flower like a turnip
Cakile is the Arabic name for this plant.

Sea Rocket
(Cakile maritima) 
It is
known as Horned or European Sea Rocket. This plant is near Crissy Field.

Found on beach dunes. California coast. This low lying, exotic, annual species of the Mustard Family has waxy, thick, deeply lobed leaves. The four-petaled flower ranges from white to purple. This European native forms a low mound and its shoots tolerate burial by drifting sand. Blooms April to July.
french broom Genista is from the Latin words planta genista, from which English Plantagenet monarchs took their name. Found in disturbed areas. Throughout coastal California. This exotic perennial shrub from the Mediterranean region has clusters of 4 to 10 yellow flowers at the end of green stems. The leaves contain 3 leaflets and the hairy seed pods resemble those of other members of the Pea Family. French Broom can reach up to 10 feet in height and is highly aggressive, having the ability to thrive in both disturbed and undisturbed areas.
pink sweet peas flowers Lathyrus is from the Greek lathyros, an old name for "pea." Found in disturbed areas. Throughout California. This exotic perennial from southern Europe has distinctive flanges on the vining stems, making them appear flat and leaf-like. The paired leaves have a branched curly tendril arising from the base of each pair. The showy flowers with lobed petals are variously colored but often pink to violet. Like most members of the Pea Family, the seeds of Sweet Pea are full of nutrients, remaining viable for long periods of time. One plant can produce many hundreds of seeds during a growing season. The Sweet Pea is very tenacious and can spread for considerable distances. Blooms from April to October.
Himalayan Black berry(Rubus discolor) white
Rubus is Latin for "bramble."  Found in disturbed, moist areas. Throughout California.
Introduced from Eurasia, this shrubby weed of the Rose Family has white-to-pinkish ½ inch flowers and sharply toothed, lobed leaves. The stout canes are heavily armed with curved thorns and form dense, impenetrable thickets up to 15 feet high. Although the berries are enjoyed by both people and wildlife, the seeds are dispersed by song birds, making complete eradication impractical. Himalayan Blackberry thickets can alter ecosystem functions by hindering reestablishment of native berry species and by shading out and killing smaller native species. It is distinguished from native blackberry species by the white undersides of the leaves, rather than green, and by the leaves clustering in fives instead of threes for the native species.
ice plant of flower.  passion pinky.
Carpobrotus is Greek for "edible fruit. Found in the foredune, middle dune, and back dune communities. Throughout coastal California. This exotic perennial species is from coastal South Africa and has yellow, pink or white flowers. Fleshy leaves are triangular in cross sections and can have red, orange, or purple edges. Ice Plant, also known as Hottentot Fig, was originally used along highways to stabilize blowing dunes. By forming a dense, invasive, low growing mat, it prevents the natural movement of sand, which most native dune species need to survive. It also increases soil salinity therefore discouraging the growth of indigenous plants. Blooms April to October.

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