Foredune Plant Community


Will Elder, NPS

The foredune community is composed of low-growing perennial herbs and small shrubs that inhabit open dune areas adjacent to the beach. The plants are salt tolerant opportunists that pioneer harsh, low nutrient and frequently disturbed dune environments. Typically no single species dominates the cover in this community, but non-native iceplant has become a dominant species in many places and introduced grasses have taken over other areas as well. The foredune community is therefore greatly reduced from its historic distribution in California.

Typical Sites at the Presidio: Baker Beach and Crissy Field immediately inland of the shoreline.

Common Native Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
American dune grass Leymus mollis Poaceae
Beach primrose Camissonia cheiranthifolia Onagraceae
Beach strawberry Fragraria chiloensis Rosaceae
Dune Tansy Tanacetum camphoratum Asteraceae
Chamisso's lupine Lupinus chamissonis Fabaceae
Sagewort Artemesia pycnocephela Asteraceae
Silver beach weed; beach bur Ambrosia chamissonia Asteraceae
Pink sand verbena Abronia umbellata Nyctaginaceae
Yellow sand verbena Abronia latifolia Nyctaginaceae

Rare and Endangered Plants

Common Name Scientific Name Family
Dune gilia

Gilia capitata ssp.chamissonis


Check out the Rare and Endangered Plant Page

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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