I was so enamored of the large butterfly bush in our yard when I moved in that I spent hours moving it to a new area in the yard when I rebuilt the fence and added raised gardens to one side of the backyard.
I made the effort because it attracted the beautiful Tiger Swallowtail to the yard. And once they land, butterflies seem too absorbed in the beauty of the plant (and the safety of being five foot up in the air) to be distracted by a mere human with a camera lens.
It didn’t hurt that bees and hummingbirds are also attracted to it.
I’m interested in using native plants that will naturally support local birds and animals. So I was considerably perturbed to read that the butterfly bush has been declared an obnoxious weed in King County and may soon be declared so throughout the state. In fact, it’s being compared to Scotch Broom, a plant I’ve grown to detest through experience.
So far they’re not suggesting that homeowners remove their plants, but, instead, that they cut off flower heads when they’re done blooming and put them in the garbage rather than garden recycling to prevent their spread.
I’ll probably feel obligated to remove the plant in the future, but for now I’m simply going to sit on the deck and enjoy a royal feast for the eyes and soul.