“Housing” for Butterflies

Back in May, I wrote that my garden was Woefully Lacking Butterflies and I told you I was going to challenge myself to plant more butterfly host plants. While visiting Garland Nursery a few weeks ago, I noticed an endcap display of Butterfly Bed & Breakfast plants grown by Log House Plants, a wholesale nursery located in Cottage Grove. I didn’t have with me the list of butterfly host plants I’d researched and decided I wanted, so I had to wing it, so to speak.

Home with me came Rumex acetosa (common sorrel), host to the Purplish Copper; Cornus sericea (red dogwood), host to the Echo Blue (Spring Azure); Viola glabella (a woodland yellow violet), host to the Great Spangled Fritillary (if I were a butterfly, I think I’d want that name!); and Stipa gigantean (golden oats), host to the Northwest Ringlet.

As I was researching what plants I wanted to add, I also checked the list to see what butterfly host plants were already growing in my garden. Turns out I had more than I thought, including: Geum macrophyllun (I’d been pulling these out as weeds for years…sorry about that Two-Banded Checkered Skippers); Dicentra Formosa (the western bleeding heart), host to the Clodium Parnassian; Trifolium rupens (clover…I hope the butterflies can find it if it’s in the lawn), host to the Orange Sulfer; Humulus lupulus (hops), host to the Golden Satyr Anglewing and Red Admiral; and Asclepias speciosa (milkweed), host to the lovely Monarch butterfly.

I really want more Western Tiger Swallowtails in my garden, which means I need to find and plant Salix purpurea ‘Nana’ (willow). And I need to create some muddy areas and place some rocks to warm in the sun to create a more hospitable environment for all butterflies. Next on the “to do” list for the butterfly project is assessing how many nectar plants I offer these beautiful creatures. I may need to add more flowering plants to the garden (oh, darn!).

Have you embarked on the Butterfly Bed & Breakfast challenge?