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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– To make your flower garden more attractive to butterflies a University of Tennessee insect specialist recommends selecting blooming plants with special attention to color and shape.

 Dr. Karen Vail, entomologist for the UT Agricultural Extension Service, said Tuesday butterflies see better on the blue end of the color spectrum and they like broad, flat blooms.

 “So they are attracted to yellow, purple, white and even light-pink blooms,” Vail said. “Flat blooms allow landing room and make feeding easier.”

Butterfly turn-offs include hanging plants and plants with double blooms or tubular flowers.

 “Nectar from these plants usually is difficult for butterflies to extract,” Vail said.

And forget about reds, even though red blooms are known to attract hummingbirds, Vail said.

 “Reds are part of the spectrum butterflies don’t see well.”


 Contact: Dr. Karen Vail (423-974-7138)