Plants That Attract Butterflies

Monarch butterfly sitting on a cone flower

Butterflies are an important part of our ecosystem. They support birds and amphibians, as well as insects. No matter what stage of its life cycle (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis or adult), the butterfly is a source of food for some other creature. When you create a garden that attracts butterflies, you create a habitat for a variety of beneficial insects, birds, bees and other wildlife.

The plants listed below will allow you to grow the perfect butterfly habitat in your California Landscape. Please note that while we carry many if not all the plants listed here, selection may vary by location and may only be available in select seasons. Please contact your local SummerWinds Nursery for selection. Our Trusted Garden Advisors are also great resources for helping you choose the right plants for your garden.

Plants That Attract Butterflies

Perennials That Attract Butterflies

Common Name Botanical Name
Aster Aster
Beard Tongue Penstemon spp.
Bee Balm Monarda spp.
Black-Eyed Susan
Black Eyed Susans Attract Butterflies
Rudbeckia hirta
Blanket Flower Gaillardia spp.
Bleeding Heart
Bleeding Heart Attract Butterflies
Dicentra spp.
Broadleaf/Common Plantain Plantago major
Buckwheat Eriogonum spp.
California Aster Symphyotrichum chilense
Canna Lily Canna spp.
Clover Attract Butterflies
Trifolium spp.
Columbine Aquilegia spp.
Coneflower Echinacea spp.
Coreopsis Coreopsis spp.
Cosmos Cosmos spp.
Coyotemint Monardella villosa
Deerweed Acmispon glaber/Lotus scoparius
Dusty Miller Senecio cineraria
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Foxglove Attract Butterflies
Digitalis spp.
Gayfeather Attract Butterflies
Liatris spp.
Geum Geum
Goldenrod Solidago spp.
Grasses Carex, Festuca, others
Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens
Hollyhock Alcea rosea spp.
Jacobs Ladder Polemonium spp.
Japanese Bellflower Platycodon spp.
Lily Of The Nile
Lily of the Nile Attract Butterflies
Agapanthus spp.
Lippia Lipia repens, Phyla nodiflora
Lupine Lupinus spp.
Mallow Lavatera spp.
Matilija Poppy Romneya coulteri
Mexican Sunflower
Mexican Sunflower Attract Butterflies
Tithonia spp.
Michaelmas Daisy Aster novi-belgii, others
Milkweed Asclepias spp.
Monkey Flower Diplacus, Mimulus spp.
Mullein Attract Butterflies
Verbascum spp.
Nettle Urtica spp.
Pearly Everlasting Anaphalis spp.
Peter's Gold Carpet Bidens ferulifolia
Phlox, Summer Phlox
Phlox Attract Butterflies
Phlox paniculata
Pincushion Flower Scabiosa spp.
Plumbago Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Red Valerian Centranthus ruber
Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia
Sage Salvia spp.
Santa Barbara Daisy Erigeron karvinskianus
Scented Geranium Pelargonium graveolens
Sea Holly
Sea Holly Attract Butterflies
Eryngium spp.
Sea Lavender/Statice Limonium spp.
Sea Thrift
Sea Thrift Attract Butterflies
Armeria spp.
Seaside Daisy Erigeron spp.
Shasta Daisy Leucantheyaum superbum
Snapdragon Antirrhinum spp.
Snow In Summer Alyssum spp.
Speedwell Veronica spp.
Stoke's Aster Stokesia laevis
Thistle Cirsium, Eryngium, others
Thyme Thymus spp.
Toadflax Attract Butterflies
Linaria purpurea
Torch Lily
Torch Lily Attract Butterflies
Kniphofia spp.
Verbena Verbena spp.
Vinca Vinca minor
Wall Flower Erysimum spp.
Wild Radish Raphanus raphanistrum
Yarrow Achillea spp.

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Shrubs That Attract Butterflies

Common Name Botanical Name
Bluebeard/Blue Mist Caryopteris spp.
Butterfly Bush Buddleja spp.
California Coffeeberry
California Coffeeberry Attract Butterflies
Rhamnus californica
California Wild Lilac Ceanothus spp.
Chaste Tree Vitex agnus-castus
Hebe Attract Butterflies
Hebe spp.
Lantana Lantana spp.
Lavender Lavandula spp.
Oak Querus spp.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Spirea Attract Butterflies
Spiraea spp.
Strawberry Tree Arbutus unedo or marina
Tree Mallow Lavatera arborea
Viburnum Attract Butterflies
Viburnum spp.
Willow Salix spp.

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Vines That Attract Butterflies

Common Name Botanical Name
Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Vines Attracts Bees
Thunbergia alata
Dutchman's Pipe Aristolochia spp.
Wisteria Wisteria spp.

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Annuals That Attract Butterflies

Common Name Botanical Name
Marigolds Attract Butterflies
Tagetes spp.
Mustard Brassica spp.
Sunflower Helianthus spp.
Violet (native) Viola adunca & pedunculata
Zinnia Attract Butterflies
Zinnia spp.

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More To Creating A Butterfly Garden

Other Pollinators...

3 images of pollinators hummingbird drinking nectar from flower and bee sitting on yellow flower and blue bird
Create A Hummingbird Habitat Create A Bee Habitat Creating A Bird Habitat
Plants to Attract Hummingbirds Plants to Attract Bees Plants To Attract Birds

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