The best trees to help at­tract but­ter­flies

Whitsunday Times - - BUSINESS -

DO YOU want to at­tract but­ter­flies to your yard?

The trop­i­cal Whit­sun­day cli­mate pro­vides great liv­ing con­di­tions for many dif­fer­ent but­ter­flies.

Most but­ter­flies can be found close to their food source, so it is rec­om­mended that gar­den­ers plant trees and plants that will at­tract your de­sired species.

There are two va­ri­eties of trees in par­tic­u­lar that are great for at­tract­ing a range of dif­fer­ent but­ter­flies, in­clud­ing the mag­nif­i­cent Ulysses but­ter­fly.

Both tree species are na­tive to the Aus­tralian rain­for­est, and grow well in semi-shade and full sun.

The smaller va­ri­ety is the lit­tle evodiella.

Th­ese trees grow to about 6m and have bright pink flow­ers grow­ing from their branches, rather than the leaf ends.

The larger va­ri­ety is the elleryana and can grow up to 25m tall. They also pro­duce pink flow­ers stem­ming from the trunk and branches.

Th­ese trees are one of the main sources of food for the Ulysses but­ter­fly.

This beau­ti­ful, elec­tric blue but­ter­fly is a favourite in north Queens­land, and the elleryana is an im­por­tant food source.

Both th­ese tree species are great back or front yard trees.

They have about a 4m spread, but can be planted in nar­row ar­eas and will grow ac­cord­ingly.

Some of their other qual­i­ties in ad­di­tion to at­tract­ing but­ter­flies in­clude their beau­ti­ful and unique flow­ers that do not at­tract bugs.

They are also na­tive to the area, so rea­son­ably easy to grow.

If you do plant trees to at­tract but­ter­flies, it is im­por­tant that you be­come fa­mil­iar with what the cater­pil­lars look like.

Cater­pil­lars or lar­vae may be mis­tak­enly thought of as pests and de­stroyed by un­know­ing gar­den­ers in an at­tempt to keep them from other plants.

Drop into Plants Plus Plants Whit­sun­day on Shute Har­bour Road for more in­for­ma­tion about what to plant to at­tract but­ter­flies to your back­yard.

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