Tuesday Night Lights
Bring your flashlight and search for butterflies with us every Tuesday night in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory until 9 pm.
Open until 9 pm on April 1, April 4-8.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is proud to welcome the 27th year of the Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming. Experience the power of flowers. This year, over 60 species of butterflies from Asia, Africa, and Central & South America, will once again take flight in the warm, lush environment of the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.
Join us for the following special events held at Meijer Gardens
No pre-registation required; Included with admission
SMART Gardening to Support Monarchs*
Sunday, March 13, 2–3:30 pm
Dr. Erwin ‘Duke’ Elsner, Extension Educator, Michigan State University
Learn how landowners and gardeners can make an impact in supporting monarch populations at home! Dr. Elsner will highlight how lawns, gardens, and landscaping make a significant “green space” in urban and residential areas. He’ll then demonstrate how easy it is to make monarch-friendly choices in plant selection, garden design and pest management practices that help make a difference for the future of monarchs—one garden at a time.
Flower House Detroit
Sunday, March 27, 2–3:30 pm
Lisa Waud, Botanical Artist, Flower House Detroit
In October 2015, 37 floral designers and more than 100 volunteers from across North America came together to fill an abandoned Detroit house with American-grown fresh flowers and living plants. In this lecture, botanical installation artist Lisa Waud describes her extraordinary project from idea to exhibition, discussing what about the installation was so magnetic to so many people across the world—exploring her thoughts on beauty, blight, and nostalgia, and the themes of risk-taking, logistics, and collaboration through the lens of the large-scale installation. Lisa Waud will present virtually through Zoom to the audience at Meijer Gardens.
Flower Power Exploration Stations
Sunday, April 24, 2-3:30 pm
Take a closer look at flowers and butterflies at a variety of stations in this self-guided drop-in program. Use microscopes and iPads to explore the powerful connection between flowers and their insect pollinators, as well as observe their striking adaptations and diversity.
The butterflies emerge from chrysalides, or cocoons, daily at the new and improved Observation Station. To help ease their transition to the open conservatory, staff will collect and release adult butterflies throughout the day.
The conservatory provides the perfect “home away from home” for the butterflies. Look around carefully, under leafy cover or high up in the canopy—they may be difficult to spot when they are resting. Butterflies are more active than usual on sunny days.
Feeding stations provide a great spot to closely watch and identify butterflies as they feast on a honey-water solution. Also look for trays of juicy, overripe fruit.
Watch the butterflies as they land on the Orchid Wall searching for nectar.
Stream Bed & Waterfall
Common Morpho butterflies can often be seen chasing each other along the streambed and past the waterfall. Many butterflies flock to the plants along the streambed. The damp soil is a hot spot for watching butterflies probe for minerals.
Double Coconut Island
This sunny spot is a magnet for butterflies. Watch them basking in the sun, visiting nectar-rich flowers.
The Caterpillar Room
Look for Monarch caterpillars as they roam freely through the greenhouse.
Stop by the butterfly release pedestal to watch butterflies take their first flight.
Sometimes butterflies may even land on you! Let them be and enjoy the rare close encounter. But be careful they don’t hitch a ride with you as you exit the conservatory!
During the butterfly exhibition, tripods are not allowed in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Monopods may be used, but please be courteous to other guests.
Due to governmental regulations, no butterfly or plant materials may leave the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.
Please don’t touch the butterflies.
The front legs of brush-footed butterflies are reduced to small “brushes.” They include some of the most brilliantly colored and patterned butterflies. Some have iridescent colors—watch how the color seems to change when they fly.
Great Orange Tip
These butterflies are named for the long, narrow shape of their wings. They taste terrible to predators and warn them with bright colors and distinctive patterns. Colors and patterns vary greatly, depending on their region of origin.
These butterflies are named for the “tails” on many (but not all) species. Swallowtails are powerful fliers and in flight, the tails are used for gliding. When at rest, birds may mistake the tails as the butterfly's head and antennae, providing protection from predators.
Take a closer look at flowers and butterflies at a variety of stations in this self-guided drop-in program.
The Howard Miller Company
The Meijer Foundation
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation
Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts