Information & resources about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Butterflies and Butterfly Gardening

species, hybrids and cultivars

Although there's considerable interest in bird-attracting gardens, planning a garden for butterflies hasn't received quite as much attention in Australia. However, that may be changing.

More information about butterfly gardening to come to this page. In the meantime, remember that appropriate food plants for the caterpillars are even more important than food for the adults if you want to help butterflies to multiply.


Helping the Richmond Birdwing

It's hoped a release of about 80 Richmond birdwing butterfly caterpillars across three Sunshine Coast will boost numbers and genetic diversity of the species in the region. The release is part of a collaboration between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council which also involves planting of host vines and ongoing monitoring. Council has also previously been involved in land aquisition and habitat restoration to aid butterfly revovery, including a successful flagship project at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, Source: Helping the beautiful birdwing butterfly to soar again (February 2016)

Other Information Online

Richmond Birdwing Butterfly, food plants, toxic plants
Pararistolochia praevenosa Richmond Birdwing Vine. Save Our Waterways Now, Brisbane
Richmond birdwing butterfly Qld Department of Environment and Science
Dutchman's Pipe Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (PDF)
Dutchman's pipe Virginia Tech

Other butterflies and butterfly-attracting plants
Butterflies and other Invertebrates Club This club is active in South East Queensland.
Butterflies recorded by Richard Zietek at Smith's Scrub Brisbane Rainforest Action & Information Network
Butterflies of the Townsville Area Peter Valentine, James Cook University
Colour in Our Yard Article describing how planting Aristolochia tagala, brought the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus) in The Native Gardener, Newsletter of the Society for Growing Australian Plants Townsville Branch Inc. (PDF)
Conservation of the Bulloak Jewel Butterfly Factsheet at The Hut Environmental and Community Association Inc. (THECA) website (PDF)
Make a backyard Butterfly Puddling Station by Mt Gravatt Environment Group (Video)

Australian Museum Online Factsheets includes some butterfly species
The Action Plan for Australian Butterflies (at Department of the Environment and Heritage website) Includes information on a number of species
Butterfly Mania Australian Plants online - Sept 98, Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants
Caterpillars: especially Australian ones by Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley
Butterflies from around Sydney, Australia by Don Herbison-Evans and Stewart Newman
Butterflies and moths - Lepidoptera Wildlife of Sydney, Australian Museum
Flying Colours project Museum Victoria
Butterfly Gardening Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management
Sword-grass Brown Butterfly Project Knox Environmental Society, Victoria (PDF)
Australian plants that attract butterfies Zoological Parks and Gardens Board, Victoria (PDF)
Exotic plants that attract butterfies Zoological Parks and Gardens Board, Victoria (PDF)
A Few Proven Magnets Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants

Some International Sites about Butterflies
Butterflies Love Desirable "Weeds" Mississippi State University, USA
Gardens Can Yield Flowers, Butterflies Mississippi State University, USA
Cultivate a Butterfly Garden Colorado State University

Older News

Research provides guidance for pollinator garden planning

Planting gardens to support bees and other pollinators has become popular in recent years. Recommendations are sometimes made based on anecdote and opinion, but there has been little scientific research to indicate which types of garden flowers are the most suitable. A study in the UK is one of the first. 32 summer-flowering garden plants were assessed, including 13 lavender varieties and 4 dahlias. Results showed a wide range of attractiveness among the plants tested. Open daisy-style dahlias were more successful than the pom-pom or cactus types types. Lavender varieties also varied. Marjoram attracted a wide range of insects including bees, hover flies and butterflies. Pelargonium was the least attractive of those flowers tested. Source: Flower research shows gardens can be a feast for the eyes - and the bees, Quantifying variation among garden plants in attractiveness to bees and other flower-visiting insects (October 2013)

Vine identification in Moreton region

Moreton Bay Regional Council has released a new booklet to help residents identify and control weedy vines. Eighteen local vine species are also featured, including the Richmond Birdwing Vine (food source for caterpillars of the vulnerable Richmond Birdwing butterfly.) "Vines of the Moreton Bay Region" can be downloaded from or collected from customer service centres, libraries, and environmental centres in the region. (December 2008)




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