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 Perennials
Aster Aster Black Eyed Susans Attract Butterflies
Beard Tongue Penstemon spp.
Bee Balm Monarda spp.
Black-Eyed Susan (pictured) Rudbeckia hirta
Blanket Flower Gaillardia spp.
Bleeding Heart (pictured) Dicentra spp. Bleeding Heart Attract Butterflies
Broadleaf/Common Plantain Plantago major
Buckwheat Eriogonum spp.
California Aster Symphyotrichum chilense
Canna Lily Canna spp.
Clover (pictured) Trifolium spp. Clover Attract Butterflies
Columbine Aquilegia spp.
Coneflower Echinacea spp.
Coreopsis Coreopsis spp.
Cosmos Cosmos spp.
Coyotemint Monardella villosa Foxglove Attract Butterflies
Deerweed Acmispon glaber/Lotus scoparius
Dusty Miller Senecio cineraria
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Foxglove Digitalis spp.
Gayfeather (pictured) Liatris spp. Gayfeather Attract Butterflies
Geum Geum
Goldenrod Solidago spp.
Grasses Carex, Festuca, others
Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens
Hollyhock Alcea rosea spp. Lily of the Nile Attract Butterflies
Jacobs Ladder Polemonium spp.
Japanese Bellflower Platycodon spp.
Lily Of The Nile (pictured) Agapanthus spp.
Lippia Lipia repens, Phyla nodiflora
Lupine Lupinus spp. Mexican Sunflower Attract Butterflies
Mallow Lavatera spp.
Matilija Poppy Romneya coulteri
Mexican Sunflower (pictured) Tithonia spp.
Michaelmas Daisy Aster novi-belgii, others
Milkweed Asclepias spp. Mullein Attract Butterflies
Monkey Flower Diplacus, Mimulus spp.
Mullein (pictured) Verbascum spp.
Nettle Urtica spp.
Pearly Everlasting Anaphalis spp.
Peter's Gold Carpet Bidens ferulifolia Phlox Attract Butterflies
Phlox, Summer Phlox (pictured) Phlox paniculata
Pincushion Flower Scabiosa spp.
Plumbago Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Red Valerian Centranthus ruber
Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia Sea Holly Attract Butterflies
Sage Salvia spp.
Santa Barbara Daisy Erigeron karvinskianus
Scented Geranium Pelargonium graveolens
Sea Holly (pictured) Eryngium spp.
Sea Lavender/Statice Limonium spp.
Sea Thrift (pictured) Armeria spp. Sea Thrift Attract Butterflies
Seaside Daisy Erigeron spp.
Shasta Daisy Leucantheyaum superbum
Snapdragon Antirrhinum spp.
Snow In Summer Alyssum spp.
Speedwell Veronica spp. Toadflax Attract Butterflies
Stoke's Aster Stokesia laevis
Thistle Cirsium, Eryngium, others
Thyme Thymus spp.
Toadflax (pictured) Linaria purpurea
Torch Lily (pictured) Kniphofia spp. Torch Lily Attract Butterflies
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 Shrubs
Bluebeard/Blue Mist Caryopteris spp. California Coffeeberry Attract Butterflies
Butterfly Bush Buddleja spp.
California Coffeeberry (pictured) Rhamnus californica
California Wild Lilac Ceanothus spp.
Chaste Tree Vitex agnus-castus Hebe Attract Butterflies
Hebe (pictured) Hebe spp.
Lantana Lantana spp.
Lavender Lavandula spp.
Oak Querus spp. Spirea Attract Butterflies
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Spirea (pictured) Spiraea spp.
Strawberry Tree Arbutus unedo or marina
Tree Mallow Lavatera arborea Viburnum Attract Butterflies
Viburnum (pictured) Viburnum spp.
Willow Salix spp.

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Vines That Attract Butterflies

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

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Annuals That Attract Butterflies

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

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More To Creating A Butterfly Garden

Other Pollinators...

Hummingbirds, Bees and Birds
Attracting Hummingbirds Creating A Bee Habitat Invite The Birds
Hummingbird Plants Plants To Attract Bees Plants to Attract Birds

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