Butterfly Exhibit in the Clinton Family Conservatory


A World of Fluttering Color

Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.

Welcome to the Wings of the Tropics exhibit in The Clinton Family Conservatory, where you can see hundreds of spectacular butterflies year-round. As you wander the paths, look for exotic species such as heliconius, morphos, and owl butterflies from Central and South America. More than 40+ species are continually rotated, creating a living rainbow and wonderful educational opportunities for you and your family. This exhibit is a one-of-a-kind experience made even more spectacular by the stunning display of tropical plants and orchids. 

What to Expect During Your Visit

When you arrive at the Wings of the Tropics exhibit, you’ll be greeted by our friendly volunteers who will explain the exhibit’s safety and containment requirements. The conservatory is a USDA-approved facility, which requires us to follow specific containment procedures. Please follow these procedures to ensure the best possible experience for both you and our delicate, fluttering friends.

Vollmer Metamorphosis Lab

Watch butterflies emerge from chrysalises at the Vollmer Metamorphosis Lab. Learn the process of nurturing and managing these fledgling butterflies as you witness their transformation in real time. And watch as hundreds of butterflies, 40 species or more at a time, take flight into the Wings of the Tropics exhibit during our twice-daily butterfly releases.

Enclosures near the Vollmer Metamorphosis Lab also display tropical insects, such as Australian prickly sticks, Malaysian jungle nymphs, Hercules beetles, derby flower beetles, and elephant beetles. The species on display are subject to change.

Daily Releases

Join in the excitement as we release the butterflies! Twice a day, kids and kids at heart will have a chance to experience these winged wonders up close and watch them take flight. Butterfly releases take place around mid-morning and mid-afternoon. 

Butterfly Bonanza Discovery Cart (weekends)

Come visit, learn and chat with our expertly trained volunteers at the All About Butterflies Discovery Cart. You’ll get to know all about the life cycle, biology, and fascinating anatomical features of the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) family. This program runs year-round from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every weekend. Don’t miss it!

Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House, and Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion

When you depart the Wings of the Tropics exhibit, exit into the Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House. From there, proceed to the Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion to round out your tropical conservatory experience.

For safety reasons, strollers are not permitted inside the exhibit. Stroller parking is available.

boys butterfly


Butterfly Lab

Greta oto Glasswing on Ageratyn

Heliconius doris in pink Dombeya

Heliconius hewitsoni

Idea leuconoe Paper Kite

Idea leuconoe Paper Kite

Kids Learning Conservation