Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge

Working for the protection of Bay Area wetlands


400+ species

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 400 plant species, 200 of which are native to the region. Several of these are classified as rare and/or sensitive species and merit special protection including two federally listed endangered species and at least four CNPS listed rare species (1B status). Here you can find the complete list, a slideshow, and some featured species. Clicking on any of the images on the right will allow you to see them in their original high resolution.

For the complete plant species list.

For a slideshow of some plant species.


Common Name: California Sea-BliteCalifornia sea blite USFWS

Scientific Name: Suaeda californica

Habitat: Tidal marsh

Fast Fact: This plant species is a 12-32 inches tall, mounded green shrub with long-subclindric to flat and overlapping leaves. It is believed to be seriously endangered due to the depletion and alteration of marsh habitat

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Common Name: Contra Costa goldfields1 Contra Costa Goldfields Alex Baranda 1

Scientific Name: Lasthenia conjugens

Habitat: Vernal pool complexes 

Fast Fact: This plant species is a flower that can grow up to a maximum height of 40 centimeters and usually blooms during the spring often creating what appears to be yellow carpets on hillsides.

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Common Name: Coyote Brush1 Coyote Brush Bill Purcell

Scientific Name: Baccharis pilularis

Habitat: Uplands

Fast Fact: This plant species will have bright green foliage during the most of the year, then become covered white with seeds during the fall which look like parachutes as they fly away with the breeze.

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Common Name: Flatface downingia1 Flatface downingia aka Warm Springs Wildflowers Carin High

Scientific Name: Downingia pulchella

Habitat: Vernal Pools (temporary, seasonal wetlands)

Fast Fact: This plant species will go from being a male flower to being a female flower (to avoid self-pollination). Next, the flower will pollinate with the assistance of a bee who will carry pollen from one flower to another flower.

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Common Name: Gum Plant1 Gum plant FWS

Scientific Name: Grindelia stricta

Habitat: High (tidal) marsh

Fast Fact: This plant species can top two meters in maximum height. At the top is a single large flower head with yellow disc florets and yellow ray florets around the circumfrence. Since 1875, this plant species among the 50 others in the genus Grindelia, has been known to be used as for homeopathic treatments.

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Common Name: Point Reyes bird's-beakPoint Reyes Birds Peak John Bradley

Scientific Name: Chloropyron maritimum ssp. palustre 

Habitat: Salt Marsh 

Fast Fact: This purple and pink-colored plant species is particularly important to nearby habitats as it can help promote plant species diversity by reducing dominant plants and can also reduce root zone salinity stress in salt marsh communities.

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Common Name: Salt marsh pickleweed1 Salt Marsh Pickleweed Aric Crabb

Scientific Name: Salicornia virginica 

Habitat: Mid to upper zone tidal marsh and saline soils

Fast Fact: This plant species is usually gray-green with stems that grow out into segments that turn red before falling off. At first glance, this plant species may appear to not have flowers or leaves, but these are hidden in the joints of the stems.      

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