Spread Your Wings


Can you tell a girl butterfly from a boy butterfly?

Can you tell a girl butterfly from a boy butterfly? The experts at the Chatfield Botanic Gardens’ new butterfly habitat can teach us this and so much more. 


“This project has been in the works for about a year now.”  Director of Botanic Gardens, Larry Vickerman said. Butterflies at Chatfield is open and ready for visitors! The Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster and the Denver Botanic Gardens decided to merge their expertise together to make a butterfly habitat. This habitat will be open until they get a good frost, they are hoping to have up until early October. The best day to come to the butterfly habitat is on a warm and sunny day because cold-blooded butterflies need warmth to spread their wings. Butterflies will vary from day to day, but a butterfly that visitors will almost always find is the Monarch. These butterflies are expected to be a Colorado fan favorite.


All the butterflies and plants in the habitat are native to Colorado, so these are plants that you can grow in your garden and butterflies that can be found in your own backyard.  Visitors can learn so much, including how to tell the different species apart, how different plants and animals need each other to survive, the lifecycle of a butterfly, and even how to make your own nectar!


Marissa Copan, Butterfly Pavilion Programs Director said, “I’m hoping that the public will learn about native plants and butterflies and how to plant plants in your garden that can attract butterflies.” The habitat always has butterfly gardeners and butterfly education experts around to answer your questions. A question you might have in mind right now is, where do they get all their butterflies? They actually get them in chrysalis form shipped in by a local butterfly farmer. This butterfly habitat is great way to gain knowledge and find an appreciation for Colorado grown plants and butterflies!


Butterflies at Chatfield

Location: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, last entry at 4 p.m.

Cost: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children age 3-12