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Issue 66
April 2013

The Conservatory Chronicles
A monthly newsletter for our growing community. 



Acting Director Eric Andersen

The race is on! We've got three weeks to drape the Special Exhibits gallery in a giant swath of netting, fill it with brightly colored spring flowers, and release hundreds of butterflies from across North America into the room. Come see the transformation for yourself on May 8, when Butterflies & Blooms opens to the public.


See below for more on this fascinating new exhibit that runs through October 20. And if you're a current Conservatory member, please plan to attend our free, members-only sneak preview party on May 7. See the butterflies on the eve of their public debut!

I hope you'll visit us soon, and thanks as always for your continued support of the Conservatory of Flowers. 


Eric Andersen, Acting Director   
Butterflies and Blooms at the COF

The Butterflies are Coming! 

Wednesday May 8 through Sunday, October 20

Get eye to eye with a butterfly, in the exhibit Butterflies & Blooms, coming to the Conservatory this spring and summer. The popular exhibit will transform our Special Exhibits gallery into a beautiful and intimate cottage garden, aflutter with hundreds of butterflies on the wing. Walk amongst a dazzling array of more than 20 species of colorful and familiar North American butterflies including magnificent monarchs, Western swallowtails, red admirals, and more, and even several giant moths like the impressive cecropia moth.

Butterflies & Blooms is a unique opportunity to view a wide variety of brightly colored daisies, sunflowers, zinnias, and more, while free-flying butterflies flit from flower to flower, drinking nectar and getting covered in pollen. These goodwill ambassadors of the insect world provide a fascinating demonstration of plant pollination in action, and the exhibit is designed to highlight the critical role pollinators play in the life cycle of plants. Come fly with us!!


2013 Imperiale Youth Prize Awarded at POE
Prize named for COF Horticulturalist Eric Imperiale
Imperiale Youth Prize Winner Helen Liu
Winner Helen Liu


Congratulations to the Pacific Orchid Exposition's 2013 Imperiale Youth Prize winner, Helen Liu! 


Helen, a seventeen year-old high school junior from the Bay Area, took home the winning honor for her beautifully grown Dendrobium amethystoglossum.


The inspiring award is named after the Conservatory's very own horticulturalist, Eric Imperiale. According to POE Chairman Dennis Westler, Eric "was introduced to orchids after his father Paul began to collect them...As a youth himself he entered plants in our show, and was the recipient of the old youth award we gave in years past. This love became his academic study, and eventually his career."


The medal Helen Liu received was designed by Eric, and is an artistic interpretation of a Dracula orchid rendered in sterling silver. We love Eric's creative and generous way of encouraging young people to share his love of orchids!

Members only party May 7
Want a sneak preview of the butterflies?
Free Members-Only Party!
Tuesday, May 7, 5:30-7:30pm
Current members RSVP HERE.
To join or renew, click HERE.
Our annual members-only reception is coming up, on the eve of Butterflies & Blooms' opening day! Join the Conservatory or renew your expired membership today to take part in the fun.
Wednesday, July 10 - Saturday, July 13
TWO showtimes per evening: 7:30-8:30pm and 9:00-10:00pm
Tickets available HERE.
Botany's Breath at the Conservatory  
Coming this July, the COF and Kim Epifano's Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater present Botany's Breath, a site-specific contemporary dance work with live music and video.
Utilizing our Victorian edifice as stage, musical instrument, and projection screen, "Botany's Breath" will lead the audience on a walking journey through the rooms of the Conservatory and out into the surrounding grounds, in an exploration of the spiritual, symbiotic relationship between plants and humans.
Don't miss this ambitious and incredible performance.

Gift Shop Sale

There's gold in them thar shelves! 
Shop online HERE or visit us in person at the COF
Sale on Boomtown merchandise


Yesterday (April 14) was the last day of our fantastic Boomtown model railway exhibit. Help us clear our shelves of gold nuggets and Barbary Coast trail maps, to make room for stuffed caterpillars and butterfly wings!

All Boomtown merchandise is 50% off. Save on books, ship kits, and posters.  Adult and childrens' t-shirts are 2 for $20.00.   

Get 'em while they last!
What's in Bloom? Aechmea weilbachii
Pleurothallis teaguei

This striking native of Ecuador may be found in the orchid case in our Highlands Gallery.


Pleurothallis flowers are among the most diverse and unusual of orchid species, and specialize in using tiny insects such as gnats for pollination. The flowers of many of the species at the Conservatory grow from the base of the heart-shaped leaves. The Pleurothallis teaguei inflorescence emerges from the leaf.


Check out our What's in Bloom page to see what else is blooming!

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.
RPD logo
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