According to an online article, Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg made the statement,”Butterflies are very attracted to many non-native species — such as butterfly bush, zinnias and lantanas — but they prefer native plants.”
It’s amazing to me when I see experts in the field make such silly statements. Butterflies prefer good nectar sources and many non-natives are much better sources. I’ve got Joe Pye Weed in my yard and I rarely see any butterflies on it. The reason is, I have Butterflybush, Lantana and many other non-natives which are flowering and are much more attractive to butterflies. In the wild, you’ll see butterflies on Joe Pye Weed, but that’s only because they don’t have any other options.
Given a choice, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails will always choose the non-native Butterfly Bush over the native Joe Pye Weed.