White butterflies look like tiny angels as they flit around your yard or butterfly gardens.
If you want to start a butterfly garden or already have one, you can attract most of the following five white butterflies depending where you live.
No. 1: Attract this white butterfly to your yard: Falcate Orangetip. Don’t let the name fool you. Found in open habitats near swamps, this white butterfly can be seen March through May in many parts of the country, but is most common in Texas and Oklahoma and parts of Florida.
The Falcate Orangetip is spooky as a little caterpillar because they are cannibalistic — eating smaller larvae munching on same plant. The larvae also feed at night (spooky) and don’t eat leaves like many caterpillars but prefers flowers and flower buds.
To start a butterfly garden, plant the host plants. The Falcate Orangetip’s host plants are the Avocado, Bittercress and mustards. Start a butterfly garden and attract butterflies including the Falcate Orangetip by planting adult nectar foods such as peppergrass. They also like the nectar of violets and mustards. To spot a Falcate Orangetip, look for green marbling on hindwing.
No. 2: Attract this white butterfly to your yard: Great Southern White. The Great Southern White likes to stay near the coasts and is a year round resident of Southern Florida. The Great Southern White’s favorite nectar plants include lantanas and verbenas so plant those when you start a butterfly garden. I have a lot of banana lantana and lavender lantana in my yard. Great Southern White butterflies like to visit areas near the beaches and salt water marshes with their host plant being Saltwort.
No. 3: Attract this white butterfly to your yard: Cabbage White. Also called the small white, the Cabbage White’s caterpillar eats cabbage; and mustard family plants. To spot a Cabbage White, look for white wings that have charcoal gray tips and black spots in the center of each forewing.
Start a butterfly garden by planting nectar sources for attracting butterflies including the Cabbage White such as the butterfly bush, butterfly weed, zinnia, lantana.
No. 4: Attract this white butterfly to your yard: Checkered White. The Checker White resides in most of southern U.S. To spot one, look for males that are white with charcoal markings on front wings. The females are grayish white with darker gray checkered markings on front and hind wings. To spot one in the cool season, the spring and late fall, the Checkered White has a slightly different appearance that is darker, smaller and has more patterns.
To start a butterfly garden, plant the herbs in the mustard family to attract butterflies such as the Checkered White. They also like Virginia pepperweed and Prairie pepperweed. The Checkered White nectar plants include small wildflowers; aster, purple coneflower.
No. 5: Attract this butterfly white to your yard: Florida White. The range for the Florida White is the Florida Keyes as well as the coastal areas of Monroe and Miami-Dade counties, but it’s not at all unusual to see strays all the way north to Gainesville. In fact, I observed a Florida White in my butterfly gardens in June. They are actually most common in May and June. The Florida White habitat is made up of tropical hardwood hammocks. Their host plants are the capers (Capparis and Drypetes). My Florida White was attracted to my blue porterweed but they also love Tickseed as a nectar plant. Since the Florida White likes the shade, I was not surprised to see it under two pines trees where I started a butterfly shade garden.