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. 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. Every species of butterfly has specific host plants needed to reproduce. Monarch butterflies will only lay eggs on Milkweed plants, Atala butterflies will only lay eggs on Coontie plants and the Zebra longwing 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.
| Home| About Us| Weather| Membership| Events| Programs| Scholarship| Animal Adoption| Gift Shop| Butterfly Garden| Gallery| Contact
© 2016 Friends of Green Cay
Atala laying eggs on Coontie.
Atala looking for nectar on Firebush.
Zebra Longwing sipping nectar from Tropical Sage.
Atala caterpillars on Coontie.
Why are host and nectar plants important
for a Butterfly Garden?
Want to learn more? Volunteers are usually available Friday mornings to provide information and answer any questions you may have.

See you soon!
Zebra Longwing caterpillars on Maypop Passionvine.
Monarch caterpillar on Tropical Sage.
There are over 25 signs in the Butterfly Garden to help visitors identify the plants and their importance to butterflies. Below is a sampling of the signs provided by The Friends of Green Cay.
Some of the beautiful flowers you will see and learn about when you visit the Butterfly Garden.
Seaside Goldenrod
Starry Rosinweed
Wild Lantana
American Beautyberry
Bahama Senna
Blue Porterweed
Southern River Sage
Spanish Needles
Cat Whiskers
Beautiful butterflies commonly found in South Florida.
Giant Swallowtail
Polydama Swallowtail
Tropical Buckeye
Black Swallowtail
Cassius Blue
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail