A tattered Pipevine Swallowtail nectars on Silene armeria.
I used to worry about what Butterflies would find when they returned in May before there were plenty of Pentas and other tropicals that start blooming in June.
Among the dependable May blooming plants that attract butterflies are Dianthus, especially Sweet William -- Bath's Pinks have finished blooming; Petunias and Daylilies. I love to watch a butterfly dive headfirst into a Daylily.
Spicebush Swallowtails seek out Petunias.
Catchfly, Silene armeria is one of those reseeders whose seeds need scatterering in fall. It blooms with Larkspur, usually follows Poppies. This bed has Porterweed seedlings coming on and Pride of Barbados second year seedlings coming back from the roots. Meanwhile, butterflies feast on Silene.
Verbena bonairensis which I call Verbena on a stick because of the height attracts many beneficials and butterflies. I saw two kinds of Skippers yesterday.
Lantana seemed kind of slow this Spring but is catching up. Almost every house from here to town has this, a plus for Butterfly gardening.
Nearby in the Upper Garden, butterflies and beneficials find a feast on Echinacea. There are Echinacea seedlings everywhere, including where I threw seeds along the field road.
Wild Pipevine is plentiful, as is Sassafras (Spicebush) and Wild Cherries (Tiger) for the various Swallowtails' larvae. Gulf Frits depend on plentiful wild Passionflowers. There is Parsley for Black Swallowtails and Paw Paw for Zebra Swallowtails. Yes, we have 5 kinds of Swallowtails. I saw a Zebra today but he eluded the camera.
Are you ready for Butterflies?