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Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) at the margin of a pond

The Wet-Footed Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), a Sustaining and Tasty Shrub for Moths

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is a shrub that grows on the shores of lakes, ponds, streams and in swamps. It is the host plant for three species of moths and a nectar source for other insects and the fruits are a food source for birds. The white to yellowish ball-like flowers appear in the summer and the fruit in the fall.

Queen Butterfly on white flower

The Royal, Stately, and Elegant Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

The Queen butterfly is found in North America around Texas and the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Rarely, individuals will go north and in 2002 and 2003, some individuals were located in the Philadelphia and Reading areas of Pennsylvania (Monroe, James and David Wright. 2017. Butterflies of Pennsylvania, a field guide. University of Pittsburgh Press). It is part of the same genus as the Monarch butterfly, Danaus, and has seven recognized subspecies (Wikipedia).

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) flowers

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) is a herbaceous perennial that grows in open areas such as meadows, fields, roadsides, and disturbed areas that are dry. It is the host plant for two species of butterflies and a nectar source for other insects. The blue purple flowers appear in the summer and the fruit in the fall.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Monarda

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus glaucus), a Comprehensive Guide in 9 Sections

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is found throughout Pennsylvania and from the midwest and eastern North America. It is one of the most seen butterflies in gardens and was one the first documented butterflies in North America. In 1587, John White, drew this butterfly. Later, in 1758, like he did with plants, Carl Von Linnaeus described this butterfly in Systema Naturae. It is the state butterfly in five states (Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) and state insect in Virginia.

Leaf of Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is a herbaceous perennial that grows in open areas such as fields, woodlands, and roadsides that are mesic to dry. It is the host plant for two species of butterflies, two moths, and is a nectar source for other insects and hummingbirds. The purplish colored flowers appear in the spring.

Fruit of Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) is a herbaceous perennial that grows in open areas such as meadows, roadsides, and streamsides. It is the host plant for six species of butterflies and a nectar source for other insects. The purple flowers appear in the spring or early summer and the plant can sometimes become bushy.

Flowers of Lupine (Lupinus perennis) in a field

Lupine (Lupinus perennis)

Lupine (Lupinus perennis) is a herbaceous perennial that grows in places that have been disturbed by fire or grazed by animals. Since there has been fire suppression and there are not as many grazers in the forest, the habitat for this plant has been declining. Lupine is a host for eight species of butterflies, including one that is rare and feeds exclusively on it and a nectar source for many others that use the variably colored flowers in the spring.

White flowers of Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), a Popular and Supportive Friend to Insects

Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) is a tree that reaches the canopy in northern states and the understory in the south. This plant is a host for five species of butterflies and a nectar source for many others that use the white flowers in the spring. It is sometimes considered one of the best plants to have in a butterfly/pollinator garden due to the large number of species it supports.

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