For the second time this year, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s talented team of horticulturists have created a stunning flower show that most Como visitors may not get the chance to see. While the statewide lock-down is definitely not cooperating with Como’s horticultural calendar, hitting the pause button on public visitors did make it possible to invite a passel of Como Zoo penguins over to the Sunken Garden recently to experience this long-running Minnesota tradition. (These ever-so-elegant animal ambassadors will also be making an appearance on KARE 11 this Saturday, December 19 at 9 a.m.)

Grown in Como’s behind-the-scenes greenhouse for several months, this year’s show-stopping Cortez Burgundy and Golden Glo Poinsettias are now in full bloom through January 3. A treat for the senses, the vivid holiday colors are accented by rosemary, coleus, scented geranium, yellow walking iris, lemon trees, and towering ferns that fan over the stone walls. This year also features beautiful topiary trees generously donated by the Saint Paul Garden Club.

The Holiday Flower Show at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory has been a tradition for families and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory visitors since 1925. It is our pleasure to bring it to you virtually this year until it is safe to visit in person again.

Poinsettias are actually considered a shrub or small tree, and are chosen for the holidays for their perfect star shaped flowers and leaves. They are particularly well known for their red and green foliage, but come in other colors as well. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who is credited with introducing the plant to the US in the 1820s.

For more than a century, Como’s rotating flower shows are always a source for inspiration and renewal—even from a distance. Thanks to your support for Como Friends, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory will have the resources it needs to keep growing, and to cultivate plans for the future when we can gather again in good health.

With our best wishes for you and your families this holiday season, thank you for all you do to support Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, a beloved Minnesota treasure!

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  • Geri Kagan says:

    After the winter poinsettia display, would it be possible to purchase poinsettias? Thanks – the photos are great! Geri Kagan

  • Kathryn Miller says:

    This is a fabulous photo array. Thank you for a ray of sunshine.

  • Janet Koenst says:

    Thank You for the beautiful show. I loved every frame. So sorry I could not see it “for real” You always do a wonderful job and again 2020 did not disappoint. Merry Christmas and Happy hopes for 2021! Thanks again.

  • cindy clark says:

    Thank you so much. We love to see the Poinsettia display, and we will miss seeing it in person this year, but we are so glad that you and the penguins have given us a guided tour.

  • Patty Johnson says:

    Thanks for another beautiful display .
    I’m glad to see the Penguins are enjoying their stroll through the sunken garden for us . It is fun to see the floral display through their eyes .
    What are the Penguins ‘ names ?
    Merry Christmas to them and also to the staff at Como who keep the zoo and conservatory in tip top shape .

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