Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am a teacher working with very young students to establish a wildlife garden. We received a donated butterfly bush of a smallish cultivar, but wondering if there is a native shrub not too large for our corner garden that would also attract butterflies, etc. What are native alternatives to butterfly bushes?
On our Recommended Species page you will find under "Special Collections" a list titled Butterflies and Moths of North America containing native plants that are valuable to moths and butterflies. Once you have opened that database with more than 350 species of native plants, you can limit the list to your area by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choosing either Maryland or Virginia. This will give you a list of more than 180 native plant species for butterflies that grow in those states. You can also use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select for what type of plant you want (e.g., Shrub, Herb, Fern, etc.) and to choose plants that will work with the amount of sunlight and soil moisture your site has.
Here are a few suggestions from that list using Maryland as the state choice. There are many more choices of plants for you to see.
Landscaping plans in Kyle TX February 12, 2012 - I am starting from scratch in a backyard (approx. 52'x25')in Central Texas (Kyle). The backyard is on the north side of the single story house. I would like to have plants and trees that attract and... view the full question and answer
Butterfly egg kit from Spring Hill FL October 27, 2011 - Could you please tell me all native plant(s) I can buy for my Sons Painted Lady Butterfly kit (eggs are going to hatch soon)and I don't know what to buy for the baby caterpillars to eat. I contacted ... view the full question and answer
Locating milkweed to feed larvae of Monarch butterfly November 17, 2005 - A monarch butterfly on her way south, stopped and laid her eggs on a tropical milkweed. The larvae have hatched and now I want to insure their survival, but I only had 1 plant which they have strippe... view the full question and answer
Information on Betonyleaf thoroughwort September 04, 2008 - I purchased Conoclinium betonicifolium (Betonyleaf thoroughwort) at the spring 2008 LBJ WC plant sale. I've not been able to find much information on the plant in the typical places, including the... view the full question and answer
Amending soil for butterfly garden in Houston April 01, 2013 - My girl scout troop will be planting a butterfly garden at a middle school in Houston. In researching plants to use, we have come across some such as echinacea, rose vervain, galliarda and Texas gay... view the full question and answer