Forum home Wildlife gardening

Which plants in your garden do butterflies like best?

We have a long running thread for bees, so I thought we should have one for butterflies! I've been pleased with the amount I've had hanging around this year.

My Small scabiouses (Scabiosa columbaria) are probably the best performer. I also have some pincushion and field scabiouses but they've been completely outshone by the smalls (the poor performance of the Field with both bees and butterflies has surprised me).  For much of the summer my Anthemis tinctoria 'E.C. Buxton has also been really popular. The White swan echinacea that have recently started flowering are now taking over.  Other mentions must go to verbena bonariensis, annual cornflower and birds foot trefoil.

On the other hand, they've totally ignored the buddleja  I brought for them!


  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,033
    Wild marjoram
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • office641office641 Posts: 4
    We have a very large soil heap with thistles - very popular with Small Tortiseshells just now.
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    Cimcifuga - Red Amirals love it.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,768
    It’s Lavender here (if they can find a spot amongst all the bees!). Seen whites, peacocks and a few others this weekend. 
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
    edited July 2019
    Everyday they are on my Malvaviscus arboreus (red Turk's cap) and the blooms on my Tradescantia "purple Heart".  They pay no attention to my bougainvillea, which surprises me.
    My low-carb recipe site:
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
    Today, a ginormous yellow swallowtail flew down the walkway right by my face, within a foot.  Only 1' away!  That's never happened before.  We are seeing sooooo many yellow swallowtails this year where I live, whereas we saw more black and blue ones in years past (hardly any this year).
    My low-carb recipe site:
  • oooftoooft Posts: 191
    Liatris is very popular with my butterflies. They also seem to be in love with one particular single type dahlia I've grown this year called Juliet.The hoverflies are right into that one too. I will be taking loads of cuttings from it next year since its so popular with the beasties
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,995
    Acteas for the admirals here too @yorkshirerose, but it'll be a few weeks before we see them.
    Buddleia for the painted ladies and torties, but they also like the verbena bonariensis, ligularia and sweet peas, along with all the bees and hoverflies.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,536
    Agastache Black Adder wins by a country mile. Very popular with Scarce Swallowtails, Swallowtails, Fritillaries, Brimstones, plus Hummingbird Hawk Moths, Five Spot Burnets and several other species I haven’t managed to ID yet - plus bees, lots and lots of bees. Other types of Agastache, all Salvias and Echinaceas then follow in the popularity stakes.
  • Holly trees for the holly blue butterflies here, some speckled woods, gate keepers, red admirals and the usual cabbage whites.Speckled wood picture - most butterflies fly off before the camera focus on them.
Sign In or Register to comment.