Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition explores light and shadow

Small Postman_photo by WilliamJHebert.jpg

Photo by William J Hebert

Whether frolicking in the sun or feeding in the shade, the butterflies of spring’s most anticipated exhibition put on a remarkable show as they play in the light and shadows of our tropical paradise.

Soon, thousands of butterflies will spread their wings to soar and delight as they take over the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. This year marks our 24th annual butterfly exhibition, and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store. Butterflies from Africa, Asia, Central and South America will soon call our tropical paradise home, with more than 60 species of butterflies inhabiting our five-story tall glass peaks, abloom with tropical bromeliads, orchids, orange plume flower, pentas and flowering vines like queen’s wreath and bleeding heart.


New this year: our Observation Station

As you stroll, watch the interplay of light and shadow on the forest floor. Observe butterflies as they glide or rest in the shadows and fly busily through patches of sunlight. Notice a rich carpet of foliage punctuated by bright red, orange, and chartreuse plantings, creating an irresistible backdrop of color for observing the butterflies. Find the beguiling longwings, great mormon swallowtails, giant charaxes and translucent paper kites as they swoop and sip on savory nectar plants. See how the light catches the iridescent wings of the common morpho, emerald swallowtail and blue wing.

Be sure to stop by the sleek, all new Observation Station where nearly 1,000
butterflies emerge weekly from their delicate chrysalids to take their first flight with us.
Because we receive a variety of species each week, the exhibition continually changes, so
visit often and at different times of the day. Don’t forget to check for monarch caterpillars as they munch on milkweed in the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy the beauty of the tropical butterflies, and will learn all about the life cycle of a butterfly, from caterpillar to the butterfly’s first flight. More than 8,000 area students from 210 schools will experience this exhibition!

When you plan your visit, consider including must-see events like Tuesday Night
Lights, Night of the Butterflies member parties and outdoor children’s activities in the
Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Stop by the Information Desk for exact dates and times.
We look forward to exploring with you.


Photo by Tara Fletcher

This exhibition is possible thanks to the tremendous support of our partners:

Howard Miller Company
Foremost Graphics Group
The Meijer Foundation
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation
Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs / Art Works / National Endowment for the Arts

Media Partners:
Star 105.7
Blue Lake Public Radio

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