The Butterfly Garden was originally created by a gift from John Stokes to honor his wife Anne. Over the years the Stokes family has been very generous with ongoing donations in support of this Garden.
The garden features a variety of perennials and annuals (many are native species) which are known to provide nectar to adult butterflies, or food to larvae. These are called 'host plants'. For example, passion flower and violets are host plants for the Fritillary butterfly, milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch butterfly, and Switchgrass is a host of several species of skippers. Ironweed, beebalm, "Obedient Plant", echinacea, "Joe Pye Weed", goldenrods, catnip, salvias, rubeckias, amsonia, and coreopsis are a few of the plants which can be seen blooming early summer through fall, providing nectar for butterflies across the seasons. Visit in March to walk through the meadow, planted with a sea of blue camassia bulbs!
Of course, the garden not only provides resources for butterflies, but also for a variety of other wildlife. The garden is frequented by birds (esp hummingbirds, herons, and Cedar Waxwings visit the hollies in the winter), and the pond is full of turtles, frogs, and fish.
While this garden is one of the furthest points in the garden, the walk is worthwhile for those who seek wildlife viewing opportunities, or perhaps a peaceful place to relax and reflect, as it is quiet and secluded from the bustle of the city.
Some of the earliest butterfly visitors in the Butterfly Garden are the Falcate Orangetip, Spring Azure, and Cabbage Whites. Monarchs have been seen in the area as early as April, but become more frequent in late Summer through Fall. Throughout the warmer season, visitors may also observe Gulf Fritillaries, Tiger Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Pipevine Swallowtails, Skippers, Red Admirals, Common Buckeyes, and Painted Ladies, to name a few.
The Living Gazebo is in the Butterfly Garden although it is separately marked on our map. The Living Gazebo roof is strung with ropes that provide structure for climbing, vining plants. Our current Butterfly Garden Curator, Carson Ellis, is working on establishing Pasiflora incarnata on the trellis (our native Passion Flower vine and Fritillary host plant). In the horshoe bed below are other plants attractive to pollinators, such as Lobelia cardinalis, a nectar plant for Hummingbirds.
For updates and more!
Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)