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Issue 63
January 2013

Conservatory Chronicles
A monthly newsletter for our growing community.



Happy New Year! Your support was absolutely essential to our success this past year, and for that I offer my tremendous thanks to you. 2013 kicked off with a bang here at the Conservatory, and there's much to look forward to in the coming months. Our special exhibit, Boomtown: Barbary Coast at the Conservatory is garnering high praise from historians and model railway enthusiasts alike. Planning for our Spring exhibit, Butterflies and Blooms, is already underway. We've installed spectacular new lighting around the dome and in our greenhouses, and we have new plants to show you and special events to announce (see below for details). Come in from the cold, and visit us in the tropics this month!

Eric Andersen, Acting Director  

Coming this Spring...
Butterflies and Blooms!
Wednesday, May 8 through Sunday, October 27, 2013

photo by Jane Scurich
Get eye to eye with a butterfly this May, when the Conservatory of Flowers unleashes its new exhibit, Butterflies and Blooms. 

Watch hundreds of winged beauties flutter about at work and play in our tropical paradise, and learn about the vital symbiotic roles of plants and butterflies in pollination. 

Visitors receive a free butterfly identification booklet, with tips on growing your own butterfly garden, and fascinating insights into these wondrous creatures. This exhibit is not to be missed! 
Wedding couple, photo by Mapurunga Photography

Looking for a wedding venue?

Valentine's Day Open House for Newly Engaged Couples

Thursday, February 14th, 5-8pm

FREE (must RSVP at

The Conservatory of Flowers is pleased to open its doors for unique weddings year-round. This Valentine's Day, we invite you to begin your evening of romance with an intimate look at the most extraordinary wedding space in the city. Bring your betrothed for a champagne stroll through our tropical gardens, and receive a discount if you book your wedding with us! This is NOT a hard sell event (we promise), just a chance to see the Conservatory in its nighttime glory, and get more info if you wish.


To attend, RSVP by emailing with your names, preferred wedding date(s) and any questions you have.


Hort Report: Cherimoya tree returns to Highland Tropics


An old friend from our 2009 Edible Expeditions exhibit has returned. Annona cherimola, a Latin American native, is now in the Highland Tropics gallery. This wonderful tree produces the commercially grown fruit "cherimoya." Cherimoya is most often eaten fresh, and its juice is used to make soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Although the fruit is enjoyed for its flesh, the seeds contain powerful chemicals that are used in the preparation of insecticide. Extracts from Annona cherimola are also reported to have a variety of uses in traditional medicine, including relieving pneumonia. 

- Eric Imperiale, CoF Horticulturalist


Surprise your Valentine with a Conservatory gift card!
Photo copyright: Mapurunga Photography  
The Conservatory was named SF Weekly's "Best First Date" location in 2012. We're the ultimate Valentine's Day hotspot! Give your sweetheart - or your loved ones - a gift certificate this year. With all of the quiet, shady nooks throughout the Conservatory, it's easy to see why lovers choose us as their pre-dinner Valentine's Day activity. Gift certificates are good towards admission only. Click here to buy, or go to
Volunteer Opportunity: Greeters Needed

The Conservatory is currently recruiting volunteer greeters. Welcome visitors to our tropical paradise, take tickets, and answer general questions. This is the perfect opportunity to chat with people from all over the world, spend time in a beautiful living museum, and be a part of our wonderful volunteer program. 

Shifts are 10:00am -1:00pm or 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday. To schedule a meeting and fill out a volunteer application, contact Erika Frank, Director of Volunteers & Education, at  or (415) 637-4326. For more info, click here. 

Jill Tracy in concert February 27
After Dark Concert, February 27:
Jill Tracy and Paul Mercer 
Wednesday, February 27, 6pm-10pm
$7 for members, $13 for non-members
The Whispering in the Wood: Ghosts, Violins, and the Trees that Brought Them to Life 
Award-winning chanteuse and performance artist Jill Tracy hosts another "After Dark" event at the Conservatory, this time with violinist Paul Mercer. 
Mercer spent five years recording improvisational music using woodwind instruments that seemed to have voices of their own. The result is an eerie and beautiful trip through time, as the voices "whispering in the wood" are finally allowed to speak. The evening will include a talk by Paul Mercer, a full concert with Jill Tracy and Mercer, and a rare nocturnal tour of the greenhouse. Experience the magic of the Conservatory after dark!
We are so grateful for your support!
The Conservatory of Flowers relies on memberships and donations from you to fund our educational programs, to keep our doors open six days a week, and to maintain the plants and systems that keep our beautiful greenhouses thriving. To join or donate to the Conservatory of Flowers, please contact Jane Scurich, our Director of Development and Administration, at, or (415) 831-2093. Thank you!
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Visit Us!
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 4:30pm (last entry is at 4:00pm)

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

Admission: $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 SF City and County residents with proof of residency. 
The Conservatory is free to all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month.
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Accessibility: 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 JFK Drive in front of the Conservatory. 
Strollers are not allowed in the Conservatory.

Information line: 415-831-2090