Natives to attract Butterflies

Having a garden that is a welcoming place for butterflies can be a real joy. There are a lot of butterflies that are native to our region, and one way to be able to best attract them is by planting natives.

Most butterflies require specific host plants to provide for all stages of life; eggs to caterpillar, chrysalis to butterfly. Butterflies are less picky about nectar sources, so adding non-native nectar plants (so long as they are non-invasive) is fine by us.

native aster
Native Aster
eriophyllum-lanatum
Eriophyllum lanatum: Oregon Sunshine

Many people mistakenly focus all their attention on the nectar plants to attract the adults, without equal attention to the larval plants that will feed the growing caterpillars — helping to insure that you will have generations of returning butterflies to your garden.

native allium
Native Allium

Many of the NW Native plants we carry at the nursery are good butterfly plants as well as good garden plants. Here is just a partial list of what we usually see during the year:


Helpful Links

Attracting butterflies to your garden requires more time and patience than attracting birds. There are also considerations of placement of plants and providing a water source. Below are some links that should go a long way to helping you set up a garden area attractive to butterflies:

From the Native Nectar Plants from the Eugene Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association:

Bosky Dell Natives list of native butterfly plants

Local photographer Chris Carvalho has put together a thorough (and beautiful) resource on native butterflies and the plants that feed them. (He includes a few compatible non-natives here, too).

Our brochure on gardening for butterflies lists more natives along with non-natives, and designates whether the plant is for nectar-feeding or larval-feeding.

Find Natives for your garden

We offer a great selection of Northwest Natives from spring through fall. The plants featured are highlighted favorites, but they do not represent ALL of the plants we carry. For a more complete list, see our Northwest Native Plant List.

Natives

Abies: Native Fir

Natives

Acer Circinatum: Vine Maple

Natives

Actaea: Bugbane

Natives

Aquilegia: Columbine

Natives

Arbutus: Pacific Madrone

Natives

Asarum: Wild Ginger

Natives

Asclepias: Milkweed

Natives

Attracting Butterflies

Natives

Camassia: Camas

Natives

Ceanothus: Wild Lilac

Natives

Cornus sericea

Red Twig Dogwood
Natives

Corylus cornuta

Beaked Hazelnut
Natives

Dodecatheon: Shooting Star

Natives

Edible Fruits

Natives

Erigeron: Fleabane

Natives

Eriophyllum: Oregon Sunshine

Natives

Native Ferns

Natives

Fragaria: Wild Strawberry

Natives

Gaultheria shallon: Salal

Natives

Holodiscus: Oceanspray

Natives

Attracting Hummingbirds

Natives

Native Iris

Natives

Lewisia: Bitterroot

Natives

Mahonia: Oregon Grape

Natives

Malus fusca

Western Crabapple
Natives

Osmaronia: Indian Plum

Natives

Penstemon: Beard Tongue

Natives

Philadelphus: Mock Orange

Natives

Physocarpus

Western Ninebark
Natives

Pinus: Native Pine

Natives

Quercus: Garry Oak

Natives

Rhamnus: Cascara

Natives

Ribes: Wild Currant

Natives

Rosa: Wild Rose

Natives

Rubus: Salmonberry

Natives

Sambucus: Elderberry

Natives

Sedum: Stonecrop

Natives

Sidalcea: Checker Mallow

Natives

Sisyrinchium

Blue-eyed Grass
Natives

Solidago: Goldenrod

Natives

Symphoricarpos: Snowberry

Natives

Synthyris: Native Figwort

Natives

Trillium: Wake Robin

Natives

Vaccinium: Huckleberry

Natives

Vancouveria: Inside-out Flower

Natives

Viburnum trilobum

Cranberrybush
Natives

Viola: Violet

Natives

Winter Interest