The butterflies spring out at Meijer Gardens starting March 1

Butterflies of all colors and patterns will be flying around Meijer Gardens’ tropical conservatory starting March 1. (Supplied)

WKTV Staff


Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s tropical conservatory, starting Wednesday, March 1, will be home to the first of more than 7,000 tropical butterflies that will be hatched and start flying around the heads of both children and adults alike.


Can’t you just see the Facebook photo?


Butterflies are Blooming runs through April 30. The annual show attracted more than 170,000 visitors last year.


With butterflies from Africa, Asia, South America and Central America, Butterflies Are Blooming is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation, according to Meijer Gardens.


The Atlas moth (not really a butterfly, but big and beautiful) will be making an appearance. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/William Hebert)

Approximately 60 colorful species will be flying freely in the five-story, 15,000 square-foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, wherein the 85-degrees and 70-percent humidity environment mimics tropical regions that the butterflies call home.


“Our exhibition this year celebrates shape and pattern,” Steve LaWarre, director of horticulture, said in supplied material. “The butterflies and the natural environment of the conservatory are wonderful examples of how these patterns reveal themselves all around us. This exhibition provides a superb opportunity for our guests to view caterpillars, wings, flowers and foliage with a renewed appreciation for the world around us.”


Species of butterflies expected to arrive include the blue Common Morpho, whose iridescence impresses in flight; brushfoot varieties such as the Clearwing, Lacewing and Zebra Mosaic; the “Longwings” such as the Small Blue Grecian, Doris, Postman and Tiger butterflies; and the “Gliders” such as the Emperor, Ruby-spotted and Tropical Swallowtails.


Special related events include “Who Am I?” A Butterfly Ballet”, with two shows on both March 4 and March 18, a program performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company; as well as Tuesday Night Lights, running each week throughout the exhibit’s run, where visitors bring their flashlights to find the butterflies at rest throughout the conservatory.


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