With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: If You Grow It They Will Come

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If You Grow It They Will Come

My main reason for growing Buddleia (better known as a Butterfly Bush) is not for its appearance but rather because it attracts beautiful, fluttering, butterflies.

I took these pictures yesterday of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. The bush was filled with tiny Fritillaries or Skippers (I get them confused) as well but they are small and flit about so that I was unable to get a picture of them.

Some other visitors ~ a Monarch
Do you know what this little guy is?
It is not a hummingbird...
it is a Hummingbird Moth enjoying the nectar of the Butterfly Bush!
Our hummers do visit as well.
I don't know its lifespan, but this bush has been in our yard for many years!

The following is an excerpt from Buddleia: Butterfly Bush Extraordinaire by Claire Hagen Dole:

With a name like butterfly bush, you might expect a plant to be attractive to butterflies. In fact, it's more than attractive; it's a magnet for all the butterflies who pass through your garden seeking nectar. Many butterfly gardeners plan their garden around Buddleia (pronounced BUD-lee-ah), a genus that includes over 100 species and cultivars. Also called summer lilac, the medium- to large-sized shrubs can anchor a perennial bed or form a hedge.

You'll be happier with Buddleia if you accept its growth habit, which is not neat and tidy. Its narrow branches support lilac-like clusters of blossoms a foot or two in length, with side branches and blossoms. After a rainfall, the flower-laden branches of some species can droop all over your flower bed. You'll want to allow at least six feet between bushes to keep some semblance of neatness.

But wait till you see the bush covered with fritillaries and tortoiseshells! Even a large swallowtail can land on the cluster, to sip from the many individual blooms.

Butterflies and bees will flock to the honey-scented blossoms, whose dilute nectar is sweetest in midday sun. Near a path or patio, the shrub provides delightful fragrance for you, too.

5 comments:

Mildred said...

Your pictures are beautiful. I love these bushes and the activity around them.

The Watts Family said...

Oh I love those hummingbird moths the first time I saw one I thought it was a hummingbird! Love the pictures my daughter just painted a picture of that yellow swallowtail I just posted it on our blog. Aghh Summer is great! ~Blessings Heather

Lady Farmer said...

Oh! I do love butterflies! Aren't they magnificent? And I have never seen or even heard of a hummingbird moth! I did think your picture was of a hummer.
I have a couple of Butterfly bushes so I will have to watch them more closely to see what they are attracting! But with temps soaring over 100 (106 yesterday!) I'm not sure if anything will be out! :~O
Thanks for the fun info!

Janice said...

Fantastic photographs. Those butterflies are so beautiful.

Snippety Gibbet said...

One of those hummingbird moths hung out with us while we were eatting dinner on a backpacking trip last year. It freaked me out! I had never seen anything like that before. jan

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