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Butterfly Patio Umbrella

Updated on December 29, 2010

An offset butterfly patio umbrella

A butterfly patio umbrella is a kind of patio umbrella popularized by the brand, Southern Patio. It is part of their Southern Butterfly line, which consists of offset patio umbrellas with square or round domes that span at least 8.5 feet.

An offset umbrella is also known as a cantilever design or an off-center umbrella. In this design, the main pole is not in the middle. Cantilever umbrellas have their poles on the side, with the main dome supported (from above) by a bent or curved pole—much like a street lamp. The main pole should of course be planted firmly on the ground to avoid the whole assemble from toppling over.

Advantages of the cantilever design

One very obvious advantage of the butterfly design is that is provides more space on the center of the shaded area—because the main center pole is eliminated. You can easily place large items and have more freedom on patio furniture choices such as tables and pool chairs. Another advantage of the cantilever design is that you can angle the main umbrella any which way you want. The design also makes it possible to move the shade not only up and down, but laterally as well.


The butterfly design has some minor setbacks as well. An obvious disadvantage for this design is that you would need a bigger space footprint to house the entire assembly. As the main pole is at its side, you need to make room at the non-shaded area for the base of the pole. In a cantilever umbrella, the base needs to be sturdy so sometimes they come with large and bulky bases. However, this will only affect those that have limited patio space.

Options and selection

If you are interested in purchasing a cantilever patio umbrella, one of the first things you should design on is whether to get a round or square roof. This is of course a personal decision, but space and area limitations should also be considered. As a simple guideline, think of the style and shape of the table you wish to match with it—if you still do not have one.

Southern Patio and the Southern Butterfly Offset Umbrella

The term “butterfly patio umbrella” has almost become a household name and a common name for offset patio umbrellas. This is because it really is Southern Patio who made the design popular. We understand that there are a number of brands offering off-center umbrellas, but if you want the original, take a look at some of the product deals below.

About the company

Southern Patio has been around since 1979 but they were first known as Southern Edging. Back then they were merely suppliers of wooden lawn products. They expanded their business and carried and manufactured products such as planters, fountains, statues, and basically everything that can be seen in backyards and patios. The company is situated in Atlanta, Georgia.

Their Southern Butterfly Offset Umbrella™ revolutionized the basic patio umbrella design by removing the space-hogging pole in the middle. Their umbrellas also tilt 360 degrees and offer easy adjustments such as adjustable angled roofing which follows the sun’s movement. The design became so popular that they patented it.


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    • profile image 4 years ago

      i'm looking for the largest butterfly freedom umbrella in hunter green