Flowers bloom most of the year at Golden Gate, but peak in the late winter, spring, and summer. Grasslands are usually the quickest to show color, with various forbs such as footsteps-of-spring, goldfields, and lomatium carpeting the fields with yellow and white. A few weeks later bulbs such as wild onion and brodiaea share their pink and purple hues with lucky visitors.
The park's scrublands also have many types of flowering plants. The sweet smell of coast blue blossom lets you know you have entered a chaparral area. The bright orange flowers of sticky monkey flower tip you off to bloom time on the coastal cliffs. Late summer bloomers include pearly everlasting and California aster. And don't forget the riparian species that grow along forest streams such as the scarlet and seep monkey flowers, bleeding heart, and columbine.
Cultivars of native plants have now become common in Bay area landscaping. You can see Douglas iris, California poppy, sea thrift, and seaside lavender gracing local flowerbeds. No matter where you are in the park, you will run into some wildflowers. And with the California floristic province being one of the most diverse in the country, you will have many new species to learn for years to come.
Did You Know?
Mélange underlies much of Golden Gate and is a mixture of rocks created by tectonic activity in and near a subduction zone.