It’s Butterfly Season!

In the past few weeks the butterfly numbers have been increasing in New York City. Butterflies are attracted to the copious amounts of nectar that have become available recently. Although it is great to provide them with nectar in our gardens it is also important to plant flowers that will serve as hosts to the butterfly larvae. Below are 4 of our most common butterflies that can be seen right now along with plants that will provide their caterpillars with their first meal!

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Larval hosts: Any Milkweed (Asclepias sp) will do but Asclepias incarnata, Asclepias syriaca, and Asclepias tuberosa are all native and readily available in our area.


American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Larval hosts: Anything in the Asteraceae family but they seem to be like Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea),  Pussy toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia), Wormwood (Artemisia), Ironweed (Vernonia), and Burdock (Arctium) the most.



Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Larval hosts: American elm (Ulmus americanus), Red elm (Ulmus rubra), Hackberry (Celtis), Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus), Nettles (Urtica), and False nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica).



Black Swallowtails (Papilio polyxenes)

Larval hosts: These apply to most Swallowtails. Plants in the parsley family (Apiaceae) including Queen Anne’s Lace, carrot, celery and dill.

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