A garden that attracts butterflies can be beautiful, easy to maintain, and very rewarding. The most successful gardens provide food sources for both the adult butterflies and the larval caterpillars.
Plant a variety of flowers so that nectar is available across the seasons. Include the special leafy plants that the caterpillars of local butterflies eat. At the end of the growing season, leave dead leaves and stems in the garden, since these plant parts may harbor overwintering caterpillars or chrysalises. Enjoy hosting "flowers in flight" in your garden!
Butterflies, Skippers, and Moths at the JC Raulston Arboretum
The JC Raulston Arboretum's diverse collection of woody and herbaceous plants attracts a large variety of butterflies, moths, and skippers. Fifty-eight species have been observed at the JCRA over the years. The Arboretum is the first site the Wake County butterfly count, sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association, visits for their annual count in early August.
Species Seen at the JCRA
Pipevine swallowtail br> Black swallowtail br> Eastern tiger swallowtail br> Spicebush swallowtail br> Checkered white br> Cabbage white br> Clouded sulphur br> Orange sulphur br> Cloudless sulphur br> Sleepy orange br> Great purple hairstreak br> Juniper hairstreak br> White-M hairstreak br> Gray hairstreak br> Red-banded Hairstreak br> Eastern tailed-blue br> Summer azure br> American snout br> Gulf fritillary br> Variegated fritillary br> Pearl crescent br> Question mark br> American lady br> Painted lady br> Red admiral br> Common buckeye br> Red-spotted purple br> Viceroy br> Monarch br> Silver-spotted skipper br> Long-tailed skipper br> Dorantes longtail br> Hoary edge br> Hayhurst's scallopwing br> Juvenal's duskywing br> Horace's duskywing br> Zarucco duskywing br> Wild Indigo duskywing br> Common checkered-skipper br> Common sootywing br> Swarthy skipper br> Clouded skipper br> Least skipper br> Southern skipperling br> Fiery skipper br> Crossline skipper br> Whirlabout br> Southern broken-dash br> Northern broken-dash br> Little glassywing br> Sachem br> Zabulon skipper br> Yehl skipper br> Dion skipper br> Dun skipper br> Eufala skipper br> Brazilian skipper br> Ocola skipper
A list of the species and the time they visit the JCRA is included in a sightings document Tom Howard kindly provided the JCRA. The data in the charts are provided by observations of Harry LeGrand and John Connors (complier of the Wake County butterfly count).