Butterfly gardens are created for the sole purpose of attracting and feeding butterflies. Often times you can find large enclosed butterfly gardens at zoos and public gardens but that doesn’t mean that without a little bit of research you can’t create a garden designed to bring gorgeous butterflies to your own garden.
With a little research into your area’s native butterflies, and what flowers they prefer, you too can get started creating a butterfly garden that will attract much more than just butterflies. You may see hummingbirds, honey bees, and even a few neighbors drawn in by the scent of your brand new garden.
Fragrance and color are key. To set the mood, we have compiled a collection of photography taken in butterfly gardens of the beautiful butterflies and their flower counterparts.
We hope that you enjoy this gallery as much as we have enjoyed putting it together!
1. Painted Lady Butterflies on Butterfly Bush
This gorgeous combination of rusty, speckled orange against the brilliant purple of the flowers is a sight to behold. Some of the flowers these Painted Lady butterflies are attracted to are giant goldenrods, marigolds, everlastings, aster, blazing stars, and thistle. They are well-known throughout most of the world.
2. Swallow Tail Butterfly on Pink Blooms
This Swallowtail butterfly’s iridescent blue wings look stunning against this pink flower. Although a majority of swallowtail butterflies are tropical, there are members of the species on every continent except Antartica. Depending on the family of butterflies, they are attracted to various plants of the Birthwort family of flowering plants.
3. Orange Emigrant Butterfly on Marigold
This subtly marked Orange Emigrant butterfly is most commonly found in Southeast Asia and Australia. They are most commonly attracted to plants of the Senna family. Seen here on the Marigold, a remarkably sturdy and fragrant flower that is commonly seen in gardens in North America.
4. Black-Veined White on a Thistle
The Aporia crataegi butterfly, more commonly referred to as the Black-Veined White, is found in orchards and thickets throughout most of Europe, North America, temperate Asia, Korea, and Japan. They enjoy roses, rowan trees, bird cherry trees, apple trees, and hawthorns.
5. South American Morpho on a Bold Yellow Bloom
Morpho butterflies, like this little guy, are found mostly in South America, Mexico, and Central America, but are one of over 29 accepted species in the genus Morpho. They use their long, straw-like mouths to suck the juice of rotting fruit, the fluids of decomposing animals, tree sap, fungi, and even wet mud.
6. Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle
In autumn, Monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico. They are one of the most iconic butterflies in the U.S and are considered an iconic pollinator species. Adult Monarchs feed on the nectar of many plants including aster, milkweed, thistles, goldenrod, lilac, and red clovers.
7. Monarch on a Magenta Bloom
Monarchs cover thousands of miles during their migration, with a corresponding multi-generational return north when the seasons change again. Monarchs were even transported up to the International Space Station and bred, making them the first butterflies in space!
8. Black Swallowtail on a Delicate Orange Flower
Black swallowtails are found throughout much of North America and is the state butterfly of Oklahoma. They enjoy a variety of herbs in the carrot family including dill and Queen Anne’s Lace. The swallowtail is named for the unique extensions of their lower wings, which resemble the feathers of a swallowtailed bird.
9. Morpho Butterfly on Tulips
The brown underside of most Morpho butterfly wings helps camouflage hem from predators by blending in with trees and bushes, while the bright blue top of the wings warns predators to stay away. The distinct eye pattern on the inside of the wings is another scare tactic, since typically, the bigger the eye, the bigger the creature.
10. European Peacock Butterfly on Yellow Daisy Variant
European Peacock Butterfly, more commonly known just as the Peacock Butterfly, is found in Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan. They are colorful butterflies, with distinct “eye-spots” on the bottom of each wing. They primarily feed on Thistles, Betony, Bluebell, Dandelion, Honeydew / Sap, Marjoram, and Yarrow.
11. Doris Longwings on Trumpet-Shaped Blooms
The Doris Longwing is most commonly found from Central America to the Amazon. As adults they gather their nectar from lantana flowers from the verbena family. These are commonly considered tropical plants. The majority of the Doris Longwing is black, with vibrant highlights of orange.
12. Magellan Birdwing on Thin, Delicate Blooms
Commonly referred to as the Magellan Birdwing, these are found in the Philippines and in Taiwan on Orchid Island. These butterflies feed from a wide range of flowers and plants, but their larvae can only eat plants form the Birthwort family, so eggs will be laid on these.
13. Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace
Gulf Fritillary butterflies are found in much of the U.S. and are known to travel over the Gulf of Mexico – hence their name. They enjoy the nectar of various types of passionflower vines found in the Southern United States and the larvae will eat all parts of the plant.
14. Swallowtail on Silky White Bloom
Swallowtails have so many different variations of colors, with over 550 species in the genus. Adults swallowtails are also known to eat garden plants in the carrot family, including carrots, parsley, dill, and fennel. As well as mud and sometimes manure.
15. Scarlet Mormon on Pink and Yellow Flowers
Scarlet Mormon butterflies are related to Swallowtails, but this particular species can only be found in the Philippines and Australia. Adults feed on a variety of flowers, while the larvae are known to feed on several species of citrus. There is surprisingly little information about this species in particular.
Image Sources: Shutterstock