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October 2017 Plant of the Month - San Francisco Gumweed

SF GumweedThe Grindelia Stricta, commonly known as San Francisco gumweed, is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family.  Native to the west coast of North America, gumweed grows in and around the salt marshes and foreshore of the Bay.  

Gumweed features large, bright-yellow 2 ½  inch daisies over a long period in the summer. Each green flower bud holds a dollop of gummy white resin which protects the blooms from predators, hence the name “gum plant”. Gumweed is an important member of the plant community, providing nectar and shelter for many butterfly and insect species.

SF Gumweed 2Tough and long-lived, gumweed is drought, clay, sand and salt tolerant.  You can find gumweed growing on the shoreline at Bayfront Park, the Bay Trail and near brackish water canals around the airport.

Fun Fact:  The curious resin on the flower buds of the Grindelia Stricta was used as a skin ointment & more by California coastal Native Americans.