trees and plants

Yosemite Flora (Plants & Flowers)

Shooting Stars
Shooting Star

Yosemite's diverse landscape shelters 37 species of native trees and hundreds of species of native wildflowers, many of which can be found only in the park.

Because of 12,000 feet of elevation change throughout Yosemite, spring arrives at different times in different areas of the park, and so wildflowers can be seen for about six months out of the year. Take a look at our wildflower page to discover more.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Mariposa Grove of
Giant Sequoias

Of course trees are what you’ll notice the most as far as plant life in Yosemite. Some of the tree species you’ll see are:

  • Ponderosa Pine - evergreens with bark of irregularly shaped plates separated by dark furrows. Mature trees are wide at the base with a straight trunk that rises many feet before the branches form.
  • Incense-Cedar - have a feathery, reddish bark and grow abundantly throughout the park and the entire Sierra.
  • California Black Oak - large deciduous trees, with yellow-green leaves and dark trunks. Of all Yosemite trees, oaks were especially prized by the native people who used the acorns as a staple in their diet.
  • Giant Sequoias - found in three groves in Yosemite, totaling 700 trees: Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove and Merced Grove. Considered to be the most massive living thing on earth, Giant Sequoia trees can live from 1,000 - 3,000 years.