Wordless Wednesday–A Shrub for Butterflies

Lilac 'Paliban'

This is not a native plant–and yet the butterflies, and a lesser extent, the bees seem to adore it anyway. And neighbors and passersby–because this is in a garden just a few feet from the road–adore it as well.

This is a dwarf korean lilac. Most folks, to the extent they know these shrubs, know the more popular one, ‘Miss Kim.’ This one is called ‘Paliban.’ It’s certainly not a lovely name but it is a lovely shrub. I chose it because it is a little smaller than ‘Miss Kim.’ ‘Paliban’s ultimate size should be 4-6’ tall and wide. ‘Miss Kim’ is a little larger at 4-7′. You may not think that’s a huge difference but if the plant is happy, 7′ is a large shrub. We routinely had customers planting them under windows and then complaining that they were growing up and obscuring the windows! Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Because this is a post about plants for pollinators, I won’t talk about pruning. You can find that information here.

I routinely find eastern tiger Swallowtails on it, as well as all manner of skippers, an occasional hawk moth and lots of bees: bumble bees, honey bees, leaf cutter bees and others that I just watch and can’t necessarily identify. I’ve even found brown dragonflies on it–lots of them.

So while I am a huge fan of native plants, I am also a huge fan of fragrant plants, and this is one of my favorite fragrant plants. Since it does seem to attract lots of wildlife, as well as the all important pollinators, that works for me!

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