Phipps Conservatory

Farmers at Phipps launched its 7th annual farmer's market Wednesday on Phipp's Conservatory’s front lawn. The market runs every Wednesday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. through the end of October.

Phipps executive director Richard Piacentini said they've had "a tremendous turnout" in years past.

“The reception’s been great," he said. "We have a lot of regular people who come here every Wednesday and we have a lot of new people that show up all the time, and it’s just really great to see.”

An Update on the Blooming Corpse Flower

Aug 22, 2013
Casey Premoshis / The Allegheny Front

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been swarming with visitors over the last few days. And thankfully, not flies.

The rare and odoriferous corpse flower has been in bloom for the last 48 hours.  Casey Premoshis visited the giant plant named "Romero" for the Allegheny Front and WESA:

Casey Premoshis / The Allegheny Front

Romero, the odorous corpse flower, has finally bloomed at Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory.

Standing approximately five feet tall with a wrinkly central staff and purple and green petals, Romero started releasing its noxious fragrance Tuesday evening. Nature has designed the flower’s smell to attract beetles and flies, but Romero immediately started attracting human onlookers.

Flickr user Dougtone

Finding things to do on a Friday night in Pittsburgh isn't tough.

One might visit the bars on Carson Street or head downtown or to the North Shore for some fancy cuisine. And on any given Friday there are gallery crawls, concerts and movie showings to keep people of all cultural persuasions entertained.
But what about the morning after?

The Uncanny Corpse Flower

Aug 9, 2013
US Botanic Garden / Wikipedia

Phipps Conservatory will be getting a rare, rancid treat in the coming weeks. The corpse flower, a flower from the jungles of Indonesia, is best known for its distinctive smell of rotting flesh. Ben Dunigan, Curator of Horticulture at Phipps, says that the corpse flower models itself after the scent of a decaying corpse to convince flies to come and lay their eggs.

“You really do have to smell it to believe it,” Dunigan says.

Phipps’s flower—affectionately named “Romero” after Night of the Living Dead director and Pittsburgh native George A. Romero—will only spend 48 hours in full bloom, with 12 peak hours during which the flower will be at its most putrid.

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will soon smell like something crawled up inside of it and died. 

Some time in late August a rare corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum), that Curator of Horticulture Ben Dunigan has been pampering since 2009, is expected to bloom. When it does, the 6-foot-tall flower will emit an “intense” scent resembling rotting flesh.

“And when I say intense, you can imagine that these have evolved to attract pollinators from miles away,” Dunigan said. “So in our Palm Court, which is quite a big room, it's sure to smell the entire room up.”

Two very different Pittsburgh icons are finding common ground in an insect.

The Carnegie Science Center and Phipps Conservatory are teaming up to host Butterfly Weekend, a two-day event that will give the public a chance to learn about the butterfly’s life cycle and natural habitat.

Susan Zimecki, director of marketing and community affairs at the Carnegie Science Center, points to a film as the inspiration behind the event.

Noah Brode/90.5 WESA

Phipps Conservatory is celebrating the release of a book that details the construction of its new Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a $23.5 million facility that produces all of its own water and energy.

Called "Building in Bloom," the book by Mary Adam Thomas is the first of a series commissioned by the Living Future Institute, an Oregon company that administers the ultra-green Living Building Challenge certification program for structures.

If you’ve been looking to visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens but hesitate because of the $15 admission fee, you’re chance to visit free of charge is here.

Phipps is dropping its admission charge for February 25th and extending the Garden Railroad, Orchid, and Tropical Bonsai Show so people will be able to take in the flowers.

Margie Radebaugh, Director of Horticulture and Education at Phipps, said, in addition to the current shows, people are also able to enjoy their year round plants.