Activities & Experiments

Butterfly Garden Host Plant TourBlue false indigo & Clouded Sulphur

Holden Arboretum

Adult - Beginner, Adult - Intermediate

Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) is a flowering plant in the pea family (Fabaceae).

This plant grows upright and makes an excellent border plant for your pollinator garden. It’s deep blue to violet flowers bloom in the spring and early summer.

This is one of many plants the Clouded Sulphur butterfly uses as hosts. They will lay their eggs on a variety of plants in the pea family (Fabaceae). Like the popular Monarch butterfly, Clouded Sulphur butterflies migrate north in the spring and south in the fall. Due to their wide distribution, they have adapted to use a wide range of plants to lay their eggs and feed on.

Where else can you see this plant growing at the Arboretum?

About the Butterfly Garden Host Plant Tour Series

Butterflies and plants coevolved to support each other’s life cycles. Plants employ the help of butterflies to transfer pollen to other plants of the same species resulting in reproduction and fertilization of a seed. Butterflies use plants for food and protection, and many have special relationships with host plants, plants that they lay their eggs on and serve as food for the hatched caterpillars.

A strong butterfly population requires a diverse, native plant community, which contributes to a healthy ecosystem for all living things to thrive on.

Explore the special relationships between native host plants and local butterflies. What can host plants tell us about our favorite butterflies? Host plants marked with a butterfly symbol un your host plant brochure are stops on a self-guided tour through the garden. Look for signs in the butterfly garden and scan the QR code to access each stop’s information.

Explore the series

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