The Danforth Butterfly Garden was dedicated October 10, 1996, in honor of Elizabeth "Ibby" Gray Danforth.
The garden was designed by June Hutson, the outdoor project coordinator at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The main contributor towards the garden was the Woman's Club of Washington University.
The Club was involved in all parts of the development process, from the original designs to the physical planting, and it continues to maintain the garden. The garden features the native plants that midwestern butterflies, declining in number, need for all four stages of their life cycle.