Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bulbs that Bloom in Fall and Butterflies, too

We generally remember to order bulbs that are planted in fall and to order bulbs for forcing for Christmas and thereafter. How often do we remember in early summer that we may want fall blooming bulbs?

I was watching for Sternbergia, these from Barbara from Texas.

Blooming among Lantana foliage, typical of fall bulbs to bloom bare stemmed.

More and more Lycoris radiata pop up at edges of beds and in the lawn.

I read yesterday not to plant Red Spider Lilies and Oxblood Lilies together as they detract from each other. It doesn't require much thought to realize that. One follows the other, but they need room to multiply.

On to Fall Butterflies. Here's a gorgeous animated poster I found:

Butterflies of North America

It features 42 different butterflies, fluttering. When I looked  closely,  it does not show a Gulf Fritillary, one of our best orange butterflies. I counted a dozen that we do see here.

 One of those is Spicebush Swallowtail.

First there was one, then two, then three.

They do love Pentas.

Here's the only picture I was able to get of the Sulfur Butterfly that was
nectaring on a Geranium. Before I went for the camera, he spread his wings
and posed so pretty. Another came along. I went for the camera and you
know how that always turns out.


  1. So that's what the butterfly is called. I have seen a few here, around my drive-in buddhlea (where else) with other yellow swallowtails and a clearwing moth or two. I want some fall bulbs like yours, but never see them around here. I guess online mail order is the place to look.

  2. I love your Lycoris radiata, beautiful red. Your butterflies are just like mine...loving the Pentas. I have so many plants that are supposed to attract them, and yet they enjoy my Pentas more than anything else in the garden.

  3. We had only a few butterflies here for the past 2 years...don't know why. So it seems the garden changes and mine has but mostly due to neglect. Maybe next year.

  4. We have spice bush swallowtails here too and that is mostly what I saw this year. Too few again.
    We are completely overrun with both white cabbage and sulfurs early in the season.

  5. Jean, are your lycoris radiate planted in shade? Most of them are in full sun. Last year I had fading on them and this year it has started as well. I had never noticed that in years past.

  6. Your fall-flowering bulbs really add a punch to your garden. I've seen more butterflies here in the last month than at any other point in the summer. Have I managed to photograph any? No, of course not.

  7. I have never planted spider lilies, but they pop up every year. Yours are lovely! I think past owners of my house must have planted mine many years ago. I am seeing a number of spicebush swallowtails this year. They are attracted to my Tutti-fruti butterfly bush, a butterfly bush that actually attracts butterflies! I have also seen hummingbirds sucking its nectar. I also recently learned that sassafras is a host plant for spicebush swallowtails. I am fortunate that sassafras trees naturally occur on our property.

  8. Your fall bulbs are gorgeous. I planted some Lycoris in pots this spring, they sent up foliage that ripened but no flowers this fall. Oh well I'll try again next season. Fall bulbs are wonderful and I just got a few more colchicum to add to the collection. You are so lucky to have such a variety of beautiful butterflies visit your garden!

  9. Many Sulpher Butterflies here this year.Not many of any kind larger than they are.So sad not to have them.Looks like they are going the way of the Bees.


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