I am amazed how an alien plant can seem to be so beneficial but I know that, not having a long evolution with this plant, our native insects can't lay eggs on it or use the butterfly bush for anything but nectar. That said, it sure is fun to watch them sipping and fitting about on the purple flowers. This article in Rodale news bad butterfly bush details why this flowering Asian plant is a problem in our gardens and we should shun it. So we don't have any butterfly bush in our DC garden but in Manassas I get to take lots of photos of the butterflies that are eating nectar but have to find native plants on which to lay eggs and reproduce in other parts of that garden environment. The huge oak tree is home to over 500 natives species and that is less than 25 feet from the Buddleia. We have a native collection we are beginning to mix in with the non-natives. The New York Aster is one that I mixed in right next to the butterfly bush and is now blooming using the stronger branches of the butterfly bush as a support to hold it upright.
|Clear winged moth visits the butterfly bush in daylight hours.|
|Male monarch butterfly identified by the two black spots and narrow black lines in the wings. (Thanks Jason Alexander for help with the sex ID)|
|Seed filled flowers of the native Anise hyssop a member of the mint family that bees and butterflies pollenated earlier this year is now feeding birds like the gold finches that eat the seeds.|
Having a mix of native plants planted in with non-native plants helps us supporting the insects that feed our birds and entertain us all year long as well as support life for all.
|male gold finch eating seed of the Anise hyssop|
|Anise hyssop in the first flower of summer|