Tiger Lilies and Butterflies

Years ago, one Tiger Lily plant was added to our garden and now there are many.

tiger lilies

tiger lilies

They self propagate nicely from bulbils that grow along the stems. I usually just let them fall to the ground where they will grow, but sometimes I collect them and redistribute them elsewhere in the yard or by giving them to another gardener for their yard. The bulbils are ready to remove from the base of the leaves when they roll off easily. Sometimes, if it has been wet for a while, the bulbils will start to grow while still on the parent plant.

bulbils on a tiger lily

bulbils on a tiger lily

I did not know that tiger lilies would attract butterflies, especially since we have other plants such as the butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii) that are popular with the butterflies. But, yesterday when I went out with our old dog, there were butterflies dancing around, flitting from one lily bloom to the next.

A search on internet to verify the identity of the butterfly led me to a very nice website, Butterflies and Moths of North America, which has searchable image gallery. Ironically, the butterflies on the Tiger Lilies are named Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies.

It was difficult to get a decent picture of my moving target and with the bright sunlight washing out the colors and shadows obscuring the lovely  blue spots on the wings.

eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly on a tiger lily bloom

eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly on a tiger lily bloom

butterfly on tiger lily 2

eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly on tiger lily 2

There are many plants that attract butterflies to the garden and a good list can be found on University of Minnesota Extension website as well as many other websites. Many of the plants on this list work for our area even though we live in the mid-East region.

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