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Monday - November 16, 2009

From: OKC, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Drought tolerant plants for butterflies and hummingbirds
Answered by: Anne Bossart


I have about 150 sq ft of space in our backyard (urban OKC residence) that gets direct sun in the morning but is 100% shaded by 11-Noon from 2 large Sycamore trees. The space is on the west side of the yard and also shaded after noon by a 7 foot fence. Would like to fill this area with a (wide?) variety of native and drought resistance flowers/shrubs attractive to humming birds and butterflies, and with a large range of color and blooming times.


Well that's a tall order, but not an impossibility.  There are plants that meet those requirements ... just not a wide variety! We commend your decision to install plants that have a benefit for wildlife and will help make your garden a sustainable ecosystem.  We recommend you investigate transforming your garden intoa Wildlfife Habitat. Visit the National Wildlife Federation website for more information.

By narrowing the search on our Recommended Species search for Oklahoma for part sun and dry conditions we find some perennials that fit the bill. You will find more  on the list.

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

You will likely not have room for many shrubs, but here are two good ones that will survive in those conditions, attract wildlife and have great fall color.

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Monarda fistulosa

Ipomopsis rubra

Salvia coccinea

Amelanchier arborea

Rhus glabra






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