Coastal Prairie - Serpentine Grassland Community

Coastal Prairie - Serpentine Grassland Community

Will Elder, NPS


Coastal Prairie was historically the most common plant community in San Francisco and the Presidio. This grass and herb community is found on coastal terraces where soils are well-developed. Serpentine grasslands have a similar composition to the coastal prairie, but have the addition of the rare serpentine endemic species listed below. Today, this community on the Presidio is mainly limited to the area around Inspiration Point.

Typical Sites at the Presidio: Some terrace areas at the top of the coastal bluffs and the Inspiration Point area.

Common Native Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
Coast Red Onion Allium dichlamydeum Liliaceae
Ithuriel's Spear Triteleia laxa Liliaceae
California Oatgrass Danthonia californica Poaceae
Blue Wild Rye Elymus glaucus Poaceae
Purple Needlegrass Nassella pulchra Poaceae

Rare and Endangered Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
San Francisco Gumplant Grindelia hirsutula Asteraceae
Marin Dwarf Flax Hesperolinon congestum Linaceae
Presidio Clarkia Clarkia franciscana Onagraceae
San Francisco Owl's Clover Triphysaria floribunda Scrophulariaceae

Check the Rare and Endangered Plant Page

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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