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Gardening for Black Swallowtail Butterflies

The black swallowtail is a frequent visitor to many of our gardens. Its black 3” wings with 2 rows of yellow spots and 2 red eyes make it easy to identify. These fast flyers can be seen flying close to the ground.

Planting their favorite flowers, avoiding the use of pesticides, and delaying garden cleanup until late spring can help keep them visiting your landscape.

The adults nectar on flowers of milkweed, petunias, phlox, coneflowers, verbena, zinnias and more. The caterpillar has green and black stripes with yellow spots. It eats dill, fennel, carrot leaves and parsley

This insect overwinters on branches, dead plant stalks and in bark crevices. So give them time to emerge from their chrysalis before removing old flower stems in spring.

A bit more information: The female black swallowtail butterfly lays its eggs on fennel, parsley, dill, and other host plants. Eggs hatch in 4 days when the colorful caterpillars emerge.

Upcoming Appearances


May 12, 2021
Top Plants for Rain Gardens, Water Gardens & Shoreline Gardens
+ Those to Avoid

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May 13, 2021
Planting Your Rain Garden
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May 16, 2021
Perennials for Challenging
Growing Conditions

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May 21-23, 2021
NARI Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show
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June 3, 2021
Creative Container Gardening
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June 9, 2021
Sustainable Lawn & Landscape Care
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