The Conservatory Chronicles

Issue 111
February 2017

A monthly newsletter for our growing Conservatory Community
Dear Conservatory Community, 
Visit the Conservatory gift shop for more vibrant red flowers like this heart-shaped Anthurium.
February is a month that kindles love in the air and sparks an interest in aphrodisiacs,
blooming cymbidiums and cyclamens, an annual Pacific Orchid and Garden display and celebration of Black History. 

Please read on to stay updated with the events and happenings at the Victorian Greenhouse:  

BuildingClosureHuge Thanks to SFRPD Trades

A huge thank you to San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department's (SFPRD) Trades and their hard work for keeping the Victorian facility beautifully maintained while keeping its historic preservation in tact for all to visit.

Over the course of one week our city's electricians, engineers, painters, metal workers, masonry workers and carpenters completed work projects to maintain and enhance the iconic Conservatory.

Stop by and visit us to see all the improvements that were made during our annual building closure. 
Come Visit The New Aquatic Look
Thanks to SFRPD trades and our generous Giving Tuesday donors!

If you haven't heard, the Aquatics Gallery was under construction for the installment of a new bridge to bring another perspective for our visitors to explore.

The bridge feature is now open for you to bring your family, friends, children and grandchildren to walk on and find something you've never seen or noticed before!

Let's thank our generous donors who contributed on Giving Tuesday! You are truly an inspiration to community giving!
ValentineAphrodisiacs of the Tropics
A romantic night under the lace building . . .

Don't wait until tomorrow --We're almost SOLD OUT!

This is your last chance to make reservations for an adventurous night of tastings and exploration of Aphrodisiacs of the Tropics.
*Conservatory Members: Check your email this week for a member's exclusive discount code for this special after-hours event!

DedicateDedication in Honor of a Loved One

This February make a dedication in honor of a loved one to the Conservatory!

Please support our botanical acquisitions, historic building maintenance, general operating costs or youth education in conservation. 

Ask you place of business about their matching gift programs to make your dedication double! 

Check out the Donate page for all the ways to dedicate a donation in the name of a loved one. 

Questions? Please contact Director of Development Jane Scurich at or call (415) 831-2093.

GlasshouseArtistGlasshouse Artists Series Continues!
Butterfly Series

Reserving an intimate hour before the museum doors open is now easy! Capture the amazing Butterflies and Blooms crowd-free, take your time to get that extraordinary photo! 

Special one-hour blocks are set aside for you to set up tripods and easels in the Special Exhibit Gallery.

Green Gallery Series 

New this year is the Glasshouse Artist 
Green Gallery Series. Each special artist-hour event date from this series focuses on a different gallery in the Conservatory.

You may choose to reserve an hour for one day or save money by reserving the entire series.

CondeSan Francisco's "Best Historic Sites"

The Conservatory of Flowers was mentioned in Condé Nast Traveller's article featuring San Francisco's Best Historic Sights to visit rich history and preserved gems.

Our favorite line from the feature: 

"This is a calm and beautiful place to relax - amidst the cloud-forest orchids and thick lily pads in a delightfully hot, fragrant fug."

In addition to being named San Francisco's Best First Date destination, this gracious shout out touches on our preservation efforts of the historic Victorian structure and old San Francisco history under a beautiful glasshouse. 

Click Here to read the full article.

ButterfliesExhibitGet Eye to Eye With a Butterfly!

Walk through the mesh doorways into the Special Exhibit Gallery and view magical chrysalis sleeping soundly before awakening from a restful slumber in the viewing area of the Butterfly Bungalow.

You never know, you may be lucky enough to catch the moment when one of these delicate beauties emerge!

Stay a while longer and learn about the amazing adaptations each butterfly has developed to survive all over  the world!

Are You on Butterfly Patrol?

Upon entry, ask a Guest Services Representative about becoming a member of the butterfly patrol to experience a unique connection with a butterfly.

Bring Balance Your Life
With a Membership Pass to See the Butterflies and Blooms Everyday

Members of the Conservatory of Flowers are entitled free admission to visit the Butterflies and Blooms daily. Let your local plant lover in on the secret or surprise them with a gift membership today to visit the iconic Victorian building!

From discounts to after-hours events, day programs, Conservatory gift shop items and local garden shops, and invitation to our annual Members-Only Party and be the first to hear about all the Conservatory news around town!

Now announcing a free one-year subscription of Martha Stewart Living or Better Homes and Gardens when you sign up or renew a Conservatory Membership today! 

Click here to learn more about the available membership levels and simply join our extensive Conservatory Community of plant lovers and conservators today! 

BayAreaReporterWe've Been Nominated: Best Nature and Science Museum

The Conservatory of Flowers has been nominated in the Best Nature or Science Museum category of the Bay Area Reporter's annual readers' choice poll, BESTIES 2017: The LGBT Best of the Bay.

Show your support and please vote for us! 

To vote for us, click here.

Join the San Francisco Orchid Society on February 24 through 26 for the 65th Annual Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition (POGE), held at the Hall of Flowers. See the marvelous orchid exhibits and leave with big ideas for your small garden! 

This year the first Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) Benefit Dinner will take place at the Conservatory of Flowers on February 24 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Featured speaker of the OCA Benefit Dinner is Lou Jost of Baños, Ecuador, founder of Fundación EcoMinga. His talk, entitled Discovering, Studying, Conserving Ecuador's Orchids, will go into depth about the amazing efforts Lou and his colleagues have participated in to conserve orchids.

Proceeds of the OCA Benefit Dinner go toward Lou and EcoMinga to support the expansion of a new Dracula orchid reserve in northern Ecuador. Tickets and event details are available on the OCA website and must be purchased in advance. 
TriviaFactConservatory Trivia 
The Original Plant Doctor and the Humble Legume

In honor of Black History month the Conservatory Trivia explores the history of George Washington Carver, the original "Plant Doctor" whose frail and sickly childhood led him to help friends and neighbors nurture their sick plants.

"Carver was unable to work in the fields, so he did household chores and gardening. He was left with many free hours to wander the woods - collecting rocks and flowers, and beginning a lifelong love affair with nature. "
Best known for his innovation in the hundreds of ways to use peanuts it was eventually realized that "growing peanuts contributed to the sustainability of farms, in part because peanuts naturally add beneficial nitrogen to the soil. Insecticides, glue, charcoal, rubber, nitroglycerine, plastics and axle grease are just a few of the many valuable peanut products discovered by Dr. Carver."

Upon Carver's death, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent this message, "All mankind are the beneficiaries of his discoveries in the field of agricultural chemistry. The things which he achieved in the face of early handicaps will for all time afford an inspiring example to youth everywhere."

BloomWhat's in Bloom?
Come in see this vibrant bloom in person!

Wercklea ferox 

Common Name: Spiny hibiscus, Prickly umbrella
Native to: Costa Rica
Location: Potted Plants Gallery

Wercklea ferox is a member of the Malvaceae plant family, and is a relative of hibiscus, cotton, and cacao. The large leaves can grow up to 2 feet wide and have distinctive red veins. Prickly spines cover the red-veined leaves and stems of this tropical shrub. The striking blooms are red and yellow. The genus, Wercklea, is named in honor of Carl Werckle (1860-1924), a French naturalist who made important contributions to Costa Rican botany. The species name, ferox, translates to fierce in Latin. 

Check out What's in Bloom for the most updated list of blooming beauties in the Potted Plants Gallery.