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Q: Butterfly-Attracting Flowers, Zone 4 ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Butterfly-Attracting Flowers, Zone 4
Category: Family and Home > Gardening
Asked by: winspiff-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 07 Sep 2004 13:06 PDT
Expires: 07 Oct 2004 13:06 PDT
Question ID: 397996
My parents live in zone 4, and our garden has hardly any birds or, more
importantly, butterflies, to speak of.  We have over an acre to work

I am looking for maybe 200-300 butterfly-attracting plants of all types: 
*sunny to shady (some areas direct sun in a garden, some under trees,
some heavy cover)
*short to tall (from under an inch to really tall)
*bushes to flowers to groundcover (some bushes for perimeter, flowers
for the garden, groundcover for a shady area where grass won't grow.)
*blooming in spring, summer and fall. (I want to have an equal amount
of flowers blooming at all times, as many as possible lasting as long
as possible.)
*Most importantly, they all should be butterfly attracting.  If
they're also hummingbird, etc, attracting, that would be nice.

On my own, I found 300 plants meeting my specifications, but they were
in zone 5 and I don't want to make a mistake.  I need help to find
this many zone 4 butterfly-attracting flowers.  

I'm sorry I can't afford to pay more, I would if I could.

Clarification of Question by winspiff-ga on 07 Sep 2004 13:13 PDT
I forgot to mention that I only want perennials.

Here's one website I found zone 5 information on:

Request for Question Clarification by kriswrite-ga on 24 Sep 2004 07:51 PDT
I don't think anyone can give you a list of 200 or more perennials
that will attract butterflies. Would you be happy with a list of as
many perennials as can be found that attract butterflies?


Request for Question Clarification by kriswrite-ga on 24 Sep 2004 11:05 PDT
Update: I currently have a list of 110 butterfly attracting plants for
your zone. Would this list (along with links about plant preferences
such as sun and shade exposure) satisfy you?

Thank you,
Subject: Re: Butterfly-Attracting Flowers, Zone 4
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 24 Sep 2004 13:41 PDT
Hello winspiff~

Here is a list of perennials for zone 4 that will attract butterflies
and butterfly larvae to your garden.

After looking at the list you posted in your clarification, I see that
most plants were listed multiple times, under several varieties. I, on
the other hand, have only listed the same plant once, except in rare
instances. There are typically several varieties of the same plant
that will grow in your area, and look quite different from each other.
Therefore, while I?ve only listed blanket flowers once (for example),
there are other varieties. All you?d need to do is visit a nursury and
tell them you want the plant; they can provide you with the various
varieties of it. Therefore, while I?ve numbered the plants to 115
total, when you add additional varieties, the list easily numbers
beyond 200.

I?ve also included links that give information about the conditions
each plant prefers (full sun, shade, etc.); most also include a
photograph of the plant, too.

Please note that while most of the links come from ?Plant Finder,? I
have consulted multiple sources to ensure that these plants grow as
perennials in your zone, and that they attract butterflies. Many of
the ?Plant Finder? listings do not mention that certain plants attract
butterflies. There are probably several reasons for this, but the most
vital is that this website hasn't particularly noted plants that
attract butterfly larvae (and, therefore, grown up butterflies); the
?butterfly? notation at ?Plant Finder? primarily points readers to
plants that butterflies will eat from, not have children on. :)

Also, before you plant anything on the list, please be sure to check
with your local extension office (usually affiliated with a local
university), to ensure that none of these are listed as ?noxious
weeds? or ?dangerously invasive? in your particular part of zone 5.
Such plants may be dangerous to your environment, taking over native
plants, unless they are properly contained.



1.  Aesculus

2. Angelica gigas

3. Asclepias

4. Azaleas; 'Girard's Dwarf Lavender,' among others, is hardy in your

5.  Bachelor?s Button (Centaurea pulcherrima)

6. Beard Tongue (Penstemon)

7. Bird?s Foot Violet (Viola pedata)

8. Black Eyed Susan

9. Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata )

10. Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis)

11. Bleeding Heart

12. Boltonia

13. Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

14. Bugle Weed (Ajuga reptans); there are several, including and

15. Butterfly Weed

16. Caraway Thyme

17. Centranthus ruber

18. Cephalaria gigantean

19. Chinese Larkspur (Delphinium grandiflorum)

20. Chrysanthemum (garden variety)

21. Columbine

22. Comfrey (Symphytum)

23. Common Thyme

24. Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum)

25. Coneflower

26. Coral Bells (Heuchera)

27. Coreopsis auriculata

28. Coreopsis rosea

29. Cranesbill (Geranium x antipodeum)

30. Culver?s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)

31. Dame?s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

32. Daylily

33. Delphinium

34. Dogwood

35. Edlerberry (Sambucus Canadensis)

36. False Indigo (Baptisia australis)

37. False Spiraea

38. Fennel

39. Foxglove

40. French Honeysuckle (Hedysarum coronarium)

41. Geum

42. Globe Thistle (Echinops bannaticus)

43. Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

44. Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)

45. Golden Aster (Heterotheca camporum)

46. Goldenrod (Solidago hispida)

47. Hardy Geranium; Geranium 'Dilys' is hardy in your zone ,
as is wild geranium

48. Hardy Hibiscus

49. Heath Aster (Aster ericoides)

50. Helensflower (Helenium)

51. Hollyhock

52. Hyssop (Agastache nepetoides)

53. Iberis (Candytuft)

54. Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)

55. Knotweed (Persicaria virginiana)

56. Leucanthemella serotina

57. Liatris aspera

58. Lilac

59. Lobelia

60. Mallow (Malva);

61. Meadow Clary (Salvia pratensis)

62. Meadowsweet (Spiraea)

63. Mock Orange (Philadelphus 'Innocence')

64. Monarda fistulosa

65. Mountain Bluet (Centaurea Montana)

66. Mountain Fleece (Persicaria amplexicaulis)

67. Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incanum)

68. Nepeta

69. New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

70. Oregano

71. Oxeye (Heliopsis 'Helhan')

72. Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

73. Penstemon

74. Penstemon

75. Peony; ?America,? among others, are hardy in your zone

76. Perennial Lupine

77. Phlox

78. Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa caucasica)

79. Prairie Clover (Dalea candida)

80. Prairie Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum)

81. Primrose; ?Wanda,? among others, are hardy in your zone

82. Prunella grandiflora

83. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

84. Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)

85. Rhododendron; 'English Roseum,' among others, is hardy in your

86. Ribes (gooseberry, currant); there are many varieties: see and for

87.  Rose Mallow (Hibiscus laevis)

88. Roses

89. Sage

90. Salvia

91. Scotch Heather (Calluna vulgaris)

92. Sea Holly (Eryngium alpinum)

93. Sea Thrift (Armeria)

94. Sedum (Sedum 'Carl')

95. Senna

96. Shasta Daisy; only certain varieties are hardy in your zone. See and for

97. Siberian Iris

98. Snakeroot (Cimicifuga racemosa)

99. Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

100. Solidaster (x Solidaster luteus)

101. Speedwell (Veronia)

102. Spirea

103. Stonecrop (Sedum album)

104. Summer Sweet (Clethra alnifolia)

105. Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda)

106. Sweet William

107. Telekia speciosa

108. Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)

109. Verbena hastate
* White Mugwort (Artemisia lactiflora)

110.  Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria)

111. Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)

112. Winter Huneysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)

113. Yellow Giant Hyssop (Agastache nepetoides)

114. Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctuate)

115. Yellow Yarrow (a.k.a. Golden Yarrow, Eriophyllum confertiflorum)

You may also be interested in these articles, which provide tips for
attracting butterflies:

* ?Attracting Butterflies to the Garden? at Colorado State University:

* ?Bring Back the Butterflies? at Butterfly Campaign:

* ?Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardening? at Suite 101:

* ?Butterfly Gardening Guide? at The Butterfly Farm:

Researcher?s personal knowledge
Consulting gardening books in the Researcher?s library
Google searches for individual plants
Individual plant searches at Plant Finder
), and Plant Database ( )
Subject: Re: Butterfly-Attracting Flowers, Zone 4
From: marylandmarc-ga on 20 Jun 2005 11:35 PDT
Just read about a new Echinacea (Big Sky Sunrise) that is supposed to
be good at attracting butterflies in Zone 4-9.  I found it at

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