Palm Beach County Logo, link to home page



Butterfly Gardening

butterfly garden   butterfly garden

Have you seen Daggerwing Nature Center’s butterfly garden?  It is located directly in front of the nature center as you approach the lobby doors. A butterfly garden is an environment that is designed to attract and sustain a variety of butterflies through providing food for both caterpillars (host plants) and adult butterflies (nectar plants), and meets their needs for sunshine and shelter. Our butterfly garden is a “certified butterfly sanctuary” recognized by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. (FFGC). In order to become certified, we had to meet the following guidelines:

l.   No harmful chemicals or biological control agents shall be used
 in or near the area that is to be declared a Butterfly Sanctuary.
2.  Specific larval and nectarous food sources shall be available
continuously and in sufficient quantities.
3.  A variety of habitats shall exist to fill all the needs of as many
butterflies as possible: sunny, dappled and shaded areas;
damp spot for salts and water.    

(Courtesy of FFGC, Inc.;

Common butterflies found in our garden include: Zebra Longwing (our State butterfly); Gulf Fritillary; Julia; Monarch; Queen; White Peacock; Red Admiral; Polydamas, Black and Giant Swallowtails; a variety of Sulphurs; and of course, our namesake, the Ruddy ‘Daggerwing’ butterfly. For a list of butterfly species identified on past North American Butterfly Association Fourth of July Butterfly Counts at Daggerwing, visit [external link] and click on the Daggerwing Nature Center link.

Are you interested in creating your own butterfly garden?  Check our Program Calendar page to see when the next Butterfly Gardening class is scheduled.  You can also check out the below resources for more information.

Do you have an interest in butterfly gardening, but don’t have the space to do it at your home? You could help maintain ours! If you would like to volunteer your time to help us with our garden, check out our Volunteer Opportunities page to see how you can get involved!

Butterfly Gardening Resources:

Daggerwing Butterfly Garden GuideAdobe PDF Document: This guide provides visuals of the variety of butterfly plants that we have in the Daggerwing Nature Center butterfly garden.  Plants are identified as host or nectar plants. 

Daggerwing Nature Center Butterfly Garden ArticleAdobe PDF Document: This article was published after the Daggerwing gardens became certified in 2010.

Butterfly Gardening In South Florida BrochureAdobe PDF Document: This brochure includes information on the types of plants needed to start a butterfly garden and will introduce you to a few butterfly species found in south Florida.  Also included are listings of local places to see butterfly gardens, and nurseries that sell butterfly plants.  (Courtesy of the North American Butterfly Association - Atala Chapter;

Butterfly ID SheetsAdobe PDF Document: These pages provide pictures of both adult butterflies and their caterpillars that may be seen locally.  Also included are listings of the host plants that attract each butterfly.  (Courtesy of the North American Butterfly Association - Atala Chapter;

Getting Started in Butterfly GardeningAdobe PDF Document: This article outlines the basics of starting a successful butterfly garden. (Courtesy of University of Florida IFAS Extension;

Butterfly Gardening in FloridaAdobe PDF Document: This publication provides information on the plants and butterflies that thrive in each region in Florida.  (Courtesy of University of Florida IFAS Extension;

Florida Wildflowers & Butterflies PamphletAdobe PDF Document:  This pamphlet provides photos of Florida butterflies and wildflowers that attract them.  Information is also supplied about the sun and water requirements for the plants, so that you may best design your butterfly garden.
(Courtesy of the Florida Museum of Natural History;

North American Butterfly Association: [external link]

Atala Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association:  [external link]

University of Florida IFAS Florida Butterflies Sheet 1: [external link]

University of Florida IFAS Florida Butterflies Sheet 2: [external link]


Cassius Blue

Cassius Blue Cloudless Sulphur Giant Swallowtail Gulf Fritillary Monarch
Polydamas Swallowtail Queen Ruddy Daggerwing White Peacock Zebra Longwing

Click to view larger image

Butterfly Photos courtesy of Dick Freshley


Contact Information

Daggerwing Nature Center Logo
Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park
11435 Park Access Road
Boca Raton, FL 33498
Google Maps
(561) 629-8760
Fax (561) 883-2269

Find Us on Facebook Logo



  • Sean Mallee
  • Lila Varel
    Assistant Naturalist

Let Us Know


Do you have a comment
about your County
park system, services
or this website?

Contact us