If you’re interested in biodiversity and have land on which to create a natural space, the reasonable approach is to install local native Plants that have value to the local native wildlife. In South Australia the local Butterfly (Papilionoidea) species have been hard hit by urban sprawl and farming practices. What better way to help these species recover their populations than by planting the specific Plants they utilise.
There are five Families of Butterflies present in South Australia. The Skippers and Darts (Hesperiidae), the Blues (Lycaenidae), the Browns (Nymphalidae), the Swallowtails (Papilionidae) and the Whites and Yellows (Pieridae). Each local species has a preferred Plant Genus or species for its larval and adult stages. For detailed information on each Family check out the related SA Butterfly Families page prepared by the Butterfly Conservation of SA Inc. Everything you’ll ever need to know about Butterfly species in South Australia and the Plants they utilise can be found via the Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc. homepage.
As part of the Backyard Biodiversity project, the property has been planted out with the following Plant species utilised by local Butterflies.
- Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle)
- Acacia rupicola (Rock Wattle)
- Atriplex semibaccata (Berry Saltbush)
- Chrysocephalum apiculatum (Common Everlasting)
- Chrysocephalum semipapposum (Clustered Everlasting)
- Convolvulus remotus (Grassy Bindweed)
- Cullen australasicum (Tall Scurf-Pea)
- Dianella brevicaulis (Short-Stem Flax-lily)
- Gahnia filum (Smooth Cutting-Grass)
- Goodenia geniculata (Bent Goodenia)
- Goodenia ovata (Hop Goodenia)
- Hardenbergia violacea (Native Lilac)
- Kennedia prostrata (Scarlet Runner)
- Lomandra multiflora ssp. dura (Hard Mat-Rush)
- Lotus australis (Austral Trefoil)
- Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (Weeping Rice-Grass)
- Poa labillardieri var. labillardieri (Common Tussock-Grass)
- Pultenaea largiflorens (Twiggy Bush-Pea)
- Rhagodia candolleana ssp. candolleana (Seaberry Saltbush)
- Scaevola albida (Pale Fanflower)
- Stemodia florulenta (Blue Rod)
- Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass)
A separate iNaturalist project has been set up to track the Butterfly species on my property and record their Plant associations. The iNaturalist project Butterfly Garden (cobaltducks) currently has 7 species observed on the property. Check out the project page to see the full list of observations. The up to date species list is presented below.
This project is also part of the Butterfly Gardens of South Australia Umbrella Project.