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Nursery & Garden Industry Australia
spacer Quote: Here you will find information sheets that will help you make more educated decisions about how to tackle certain scenarios that arise when caring for your Flora for Fauna Garden.

Flora for Fauna Information Sheets:
Attracting butterflies to your Flora for Fauna garden

Information courtesy of: Image: Spacer Kuranga Native Plant Nursery,
Ringwood, Victoria;
Yuruga Nursery,
PO Box 220, Walkamin,
Qld 4827

Butterflies and moths add an extra dimension to the garden, providing both movement and colour. With the investment of a little time and observation, we can become privy to one of natures most complex and interesting life cycles. Butterflies and moths are important to the pollination of many types of plants and are an integral part of nature?s complex web. Butterflies are particularly attracted to daisy-type flowers as these provide excellent landing platforms while the butterflies are feeding, although are flowers types are also visited. Butterflies are most active in the daytime during spring and summer. Moths, on the other hand, are most active in the evening. They are often attracted to cream and white flowers as these show up well at night and are often fragrant, giving off a scent which is particularly strong at dusk and early morning and very effective in attracting moths to flowers from a great distance.

Some of the plants listed on the Flora for Fauna database are an important food source for various types of butterflies or moths at the larval (caterpillar) stage of their cycle. Bear in mind that generally, the plants they feed upon are not permanently damaged and most often benefit from this gentle tip pruning.

Butterflies usually have one or sometimes a few special plants that their caterpillars feed on . This is called the host plant ? not to be confused with the plants that the adult butterflies obtain nectar from. Female butterflies seek out the host plant and deposit eggs on it. When the eggs hatch, the tiny caterpillars munch their way through leaves until they have grown large and plump ? they then spin their chrysalis or cocoon. Adult butterflies and moths are nectar feeders. They have a coiled proboscis that uncurls and extends to sip nectar from flowers. It is not usually necessary to plant special plants to supply nectar as the adult butterflies will usually use whatever is flowering at the time.

Further information:

  • Attracting Butterflies to your Garden, by Densey Clyne, published by New Holland Publishing

Select butterfly and caterpillar attracting plants for your area using the Create a Garden Planner.

Image: Spacer

Photo: Gary Lewis

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