What plants are good nectar sources for butterflies?

larry_geneJanuary 1, 2013

This listing of plants with flowers that attract butterflies was submitted by forum members from throughout the U.S., and from many plant hardiness zones. They grew or personally observed these plants and their butterfly visitors. You should observe what nectar plants perform well in your area when deciding what to plant. Plant zones only indicate the lowest cold temperature in winter, which is just one small part of growing plants. Other factors - heat, exposure to sunlight, rainfall, drainage, humidity, soil type, soil PH, and how well or poorly a person takes care of their plants - have a lot more to do with whether or not a plant succeeds or fails than just the zone.

Anise-scented sage - Salvia guaranitica
Autumn sage - Salvia greggii
Aster - Asteraceae Spp.

Bee balm - Monarda spp.
Black-eyed susan - Rudbeckia spp.
Blue Porterweed - Stachytarpheta jamaicensis
Bottlebrush tree - Callistemon spp.
Brazilian verbena - Verbena bonariensis
Butterfly bush - Buddleia davidii (and various hybrids)
Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis
Butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberosa

Carolina jessamine - Gelsemium sempervirens
Carpetweed - Phyla nodiflora
Citrus blossoms - Citrus Spp.
Common thistle - Cirsium spp.
Copper Canyon daisy - Tagetes lemmonii
Coral plant - Jatropha multifida
Cosmos - Cosmos sulphurus

Dutchman's pipevine - Aristolochia Spp.
Elephant foot - Elephantopus spp.
Firebush - Hamelia patens
Giant hyssop - Agastache (A. foeniculum x rugosa) var. 'Blue Fortune'
Golden dewdrop (or skyflower) - Duranta repens
Gregg's mist flower - Eupatorium greggii
Ironweed - Vernonia spp.
Joepye weed - Eupatorium fistulosum
Lantana - Lantana camara
Licorice plant - Helichrysum petiolare

Marigolds - Tagetes spp.
Mexican bush sage - Salvia leucantha
Mexican flamevine - Senecio confusus
Mexican heather - Cuphea hyssopifolia
Mexican petunia - Ruellia brittoniana
Mexican sunflower - Tithonia diversifolia
Morning glory - Ipomeae spp.

Night blooming jessamine - Cestrum nocturnum
Pentas - Pentas lanceolata
Periwinkles - Vinca spp.
Pineapple sage - Salvia elegans
Pineland lantana - Lantana depressa
Phlox - Phlox spp.
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea

Scarlet (or tropical) milkweed - Asclepias currasavica
Shrimp plant - Justicia spp.
Spanish needles - Bidens alba
Stokes aster - Stokesia laevis
Sweet pepperbush - Clethra spp.

Tropical red sage - Salvia coccinea
Turk's cap - Malvaviscus drommondii
White snakeroot - Eupatorium rugosum
Wild sage - Lantana involucrata
Zinnia - Zinnia elegans, Z. haageana, and Z. linearis

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