Friends of Green Cay
Butterfly Host & Nectar Plants
Ever wonder why our Butterfly Garden has the plants that it does? Butterflies, pollinators, and birds all benefit from the native plants in our Butterfly Garden. We have a variety of native plants specifically selected to help our butterfly population thrive. Butterflies need two types of plants to help them to become successful in their life cycle; host plants and nectar plants. The life cycle of a butterfly moves from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. The eggs that become caterpillars rely upon the host plant as their food source to grow and develop. Every species of butterfly has specific host plants needed to reproduce. For example, Monarch butterflies will only lay eggs on Milkweed plants, Atala butterflies will only lay eggs on Coontie plants and the Zebra longwing (our state butterfly) will only lay eggs on Passionflower vines. Nectar plants are very important as a food source once the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis. Different nectar plants attract specific butterflies based in part on the shape and color of the flowers. We have a large variety of nectar plants to keep our butterflies well nourished.  Stop by our garden and learn more about native plants and butterflies. Volunteers are usually available Friday mornings to answer questions.
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Atala laying eggs on coontie
Zebra Longwing caterpillar on corkystem passion flower
Monarch caterpillars on
tropical milkweed
Zebra Longwing sipping nectar from tropical sage
Atala looking for nectar on firebush
Atala caterpillars on coontie
Why are host and nectar plants important
for a Butterfly Garden?
See you soon!
Want to learn more? Volunteers are usually available Friday mornings to provide information and answer any questions you may have.

See you soon!
Tropical Milkweed
Seaside Goldenrod
Florida Keys Thoroughwort
Starry Rosinweed
Fakahatchee Grass
Tropical Sage
American Beautyberry
Corkystem Passion-Flower
Spanish Needle
Native Plumbago