The Conservatory Chronicle
Issue 85, December 2014

Give the Gift of Membership this Holiday Season...and Save!
25% off all membership levels, now through January 10, 2015
Membership discount
Start the new year with a gift that keeps on giving. Conservatory of Flowers members enjoy free Conservatory admission, special privileges at nearly 300 gardens across North America, a fun annual members' party, and more! Our one-year memberships are a GREAT gift for the plant-loving family or single friend in your life. 
For the next few weeks, we're offering a 25% discount on all membership levels. Take this opportunity to treat yourself, renew an existing membership, or give that perfect gift.
Click here to use our streamlined new form and join today. Your membership purchase is 100% tax deductible, and all proceeds benefit the Conservatory, a place that has represented holiday spirit in San Francisco for generations. Happy Holidays!
"Mahalo" to Our Volunteers


On December 17, Volunteer Director Erika Frank (pictured below, center) hosted a fabulous Hawaiian-style party, complete with live Hawaiian music, food and a hula lesson, to thank the many wonderful volunteers who enrich the lives of our staff and visitors every day. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the Conservatory of Flowers, please click HERE or email Erika at


"Living memorial" in Lowland Tropics honors longtime volunteer Alicia Ramirez

One early evening this past September, a small group gathered at the
Marilyn Driscoll and Ernie Ng
Marilyn Driscoll and Ernie Ng meet at the vertical wall supported by the Alicia Ramirez Memorial Fund
Conservatory to honor and remember their beloved friend, Alicia Ramirez.

They have established the Alicia Ramirez Memorial Fund in her memory. Donations to the fund go to beautify and maintain the vertical plant wall in our Lowland Tropics Gallery. A sign at the base of the vertical wall acknowledges the fund.

"We wanted to establish a 'living memorial' for Alicia" said fund co-founder Ernie Ng. "She loved Golden Gate Park so much, and she loved the Conservatory."

Alicia trained to become a Golden Gate Park guide in 1989. Her popular tours of different sections of the park reflected both her love of the park and her enthusiasm for sharing it with others.
Alicia Ramirez
When the storm of 1995 forced the Conservatory to close for eight years, Alicia saw a need for the public to remain informed during the long restoration process. She set up an informational display in the vestibule containing the architectural plans for the restoration, an estimated timeline for its completion, and historical details about the Conservatory. When the restoration was completed in 2003, Alicia served as a Conservatory greeter, welcoming visitors from far and near.

Alicia's close friend Marilyn Driscoll made the lead gift to establish the Alicia Ramirez Memorial Fund. Driscoll and Ernie Ng worked together to secure contributions from additional donors. The Lowlands vertical wall now serves as a lush, green and peaceful place where contributors to the Fund may visit to remember their dear friend.

*If you would like to establish a "living memorial" at the Conservatory of Flowers for your loved one, please contact Development Director Jane Scurich at, or 415-831-2093.

Avoid the malls in favor of a handcrafted, unique gift! 
In Our Gift Shop: "Bromeliurchins"? 
Sea urchin-tillandsia sculptures
Looking for an unusual and beautiful holiday gift for the plant or ocean lover in your life? Check out these tillandsia and sea urchin "jellyfish", on sale now in the Conservatory gift shop!

These whimsical baubles are hand made by our gift shop manager Vanessa and her staff. No two are alike.

The "jellyfish" are $20 each. Swing by and pick up a few this week, before they disappear. They make great ornaments, curiosity pieces or present toppers!

"Chomp" may be gone, but the carnivores live on!! 
What's in Bloom: Nepenthes bicalcarata 
Nepenthes bicalcarata
Location in the Conservatory:
hanging in Aquatics near the wooden benches 
Commonly known as "fanged pitcher plants," this Borneo native is a myrmecophyte, which literally translates to "ant plant."

The fanged pitcher plant provides a certain species of ant - called Camponotus schmitzi - with food and shelter.  The ants, in return, aid the pitcher plants in pollination, seed dispersal, defense, and absorption of nutrients. 
The N. bicalcarata is unique in that the fluid in its pitcher contains far fewer acidic enzymes than the pitcher fluid in other Nepenthes species. The lower acidity allows the ants to survive inside the walls of the pitcher. 
Our What's in Bloom page now includes descriptions of plants and even FISH found in our Aquascapes exhibit. Find your favorites and come see them today!
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