Locals Only

The column "Locals Only" ran in the garden section of the San Francisco Chronicle between 2002 and 2006. This body of work studies the Bay Area's native flora with a focus on the benefits of using local native plants in the built landscape.

All articles © by Geoffrey Coffey , All Rights Reserved.

An Earth Steward Pots Up California Native PlantsMay 17, 2006
Earth Stewards get a look beyond the street
Working with native plants helps at-risk youth
stay out of jail

California Native Plants for the Garden by Bornstein, Fross, and O'BrienFebruary 18, 2006
To Learn about Native Plants, Just Dig Right In
New book opens the door for gardeners interested in planting California natives

Coast Live Oak on Dinosaur PeakJanuary 1, 2006
View from Dinosaur Peak Reveals Old Treasures
A new year's ode to the joys of off-trail hiking among the ancient oaks of the East Bay

Lupinus albifrons var. albifrons, the Bonny Doon silver lupineDecember 3, 2005
Bonny Doon: Exploring the Silver Strand
Rare plant community in the Santa Cruz Mountains gives inspiration for new color and texture in the garden

Yerba BuenaJuly 13, 2005
Treasure Hunting on Yerba Buena Island
San Francisco's newest neighborhood to be landscaped with locally appropriate native plants

A vernal pool blooms in gold at the Bouverie PreserveMay 18, 2005
A Tale of Two Pools in the Valley of the Moon
Ecological stewardship can save Sonoma County's rare and fascinating vernal pools

Salvia spathacea or hummingbird sageApril 20, 2005
Brisbane Acres and the Blood of the Lamb
An Easter meditation on jeopardy and salvation in these privately owned native grasslands

riotous wildflowers of Bernal HillMarch 16, 2005
Native Plants Survive on Bernal Hill
San Francisco's best display of urban wildflowers puts on a fabulous springtime show

the elusive Scoliopus blooms in Muir WoodsFebruary 19, 2005
Living Large in Muir Woods
Old-growth redwood forests can still be found within 15 miles of San Francisco

the tallest manzanita in the worldJanuary 19, 2005
Cedar Mountain Ridge
An epic and quixotic journey in search of the tallest manzanita in the world

California pipevine sports an unusual blossomDecember 15, 2004
A Study of Ancient History on Strawberry Hill
Small pockets of the original native flora still growing in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

I Brake for SalmonNovember 17, 2004
Connections Run Deep in Lagunitas Creek
Rich riparian corridor in Marin enjoys water-loving flora and the annual return of spawing salmon

Bair Island, pastoral and peacefulOctober 20, 2004
Born from the Salt
Ancient cycles of life, death, and rebirth on Bair Island

Leona Canyon Ocean SpraySeptember 15, 2004
Step Back in Time to Leona Canyon
Open space in Oakland at the intersection of natural and urban, of knowledge and the unknown

Endangered Tanacetum camphoratumAugust 18, 2004
A Call for Mercy at Lake Merced
Sand-loving native plants still thrive among golf courses and trout fishermen in the heart of the city

Quercus douglasii, the mighty blue oakJuly 28, 2004
Going in for Natural Solitude on Mt. Wanda
Historic oak woodlands in hilly Martinez were formerly John Muir's hometown haunt

map of the Presidio, circa 1895June 16, 2004
Taking the Waters at El Polin
Freshwater spring in the Presidio of San Francisco was the legendary source of pre-Columbian viagra

the exquisite and extremely rare Calochortus tiburonensisMay 22, 2004
Mariposa Lilies and Monoliths on Ring Mountain
Open space preserve in Marin holds great botanical, archaeological, and spiritual treasures

Federally protected Bay Checkerspot butterfly feeding on tidy tipsApril 24, 2004
Role Reversal on Coyote Ridge
Common cattle come to the rescue of rare and endangered butterflies

Mission bells among the native wildflowers of Twin PeaksMarch 27, 2004
Nursing Biodiversity on Twin Peaks
Remnant native grasslands and abundant urban wildflowers at the breast of the Franciscan flora

The rare and endemic Montara manzanitaFebruary 28, 2004
Natural Longevity on Montara Mountain
An attractive quid-pro-quo: take care of the mountain and the mountain will take care of you

Blooming coast silk tassels (Garrya elliptica) are dazzling in JanuaryJanuary 24, 2004
The Fire and the Bloom Are One
A poetic exploration of natural succession at Oakland's Huckleberry Preserve

Gnarled branches and distinctive red bark of Pacific Madrone, Arbutus menziesii, MadronoDecember 27, 2003
Hark, the Woodland Angel Sings
A walk through the divine oak woodlands of Angel Island helps to keep the old stories alive

A Mission Blue butterfly feeds upon the blossoms of silver lupine on San Bruno MountainNovember 29, 2003
A Congress of Voices on San Bruno Mountain
History speaks through native plants, rare butterflies, Indian shell mounds, and contemporary conflicts

Epilobium canum, formerly Zauschenaria and still called California fuchsia, blooms devilish red in OctoberOctober 25, 2003
Sympathy for the Devil
The native flora of Mount Diablo gives us both tricks and treats

Epilobium canum, formerly Zauschenaria and still called California fuchsia, blooms devilish red in OctoberSeptember 27, 2003
Gold and Green and Pearls Everlasting
Chasing botanical wealth on Sweeney Ridge in the historic footsteps of Conquistador Portola

Wyethia or mule's ears are the bright native sunflowers found on San Francisco's Mount DavidsonJuly 26, 2003
A Wrangling of Species on Mount Davidson
"Survival of the Fittest" applies to native plants, exotic trees, and the human victims of genocide

A cheerful spray of golden California poppies at Corona Heights, San Francisco, CAJune 28, 2003
Intersection of Seabed and Sky
The red chert hills of Corona Heights, former ancient sea floor, now a lofty hotspot for local native plants

Lobos Creek flows from Mountain Lake through the Presidio of San Francisco to the Pacific Ocean at Baker BeachMay 31, 2003
Splashes with Wolves
Lobos Creek is the last natural open waterway still flowing in the city of San Francisco

Illustration of Protea cynaroides, the King ProteaMarch 8, 2003
Fabulous Fynbos
South African plants thrive in the familiar Mediterranean climate of the San Francisco Bay Area

Manzanita and all the related members of the genus Arctostaphylos stand as proud emblems for the great depth of California's magnificent native floraDecember 18, 2002
Manzanita Charms Bay Area Terrain
The "little apple" can be all things at once to the lover of shrubs, for complete satisfaction at any time of year