Plants for gardeners who care about butterflies

609 of US butterflies — 75% — are nectar-feeding
and many will come to gardens and parks.
Links below provide comprehensive information about
plants for nectar-feeding adult US butterflies.


The 2017 UPGRADE refines the butterfly plant data and adds 1,200 entries.

  • An aggregate of 38,000+ butterfly plant entries are contained in this resource.
  • 1,808 nectar-producing plants are correlated with specific adult butterflies.
  • 70% of the entries were extracted from sightings recorded by citizens. Our staff translated plant and butterfly data contained in 85% of these sightings. The remaining 30% was compiled from published sources.
  • The number of butterflies associated with “flower nectar” has decreased from 453 to 53 — a 88% improvement, as specific plants are now correlated with 381 of these butterflies.
  • The number of butterflies associated with “unknown” food sources has decreased from 142 to 88 — a 61% improvement.
  • All references to butterflies associated with a “Plant Family” have been removed. The addition of specific plants — genera and species —has facilitated this improvement and will better assist butterfly gardeners who wish to attract and feed local butterflies. A list of the original Plant Family entries and the butterflies associated with them is available to interested parties.

This body of work is protected by US copyright. Hay. It took nearly two decades to master both plants and butterflies.


Butterflies that feed on specific plants


Butterflies that feed on nectar plants