A detailed restoration true to the roots of its historic architecture sets apart the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, a glorious structure standing as the country’s oldest public glass and wood greenhouse. You’ll doubtless find it easy to spend hours roaming through the Lowland Tropics and Highland Tropics rooms teeming with rarities both towering and tiny. Tropical specimens in the moist environs of the lowland gallery include a 100 year-old philodendron and ‘economic’ plants like bananas reaching skyward.
I’m drawn to the lush Victorian displays in the Potted Plants gallery, with its wooden arbor acting as a focal point that draws visitors to enter and explore arrays of fabulous foliage and flowering species.
The current exhibit beguiles with an educational foray into the life cycle of butterflies and moths. The atmosphere is pure magic, as butterflies swoop and flutter about the gallery. One sweet creature landed on my hand and rested there for minutes until I made a slight movement. In a case filled with butterfly and moth pupa, visitors may observe the transformation taking place when a chrysalis begins to vibrate, and an adult emerges.
My visit coincided with a very special get-together …
Exotic orchids abound…
Overhead in the Aquatic Plants gallery, a beautiful rendition of the giant Amazon water lily, Victoria amazonica ~ hovers in space; an eye-catching sculptural highlight of the gallery.
These wondrous lily pads can grow to 8 feet in diameter; one of the wonders of the tropical watershed.
Verdant displays offer delightful experiences in each of the Conservatory’s gallery rooms.
Shown below on the right: A living green wall constructed by Chris Bribach ~ Plants On Walls ~ welcomes you upon entering the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. The colorful, textural expanse of flora creates just the right note as visitors prepare to experience the communities of plants awaiting inside each of the five distinctive galleries.