Welcome Fall Butterflies
The Monarch Butterfly Exhibit is presented each fall at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
Once you have entered the Garden, the Butterfly Pavilion is easy to find. There are maps distributed at the entrance and signs along the paths directing you there. All ages are permitted into the exhibit.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: The scientific name for the monarch butterfly is Danaus plexippus.
Photograph a Butterfly
You'll want to bring your camera to the Desert Botanical Garden. A zoom lens is a plus for this butterfly exhibit.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: Monarch butterflies are primarily found in North America, where their migratory patterns are being studied. These butterflies don't migrate to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, however. They are brought to the garden for the enjoyment of the guests and for study.
Best Time To Go
If you can, visit the Monarch butterflies on a weekday when it isn't very crowded at the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden staff is great about not establishing a time limit for your visit, and they encourage you to take your time and even have a seat for a few minutes to enjoy these special beauties. On weekends, though, it does get crowded, and people will be waiting for you to exit so that they, too, can enter and enjoy these fascinating creatures up close.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: Migratory Monarch butterflies emerge in the late summer or early fall and live for approximately eight months. Non-migratory Monarchs have a much shorter lifespan—just a few weeks.
There are plenty of staffers on hand to make sure that the butterflies are protected, that they don't escape the enclosed area, and that they are not harmed. From time to time butterflies will land on the paths, so be careful not to step on them.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: The butterfly migration from Canada through North America to Mexico and back again does not happen during the lifetime of a single butterfly. It takes several generations to complete each migratory cycle.
Don't Touch the Monarchs
The butterflies are very fragile—please don't touch them!
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: No one really knows how generations of Monarchs consistently return the to the same locations during their part of the migration process.
Before you leave the butterfly pavilion, you'll want to make sure that there aren't any Monarchs attached to you or your clothing.
Don't forget to come back to the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion in the spring, when several varieties of butterflies will be on hand. If you're lucky, you'll be able to spot Arizona's official state butterfly there. It's the two-tailed swallowtail.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: Monarch butterflies can live a life of six to eight weeks in a garden that has sufficient flowers for nectar.
Information and Crafts
At the Desert Botanical Garden you will be able to read (in English and Spanish) interpretive displays about the life cycle, migration patterns, environmental threats and conservation efforts relating to Monarch butterflies.
Outside the butterfly exhibit there is a craft area where children can create their own butterflies to take with them.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: Generally, Monarchs in Arizona are the migratory kind. Non-migratory Monarchs can be found in southeastern states.
Dates and Location
The Monarch Butterfly Exhibit is open usually from the end of September until mid-November. The butterfly exhibit is included with your regular admission to the Garden.
Monarch Butterfly Factoid: In 1989 legislation was introduced to name the Monarch butterfly was as the national insect of the United States of America. Congress did not pass that law. The U.S. does not have a national insect at this time.