• 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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Mock Heather

(Ericameria ericoides)
Mock Heather
Mock Heather on the dunes at Crissy Field.
Will Elder, NPS

Origin Of Genus Name: From the Greek ereika for "heath," and meris or meros for "division or part," referring to the heath-like leaves.

Presidio Locations: Found in stabilized dunes and inland sandy soils.

Range In State: Throughout coastal California. The Presidio is the type locality for this species.

Description: This native perennial shrub has tiny leaves that grow in a fan shape. Its cylindrical fruit is hairy with a white to tan pappus (similar to the windblown part of a dandelion.) The yellow flowers have 2-6 small petals. Mock Heather, also known as California Goldenbush, is one of the dominant plants found in the central dune scrub plant community. Blooms September to October.

Native Californian Uses: The Coast Miwok heated the leaves and used them for skin sores.

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Did You Know?

Ferdinand Foch, Marshal of France

French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, supreme commander of the allied forces during World War I, visited Crissy Field in 1921 and declared it "The last word in airfields."