Butterfly Banquet Part 1

The butterflies are having a grand time here this summer. The Butterfly Garden has been positively alive with them lately. I could spend all day out there, if it weren’t for getting sunstroke! I’m trying to learn which plants are most loved, and there have been a few surprises.

The Tithonia is a real favorite of the swallowtails. I counted 8 at one time the other day, though it’s really quite hard to count them. About the time I make the rounds visually someone has moved away, or flown in, and I have to start the count all over. It’s a moving target.

Swallowtail on Tithonia

I believe the black ones are a black form of female Tiger Swallowtails, though I confess I am not as good with identifying butterflies as I am plants.

Whichever kind of swallowtail these are, they also enjoy the zinnias. These State Fair zinnia flowers are big, but so is the butterfly.

The yellow male Tiger Swallowtails like the Tithonia and Zinnia also.

The Painted Lady is another common butterfly that loves both of these annual flowers.

Painted Lady on zinnia

Painted Lady on Tithonia

I have several varieties of Agastache planted in this garden, but the Blue Fortune variety is a favorite of the Buckeye butterflies. There’s something about the flowers on this one that really attracts them to it. The other Agastaches aren’t nearly so popular.

Buckeye butterfly on Agastache

There are usually several Buckeyes on this Agastache at any one time. I caught two together in the photo below.

The Buckeyes also like to hang out on the Joe Pye Weed.
This is getting a bit long, so I’ll be back tomorrow with some more photos of the ongoing Butterfly Banquet, including a shot of our Mystery Guest.

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8 Responses to Butterfly Banquet Part 1

  1. Kelly says:

    I am looking forward to the next installment, I think every yard should have a buuterfly garden!

    You have some different species than we do locally, so that was neat to see. The most popular flowers in my garden are the rudbeckia, bee balm, and turtlehead.

    • Villager says:

      It has certainly been interesting planting flowers for the butterflies. We are seeing more and more types each year, as we expand our plantings.

  2. meemsnyc says:

    Oh wow! You got some lovely photos of the butterflies!

  3. miss m says:

    Absolutely splendid !!

  4. Meredith says:

    Wonderful shots, Villager! I have such trouble capturing good shots of butterflies, and here you’ve gotten almost a dozen. Impressive. That last shot in the Joe Pye weed looks like it could be a nature photographer’s capture.

    I am glad you garden for the butterflies as well as yourself. And I’m the same as you with identification — much more inclined to know and recognize a plant or a seedling or even a seed, than a butterfly. Getting better, though… and thanks to you I’ve just added Buckeye to my list!

    • Villager says:

      Thanks Meredith. Coming from you that is a very nice compliment indeed. As you know, persistence pays off when photographing nature. I must have taken close to 150 photos to get the ones shown here. Thank heavens for digital!

  5. Oooh, your blue swallowtails are beautiful! We do have swallowtails here, but not blue ones, I’m jealous! We have the American Lady butterflies too, but they usually see me coming with the camera, so they’re not so easy photograph, especially chasing them around our slopes! You got some great pictures though!

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