Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Midwest Butterflies

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Beautiful and colorful butterflies, common garden butterflies and moths are plentiful in the Midwest

Many types of butterflies are commonly found throughout the Midwest and North as well as the general Great Plains region.  Of course some species are found from coast to coast across the country.  Each type favors different nectar plants and plants to feed their caterpillars.  But many will feed indiscriminately on a variety of nectar plants that may be readily available.  Just look at all these beautiful creatures you can attract to your garden!Monarch butterfly by Steven

Monarch, a favorite classic butterfly, is found in all regions of the nation.  Monarch prefers the flowers of milkweed, butterfly weed, hydrangea ‘Tardiva’, english lavender, black-eyed susan,  lantana, lilac, cosmos, agastache, goldenrod and zinnia.  Milkweed and butterfly weed are the preferred host for their caterpillars.

 

Painted Lady butterfly by CJ RobertsPainted Lady, another popular classic, is found across the nation. Painted Lady prefers the flower of aster, agastache, scabiosa, cosmos, cornflower, sunfloewr, malva, lead plant, thistle, hollyhock and buttonbush.  Thistle, mallow and hollyhock are preferred host to their caterpillars.

 

American Small Copper butterfly by John BrandauerAmerican Small Copper is a common Midwest butterfly, found also in New England.  American Small Copper prefers the flower of butterfly weed, coreopsis, goldenrod, yarrow and buttercup.  Sheep sorrel and curled dock are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly by bwmaddog21Tiger Swallowtail is one of those popular butterflies that are found across most of the country.  The Pacific Coast is the only region they do not typically visit.  The Tiger Swallowtail prefers the flowers of Butterfly Bush, scabiosa, pink turtlehead, lilac, english lavender, summersweet clethra, honeysuckle and butterfly weed.  Wild cherry and plum, coriander, dill, parsley, willow, birch, cottonwood, crabapple and tulip poplar are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly by Dave GovoniSpicebush Swallowtail is found in the Southeast, Desert Southwest, Midwest and New England.  The Spicebush Swallowtail prefers the flower of honeysuckle, scabiosa, english lavender, summersweet clethra, lantana, pink turtlehead, azalea, verbena, sunflower, honeysuckle, butterfly bush and butterfly weed.  Spicebush, coriander, dill, parsley and sassafras are preferred host plants to their caterpillars.

 

 

Black Swallowtail butterfly by Texas EagleBlack Swallowtail is found not only in the Midwest, but also the Southeast, Desert Southwest and New England.  The Black Swallowtail prefers the flowers of the Butterfly weed, butterfly bush, summersweet clethra, scabiosa, lantana, aster, verbena, phlox, clover and thistle.  Carrots, parsley, dill and celery are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

 

Giant Swallowtail butterfly by Dave BontaThe Giant Swallowtail is found in the Midwest as well as the Southeast and Desert Southwest.  Giant Swallowtail prefers the flower of honeysuckle, azalea, goldenrod, verbena, lantana, english lavender and orange trees.  Citrus trees and prickly ash are the preferred host plant for the caterpillars.

 

Spring Azure butterfly by j forbSpring Azure is a beautiful favorite found across the United States except in central and south Texas.  The Spring Azure prefers the flowers of aster, butterfly weed, coreopsis and centauria coneflower.  Dogwood, viburnum, witch-hazel, New Jersey tea and blueberry are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

European Cabbage Butterfly by MathesontEuropean Cabbage Butterfly is found from coast to coast.  It prefers the flower of lantana, nasturtium, impatiens, marigold, mint and dandelion.  Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish and nasturtium are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

Variegated Fritillary butterfly by auntie paulineVariegated Fritillary is found in the Midwest and Highplains, as well as the Southeast, Desert Southwest and New England.  It prefers the flower of butterfly weed, clover, shepherd’s needle and milkweed.  Violets, passion vine and stonecrop are preferred hosts for their caterpillars.

 

Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly by Wes GibsonGreat Spangled Fritillary is found in the Midwest and High Plains as well as New England, Washington and Oregon.  It prefers the flower of gloriosa daisy, thistle, black-eyed susan, lead plant, verbena, butterfly bush and butterfly weed.  Violets are the preferred host to their caterpillars.

 

Gulf Fritillary butterfly by Steve SelwoodGulf Fritillary surprisingly shows itself in Wisconsin of all places.  The Gulf Fritillary generally prefers the Southeast, Desert Southwest and California.  It prefers the flowers of lantana, lead plant, impatiens, shepherd’s needle and thistle.  Passion vine is the preferred host to their caterpillars, I expect Wisconsin must have an alternative for this tropical plant.

 

Clouded Sulpher butterfly by A Y JacksonClouded Sulphur is found across the nation with the exceptions of Florida, Texas and California.  It prefers the flowers of aster, goldenrod, phlox, verbena, lead plant and clover.  Clover, alfalfa, wild indigo, lead plant and aster are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

 

Cloudless Sulphur butterfly by Wade FranklinCloudless Sulphur is found in the Midwest, as well as the Southeast and Desert Southwest.  Cloudless Sulphur prefers the flower of lantana, verbena, false indigo, wild shite indigo, bouganvillea, agastache, hibiscus, cosmos, aster, lead plant, zinnia and morning glory.  Cassia senna, lead plant, false indigo and wild white indigo are the preferred host plant to the caterpillar.

 

 

Pearl Crescent butterfly by mihradioPearl Crescent is found across the nation except in the Pacific Coast area.  It prefers the flower of thistle, aster, black-eyed susan, verbena, butterfly bush, coreopsis and gloriosa daisy.  Aster is a preferred host to their caterpillars.

 

 

Checkered White butterfly by Ned HarrisCheckered White is found nationwide except for western Washington State.  Checkered White prefers the flowers of aster, english lavender, cleome, butterfly weed and centauria.  Mustard, turnips, cabbage and beeplant are preferred hosts for their caterpillars.

 

 

Fiery Skipper butterfly by stonebirdFiery Skipper is found in the Midwest, Southeast, Desert Southwest and California.  Fiery Skipper prefers the flower of statice, aster, lantana, achillea, marigold and ironweed.  Bermuda grass and crabgrass are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

 

Checkered Skipper butterfly by bbumCheckered Skipper is found across the nation.  It prefers the flower of butterfly weed, aster, achillea, cornflower, fleabane, hollyhock, knapweed, malva, pink turtlehead, and shepherd’s needle.  Mallow and hollyhock are preferred hosts to their caterpillars.

 

Silver Spotted Skipper butterfly by David HoffmanSilver-spotted Skipper is found across most of the nation except southern Texas, Arizona and Nevada.  It prefers the flower of zinnia, honeysuckle, achillea, butterfly weed and joe-pyeweed.  Locust are the preferred hos for their caterpillars.

 

Buckeye butterfly by hubert kBuckeye is found coast to coast except in the High Plains.  Buckeye prefers the flowers of aster, agastache, cornflower, coreopsis, knapweed, bugloss, malva and chicory.  Plantain, snapdragon and toadflax are preferred hosts for their caterpillars.

 

Gray Hairstreak butterfly by jerry oldenttelGray Hairstreak is found coast to coast and prefers the flower of goldenrod, milkweed, butterfly weed, aster, hollyhock, clover and winter cress.  Hibiscus, clover, mallow, achillea, and vetch are preferred host plants for the caterpillars.

 

 

Sleepy Orange butterfly by Lance and ErinSleepy Orange is found in the Midwest as well as the Southeast and Desert Southwest.  It prefers the flower of Shepherd’s needle.  Cassia senna is the preferred host to their caterpillars.

 

 

And certainly there are even more than may delight you in your gardens.  With plenty of nectar plants, a protected area, and tasty leaves for their caterpillars there will be all kinds of fluttering in the garden.

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