Adding Butterfly host plants

Nothing is better than being a nursery for our wildlife.
With the pollinators garden well established, I’ve been lucky to watch the workings of a bee colony and see native bees that I had never seen before.  Sweat bees are gorgeous!
So who else can I bring to the yard? Butterflies it is! This species needs more than just nectar. Providing host plant for the caterpillars that become butterflies is just as important as flowers for our fluttery friends. Below are butterflies native to Colorado, with links to where you might purchase native host plants.

SpeciesHost PlantNectar
Fritillary
  • Violets
  • Viola adunca
  • V. nuttallii
  • V.nephrophylla
  • V. palustris
  • V. glabella
  • milkweed
  • thistle
  • goldenrod

By Beatriz Moisset

Brushfoot
(American Lady, Buckeyes, checkerspots)
  • pearly everlasting
  • artemesia
  • vernonia
  • snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
  • penstemon
  • aster
  • plantago
  •  aster
  • dogbane
  • goldenrod
  • marigold
  • common milkweed
  • selfheal
  • vetch
 220px-American_Lady_Butterfly_caterpillar

By Wilson44691

194px-Butterfly_House_4

By Queerbubbles

Swallowtail
  • chokecherry
  • ash
  • hop trees
thistles, milkweeds, lilac, and other nectars218px-Eastern_tiger_swallowtail3

By Jay Williams

220px-Papilio_multicaudata_larva

 

For more information

The forest service provides the pollinator of the month.  To read about fritillarys go to:

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/fritillary.shtml

This is a great site for finding butterflies in your area.

https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/checklists?species_type=All&tid=45618

To learn more about making a inviting garden space for butterflies see:

http://frontrangeliving.com/home/garden/cultivating-a-butterfly-garden/

Image Sources

  1. Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org – This image is Image Number 5382189 at Insect Images, a source for entomological images operated by The Bugwood Network at the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service.(cropped), CC BY 3.0 us, Link
  2. Jay Williams – http://photoblog.dview.us/tiger-swallowtail-butterfly, CC BY 2.5, Link
  3. Wilson44691 – Own work, CC0,
  4. Queerbubbles – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

 

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