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All About The Conservatory of Flowers

All About The Conservatory of Flowers

The hustle and bustle of San Francisco can be interesting and exciting for many, but even its avid city dwellers need to get back to nature once in a while. Luckily, tourists and locals to San Francisco have one of the most world’s most beautiful historical landmarks right in their own backyard. The Conservatory of Flowers offers an escape from the urban environments and welcomes visitors into a world of beautiful plants, rare flowers, and fantastic displays that offer a peaceful and educational alternative to the usual theme park style getaway.

The Four Permanent Galleries

The Conservatory of Flowers proudly boasts 4 beautiful permanent galleries full of a large variety of plants that are rotated into the gardens as they bloom. This ensures that every guest gets to experience each plant in its blossoming glory no matter what time of year they are visiting. The Conservatory also hosts a wide range of special exhibits throughout the year. This gives frequent visitors, curious enthusiasts, and educators the opportunity to experience something new each time they make the voyage.

The first of the four permanent collections are the Potted Plants. This exhibit offers a wide array of seasonal favorites and beautiful rare blossoms planted in unique and decorative containers from around the world. The exquisiteness of the urns and vases is an interesting of feature of this collection, almost as important to the display as the flora they hold. The second and third collections are the Lowland and Highland Tropic collections. The Lowland Tropics offers a fitting exhibit of palm tree canopies, hanging fruit, and sweet aromas. Topped off with beautiful cascading water, this truly allows the guest to experience the moist, fresh atmosphere of the tropic jungle. The Highland Tropics offers a more enchanted forest-like ambiance. With gnarled trees, misty fog, dense moss, and a renowned collection of beautiful high-altitude orchids, visitors feel miles away as they stroll through the gallery. The final permanent exhibit is the Aquatic Plant collection. In this section, the guest is met with relaxing sounds of flowing water and the epic hanging display, Victoria amazonica, with features beautiful water lilies with leaves large enough to support the weight of a small child.

World Famous Architecture

The plants alone don’t make the Conservatory of Flowers famous. It’s also world-renowned for its stunning architecture. Its structure is built of wood, painted white, and set with glass walls with a center pavilion reaching 60-feet and overlooking the careful slope of the Conservatory Valley. Each wing is L shaped, creating an overall E-shape, and is framed by a beautiful four-centered Arch. San Francisco is lucky for the continued existence of The Conservatory of Flowers. While the structure is known for its beauty and ornate design, in the late 1990’s, The World Monuments Fund placed the Conservatory of Flowers on their list of 100 most Endangered World Monuments due to the need for stabilization and rehabilitation of its beautiful Victorian style structure. Thanks in part to the community and various historical preservation organizations, an 8 year long renovation of the building began in 1999 and, with much excitement, the Conservatory reopened to the public in 2003.

Hours and Admission

Excluding Mondays and some holidays, visitors are welcome at the Conservatory of Flowers year round from 10am to 4:30pm. Admission is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for young adults aged 12-17, seniors, and college students, and $2.00 for children 5-11. Children under 4 are admitted to the conservatory for free. Admission is also free on the first Tuesday of every month, and discounts are available for San Francisco City residents. The Conservatory of Flowers also provides tours for individuals and groups, and field trips. It’s best to call their information line at 415-831-2090 for exact hours, or to find out more information about the conservatory, volunteer opportunities, discounts, and tours.

For anybody looking to escape the city life and get back to nature, or considering visiting the San Francisco area, the Conservatory of Flowers is sure to please. With its history, affordability, and extensive scenic collection of flowers ranging from the simple classics to rare beauties, there’s something for everyone.

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