Visit the Butterfly Garden during Public Events. . During events Master Gardeners are in the garden to answer your garden questions. There may be entrance fee. RMSC Second Saturday link
What is a Butterfly Garden?
A butterfly garden is simply a garden, with plant material that attracts butterflies. The general needs of butterflies are host plants and nectar plants. Host plants are the plants eaten by the caterpillar or larvae of the butterfly.
Each species of butterfly has a specific plant that the adult butterfly lays her eggs on and which the caterpillar will eat. Nectar plants are the food of the adult butterfly. They use a proboscis to sip nectar from the flowers of the plant. A butterfly garden also needs protection from the wind. Many butterflies like a damp spot or mud hole for puddling. Finally, butterflies like sunny areas and some rocks to rest on and soak up the sun.
In 2002, the Roper Mountain Butterfly Garden was certified as a National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat. This certification means that wildlife is provided food, shelter, water and a place to raise the young on these grounds.
Nectar plants include these butterfly “magnets”:
‘Miss Huff’ Lantana
Butterfly Bush or Buddleia davidii
Purple Coneflower or Echinacea purpurea
Butterfly weed or Asclepias tuberosa
Host plants are the most important plants in the garden.
Below is a list of common butterflies in our area and their host plants -
Butterfly Species: Host Plants:
American lady Anaphalis, cudweed, Antennaria
Black Swallowtail fennel, parsley, rue, dill, Queen Anne's Lace
Buckeye Snapdragon, plantain, Linaria, Verbena
Cabbage white cabbage, Cleome, Nasturtium, mustard, Lunaria
Cloudless sulphur Senna, Cassia, clover
Eastern Tailed Blue legume family, clover, alfalfa
Falcate orange tip mustard family, Winter Cress
Giant swallowtail prickly ash, rue, citrus, hop trees
Gray hairstreak mallow, hollyhock, legumes, Rabbit's Foot Clover
Great purple hairstreak mistletoe
Great spangled fritillary violet
Gulf fritillary passion-vine
Long-tailed skipper legumes (pole bean, garden bean), wisteria
Monarch Asclepias species (milkweed)
Mourning cloak willow, poplar, elm, nettle
Painted lady thistle, hollyhock, Plantain
Pearl crescent aster
Pipevine swallowtail Aristolochia (pipevine),Virginia Snakeroot
Question Mark hops, hackberry, nettle, elm
Red Admiral nettle
Red-spotted purple willow, poplar, cherry, plum, apple, aspen
Silver-spotted skipper locust, American wisteria
Sleepy Orange Cassia, senna, clover
Spicebush swallowtail Lindera benzoin (spicebush), sassafras
Spring azure dogwood blossoms, Viburnum, blueberry
Tiger Swallowtail wild cherry, poplar, willow, birch
Variegated fritillary passion-vine, violet
Zebra swallowtail Asimina (pawpaw)