BOSTON — A butterfly's favorite treats aren't limited to what's planted in a flower bed, but come in many forms: trees, shrubs, vines, annuals, perennials, biennials, and even vegetables such as carrots and cabbage.
Among the annual flowers that attract butterflies are ageratum, cosmos, marigold, sweet william, and zinnia. Preferred perennials include aster, black-eyed Susan, coneflowers, milkweeds, phlox, pink-flowered sedum, and verbena.
Herbs such as dill, fennel, lavender, and parsley will lure the winged wonders to your yard. So will flowering shrubs. Among them: buddleia (butterfly bush), lilac, spicebush, and spirea.
Parsley, snapdragon, Queen Anne's lace, dill, fennel, aster, and milkweeds are valuable to people with limited space because they provide nectar to butterflies and food for larvae.