Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where Are the Butterflies?

The butterflies are increasing daily. Sometimes I see the shadow of one from high in the air. New butterflies in the spring are fast, and fail to pose while I fumble with the camera. There was a pretty dark Swallowtail on larkspur Monday afternoon, gone before I caught his image. He was also visiting open roses but not lingering.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas are gorgeous about now. An American Painted Lady found them irresistable too.

When I drove by the wild Butterfly Garden in the north pasture, two Passiflora blossoms had opened. It was around noon and no butterflies were in evidence.

The Butterfly Poll revealed that Lantana is the most popular nectar plant among those polled. It is usually most popular among Butterflies in my garden. I planted more Lantana montevidensis today in the stump bed, cutting back some of the best Violas and pulling the rest.

Pentas are also popular and I saw Spicebush Swallowtails among these today, one at a time.

The Pentas at upper right are the ones that Susie calls 'Miss Julie's Favorite.' My favorite is a big fuchsia one that isn't blooming yet. It is a heartier plant than most of these, with bigger stems and blooms.

I saw a Zebra Swallowtail this afternoon. Many butterflies flit; Zebras float and bob. Buds on Pawpaws, the Zebra host plant, are as big as the end of my little finger and leaves are well grown.

Porterweed is beginning to bloom. When Porterweed gets tall, it is very popular with Southern butterflies.

At upper left in the lefthand pic is coral Porterweed. At upper right is Silene, or Catchfly, another butterfly fav. The smallest pic at lower right is another view of the end of Porterweed and red Pentas bed with a clump of parsley well placed between them mid-bottom for when Black Swallowtails show up.

I'm grateful for every butterfly sighting. I'll be tickled when we don't have to wait to see one.


  1. I'm drooling over posted my all time favorite the oakleaf hydrangea. I am going to have to add one to my garden. My waxleaf ligustrum (hate to even claim it) sure did attract the red admiral butterflies. I think I am going to get rid of those shrubs while I still can. Pretty header!

  2. Gorgeous, all of these flowers. Purple Coneflowers, zinnias and pineapple sage are big butterfly magnets here!

  3. Hi Nell Jean. Your Oak Leaf Hydrangea is just so lovely. I have been debating with myself whether I have room for one LOL! Yeah, I know talking to myself.
    The butterflies seem to like my lantana best also. I ordered a new one for this summer, a purple Grape one. I am excited to get it to put out. I have some pentas from seed to add this year so i am adding more for them.

  4. Your Oak Leaf Hydrangea is sure a beauty! I also start seeing the butterflies to visit pentas and lantana in my garden. You are right that they are so fast that I can heardly get a good picture of them :)

  5. Not many butterflies here either. I think later in the season when the zinnias are in bloom is our best time for them.

    My poor little new Oakleaf Hydrangea has very tight buds. I know they are slow growers, but I am anxious for some size. It did bloom last year at about three feet. Yours is a beauty!

  6. We've not seen any butterflies yet here in Kansas. Too cold maybe.

  7. Neil Jean,
    We took a short butterfly walk in a powerline full of ox-eyed daisies on Sunday saw 30 species of butterflies in 3 hours. Right now we are getting large numbers of Question Marks and Red Admirals, saw about 20 of each on the dirt road as we walked this evening.

  8. I heard pentas are the best butterfly flower of all and you've proven it by all your butterflies. They are such wonderful flying flowers.

    Thanks for the info on the settings. The only problem with full feed is that every third party out there can also syndicate my posts and I'd rather not do that even if they give me credit. I've found some aggregators that do that so I know it happens. But thanks! I was wondering why some Blotanical posts show fully and some don't.

  9. I cannot wait to see you post more butterfly pictures. I have enjoyed your photos in the past as I never seem to get even one good shot :-)

  10. Oh that Oakleaf Hydrangea is gorgeous! I haven't seen too many flying flowers this year so far. Maybe when my Buddleia blooms? :)


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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