Recent rain brings bountiful crop of wildflowers to San Francisco's Presidio

SAN FRANCSICO (KGO) -- Before you do a heavy sigh from more rain in the forecast, just remember what the rain brings -- beautiful flowers in some places like we haven't seen in years.

San Francisco's Presidio is a beautiful place no matter what time of year. But if you're going to visit just once, April is a great month; because of the heavy rains, wildflowers and grasses are out in full force right now.

"This is a rare time, because it's one moment every year that we see this beautiful bloom," said Lew Stringer, a restoration ecologist with the Presidio Trust.

Standing amongst a carpet of yellow tidy tips and goldfields, which will be gone in just a few weeks, replaced by new wildflower species, Stringer explains how unique the Presidio is.

"There are 300 native plants that grow just in the Presidio," he said. "That's an enormous amount of biodiversity for such a small area."

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In a very small area at Inspiration Point you'll find California lilac, poppies, white yaro flowers, and bluedick bulbs, thriving amongst tall grasses, which were sent into overdrive by this year's rains.

"What we also see is an incredible bloom in these wet years of competing annual grasses, these are grasses that come from Europe and other places," said Stringer. "So in really wet years, we actually sometimes see a reduction in wildflowers in the coast."

It would be a great idea to see the flowers now at the Presidio since the current bloom actually peaked last week. But if you missed this bloom, not to worry, the endangered Presidio Clarkia flower will bloom sometime in April and peak in May. There are only two spots in the entire world where you can see this flower - Inspiration Point in the Presidio and then at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland.

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