The Conservatory Chronicles

Issue 109
December 2016

A monthly newsletter for our growing Conservatory Community

Happy Holidays from the enchanting Victorian Conservatory!
Please read on to hear about what we have in store this holiday season: 

ButterfliesandBloomsGet Eye to Eye With a Butterfly

Butterflies and Blooms is open and butterflies are fluttering throughout the Special Exhibit Gallery. The Butterfly Bungalow at the entrance to the gallery allows you to observe the pupae in their chrysalis stage. You never know, you may be lucky enough to catch the moment when one of these delicate beauties emerges!

Butterfly Additions for Your Home

We can help you check everyone off your list this holiday season! The gift shop is fully stocked with a variety of butterfly embellishments and charming potted plants this winter. Bring some home as gifts but don't forget to treat yourself with something to remind you of the butterflies.

Butterflies _clockwise__ Julia_ Zebra Longwing_ Monarch_ Cloudless Sulphur_ Queen. Photo Credit_ May Slen

There is still time to enter your name into the drawing to  win a 4-pack of tickets to attend Cirque du Soleil's  Luzia: A Waking Dream in Mexico ---all you have to do is sign up for a Conservatory membership filled with fun perks to last you throughout the year! 

Drawing to be held on December 31 at 3:00 p.m.

Visit our website to choose the right member level for you!
Hurry! Get a special Holiday discount on your membership---offer available for a limited-time only!

Conservatory Members receive exclusive discounts to attend alluring events and programs all year-round. As an additional treat, when you  join or renew your membership today we are delighted to provide a 15% discount code for Luzia tickets sent to your email. 

Have questions about memberships? Please contact Membership Associate, May Slen at or call (415) 577-2584.
Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico features a beautiful Monarch Butterfly lady while the show stops in San Francisco from November 17 to January 29 and San Jose from February 9 to March 19.

"Inside, exotic flora climbs the walls, brushes the ceiling and snakes across ponds in fairytale proportions..."

What a complimentary yet mysterious description about our Victorian greenhouse brought to you by SpotHarper's Bazaar Magazine has partnered with Spot to bring you a list of cool places to put on your itinerary when visiting San Francisco, "the centerpiece of the Bay Area." Check the list  HERE to read about the many spots in the city that have been highlight alongside the Conservatory of Flowers. 

BridgeFeatureThank You For Your Help: New Bridge Feature is Underway!
Thank you to our generous donors who contributed on #GivingTuesday!

We are so thankful to our Conservatory Community and the endless support we have continued to receive. With your help on #givingtuesday we were able to commence construction to build a new bridge feature between the ponds in the Aquatics Gallery.

A Little Butterfly Humor
by Dan Piraro

Present a Gift Membership this Holiday Season

Sign up a friend or family member to become a Conservatory Member today and they will start receiving benefits year-round.  Register them today and supplement your gift-- new members are entered into a drawing for 4-pack of tickets to attend Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico.

Click here to learn more about our memberships for this holiday season.

Visit our website or email May Slen for questions about memberships.

PatrolGive the Gift of Joining the Butterfly Patrol

Give your loved ones an experience of a lifetime this holiday season! Learn about the Butterfly Patrol experience during your next visit to the Conservatory and be treated to a live release of a newly emerged butterfly in the Special Exhibit Gallery. 

Name the butterfly you'll release. Patrol members receive complimentary people-sized antennae and a special Patrol badge to take home. Butterfly Patrol packages can be purchased at the ticketing lobby.

Make your holidays brighter by visiting the butterflies!

The first Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA) Benefit Dinner, will be held in conjunction with the San Francisco Orchid Society's Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition (POGE) in San Francisco on Friday,  February 24, 2017 from  6:00 p.m. to 10:oo p.m., in the Conservatory of Flowers, just a short walk from the POGE exhibit at the  Hall of Flowers  in Golden Gate Park. 

The highlight of the dinner will be the speaker, Lou Jost of Baños, Ecuador, founder of Fundación EcoMinga. Lou and his colleagues have done amazing things in Ecuador to conserve orchids. He and EcoMinga are one of the major beneficiaries of the OCA funding. His talk is entitled  Discovering, Studying, Conserving Ecuador's Orchids.

Proceeds of the dinner will go to Lou and EcoMinga to support the expansion of a new Dracula (orchid) reserve, in northern Ecuador. Tickets ($115 per person) must be purchased in advance. Please visit the OCA web site  to purchase tickets and get all the details for what will surely be a highlight of your visit to the POGE. 

Photo Credit: Michael Zagaris
TriviaFact Conservatory Trivia: 
The Conservatory's stained glass windows have seen the likes of rock stars like Blondie whose photoshoot led to a striking greenhouse visit in 1977. 

Here's the story through the photographer's lens: 
"I photographed Blondie in 1977 at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. We were trying all sorts of set-ups but they had ideas of their own. So I winged it. They were a band where it was almost impossible to take a bad picture. Debbie was very beautiful, still is, and she was channelling that Monroe glamour, even though they were staying in some cheap hotel."

BloomWhat's in Bloom?

Photo Credit: Bella Coladonato
Location: Special Exhibit Gallery
Featured in the Butterfly Exhibit are showy, bright red flowers of what is commonly referred to as Amaryllis. These flowers, however, are actually a Hippeastrum hybrid. The name confusion of Amaryllis/Hippeastrum can be traced back 250 years to the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus. It wasn't until 1987 at the 14th International Botanical Congress that the scientific name and classification was settled.

Modern classification of Hippeastrum refers to a genus of approximately 90 species (and 600 hybrid) native to South America and the Caribbean. Amaryllis, a genus in the same family, is comprised of only two species ( Amaryllis belladonna and A. paradisicola) both native to South Africa. To add to the name confusion, Amaryllis is often used as a common name for species and cultivars in the Hippeastrum genus. The genus name, Hippeastrum, comes from Greek roots and translates to knight's star, which may be a reference to the flower's resemblance to the knight's medieval weapon.

Visit the  What's in Bloom page to see what other beauties are blooming throughout the galleries.