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  1. A variety of flowers rich in nectar is what you need to grow and what butterflies seek. They key is to have a nectar source available in each season and to offer that nectar source at varying heights found in annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. A few examples for nectar flowers include summer phlox, cosmos, zinnias, pentas, Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia), and lantana. Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) is a must have as the nectar flowers attract monarchs, hairstreaks, blues, swallowtails and skippers, to name a few, plus it serves as the exclusive host plant for monarch caterpillars. Fall-flowering favorites include coneflower (Echinacea spp.), rudbeckia, liatris, heliotrope, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) and salvias, which bloom from summer through fall depending on the species.

    Noteworthy trees and shrubs include spring blooming fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), lilac, and eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis); summer blooming picks are plains sumac (Rhus lanceolata) and magnolia; fall blooming choices are chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and evergreen sumac (Rhus virens). Happy planting!

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