Exotic butterflies in the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 can experience exotic butterflies from Asia, Americas and other exotic climates, inside the Butterfly Dome.

Butterflies are again a special feature of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.  I love butterflies, so for me the Butterfly Dome is one of my favourite features of this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.  Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, can enjoy a butterfly meadow, the puparium, and of course the Butterfly Dome.

Butterfly meadow

Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 can experience exotic butterflies from Asia, Americas and other exotic climates, inside the Butterfly Dome. The area outside the Butterfly Dome has been turned into a butterfly meadow, with caterpillar food plants and nectar plants for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects.

The area surrounding the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 has been transformed into a beautiful butterfly meadow, filled with native British grasses and flowers to attract butterflies, bees and other insects.

In this special area of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, visitors can admire the beauty of our native British wildflowers and look out for butterflies, as they feast on the nectar produced by the flowers.

Some of the taller wild flowers which are especially attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects – teasle, also known by its botanical name of Dipsacus, and Scabiosa. Pictured in the butterfly meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Scabious is a popular plant for butterflies and bees, pictured here in the butterfly meadow, surrounding the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Lotus corniculatus, more commonly know as birdsfoot trefoil, planted in the butterfly meadow, around the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
There were plenty of grasses to accompany the flowers in the butterfly meadow that surrounded the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. Grasses are a food plant for some of the butterfly species that reside in the UK.
Bees enjoying the Scabious flowers planted in the Butterfly Meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A yellow Verbascum, pictured in the butterfly meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. Verbascum thapsus is one of the food plants for the caterpillars of the Mullein Moth, also known by their scientific name of Cucullia verbasci.
A Scabious flower bud, pictured in the butterfly meadow, which surrounds the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A closer look at the butterfly meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Bees enjoying the Scabious flowers planted in the Butterfly Meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A closer look at the Scabious flowers planted in the Butterfly Meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Bees enjoying the Scabious flowers planted in the Butterfly Meadow, outside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

Puparium

Before entering the Butterfly Dome, visitors can gaze into the glass Puparium, and marvel at the captivating and bewitching sight of butterflies, as they emerge, freshly transformed from their metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly inside their chrysalis.

Inside the Puparium, the butterflies evacuate their chrysalis, and inflate their wings, before being released into the adjacent Butterfly Dome.

The puparium – where butterflies emerge from their pupas, before being taken into the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Beautiful butterfly artwork, outside the Butterfly Dome, at The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

Inside the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017……

Inside the Butterfly Dome visitors can walk alongside tropical and exotic palms, plants and flowers and butterflies.

Upon entering the Butterfly Dome, visitors are delivered into a tropical paradise, filled with vibrantly coloured flowering plants and some rather glamorous planting.  This purpose built dome is filled with exotic plants and butterflies, which can be found in Indonesia and South America and further afield.

The area inside the Butterfly Dome measures 283 meters squared, it’s filled with hundreds of butterflies, from thirty different species.

RHS staff are on hand to help visitors make the most of their experience inside the Butterfly Dome.  I met RHS entomologist Anna Platoni during my visit to the Butterfly Dome.

RHS entomologist Anna Platoni, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. Can you spot the butterflies on Anna’s dress?
RHS entomologist Anna Platoni, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

It’s not unusual for butterflies to land on visitors to the Butterfly Dome, so it’s important to move slowly inside this exhibit and to take care where you walk, so as not to disturb or accidentally injure any of the butterflies.

Inside the Butterfly Dome visitors can walk alongside tropical and exotic palms, plants and flowers and butterflies.
A female Cethosia cyane Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Bengal Leopard Lacewing Butterfly. Pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Related to Verbena, Lantana is a popular butterfly plant for exotic butterflies. Newly opened Lantana flowers open as yellow, as the flower ages it may change to orange, pink, red, or a pretty, peachy coloured tone. This Lantana specimen is pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Related to Verbena, Lantana is a popular butterfly plant for exotic butterflies. Newly opened Lantana flowers open as yellow, as the flower ages it may change to orange, pink, red, or a pretty, peachy coloured tone. This Lantana specimen is pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio rutulus, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Inside the Butterfly Dome visitors can walk alongside tropical and exotic palms, plants and flowers and butterflies.
Pentas blooms are popular with butterflies. Pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
One of the ways that butterflies protect themselves is using camouflage. These butterflies, pictured in the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, feature brown and neutral colouration to the undersides of their wings, which help to camouflage the butterflies and protect them from predators.
An Orange Lacewing Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Cethosia penthesilea. This exotic butterfly originates from South East Asia and Australia’s northern territory, but is pictured here, feeding on a Lantana flower, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Spathiphyllum flowers inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Two Chequered Swallowtail butterflies, also known by their scientific name of Papilio demoleus, pictured feasting on Pentas lanceolata flowers, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio rutulus, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A look inside the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Mocker Swallowtail Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio dardanus, feeding on Pentas lanceolata, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Butterflies exploring Spathiphyllum flowers inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Giant Owl butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Caligo telamonius memnon, pictured resting on a visitor, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. This Giant Owl Butterfly originates from the Americas.
The White Morpho Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Morpho polyphemus, originates from Mexico and Central America. Visitors can see this attractive butterfly inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Pentas lanceolata, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Mocker Swallowtail Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio dardanus, feeding on Pentas lanceolata, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The White Morpho Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Morpho polyphemus, originates from Mexico and Central America, its pictured here inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
An Orange Lacewing Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Cethosia penthesilea. This exotic butterfly originates from South East Asia and Australia’s northern territory, but is pictured here inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Inside the Butterfly Dome visitors can walk alongside tropical and exotic palms, plants and flowers and butterflies.
The Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio rutulus, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Papilio dardanus, the African swallowtail, feasting on Pentas lanceolata, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
This newly emerged White Morpho Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Morpho polyphemus, is pictured pumping up its wings. This attractive, white coloured butterfly originates from Mexico and Central America, its pictured here inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Purple coloured flowers are especially popular with butterflies. This Chequered Swallowtail butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio demoleus, is pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Mocker Swallowtail, also known by its scientific name of Papilio dardanus, is a species of butterfly in the family Papilionidae. Pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

The Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio rutulus, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
An Orange Lacewing Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Cethosia penthesilea. This exotic butterfly originates from South East Asia and Australia’s northern territory, but is pictured here, feeding on a Lantana flower, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A red flowered Canna lily pictured in bloom inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A Doris Longwing butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Laparus doris, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
A Chequered Swallowtail butterfly, also known as Papilio demoleus, pictured feasting on Pentas lanceolata flowers, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Inside the Butterfly Dome visitors can walk alongside tropical and exotic palms, plants and flowers and butterflies.
The Pink Rose Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Pachliopta kotzebuea, can be seen inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

Butterfly food

There are plenty of feeding stations inside the Butterfly Dome.  The butterflies have the choice of a selection of fruits, including ripe banana and oranges.  These fruits are especially popular with exotic butterflies, as they provide a food source for the butterflies in their native environment.

The array of exotic planting inside the Butterfly Dome, which includes Anthuriums, Canna lilies, Lantana, and Hibiscus, provides an array of nectars for these exotic butterflies to enjoy.  These brightly coloured tropical plants bring a taste of the exotic to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

A group of Giant Owl butterflies, also known by their botanical name of Caligo telamonius memnon, feasting at on banana, oranges and other fruits, inside the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. These Giant Owl Butterflies originate from the Americas.
A group of Giant Owl butterflies, also known by their scientific name of Caligo telamonius memnon, feasting at on banana, oranges and other fruits, inside the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. These Giant Owl Butterflies originate from the Americas.
Papilio thoas, more commonly known as a King Swallowtail, is a butterfly from South America. Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 can enjoy seeing this and many other species of butterflies inside the Butterfly Dome.
A Chequered Swallowtail butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio demoleus, pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
The Giant Owl butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Caligo telamonius memnon, pictured in the Butterfly Dome at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. This Giant Owl Butterfly originates from the Americas.
A Chequered Swallowtail butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio demoleus, pictured resting on an Anthurium flower, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
An Orange Lacewing Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Cethosia penthesilea. This exotic butterfly originates from South East Asia and Australia’s northern territory, but is pictured here, feeding on a Lantana flower, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Purple coloured flowers are especially popular with butterflies. This Chequered Swallowtail butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Papilio demoleus, is pictured inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
An Orange Lacewing Butterfly, also known by its scientific name of Cethosia penthesilea. This exotic butterfly originates from South East Asia and Australia’s northern territory, but is pictured here, feeding on a Lantana flower, inside the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

Access for disabled visitors to the Butterfly Dome

There is just one low step as you into the Butterfly Dome.  Inside the Butterfly Dome the ground is level, and step free.

The floor inside the Butterfly Dome is comprised of gravel, which has been laid over a protective, plastic grid.  This gravel path inside the Butterfly Dome isn’t particularly deep, but it might perhaps be easier for disabled visitors, who are relying on an assistant to push their wheelchair, to enter the Butterfly Dome backwards, and travel facing this direction around the inside of the Butterfly Dome.

Inside the Butterfly Dome visitors can walk alongside tropical and exotic palms, plants and flowers and butterflies.
Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 can experience exotic butterflies from Asia, Americas and other exotic climates, inside the Butterfly Dome.

Other articles that may interest you……………..

To see an overview of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, please click here.

To see the butterflies that I spotted during the Big Butterfly Count 2016, please click here.

For gardening advice and tips of lovely gardening activities that you can enjoy from mid June until mid- July, please click here.

To read an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, please click here.

To see the butterflies I spotted during a butterfly count at Pewley Down in Surrey, please click here.

To see the butterflies I spotted during a butterfly count in 2015, please click here.

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