About This Program

Golden Gate Bird Alliance and California Native Plant Society (Yerba Buena and East Bay chapters)  are proud to partner on a local Native Plants of the Year program to bring back San Francisco’s native plants to benefit birds, butterflies and our environment.

Bird-Friendly Native Plants of the Year is all about LOCAL! Local plants, local businesses, and local gardens. By supporting local nurseries in San Francisco, you are helping to lay down roots to grow more native plants.

Why Native Plants?

Native plants benefit our environment, our birds and our local economy. We see it simply; native plants are a winning choice for gardeners because they are:

  • Easy: Native plants are easy to grow in San Francisco’s climate and soils. This means less maintenance and, once established, less plant care.
  • Perform: Since these plants are made for San Francisco, after the first year these selections often grow with little coddling. Plant it and forget it.
  • Earth-Friendly: Native Plants are made to endure San Francisco’s pests, heat, fog, natural rainfall and other plant maladies. No pesticides and herbicides means a healthier, happier planet.
  • Beautiful: Native plants are gorgeous. If you haven’t seen a Coast Red Flowering Currant in bloom, we suggest you take a moment and check it out. These native plants are great additions to your garden over time. We’re not recommending a total plant makeover today but just adding a few of these species to your backyard can make a world of difference for birds.
  • Food for Birds: You will be helping birds raise their chicks, and who isn’t happy about that? Birds need native plants to feed their chicks and to stay fed all winter. In the spring, birds pick off caterpillars to feed their chicks. In the fall, the seeds and fruits from native plants are excellent sources of energy for the winter.
  • Available: Golden Gate Bird Alliance and the California Native Plant Society Yerba Buena chapter have collaborated to recommend a select list of native plants. Find out what made this year’s “Native Bird-Friendly Plants of the Year” at Yerba Buena CNPS by going to: http://cnps-yerbabuena.org/biodiversity/biodiversity-resources/

These local nurseries have agreed to carry plants for birds:

San Francisco:

East Bay:

Meet our Native Bird-Friendly Plants of the Year

Native Bird-Friendly Plants of the Year are a hand-selected list of plants to add to your garden this year. The list is short so that you can easily add new plants to your native collection year after year. If you “collect as you grow” you can add plants to your plans today while San Francisco’s growers can prepare for future years.

These are the 2023 Native Plants of the Year:

Previously selected Native Plants of the Year include Toyon, Bush Lupine (for San Francisco County, not Alameda or Contra Costa), California Fuchsia, Coast Buckwheat, California Coffeeberry, Coast Red-flowering Currant, California Honeysuckle, and Beach Strawberry. To learn more about these plants, see the resource links below.

downloadable native plant resources

more resources

If you would like to learn more about how you can expand your garden to be more bird friendly, visit CNPS Yerba Buena’s Local Plants page. Or check out SF Environment’s website. Golden Gate Bird Alliance has also compiled bird friendly actions you can take to benefit our environment. If you’d like to learn more, please click here