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

Summer Flower Show
May 10 – Oct. 5, 2014
The whimsical miniature world of Garden Railroad takes center stage at Phipps this summer. With themed railroad displays in multiple exhibit rooms enhanced by unique plantings, interactive features and more, this show will bring the wonder of childhood to visitors of all ages.
Farmers at Phipps
Wednesdays, June – October 2014
2:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Refresh your food shopping experience! Visit our sustainably managed front lawn to browse organic and Certified Naturally Grown fruits, vegetables and more from local farms.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting Oct. 2, 2014
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!
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party Oct. 3, 2014
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.
BETA Art Tours
First and third Saturdays, July – October 2014
Next Tour Oct. 4
11 a.m. – noon
Discover the BETA Project, a new collection of art at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes designed to enhance and restore the bonds between people and the natural world. Tours are free for members; however, space is limited and reservations are required by the Thursday prior to each tour date. To reserve, please contact us at 412/622-6915, ext. 6505 or
Fall Flower Show
Oct. 18 – Nov. 9, 2014
In celebration of the harvest season and its changing hues, this colorful exhibit showcases beautiful chrysanthemums, vibrant foliage and other festive flowers as tiny trains wind their way through many of the Conservatory’s display rooms.
Halloween Happenings
Oct. 24, 2014
4 – 8 p.m.
When you feel a chill in the air and start to see pumpkins everywhere, you know it's almost Halloween! Bring costumed kids for a spooktacular time in the gardens as we offer a host of healthy snacks and family fun, including games and a pot-a-plant activity. All activities are free with Conservatory admission.
Native Plant and Sustainability Conference
Nov. 1, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh
Phipps’ annual Native Plant and Sustainability Conference brings together national experts for a one-day forum on plants, landscapes and our roles as environmental stewards. This year’s program pairs an entomologist with a landscape designer to help illuminate how a well-designed landscape can be a place of beauty while fulfilling several important ecological functions.
Garden Railroad
Now Open
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you to Phipps Prehistoric Park — a whimsical world where dinosaurs are brought back to life! Full of surprises, detailed models, moving parts and trains, this can't-miss exhibit is a thrilling adventure for all ages.
Tropical Forest India
Now Open
Explore our new exhibit showcasing one of the most botanically rich regions of the world. Highlights include an Ayurvedic healing garden, spice and tea market displays, a stunning temple facade on Special Events Hall, and more!