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Threatened by the growing scarcity of their living environments and the use of pesticides, butterflies can find refuge in our gardens.
As long as we create suitable spaces and let their favorite plants grow.
A garden for butterflies.
A little natural space
First rule : forgo chemical treatments and let a few areas of wild grass or a corner of flowered meadow flourish (specific seed mixtures to attract butterflies are sold in garden centers).
Butterflies dread the wind and have need sun. In addition to the flower beds, they will appreciate the presence of hedges with rural species (hawthorn, blackthorn ...), the shrub beds (buddleia) and fruit trees. They will quench their thirst in a small, shallow trough.
Plants for day butterflies
Poet's carnation, catnip (“catnip”), eupatory, lavender, cosmos, radial, gaillardium, wallflower, scabious, mauve, cornflower, verbena from Buenos Aires, thistle, silenus, stonecrop, rudbeckia, delphinium, echinacea, foxglove, daisy, Jacob's groundsel, ornamental garlic, sage, autumn aster, ivy, Helichrysum, elecampane, marigold, valerian, betony, knapweed, cinquefoil ...
Plants for moths
They are twenty times more numerous than day butterflies !
Some fly elsewhere during the day, such as the Moro-sphinx, known to gardeners for its characteristic hovering flight and long proboscis.
They are distinguished from their diurnal cousins by their antennae.
> night beauty, jasmine, ladies' julienne, evening primrose, petunia and ornamental tobacco.
Host plants, essential!
Do not forget to make room for the plants that feed caterpillars :
Nettles for the vulcan, the little turtle, the peacock of the day, the robert-le-diable or the geographical map, grasses for the half-mourning, the myrtil, the tircis, clover for the blue argus, the marigold, plantain for the melitée, thistle for the beautiful lady ...
Learn to recognize them
The Noé Conservation association has launched with the National Museum of Natural History a "Garden butterfly observatory”Open to citizens. To contribute, you just need to learn to identify a few of the 28 most common species involved
> To visit: The Butterfly Garden in Digne-les-Bains (more than a hundred species of butterflies in the open air). www.proserpine.org
By C. Levesque
- Read also: impact of pesticides on butterflies and bumblebees