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NOLA BugLady's Garden Butterflies and Caterpillars

Download a printable copy of Caterpillar Host Plants.

Black Swallowtail Parsley, Dill, Fennel, Rue, Cowbane
Giant Swallowtail Citrus, HopTree, Rue, Prickly Ash
Pipevine Swallowtail Pipevine varieties:  Aristolochia tomentosa, A. fimbriata,   A. durior, A. serpentaria, A. triloba
Spicebush Swallowtail Spicebush, Sassafras, Prickly Ash, Camphor, Sweet Bay Magnolia
Tiger Swallowtail Tulip Poplar, Ash, Birch, Cottonwood, Hop Tree,            Wild Cherry, Willow
Monarch Milkweed varieties: Asclepias perennis, A. incarnata,
A. tuberosa
Viceroy Cottonwood, Wild Cherry, Willow
Gulf Fritillary Passion Flower vine varieties:  Passiflora incarnata,
P. lutea, P. caerulea
Variegated Fritillary Passion Flower vine varieties, Violets
Common Buckeye Toadflax, Plantain, Agalinis, Ruellia, Snapdragons, Angelonia, Sedum
American Painted Lady Asters: Cudweed, Everlastings
Painted Lady Hollyhock, Sunflowers, Thistles
Red Admiral Pellitory, Nettle Family: False Nettles, Stinging Nettles, Wood Nettles
Question Mark Elm, Hackberry, False Nettles (Boehmeria),                      Stinging Nettles
Cloudless Sulphur Cassia varieties: Sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia),
C. bicapsularis, Flowering Senna (Senna corymbosa), Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
Sleepy Orange Sulphur Sicklepod, Partridge Pea, Flowering Senna
Common Checkered Skipper Arrowleaf Sida (Sida rhombifolia)
Clouded Skipper Various grasses: St. Augustine, Johnson,                            Wooly Beard Grass (Erianthus alopecturoides)
Fiery Skipper Various grasses:  Bermudagrass, St. Augustine,           Creeping bentgrass
Horace Duskywing Oak: Red, White, Willow, Northern Red, Scrub, Water, Post and Live Oak
Long-tailed Skipper Legumes: Peas, Beans, Desmodium
Silver-spotted Skipper Wisteria, Black Locust, False indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)


On Sunday, April 19, I visited the Tulane River and Coastal Center garden where the Native Plant Initiative met back in June of 2019. I wanted to see this oasis nestled next to Mardi Gras World and the Mississippi River to see how the plants were liking their home in the downtown concrete jungle.

This native plant smorgasbord garden was sponsored by Tulane Bywater Institute and was planted by Tulane folks assisted by Susan Norris-Davis. She told me, "My connection here is that Mark Davis, my husband, is the current director of the Bywater Institute and he asked me to help install the garden." Here’s a link: 

Once a week Susan has been volunteering her time to tend this garden and her tender loving care has created a spot for nature's creatures to thrive. Seeing green plants and flowers in an area totally surrounded by buildings and paved streets not only provides sustenance for butterflies and pollinators but also brings smiles to human faces!

This garden is another perfect example of the saying, "Plant it and they will come!" During her weekly visits, Susan has enjoyed seeing Long-tailed Skippers collecting nectar from flowers plus she found a clutch of eggs on the Wisteria vine and a fat Black Swallowtail caterpillar!

During my visit, even though the weather was cloudy and windy, I saw a trio of insects: Lady Long-Tailed Skipper Black Swallowtail Monarch bugs, Groundsel Bugs, and some Honey Bees. However, what really caught my attention was the sea of native Aquatic milkweed sticks with twenty-two fat Monarchs chewing every last leaf.

Long-Tailed Skipper Black Swallowtail Monarch

Insects have found this oasis and are benefiting from its bounty! When adding native plants to your garden, you will be successful growing them if you can replicate the growing conditions these plants use in nature's varying habitats. Seeing these plants in action displayed in public locations also helps gardeners to determine which ones they would like to add to their own gardens as an invitation to enhance their butterfly and pollinator activity.

To see the entire article that I wrote, click here.

Is your garden ready for MONARCH MIGRATION? Check out the BugLady's list of available nectar and caterpillar host plants for May! 

Photo provided by Noah Simon. Caterpillars eat milkweed, their only source of food.

Plants available May 2020
Barber Laboratories
6444 Jefferson Highway in Harahan
(Social distancing outside in backyard)
Monday thru Friday 9:30-5:00


Butterfly Nectar Plants

Item Size
Bee Balm - white (Monarda)  4"
Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) 4"
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 1 gallon & 3 gallon
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)  4"
Clasping coneflower (Dracopis amplexicaulis)  4" pot & 6" round
Crabapple tree (Malus)  3 gallon
Eupitorium odoratum 1 gallon
Garden Phlox (Phlox panicullata) Robert Poore 6" round
Gulf Coast Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) 4"
Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica)  6" round
Ironweed (Vernonia)  6" round
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)  4"
Lemon Bee Balm  (Monarda citriodora)        4"
Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus)  4"
Mistflower  (Conoclinium coelestinum) 4"
Mountain mint: Slender (Pynanthemum tenuifolium) Quart
Mountain Mint - Slender (Pynanthemum tenuifolium) 1 gallon
Mountain Mint - Big Leaf (Pynanthemum muticum)  6" round
Penstemon: White Wand (Penstemon tubaeflorus) 4"
Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirins) 4"
September Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) 4”, 6" & 1 gallon
September Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolia) 4 “, 6" & 1 gallon
Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora) 4"
Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)  6" &  1 gallon & 3 gallon

Caterpillar Host Plants

Item Size
Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora) (for Spicebush Swallowtails) 1 gallon
Cassia - "Candelabra" (Cassia alata) (for Sulphur butterflies) 6"
Cassia - "Partridge Pea" (Cassia fasciculata) (for Sulphur butterflies)  4"
Dill (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Fennel - green or bronze (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Hop Tree also called Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata) (for Giant Swallowtail) 3 gallon
Lead Plant (Amorpha fruticosa)(for Silver Spotted Skipper & Dogface Sulphur) 4"
Milkweed: Aquatic- white flower (Asclepias perennis) (for Monarch) 4"
Parsley - curled or straight leaf (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Passion Flower Vine (Passiflora incarnata) (for Gulf Fritillary) 1 gallon
Senna - (Senna corymbosa) (for Sulphur butterflies) 4”


MARCH 17, 2020

Story of Caroline Dormon, “Louisiana Pioneer Woman”
Public · Hosted by Orleans Audubon Society
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Orleans Audubon Society meeting

Community Church Unitarian Universalist - New Orleans

6690 Fleur de Lis Dr, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124

On January 25, 2020 the Baton Rouge Master Gardeners from Hilltop Arboretum hosted a fantastic Gardening Symposium event packed with very informative nature presentations plus book and plant sales to help further education!                Doug Tallamy, nationally known speaker and author of Nature's Best Hope, was promoting the use of native plants to support wildlife whereas Bill Fontenot, author of Native Gardening in the South was more focused on planting for birds.   I felt very honored to be sharing the stage with these two very knowledgeable friends of mine as I was presenting, "Plant It and They Will Come!" --how to attract butterflies to your garden using specific native plants. Thank you, Hilltop folks for selling forty copies of my new book, "BugLady's Butterfly Summer"!  What a wonderful day!

My article on Geaux Grow Natives was included in the April 2019 LSU AgCenter Newsletter. Below is an excerpt.

I'll never forget the first time I met author Doug Tallamy on the evening of October 10, 2013 at his lecture at Longue Vue Gardens. I purchased his book, "Bringing Nature Home-- How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants" and asked him to sign it. Along with his signature, he wrote these words: "Garden as if life depended on it!"... To read the rest of the article, visit the LSU AgCenter Newsletter.


Nature's Best Hope 

A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard
Saturday, January 25, 2020, 8:15am – 2:00pm
EBRP Main Branch Library Conference Room
7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge 70806


Want to attract more wildlife, butterflies and birds to your yard? The Jan. 25 symposium hosted by the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum can help.

The session will feature speakers Douglas W. Tallamy, Linda Barber Auld and Bill Fontenot, all of whom will offer ways for you to help protect and attract birds and bees (and a few other creatures) to your home garden and landscape. 

Auld, affectionately known as the New Orleans "BugLady," owns and runs Barber Laboratories. For over 40 years, she has studied and promoted understanding beneficial insects. Auld has raised 125 species of butterflies and moths, studying and photographing their life cycles.

Auld will talk about how to attract butterflies and pollinators throughout the year using native plants. Her new book, "BugLady’s Butterfly Summer," is an uplifting read and will be available for sale.

Deadline for early registration is Jan. 14. The cost is $75 ($85 after the deadline); $25 for students ($35 late) and $65 for members of Friends of Hilltop Arboretum, ($75 late). Registration and more information available at, email or call (225) 767-6916.

May 25, 2019

I had a fabulous time at Clegg's on Siegen Lane and Denham Springs today signing books and introducing people to my "Geaux Grow Natives" spring plants.


May 4, 2019

Great afternoon at Double M on Jefferson Highway
making new friends!
Starting my day off educating folks at Jefferson Feed on Central Ave.