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Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

Scientific Name: Colias philodice

Family: Pieridae

Native Range: North America, Pennsylvania

Size:

Active:

Color and Appearance:

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Family: Papilionidae

Native Range:

Size: Medium, 10 – 15 mm (0.4 – 0.6 in)*

Nest: Social, colony*

Nesting Location: Human-made hives, tree cavities, tree limbs or branches*

Nest Materials: Hexagonal cells of wax*

Active: Early spring – late fall*

Color and Appearance: Black with golden hairs*

Pollen Collection: Pollen baskets on hind legs (coriculae)*

Flight Distance: ~ 2 miles, 3.2 km*

*From Heather Holm, Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants. Minetonka: Pollination Press, LLC, 2014., p. 267.

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Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Scientific Name: Strymon melinus

Family: Lycaenidae

Native Range: Throughout North and Central American and northern South America

Size:

Active: Early spring – late fall*

Color and Appearance: Black with golden hairs*

*From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_hairstreak

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Common Buckeye Butterfly

Scientific Name: Junonia coenia

Family: Nymphalidae

Native Range: Year-round residents of Florida, migrants through the rest of the Central and Eastern United States.*

Active: Late spring – fall*

Color and Appearance: Brown wings with notable round patches*

*From Heather Holm, Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants. Minetonka: Pollination Press, LLC, 2014., p. 222

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Skipper Butterflies

Family: Hesperiidae

Native Range: Worldwide, North America, Pennsylvania*

Size: Small – Medium 1.2 – 1.6 inches (35 mm – 42 mm)

Active:

Color and Appearance: Mostly browns, yellows, and oranges. Wings held folded or with upper and lower wings at different angles.*

Larval Host Plant: Sedges*

*From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_skippers

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Milkweed, Common

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Family: Apocynaceae

Height: 2-3 ft

Spread: 1-2 ft

Bloom Time: July-August

Native Range: Throughout North America except west coast, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Larval host for monarch and queen butterflies. Nectar plant.

Human Value: Flowers are exceptionally fragrant. Seed pods are edible.

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Milkweed, Butterfly

Scientific Name: Asclepias tuberosa

Family: Apocynaceae

Height: 1-2.5 ft

Spread: 1-2.5 ft

Bloom Time: July-August

Native Range: Eastern and Southwestern North America, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Larval host for monarch and queen butterflies. Nectar plant.

Human Value: Native American used it medicinally. The stringy fibers were used to make twine and rough textiles.

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Milkweed, Swamp

Scientific Name: Asclepias incarnata

Family: Apocynaceae

Height: 4-5 ft

Spread: 2-3 ft

Bloom Time: July-August

Native Range: Throughout North America except west coast, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Larval host for monarch and queen butterflies. Nectar plant.

Human Value: Native American used it medicinally. The stringy fibers were used to make twine and rough textiles. The seed parachutes are six times more buoyant than cork and 5 times warmer than wool so large quantities were used to stuff pillows and life jackets during World War II.

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Spirea, Japanese

Scientific Name: Spirea japonica

Family: Rosaceae

Height: 4-6 ft

Spread: 4-6 ft

Bloom: Time June

Native Range: Japan

Ecological Value: Nectar for butterflies.

Human Value: Ornamental

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Butterfly Bush

Scientific Name: Buddleia sp.

Height: 6 – 12 ft.

Spread: 4 -15 ft.

Bloom Time: June – October

Native Range: China, Japan

Ecological Value: Provides nectar to pollinators. Potentially INVASIVE

Human Value: Buddleia cultivars have been developed that do not produce seeds. I received this plant from a fellow gardener whose garden had become too shady for it. I have never noticed that it self-seeded so it may be a non-fertile cultivar.

Buddleia blooms on new wood each year. The old wood tends to become leggy and less productive over time so I cut this plant back almost to the ground ever spring or every other spring. It produces blooms earlier on years when I don’t cut it back, but it also grows taller and larger.