BENGALURU: Horticulture Department authorities announced in June that Lalbagh Botanical Gardens’ butterfly park will be ready in six months. However, the set-up is expected to take some more time. The reason being that officials are teaming up with experts to carefully select flowering and tree species that are preferred by butterflies from the Western Ghats.
“We have to procure most of the species from other places. We must be able to justify to higher-ups as to why we are spending for this. The park will be of international standards. We cannot do planning for half-an-acre and then build on it later. It has to be done properly,” said YS Patil, director, Horticulture Department.
“We have earmarked two acres of space near the Siddapura gate of Lalbagh for the butterfly park. We held meetings with environmentalist Yellappa Reddy and other experts for the same. It will take another six to seven more months, and will be opened next year. Of the total ` 50 to `60 lakh funds, `12 lakh each will be allocated for the butterfly park and four other projects,” Patil added.
The other projects include a taxonomic garden, a park with trees that are classified as endangered, a park with trees that are endemic to the Western Ghats and a park with fruit trees and plants for birds. Reddy said, “Butterflies need food security to survive and breed. They are voracious eaters during the larvae stage. People who are aware of the kind of flowering species needed, will go to forest areas in the Western Ghats to locate the seeds and seedlings. This too has to be done in the right seasons.”
“It will take time to procure these species. They grow in semi-arid and arid regions. Examples are the Achyranthes aspera and Leucas Aspera species,” Reddy added. Some of the other species will be procured from private nurseries in the city and the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Hulimavu.
Ornamental plants will be added for aesthetic appeal. “Butterflies prefer particular species of flowering plants, along with shrubs, herbs, trees and climbers. There are certain host plants that are used by them for feeding, breeding during the larvae and pupation stages. We have identified 181 such species. For example, we will need two dozen Crotalaria — a flowering species,” said M Jagadeesh, joint director of the department.