That's what my sister called them whe she was a little tyke, and the name stuck. They DO *flutter by*....And the ones here at Lake Norman are stocking up on the nectar of my favorite blooms.
You don't have to plant butterfly bushes to attract our fluttery friends. There are lots of perennials that the pretty creatures like to sip from. The Monarch in the photos is sipping on a perennial called Leucothoe. It's a great southern plant, hardy for whatever winter does to us - loves full sun for at least part of the day.
Another good one for butterflies - though they were shy & vanished when I took the photo - is the only variety of lantana hardy for the Piedmont. It is Lantana 'Mrs.Huff', which has a very distinctive flower of multicolors. In the same bloom, you'll find random & delightful shades of pink, yellow and orange.
You can plant a small one from the nursery and it will grow nicely over the summer, feeding the butterflies, and then disappear altogether in the winter. Right to the ground. But don't forget where you put it. Because it'll be back in late spring - and each year, it gets to be more and more like a small shrub filled with a bounty of color.
See you on the lake,