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Tips to encourage garden butterflies to visit

Joe Pye weed or eupatorium is a North American plant that can reach 2m in damp ground and is much visited by butterflies. It has feathery pale purple flowers at the tops of the stems. A shrubby relative of the Joe Pye weed, Eupatorium ligustrinoides, is as good as butterfly bush, though hard to find to buy, and it is only for mild gardens. From the Mediterranean region, red valerian is a good nectar source.

The native plant wild marjoram is very good for butterflies. Plants of the thyme family, such as thyme, catmint, teucrium and sage are also good nectar plants and all of these can be grown in well-drained soil in sunshine. Ice plant, or sedum, has small tubular flowers in broad clusters and is much visited by butterflies.

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