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Conservatory Chronicles
  Issue #54                                                                                                    
  April 2012
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
What's In Bloom?
Spirit of the Garden ONSALE NOW
Volunteer for Plantosaurus
Gift Shop
The Orchid Whisperer
New on Instagram

Conservatory Chronicles


Morgan Davis

Annie Abernethy 

Visit Us
Tuesday - Sunday

10am - 4:30pm (last entry is at 4:00pm) 



For the run of Plantosaurus Rex, the Conservatory of Flowers will be open until 7:00 pm!  

Last entry is at 6:30 pm.  


Please note that on Sundays and holidays, Golden Gate Park closes many of its roads to all vehicle traffic.

Information line:


$7.00 for Adults

$5.00 for Youth 12-17, Seniors age 65 & over, and College Students with ID

$2.00 for Children 5-11

Free for Children 4 and under


Discounts available to all San Francisco City and County residents with proof of residency
The Conservatory is free to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month.


The Conservatory of Flowers is wheelchair accessible for both motorized and non motorized chairs. Handicap permit parking is located at the east side of the building and also on John F. Kennedy Drive in front of the Conservatory. Strollers are not allowed in the Conservatory.


Donate Now!
Purple orchid photo by Todd Worley

 Your donation will help ensure the continued growth and success of this unique educational and historic living museum. 
Click here to make a donation through our secure online form.  

Plantosaurus Rex     

COF Dome
We have a team ready to help you plan your wedding or private event at the Conservatory of Flowers. Visit the website, download images and pricing info, or email for information about how to get started.

With an exciting, constantly changing program of special exhibitions and seasonal delights,
the Conservatory of Flowers is a great place to bring the whole family more than once a year.
Amy Stewart in the Conservatory

Visit our website to learn about the various tiered benefits for membership levels, and to join!

 All membership levels include the following benefits:

* Year-round free admission   

 *10% discount in the Conservatory Gift Shop and selected merchants  

including Flora Grubb Gardens and The Urban Farmer Store

 * Invitation to exclusive members-only events and discounts for select special events

* Monthly 'Conservatory Chronicles' enews subscription annual print newsletter

* Knowledge that you are an important steward of the historic Conservatory of Flowers

* Reciprocal privileges at more than 250 horticultural organizations in North America through the AHS.


Photo of Amy Stewart's Wicked Plants lecture by Advisory Council Member Saxon Holt.
COLE HARDWARE IS GIVING the Conservatory of Flowers 10% OF YOUR PURCHASES!

MOLLIE STONE'S is giving us 5% of your grocery bill! Download this PDF to register.

Donate directly to us to support our programs, building and initiatives.



   Hi Lumen Projector and Screen for Presentations 


Drape Sponsorship for the Orchid Gallery Interior Decoration Upgrade 


2 Podiums for Lectures and Presentations


Contact Morgan Davis with items for in kind donation, and visit for our up-to-date needs!




Conservatory Chronicles 5

Miss an issue? Looking for a specific article? Read previous issues of the Conservatory Chronicles in our archives.   


"Mother May I?"   


As we enjoy the warmer days of spring, the current school year comes to a close, and we reflect on the memories of the past academic year. Hundreds of school children experienced jungle tours this year, encountering the many colorful and exotic flowers of the Conservatory. A special thank you is due to the volunteers who serve as "Jungle Guides," making each tour engaging and inspiring to our younger visitors...hopefully sparking a genuine interest in the world of plants and conservation.   


We'll all feel young, next to our Mesozoic friends dating to hundreds of millions of years ago! The wildly popular Playland at the Conservatory exhibition has made way for its successor, Plantosaurus Rex, when dinosaurs will occupy the Special Exhibits Gallery amidst the most interesting plants with pre-historic roots. The exhibit will lead us on a journey from earliest plants, forward to the first appearance of flowers on our planet.


Speaking of flowers, Mothers Day is just around the corner, an event synonymous with flowers, to me. This Mother's Day, I hope to hear a chorus of "Mother, May I visit the Conservatory of Flowers?" Come celebrate the mothers in our lives together, as our 1879 Victorian lady blossoms with floral beauty.  I hope our blooms will brighten your special day.  


 Brent's signature 


Events Calendar 

Visit for ongoing updates on programs and special events at the Conservatory.
Here's a sneak preview of a few we can't wait to attend:

May 10 The beginning of Thursday Extended Hours! On opening night, be among the first to experience Plantosaurs Rex. Pacific Brew Lab will be in residence, pouring their signature Squid Ink IPA and Nautilus Hibiscus Saison. Members, your first drink is on us.   


May 31 During Thursday Extended Hours, Bruce Rogers will be signing copies of his newest book, The Orchid Whisperer  


June 9 |New York City-based jazz quartet Rose & the Nightingale premiere Spirit of the Garden in San Francisco at the Conservatory of Flowers, featuring local guests. Prior to the concert, the band will lead a poetry workshop exploring the Conservatory, and reactions to nature for youth ages 8 - 18. Click here for tickets and more info.  

July 25
| Bollywood Nights, a spicy evening exploring the culture and horticulture of India, through film, dance and food. Sponsored by the Wipro San Francisco Marathon.

August 6 | Quiet Lightning returns for a summer reading series in the greenhouse. 

What's In Bloom? 
The Highlands Gallery is bursting with fragrance and color. Like many of the gems in our cloud forest, the current blooms are tucked away throughout the layers of jungle leaves, and require visitors to examine their surroundings closely. This Bromeara, native to Ecuador, is rooted on the south side of the gallery, and then climbs the gallery walls up and over the walkway. It appears to be blooming from a vine growing in the pit, but attentive visitors will be able to trace its path.
Spirit of the Garden

Rose and the NightengaleHave you been inspired walking through the garden, under palms, reflecting on how we all coexist? How many artists draw on nature to create? An up-and-coming group of young women led by Jody Redhage, together Rose & the Nightingale, is exploring this role of nature inspiring art, through music and poetry in their new concert Spirit of the Garden. The group will tour garden venues this summer, bringing their work to life in the settings that inspired the songs. They aim to keep the flow in motion, inspiring audiences to create art, influenced by their lyrics, music and improvisation. The Conservatory of Flowers will be their first stop on the West Coast.


I reached Jody Redhage on the road in April, to discuss her upcoming performance at the Conservatory. She was in St. Louis, doing a Poetry & Music guest artist residency with a St. Louis school system, and I caught her after a day in the classroom. She was a long way from where Spirit of the Garden began, in 2009. "I was sitting on my favorite rock," Redhage explains. This rock resided in the Japanese Tea Garden in Brooklyn, a sacred space that Redhage considered her church.... To continue reading this article, click here.   


For tickets, information and more, visit or our facebook page.  

Volunteer at Plantosaurus Rex

 Are you delighted by dinosaurs, fascinated by ferns, or crazy for cycads? Do you want to share with the Volunteer world your love for the prehistoric world? Then consider becoming a docent for Plantosaurus Rex, the Conservatory's next Special Exhibit. Special Exhibit Docents are available in the gallery to answer visitors' questions and explain the nuances of the exhibit. Shifts are mornings and afternoons Tuesday through Sunday. No experience is needed but a 2-hour training is required. Volunteers are asked to commit to two shifts per month through the duration of the exhibit (May-October). Contact Erika Frank, Director of Volunteer Services, if you are interested in becoming a Special Exhibit Docent. (415) 637-4326 or

Digging Up the Facts...

Our summer exhibit is jam-packed with all those dino facts (and fictions) that fascinated you in school!  


* The Mesozoic Era is the time known as "The Age of the Dinosaurs." This includes "shorter" periods of time: the Triassic (45 million years long), Jurassic (62 million years) and Cretaceous Periods (79 million years).


* In the Triassic Period, predatory Dragon Flies (Maganeura monyi) had a wingspan of 2.5 feet!


* Flowers didn't exist on this plant until the Cretaceous Period - 140 million years ago, that's 105 million years after plants such as ferns, cycads, conifers and ginkoes began to dominate Pangea's waterfront landscape.


* Magnolias, which can be found today all over the US, and especially here in Golden Gate Park, were among the first species of flowers to appear! While they appeared in a more primitive form, this species emerged 140 million years ago!


* Like flowers, the dinosaurs had all sorts of adaptations to survive in their habitats. Some of those unique elements we use to identify the different species were for protection, others for attracting mates!


Starting to ring a bell? Are you yearning for recess to go dig in the dirt behind the school house? We look forward to taking you back in time this summer! Visit the for more information and to plan your trip!

What's In Store?

The Gift Shop is closed Stegosaurus bugduring the Special Exhibit construction, but will reopen on Tuesday, May 8th. Stop by then to load up on Dino Merchandise, even before Plantosaurus Rex opens!


Thursday Extended Hours
Plantosaurus Rex text bug The days are longer, and we know you want to be in the park after work! For the run of Plantosaurs Rex, we'll be open until 7 pm every Thursday evening! On May 10 we'll be celebrating the P-Rex opening, with previews of upcoming events and chances to win tickets, as well as the brewers from Pac Brew Lab serving up their local craft beer. Click here to plan your visit to the Conservatory. 


Purchase The Orchid Whisperer through the Conservatory
Advisory Council Member and friend of the Conservatory Bruce Rogers has published a new book: The Orchid Whisperer: Expert Secrets for Growing Beautiful Orchids. Click here to pre-order the book through the Conservatory's Amazon Associates program. After watching the beautiful book trailer, shot onsite at the Conservatory, you won't be able to resist getting your hands on more of Bruce's wisdom and humor!
film still from Orchid Whisperer book trailer 
View our videos on YouTube Film still by Roy Cox Productions 

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