Growing Wild flowers for Butterflies

Butterfly on Wildflower

One of the many benefits of growing wildflowers is that they will attract a wide variety of insects including butterflies and moths. Wild meadow grasses will also attract butterflies, in particular meadow browns and skippers.

Butterflies will visit many wildflowers for the pollen and nectar, drawn by the sweet scent. Then there are specific wildflowers that will act as host plants for breeding butterflies. Often a particular species of butterfly will have it’s own specific host plant on which they will lay their eggs.

If you wish to grow wild flowers for butterflies, then it is usually best to position them in the warm sheltered position, which butterflies will prefer. Try growing them close to a nettle bed or Buddleia bush, both of which are renowned for attracting butterflies.

Try the following wildflower plants for butterflies.

Common species:

Hedge garlic- Orange tip
Cuckoo flower- Orange tip
Red and White clover- Common blue
Bird’s-foot trefoil- Common blue
Common Sorrell- Small Copper
Mallows (various) – Painted Lady
Viper’s Bugloss- Painted Lady
Meadow grasses- Meadow Brown, Wall Brown, Skippers, Gatekeeper, Ringlet

Less common species:

Horseshoe Vetch- Adonis blue
Common Dog Violet – Various Fritillaries
Common Rock Rose – Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak, Northern Brown Argus,
Devils Bit Scabious- Marsh Fritillary
Meadow grasses- Meadow Brown, Wall Brown, Skippers
Cowslip/Primrose -Duke of Burgundy
Kidney Vetch- Small Blue