Colorful spring flowers are in bloom at SF Botanical Garden, see what you are missing during temporary closure

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- Spring is here and the plants and trees at the San Francisco Botanical Garden are in full bloom.

Pink and white rhododendrons are billowing from branches, bright red camellias are bursting from trees and a mishmash of colorful flowers blanket the South Africa area.

"The flowers are just coming to life. The garden is just looking beautiful and lush right now," said executive director Stephanie Linder.

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The botanical garden has over 9,000 types of plants in its 55 acres of land inside Golden Gate Park. It serves as a conservation site for all types of plants.

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"We preserve species outside of their native habitat, so in case something happens to their native habitat they are not going extinct because we are an insurance policy," said Ryan Guillou, garden curator.



The botanical garden has the most significant collection of magnolias for conservation purposes. There are more than 200 magnolia trees, including many rare samples. In 1940, the garden was the first in the United States to bloom the exotic saucer magnolia (Magnolia campbellii).

"Our plants represent most of the globe here. There are samples from all over the planet," said Linder. "So, you are sort of transported to these different landscapes."

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The botanical garden had lots of activities planned for this weekend to celebrate Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary, but it had to cancel them because of the stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The garden itself will mark its 80th anniversary this year as well.

But don't be dismayed if you are missing the spring bloom. Guillou said there will be plenty to see when the garden reopens.



Every two weeks in the garden looks different," according to Guillou. "Every plant is on its own rhythm so you are going to have certain groups of flowers in spring and others in summer and others in fall."

The San Francisco Botanical Garden will remain closed until at least May 3, but you can still see what is going on by visiting the garden's Facebook page where staff is posting photos and videos of the plants and flowers.

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