SDNHM Monarca: Butterfly Beyond Boundaries

Butterfly Nectar Plants
For San Diego Gardens

Adult butterflies drink nectar from the flowers of a wide range of species, both native and introduced. The plants listed below are known to attract butterflies to gardens.

Monarch photo by Ruth Shelly Abelia
Achillea millefolium (Common Yarrow)
Aesculus californica (Buckeye)
Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile)
Ageratum houstonianum (Flossflower)
Albizia julibrissin (Silk Tree)
Allium (onions)
Alyssum
Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)
Apocynum cannabium (Dogbane)
Arabis (Rock Cress)
Armeria maritima (Sea Pink)
Asclepias (Milkweed)
Aster (Michaelmas Daisy and others)
Aubrieta deltoidea Common Aubrieta)
Aurinia saxatile (Basket of Gold)
Baccharis pilularis (Coyote Brush)
Brassica campestris (Field Mustard)
Brodiaea
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
Calamintha grandiflora, C. nepetoides
Calyptridium umbellatum, (Pussypaws)
Carduus, Cirsium (Thistles)
Caryopteris (Bluebeard)
Ceanothus (California Lilac)
Centaurea nigra (Black Knapweed)
Centranthus ruber (Valerian)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonwillow)
Cheiranthus cheiri (Wallflower)
Chrysanthemum
Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Rabbit Brush)
Citrus
Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain Bee Plant)
Coreopsis
Cosmos
Cynoglossum grande (Hounds Tongue)
Dianthus (Sweet William)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Echinops (Globe Thistle)
Echium fastuosum (Pride of Madeira)
Echium wildpretii (Tower of Jewels)
Erica carnea (Heath)
Erigeron glaucus (Fleabane)
Eryngium amethystinum (Sea Holly)
Eriodictyon californicum (Yerba santa)
Eriogonum (Wild Buckwheat)
Erysimum (Wallflower)
Escallonia
Eupatorium maculatum (Joe Pye Weed)
Hebe
Helenium (Sneeze weed)
Heliotropium
Hesperis matronalis (Sweet Rocket)
Iberis umbellata (Sweet Candytuft)
Lantana
Lavandula (Lavender)
Liatris punctata (Spotted Gayfeather)
Lobularia maritima (Sweet alyssum)
Lunaria (Money Plant)
Mahonia (Barberry)
Melissa (Lemon Balm)
Mentha (Mint)
Muscari azureum (Grape Hyacinth)
Myosotis (Forget-me-not)
Nepeta (Catnip)
Origanum majorana (Sweet Marjoram)
Phacelia
Philadelphus (Mock Orange)
Phlox
Phyla nodiflora (Lippia)
Polygonum aubertii (Silver Lace Vine)
Prunus (cherries, peaches, apricots, plums)
Salix lasiolepis (Arroyo Willow)
Salvia (sages)
Sambucus caerulea (Blue Elderberry)
Saponaria officinalis (Bouncing Bet)
Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)
Sedum spectabile and other sedums (stonecrops)
Senecio douglasii
Senecio hybridus (Cineraria)
Solidago (Goldenrod)
Syringa vulgaris (Lilac)
Tagetes patula (French Marigold)
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
Valeriana officinalis (Garden Heliotrope)
Verbena hybrida (Garden Verbena)
Verbena bonariensis
Veronica (Speedwell)
Weigela
Zinnia

Photo: Ruth Shelly; Text: Christian Manion and others

Monarca | Exhibits