Northern New Jersey and New York City Native Flowers for Butterfly Gardens

Native Flowers for Butterfly Gardens

in Northern New Jersey and New York City

Native flowers create beauty in a butterfly garden. At the same time, they provide food and nectar that are essential to helping butterflies thrive and reproduce.  The plants listed in the table below have been selected and rated by NABA members as important native flowering plants for butterfly gardening in the northern New Jersey/New York City area.

A butterfly garden should contain plants that provide food for all stages of a butterfly’s life. Caterpillars require very specific plants for food and butterflies need nectar from flowers. Choosing a variety plants from the list below will increase the chances that butterflies commonly found in your area will be able to reproduce in your garden.

English Name Scientific Name Plant Type Caterpillar Food for:
Blue Wild Indigo Baptisia australis Perennial Orange Sulphur, Clouded Sulphur, Frosted Elfin, Hoary Edge Skipper, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Eastern Tailed-Blue
Boneset Eupatorium perfoliatum Perennial Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant
Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa Perennial Monarch
Firewheel Gaillarida pulchella Annual Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant
Golden Alexander Zizia aurea Perennial Black Swallowtail
Hollow Stem Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium fistulosum Perennial Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant
Mistflower Eupatorium coelestinum or Conoclinium coelestinum Perennial Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant
Mountainmint species Pycnanthemum species Perennial Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae Perennial Pearl Crescent
Partridge Pea Chamaecrista fasciculata Perennial Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, Little Yellow, Ceraunus Blue, Gray Hairstreak
Purple Milkweed Asclepias purpurascens Perennial Monarch
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Perennial Monarch
Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica Perennial Monarch
Violet species Viola species Perennial Fritillary caterpillars are often divided into two groups; Greater and Lesser. The Greater Fritillary butterflies are larger and the caterpillars feed exclusively on violets. The Lesser Fritillary butterflies tend to be smaller in size and while they use
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa Perennial Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant
Wreath Goldenrod Solidago caesia Perennial Nectar plant. Not a caterpillar food plant

 

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