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.
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.
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.
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.