Out of the Blue: Morpho Butterflies visit Powell Gardens in March

A brilliant wave of blue brings an early spring to Powell Gardens during “Out of the Blue,” a new exhibit featuring one of the world’s largest butterflies—the Blue Morpho.

From March 7 through March 31, visitors will experience the conservatory as a tropical rainforest filled with these magical butterflies, best known for their sparkling iridescent blue wings and flashy flight patterns.

The Blue Morphos come from El Bosque Nuevo, a Costa Rican butterfly farm that uses 100 percent of its proceeds for reforestation, rainforest conservation and research. As rainforest inhabitants who spend most of their time in the understory, Blue Morphos sport clever camouflage on the underside of their wings that protects them as they feed on fermenting fruit and tree sap.

The rainforest theme in the conservatory lends itself to a full display of tropical plants in Powell Gardens’ collection—which includes orchids, begonias and more.

Timed to coincide with spring breaks across the area, the exhibit also will include hands-on learning about rainforest and butterfly conservation both locally and around the world.

The exhibit will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily March 7 through March 31. Admission is $10/adults, $4/children ages 5-12 and free for Friends of Powell Gardens. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in a shimmering sea of blue!
Take a closer look at the science behind these mystical butterflies and learn more about their critical role in conservation during special activities throughout the exhibit. 

Daily, you’ll find information about the Blue Morpho, a look at what’s going on with local butterfly species in March and an interactive art project. Special weekend events include:

March 7-8: Why Rainforests Matter
Discover the wonders of the rainforest and understand how conservation efforts affect our lives at this discovery station, with hourly chicle gum-making demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday.

March 14-15: Where Tech and Nature Meet
Find out how high-tech innovations and life-changing inventions were inspired by nature, including the light-refracting wings of the Blue Morpho.

March 21-22: Local Flying Gems
Learn more about the beautiful butterflies and moths that make our region their home during this discovery station. Make a butterfly seed bomb to take home from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday.

March 28-29: Fancy Nancy Storytelling
Storyteller extraordinaire Dawnna Morris returns as Fancy Nancy to share stories at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. This weekend also features a discovery station to show how plants and animals of the tropics adapt for their survival.