Butterflies are covering the flowers in the new wheel garden and I'm enjoying them each morning before it gets too hot. The wheel garden was intended to turn an eyesore into eye candy with plants that can take the full-sun heat of August here in San Antonio. It's a bonus that these heat and drought tolerant plants are also popular with butterflies.
Queen butterflies (Danaus gillippus) particularly like the blue mistflower (Conoclinium greggii).
They prefer the spent, slightly dried blooms of the mistflower so I'll hold off trimming these back for fall bloom.
Yesterday I found this Queen Butterfly caterpillar on the tropical milkweed. I was planning to attract monarchs but there may not be any milkweed left when the monarchs begin their migration through here in a few weeks.
Queen Butterflies look a bit like their monarch cousins though they are smaller and lack the distinctive "stained glass" pattern on the wings.
Gulf Fritillaries go for the 'Fireworks' gomphrena
And the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is popular as well
The colors of the garden also provide great color camoflage for butterflies. Look closely above the gomphrena and you can just see them against the green trees flitting above the flowers in the center. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)
While researching this post I discovered the excellent Texas Butterfly Ranch blog which I highly recommend if you would like more detailed information on attracting butterflies in Central and South Texas.