BigNews.Biz - Apr 29,2012 - Butterflies & Blooms Coming This Summer
Saturday, June 2, 2012 - Monday, September 3, 2012
– The Chicago Botanic Garden, with a collection of over 2.5 million plants, has long been an oasis for pollinators, including a diverse array of butterflies. On Saturday, June 2, the Garden will debut Butterflies & Blooms, an outdoor butterfly garden where visitors can immerse themselves with hundreds of live tropical butterfly species from around the world. Butterflies native to South America, Asia, North America and Africa as well as native species from Illinois will be featured in the 2,800-square-foot white mesh enclosure on the lawn of The Learning Campus. Butterflies & Blooms will be open, weather permitting, through Monday, September 3, 2012.
A field guide will be available to help visitors identify dozens of species in the exhibition. Up to 500 butterflies can be seen on most visits. Visitors can also observe butterflies hatching through a window into the pupa emergence room. In addition to the native butterflies we commonly see in the area such as monarchs (Danaus plexippus), visitors will find exotic butterflies such as the blue morpho (Morpho peleides), owl butterfly (Caligo memnon) and emerald swallowtail (Papilio palinurus). The “Blooms” portion of the exhibition will feature nectar plants such as Red star cluster (Pentas lanceolata), porterweed (Stachytarpheta sp.), spicy jatropha (Jatropha integerrima), sweet almond verbena (Aloysia virgata), Mayan spinach tree (Cnidoscolus chayamansa), Panama rose (Rondeletia leucophylla), plumed celosia (Celosia argentea), lantana (Lantana camara), golden dewdrop (Duranta erecta), tropical sage (Salvia sp.) and many more.
Butterflies like the fresh scent of newly opened flowers and must land before they can use their proboscis (straw-like structure) to drink the nectar. Nectar is their primary, or preferred, food source. Specific butterflies are attracted to specific flowering plants for nectar.
Butterflies and moths make up a large group of insects known as the Order Lepidoptera. The name derives from the Greek lepido or scale, and ptera or wings and refers to the tiny scales that cover the wings and the rest of the body. Active during the day, butterflies and moths live almost everywhere around the world, from the Arctic tundra to tropical rain forests. There are over 18,000 species of butterflies, most of which usually live 2-3 weeks, but some can live longer.
Butterflies & Blooms will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily June 2 through September 3, 2012, weather permitting. Tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for children (ages 3-12). Members receive $1 off each price; Garden Plus members are free on Wednesdays throughout the exhibition. Combination tickets are available for Butterflies & Blooms and the Model Railroad Garden and cost $8 for adults; $5 for children (Ages 3-12). Members receive $1 off each ticket price; Garden Plus members are free on Wednesdays throughout the exhibition. A 10-visit pass is available for $28 (one punch per person in the party entering).
Butterflies & Blooms is made possible through the generous support of The Grainger Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois. Admission