Butterfly Garden

Our Butterfly Garden contains native and Florida-friendly plants that attract and provide shelter for butterflies. Butterflies are excellent pollinators and these plant species are crucial to the continuation of butterfly populations.

The welfare of butterflies is increasingly compromised by the loss of habitat.

A well-planned butterfly garden appeals to many different butterflies and caters to both the adults and their larvae (caterpillars). Their larvae rely on specific plants called host plants for food and are often greatly limited in the number of plants on which they can feed.

All butterflies have a life cycle consisting of four distinct stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult. Female butterflies lay their eggs on or near an appropriate larval host plant.

Butterfly gardening brings you closer to nature and educates you on the importance of caring for the environment. Enjoy our plants, butterflies, and caterpillars and get inspired to plant the right plants, and spread your “butterfly awareness” to people you know.

Butterfly Plants Suitable for a Butterfly Garden in Sarasota County
Courtesy of Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead
Common name Scientific name Description
Nectar Plants
Florida Tickseed Coreopsis leavenworthii (also C. floridana) FL native
Lanceleaf Tickseed Coreopsis lanceolata FL native
Butterfly sage Varronia globosa FL native
Tropical sage Salvia coccinea FL native
Button sage lantana Lantana involucrata FL native
Starry rosinweed Silphium astericus FL native
Blue sage Salvia azurea FL native
Ruby red pentas Pentas lanceolata FL friendly
Tampa Verbena Glandularia tampensis FL native
Narrowleaf sunflower Helianthus angustifolius FL native
Firebush Hamelia patens FL native
Pineland Heliotrope Euploca polyphylla aka Heliotropium polyphyllium FL native
Scorpion tail Heliotropium angiospermum FL native
Dixie Aster - Whitetop aster Sericocarpus tortifolius FL native
Firebush Hamelia patens FL native
Larval Plants
Florida Petunia Ruellia caroliniensis FL native
Coontie Zamia integrifolia FL native
Creeping Sage Salvia misella FL native
St. John's wort Hypericum tenuifolium FL native
Firebush Hamelia patens FL native
Privet cassia Senna ligustrina FL native
Oblongleaf Twinflower Dyschoriste oblongifolia FL native
Lake Twinflower Dyschoriste humistrata FL native
Purple thistle Cirsium horridulum FL native
Wild plumbago Plumbago zeylanica FL native
Plumbago Plumbago auriculata FL friendly
False nettle Boehmeria cylindrica FL native
Pineland Heliotrope Euploca polyphylla FL native
Bushy aster Sympyotrichum dumosum FL native
Snow squarestem Melanthera nivea FL native
Pink swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata FL native
Twinevine Sarcostemma clausum FL native
Corkystem passion vine Passiflora suberosa FL native
Maypop passion vine Passiflora incarnata FL native
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