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Old 08-11-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
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Default Challenge: A Better Butterfly Garden

Bluestone's Fall 2010 catalog offers these 13 varieties (24 plants/$49.50) as a pre-planned Butterfly Garden covering 9 ft by 11 ft.

The diagram is shown planted in a corner with taller varieties in back to protect smaller varieties in front from wind.

The varieties offered are:

Phox Sherwood Purple
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/i.../240/index.htm

Aster September Ruby

Agastache Honey Bee Blue
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/240/index.htm


Buddleia Black Knight
Caryopteris Longwood Blue
Chives
Coreopsis Early Sunrise
Ecinacea purpurea
Achillea Paprika
Monarda Raspberry Wine
http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/b/bp/MORWS.html

Origanum Rosenkupped
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/orilaevigatumrosenkuppel.htm

Rudbeckia Goldstrum
Sedum Brilliant

There is a planting chart in the catalog, but not on line.

http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/b/bp/preplanned.html


My challenge is to upgrade these plants to native plant alternatives that will actually benefit butterflies. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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The biggest challenge is shrub as there are not many northern shrubs that bloom long with that blue/purple color so popular.
White is a good choice for most so...
there are many viburnum that flower nice for nectar and are host to some,
or Buttonbush/Cephalanthus occidentalis if you have a moist place or rain garden.

The second challenge is native plants that are commercially available.

butterflyweed/Asclepias

Joe-pye weed/Eupatorium maculatum or purpureum

coneflowers /Echinacea purpurea

asters/Aster lateriflorus

Rough Liatris aspera
prairie Liatris pycnostachya

Prairie Coreopsis/ Coreopsis palmata

rudbeckia

goldenrod

ironweed

vervain Verbena hastata
verbena Verbena bipinnatifida

White eupatorium/boneset/snakeroot

zizia


I would add a couple of grasses like a tall panicum and short prairie dropseed.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:16 PM   #3
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Someone else give it a try...
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
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I am in a different zone and on the coast so the plants that we have here are different. About the only thing that I would say is that I did not see many host plants for the caterpillars.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #5
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Native shrubs of the southeast for your wildlife gardens

Here is a list of native shrubs for the Southeast.

Inkberry
Hoary azalea
Spicebush
Mountain pepperbush
Christmasberry
American beautyberry
Black huckleberry
Wax myrtle
Blackhaw viburnum
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:10 AM   #6
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It's hard to come up with alternatives to these plants. Bluestone's list of "Plants that Attract Butterflies" is 22 pages long comprising of just about every Angiosperm they sell.

I think it's a good idea to create flower beds based on groups of butterflies. This can't be done for some species though such as the Tiger Swallowtail, and Mourning Cloak who's host plants range from just about every hardwood tree in the forest. For those it's best to go with Doug Tallamy's list of trees in his book "Bringing Nature Home." Generally if you have a native Oak, Willow, Cherry/Plum, Maple, or Apple chances are you're supporting something... even if it's nibbling on the leaves 60' up in the air. Let these trees be the bare bones of the garden and add perennials around them where lighting applies.

For Brushfoots (Fritillary, Red Admirals, American and Painted Ladies etc...)
Hops
Passion-flower
Nettle
Pussytoe
Lupine
Violets
May Apple
Asters
Turtle Head (white flowering I hear is best)
Native Foxglove (yellow flowering I hear is best)
Milkweed
And boarder all this around a Hackberry tree.


For Swallowtails
Pipe Vine
Carrot Family (Golden Alexander, Parsley, Carrots etc...)
Spice Bush/Sassafras
Paw Paw, (and other Custard Apple Family?)
Native Magnolia, Tulip Tree, Wild Cherry, Apple ect...


For Whites and Sulphurs
Brassicaceas (surprisingly I read this includes ornamental cabbage.)
Wild Senna
Indigo Bush
Lead Plant
Prairie Clover
Lupin and other Legumes
Cassias? which I think only grows in Florida.
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