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

    Presidio of San Francisco


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Coastal Serpentine Scrub

Coastal Serpentine Scrub 
Will Eldeer, NPS

The coastal scrub community on the Presidio is largely a unique serpentine variant of coastal scrub that includes the vestigial remnants, such as Raven's manzanita and California lilac, of a serpentine chaparral community. This shrub-dominated community is found on gentler slopes than those containing the bluff scrub community and mostly occupies serpentine outcrops with shallow soils and of limited local extent. The community supports many rare plants, including Raven's manzanita, which may have been the historically dominant shrub in a no longer extant serpentine chaparral community.

Typical Sites at the Presidio: Less steep parts and top of the coastal bluffs north of Baker Beach and the bluffs near Fort Point and behind Crissy Field.

Common Native Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
California Blackberry Rubus ursinus Rosaceae
Coast Blue Blossom; California Lilac Ceanothus thrysiflorus Rhamnaceae
Coffeeberry Rhamnus californica Rhamnaceae
Coyote Bush/Brush Baccharis pilularis Asteraceae
Lizard Tail Eriophyllum staechadifolium Asteraceae
Osoberry Oemleria cerasiformis Rosaceae
Toyon Heteromeles arbutifolia Rosaceae

Rare or Endangered Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
Raven's Manzanita Arctostaphylos hookeri ssp. ravenii Ericaceae
San Francisco Gum Plant Grindelia hirsutula Asteraceae

Did You Know?

Jonathan Letterman

Major Jonathan Letterman--after whom the hospital at the Presidio was renamed in 1911--was the medical director of the Army of the Potomac. A founding father of military medicine, Letterman organized forward first-aid stations, mobile field hospitals, and ambulance services during the Civil War.