Sennas, Tithonia & Zinnias: Setting the Table

Cloudless sulphur butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

So many are now sharing that they’ve seen few butterflies here in Georgia this year. It’s the end of June 2019, and we’re now fully into 2 years for our almost all natives garden in central Georgia.

Our 2 big patches of mountain mint are surely nourishing all bees for a 5 miles radius, or so it seems. Our Clethra is about to open, our Obedient Plant opened yesterday and our Big bed of Monarda was a hit with lots of bees and several swallowtails.

Our Giant Zinnias are throwing big flowers these last few days, and our Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) grows swiftly, now 3 feet tall, some headed to 7′ – 8′ tall. The Tithonia are not native, but they excel at supporting and nourishing many butterfly species, are easy to grow, thrive in drought, are gorgeous, and well summon the large butterflies from afar, very afar.

We’ve had good numbers of Buckeye, Gray Hairstreaks, Snouts, Silver-Spotted Skippers, Checkered Skippers, Monarchs in April and a variety of Skippers. As for the rest, I share Virginia’s positive expectations, that they will show up soon, and in good numbers. Most or all of them.

We’ve looked around central Georgia for Senna, with no success these last 2 years. Senna is the hostplant for these Cloudless Sulphurs, as the one you see here, seen in our Eatonton, GA garden.

My Vegas prediction, butterflies galore, as July fades to August and September produce butterfly jackpots!

Jeff