Butterflies are attracted to plants that are rich in nectar, favouring blooms with long tubular petals like buddleia and lantana, which are harder for shorter-tongued bees to access and so provide exclusive eating. They also like flowers with clusters of blooms such as sea holly and verbena, so they can walk and sup at the same time.
Shelter and sun are key, as is regular watering – hydrated plants produce more of the nectar that butterflies need. As they’re not the most accurate of fliers, they also favour flowers that provide wide landing pads such as sedums and achillea.
Clusters of Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’