Blooms and Butterflies at the Franklin Park Conservatory
By Heather Rader

Blooms and Butterflies at the Franklin Park Conservatory

Spring has finally sprung in Ohio, and a great way to enjoy this wonderful season is with a visit to the Blooms and Butterflies exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens!

Photo: Heather Rader

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located just east of downtown Columbus, and is settled in the 88-acres of Franklin Park. Home to over 400 plant species inside the Conservatory glass greenhouses located throughout the Himalayan Mountain Biome, Rainforest Biome, Desert Biome, Pacific Island Water Garden, Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse, and the Palm House. With exotic plant species, beautiful landscaped botanical gardens with 70,000 planted spring bulbs, a permanent collection of Dale Chihuly glass artwork, and special exhibitions and seasonal displays throughout the year, a visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will delight nature-loving visitors of all ages!

Photo: Heather Rader

One of the biggest attractions at Franklin Park Conservatory is the annual Blooms and Butterflies exhibit. During this six-month (March 7- September 27, 2015) exhibition over 116,000 visitors will experience the captivating life cycle and environmental importance of butterflies. Start your visit at the Emergence Center to learn about the butterfly life cycle and to view hundreds of chrysalises (cocoons) which showcase dozens of exotic butterfly species from Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and South America.

Photo: Heather Rader

Next, visit the Pacific Island Water Garden Biome, home to dozens of colorful nectar and tropical plant species, a peaceful Koi pond, and a stunning collection of Dale Chihuly glass artwork. Inside this tropical paradise, visitors are welcomed by over 2,000 (number of live butterflies varies daily) free-flying butterflies that flourish in this warm habitat. On bright and sunny days, the butterflies are more active, fluttering about the habitat and showing off their beauty. With the sun shining through the glass ceiling above, lush tropical greenery, beautiful exotic butterflies, and warm tropic temperatures, a visit to the Pacific Island Water Garden Biome will transport you to a tropical oasis.

Photo: Heather Rader

During the six-month Blooms and Butterflies exhibition, over 23,000 butterflies will be released into the Pacific Island Water Garden Biome! Daily educational presentations and newly emerged butterfly releases are scheduled at 1pm and 3pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to speak with Franklin Park Conservatory staff and to learn about the tropical butterfly species. Weekly Family Fun Events are held on Saturdays (free with admission unless otherwise noted) and encourages families to create a nature inspired craft and/or to participate in nature inspired educational demonstrations. A visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will inspire the horticulturist in you and brighten your day!

To plan your visit to the Blooms and Butterflies exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens visit www.fpconservatory.org.

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