About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Plants to attract butterflies

Young black swallowtail http://www.pbase.com/rcm1840/lifecycleofblsw
caterpillar on parsley (host plant)
Make sure you have plants to feed butterfly caterpillars to bring more butterflies in to your yard. In many cases, caterpillars of a species feed on only a very limited variety of plants and cause little leaf damage. 

The Plants Common Butterflies Caterpillars' Eat:
  • Monarch - milkweeds
  • Viceroy - willows, cottonwood, aspen
  • Black Swallowtail - parsley, dill, fennel, common rue
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - wild black cherry, ash, tulip tree, willow
  • Giant Swallowtail - prickly ash, citrus, common rue, hoptree, gas plant, torchwood
  • Zebra Swallowtail - pawpaw
  • Painted Lady- thistles, mallows, nievitas, yellow fiddleneck
  • Red Admiral - wild cherries, black oaks, aspens, yellow and black birch
  • Coral Hairstreak - wild black cherry, American and chickasaw plum, black chokeberry
  • Dun Skipper - sedges, grasses including purpletop
  • Gray Comma - gooseberry, azalea, elm
  • Henry's Elfin - redbud, dahoon and yaupon hollies, maple-leaved viburnum, blueberries
  • Pygmy Blue - saltbush, lamb's quarters, pigweed
  • Silver-Spotted Skipper - locusts, wisteria, other legumes
  • Sulphurs - clover, peas, vetch, alfalfa, asters
  • Variegated Fritillary - passion flower, maypop, violets, stonecrop, purslane
  • Woodland Skipper - grasses
Download the Attracting Butterflies tip sheet (pdf) 
Source:  National Wildlife Federation
Photos Shared by Holly. Thank you Holly for sharing snapshots from your beautiful yard.

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