California Travel Rejuvenation: The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

Visiting San Francisco anytime soon? Be sure to add the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers to your “must see” list.  

At this time of year, a visit to a glass house is just the ticket.  Warm, moist air and tropical colors become your setting as you travel through the wood and glass structure, believed to be the oldest wood and glass conservatory in the United States.


Conservatory view by pml2008, CC BY-SA 2.0 link

Where It’s At

The Conservatory is located within Golden Gate Park, adjacent to the Koret Playground and San Francisco Botanical Garden.  Find out about hours and admission fees, as well as general information and maps, on the Conservatory website link .

Water Lily Pond

One of the spectacular displays you’ll find here is the water lily pond, which is about 15 feet in diameter.


photo by Ernest McGray,Jr.,  CC BY-SA 2.0 link
photo by simonwa7 via flickr

photo by simonwa7 via flickr

photo by simonwa7 via flickr

photo by simonwa7 via flickr

by Horace Ko, CC-BY-2.0 , link

Pitcher Plants

Although the water lily pond is a show stopper, be sure to look above you to see vast arrays of pitcher plants (nepenthes obscura) on display.

photo by simonwa7 via flickr
photo by simonwa7 via flickr

photo by simonwa7 via flickr

Another Vine

You’ll also find Thunbergia Grandiflora climbing overhead.


photo by Gardens & Flowers , CC-BY-2.0
Thunbergia Grandiflora

Orchids

Of course, no tropical display would be complete without orchids.


photo by simonwa7 via flickr

photo by simonwa7 via flickr

As you walk through these gardens, you’ll feel as if you are wandering a lush jungle. Unlike some public displays, here you’ll find plants repeated like the theme of a work of art.

And with such color and form all around, who would argue that these aren’t Nature’s works of art?

Don’t Forget the Foliage

Foliage can be as beautiful as flowers. Here, ferns show off their stomata in sunlight streaming through the glass.


photo by simonwa7 via flickr

Colocasia provide tropical-inspired camoflauge.


photo by simonwa7 via flickr

Caladium foliage looks as if splashed with pink paint.


photo by simonwa7 via flickr

Are You Inspired to Visit?

Even if time or budget don’t permit the trip, we can all enjoy the beautiful photographs. For more tropical beauty, check out this post from the 2018 Orchidmania! show at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.


Conservatory nightview by Stephen Kelly, CC BY-SA 2.0 link

Thanks to contributor W.A. Simon for many of the beautiful close-up photographs in this post, as well as commentary.

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