Woody Wickham Butterfly Garden


Featuring clusters of colorful flowers, the Woody Wickham Butterfly Garden is a popular stop for butterflies and other pollinators.

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In this garden, clusters of colorful flowers have been specially planted to attract butterflies and other pollinators. In the warmth of summer, you may find butterflies sipping nectar or busy bees flitting from flower to flower. Look closely and you may see caterpillars chewing leaves.

Adult butterflies visit many kinds of flowers for energy-providing nectar, but they usually lay their eggs on specific host plants. Butterfly gardens with both types of plants are the most successful. Monarchs lay their eggs on various species of milkweed because they are the only foods their caterpillars will eat. Other caterpillars may be a little less picky. For example, red admiral caterpillars will feed on any one of dozens of species in the nettle family.

Black swallowtails lay eggs on many plants in the carrot family, such as dill, parsley, and Illinois native golden alexanders. In the summer, look closely at fennel plants in the Wickham Garden and you might spot their bright green and black striped caterpillars.

Butterflies are present in this garden year round, though they may not be obvious in the winter. Unlike the migrating monarch, most butterflies endure our cold weather as larvae, eggs, chrysalises, or even as adults!

Some butterflies you might see in the Wickham Garden include red admirals, mourning cloaks, cabbage whites, commas and question marks, azures, monarchs, swallowtails, pearl crescents, painted ladies, hackberry butterflies, fiery skippers, buckeyes, and American snouts.

  • Red admiral

    Red admiral

  • Buckeye


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  • Swallowtail

    Black swallowtail

  • Question mark

    Question mark

  • Fiery skipper

    Fiery skipper

  • Painted lady

    Painted lady

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