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Butterfly Caterpillar Host Plants

Grow your very own butterflies and watch the entire magical process from egg, to caterpillar, through metamorphosis, and finally to adult butterfly all in your own backyard by planting these butterfly host plants like Passionvine, Butterfly Weed, Fennel, Hibiscus, and more!

 

Airbrush Effect Perennial Hibiscus, Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus x 'Airbrush Effect' PP29295

Large 8"+ wide pink flowers with overlapping petals 'airbrushed' with white extending to near the middle of the flowers and with a deep red eye are produced over an extended period beginning in late spring to summer (depending on your zone) and flowering into fall. Airbrush Effect Perennial or Hardy Hibiscus is an 'indeterminate' flowering selection meaning that it flowers over a longer period than older cultivars. This is a compact 3-4'H x 4-5'W plant with rich green foliage well suited to moist sunny sites in the garden and landscape. Provide a moderately fertile soil to help encourage vigorous growth and flowering. Image courtesy of Walter's Gardens, Inc., all rights reserved. Item# 11710

Grows To: 3-4'H x 4-5'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 40
US$14.99

Wide flat-topped clusters of white flowers are produced in spring atop sturdy stems adorned with deep green finely cut deep green foliage. American Wild Carrot, Daucus pusillus, is a native annual common to roadsides throughout much of the US and is commonly confused with the non-native Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus carota, which is a parent to the common Carrot. The flowers attract bees and other garden beneficials and once through flowering the flattened clusters curl upward at the outer edges creating a protected 'nest' of ripening seeds. The American Wild Carrot makes an easy addition to naturalistic roadside plantings, meadows, and prairies where it readily reseeds on exposed soils. Full sun is preferred in average to well-drained soils. Item# 12027

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: Annual - 6,7,8,9,10
Grows To: 2-3'H x 1-2'W, space about 1' apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny

Aphrodite's Purple Nightie™ Passion Flower, Passion Vine

Passiflora 'Aphrodite's Purple Nightie'

Wow! Excellent flower power on a vigorous vine, Aphrodite's Purple Nightie™ Passion Flower produces an explosion of 3-4" wide flowers composed of purple petals and sepals that are topped by a crown of deep purple, blue, and White filaments. This sterile hybrid has garnered top marks in gardens across the US! Provide ample sunlight in a well-drained, fertile soil and stand back as this Passion Flower may be the star of the show! Click on "More Details and Growing Info" or the image to learn more about growing Passionvines as perennials in containers or in the garden and landscape. Item# 11212

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: *8B,9,10,11,(8A?)
Grows To: 8-12'H+
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$17.99
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Large clusters of white late spring flowers produce green berries that ripen to a blue-black. The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and the edible fruits attract a variety of wildlife, especially birds. Arrowwood Viburnum is a vigorous growing, naturally rounded, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with rich green foliage and is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. Fall color includes yellows, orange, reds, and near purple. Arrowwood Viburnum makes an easy hedge, background specimen, or screen. Easy and reliable. Item# 10922

Grows To: 6-8'H x 6-12'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$14.99
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Bahama Blue Passion Flower, Passion Vine

Passiflora caerulea 'Bahama Blue'

4-5" wide flowers with white petals and sepals are topped by a crown of white filaments with a light purple halo surrounding the central portion of these exotic looking flowers. Bahama Blue Passion Flower is a beautiful and vigorous free flowering selection of the Blue Crown Passion Flower, Passiflora caerulea, with all its hardiness and reliability. The nectar rich flowers are adored by larger bees and the foliage is a host to a variety of butterflies. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in a moderately fertile, average moist, well-drained soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Click on "More Details and Growing Info" or the image to learn more about growing Passionvines as perennials in containers or in the garden and landscape. Item# 11222

Grows To: 15-20'H+
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$17.99
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Balloon Milkweed, Goose Plant, Giant Swan Milkweed, Hairy Balls Milkweed

Gomphocarpus physocarpus, Asclepias brasiliensis, A. physocarpa, G. brasiliensis

An unusual conversation starting Milkweed that is eagerly consumed by caterpillars of Monarchs, Queens, and possibly Soldier butterflies. Balloon Milkweed is a vigorous heat and sun loving tropical African shrub that is grown as a dieback perennial except in areas with mild winter climates. It produces clusters of 1/2" wide cream to white star shaped flowers with a purplish 'eye' and the flowers attract butterflies along with a variety of other pollinators. Balloon Milkweed is adaptable to a wind range of soil types as long as they are well-drained and is moderately drought resistant once well established. Item# 10974.

Grows To: 4-6'H x 3-4'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 21
US$14.99

Betty Myles Young Passionflower, Passionvine

Passiflora x 'Betty Myles Young'

Large dark, true purple petals and slightly lighter, blue and purple tinged sepals are topped by a corona that has a deep blue outer halo, pure white narrow central halo that quickly fades to dark eggplant purple to near black at its heart. Betty Myles Young is a triploid hybrid (read larger flowers and vigorous) that is a magnificent flower producing machine beginning its display in late spring and early summer and continuing well into fall! This Myles Irvine hybrid that is named after his mother has proven to be an excellent garden addition with good hardiness or it can certainly be enjoyed as a container plant. May produce fruit if cross-pollinated. Click on "More Details and Growing Info" or the image to learn more about growing Passionvines as perennials in containers or in the garden and landscape. Item# 11247

Grows To: 10-20'H
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$17.99
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Blackhawks Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot Grass

Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks' PP27949

One of the hottest new native grasses on the market! Blackhawks Big Bluestem starts off in spring as a deep green clump of upright to arching blades that may be tipped with red to purple. It is in late summer when the real show begins with the upright and arching foliage and flowering stems of August deepen to red to red-purple and further deepening and intensifying as the cooler fall weather arrives becoming nearly all black as its sturdy and showy flowering stems begin to mature. Blackhawks Big Bluestem is a slightly more compact plant reaching about 4-5' high when in flower. The species is native throughout much of the eastern 2/3's of the US and is a clumping to slowly spreading rhizomatous grass whose seeds are utilized by a number of seed eating birds. Provide a full to mostly sunny site with an average to well-drained, acidic soil for the deepest foliage colors and optimum vigor. Plants are in their best form when grown in a low fertility soil. Overly fertile soils can cause them to topple at maturity. Images courtesy of Brent Horvath, Intrinsic Perennials, all rights reserved. Item# 12169

Grows To: 4-5'H x 1-2'W space at about 1-2' apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, *Part shade, *Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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Light blue to blue-purple 1/4" wide nectar-rich flowers adorn the tall narrow indeterminate flower spikes from spring to frost to year round under warm tropical conditions. Native to Florida and much of the tropical Americas, Blue Porterweed, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, has smoother lighter green foliage and generally grows wider than tall whereas the other Blue Porterweed, Stachytarpheta cayennensis or S. urticifolia, has more rugose or quilted deeper green glossier foliage with a typically upright habit. Porterweeds are excellent pollinator plants where they attract a continuous menagerie of aerial acrobats from spring until frost. This a heat and sunloving tropical to tender perennial that can be added to gardens and landscapes or plant them in containers to draw the pollinators in for upclose viewing. Blue Porterweed is also a caterpillar host plant for the Tropical Buckeye butterfly. Item# 12046

Grows To: 12-18"H x 18-30"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 17
US$12.99

Bronze Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum'

The dark purplish-bronze, finely textured, licorice scented foliage makes a beautiful addition to the perennial border or the butterfly garden. Mix Bronze Fennel with yellow and chartreuse foliaged and flowering plants for a great combination. The foliage and stems are utilized by the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly as a caterpillar host plant. For optimum health and vigor plant Bronze Fennel in a full to mostly sunny site, in a well-drained, fertile soil. It can be grown as a reliable perennial in gardens and landscapes as well as in containers, either as a specimen plant or in mixed company. Item# 9121

Grows To: 24-30''H x 30-48''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun

Tall candles to 18" high that are composed of golden yellow blossoms and buds rise well above the foliage of this popular pass along plant from mid to late summer well into fall for an outstanding show. The Candlestick Tree, Senna alata, is a moderately fast growing and vigorous sun loving tropical that is excellent for the back of the border, as a specimen plant singly or in mass, and even as a large container plant. Attracts butterflies as well as serves as a host to Sulphur butterfly caterpillars. Reseeds readily or save seeds in fall to replant in spring. The Candlestick Tree is a heat and sunloving easy to grow tropical to tender perennial where winters are mild. Item# 10017.

Grows To: 6-10'H x 6-8'W and larger in mild climates
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 15
US$14.99

Tall candles to 18" high that are composed of golden yellow blossoms and buds rise well above the foliage of this popular pass along plant from mid to late summer well into fall for an outstanding show. The Candlestick Tree, Senna alata, is a moderately fast growing and vigorous sun loving tropical that is excellent for the back of the border, as a specimen plant singly or in mass, and even as a large container plant. Attracts butterflies as well as serves as a host to Sulphur butterfly caterpillars. Reseeds readily or save seeds in fall to replant in spring. The Candlestick Tree is a heat and sunloving easy to grow tropical to tender perennial where winters are mild. Item# 12020

Grows To: 6-10'H x 6-8'W and larger in mild climates
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
Quart Pots / 30 fl.oz. / 887 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$19.99
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Clear Sky Passion Flower, Passion Vine

Passiflora 'Clear Sky', P. caerulea 'Clear Sky'

Large, up to 5" wide, fragrant flowers with near white petals and sepals that are topped by a crown of contrasting deep blue filaments with a middle halo of pure white which quickly deepens to dark eggplant purple at its heart. Clear Sky Passion Flower is a complex tetraploid hybrid that was selected not only for its larger flowers and exceptional vigor, but also for its cold hardiness by Passiflora breeder Roland Fischer. Flowering begins in earnest in mid to late spring and continues throughout the warmer months. Click on "More Details and Growing Info" or the image to learn more about growing Passionvines as perennials in containers or in the garden and landscape. Item# 11259

Grows To: 15-30'H+
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$17.99
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The stiff ferny fronds are adorned with numerous thick leathery medium to deep green leaflets often with a bronze tinge and emerge from what becomes an underground trunk. The Coontie, Zamia integrifolia (a.k.a Z. pumila), is a small tough southeastern native Cycad that eventually develops an underground trunk that will branch with age creating a dense 24-36" high cover of the soft to medium textured fronds. It is resistant to drought, tolerates high heat and humidity, sun or shade, and is a very low maintainence addition to the landscape. In areas that experience hard freezes, like zone 8, the foliage may freeze back but a new flush readily returns in spring. Makes an easy bonsai and a low maintenance container plant. Item# 12729

Grows To: 2-3'H x 2-4'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part sun, AM sun, Filtered shade, Part shade, Light shade

Tiny yellow to greenish passionflowers are produced throughout the year on what at first glance appears to be a small growing, naturally evergreen to deciduous vine but it can reach 30'H with support but is easily maintained on a 3-4'H trellis. The Corkystem Passionvine is a native of Florida and Texas that is mainly grown as a butterfly caterpillar host plant for the Zebra Longwing (a.k.a. Zebra Heliconian), the Julia Heliconian, and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies. Easy and makes a nice dense vine on smaller trellises. Provide a full to partly sunny position for the densest growth and flowering. Pollinated flowers are followed by dark purple, marble-sized fruit. Item# 11258

Grows To: 4-6'H to 30'H in frost free climates
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, AM sun, Part shade, Light shade
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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Tiny yellow to greenish passionflowers are produced throughout the year on what at first glance appears to be a small growing, naturally evergreen to deciduous vine but it can reach 30'H with support but is easily maintained on a 3-4'H trellis. The Corkystem Passionvine is a native of Florida and Texas that is mainly grown as a butterfly caterpillar host plant for the Zebra Longwing (a.k.a. Zebra Heliconian), the Julia Heliconian, and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies. Easy and makes a nice dense vine on smaller trellises. Provide a full to partly sunny position for the densest growth and flowering. Pollinated flowers are followed by dark purple, marble-sized fruit. Item# 12089

Grows To: 4-6'H to 30'H in frost free climates
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, AM sun, Part shade, Light shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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This native perennial Hibiscus boasts large 6-8" wide typically white but occassionally pink flowers with a dark burgundy eye. The Crimson-Eyed Rosemallow, Hibiscus moscheutos, is common in moist and wet areas as the name implies but is tolerant of average moist garden soils but may require extra moisture during dry spells. This is a vigorous and hardy native perennial that can reach 5-7' high but is more commonly found at 4'. The foliage may be used as a butterfly caterpillar host by Hairstreaks, Blues, Coppers, and others. Hibiscus moscheutos is one of the main species used in breeding of the large dinner plate-sized Hardy or Perennial Hibiscus cultivars. Item# 9399

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 5,6,7,8,9,10 (mulch in 5,6,7,8)
Grows To: 4-6'H x 4-5'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 26
US$14.99
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Dancing Wind Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot Grass

Andropogon gerardii 'Dancing Wind' PP26892

The spring and summer clumps of yellow-green foliage are accented with and tipped with red and in late summer tall, 4-1/2-5-1/2' high, sturdy spikes of decorative reddish seed heads are produced. As fall approaches the foliage becomes red and then deepens into fiery scarlet. Dancing Wind Big Bluestem, a selection of Andropogon gerardii, has a slightly shorter, sturdier upright habit than the species with excellent fall color. The species is native throughout much of the eastern 2/3's of the US and is a clumping to slowly spreading rhizomatous grass whose seeds are utilized by a number of seed eating birds. Provide a full to mostly sunny site with an average to well-drained, acidic soil for the deepest foliage colors and optimum vigor. Plants are in their best form when grown in a low fertility soil. Photos courtesy of Brent Horvath, Intrisic Perennial Gardens, Inc., all rights reserved. Item# 12852

Grows To: 4-1/2-5-1/2'H x 1-2'W space at about 1-2' apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, *Part shade, *Part sun

Dark Mystery Perennial Hibiscus, Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus x 'Dark Mystery' PPAF

The huge 8-9" wide ruffled white flowers sporting darker pink veining with a dark burgundy eye shine like spotlights against the foil of dark burgundy to near black foliage and are produced throughout summer. A top performing selection, Dark Mystery Hardy Hibiscus is a vigorous and reliable clump forming perennial Hibiscus with a good branching habit. It is sure to be a star in almost any garden or landscape! Like most other Walter's Gardens introductions, Dark Mystery is an indeterminate plant producing flowers from the top to the bottom of the plants creating a knockout display in the garden and landscape. Provide a full to mostly sunny location in moist to average moist to wet, moderately fertile soils. Images courtesy of Walter's Gardens, Inc., all rights reserved. Item# 12060

Grows To: 5'H x 5-6'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 29
US$14.99
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Don's Dwarf Southern Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry, Candleberry

Morella cerifera 'Don's Dwarf', Myrica cerifera

Fine textured, narrow, bronze-tinged yellow-green new growth matures to deep olive green on this compact native evergreen shrub. Don's Dwarf Wax Myrtle, a selection of Myrica cerifera, a.k.a Morella cerifera, makes a tough and easy, low-maintenance low to medium-sized evergreen hedge that could easily be used to replace Boxwood, Indian Hawthorn, and even Dwarf Yaupon Holly in the garden and landscape. Its toughness lends it to use in parking lot islands. Don's Dwarf Wax Myrtle is resistant to leaf spot that plagues some Wax Myrtles, is drought resistant once fully established, and is not likely to be bothered by deer thanks to its Bayberry-like fragrance. Provide a full sun to part shade site in a fertile, average to well-drained soil for optimum growth and vigor. The only drawback is that Wax Myrtle is subsceptible to fire and so should be utilized away from houses, businesses, and other structures, although, the plants themselves generally recover from the root stock. Item# 12746

Grows To: 3-6'H x 4-6'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 17
US$14.99

The dwarf form of it's much larger cousin and native to the sandy and sandy loam soils of much of the southeast US. The Dwarf Pawpaw produces 3-5" green-yellow elongated fruit that eventually turn brown to nearly black when ripe. It is reported to have a banana custard-like flavor, some say that fully ripe fruit of the Dwarf Pawpaw is equal to the Pawpaw, while others firmly disagree. Produces small maroon to greenish flowers flowers in spring. A small to medium-sized, spreading to upright, moderately slow growing, native deciduous shrub. A caterpillar host plant of the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly. Seedling grown. Plant two for pollination. Item# 10232.

Grows To: 4-8'H x 4-6'W
Outdoor Light: Part sun, Full sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$24.99
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Another excellent native shrub for the landscape! The dense neat mound of deep green glossy foliage and red tinged stems is topped by clusters of white flowers in spring which make way to red berries ripening through purple and finally black. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators and the fruit attract songbirds and smaller fructivores. Walter's Dwarf Viburnum, Viburnum obovatum 'Densa', is a compact, densly branching selection of this southeastern native. This shrub's dense habit lends it to use anywhere a small to medium-sized shrub is desired in the landscape. It is generally evergreen into zone 8A and tends to be deciduous to semi-evergreen in zones 6 and 7. Use this tough native shrub in place of Dwarf Yaupon, Indian Hawthorne, or anywhere a medium-sized, disease resistant, low maintenance shrub or hedge is desired. Provide a full sun to part shade site in an average to well-drained soil for optimum vigor. Images shown are an example of what to expect with this cultivar but are of the common Walter's Viburnum, Viburnum obovatum. Item# 12731

Grows To: 4-5'H x 4-5'+W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$12.99
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White petals alternate with lavender sepals that are topped by a wide corona of frilly white filaments that darken to purple. Frederick Passion Fruit is self-pollinating and the flowers are followed by large purple fruit with a sweet tangy flavor once fully ripe that can be eaten fresh or juiced. This is also considered to be one of the most reliably cold hardy Passionfruit varieties surviving well into zone 9. A vigorous dense and free flowering selection. Can be grown as a container plant where not hardy. Item# 11253

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 9,10,11, (8B?, 8A?)
Grows To: 10-20'H
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$17.99
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1" wide dark maroon pipe-like flowers are edged and veined in soft yellow and are bordered in a loose yellow fringe produced from spring to fall. The 2-3" wide rounded to heart shaped foliage is accented by white veins and is used by the Pipevine Swallowtail as a host plant. Use Fringed Dutchman's Pipevine, Aristolochia fimbriata, as a hardy deciduous groundcover, allow it to spill from containers, or in hanging baskets to better display the unusual flowers. Item# 9681.

Grows To: 8-14"H x 12-24"W
Outdoor Light: Part sun, Part shade, Light shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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Airbrush Effect Perennial Hibiscus, Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus x 'Airbrush Effect' PP29295

Large 8"+ wide pink flowers with overlapping petals 'airbrushed' with white extending to near the middle of the flowers and with a deep red eye are produced over an extended period beginning in late spring to summer (depending on your zone) and flowering into fall. Airbrush Effect Perennial or Hardy Hibiscus is an 'indeterminate' flowering selection meaning that it flowers over a longer period than older cultivars. This is a compact 3-4'H x 4-5'W plant with rich green foliage well suited to moist sunny sites in the garden and landscape. Provide a moderately fertile soil to help encourage vigorous growth and flowering. Image courtesy of Walter's Gardens, Inc., all rights reserved. Item# 11710

Grows To: 3-4'H x 4-5'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 40
US$14.99

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