Dearly Beloved: Purple Passion Infuses Como Conservatory’s 2016 Summer Flower Show


Dearly beloved: Our mania for Prince, and all things purple, continues unabated. In addition to a new mural in Uptown (practically painted overnight), musical tributes and celebrations, purple light shows across the cities, this week’s “Purple Rain” cover on the New Yorker, and a purple bagel day at Bruegger’s, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show in Como Park Zoo & Conservatory opens Saturday, April 30. And the star of the show? But of course: a new lily called “Purple Prince.”

“In a beautiful coincidence only befitting Prince’s world-wide prominence, his life and the significance of his artistic work, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show presents a botanical color scheme of purple and lavender, featuring a new Oriental Trumpet hybrid Lily named ‘Purple Prince’,” according to a Como Park press release. “Some other prominent purples include Purpletop Vervain, Russian Sage, Beebalm, Butterfly Bush, and Heliotrope. Purple white and lavender Roses, Caladiums, and Petunias will continue the color theme.”

The violaceously floral tribute takes place in the Sunken Garden. There’s more. Gorgeously detailed photographs of moth by Bill Johnson opens in Como’s Exhibit Gallery. No purple ones in “The Amazing World of Moths,” although the Rosy Maple Moth comes close. But many of the flowers the moths pollinate, and with which they’re pictured, are mauve, purple, lavender or similar tints. And Johnson’s subjects are as dazzling in all of their natural finery as the passed Purple One was in his heels, bling and custom-designed coats while commanding the stage.



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