Painted Lady butterflies are known for their preference for thistles, which are classified as invasive in many states. Their sharp edges also make thistles hard to handle. Cosmos are a yard-friendly alternative. This colorful annual is available in a variety of bright colors. The wildflower is easy to grow and considered drought-tolerant. Like many butterfly favorites, some milkweeds for example, parts of this flower may be poisonous. Supervise pets and children if you choose to feature this flower in your garden. Zones 3-10
.Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Taking flight from May through October in the East and October through April in the south, these butterflies are world travelers. Often migrating to the States from northern Mexico, they can also be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. They can be identified by orange, brown, and black uppersides. Undersides feature traces of orange with a brown and gray pattern. You’ll see two "eyespots" on the underside of hindwings.