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Di's Butterfly Garden-

Host Plants

Butterfly Applet1
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Butterflies Facts
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Butterflies Life Cycle
Host Plants
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Host Plant

Willow (Salix spp.)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Hop Tree (Ptelea trifoliata)
Senna (Cassia spp.)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)


Red Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)
Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)


A Spice Bush

Heres a picture of a spicebush that the butterflies host on:

Spicebush is a small deciduous tree up to 16 feet. The leaves are soft and feel like velvet when they first appear on the tree. Flowers are pale yellow and hang on the leafless branches in early spring. Red berries occur in late summer


A Fennel Bush

Here is a herb that  swallowtails butterflies enjoy:

Fennel is a host for Swallowtail Butterflies, which spend their entire life cycle either on or near it, and as such, it is a valuable part of any garden habitat.  The flowers also attract beneficial bees.  Be careful where you plant Fennel, however, as many other plants will not do well in close proximity to it.

A Turtlehead Plant

Don't wear perfume in the garden
unless you want to be pollinated by bees.

Here above is a photo of a Turtlehead:
Host plant for the  Checkerspot butterfly, turtlehead grows 24"-30" high and produces spikes of bright pink flowers over dark green foliage. It prefers a moist soil and blooms August through September. Full sun or part shade.  

A Turtlehead in bloom

'Husker Red' Penstemon

Checkerspot butterflies seek out turtlehead (above) for egg laying. But half-grown checkerspot caterpillars often seek out Penstemon as a food source. 'Husker Red' Penstemon has dark foliage and white to light pink flower spikes in June and July. It grows 30"-36" high. 



Easter Gamagrassor



A Milkweed Bush

Another host plant that the butterflies like:
The monarch butterfly is sometimes called the "milkweed butterfly" because its larvae eat the plant.  In fact, milkweed is the only thing the larvae can eat!  If you'd like to attract monarchs to your garden, you can try planting milkweed (if you live in the right area).


A list of plants

Common milkweed belongs to the Milkweed family. These plants are mostly unbranched, finely hairy with stems 3 to 4 feet tall, but can grow up to 6 feet tall. 
The stems have a white, milky sap.  Leaves are large (up to 8 inches long and 4 1/2 inches wide), mostly opposite, are thick, oval, and short-stalked.  Leaves usually have pinkish veins.  Flowers occur in rounded clusters of 25 to 140 at the tops of the stems or on stalks arising from where the upper leaves join the main stem.  Flowers are pinkish purple about 1/4 inch wide with 5 purplish, reflexed petals surrounding 5 spreading, pinkish purple hoods, each with a tiny, pointed horn arising from it.

A Monarch Butterfly

Butterfly Weed

Florirda Coontie