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 Shrubs Questions

Perennials for flowerbed in Texas Panhandle
October 19, 2012 - I have a flowerbed in a partially shaded area and want some perennials. I live in the Texas Panhandle, soil is sandy, loamy. Hardiness zone is 6-B.
view the full question and answer

Texas Sage in Indiana
September 14, 2005 - I was living in Texas and now I have moved to Indiana. I would love to have some Texas Sage here. is it possible?
view the full question and answer

Preventing weeds in kinnikinnick in Richland WA
May 29, 2011 - We planted our kinnickinick last Nov. and we live in Richland, WA, where it gets hot in the summer. We planted almost 500 of them on a hillside. Weeding is taking over our lives, to say the least. ...
view the full question and answer

Webs on limbs of evergreen sumac from Austin
May 13, 2014 - We have a mature Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens) that has spider webs on the end of some limbs. The end of the those limbs have died although new growth is coming on further up the limb. We live in th...
view the full question and answer

Information about Melochia tomentosa
October 19, 2012 - Hi, We have a plant in our garden that was received as Melochia tomentosa. It is a woody shrub, about 6' tall and 8' wide. According to the Institute for Regional Conservation, this species is no...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center