Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly on Stachys lanata
Anise Swallowtail Butterfly
Skipper on Alfalfa bloom
Comma Butterfly on compost
If you had to explain butterflies to someone who had never seen one, or a garden of flowers, how would you describe one?
They are brightly coloured, or completely camouflaged. They are large, and small. They have life stages that don't resemble one another at all. As adults they have wings and sipping mouth parts, as juveniles they are caterpillars and chew on leaves.
The many different types of butterflies visiting my butterfly garden have just as many different needs.
They like flowers, some more than others.
The different species are partial to shrubs or plants for their young, sometimes exclusively one kind. Some metamorphosize into adult butterflies from a chrysalis or pupa, others hibernate as a caterpillar.
Many adult butterflies live only one season, some overwinter to start the cycle anew early in the following year.
These fascinating creatures delight us with their fluttering, seeming aimless flight, and attracting them to butterfly food an almost endless hobby.
Here are some butterflies you might see in your xeric garden: