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Lovely colourful butterfly

Butterflies

Flowers for Butterflies: Butterflies visit gardens to drink nectar for energy. There are a number of plants and shrubs that are ideal, its is important to provide flowers throughout the season. The two crucial times are during the spring when flowers are available for butterflies emerging from hibernation. In addition late summer and early autumn flowering plants are necessary to build up reserves in the run up to winter.

Suggested spring plants: Aubretia, Forget-me-not
Bluebell, Honesty
Clover, Pansy/Violet
Daisy, Primrose
Dandelion, Wallflower


Late summer/autumn plants: Buddleia, Marjoram
French marigolds, Michaelmas daisy
Ice plant, Mint
Ivy, Red valerian
Knapweed, Scabious
Lavender, Thyme

 

Old-fashioned varieties often have more nectar than new hybrids. Be sure to water wildlife gardens properly, the amount of nectar reduces dramatically if plants are not regularly watered. It is important to remember that butterflies will concentrate in the warmer areas of a garden or meadow. Sunny, sheltered spots in the garden are most popular with the majority of species.

 

Providing for caterpillars:

Plant Caterpillar
Stinging Nettle Small Tortoiseshell
  Peacock
  Comma
  Red admiral
Holly and Ivy Holly Blue
Buckthorn and alder Buckthorn Brimstone
Cuckooflower Orange-tip
Garlic Mustard Green-veined White

 

There has been a return of the Speckled Wood butterfly in recent years. The species which hadn’t been seen since the early 19th century due to the prolonged cold period forcing them south. This was one of the findings made from the Butterfly Conservation survey which has published its results.

Photographs reprinted with kind permission of Martin Warren at Butterfly Conservation.

 

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