This is a really long shot as far as identifying goes.
Okay, thinking caps needed. Twice last year and once yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a butterfly. I have never seen this one resting or feeding so unfortunately I can't give a detailed description. I'd love to find out what it is and maybe plant accordingly, even just for the reason that it bugs me to not be able to put a name to it. Here goes....
Quick moving (dive bombed my husband's head yesterday so possibly territorial as well?)
About the size of a monarch
Hind wings were smooth and angled (as best I could see)
With the buterfly being back-lit by late afternoon sun, it appears to be red/maroon/deep reddish mahogany in color.
It was in my garden which is in southern NJ (right on the edge of Camden county, just a few minutes away from Gloucester county.) I am also not far from Philadelphia, so this might be something seen in southeastern PA. I have a golf course across the street so wide open space, there is a wooded park in close proximity with a creek and some marshy spots.(in case environmental clues help.)
Any brainstorming/ideas are welcome, even far fetched. I have tried the discover life site and didn't really see anything close (but I don't always have success there.)
Also, thanks to everyone, whether I have communicated with you or not, for all the tips and stories you tell here. I have, for the first time, 7 monarch chrysalids! The transformation process was amazing, and I can't wait to see if and when these guys emerge. Very exciting!