Our Butterfly Pavilion and Nature Gardens are now open, and tickets are sold out for the season. The inside of the museum remains closed. Advanced timed-tickets are required for members and non-members. See NHMLAC's response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Nature Gardens

nature gardens at summer nights

Outside in our Nature Gardens

Explore the Nature Gardens, our urban wildlife wonderland. Over 600 kinds of plants—including California natives and others from around the world—make a home for birds, butterflies, lizards, squirrels, and more!

As part of our Butterfly Pavilion reopening, we will also be opening portions of the Nature Gardens for guests to explore. Enter through our North Entrance and enjoy a stroll through our gardens on the way to the Butterfly Pavilion. To ensure a safe visit, follow the signs as they guide you in the one-way directional flow to the Pavilion.

Advance, timed-tickets to the Butterfly Pavilion are needed to enter the Nature Gardens during this time.

What's in Season?

Plants and animals are up to something every single day in the Nature Gardens. While NHM remains closed, we encourage you to discover the sights and sounds of spring near you! Can you find these plants in your own gardens and neighborhoods?

You can also follow along with the Nature Gardens on Instagram for the latest tips, updates and activities!

Petraea close-up

Butterflies visit the stunning purple flowers of Queen’s wreath, an evergreen vine from Mexico and Central America.

Aloe camperi+Achillea ‘Terra Cotta’

Succulent aloes and perennial yarrow are colorful partners.

Close-up of unripe blueberries

Before you can eat these blueberries, wait until they turn deep blue.

Marina madrone

The dainty, pendant clusters of Marina madrone attract bees and hummingbirds.

Ceanothus ‘Sierra Blue’

The jewel-like flowers of California lilacs add beauty to dry gardens and support many kinds of beneficial insects.

Low-water plants

This colorful combination of low-water plants attracts lots of pollinators for months on end.

Pollinator Meadow - Native Plants

Our pollinator meadow of California native plants is bursting with blossoms!

Manzanita fruits

The tiny fruits of manzanitas (Spanish for little apples) are a valuable food source for birds and mammals.

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Butterflies visit the stunning purple flowers of Queen’s wreath, an evergreen vine from Mexico and Central America.

Succulent aloes and perennial yarrow are colorful partners.

Before you can eat these blueberries, wait until they turn deep blue.

The dainty, pendant clusters of Marina madrone attract bees and hummingbirds.

The jewel-like flowers of California lilacs add beauty to dry gardens and support many kinds of beneficial insects.

This colorful combination of low-water plants attracts lots of pollinators for months on end.

Our pollinator meadow of California native plants is bursting with blossoms!

The tiny fruits of manzanitas (Spanish for little apples) are a valuable food source for birds and mammals.

Snail
Did you know? San Gabriel chestnut snails smell like chocolate.