Our Favorites – Joyful Butterfly

Our Favorites – Joyful Butterfly

Our Favorites

Since Joyful Butterfly sells plants and seeds for butterfly gardens all over the country, we see over 50 varieties of plants in the greenhouse.  We try to offer host and nectar plants for as many butterflies as we can.  From the most famous Monarch to the endangered Karner Blue, we study what the caterpillars and butterflies need.  Working with interesting plants and seeing beautiful butterflies, we all have our favorites.

Favorite Plants

Our Favorite Plants

This category is tricky.  Sometimes, a favorite plant for butterflies may actually be hard to grow in the greenhouse and we have a complicated feelings about it (think thistle).  Understand that our favorites are based on human standards and the butterflies did not vote on this.

Kelly’s favorite plant is the Mexican Sunflower. With its large, vibrant flowers, it attracts so many butterflies. (If we had asked the butterflies to vote, this would have been at the top of the list.)  Another favorite for the group is the Dutchman’s Pipevine with its big leaves. We all love the Common Buttonbush and the way the  butterflies flock to its nectar.  It is the perfect plant for taking photos of the pollinators. Another favorite is Lanceleaf Coreopsis with happy yellow blooms that bring joy.  The last on our favorite plant list is the wild lupine with leaves look like little green flowers even before the real flowers shoot up. 

Favorite Caterpillars

Our Favorite Caterpillars!

Kelly’s favorite caterpillar is the Giant Swallowtail. Looking like bird droppings, it is cute “ugly” and camouflaged.  She also loves its use of the osmeterium as a defense mechanism. Another favorite caterpillar of the group is the pipevine caterpillar.  We love the way they look a little goth and prickly, but are very soft and friendly. Of course, the spicebush caterpillar makes the favorite list! It goes through so many different (and fun) looks before pupating and has interesting fake eye markings.

Our Favorite Chrysalids


Kelly’s favorite chrysalis is the Monarch with its beautiful jeweled look. Another favorite chrysalis of the group is the Variegated Fritillary. It is fascinating with its metallic look and gold spikes. The Baltimore Checkerspot is also a favorite for the way it looks like a seashell. One of the most interesting chrysalises is the Gulf Fritillary. Not a beautiful chrysalis, but it is interesting as it mimics dried leaves.

Favorite Butterflies

Our Favorite Butterflies

The reason Joyful Butterfly is here is to celebrate butterflies!  It is hard to choose a favorite with so many gorgeous and interesting butterflies. Good thing we don’t have to love just one!

Kelly loves the Zebra Swallowtail with its beautiful black and pale green zebra stripes. Another favorite butterfly is the Giant Swallowtail with its large and pretty wings. Big can be great, but so can small. The small and adorable Buckeye butterfly is loved by the group.  We also love the beautiful Gulf Fritillary butterfly with distinct wing markings. Last but not least, another favorite butterfly is the Tiger Swallowtail. Large and yellow, it is so photogenic!. It is so much easier to photograph than the quick little skippers (which are cute, but too fast).

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Our passion for butterflies spills over to the caterpillars and the plants that support both.  We hope you will also have the chance to enjoy this beautiful aspect of nature. Let us know which are your favorites.  We love hearing from you!

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