Coastal Dune Scrub Community

Coastal Dune Community

Will Elder, NPS


The dune scrub community is found on inland dunes landward of the foredune community. It is characterized by densely-packed shrubs interspersed with scattered areas of grasses, wildflowers, and open sand. The dune scrub community is represents several stages of ecological succession that follow disturbances such as fires or dune blowouts. Dune blowouts are areas where high winds may reactivated the dunes, causing sand to blow out and uprooting vegetation in the area; new dunes may also form and cover an established dune community if the blown out sand is deposited in a localized area. Urban encroachment and the introduction of non-native plants has greatly reduced the extent of the dune scrub community in San Francisco, where it once covered 14 square miles.

Typical Sites at the Presidio: Feral Dunes, Lobos Creek Valley, North Baker Beach, Crissy Field, and Presidio Hills.

Common Native Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
Bush Lupine Lupinus arboreus Fabaceae
Sticky Monkeyflower Mimulus aurantiacus Scrophulariaceae
California Coffeeberry Rhamnus californica Rhamnaceae
Chamisso's Lupine Lupinus chamissonis Fabaceae
Coyote Bush Baccharis pilularis Asteraceae
Lizard Tail Eriophyllum staechadifolium Asteraceae
Mock Heather Ericameria ericoides Asteraceae
Poison Oak Toxicodendron diversilobum Anacardiaceae

Rare and Endangered Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family

San Francisco

Silene verecunda Caryophyllaceae
Dune Gilia Gilia capitata ssp.chamissonis Polemoniaceae
San Francisco Lessingia Lessingia germanorum var. germanorum Asteraceae
San Francisco Spineflower Chorizanthe cuspidata Polygonaceae
San Francisco Wallflower Erysimum franciscanum Brassicaceae

Check out the Rare and Endangered Plants Page

Last updated: February 28, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

201 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123


Phone is answered daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Leave a message otherwise and we will get back to you. United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

Contact Us