Redwood Exhibit

SoFA Urban Garden

Located at 320 and 431 South First Street

Redwood forests are among the oldest in the world. They are also home to the tallest tree in the world and California’s state tree, the Coastal Redwood. Although they take up plenty of vertical space, the forest’s understory is also full of wonderful plants, housing a diverse variety of ferns and redwood sorrels that create a prehistoric atmosphere. The redwoods in the Bay Area were used to construct many early buildings in their surrounding cities and played an integral part in the Bay Area’s development in the 180’s. In downtown San Jose, one coastal redwood can be found in Plaza de Cesar Chavez. 

Redwood Forest

Pacific Dogwood


Scientific Name:
Cornus nuttallii

Native Habitat: Pacific coast range from Canada to Central California. Usually found at the edge of forests.
Pacific Dogwoods are small to medium sized trees that produce bright 6-petal flowers that support many bird and insect pollinators. Their seeds are also eaten by bears and beavers in wild areas. It requires low moisture and is great to use in any bird garden.

Western Wild Ginger


Scientific Name:
Asarum caudatum

Native Habitat: Rich moist forests from British Columbia to California
Western Wild Ginger has distinct features that set it apart from many plants. The plant clones itself underground to reproduce, but can also make seeds when the flowers are pollinated. The seeds are dispersed by ants, which are attracted to the seeds' fatty layer. Although the plant can reproduce with seeds, it remains a rare occurrence. 

Catalina Perfume


Scientific Name:
Ribes viburnifolium

Native Habitat: Found in abundance in Santa Catalina Islands and coast of north Baja California.
The Catalina Perfume is a shrub known for its fragrance, and originates from the Santa Catalina Islands off the coast of Los Angeles. The plant’s fragrance comes from leaf glands that secrete a citrus scented sap, and is heightened during the rain. Hummingbirds and insects are also attracted to its purple and red flowers, while insects and small animals eat its fruits.

Western Sword Fern


Scientific Name:
Polystichum munitum

Native Habitat: Along the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to southern California.
The Western Sword Fern is one of the most common ferns in western North America, and is often seen living in the understories of coniferous woodlands.

Coastal Redwood


Scientific Name:
Sequoia sempervirens

Native Habitat: Coasts of California with the southernmost border at Monterey County.
The Coastal Redwood is one of the most iconic trees in California, and became the state’s official tree in 1937. Many of the oldest and tallest trees in the world are Coastal Redwood trees. During California’s early development in the 1850’s, redwood trees were a valuable resource of lumber until the species were nearly exhausted. Since then, a statewide replanting effort has restored many lumbered areas into Coastal Redwood ecosystems. Even downtown San Jose has a few!

Flowering Currant


Scientific Name:
Ribes sanguineum ‘Claremont’

Native Habitat: Found in western coastal North America from Canada to southern California.
The Pink Flowering Currant produces bright pink flowers that attract hummingbirds, and dark fruits that attract other birds. The shrub is also a host for several butterfly species, making it a good choice for butterfly gardens.

Western Wild Ginger


Scientific Name:
Asarum caudatum

Native Habitat: Rich moist forests from British Columbia to California
Western Wild Ginger has distinct features that set it apart from many plants. The plant clones itself underground to reproduce, but can also make seeds when the flowers are pollinated. The seeds are dispersed by ants, which are attracted to the seeds' fatty layer. Although the plant can reproduce with seeds, it remains a rare occurrence. 

Western Sword Fern


Scientific Name:
Polystichum munitum

Native Habitat: Along the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to southern California.
The Western Sword Fern is one of the most common ferns in western North America, and is often seen living in the understories of coniferous woodlands.

Coral Bells


Scientific Name:
Heuchera sanguinea

Native Habitat: Southwest United States from Arizona to Northern Mexico. Prefers living in moist and shaded foothill woodlands.
Coral Bells are appreciated for their round heart shaped leaves that grow in clumps, as well as their bright red flowers that grow from a flowering stem. Bees and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. The plant is also used as groundcover in gardens.

Giant Chain Fern


Scientific Name:
Woodwardia fimbriata

Native Habitat: Forests of west coast North America.
The Giant Chain Fern is the largest fern in North America. Its fronds can reach up to eight feet in length, and prefers to live in moist forests and woodlands. This fern is also widely used in landscaping and habitat restoration.

Vine Maple

 

Scientific Name: Acer circinatum

Native Habitat: Found in coastal forests from British Columbia to Northern California.

The Vine Maple grows as a large shrub, typically in the understory of much taller trees like the Coastal Redwood. Its leaves turn into a beautiful red color during the fall season, and its seeds have a distinct wing-like shape that allow them to be carried in the wind.

Coastal Redwood


Scientific Name:
Sequoia sempervirens

Native Habitat: Coasts of California with the southernmost border at Monterey County.

The Coastal Redwood is one of the most iconic trees in California, and became the state’s official tree in 1937. Many of the oldest and tallest trees in the world are Coastal Redwood trees. During California’s early development in the 1850’s, redwood trees were a valuable resource of lumber until the species were nearly exhausted. Since then, a statewide replanting effort has restored many lumbered areas into Coastal Redwood ecosystems. Even downtown San Jose has a few!

Western Sword Fern

 

Scientific Name: Polystichum munitum

Native Habitat: Along the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to southern California

The Western Sword Fern is one of the most common ferns in western North America, and is often seen living in the understories of coniferous woodlands.

Evergreen Currant

 

Scientific Name: Ribes viburnifolium

Native Habitat: Found in abundance in Santa Catalina Islands and coast of north Baja California

The Catalina Perfume is a shrub known for its fragrance, and originates from the Santa Catalina Islands off the coast of Los Angeles. The plant’s fragrance comes from leaf glands that secrete a citrus scented sap, and is heightened during the rain. Hummingbirds and insects are also attracted to its purple and red flowers, while insects and small animals eat its fruits.

Coral Bells

Scientific Name: Heuchera sanguinea

Native Habitat: Southwest United States from Arizona to Northern Mexico. Prefers living in moist and shaded foothill woodlands.

Coral Bells are appreciated for their round heart shaped leaves that grow in clumps, as well as their bright red flowers that grow from a flowering stem. Bees and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. The plant is also used as groundcover in gardens. 

Pacific Dogwood

Scientific Name: Cornus nuttallii

Native Habitat: Pacific coast range from Canada to Central California. Usually found at the edge of forests.

Pacific Dogwoods are small to medium sized trees that produce bright 6-petal flowers that support many bird and insect pollinators. Their seeds are also eaten by bears and beavers in wild areas. It requires low moisture and is great to use in any bird garden. 

Giant Chain Fern

 

Scientific Name: Woodwardia fimbriata

Native Habitat: Forests of west coast North America

The Giant Chain Fern is the largest fern in North America. Its fronds can reach up to eight feet in length, and prefers to live in moist forests and woodlands. This fern is also widely used in landscaping and habitat restoration.

Vine Maple

 

Scientific Name: Acer circinatum

Native Habitat: Found in coastal forests from British Columbia to Northern California.

The Vine Maple grows as a large shrub, typically in the understory of much taller trees like the Coastal Redwood. Its leaves turn into a beautiful red color during the fall season, and its seeds have a distinct wing-like shape that allow them to be carried in the wind.

Western Wild Ginger


Scientific Name:
Asarum caudatum

Native Habitat: Rich moist forests from British Columbia to California.

Western Wild Ginger has distinct features that set it apart from many plants. The plant clones itself underground to reproduce, but can also make seeds when the flowers are pollinated. The seeds are dispersed by ants, which are attracted to the seeds’ fatty layer. Although the plant can reproduce with seeds, it remains a rare occurrence.

Flowering Currant

 

Scientific Name: Ribes sanguineum ‘Claremont’

Native Habitat: Found in western coastal North America from Canada to southern California

The Pink Flowering Currant produces bright pink flowers that attract hummingbirds, and dark fruits that attract other birds. The shrub is also a host for several butterfly species, making it a good choice for butterfly gardens. 

Wild Strawberry

 

Scientific Name: Fragaria vesca

Native Habitat: Grows naturally throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. Can be found in forests, woodlands, and meadows.

The Wild Strawberry is known for its edible fruit. The fruit is strongly flavored, and has been used by humans since the Stone Age. Ungulates like deer and elk eat the leaves. A variety of mammals and birds also eat the fruit and disperses its seeds. The modern day strawberry in grocery stores is a hybrid that shares many of the same genetics as the Wild Strawberry. 

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Oak Woodland

The oak woodland is an expansive ecosystem in California, especially here in the Bay Area and large portion of open space around San Jose. Plant species here are very well adapted to dry climates and can survive California’s hottest days. The oaks provide shelter and nutrients for animals including turkeys, coyotes, mountain lions, deer and large birds of prey.
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California Chaparral

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California Grassland

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Coastal Sage Scrub

The coastal sage scrub uniquely exists along California’s coast, Baja California and islands just offshore. The plant community is dominated by shrubs similar to chaparral habitats. The main differences are that coastal sage scrub plants are much shorter and less woody compared to chaparral plants.
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Urban Garden Main Page

SoFA District has a California native plant exhibit Experience SoFA District’s newly imagined landscape along First St. that offers the public a self guided botanical garden tour decorated with plants native to California. Each planter is installed with QR-code signs that connect visitors and the local community to a smartphone accessible online exhibit. Information in our online exhibit can also serve as a source of information about each plant community’s ecology, history, and cultural significance.
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