Oklahoma's Butterflies and the Trees and Plants They Love
Butterflies are helpful in pollination, and they're just plain beautiful to look at, so why have they been disappearing from the Oklahoma landscape? Between climate change, fires, drought, and mankind itself, these delicate creatures didn't ever stand much of a chance, but now you can do something to help!
If you're interested in attracting native butterflies to your property, we have some valuable information for you! There are certain trees and plants that Oklahoma butterflies love. Planting these on your property will attract Oklahoma butterflies to your property, which will give you something beautiful to enjoy, and you'll also be increasing the likelihood that your plants will get pollinated.
Besides that, you'll be giving these lovely creatures a safe place to live and protect their young.
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
This beauty shows off as the state butterfly of Oklahoma! It's colorful and large, so it definitely won't go unnoticed. The Black Swallowtail loves herbs, so you'll see them munching on herbs like parsley and dill in your garden, and they also like fennel. Queen Anne's lace and rue are more of their favorites.
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch butterflies are easy to recognize and can reach a wingspan of up to 4 inches, so they're always a joy to have around. They thrive in open, full-sun gardens, so you can expect to see them anywhere soaking up the sun. Adult Monarchs eat milkweed, ironweed, lantana, red clover, and lilac.
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)
The Viceroy is one species which likes moist areas, so you'll attract them in marshy areas with cottonwoods and willow trees, although they sometimes make their homes in poplars and apple trees as well. You'll get to observe them for a while once you've attracted Viceroys because they have a relatively long lifespan of several months.
Painted Lady (Venessa cardui)
The Painted Lady can be observed all over the world, except in Australia and Antarctica. They have a short lifespan but are readily abundant and will make their home almost anywhere. Plant clover or sweet thistle to provide them with their favorite habitats, or supply thistle, black cherries or hollyhocks for them to lay their eggs on.
Zebra Swallowtail (Protographium Marcellus)
The black and white stripes of the Zebra Swallowtail look beautiful against a colorful flower garden. Choose lilac, verbena, and blackberries to attract these beauties. Also expect to see them in marshy areas, either landscaped or natural.
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)
Azaleas, petunias, and honeysuckle are all fragrant, beautiful plants to have in your garden, but they'll also offer the benefit of attracting the colorful, often imitated Pipevine Swallowtail. Its peacock blue, orange and white pattern is hard to miss in any butterfly garden.
In addition to the plants mentioned above, you can also plant the following in your butterfly garden:
Designing a garden that both you and your fluttery friends can enjoy is a decision that you'll thank yourself for again and again!