Activities & Experiments

Butterfly Garden Host Plant TourYellow false indigo & Wild Duskywing

Holden Arboretum

Adult - Beginner, Adult - Intermediate

Yellow false indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa) is a beautiful addition to any flower garden.

During the summer, yellow, upright flowers bloom and attract a variety of insects – the “good kind” of course, as this plant is resistant to pests and deer browse. Pollinators, especially bees, are drawn to their pea-like flowers. After blooms fade, their striking seed pods and their nicely organized foliage take over and keeps the show going until fall.

The Wild Duskywing butterfly almost exclusively lays its eggs on host plants that are members of the pea family (Fabaceae).

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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