Arts & Entertainment and Travel & Tourism

Meijer Gardens exhibits 'Butterflies are Blooming'

March 1, 2016
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Meijer Gardens spans world with Butterflies in Bloom
Meijer Gardens’ annual butterflies exhibit features thousands of exotic species. Courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter “Butterflies are Blooming” exhibition opens today.

The exhibit runs through April 30.

Each year, the butterflies attract more than 170,000 visitors from across the nation.

The exhibit, which is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation, will consist of butterflies from Africa, Asia, South America and Central America.

Meijer Gardens said about 60 colorful species will “fly freely” in the five-story Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory throughout the next two months.

Species of butterflies include the blue Common Morpho, whose iridescence impresses in flight, brushfoot varieties like the Clearwing, Lacewing and Zebra Mosaic. Likewise, the Longwings captivate with distinctive patterns as seen in the Blue, Doris, Postman and Tiger.

Gliders like the Emperor, Ruby-spotted and Tropical Swallowtails will also add to the variety.

More than 800 pupae arrive at Meijer Gardens weekly during the exhibition.

Visitors can watch as delicate chrysalides and cocoons are placed in the Butterfly Bungalow, where adult butterflies and moths emerge and spread their wings for the first time.

The Caterpillar Room, located within The Seasonal Display Greenhouse, features Monarch caterpillars.

Visitors can watch as the caterpillars feed on tropical milkweed plants and after two weeks of tremendous growth, the caterpillars will look for a suitable place to form their chrysalides.

Over 900 nectar plants support the butterflies while they make Meijer Gardens their home.

These nectar plants will be complemented by displays of vivid blooms that add color and dimension to the exhibition.

Meijer Gardens said visitors should look for “Maui Red” lxora plants, the most colorful member of the coffee family, and “Cranberry Punch” and “Ruby Glow” pentas, which feature tiny star-shaped flowers laden with nectar.

The exhibit is included in Meijer Gardens' regular cost of admission. 

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