Butterfly Garden

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
Black swallowtail
Eastern tiger swallowtail
Spicebush swallowtail
Checkered white
Cabbage white
Clouded sulphur
Orange sulphur
Cloudless sulphur
Sleepy orange
Great purple hairstreak
Juniper hairstreak
White-M hairstreak
Gray hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Eastern tailed-blue
Summer azure
American snout
Gulf fritillary
Variegated fritillary
Pearl crescent
Question mark
American lady
Painted lady
Red admiral
Common buckeye
Red-spotted purple
Silver-spotted skipper
Long-tailed skipper
Dorantes longtail
Hoary edge
Hayhurst's scallopwing
Juvenal's duskywing
Horace's duskywing
Zarucco duskywing
Wild Indigo duskywing
Common checkered-skipper
Common sootywing
Swarthy skipper
Clouded skipper
Least skipper
Southern skipperling
Fiery skipper
Crossline skipper
Southern broken-dash
Northern broken-dash
Little glassywing
Zabulon skipper
Yehl skipper
Dion skipper
Dun skipper
Eufala skipper
Brazilian skipper
Ocola skipper

Sightings Graph

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).

Butterfly Garden