Specific local butterflies need specific native plants – not for themselves as beautiful flower-sipping adults, but for their caterpillar leaf-munching stage.

Some, like the Chequered Swallowtail, have only one local host plant, while others have more options. 

The Orchard Swallowtail, for example, uses a wide range of native and exotic citrus trees and does particularly well on all the Flindersia species in our area. The Blue Triangle also has choices in local laurels such as Cryptocarya species and Neolitsea dealbata

Some plants host more than one butterfly species. A good example is Native Mulberry, Pipturus argenteus, a small tree which supports a lot of wildlife including Speckled Line Blue and Jezebel Nymph butterflies. 

Surprisingly, the small herb, Love Flower, Pseuderanthemum variabile, hosts quite large butterflies - the Leafwing and Varied Eggfly. 

So, planting local native plants is a great way to entice colourful butterflies into your garden or bit of bush!

Below is a short list of some local native plants with the colourful butterflies they attract:

Scientific tree name Common Name Butterfly
Alphitonia  Pink ash, Soap Tree for Small Green-banded Blues
Breynia oblongifolia
Breynia for Large Grass Yellows
Citrus australis Native lime for Dainty Swallowtails
Cryptocarya triplinervis Three-veined laurel for Blue Triangles
Cullen tenax Emu foot  for Chequered Swallowtails
Flindersia australis  Crows Ash for Orchard Swallowtails
Lomandra longifolia Lomandra for Splendid Ochre Skippers

Pipturus argenteus  

Native mulberry for Jezebel Nymphs & Speckled Line Blues

Senna acclinis

Brush Senna
for Yellow Migrants

For more information about butterflies see:

For information about free plants for MCCG members, please visit our Nursery page.

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