Butterflies are sometimes called “flying flowers,” so it’s easy to see why butterflies are always a sought-after addition to any garden. With their range of colors, patterns, and shapes, they bring beauty and life to any environment. Plus, they are fun to see. Find these five winged friends flying, sunning themselves, or having a snack at the Butterflies & Blooms exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden this summer.
Scarlet Mormon (Papilio rumanzovia)
The red and black Scarlet Mormon is native to Southeast Asia and Australia. This elegant butterfly is partial to citrus plants.
Fun fact: Male and female Scarlet Mormon are dimorphic, which means they look different from one another.
Blue or Common Morpho (Morpho Peleides)
A coveted classic, the Blue or Common Morpho is always a popular butterfly to see in Butterflies & Blooms. This blue beauty is native to Central and South America. They have varied tastes in food, including rotting fruit, decaying animal matter, tree sap, fungi, and wet mud.
Fun fact: Blue or Common Morphos have a lifespan of 115 days. That’s a little over the entire length of one summer!
Great Yellow Mormon (Papilio lowii)
This striped stunner has a unique, intricate design that’s hard to miss. Native to Borneo, Indonesia, and the Philippines, this butterfly feeds on various flowers; its larvae feeds on citrus plants.
Fun fact: It is named after British colonial administrator and naturalist Hugh Low.
Paper Kite (Idea leuconoe)
Standing out in stark contrast, this black and white butterfly is an eye-catching favorite that is native to Southeast Asia. It’s also the largest member in the milkweed butterfly family. Parsonsia species is the plant of choice for Paper Kite larvae to feed on.
Fun fact: Paper kites are poisonous to bird predators and the slow flapping of their wings is a way to advertise to those predators that they don’t taste very good.
Tiger Longwing (Heliconius hecale)
As its name suggests, the Tiger Longwing is like a flying tribute to its feline namesake. Native to Central America, South America and the Amazon, this orange, black, and brown butterfly feeds on passion vine (Passifloraceae) in its caterpillar stage.
Fun fact: The adult butterfly has a nose-like tongue called a proboscis that helps it sip nectar from flowers.