Since Joyful Butterfly sells plants and seeds for butterfly gardens all over the country, we see over 50 varieties of plants in the greenhouse. We try to offer host and nectar plants for as many butterflies as we can. From the most famous Monarch to the endangered Karner Blue, we study what the caterpillars and butterflies need. Working with interesting plants and seeing beautiful butterflies, we all have our favorites.
This category is tricky. Sometimes, a favorite plant for butterflies may actually be hard to grow in the greenhouse and we have a complicated feelings about it. Understand that our favorites are based on human standards and the butterflies did not vote on this.
Kelly’s favorite plant is the Mexican Sunflower. With its large, vibrant flowers, it attracts so many butterflies. (If we had asked the butterflies to vote, this would have been at the top of the list.) Terri’s favorite is the Dutchman’s Pipevine – she just loves it with its big leaves! Josie’s favorite is the Common Buttonbush. She is fascinated with all the butterflies that flock to its nectar “buttons” and is able to take many photos of the pollinators. Kayla’s favorite is Lanceleaf Coreopsis. She loves the happy yellow blooms that bring her joy. Stephanie’s favorite is the wild lupine. She loves the way the leaves look like little green flowers even before the real flowers shoot up. (Her computer backdrop photo is the lupine)
Favorite Caterpillars and Chrysalids
Kelly’s favorite caterpillar is the Giant Swallowtail. Looking like bird droppings, it is cute “ugly” and camouflaged. She also loves its use of the osmeterium as a defense mechanism. Her favorite chrysalis is the Monarch with its beautiful jeweled look. Terri’s favorite caterpillar is the spicebush caterpillar. It looks cool with the fake eye markings. Her favorite chrysalis is also the Monarch with the gold specks.
Josie’s favorite is the pipevine caterpillar. She loves the way they look a little goth and prickly, but are very soft and friendly. Her favorite chrysalis is the Variegated Fritillary. It is fascinating with its metallic look and gold spikes. Kayla’s favorite caterpillar is also the friendly pipevine caterpillar. Her favorite chrysalis is the Baltimore Checkerspot for the way it looks like a seashell. Just like Terri, Stephanie’s favorite is the spicebush caterpillar. It goes through so many different (and fun) looks before pupating. She thinks one of the most interesting chrysalises is the Gulf Fritillary. Not a beautiful chrysalis, but it is interesting as it mimics dried leaves.
The reason Joyful Butterfly is here is to celebrate butterflies! It is hard to choose a favorite with so many gorgeous and interesting butterflies. Good thing we don’t have to love just one!
Kelly loves the Zebra Swallowtail with its beautiful black and pale green zebra stripes. Terri’s favorite butterfly is the Giant Swallowtail with its large and pretty wings. Josie’s favorite is the small Buckeye butterfly. Simply put, she thinks it looks cool. Kayla’s favorite butterfly is the Gulf Fritillary. With distinct upperside and underside wing markings, she thinks it is beautiful. Stephanie’s favorite butterfly is the Tiger Swallowtail. Large and yellow, it is so photogenic!. It is so much easier to photograph than the quick little skippers (which are cute, but too fast).
Our passion for butterflies spills over to the caterpillars and the plants that support both. We hope you will also have the chance to enjoy this beautiful aspect of nature. Let us know which are your favorites. We love hearing from you!