October Owls and Orchids

Owls and Orchids logoOct 1–31, 2013
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday)  


This autumn, the Conservatory will be full of eyes—eyespots that is. Visit us during the month of October for the annual Owls and Orchids event, when the Butterfly House expands its collection of Owl Butterflies from 100 to over 1,000 creatures – more than ten times the normal number! In addition, the conservatory will be decorated with over 100 colorful, blooming orchids.

Native to Central and South America, Owl butterflies get their common name from the large black and yellow spots on their wings—bearing an uncanny resemblance to the eyes of an owl. These spots help keep would-be predators at bay, as well as draw attacks toward the hindwings and away from the more vulnerable body. Thousands of these eyespots adorning the trees of our Conservatory make a marvelous sight.

Like their feathered namesake, Owl Butterflies are most active in the evening. During the day, they can be found perched on trees or resting on trays of their favorite food: rotting fruit.

Our 60 other butterfly species remain in attendance along with the Owls, and they flit among trees covered in beautiful orchids all October long.

View photos

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays)
Included with Butterfly House admission


Owls and Orchids Animal Encounters
Special evening event hours (separate admission rates apply): Tuesdays, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
Each Tuesday evening, see the Owls take flight as we reopen late from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. During these Tuesday evening hours, guests can also see special nocturnal visitors:

October 1st: The Saint Louis Zoo presents Nocturnal Animals
October 8th: The Saint Louis Zoo presents Nocturnal Animals
October 15th: The World Bird Sanctuary presents Owls
October 22nd: The World Bird Sanctuary presents Owls
October 29th: The World Bird Sanctuary presents Owls

Evening event admission:
$6 per person (general admission)
$3 per person (Missouri Botanical Garden members)

Don't miss this dramatic sight while it lasts!