Yerba Buena Name
The plant's most common name, the same in English and Spanish, is an alternate form of the Spanish hierba buena (meaning "good herb"). The name was bestowed by pioneer Catholic priests of Alta California as they settled an area where the plant is native. It was so abundant there that its name was also applied to the settler's town adjacent to Mission San Francisco de Asís. In 1846, the town of Yerba Buena was seized by the United States during the Mexican-American War, and its name was changed in 1847 to San Francisco, after a nearby mission. Three years later, the name was applied to a nearby rocky island; today millions of commuters drive through the tunnel on Yerba Buena Island that connects the spans of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.
Yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii) is a rambling aromatic herb of western and northwestern North America, ranging from maritime Alaska southwards to Baja California Sur. The plant takes the form of a sprawling, mat-forming perennial, and is especially abundant close to the coast.