Attracting Butterflies

One of my greatest pleasures in August is to eat lunch in my screened front porch and watch the Tiger Swallowtails nectar in the Compass Plant, Tall Coreopsis, and Joe Pye Weed , while their now-forming seeds attract Gold Finches.    Plant these feeding stations close to your house and within viewing distance of your east, west, and south-facing windows for hours of entertainment.

Attracting Butterflies



What is a butterfly’s favorite color?  Did you guess purple?  Well, you would be right.  This is a Cloudless Sulfur on New England Aster.  (All asters sre butterfly magnets.)




Rosy-pink is also a favorite:  Joe Pye Weed and Purple Coneflower are also extremely attractive to many species of butterfly.  This is a Tiger Swallowtail.



Monarch on Joe Pye Weed.















Red Admiral on Pale Purple Coneflower.









Gold is another favorite color.  This is Painted Lady on Showy Goldenrod.




My favorite photograph–Tiger Swallowtail on Cup Plant.





All the above butterflies are common and can be attracted to your gardens by the above plants and others such as Blazing Star of all kinds


Wild Bergamot



New Jersey Tea  and

Rotting Fruit, Sap, and Dung

But this one is really special– I believe it is a Spicebush Swallowtail.












And here’s its profile.  I only saw it one day–July 24 of this year, in my savanna, a partially shaded area, so it was only passing through.


I know of no Spicebush in the nearby area. If anyone has any more information on this extraordinary butterfly, please pass it on.



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