Specific local butterflies need specific native plants – not for themselves as beautiful flower-sipping adults, but for their caterpillar leaf-munching stage.
You can attract butterflies to your garden simply by selecting the right plants!
Some butterflies, like the Chequered Swallowtail, have only one local host plant, while others have more options.
The Orchard Swallowtail, for example, uses a wide range of native and exotic citrus trees and does particularly well on all the Flindersia species in our area. The Blue Triangle also has choices in local laurels such as Cryptocarya species and Neolitsea dealbata.
Some plants host more than one butterfly species. A good example is Native Mulberry, Pipturus argenteus, a small tree which supports a lot of wildlife including Speckled Line Blue and Jezebel Nymph butterflies.
Surprisingly, the small herb, Love Flower, Pseuderanthemum variabile, hosts quite large butterflies – the Leafwing and Varied Eggfly.
So, planting local native plants is a great way to entice colourful butterflies into your garden or bit of bush!
Below is a short list of some local native plants with the colourful butterflies they attract:
|Scientific Tree Name||Common Name||Butterfly|
|Alphitonia||Pink ash, Soap Tree||for Small Green-banded Blues|
|Breynia oblongifolia||Breynia||for Large Grass Yellows|
|Citrus australis||Native lime||for Dainty Swallowtails|
|Cryptocarya triplinervis||Three-veined laurel||for Blue Triangles|
|Cullen tenax||Emu foot||for Chequered Swallowtails|
|Flindersia australis||Crows Ash||for Orchard Swallowtails|
|Lomandra longifolia||Lomandra||for Splendid Ochre Skippers|
|Native mulberry||for Jezebel Nymphs & Speckled Line Blues|
|Brush Senna||for Yellow Migrants|
For more information about butterflies see:
- Field Guide to Butterflies in the Moggill Creek Catchment (includes images)
- DPA Sands Butterfly List
For information about free plants for MCCG members, please visit our Nursery page.