Fall Flitters in the Gardens

(Joy) Hempstead, TX(Zone 8b)

Right now there are tons of flittery, fluttery things around. What's buzzing in your garden?

My young duranta is drawing tons of butterflies, my coral vine simply buzzes all day.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Those are all very pretty Joy.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Beautiful pictures. The puple caught my eye immediatley.

(Joy) Hempstead, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, I have got tons of pictures over the last couple weeks, needless to say my cottage garden is slowly shaping up!

Joy

Litchfield Park, AZ

What is the purple flower?

(Joy) Hempstead, TX(Zone 8b)

The white butterfly (sulphur) is on my duranta, I don't remember the variety but I love the white edged purple flowers. The black swallowtail is on my purple porterweed. Both these are huge favorites wof mine, both were small starter plants this spring and have gotten huge. The duranta is 4' tall and wide, the porter weed is over 5' tall and about 4' wide. Both have been blooming for months with no sign of stopping and are drought tolerant.
Recently bought a lime green duranta and a peach porter weed. Hope they draw the butterflies like the purple does.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Thanks, I have several duranta and love them, but i have not seen a porterweed before. I will be moving to TX in a couple months and I am looking forward to growing some new stuff.I love your pictures of the butterslies. I have a passion vine that is hosting a bunch of soon to be butterflies.

Austin, TX

Duranta (skyflower) is a big favorite, along with Gregg's Blue Mistflower. They are both butterfly magnets, but the Duranta is especially beautiful and easy to grow and maintain (no deadheading necessary like the MF). I think the skyflower may have had a few more visits by BFs than the MF. The hummers also like the Duranta, and I've witnessed two visits by a Snowberry Clearwing (bumblebee/hummer) moth. When the Duranta quits blooming and dries up, the birdies attack the plants for seeds, so it helps them out, too. The Duranta is not a native plant, but is an adapted plant and listed in the Austin booklet, "Native and Adapted a Landscape Plants (an earthwise guide for Central Texas)." Almost all BF in the garden partakes of the Duranta: Monarchs, Queens, multiple Skippers ( incl. Long-tailed), Duskywings, BST, GST, Crescents, and I'm sure something I can't recall. We've had Bordered Patch on the MF, along with the usual Queens and other BFs.

We planted Pride of Barbados when we were not planting specifically for BFs, just xeroscaping/wildscaping in general and I loved POB. It turns out that the BFs have been nectaring from it. I even saw a Momarch and BST fighting over it. Who knew.

We have had a woefully small number of Monarchs this fall. We purchased multiple Tropical Milkweed plants in antticipation of fall migration. Last year and this summer, between the Queens and Monarchs, all our plants were eaten bare. We had to take cats to friends to whom we had given MW plants. So we bought many MWs this season but we have had too few Monarchs. So far we have tagged and released 4 from our "nursery", we have four chrysalids, some eggs and some tiny cats, all brought in to rear. Nothing like we expected. Oh well, maybe next year.

(Joy) Hempstead, TX(Zone 8b)

How exciting! I prefer heirlooms and natives in my garden but I am willing to make exceptions for exceptional adapted plants that provide food for my flitters.

I have yet to experience any monarchs, but I have several milkweeds and lots of hope. Until last year we weren't on the hummers path, much to my dismay. Last years drought brought us quite a few surprises, including huge swarms of hummers and roseate spoonbills. Both have returned this year in force. We also have more variety in the butterflies than ever before.

We have a couple of PofB that are making a comeback from last year. I will have to keep an eye out for butterflies. Thanks,

Joy

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Duranta erecta is shown to be native to Texas on the USDA map
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DUER

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

Hi Desha143!
It's still a little earlier for the big migration across Austin, I think. We usually see them early October to mid-Oct. We didn't have very many last year ( near 360) because we had very little blooming. I think we may have a better turn-out this year, as the drought has lessened a bit and things are budding out and blooming. Years ago, I posted on Dave's about seeing the oak trees in our front yard covered in butterflies. A front was on the way, and the Monarchs were right ahead of it. They were hanging like leaves on top of each other. I've never seen them that concentrated before, but I always watch for them starting in October. If you're already seeing them, I may have to get busy and start watching for them!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Ok, seen abt the 24th? what is this one, plz they seemed to be drawn to the zinnias

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

It is a Gulf Fritillary.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Thank you- I wasnt sure

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