Sunday, 18 November 2012

Try growing: plants to attract butterflies

There are many websites, books and other resources on attracting butterflies to your garden. Common recommendations include providing sunny spots and exposed rocks for basking, protection from strong winds, growing a range of flowering plants to provide nectar all year round, and putting out a saucer full of muddy water for them to drink. Above all, plant the native species that are their larval host plants.
 
We've put in heaps of local natives. So far the biggest draw-card at our place seems to be the feral tomato crop, just perfect for resting on after a busy day flapping about:
Just landed - is it a caped crusader?
Close-up: it's an orchard swallowtail! 
According to Michael Braby's Complete field guide to butterflies of Australia, orchard swallowtails' larval food plants include several Illawarra locals:
They also enjoy citrus species, which means there is food for them in many domestic gardens. My field guide describes orchard swallowtails as 'common and widespread' so there's a good chance you'll attract them if you put in the right plants and make sure your garden is butterfly-friendly.

Other butterflies rely on different plant species, so do a bit of research and put in a range of plant species to attract a range of butterflies.

Good resources include:
 On another note, recent rains have brought back the wierd fungi, now identified as Phallus rubicundus courtesy of Gaye's Australian fungi blog:
Return of the Phallus rubicundus

5 comments:

  1. Great post! Thanks for the link to Backyard Buddies. I'd not seen that site before. My eldest daughter would LOVE to make a butterfly box. Maybe a school holiday project? I am keen to try photographing the butterflies that come into my yard. Our buddleia is just coming into flower now, so hopefully the butterflies will stop by soon. I'll let you know what I find :)

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    1. Thanks mandisri! We are going to try making the butterfly box too. It looks good as well as serving a useful purpose. I hope your buddleia brings in some interesting butterflies to your garden soon.

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    2. Thank you for putting together this fabulous blog. I found it by searching for 'angophora hispada mallee' on google. I bought a fibro house in Lakemba nsw about 6 mths ago. I had a large truckload of waste woodchips dumped on my front lawn and have been planting plants into that. So far so good. Not many native gardens around here, mostly food gardens with lemon, fig and loquat trees.

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    3. A pleasure Mysterio, glad to hear you enjoy the blog. Illness has kept me from posting lately but I will get back to it one day soon! Congratulations on you house purchase. It sounds like your garden will be a fantastic home for local species and a beautiful place for you to hang out... food gardens are great too - they mean less food is trucked in from other parts of Australia and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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  2. I like your post.Very impressive way of posting....appreciate the great information about plants.
    Native Australian Plants Toowoomba

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