The purple butterfly bush in our backyard has only been flowering for a few weeks, yet it has already attracted quite a variety of butterflies. Although I haven’t been able to get a photograph of them all, I was able to snap some shots of the painted lady, red admiral, question mark, yellow swallowtail, sulfur, black swallowtail and monarch butterflies. It’s amazing how many butterflies find their way to the same plant.
Not being a gardener myself, I was surprised to read recently that the butterfly bush has a bad reputation. Despite doing a great job attracting butterflies, it is considered an invasive plant in much of the United States. In fact, the USDA Forest Service classifies the butterfly bush as a weed! The Ecosystem Gardening website is a good source of information on this topic.
So what should you do if you want to see butterflies to your backyard? Choosing native plants that attract butterflies is the recommended alternative to planting a butterfly bush.