By Sally Tippett Rains
The Butterfly House is just what the soul needs every once in a while.
It is very similar to the Jewel Box in Forest Park, and in fact they even hold weddings there because the scenery lends itself to a great backdrop for photos.The photo, right, shows how a path full of plants weaves through the building. The building is climate controlled and the plants are tropical with many ferns, palms and others.
There are no fancy interactive computers and you don’t have to wait for a tour. There are also no lines to wait through and all ages can enjoy it. The Butterfly House is where you go when you want calm. It’s where you go when you want peace. And beauty.
More than a thousand live tropical butterflies fly freely in the glass conservatory at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House. Located in Faust Park in the suburb of Chesterfield, it is a beautiful glass enclosed building filled with– guess what– butterflies!
“All of our butterflies are European,” said the docent. “None of them are native to Missouri.”
If you are looking for the orange monarchs found in our area in the fall, you won’t see them, but there are many interesting winged beauties flying around. One of the most spectacular is the blue morpho butterfly. Its wings are bright blue, edged with black. The blue morpho is among the largest butterflies in the world, with wings spanning from five to eight inches. The Butterfly House is a virtual blue morpho party and if you sit down you might get lucky enough for one to land on you.
There are many different folklore about a butterfly landing on someone, but all are good. One legend is that if a butterfly lands on you, you you will gain wisdom and a transformation is coming in your life. Others feel butterflies are lucky. Many just enjoy the quiet beauty of their continued fluttering and landing and then fluttering off again.
There is a gift shop filled with butterfly-themed items. They even have “gummy butterflies.”
The other reason to venture out to the Butterfly House is for the plants.
Just as at the Jewel Box or the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the plants are labeled. The Butterfly House is actually a part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The wide aisles are large enough for a wheel chair and there are many benches throughout the facility.
Children and adults alike can be seen trying to “catch” a butterfly and have them land on their arm. It’s the perfect place to just get some exercise and go for a walk, amidst the splendor of nature as well as an educational place for leaning about the plants and butterflies.
There is also a beautiful lake out the window. The Butterfly House is light and bright. It’s a place of splendor both indoors and outdoors.
For more information:
$5 seniors 65 & over
$5 children 3-12
Free children 2 & under
Free for Missouri Botanical Garden Members