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I have a "Purple Emperor Butterfly Bush" (Buddleia davidii 'Purple Emperor') and sure enough it does attract butterflies.

I have seen monarch butterflies using it, which confuses me, because I thought that monarch butterflies only fed from milkweed.

What makes this type of bush a substitute for the milk weed, but not other flowers?

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It's the Monarch caterpillars that only feed on milkweed. Adult Monarchs, like many butterflies, feed on the nectar from flowers. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/habitat/index.shtml

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