Mistflower Ageratum
Soldier Butterflies sip nectar from Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Ageratum, frequently called Blue Mistflower or Purple Mistflower, is a butterfly favorite. The tiny wispy purple flowers are particularly attractive to Soldier and Queen butterflies, but I've also found Monarchs, Monk Skippers, Firey Skippers and Cassius Blues enjoying Ageratum nectar. If you want butterflies, this plant is a choice banquet item to to offer them.
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Cassius Blue Butterfly enjoying nectar from a Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
The tiny Cassius Blue Butterfly is huge compared to the red and yellow Pyrausta tyralis moth beside my fingertip in the next picture. That moth was lucky, there are ambush bugs lurking on the left of the mistflowers it's visiting. These whimsical flowers are a butterfly feast, but danger frequently lurks beneath them.
Tiny red and yellow Pyrausta tyralis moth barely avoids becoming ambush bug prey while lunching at a Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Dead Firey Skipper Butterfly on a Purple Mistflower leaf and a spider
This Firey Skipper Butterfly on the Purple Mistflower leaf wasn't as fortunate as the moth; it got caught.
I found him beneath mistflowers that had ambush bugs, but the flower spider leaves me a little reluctant to state with certainty which bug is responsible for the demise of the skipper.
Ambush bug and a flower spider on Purple Mistflower flowers
...and this is another Firey Skipper in the clutches of an ambush bug. Let's move on to happier butterflies, shall we?
Purple Mistflower Flowers
Firey Skipper butterfly speared by an ambush bug on Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
The Soldier Butterfly has pale splotches beneath its wings that the Queen Butterfly lacks.
Soldier Butterfly sips nectar from Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Queen Butterfly sips nectar from Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
While I was watching the butterflies, this stinkbug wandered through.
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
A yellow dot on a Mistflower leaf caught my eye.
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Closer inspection revealed a Tropical Orb Weaver Spider.
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum, in bloom
If you're going to keep a weed in your lawn, this purple plant might be the one. It's a beautiful little flower, and a great butterfly attracting plant. Flower spiders and Ambush Bugs lurk on any nectar flower, so don't let those deter you. They also eat bugs that you might not want as much as butterflies.
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
Oops, this Pyrausta tyralis moth wasn't as lucky as the previous one on this page.
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum, in bloom
Purple Mistflower, Ageratum
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