Getting More Information About Plants and Blooms

You can view and search a detailed list of plants that are found in Redwood National and State Parks by visiting the CalFlora online database. iNaturalist is a great mobile app for identifying plants.

The Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network creates on-line newsletters about different plants (and animals) found in the park.

Many people come just to see the blooms in the redwoods. Learn about what plants will bloom during the year. We also provide basic upto date information about what is happening with our lupine and rhododendron blooms.

Do you want to learn a more about recent discoveries in redwood forests and other park habitats? Our park partners at Humboldt State University have created the Forest Physiology Lab for staying upto date with the cutting edge science being done in the parks.

Learn about forest health and diseased trees in Redwood National Park.

What Kinds Of Plants Will You See Here?

Visitors mostly come to Redwood National and State Parks just to see the pockets of remaining old-growth redwoods. They are the world's tallest trees, but they are also just one species in an incredibly varied ecosystem. From the wind-pruned, salt-tolerant Sitka spruce by the seaside, to the cool, moist redwood groves, and sunny, open grasslands of the prairies, visitors can find an interconnected community of greenery.

Coastal Areas
In this narrow zone where land meets sea, salt-laden winds, cold fog-shrouded days, steep slopes, and sandy beaches conspire against plants. Only the toughest survive. Their stunted size and wind-pruned shapes bear witness to an ongoing bout with the parks' harshest environment.

Dunes shift with the action of wind and water. Beach pea (Lathyrus littoralis), beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis), and sand verbena (Abronia spp.) adapt to this dynamic environment by anchoring themselves with long runners on or below the surface.

Hardy Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), able to withstand salt winds and harsh conditions better than other conifers, dominate the most exposed forest sites. Crescent Beach, Gold Bluffs Beach, Freshwater Lagoon Spit, and the Coastal Trail are great places to discover these tenacious maritime residents.

Along the coast you will likely see hills covered in white alder. In winter these trees loose their leaves and their white trunks and limbs stand out along the coastal hills.

Rivers and Low Elevations
Pacific poison oak is a common and important species across Redwood National and State Parks. Many people are delighted to find towering Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) trees along streams and rivers here. We even have dragons (well, dragon lichen).

The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) are the two dominant trees of the old-growth redwood forest. The species associated with redwood groves varies according to whether an area is upland, streamside (riparian), along a flood plain (alluvial), or close to the ocean. Many kinds of moss, like the Electrified Cat's Tail moss are found in the redwood groves.

Salt spray and salt-laden wind injure redwoods; the beach, dune, and scrub communities provide the coast redwood with a buffer from the harsh coastal climate.

The protected valleys and alluvial flats found along streams and creeks provide ideal growing conditions for the coast redwood, with many trees exceeding 300 feet (100 meters) in height. Other trees include hardwoods such as tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus), madrone (Arbutus menziesii), California bay or laurel (Umbellularia californica), and red alder (Alnus rubra). Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) and redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana) are the most common members of redwoods' understory, and are accompanied by rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.), salal (Gaultheria shallon), azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) and other shrubs.

On drier ridges like where the Lady Bird Johnson Grove is, redwood growth is limited by water stress and wind damage. Here, redwoods may reach an average height of 200 feet (61 meters) or less.

Higher Elevations and Bald Hills (+1,500 feet)
At higher elevations, and further inland, redwood seedling establishment is limited by hotter, drier conditions, and the redwood forest gives way to a mixed evergreen forest. Dry forest species include Douglas-fir, tanoak, madrone, California bay, chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla), canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), Oregon Grape and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi). Many people enjoy the spring lupine blooms in the Bald Hills. There are a small number of sugar pines too in the high elevations of the park.


Last updated: March 4, 2022

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