Butterflies Love Bee Balm!

Bee balm (Monarda punctata) is butterfly balm, too. Above a painted lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis) inserts its proboscis into one of the many speckled flowers of bee balm. Remember: What seem to be ‘petals’ are really bracts. Lots of tiny polka-dotted flowers are arranged in a whorl and contain a pollinator-attracting nectar reward.
Also known as an American lady or American painted lady, this butterfly ‘worked’ each individual flower sucking out the nectar, … even turning upside down …
Butterfly ‘undersides’ act as camouflage (as butterflies fold up their wings as they nectar) and differ dramatically from the showy topside.
Plant flowers with lots of tiny, nectar-laden flowers to attract a plethora of pollinators including beautiful butterflies. To ‘grow’ butterflies in your yard, plant larval host plants. Host plants for painted lady butterflies in Florida include climbing aster (Aster carolinianus) and bushy aster (Aster dumosus), as well as cudweed (Gnaphalium sp.).

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