As you continue to build a Bee Better garden, plan to plant the evergreen perennial, rue, Ruta graveolens, if you haven’t already! In doing so, you can aid in fully sustaining the Giant Swallowtail butterfly in your Bee Better garden. Remember, we need host plants in our gardens in addition to nectar-rich butterfly plants. Otherwise, we will only have visitors, and not residents.
RUE, Ruta graveolens
Zones: 4 to 8
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Conditions: Full sun dry to medium water, deer tolerant
Native to: Eastern Balkan peninsula. southeastern Europe
The black swallowtail also uses rue as a host plant, but if parsley or fennel are around, they will typically use one of those first.
NOTE OF CAUTION: Wear gloves when working with rue. Rue can cause dermatitis due to photosensitization. It’s worse in some more than in others.