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Brookgreen Gardens: Butterfly exhibit is an instant favorite

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

About 2,500 people purchased tickets to see Brookgreen Gardens’ new “Whispering Wings” butterfly exhibit in its first week.

The exhibit opened April 1 with more than 500 butterflies and will remain open through the end of October.

“We’d hoped that people would enjoy it and come and see it, and they have,” said Helen Benso, Brookgreen’s vice president of marketing.

She estimates the exhibit has drawn about 400 people per day, and those who have seen it have loved it.

“Everything I’ve heard has been very positive,” she said. “People seem to really respond to the butterflies there, and a lot of people, especially Brookgreen members, are looking forward to the fact that we will release new butterfly species as the months progress. They’re looking forward to coming back and seeing the species we’ll have in the summer and in the fall.”

The exhibit opened with eight butterfly species, including the Gulf fritillary, monarch, zebra longwing, giant swallowtail, black swallowtail, red admiral, painted lady and American lady. The plan is to have 94 species housed in the exhibit between now and the end of October, Benso said.

Only 25 people at a time are allowed into the exhibit and groups rotate out every 30 minutes.

Though reservations are not available, visitors to the exhibit don’t have to spend a long time waiting in line. They can purchase tickets and roam the gardens or the Lowcountry Zoo until their appointed time to enter the butterfly house.

Visitors aren’t allowed to touch the butterflies, but Benso said that doesn’t stop the butterflies from doing some observing of their own and landing where they will.

Admission to Whispering Wings is $3 for adults and $2 for children, in addition to regular garden admission. For information, call 235-6000 or visit Brookgreen.org.

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