Butterfly Friendly Plants

 

ANNUALS & BIENNIALS FOR ATTRACTING BUTTERFLIES

AGERATUM (FLOSSFLOWER)
Ageratum houstonianum - Mid to late summer bloomer with fluffy heads of blue; sometimes in white or pink. Grows to approx. 1 foot high. Best in full sun.

COSMOS
Cosmos Hybrids - Popular plants that bloom all summer until frost. More robust pink and white varieties reach 5 feet high. Small-flowered orange and scarlet varieties reach 30 inches high. Easily self-sows. Plant in full sun for best bloom.

GLOBE CANDYTUFT
Iberis umbellata - Long-blooming from late summer to spring, in a range of colors from carmine to pink, lavender and white. Self-sows in good soils. Full sun.

HELIOTROPE
Heliotropium arborescens - Very enticing to butterflies with its intense fragrance of vanilla and almond. Deep purple or white blossoms on dark foliage. Part shade.

LANTANA
Lantana Hybrids - One of the best butterfly attractants. Long-blooming spring through autumn, with scarlet and yellow or lavender blossoms. Handsome in a hanging basket in a sunny location.

MARIGOLD
Tagetes Hybrids. - Many heights and sizes available in colors ranging from primrose through gold, orange and mahogany-red. Best in full sun.

MEXICAN SUNFLOWER (TORCH FLOWER)
Tithonia rotundifolia - Highly attractive, with rounded, subtly-shaded orange, daisy-like flowers atop commanding 8-foot high plants. Monarchs love them! Plant in full sun.

NASTURTIUM
Tropaeolum Hybrids - Dwarf edging, trailing or climbing types are perfect nectar and larval food. Profuse flowers in yellow, scarlet or red, summer to autumn.

SWEET ALYSSUM
Lobularia maritima - Sweetly-scented white, rose or midnight purple creepers unsurpassed for edging pathways or cascading from containers. Performs well in sun or part shade.

ZINNIA
Zinnia Hybrids - Jewel-like tones in a variety of shapes and sizes, blooming from summer through autumn. Perform best planted in full sun.

ANNUAL PINKS
Dianthus chinensis

COMMON MIGNONETTE
Reseda odorata

FORGET-ME-NOT
Myosotis Hybrids

JOHNNY-JUMP-UP
Viola tricolor

LUPINE
Lupinus spp.

MALLOW
Lavatera trimestris

PETUNIA
Petunia Hybrids

PHLOX
Phlox drummondii

PINCUSHIONS
Scabiosa atropurpurea

SUNFLOWER
Helianthus annuus

SWEET WILLIAM
Dianthus barbartus

VERBENA
Verbena Hybrids


butterfly friendly perennials

spring blooming

AUBRETIA
Aubretia spp. and cultivars
BASKET OF GOLD
Aurinia saxatilis
EVERGREEN CANDYTUFT
Iberis sempervirens
JACOB'S LADDER
Polemonium spp. and cultivars
MEADOW RUE
Thalictrum spp. and cultivars
MEXICAN DAISY
Erigeron karvinskianus
ROCKCRESS
Arabis spp. and cultivars
WALLFLOWER
Erysimum spp. and cultivars

summer blooming

ASTILBE
Astilbe x arendsii cultivars
BEE BALM
Monarda spp. and cultivars
BELLFLOWER
Campanula spp. and cultivars
BLANKETFLOWER
Gaillardia x grandiflora cultivars
BORDER PHLOX
Phlox paniculata Hybrids
BORDER PINCUSHION FLOWER
Scabiosa caucasia and cultivars
COMMON VALERIAN
Valerian officinalis
CUPID'S DART
Catananche caerulea

GARDEN SAGE
Salvia x superba cultivars
GAYFEATHER
Liatris spp.
HOLLYHOCK
Alcea rosea and cultivars
JAPANESE BURNET
Sanguisorba obtusa, S. menzeisii
LAVENDER
Lavandula angustifolia, L. x intermedia, L. stoechas
LAVENDER COTTON
Santolina spp. and cultivars
ORNAMENTAL ONION
Allium spp. and cultivars (plant bulbs in fall)
SEA HOLLY
Eryngium spp. and cultivars
TREE MALLOW
Lavatera spp. and cultivars
SHASTA DAISY
Leucanthemum x superbum cultivars
TICKSEED
Coreopsis spp. and cultivars
VERBENA
Verbena spp. and cultivars
YARROW
Achillea spp. and cultivars

late summer & fall blooming perennials

JAPANESE ANEMONE
Anemone x hybrida and cultivars
ASTER (MICHAELMAS DAISY)
Aster spp. and cultivars
BORDER SAGES
Salvia spp. and cultivars
BLACK EYED SUSAN
Rudbeckia spp. and cultivars
JOE PYE WEED
Eupatorium purpureum and cultivars
PURPLE CONEFLOWER
Echinacea purpurea and cultivars
STONECROP
Sedum spp. and cultivars


butterfly friendly trees and shrubs

trees

BIRCH Betula spp.
Interesting for their ornamental bark and brilliant yellow leaf color in autumn. Varieties include: WHITE BIRCH B. jacquemontii; CANOE BIRCH B. papyrifera; EUROPEAN WHITE BIRCH B. pendula

CRABAPPLE Malus spp.
Versatile small garden trees or street trees. Pink, red or white spring blooms, good fall foliage and colorful fruits that often persist through winter. M. ‘Adirondack’; M. ‘Evereste’; M. ‘Prairifire’; M. sargentii; M. ‘Sugar Tyme’; M. x zumi 'Calocarpa'

DOGWOOD Cornus spp.
Excellent for smaller gardens. Horizontal rounded form and aractive pink or white blossoms. Many have variegated foliage. EASTERN DOGWOOD C. florida; KOREAN DOGWOOD C. kousa

FLOWERING CHERRY & FLOWERING PLUM Prunus spp.
Spectacular garden trees or street trees. Pink or white blooms in late winter/spring and bright fall foliage. Many have interesting bark. Flowering plums have maroon foliage all summer. P. serrula ‘Kwanzan’; P. serrula ‘Shirofugen’; MT. FUJI CHERRY P. serrula ‘Shirotae’; P. serrula ‘Shogetsu’; P. subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’; YOSHINO CHERRY P. yedoense; P. yedoense ‘Akebono’

HAWTHORNE Crataegus spp.
Small deciduous trees with exceptional white to pink flowers followed by scarlet or black berries, attractive to birds. THORNLESS HAWTHORNE C. crus-galli var. inermis; LAVELLE HAWTHORNE C. lavellei; WASHINGTON HAWTHORNE C. phaenopyrum

HORNBEAM Carpinus spp.
Excellent trees planted tightly as screening or singly as street trees. Good yellow fall color. COLUMNAR HORNBEAM C. betulus 'Fastigiata'

WILLOW Salix spp.
Fast-growing deciduous trees, best planted in wet areas where roots will not pose a problem for drainage systems. Dramatic form, attractive 'pussies' in early spring; good yellow autumn color. GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW S. alba tristis; PINK FRENCH PUSSY WILLOW S. caprea; PUSSY WILLOW S. discolor; CORKSCREW WILLOW S. matsudana 'Tortuosa'; DWARF BLUE ARCTICWILLOW S. purpurea nana

SHRUBS: SPRING-BLOOMING, TALL-GROWING

WILD LILAC Ceanothus spp.
Large shrubs or small trees with tough, glossy, evergreen foliage and massed clusters of tiny, true-blue flowers. Needs excellent drainage with no supplemental summer watering. C. veitchianus; C. x 'Dark Star'; C. x 'Julia Phelps'; C. x 'Puget Blue'; C. x 'Victoria'

LILAC Syringia spp.
Renown for their color and fragrance. Train a summer-blooming clematis up into them for added summer interest. Numerous varieties in a range of colors are available.

VIBURNUM Viburnum spp.
Many species to choose with a range of bloom time from early winter through late spring. Most have delicious fragrance attractive to people, as well as butterflies. V. x bodnatense 'Dawn'; BURKWOOD VIBURNUM V. x burkwoodii; V. x carlcephalum; V. x juddii; DOUBLEFILE VIBURNUM V. plicatum var. tomentosum 'Mariesii'; V. plicatum var. tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake';
LAURISTINUS V. tinus; V. tinus 'Spring Bouquet'

SHRUBS: SPRING-BLOOMING, MEDIUM-GROWING

SPIREA Spiraea spp.
Deciduous shrubs with spray-like clusters of white flowers. BRIDAL WREATH S. prunifolia; BRIDAL VEIL S. thunbergii; GREFSHEIM SPIREA S. x cinerea 'Grefsheim'; BRIDAL WREATH S. x vanhoutii

MEXICAN ORANGE Choisya ternata
Drought tolerant, glossy-leaved evergreen shrub with citrus-scented white flowers.

ROCKROSE Cistus spp.
Evergreen Mediterranean natives that are fast-growing and drought tolerant. Crepe paper substanced, single, rose-like blossoms in late spring and early summer. Scented foliage as well. WHITE ROCKROSE C. x hybridus; C. incanus subsp. creticus; C. laurifolius; PURPLE ROCKROSE C. x purpureus; C. skanbergii

SHRUBS: SUMMER-BLOOMING, TALL-GROWING

BUTTERFLY BUSH Buddleia davidii
Fast-growing deciduous shrub, highly prized by butterflies of course. Arching sprays of fragrant blossoms in colors from white to purple.

COTONEASTER Cotoneaster spp.
Tough and adaptable deciduous and evergreen shrubs noted for their summer flowers and colorful winter berries attractive to birds. C. dammeri; C. glaucophylla; C. horizontalis; C. lacteus; C. parneyi

ELDERBERRY Sambucus spp.
Large, fast-growing deciduous shrubs featuring ornamental foliage, fragrant flowers and colorful berries prized by birds. S. nigra ‘Guicho’; S. n. ‘Purpurea’; S. n. ‘Variegata’; S. racemosa ‘Sutherland’

LILAC Syringa spp.
Later-blooming species and hybrids with flowers in smaller arching panicles. Later varieties include: S. x prestoniae 'Donald Wyman'; S. x prestoniae 'James MacFarlane'

MOCK ORANGE Philadelphus spp.
Richly fragrant white blossoms on long, arching stems. Good for screening or at back of border. Single varieties are most appealing to butterflies. P. coronarius; P. virginalis

SHRUBS: SUMMER-BLOOMING, MEDIUM-GROWING

BUSH CINQUEFOIL Potentilla spp.
Deciduous, drought tolerant, tough and adaptable shrubs with an extremely long bloom period. Numerous cultivars are available in a variety of pinks, yellows and white.

DWARF BUTTERFLY BUSH Buddleia davidii var. nanhoensis
Scaled-down version of its larger parent, in a manageable size for the smaller yard or garden. Buddleia 'Petit Plum' (reddish-purple); B. 'Petite Indigo' (lilac-blue); B. 'Nanho Blue' (lavender-blue); B. 'Nanho Purple' (purple)

ESCALLONIA Escallonia spp.
Tough, long-blooming evergreen shrubs for screening or hedging.

PINK PRINCESS ESCALLONIA Escallonia x exoniensis 'Fradesii'; Escallonia x ‘Red Elf’

GLOSSY ABELIA Abelia x grandiora
Fast-growing, drought tolerant, evergreen. White, delicately scented flowers from July till frost.

HEBE Hebe spp.
Evergreen, drought tolerant New Zealand natives, blooming with violet or white flowers in summer. BOXLEAF HEBE Hebe buxifolia; Hebe glaucophylla

PRIVET Ligustrum spp.
Sturdy evergreen shrubs for screen and accent planting. Irresistable fragrant white flowers. JAPANESE WAXLEAF PRIVET Ligustrum japonicum 'Texanum'

SPIREA Spiraea spp.
Deciduous shrubs with flat-topped clusters of flowers similar to Yarrow, in pink, white & bi-color. Spiraea x bumalda 'Shirobana'; S. x 'Goldflame'; S. x 'Magic Carpet'; S. nipponica 'June Bride'; S. nipponica 'Snowmound'

SHRUBS: SUMMER-BLOOMING, LOW-GROWING

GERMANDER Teucrium chamaedrys
Evergreen sub-shrub suitable for low borders and hedges. Takes poor conditions with drought and good drainage.

HEBE Hebe spp.
Low-growing varieties suitable for front of perennial borders or as groundcover when massed. Hebe glaucophylla; H. pingufolia 'Pagei'; H. pingufolia 'Sutherlandii'

SHRUBS: LATE SUMMER & FALL-BLOOMING, TALL-GROWING

CHASTE TREE Vitex agnus-castus
Aracative foliage similar to Japanese Maple, graced with long spikes of lavender blue flowers. Excellent source for late nectar.

ROSE OF SHARON Hibiscus syriacus
Valuable late-blooming shrub with flowers resembling tropical Hibiscus or Hollyhock. Late to leaf out in spring. Butterflies prefer single-flowered forms.

SWEET PEPPERBUSH Clethra spp.
Deciduous Eastern Native for moist areas with exquisitely fragrant spikes of bloom in late August. Clethra alnifolia; PINK SWEET PEPPERBUSH C. a. 'Rosea'; C. a 'Pinkspire'; JAPANESE SWEET SHRUB C. barbinervis

VINES

HONEYSUCKLE Lonicera spp.
Deliciously fragrant, long-blooming deciduous vines. DROPMORE SCARLET HONEYSUCKLE Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet'; HALL’S JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE L. japonica 'Halliana'; LATE DUTCH HONEYSUCKLE L. periclymenum 'Serotina'; MANDARIN HONEYSUCKLE L. x 'Mandarin'

PASSION VINE Passiflora caerula
Vigorous, twining vine with exotic, blue & white flowers, and orange, edible fruit.

WISTERIA Wisteria spp.
Large, fast-growing vines with showy, hanging purple or white flowers. CHINESE WISTERIA Wisteria sinensis 'Caroline'; W. s. ‘Cooke’s Special’; W. s. ‘Texas White’; JAPANESE WISTERIA W. floribunda