Desert Butterfly Gardening
Desert Butterfly Gardening, (Arizona Native Plant Society, 1996; $2) is a slim booklet packed with useful information on the preferred plants of different butterflies such as swallowtail, gulf fritallary, and orange skipperling. There are color photos of the blooms, butterflies, and in many cases, the caterpillars. The basics of designing a garden to attract these winged friends is also included. The booklet is available from the Arizona Native Plant Society, PO Box 41206, Sun Station, Tucson, AZ, 85717.
Favorite or New Plant
Wooly Butterfly Bush
From the same genus as the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii), comes the wooly butterfly bush (Buddleia marrubifolia). Although related to the former, wooly butterfly bush has a distinctly different look. This species also performs much better in the low desert than Buddleia davidii.
Wooly butterfly bush has small silvery leaves that are soft to touch. The plant produces round, orange flower heads the size of marbles. Butterflies love this bush, in part because it blooms from spring through summer. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil and in general is easy to grow.