If we really want to get to know butterflies a little better, we need to encourage them to take up residence on our property rather than just stopping for a quick bite to eat. To achieve that, we need to think about providing the habitat they need throughout as much of their life cycle as we are able. Let’s look at the Great Spangled Fritillary as an example.
Adult Great Spangled Fritillaries love to cruise fields, meadows, open woods, and gardens, looking for nectar rich flowers. Some of their favorite food sources include Butterfly-weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Joe-pye-weeds (Eutrochium dubium, E. fistulosum, E. maculatum, E. purpureum), Ironweeds (Vernonia sp.), and Dogbanes (Apocynum cannabinum). These plants all have broad appeal to many species of butterflies, including the showy bright orange and brown Fritillaries. Continue reading