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Is American Elder a Good Nectar Source for Butterflies?

American elder (Sambucus canadensis) can indeed serve as a good nectar source for butterflies. While elderberry bushes are not commonly used as larval host plants for butterflies, their flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including butterflies.

American elders along a house wall offer nectar for adults, as well as safey and structure for caterpillars and chrysalises.

The clusters of small, fragrant white flowers of the American elder can provide nectar to butterflies and other insects. Many butterfly species are known to feed on nectar from a wide range of flowering plants, and elderberry can be one of them. Butterflies such as swallowtails, fritillaries, and painted ladies are among those that may visit elderberry flowers for nectar.

Elderberries are small, black, grape-like fruits.

To attract butterflies to your garden, it’s beneficial to provide a variety of flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season. By including elderberry bushes along with other butterfly-friendly flowers, you can create an environment that offers nectar sources and enhances the habitat for these beautiful insects… one day at a time!

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