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
Eastern tiger swallowtail
Great purple hairstreak
Wild Indigo duskywing
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).