What’s the Monarch Butterfly exhibit?

The Monarch Butterfly exhibit is like rainbows and flowers. You just have to stop and marvel at this natural spectacle! View this at the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion in the spring and fall at the Desert Botanical Gardens Phoenix.

Monarch ButterflyMonarch Butterfly

If you miss seeing the exhibit in the fall there is another one in the spring.

The Spring Butterfly Exhibit comes back in March 2017.

The Mariposa Monarca is a must-do experience if you happen to be at the Desert Botanical Gardens when the butterflies are active. For a mere few dollars or free if you are a member you will see up close the fragile and colorful butterflies in an environment that nurtures them.

Follow the signs and you will see a large screened green structure that shields the butterflies from the harsh sun. You’d think the inside would be steamy hot but there are water misters that come on regularly to keep you and the butterflies comfortable.

Butterfly Pavilion ExteriorButterfly Pavilion Exterior

Butterfly Interior with Water MistersButterfly Interior with Water Misters

First you will step into a small room. It’s there to keep the critters inside. Same with when you exit, look around to make sure no butterflies are hitch-hiking on your clothing.

Then a whole new world opens to you with the sounds of a gleeful kids, trickling water by the pond, and the quiet hiss of the water misters. Look and you will see fast moving shadows that are from the showy orange Monarch Butterflies. Hundreds of them! Look down and you will see them in the flowers drinking the nectar. Here’s a movie of one flitting by a lily pond with goldfish.

Monarch Butterfly by Lily Pond

Inside you will see signs that help kids understand the cyclical nature of butterflies. How they start as a tiny egg on a leaf of the milkweed plant. Then they turn into a ravenous caterpillar until they form into a green jewel like hanging structure called the chrysalis and then finally in the form we love the best—the butterfly.

Look up into the flowering bushes and there are loads of butterflies. Here’s a movie of some fast moving butterflies.

Monarch Butterflies in Flower Tree

Look carefully in the flower beds and you will notice more feeding butterflies. At this stage of their development they drink nectar mostly so flowers are their food. Hence all the flowers in the butterfly pavilion! If you want to attract butterflies in your backyard there is a handout that will tell you what flowers are best to attract butterflies.

Butterfly in Flower Bed

Butterflies like some sun because they need warmth to heat their bodies so they can fly. So rocks on the ground are useful in gardens in the cooler months. And yet butterflies need some shade to protect them from predators and the wind. So trees and shelter serve this purpose.

When you leave the pavilion know that the next time you see a fast moving shadow it could be a butterfly! Look around and see if you can spot one of these beautiful creatures in the desert brambles at the Desert Botanical Garden Phoenix.

So did you like this detour at the Desert Botanical Garden? Then you like lepidopterology. That's a fancy name for the study of butterflies and moths. Go ahead and impress your friends.

The Monarch Butterfly exhibit is moving

The new butterfly pavilion is moving to new quarters in the Spring of 2017.  Last season at the old location was spring 2015.  See their website for more information: https://dbg.org/explore/exhibits/

Return from Monarch Butterfly to Mesa-Goodlife
Return from Monarch Butterfly to the Desert Botanical Garden and map

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.