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Butterfly Magnets- Perennials, Annuals and the Larva They Attract

  • by
  • Gene Caballero
  • May 27, 2021

Looking to draw butterflies into your backyard? Well here is a list of the plants that they love. These nectar loving plants; both annuals and perennials, will attract the pollinators you love, and even feed the larvae that live on them.  

What annuals attract and feed pollinator larvae?

There are many annuals that attract pollinators including; agertum, pentas, cosmos, petunia, heliotrope, statice, marigold, and verbena. 

What perennials attract and feed pollinator larvae?

Among the many perennials that attract pollinators are alliums, coneflowers, chives, forget-me-nots, Valerian, sunflowers, yarrow, catmint, and goldenrod.

What larvae may I find on these perennials and annuals?

There are many larvae you may find in your flower garden including; black swallowtail, mourning cloak, tiger swallowtail, monarch, viceroy, red-spotted purple, Great Spangled fritillary, and buckeye. 

Why should I plant these flowers to attract pollinators?

There are many reasons to attract pollinators to your garden. Pollinators are crucial for making food through pollination. Without these pollinators, our food chain would collapse. Additionally, many of these pollinators are at risk of extinction through their ecosystems being destroyed over the years. Your pollinator garden can create the island of life a pollinator species needs to survive in your area. 

What plants attract each pollinator?

Each plant can host different larvae. Carrots, parsley. and dill can host black swallowtail. Willows and elms can host Mourning cloak larvae. Wild cherry, birch. and popular can attract tiger swallowtails. Milkweed and butterfly weed can attract monarchs. Willows and poplars can attract red-spotted purple. Willows can attract viceroy larvae. 


This infographic is provided by the University of Illinois Extension, check out their website for more great content on annuals and perennials. In the meantime, share this infographic with your friends, family, and others so that we can all build a healthier environment. 

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