Are Butterflies Attracted To Cleome?

Butterflies are attracted to the nectar to gain nutrients and survive because they are adapted to feed on the liquid diet and have a proboscis to pierce in the flower petals. People use different methods, such as planting cleome to attract various insects to their gardens.

Are Butterflies Attracted To Cleome? Butterflies are attracted to Cleome because it offers lots of nectar, has bright and pleasing colors, serves as a host plant, blooms in the sunlight, has drought tolerance in dry seasons, allows easy access and feeding, and possesses strong fragrances. Moreover, butterflies usually feed on them from early summer to fall or early frost.

Cleome is a flowering genus with 170 species, known by different names, such as spider flower, pink queen, and spider plant. This plant is native to Southern South America, Southeast Brazil, Southern Canada, and some western regions of North America because different species of this plant are native to particular places.

Why are butterflies attracted to cleome?

Butterflies are attracted to various plants and are often observed fluttering around the leaves and vegetation in parks, gardens, and wild. They go after the Cleome plant for the following significant reasons.


They are adapted to feed on the flower nectar, tree sap, and liquid items because they do not have teeth to chew the solid eatables.

They like nectar-rich plants because they get energy and nutrients from the sweet juice in their petals and leaves.

Cleome is a nectar-producing plant, which is no less than a treat for butterflies. Therefore, they actively seek these flowering plants and use their long tongues to collect the nectar.

For example, I have built a flower garden and grown many flowering plants to attract these colorful and pleasing insects in my place.

My friend told me to plant cleome in my garden because he also has these plants in his yard, and butterflies are attracted to them to feed the nectar.

Bright colors

Cleome has bright and delightful colors like purple, pink, white, and rose. Butterflies know that the colorful flowering plants produce more nectar than the dull vegetation.

It looks beautiful with spidery seedpods and thread-like stamens. It is a self-seeding plant and requires less maintenance.

Therefore, it is another reason for these beautiful insects to get attracted to cleome. Bright colors always attract them, such as they land on you if you wear floral prints and colorful prints.

Therefore, it is best to grow these plants in your garden if you want butterflies and other pollinating insects to visit your place.

Host plant

They lay eggs on their host plants, like monarch butterflies lay eggs on the milkweed plants because the caterpillars feed on them and obtain the essential nutrients.

Cleome is the host plant for many species, such as White Cabbage, Checkered White, and Great Southern White Butterflies.

The caterpillars of these species primarily feed on their flowers and leaves and grow into adult insects. You can spot many caterpillars of these flying insects on this plant.

Moreover, my neighbor told me that different species of these plants attract different butterfly species, and they lay eggs on them.

For example, he said Cleome rutidosperma is the host plant for Western striped albatross, appias libythea, and Eastern Stripped Albatross. He further explained that the Cleome viscosa serves as the host plant for the Oriental Psyche and Nicobar Psyche.

Bloom in sunlight

These flowering plants bloom in the direct sunlight and can withstand the hot summer. People usually plant them in sunny spots in their yard.

They roost and bask in sunlight if they find cleome around their habitat. They need sunlight and warmth to take flight and gather energy in their muscles.

For example, my colleague told me that he often noticed butterflies basking on the cleome plants and roost there for a few hours in the early morning or midafternoon.

Therefore, placing these plants in your garden under sunlight is a good idea to attract butterflies if you love to see these fascinating creatures fluttering around you.

Drought tolerant plant

These flowering plants are drought-tolerant and can survive in dry and hot weather. Butterflies are attracted to them when they cannot find other food sources in drought or dry environments.

They store all essential nutrients for pollinating insects and do not dehydrate even under direct sunlight.

Most plants become dry and dead, do not produce nectar in the dry season, and are not drought tolerant, which makes butterflies find other options around their habitat to survive.

Moreover, it blooms longer than other flowering plants and offers a long-term feeding option for them.

You will notice them sitting and feeding on these plants if you have grown cleome flowers in your garden, especially in the dry season when other plants are less active.

Easy access and feeding

My uncle has a beautiful garden and planted Cleome there to allure butterflies and bees. I met him a few days ago and noticed this plant closely. It had elongated and thin stamen of 2-3 inches, which caused them to have the name spider flowers.

He told me that some plant species have clusters of flowers blooming from bottom to top. As a result, butterflies visit these flowers, as they can easily perch on them and feed without risk of falling and damage.

In addition, he said that they are easy to feed because they use their long proboscis and insert it into the petals and corolla to suck the nectar. Therefore, they get enchanted by these flowering plants and are observed sitting on them.


It has a sunk-like musky fragrance, and the foliage has sticky leaves with potent smell. Various odors attract butterflies because they have antennas and sensory organs to smell and taste the plants before they feed on them.

They use their sensory adaptations and smell the musky odor. They also locate the Cleome plants from their fragrance and are attracted to them.

In addition, some plant species have pleasant fragrances, while others have unnoticeable odors. It also affects the number of butterflies around these plants in different environments.

What type of butterflies are attracted to cleome?

The butterflies attracted to these flowering plants include Cabbage White, Swallowtail Butterflies, Painted Lady, Sulfur Butterflies, Checkered White, and Great Southern White Butterflies.

Moreover, the oriental Psyche and Nicobar Psyche also visit Cleome to lay eggs and feed nectar. Once, I noticed Monarch butterflies in my garden roosting and sucking nectar from the elongated flowers.

I was surprised to see that because I always thought Monarch Butterflies only feed on milkweed. However, after researching their feeding plants, I came to know that cleome also attracts them.

In addition, the species of cleome also influences the type of butterfly attracted to it because some of their species like feeding on particular plant species.

What time of the year are butterflies attracted to cleome?

Cleome is an annual plant that grows for one season and self-seeds in the next season. These plants grow in early summer or mid-summer and last until frost or fall season.

My friend told me butterflies are usually attracted to these flowering plants from June to October or November.

These plants die in winter; therefore, butterflies do not feed on them in cold weather and often migrate or hibernate to spend this time.

You can plant them at the start of the spring, and they start germinating or growing in the early summer. They are more active at this time of the year, such as finding mates, feeding, and reproducing before winter.

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