Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming

March 1 - 2023-04-30

Included with admission, see
Hours & Rates

The annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. Tropical butterflies from around the world fly freely in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory every March and April.

Throughout the exhibition, there is special educational programming and the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden offers butterfly-themed activities.

7,000

TROPICAL BUTTERFLIES

60

DIFFERENT SPECIES

85°

TEMPERATURE

70%

HUMIDITY

The Butterflies

Brush-footed

The front legs of brush-footed butterflies are reduced to small “brushes.” These butterflies include some of the most brilliantly colored and patterned. Some have iridescent colors: Watch to see how they seem to change in flight.

Longwings

These butterflies are named for the long, narrow shape of their wings. They taste terrible to predators and warn them through their bright colors and distinctive patterns, which vary greatly depending on their region of origin.

Swallowtails

These butterflies are named for the “tails” on many—but not all—species. Swallowtails are powerful fliers; in flight, their tails are used for gliding. When swallowtails are at rest, birds may mistake the butterflies’ tails as their head and antennae, providing them protection from predators.

Observation Station

The butterflies emerge daily from chrysalides, or cocoons, at the Observation Station. To help ease their transition to the open conservatory, staff will collect and release adult butterflies throughout the day.

Hot Spots

The conservatory provides the perfect “home away from home” for the butterflies. Look around carefully, under leafy cover or high up in the canopy—butterflies may be difficult to spot when resting. Butterflies are more active than usual on sunny days. 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!

Extended Hours

Tuesday Night Lights

Bring your flashlight and search for butterflies with us every Tuesday night in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, until 9 pm.

Exhibition Rules

  • Please don’t touch the butterflies! Sometimes, butterflies may land on you. Let them be and enjoy the rare close encounter. Please be careful they don’t hitch a ride with you as you exit the conservatory.
  • Due to governmental regulations, no butterfly or plant materials may leave the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.
  • During the butterfly exhibition, tripods are not allowed in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. While monopods may be used, please be courteous to other guests.

Sponsors

Exhibition Sponsors

DTE Energy Foundation
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 and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts

Media Sponsors

Brush-footed

The front legs of brush-footed butterflies are reduced to small “brushes.” These butterflies include some of the most brilliantly colored and patterned. Some have iridescent colors: Watch to see how they seem to change in flight.

Longwings

These butterflies are named for the long, narrow shape of their wings. They taste terrible to predators and warn them through their bright colors and distinctive patterns, which vary greatly depending on their region of origin.

Swallowtails

These butterflies are named for the “tails” on many—but not all—species. Swallowtails are powerful fliers; in flight, their tails are used for gliding. When swallowtails are at rest, birds may mistake the butterflies’ tails as their head and antennae, providing them protection from predators.