Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

Bolz Conservatory Exhibits

The Bolz Conservatory is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $1 for the general public. Admission is always free for Olbrich Botanical Society members and children 5 and under, and is free for the general public on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon.


beasts in the conservatory:  Carnivorous plants

September 8, 2009 - January 3, 2010

10 am - 4 pm Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm Sunday

See the carnivorous plants living in the Bolz Conservatory up close! Learn how carnivorous plants attract and eat live insects. This walk-through exhibit will explain how each plant has its own tricks to attract prey. Some carnivorous plants are brightly colored or sweetly scented, while others have parts that are sticky, making it difficult for prey to escape. The Bolz Conservatory is home to more than 650 species of tropical plants. Enjoy a stroll through exotic plants, bright flowers, a rushing waterfall, fragrant orchids, and free-flying birds.

For more information about carnivorous plant classes for children and adults, visit Olbrich's Classes & Workshops page.


chocolate:  the bitter and the sweet

January 4 - March 21, 2010

10 am - 4 pm Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm Sunday

Smell the sweet allure, and learn about one of the all-time favorite flavores, chocolate, and a unique exhibit in Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory. This exhibit highlights the cacao tree, first cultivated in South America. The seeds from this tree are commonly called cocoa beans and are surrounded by a pod. Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. The high proportion of fat in the bean kernels (cocoa butter) is used in medications, cosmetics, and soaps. The pulverized residue, called cocoa, is used in beverages and as a flavoring.


Light gaps

April 3 - July 11, 2010

10 am - 4 pm Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm Sunday

The trees are trimmed and the bushes are pruned during annual maintenance in the Bolz Conservatory...now it's time to see the light in the forest! Learn about light and how plants develop and change in the forest as light fluctuates. With more than 650 plants in the Bolz Conservatory, the tropical plants compete for every sunbeam that radiates through the glass pyramid. When a gap in the forest canopy is created natrually or by a clipping from Olbrich's Conservatory staff, new growth develops at an exceptional rate.


Life in the Canopy

September 7, 2010 - January 2, 2011

10 am - 4 pm Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm Sunday

The lush plants on the forest floor of the Bolz Conservatory draw the attention of most visitors...But look up! Up to 90 percent of life in the rainforest exists in the trees - colorful orchids, bromeliads that provide watery homes for tree frogs, birds, animals, and more. Discover the Bolz Conservatory’s canopy layer and the plants and animals that call the canopy home.




GLEAM: Art in a New Light | Now - October 27

Cocktails in the Conservatory | November 16

Member Preview: Holiday Express | November 30

Holiday Express Model Train & Flower Show | Daily, December 1-31

Holiday Concert Series | Sunday Afternoons in December

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