Sunday, October 17, 2010

Butterflies on the Prairie

The number of butterflies flying around my suburban prairie has increased over the last few weeks. Monarchs are making a pit stop on the prairie as they migrate to Mexico. Other visitors include queen, common buckeye, painted lady, American snout, gulf fritillary, gray hairstreak, and various varieties of skipper butterflies.

The flowers of blue mistflower are the crowd pleaser right now. The plants are covered with butterflies all day long. Other favorites are frostweed, zexmenia, cowpen daisies, four nerve daisies, frogfruit, and the many types of salvia on the prairie. The white mistflower plants are sure to become the favorite flower on the prairie when they begin blooming this week.

Here is a look at some of the butterflies and other flying creatures that posed for a photo op.

Monarch on Blue Mistflower

 Great Purple Hairstreak on Frostweed

 Painted Lady on Frostweed

 American Snout on Blue Mistflower

 Common Buckeye on Blue Mistflower

 Gulf Fritillary on Blue Mistflower

 Yet-to-be-identified Yellow Butterfly on Zexmenia

 The tiny Eastern Tailed-Blue. Thanks for help with the ID Kathleen.
 Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar on Hercules Club Tree

 Dragonfly on Gayfeather

Interesting Green and Black Fly? on Frostweed


  1. Great butterfly photos. Do you see prints of your photos? Lou

  2. Great collection~ I really iike your prairie garden blog! Wish I could do the same, but too much shade here in my garden.
    All the best!
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  3. That purple hairstreak is amazing! I don't think I've seen one here. And you had another cat on your Hercules Club. I see the giant swallowtails laying eggs on mine but never find the cats.

    Your little blue butterfly doesn't look like a hairstreak to me. We used to see similar ones in Florida in a family locals called little blues. You might find it in the Kauffman butterfly book, I think there's a section on blues.

  4. Gosh, this is amazing--very inspiring. I have wanted to do this for a very long, but have no idea where to start.

    How did you start? Are there any books or guides that you could recommend?

  5. Slow responses: David thanks for the comments. I wish I had a larger property so I could have a shade garden as well as a sun garden.
    Kathleen, I think you are right about the blue butterfly. After additional research, it appears to be an Eastern Tailed-Blue. Thanks for the help with the identification.
    Anonymous, I don't know where you are but, Sally Wasowski has several great books on Texas native plants and gardening. You can do like I did and plant a few natives in your flowerbeds. Over time, you will plant more natives and will make your flowerbeds larger. One day, you may have all flowerbeds and no turf grass. There is nothing wrong with taking it slowly.


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