Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - May 04, 2010

From: Idaho Falls, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Hummingbird and butterfly plants for Idaho
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm interested in planting a hummingbird and butterfly friendly garden. What do you suggest? I would like something that will rebloom every year and that has long lasting blooms or some different ones that bloom at different times so my garden is blooming as long as possible. Thanks

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page under "Special Collections" you will find a link to a list of plants valuable to moths and butterflies.  You can find which of those plants are native to Idaho by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar of that list. Here are a few recommendations for perennials chosen from this list: 

Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry) blooms April, May and June

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo) blooms April, May and June

Asclepias asperula (spider milkweed) blooms March through October

Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed) blooms May through September

Rosa nutkana (Nootka rose) blooms May, June and July

Here are some annuals and biennials that should reseed themselves after they bloom.

Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain beeplant) blooms July, August and September. 

Sphaeralcea coccinea (scarlet globemallow) blooms April through September

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) blooms June through October

Here are a couple of extra Idaho native possibilities with red flowers for attracting hummingbirds:

Ipomopsis aggregata (scarlet gilia) is a biennial and blooms August, September and October

Aquilegia formosa (western columbine) blooms May through August

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Amelanchier alnifolia

Amorpha fruticosa

Asclepias asperula

Asclepias speciosa

Rosa nutkana

Cleome serrulata

Sphaeralcea coccinea

Rudbeckia hirta

Ipomopsis aggregata

Aquilegia formosa

 

 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Propagation of Asclepias tuberosa
June 18, 2012 - Re: Asclepias tuberosa, "butterfly weed" bush -- I have a bed in a mix of Shoal Creek well-drained caliche, soil, and some enrichment of mulch that gets almost full sun and low water. After 4 yrs a...
view the full question and answer

Woolly butterfly bush only one native to Texas from Ft. Davis TX
August 19, 2010 - I see many kinds of Butterfly Bush at nurseries. Is the woolly butterfly bush the only Texas native?
view the full question and answer

Optimum pruning time for butterfly garden
April 18, 2005 - I am planting a butterfly garden that I would like to be pretty as well as beneficial for butterflies. If I am going to have both host plants and nectar plants in the garden and the butterflies will b...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Garden, non-poisonous to Dogs, in Taylor MI
March 27, 2014 - I have a small fenced yard with a patio that my dogs have free access to. I would like to create a butterfly garden and add other plants that are non toxic to my dachshunds. Any suggestions. I am f...
view the full question and answer

Host plant for Northern Pearly Eye butterfly
March 25, 2008 - Can we add to the host plant information for Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush grass)? The grass is host plant for the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly (Enodia anthedon). It would be great to share this info...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.