A deep dive into the Bay Area's ecological treasure trove – and how this wild mountain in our midst was saved.
San Bruno Mountain, located in the center of the San Francisco Bay Area, is a four-square mile global treasure – a natural preserve touted by biologist E.O. Wilson as one of the world's rare biodiversity 'hot spots'. Bathed in fog and wind and preserved from destruction by the fierce work of local conservationists, this mountain offers visitors a glimpse of what San Francisco looked like before colonization. Drawing on years of visits, observations, and research to offer a comprehensive flora of the San Bruno Mountains and its endangered species, conservationists Doug Allshouse and David Nelson help us understand this unique and precious place from the point of view of the plants in this one-of-a-kind field guide. Detailing a total of 528 plant species (among them 316 natives), the authors also delve into the history of this living, changing habitat at the southern edge of San Francisco. The birds, butterflies, reptiles, geology, climate, dynamic changes, and political history of the preserve also feature in San Bruno Mountain. Even locals who have enjoyed hiking and viewing the mountain for years will be astonished at San Bruno Mountain's revelations about the diversity and importance of this wild place.
How to Use This Guide
Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants
Plant Communities on San Bruno Mountain
Lichens and Plants
Bryophytes - Hornworts, Liverworts, Mosses
Catalogue of Vascular Plants - Pteridophyta, Horsetails, Ferns
Flower Color Guide
Magnoliids (Flowering Plants)
San Bruno Mountain's Endangered and Threatened Butterflies
Additional Insects and Arthropods
Terrestrial Snails and Slugs
Planning a Visit
Property Ownership and Place Names Map
The Previous Floras
Photo and Illustration Credits
About the Authors
Doug Allshouse was a founding member of Friends of San Bruno Mountain in 1995. He led his first field trip on the Mountain in 1996 and continues leading trips for the Yerba Buena chapter of the California Native Plant Society today, where he serves as chair for the San Bruno Mountain Committee.
David Nelson worked in the field of outdoor recreation before becoming a hand surgeon. He has also written three books for the Federation of Fly Fishers. He serves as chair for the Locally Rare Plant Committee of the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.