Committed to Conservation

The Gardens of Golden Gate Park is committed to the conservation of threatened plants species documented and sustained in its living collection. Through Red List assessments provided by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Gardens continually updates and assesses the threat level of the taxa it harbors.

With only 15% of the world’s known plants assessed by the IUCN, as many as 40% of plant species are estimated to be threatened with extinction. Botanic gardens play a crucial role by serving as ex-situ conservation sites to house these species, and through conservation horticulture develop techniques to propagate and perpetuate them until conditions in habitat are more stable. Our professional networks include Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and the American Public Garden Association (APGA) which help connect us to a vast and supportive network of botanic gardens around the globe. Through these partnerships we can draw on each others expertise to the conservation of threatened species.

Magnolia Conservation

With over 50 species in our living collection and nearly as many hybrids and cultivars, the San Francisco Botanical Garden’s Magnolia collection is one of exceptional diversity and conservation significance. Our collection is accredited by the American Public Garden Association’s Plant Collections Network, and we are an active member of the Global Conservation Consortium for Magnolias (GCCM).

Through partnerships made through GCC Magnolias, the Gardens have an ongoing magnolia grafting initiative to share and disperse Magnolias of conservation value to gardens across the United States. Several of the species being listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List.

Cloud Forests

Highland regions of the tropics are home to richly diverse and endemic plant species. With cool temperatures year-round and often shrouded in fog, these areas are commonly known as cloud forests and make up only 1% of the world’s landmass. San Francisco’s cool mild climate with heavy presence of fog makes it the perfect place to grow and conserve plants from these highland tropical regions, and they have become one of our signature collections.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden has three dedicated cloud forest collections with our Mesoamerican Cloud Forest Collections being the first biogeographic collection to ever be accredited by the Plant Collections Network. The Conservatory of Flowers supports these efforts as well with a dedicated Highland Gallery showcasing species that are too small or cold tender to be grown outdoors in San Francisco. With our new nursery becoming operational, we look forward to engaging researchers so that we can house protect these species.