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Issue 74
December 2013

The Conservatory Chronicles
A monthly newsletter for our growing community. 



Poinsettias in Butterflies & Blooms
A Zebra Longwing spreads its wings against a backdrop of Poinsettias in Butterflies & Blooms this month

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Conservatory of Flowers!

We hope 2013 has been a wonderful year for you. There's so much to look forward to in the new year that's just around the corner!


Get in the holiday spirit right now in our Special Exhibits gallery, as Butterflies & Blooms is bursting with red and pink Poinsettias covered in fluttering butterflies. On Tuesday, February 11, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate as you create unique Valentines using paper handmade from the pulp of plants harvested right here in the Conservatory! On Thursday, April 10, our beloved and FABULOUS Conservatory of Flowers Gala returns! This year's theme: "Dangerous Beauty". 


As you look ahead to 2014, please consider making a donation to the Conservatory in honor of a loved one. Your gift will keep on giving, through next year and beyond! As always, we thank you for your support of the Conservatory of Flowers.


Eric Andersen, Director

Create Your Own Valentines Using Handmade Paper Pressed from Conservatory Plants
Tuesday, February 11, 1:00-3:30pm
Purchase tickets HERE.  ($40 General Admission, $30 COF Members)
Handmade Paper created by Rhiannon Alpers

Share the love this Valentine's Day by
making something homemade! This fun and easy hands-on class is a great way to create special valentines for your friends and loved ones.
Learn the basics of papermaking from artist and expert Rhiannon Alpers, and watch as plant cuttings taken from right here at the Conservatory are cooked, strained, formed and pressed into beautiful, fibrous sheets of paper. Participants will leave this workshop with 6 handmade sheets of paper. We'll also discuss what fibers work best for papermaking, and present lots of ideas for making your own paper at home. 
Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, learn a new craft, and make a one-of-a-kind Valentine for your special someone!  

Save the Date!

The Conservatory Gala Returns: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Carnivorous plants in Aquatics


Mark your calendar, because the Conservatory's first-ever SPRINGTIME Gala is coming up on Thursday evening, April 10!


We don't want to give away too many details just yet, but this year's theme is "Dangerous Beauty" in honor of our exotic new upcoming special exhibit, Chomp 3: It Came from the Swamp. Think carnivorous plants devouring unsuspecting prey. Think "Little Shop of Horrors". Think alluring dresses, exotic food, enchanting live music and intoxicating beverages. This celebration of the plant world's deceptive and beautiful carnivorous creatures will be our sexiest Gala yet. Tickets go on sale next month!

Final Days to Donate in 2013!!
COF December Sunset
The Conservatory needs your help to continue to offer unique, experiential educational programming, enhance our world class botanical collections, and improve our facilities in 2014. This holiday season, we encourage you to make a donation to the Conservatory. 
A gift "in honor of" someone special will make a lasting impression for years to come, and we will send a lovely handwritten card to your loved one, letting them know a gift has been made in their honor. Please click HERE to donate today, or mail your check to Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F Kennedy Drive, San Francisco, CA  94118

You will receive a letter from us in the mail, thanking you and acknowledging your donation for tax purposes. All donations to the Conservatory are tax deductible. Thank you.
The Conservatory Will Be Closed January 14-17, 2014 
Closed for maintenance

A fresh coat of paint here, replaced shelves there, new light bulbs here...

Please note that the Conservatory of Flowers will be CLOSED for routine maintenance and upkeep from Tuesday, January 14 through Friday, January 17.

The Conservatory will reopen, snazzier than ever, at 10:00am on Saturday, January 18.


Preview a Spectacular Display of Orchids AND Benefit the Conservatory of Flowers
POE 2014 Gala Flyer
Purchase tickets HERE, and please enter "CF" in the promo code field..   


Put on your finest and head to Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion, to preview the 2014 Pacific Orchid Exposition at their "Orchids and All That Jazz" Gala!


A generous portion of each Gala Benefit Preview ticket sold will be donated to the Conservatory of Flowers. 


We here at the Conservatory always enjoy the POE Gala. It's a relatively casual and lighthearted affair full of orchid lovers, and a wonderful chance to view the POE booths before the weekend crowds descend. As always, our horticulturalists will have a fun and creative booth at POE, bursting with rare and beautiful orchids. Don't miss this fun and "jazzy" evening!


What's in Bloom? Our Musa (banana plant) is flowering
Musa, or banana plant
Musa, or banana plant


Location in the Conservatory:

Lowlands Gallery, near the door to the Highlands Gallery. LOOK UP.

In horticulture, parthenocarpy (which literally means "virgin fruit") is the natural or artificially-induced production of fruit without fertilization of ovules. The fruit is therefore seedless. 


Seedlessness is seen as a desirable trait in edible fruit with hard seeds such as watermelon, clementines, grapes, and grapefruit. Bananas are another example of parthenocarpy, which explains how the Conservatory's plantains and banana plants bear fruit without a pollinator being present. 


Check 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: $8.00 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 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