Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood


This summer, Pittsburgh’s pungent pal doesn’t stink, but he’s still going
to leave you breathless.

In 2013, record crowds watched a wonder of nature unfold at Phipps as “Romero,” our magnificent corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) made his first-ever bloom – and this summer, he’s turning over a new leaf.

After 10 dormant months, Romero has produced a 7-foot-tall tree-like leaf in order to collect energy for his next big bloom, and he’s taking up residence in the Tropical Forest Conservatory so you can see his amazing transformation firsthand.

So What’s Happening to Romero?

• Romero’s giant leaf is absorbing sunlight to make sugars, which he stores as energy for his next bloom
• Corpse flowers typically produce a leaf each year until they store enough energy to bloom again. The process can take 10 years or more.
• If you thought Romero transformed into a tree, you’re not alone. The light blotches on his trunk-like petiole are thought to have evolved as a survival mechanism; if the corpse flower looks like a tree, it is less likely to be trampled by animals.

Don’t Be a Stinker: Stay Connected!

Post your selfies with Romero to Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #RomeroatPhipps, and follow Romero’s continuing adventures on Twitter @RomeroatPhipps.

More Funky Facts
• The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is one of the largest, rarest flowers on Earth.
• It is famous for the odor it emits when blooming — a smell said to resemble rotting flesh.
• Phipps’ corpse flower is affectionately named “Romero” after celebrated filmmaker George A. Romero, whose 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead was filmed in the Pittsburgh region.
• Romero was acquired by the Conservatory in 2010
• Corpse flowers only bloom every six – 10 years, making their blooms precious to witness.
• The corpse flower is native to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia; its western Pennsylvanian relatives include skunk cabbage and Jack in the pulpit.
• The corpse flower is the largest un-branched inflorescence (flower cluster) in the world.
• Since corpse flowers bloom so infrequently, flowering events cause great excitement across the globe.

Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Three More Nights of Winter Lights
Jan. 30, 2015; 5 – 11 p.m.
Feb. 6 and 13, 2015; 5 – 10 p.m.
Take one more walk through the dazzling light displays in our Outdoor and Children’s Discovery Gardens while our indoor spaces transform for the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show.
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show
Jan. 17 – March 1, 2015
Chase away the winter blues with the spectacular sight of orchid specimens arranged in beds and baskets, and see unique selections from our permanent collection of tropical bonsai.
Tropical Sundays
Sundays, Feb 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2015
Wear a tropical shirt and receive 50 percent off admission to relax under the palm trees, sway to music of Matthew Mazza and Carmen Bruno of the Tropical Sands Steel Band, and taste tropical fruit.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting Feb. 5, 2015
6 p.m., with networking and refreshments at 5:30 p.m.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network of creative minds meeting monthly to discuss strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. Join the conversation!
Tropical Forest Congo
Opens Feb. 7, 2015
The beauty of the tropics flourishes as we unveil Tropical Forest Congo, a new exhibit featuring some of Africa’s lushest landscapes. See varieties of flora never before showcased at Phipps and discover how indigenous tribes use plants to sustain and enrich their lives.
Tropical Forest Congo Opening Festival
Feb. 7, 2015
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Be among the first to see our new Tropical Forest Congo exhibit as our guest at a special opening celebration. Family-friendly activities include a storytelling performance, African-inspired food sampling, cultural crafts and a pot-a-plant station — all free with Phipps admission.
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party Feb. 13, 2015
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
Hothouse Happy Hours
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015
6 – 8 p.m.
Join us on Feb. 19 as we partner with the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) to kick off Hothouse Happy Hours, a series of events for young professionals, featuring specialty cocktails, beer and wine, inspired bites and dynamic special guests.
Seed, Perennial and Seedling Swap: 2015 Garden Season Opener
Feb. 28, 2015
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main
Join Phipps and Grow Pittsburgh at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland to swap seeds and plants, learn tips and get ready for a great season of gardening. Bring seeds you saved from last year and take home an exciting selection to grow in your garden this year. Admission is free to the public.
Garden Railroad
Closes March 1, 2015
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you back in time to the California Gold Rush — complete with water features, interactive buttons for children to push, and miniature living plants.