Butterfly Gardens in Texas

Butterfly gardens feature flowers butterflies favor, as well as feeding stations stocked with supplemental nectar and fruit. Some butterfly gardens serve as breeding facilities and hold educational programs. Butterfly gardens give visitors a chance to get way closer to these little creatures than they can anywhere else.

Natural Gardener Butterfly Garden

The Natural Gardener Butterfly Garden's beds are shaped like a large butterfly, when viewed from above. Established in 1999, the garden is planted with native flowers that attract butterflies. The butterfly garden is one part of a facility that includes vegetable and herb gardens, an orchard and vineyard, nursery and even a labyrinth. Open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Natural Gardener 8648 Old Bee Caves Road Austin, TX 78735 (512) 288-6113 naturalgardeneraustin.com

Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Park in Austin is one of the oldest, most popular parks in the capital city. The park is home to many attractions, including Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Theater and Zilker Botanical Gardens, which include the Doug Blachly Butterfly Trail and Garden. Visitors are free to stroll the paths and enjoy the blooming flowers and the butterflies that come to feed on the nectar and lay their eggs among the plants. Open every day 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free admission. Zilker Botanical Garden 2220 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78746 (512) 477-8672 zilkergarden.org

River Bend Nature Center

The River Bend Nature Center in Wichita Falls, Texas is home to the Ruby N. Priddy Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. This indoor nature center features more than 100 native species of plants, a butterfly nursery and butterflies in all stages of development. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Dmission $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, military and college students and $3 for children under 12. (2009 prices). River Bend Nature Center 2200 Third St. Wichita Falls, Texas 76301 (940) 767-0843 riverbendnaturecenter.org

Cockrell Butterfly Center

The Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Nature and Science is a three-story glass structure built to resemble a tropical rain forest, with a 50-foot waterfall and dozens of species of exotic plants. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center maintains a population of from 1500 to 2000 butterflies. In 2009 tickets were $8 for adults and $7 for children and seniors. Cockrell Butterfly Center Houston Museum of Nature and Science One Hermann Circle Dr. Houston, Texas 77030 (713) 639-4629 hmns.org

Texas Discovery Gardens

Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park in Dallas is home to the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectorium. The Butterfly House opened in 2009 and showcases 15 native species of butterflies as well as many tropical species. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children under 12. Texas Discovery Gardens 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd Dallas, TX 75210 (214) 428-7476

Keywords: butterfly gardens, habitat for butterflies, butterfly center

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.