“Grow in knowledge … do not stay in the same place.” This was the challenge from Gil MacAdam, Landscape for Wildlife Consultant, to the Arcadia Garden Club on how to create a backyard habitat for butterflies. MacAdam, who recently led a Nature Walk at the Environmental Learning Lab, led the Garden Club through a slide presentation on butterfly habitats and demonstrated shrubs and plants that will bring butterflies to our own backyard. “Know your property. Have a plan.” For the ideal butterfly spot, find an open and sunny spot away from the wind.
Butterflies need a nectar source and a larvae food plant. Bidens, a member of the Aster family, will bring butterflies. Commonly thought of as a weed, Biden species is the third most common reliable source of nectar in Florida and without them, many a butterfly would “ go to bed … roost … hungry.” Other examples of butterfly-attracting scrubs and plants include azaleas, golden dewdrop, scarlet milkweed, firebush, pentas, lantana, candlebush, pink-ball, flamingo plant, pawpaw plant, wild coffee, marlberry, Jamaican caper, porterweed shrub, and Turk’s cap.
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