Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens
A Parthenos Sylvia butterfly stops to take a drink inside the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens, Washington. While this specimen was raised in the exhibit, it is far from its ancestral home in South-East Asia.
Summer Activites Near Washington DC
During a Washington DC summer, you could be forgiven if you thought that you were in a tropical climate. With temperatures often hovering in the high 90’s and humidity that makes you sweat just walking outside, the feeling is most definitely tropical. So this Parthenos Sylvia and its fellow butterflies that thrive in the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens must feel right at home in their perfectly manicured but muggy conservatory.
Even in the heat of summer Brookside Gardens is a great place to wander through several well laid out gardens in different styles and inspired by different cultures. The Gude Japanese Garden is particularly beautiful. The Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit adds something different to the summer months at Brookside but don’t think that you will get a chance to cool down in it as the conservatory is typically ten degrees warmer than the outside, and more humid.
Parthenos Sylvia or ‘Clipper’ Butterfly
One of the several foreign species in the exhibit, the Parthenos Sylvia or ‘Clipper’ butterfly genus consists of a number of differently patterned subspecies. They are found in primary rainforests in South and South-East, often close to rivers.
The Parthenos Sylvia is a large butterfly that glides gracefully through the air with occasional rapid wing flaps to maintain flight. Native to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Malaya, Philippines and New Guinea they fit in well in the Brookside conservatory which houses numerous tropical plant species including banana, giant bird of paradise, and Calliandra (Powderpuff tree).
The Wings of Fancy Exhibit
The Wings of Fantasy exhibit is seasonal and runs through the summer months, July to October. There is a small fee but it is well worth it. Be warned that Brookside Gardens can get particularly busy on sunny weekends, particularly if there is a public holiday. There is on-site parking but on busy days this can fill up quickly. So if you can time your visit for mid-week you will enjoy your visit more and avoid the crowds.