The Conservatory Chronicles

Issue 112
March 2017

A monthly newsletter for our growing Conservatory Community
Welcoming Spring 

and Extended Hours at the Conservatory!  
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
March brings us lots of treats - new life, awakening songs of birds,  fragrant blooming flowers and the active flutter of butterflies. 
We officially "sprung forward" into daylight savings time this past weekend. We're celebrating spring with the return of extended hours on March 16. We'll be open until 6:30 (last admission at 6) to offer you time to stop by and enjoy the tropics after work. It's a great time to bring energetic young ones to visit the interactive Butterflies & Blooms in the Special Exhibit Gallery.

Please join us this month to celebrate spring!
Get Eye to Eye With a Butterfly and Moth!

A newly emerged Cecropia moth is now in the midst of Butterflies & Blooms. Visit soon to see the Cecropia and a Luna moth that emerged overnight. Moths only live a few days, so hurry on over! 
Walk through the mesh doorways into the Special Exhibit Gallery and view magical chrysalises -- some sleeping soundly, some ready to emerge! 

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

Marvel at these wondrous creatures, learn about their life cycle and the adaptations each butterfly has developed to survive!
Butterfly Release Program

Get the entire butterfly experience all in one visit! 

Visit today and ask a Guest Services Staff member upon entry about how to become a member of the Butterfly Patrol!

Glasshouse Artist - Butterfly Series 

Reserving an intimate hour before the museum doors open is now easy! Capture the amazing Butterflies & Blooms crowd-free, take your time to get that extraordinary image when you can set up tripods and easels during these one-hour blocks.

Reliving a Romantic Night Under the Lace Building
Thank you to our generous sponsors, Muscardini Cellars for their premier wine, and Dandelion Small Batch Chocolate for their incredible chocolate pairings at Aphrodisiacs of the Tropics!  Guests enjoyed fun photos courtesy of Sharing Box with the lush vertical garden backdrop and lots of festive props. A self-guided tour map led explorers to aphrodisiac plants growing throughout the galleries. In the Special Exhibit Gallery chrysalises and sleeping butterflies were marveled upon as guests got cozy in the butterfly sanctuary. A successful romantic tropical night -- next time you must join us!

In Loving Memory of Lola Heer

We are greatly saddened to report that Lola Heer, a founding member of our Advisory Council, passed away on February 21. Lola was passionate in her support of the Conservatory of Flowers and was instrumental in organizing the San Francisco Garden Club to be actively involved in the renovation following the 1995 wind storm. As a member of the Advisory Council, she advocated for ongoing upkeep of the historic Victorian Conservatory and timely repairs to prevent having this one of a kind, wood and glass Conservatory fall into disrepair.
Her warm smile and quick wit made her a welcome member of any meeting or event. We are so grateful to have enjoyed her loving support for many, many years.  
Her family suggests that donations may be made to the preservation fund of the Conservatory in her memory. Click Here to donate.

Bring Balance to Your Life
With a Year-Long Pass to See the Butterflies & Blooms Everyday 
Members of the Conservatory of Flowers are entitled to free unlimited admission to visit
Butterflies & Blooms!
Be the first to hear about all the Conservatory news!
Now you have the option to receive a  free one-year subscription of Martha Stewart Living or Better Homes and Gardens when you renew or become a new Conservatory Member! 
It's fast and easy! Click here to learn more about the available membership levels and join our extensive Conservatory Community of plant lovers and conservators today! 

Conservatory Trivia
The month of March brings new Spring beginnings and celebrates women in history! This month we'd like to feature Katherine Brandegee, a botanist's whose strides in the plant world brought her to San Francisco, " In 1883, Curran (Brandegee) was appointed a curator of botany, one of the first women to hold such a position at a major museum, and in 1891 she became the sole botanical curator." 
Please read on to open the doors of this successful woman in botanical history.  
What's in Bloom?
Common name: Flying goldfish
Location: Highlands Gallery, growing on a tree in south planting bed
Native to: Central and South America

Columnea is a genus with approximately 200 species of herbs and shrubs. They are known for their brightly colored tubular flowers, which comes in shades of red, orange, or yellow in order to attract hummingbirds for pollination. Many species' blossoms resembles the head of a dragon or the body of a goldfish, which inspired their common name, 'the flying goldfish plant'. The petals of this species are striking because of the contrast of deep purple and chartreuse.

Columnea species are epiphytic plants, which means they grow on top of other vegetations. In the wild, they can be found climbing on tree trunks and branches. Constant precipitation provides the roots with moisture, and the excellent drainage prevents the water from standing and rotting the roots.

Carl Linnaeus named Columnea after Fabio Colonna (the latinization of Colonna is Columnea), a 16th century Italian botanist. Colonna was honored for his historical compilation of botanical data published in 1592, the first of its kind illustrated with copper plates.

Find out What's in Bloom in the Highlands Gallery on our website to keep track of your favorite blooming beauties.