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Extension > Garden > Yard and Garden > Landscaping > Butterfly gardening > Butterfly and moth garden plants

Table 2. Butterfly and moth garden plants

Vera Krischik

This table is based on a listing of plants rated excellent by Carrol L. Henderson in Landscaping for Wildlife, available through Minnesota's Bookstore at the Minnesota Department of Natual Resources (612-297-3000 or 1-800-652-9747; ask for Minnesota's Bookstore). Used with permission.

Key: Sun: F=full, FP=full to partial, PS=partial to shade, A=all light conditions; Zones: Hardy in MN zones 3-4, except where noted; Cat=caterpillars; AB=adult butterflies; AM=adult moths.

Scientific name Common name Height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Annuals
Anethum graveolens dill 3' F X
Calendula officinalis calendula, pot marigold 1' FP X
Heliotropium arborescens heliotrope 1-2' FP X X
Mirabilis jalapa four o'clock 1.5-3' FP X
Nicotiana alata flowering tobacco 1.5-3' FP X
Petroselinum crispum parsley 1' FP X
Petunia x hybrida petunia 1' FP X X
Pimpinella anisum anise 1.5' F X
Rosemarinus officinalis rosemary 2-3' F X
Tagetes erecta American or African marigold 1.5-3' F X X
Tagetes patula French marigold 1' F X X
Tithonia rotundifolia Mexican sunflower 2.5' F X
Scientific name Common name Height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Annuals
Tropaeolum majus nasturtium 3' F X
Verbena spp. verbena 8-14" F X
Zinnis elegans zinnia 1-3' FP X
Biennials/perennials
Achillea millefolium yarrow 2' F X
Alcea rosea hollyhock 6' F X X
Amorpha canescens leadplant 2' F X
Anaphalis margaritacea pearly everlasting 2' F X
Arabis spp. rock cress .5-1' FP X
Asclepias incarnata swamp milkweed 4' FP X X
Asclepias speciosa showy milkweed 3' FP X X
Asclepias syriaca common milkweed 3' FP X X
Asclepias tuberosa butterflyweed 3' FP X

Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Annuals
Tropaeolum
majus
nasturtium 3' F X
Verbena spp. verbena 8-14" F X
Zinnis
elegans
zinnia 1-3' FP X  
Biennials/perennials
Achillea
millefolium
yarrow 2' F   X  
Alcea
rosea
hollyhock 6' F X X  
Amorpha
canescens
leadplant 2' F   X  
Anaphalis
margaritacea
pearly
everlasting
2' F X    
Arabis spp. rock
cress
.5-1' FP X  
Asclepias
incarnata
swamp
milkweed
4' FP X X  
Asclepias
speciosa
showy
milkweed
3' FP X X  
Asclepias
syriaca
common
milkweed
3' FP X X  
Asclepias
tuberosa
butterflyweed 3' FP   X  
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Biennials/perennials
Aster
ericoides
heath
heather
3' F X X  
Aster spp. aster 3-5' FP X X  
Bidens
aristosa
tickseed
sunflower
3-4' F   X  
Carex spp. sedge 1' F X    
Centaurea
dealbata
Persian
cemtairea
2' FP   X
Centaurea
macrocephala
globe
centaurea
3' F zones 4-5   X  
Centaurea
montana
mountain
bluet
2' F zone 4   X  
Chelone
glabra
turtlehead 2' F zone 4   X  
Cirsium
flodmanii
butterflyweed 3' FP   X  
Daucus
carota
Queen Anne's
Lace
2' FP   X X  
Dianthus
barbatus
sweet
William
1.5' FP   X    
Echinacea
purpurea
purple
coneflower
4' FP   X  
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Biennials/perennials
Echinops spp. globe
thistle
4' FP   X  
Epilobium
angustifolium
fireweed 4' FP     X
Erigeron spp. fleabane 4' FP   X  
Eupatorium
maculatum
Joe-Pye
weed
5' FP   X  
Eupatorium
perfoliatum
boneset 3' FP   X
Euthamia
graminifolia
lance leaved
goldenrod
2' F     X  
Gaillardia x
grandiflora
blanketflower 2-3' F     X  
Gentiana
septemfida
var. lagondechiana
dwarf blue
gentian
1' A zones 4-5     X
Helianthus
laetiflorus
showy
sunflower
2-4' F   X  
Helianthus
maximiliani
narrow leaved
sunflower
3-5' F     X  
Helianthus
occidentalis
western
sunflower
3' F     X  
Heliopsis
helianthoides
oxeye
daisy
3' F   X  
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Biennials/perennials
Hemerocallis spp. daylily 3-6' F   X  
Hesperis
matronalis
dame's
rocket
3' PS     X
Houstonia spp. houstonia 8" F   X  
Hyssopus
officinalis
hyssop 2' F   X  
Liatris
aspera
rough
blazing star
2-3' FP   X
Liatris
cylindracea
dwarf
blazing star
2' FP     X  
Liatris
ligulistylus
meadow
blazing star
1-1.5' FP     X  
Liatris
punctata
dotted
gayfeather
1' FP     X  
Liatris
pycnostachya
prairie
blazing star
5' FP   X  
Liatris
spicata
gayfeather,
blazing star
3' F     X  
Lilium
candidum
Madonna
lily
6' FP       X
Lupinus
perennis
lupine 2' A X X  
Lupinus
‘Russell Hybrids’
Russell
lupine
5' A X X  
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Biennials/perennials
Mentha
piperita
peppermint 2' FP   X  
Mentha
spicata
spearmint 2' PS zones 4-5   X  
Monarda
didyma
scarlet
bergamot
3' A   X X
Monarda
fistulosa
wild
bergamot
2' F   X X
Oenothera
biennis
common
evening primrose
3-4' F   X X
Paeonia
spp.
peony 3' FP     X  
Prunella
vulgaris
selfheal 1' FP zones 4-5   X  
Rudbeckia
fulgida
‘Goldsturm’
Goldsturm
black-eyed Susan
2' FP   X X  
Rudbeckia
hirta

‘Gloriosa’
gloriosa
daisy
3' FP X X  
Rumex spp. docks 2' FP   X    
Sedum
albo-roseum
pink
live forever
2' A   X X  
Sedum
spectabile
sedum 2' A X X  
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Biennials/perennials
Solidago
nemoralis
gray
goldenrod
2' F   X  
Solidago
rigida
stiff
goldenrod
4' F     X  
Solidago
rugosa
rough
stemmed goldenrod
1-7' F   X  
Solidago
speciosa
showy
goldenrod
3' F   X  
Thymus
vulgaris
thyme 1' F zone 5   X  
Trifolium
pratense
red
clover
1.5' F     X  
Vicia spp. vetch 3' F     X  
Viola spp. violets 1' A   X    
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Trees, shrubs, vines
Acer
negundo
box elder 30' FP zones 4-5   X  
Aristolochia durior Dutchman's pipe Indeterminate vine FP zones 4-5   X  
Betula
spp.
birch 30' FP   X  
Ceanothus
americanus
New Jersey tea 4' A zones 4-5 X    
Cephalanthus
occidentalis
buttonbush 4' FP   X
Clethra
alnifolia
summersweet 6' A   X    
Ledum
groenlandicum
Labrador tea 5' F     X  
Lindera
benzoin
spicebush 6' F   X    
Philadelphus
coronarius
Sweet mock orange 10' FP   X  
Populus
spp.
poplar 40' F     X  
Prunus
spp.
stone fruits (e.g., plum, cherry) 20' F   X    
Quercus
spp.
Oak 50' FP zones 4-5 X X  
Rubus
allegheniensis
wild
blackberry
6' FP     X  
Salix
discolor
pussy
willow
10-20' F     X  
Salix
humilis
var. microphylla
prairie
willow
8' F   X    
Salix
nigra
black
willow
50' FP zones 4-5 X X  
Scientific name Common name height Sun Zones Cat AB AM
Trees, shrubs, vines
Salix
pentandra
laurel
willow
36' FP   X X  
Spirea
alba
narrowleaf
meadowsweet
4' F zones 4-5   X  
Spirea
latifolia
broadleaf
meadowsweet
6' A   X  
Spirea
tomentosa
hard
hack
4' A     X  
Symphoricarpos occidentalis wolfberry 6' A X  
Symphoricarpos
orbiculatus
coralberry 3' A   X    
Syringa x
hyacinthiflora
Canadian
lilac
16' FP zones 4-5   X  
Syringa
josiflexa
Chinese/
Hungarian
15' FP zones 4-5   X  
Syringa
meyeri
dwarf
Korean lilac
5' FP zones 4-5   X  
Syringa
patula

‘Miss Kim’
Miss Kim
Korean lilac
5' FP zones 4-5   X  
Syringa x
prestoniae
Preston
lilac
10' FP     X  
Weigela
florida
weigelia 9' F zones 4-5     X

2013

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