En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - June 13, 2014

From: Vienna, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Wildlife Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks

ANSWER:

A good place to start is with our list of plants that attract Butterflies and Moths.  Not all the plants on the list grow in Virginia but you can perform the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choose Virginia from the Select State or Province slot and "Shrub" from the General Appearance slot.  This will give you 35 choices for Virginia. You can also make selections in other characteristics (e.g., Light requirements and Soil moisture) to further narrow the list.

Here are some suggestions from that list:

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush) likes moist soils near ponds and stream banks.

Castanea pumila (Chinkapin) provides fruits for birds and mammals and butterflies visit flowers.

Cornus alternifolia (Alternateleaf dogwood) attracts birds and butterflies.   There are other Cornus species that grow in Virginia as well that attract both birds and butterflies [e.g., Cornus racemosa (Gray dogwood) and Cornus sericea (Redosier dogwood)].

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) is evergreen and flowers attract butterflies and birds eat the berries.

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) attracts both birds and butterflies.

Symphoricarpos albus (Common snowberry) is used by birds for food, cover and nesting.

There are many more for you to consider if you do the search outlined above.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Chinkapin
Castanea pumila

Alternateleaf dogwood
Cornus alternifolia

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Common snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Butterflies and larval hosts in Dallas County
June 19, 2007 - My class is starting a butterfly habitat at school. We have researched plants that attract butterflies, however we forgot to look for plants that feed the caterpillars and we want to provide the expe...
view the full question and answer

Grasses and wildflowers for Houston meadow
February 28, 2008 - I recently bought a house in a new subdivision just south of Houston - as with most new developments, the area is devoid of nature for the most part... I have planted many bird/butterfly/bee fr...
view the full question and answer

Plants for swan food
July 03, 2012 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, I have a farm in VA with a large pond or lake fenced in. I am rescuing a pair of swan and want to grow plants around the fence and pond that they can eat. Could you suggest an...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to attract migrating birds
June 12, 2010 - Can you suggest native plants that would attract migrating birds? I have a very sunny location, with very sandy soil. Thanks in advance for your answer.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center