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Maureen Austins' Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Biennials for Birds & Butterflies for Southern California.

Maureen Austin

Alcea rosea
Those huge leaves are food for hungry painted lady caterpillars. And the blooms have a nostalgic quality to them. If you are growing hollyhocks for butterflies, stick to the old, single varieties rather than new strains of doubles.
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Daucus carota
It makes wherever it grows look like a garden bouquet, with its beautiful blooms and airy quality. I really love it because it is a host plant for ladybugs, and I want them in my garden.
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Malva sylvestris
Beautiful blooms for a long time, but the main attraction is as a butterfly host plant. Painted lady butterflies will lay their eggs on it and it will feed the hungry caterpillars.
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