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Typically, butterflies are similar to bees in that they favour bright, sweet-smelling, and open petalled flowers. They are also partial to a spot of sunbathing and love the heat, so any flowers you plant for them should be ones that enjoy the sun also.
Yet not all butterflies like exactly the same wildflowers, so we’ve made a list of wildflowers that will attract a variety of butterflies to your garden!
Birdsfoot Trefoil also sometimes called ‘eggs and bacon’ due to its yellow petals and red buds, is just like eggs and bacon to Common Blue and Dingy Skipper butterflies who love to feast on its nectar! Birdsfoot Trefoil flowers from May to September, so also provides a long-lasting display for hungry butterflies.
Coneflowers evidently get their name from their cone-like shape and appear almost like a pink and orange shuttlecock! They are very popular with lots of butterflies including Painted Lady, Monarch and more. Coneflower is a perennial wildflower, meaning it will come back year after year to delight your butterflies.
The bright purple starburst of the common knapweed is irresistible to butterflies such as Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small White and Painted Lady. It is even loved by birds when autumn arrives, as birds love to try and eat its dropped seeds! Although it appears thistle-like, this wildflower is very welcome in the garden for its ability to attract a wide range of butterflies!
The bright and plentiful flowers of Yarrow attract Peacock, Meadow Brown and Marbled White butterflies. Their clusters are brilliant beacons to butterflies who are quick to settle on their bountiful blooms for yet another nectar supper. These perennials are easy to grow and are hardy plants that can be found growing in abundance in most wild environments.
Calendula Art Shades
Calendula’s vibrant orange petals are a welcome sight to butterflies and will also be a welcome addition to your garden! Butterflies love to land upon their pretty tangerine petals for a sweet sip of nectar. Calendula art shades are annuals and will bloom quick in the right conditions, meaning your butterfly visitors are just a seed sow away!
Just as purple coneflower is popular with butterflies, Rudbeckia is just another type of coneflower that attracts butterflies in their droves! Rudbeckia is also a great ‘host plant’ which means caterpillars enjoy it too, playing out the four stages of their lifecycle all on this one plant.
Smooth Blue Aster’s periwinkle petals are a common feature in many well thought out butterfly gardens. Its blue-violet blooms and open appearance attract a bevy of butterflies to enjoy a nectar buffet! Like all the other wildflowers on this list, Aster enjoys a sunny spot so make sure to sow it in one for it thrive!
Butterflies love to flutter from daisy to daisy like lily pads, sampling the nourishing nectar from each and every one of these pretty perennials. Its custard yellow centre and flat top provides a welcome landing spot for butterflies who can often be found hovering around their bouffant blooms!
Cornflower is a much-loved wildflower from the Cornfield annuals family, and the love doesn’t stop there! Butterflies adore its indigo hues which signal that a tasty treat is afoot. Once sown, cornflowers will take 60-80 days to grow and will flower for weeks on end to provide blooms and butterflies a-plenty!
The sunshine yellow petals of this wildflower certainly make it stand out to neighbouring butterflies who can’t wait to try its nourishing nectar. Coreopsis is a member of the sunflower family and just like its siblings, thrives in sunny conditions!