Hundreds of Colorful Butterflies Return to the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Glasshouse

 To celebrate the arrival of spring in a big way, Holden Forest & Gardens presents Return of the Butterflies at the Cleveland Botanical Garden – a visual treat with more than 600 newly emerged butterflies in Costa Rica biome beginning Saturday, April 3rd.

The butterflies in the Costa Rica biome will bring the Glasshouse to life—amazing, colorful, moving, exhilarating life and you’ll see them actively searching for nectar as food sources, flying around. “The sheer proliferation of butterflies is a memorable experience,” says Jillian Slane, director of exhibits and experiences. “You get to interact with them when you walk through the Glasshouse,” she relates. “It’s a strong bond and connection to nature.”

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow

Guests will be greeted with a stunning array of nearly 10 species of butterfly including:

  • Eliconius melpomene “Postman”
  • Caligo eurilochus “Giant Owl”
  • Dryas julia “Julia Longwing”
  • Heliconius charitonius “Zebra Longwing”
  • Siproeta epaphus “Rusty-Tipped Page”
  • Catonephele orites “Grecian Shoemaker”
  • Morpho peleides “Blue Morpho”
  • Siproeta stelenes “Malachite”

Acres and acres of outdoor gardens come to life during the month of April. Fragrant blooms of snowflake Viburnums, the charming pinwheel-like blooms of creeping phlox and the annual tulip display will all be able to be enjoyed later this month.

Trees have their flowering season including the stunning weeping cherry along with the ephemeral blooms of the apple serviceberry. In the Gateway garden be sure to enjoy the subtle and compelling blooms of the weeping katsura tree. Just beyond the fence of White Oak Walk you can’t miss the dramatic yellows of daffodils situated like golden curtains for an iridescent blue stage of Siberian squill.

A limited number of advanced reservations are available each day. Face masks must be worn in the interior garden building.

Rainforest Creature Feature: Guests are invited to meet the critters that call the Glasshouse home during special meet-and-greets with the animals Fridays through Sundays at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Get up close with a panther chameleon, radiated tortoises, an eastern box turtle, African bullfrog or smokey jungle frog, and Madagascar hissing roaches.

Learn and Grow with Us this Spring 

Spring Break in Costa Rica

Saturday, April 10 | 1:00- 3:00 p.m.
Instructor: Linda Kolton. Live, virtual program 
$35 per member, $50 per nonmember 

Eating is a way to travel the world: By exploring new cultures and food you can expand your horizons without leaving home. Join Chef Linda for a culinary journey to beautiful Costa Rica, where a wholesome, simple diet is at the heart of the culture. One region of Costa Rica, the Nicoya Peninsula, is home to one of the original “Blue Zones”, where people enjoy the longest and healthiest lives, in part, by eating a plant-forward diet. In this class, you’ll have an opportunity to cook along with Chef Linda & learn how to make plant-based versions of some of the country’s most popular dishes; Costa Rican Casado; a hearty, flavorful midday meal & tres leches cake, which Travel publisher, National Geographic, has called the national dessert of Costa Rica! Recipes and shopping lists will be emailed one week prior to the class. Registration closes on Friday, March 26. 

April 13: How does a garden grow?  Come on our Strolling Stories and enjoy along with Lola in Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn all the steps to make a garden grow.  Participants will leave with the materials to make a small window starter garden at home.


April 20: If you look closely you will see the trees are budding and some small leaves are on their way! Have You Seen Trees? by Joanne Oppenheim delights in trees and invites you to examine and enjoy them all year long on this Strolling Story.  Participants will make an art project using pressed leaves.

April 27: Spring is here and in the Hershey Children’s Garden our pond is waking up from winter.  Come and enjoy seeing what small ponds have to offer throughout the year on this Strolling Story reading In the Small Small Pond by Denise Fleming.  Make your own craft dragonfly to take home.

About Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Forests & Gardens

Cleveland Botanical Garden, located in Cleveland’s University Circle cultural district, is an ever-changing 10-acre urban oasis where visitors find enrichment and inspiration through themed outdoor gardens, an exotic Glasshouse and seasonal experiences. The Cleveland Botanical Garden is part of Holden Forests & Gardens along with the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio.  Holden Forests & Gardens is making a positive impact on the community and region through urban greening and forestry initiatives, environmental research, educational programs, and world-class visitor experiences at its two campuses. For more information, visit