• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Coast Bluff Scrub Community

Coast Bluff Scrub Community
Will Elder, NPS
 

The coast bluff scrub community is dominated by low shrubs and prostrate herbaceous species found on steep, exposed bluffs above the bay and ocean. Vegetative cover may be dense or sparse depending on slope steepness. The bluff scrub community may grow on either sandy or serpentine soils - it mostly occupies serpentine soils at the Presidio. The species composition is very similar to and intergraddes into the coastal scrub community, but differs in containing species better adapted to the extreme wind, salt spray, and steep slopes of the bluffs.

Typical Sites at the Presidio: Best developed on the coastal bluffs between the north end of Baker Beach and Fort Point. Also found on bluffs above bay near Fort Point.

Common Native Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
California coast phacelia Phacelia californica Hydrophyllaceae
Coast angelica Angelica hendersonii Apiaceae
Coast buckwheat Eriogonum latifolium Polygonaceae
Douglas iris Iris douglasiana Iridaceae
Green rein orchid; coast piperia Piperia elegans Orchidaceae
Live-forever Dudleya farinosa Crassulaceae
Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea Asteraceae
Red fescue Festuca rubra Poaceae
Sea plaintain Plantago maritima Plantaginaceae
Seaside daisy Erigeron glaucus Asteraceae

Rare or Endangered Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
Coast rock cress Arabis blepharophylla Brassicaceae
San Francisco wallflower Erysimum franciscanum Brassicaceae

Did You Know?

U.S. Army major rank insignia

In 1915, a tragic fire at the Presidio claimed the lives of General Pershing’s wife and his three daughters. Pershing's son, Francis Warren, survived the blaze and chose to enlist in the army as a private during World War II. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of major.