Olbrich Home Blooming Butterflies
bolz conservatory exhibits

Bolz Conservatory Exhibits

Innovations Inspired by Rainforests

November 1, 2014 - March 1, 2015

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday

Have you ever wondered what inspires people to develop cool gadgets, life saving technologies, and solutions to complex human challenges? Rainforests are a treasure-trove of brilliant design and many of our best inventions are based on nature. The slippery inside of bottles and pipes mimic the slick leaves of the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant. Coconuts’ buoyancy inspired life preservers carried on boats and ships. Security marks on bank notes to combat counterfeiting are inspired by the iridescence of butterfly wings. All these innovations came to life with the help of biomimicry, a growing field that studies the technology of biology and emulates nature’s models, systems, and elements to solve complex human design challenges. Explore some of the ways rainforests have inspired many objects and processes that have improved our daily lives.


March 21 - July 12, 2015

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday

The trees are trimmed, the bushes pruned, and it's time to see the light in the forest. Learn how plants develop and change in the forest as light fluctuates. When a gap in the forest is created naturally or by a clipping from Olbrich's staff, growth develops at an exceptional rate.

2014 Exhibit:
Integrated Pest Management

August 12 - October 26, 2014

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday

Beneficial insects have been used in the Conservatory since it opened in 1991. These bugs provide control of plant-damaging insects, minimizing the need of more dangerous traditional insecticides. These controls, along with several others, are part of the Conservatory's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This widely accepted program strives to use the least toxic method of insect and disease control to be more environmentally sensitive. Learn about Olbrich's environmentally friendly pest control methods and get ideas you can use to reduce or eliminate pesticide use at home.


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Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719