En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 04, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Plants for shelter for butterflies
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I understand that butterflies need certain plants for food, but are there specific plants that butterflies prefer to use as shelter in central Texas?

ANSWER:

The Austin Butterfly Forum (ABF) has an excellent article, Butterfly Gardening Basics, that I encourage you to read.  In the article, they advise leaving brushy areas in the yard for shelter but no particular plants are named. Other sources suggest a variety of shrubs, trees, and vines—any sort of plant that can provide shelter from the wind and rain.  There are several plants on the ABF's Butterfly Nectar Plants for Central Texas list as well as on their Caterpillar Food Plants for Central Texas list that will serve as shelter as well as nectar sources or caterpillar food. Here are a few suggested ones:

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) evergreen

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) evergreen

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Forestiera pubescens (stretchberry)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) evergreen

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) evergreen

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Morus rubra (red mulberry)

Ehretia anacua (knockaway)

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Rhus aromatica

Rhus virens

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Prunus caroliniana

Ungnadia speciosa

Forestiera pubescens

Ilex vomitoria

Sophora secundiflora

Cornus drummondii

Morus rubra

Ehretia anacua

Frangula caroliniana

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

pruning Chinkapin oak, Loquat and Monterrey oak trees
December 07, 2012 - What is the best time to plant a 45-65 gal. Chinkapin oak tree in Pflugerville. Also, when can i prune fig trees, Loquat trees and a Monterrey oak. Thanks for the information.
view the full question and answer

Why do my Possumhaw Holly berries fall of in the summer in Euless, TX?
June 28, 2011 - My possumhaw holly has LOTS of green berries in the spring but they fall off in summer, so that I have only a handful of red berries in the winter. What is going wrong?
view the full question and answer

Tree removal from Austin
November 18, 2013 - Unfortunately we need to cut down a Spanish oak (11" diameter, over 50 feet tall) that is leaning against our upper story deck (if it falls, the roof, deck, and steel supports may be crushed). A lim...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow under elm tree in Amarillo TX
May 01, 2014 - I have a large elm tree and I can't get seem to get anything to grow under it. I was wondering if there are any shade-loving groundcovers that you would recommend (have tried English Ivy, hostas, an...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of 4-year-old redbud in Rochester, NY
May 20, 2009 - I planted a redbud four years ago and it still hasn't flowered - it does get the lovely leaves. When I planted it it was only an 18 inch stick. How long before it will bloom or is something wrong?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center