Plants that Attract Butterflies

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List of Plants That Attract Butterflies

It's obvious: Butterflies and flowers were made for each other. As the poet pointed out, butterflies are flying flowers, and flowers are tethered butterflies.

In attracting butterflies to your garden, it's important to understand what they want most out of life: nectar. The ancients, who believed that nectar fell directly from heaven, named it after the wines of the gods. A butterfly's wish list also includes sunny open spaces, shelter from the wind, and fresh water.

For a nectar-rich flower border designed to satisfy these requirements, consider the plants listed below. Then invite a few butterflies over for a drink.
 

Common Name Latin Name
Allium Allium
Aster Aster
Bee balm Monarda
Butterfly bush Buddleia
Catmint Nepeta
Clove Pink Dianthus
Cornflower Centaurea
Daylily Hemerocallis
False indigo Baptisia
Fleabane Erigeron
Floss flower Ageratum
Globe thistle Echinops
Goldenrod Solidago
Helen's flower Helenium
Hollyhock Alcea
Lavender Lavendula
Lilac Syringa
Lupine Lupinus
Lychnis Lychnis
Mallow Malva
Milkweed Asclepias
Mint Mentha
Pansy Viola
Phlox Phlox
Privet Ligustrum
Purple coneflower Echinacea
Rock cress Arabis
Sage Salvia
Sea holly Eryngium
Shasta daisy Chrysanthemum
Snapdragon Antirrhinum
Stonecrop Sedum
Sweet alyssum Lobularia
Sweet rocket Hesperis
Tickseed Coreopsis
Zinnia Zinnia

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Comments

I have lived in Northern VA

By Linda Bragg

I have lived in Northern VA and now live in the eastern panhandle of WV and have yet to see my butterfly bushes propagate in the 20 years that I have had them. Honeysuckle, the vine, on the other hand is very invasive. Have not noticed that about the honeysuckle bush. Here, I would call milkweed and thistles invasive as well as mimosa trees.

I am a wildlife ecologist,

By Soos Weber

I am a wildlife ecologist, and member of the Board of ALIPC--Alabama Invasive Plant Council. Whenever I visit a site like this one, I nearly always see butterfly bush listed as a good butterfly plant. It is not only an exotic plant, it is an invasive plant in many states. So is Lonicera unless you specify L.flava, or L. sempervirens. To simply say "honeysuckle" is inviting trouble to all our natural ecosystems, which are being blighted by these invaders. The yellow honeysuckles are invaders from Asia.

The native/invasive issue is

By LizJ

The native/invasive issue is a separate one. Butterflies don't care if a plant is native or not and they do like buddleia blooms. In CT, they don't seem to be invasive: I have 3 in my small suburban garden for 5 or 6 years and never had a single offspring. My sister in the mid-Atlantic region found that to be more of a probem.

Where on that list do you see

By VickiB

Where on that list do you see Lonicera or Honeysuckle???? Why make any negative comments on plants that aren't even on the list???

Thanks for sharing that

By Katt

Thanks for sharing that information so that we won't inadvertently do something that would be harmful in the long run.

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