Butterflies in Mind -- Zinnia
Susan C. Dunlap
A collection of 50 images as if seen from a butterfly’s point of view. Includes the names of native Zinnia species and the most complete list of US butterflies that will feed on Zinnia blossoms.
Butterflies in Mind -- Asclepias
Susan C. Dunlap
“Milkweed is the single most important plant for Monarch butterflies. This lavishly illustrated book contains details about the structure and cultivation of native Milkweeds, information about the 139 nectar-feeding butterflies they...
Butterflies in Mind -- Monarch
Susan C. Dunlap
This abundantly illustrated volume enables you to select from a complete list of well described perennial nectar plants that are known to attract & feed Monarch butterflies. Over 40 genera are described that are suitable to be grown...
Butterflies in Mind -- Perennials
Susan C. Dunlap
Butterflies in Mind - Perennials. This book is a definitive guide to perennial nectar plants preferred by US butterflies. It empowers you to feed, attract, support (and help identify) nectar-feeding butterflies that reside in the US....

Rudbeckia hirta

Family: Compositae

Common name: CONEFLOWER

Native to: Central United States

Sentiment: justice


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, open form

Leaves deciduous

Max height: 6.6 feet

Max width: 1.3 feet






Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bird, specific butterfly species

Plant part consumed by birds: seeds

Plant features: deciduous

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape uses: container, cut flower

Propagates by: seed

flowers in summer

Soil types: well drained, wide range

USDA Zones: zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -20 to +30 °F

Water: moderate, regular

There are 39 species of Rudbeckia, a member of the Compositae (Aster) family. Many CONEFLOWERS are widely available including fulgida, hirta, maxima, and occidentalis. CONEFLOWER blooms in summer, grows from seed, attract birds (for the seed), and range in height from ¾ feet to 6½ feet tall so give the gardener many composition options. Different species grow in Zones 4-10; they prefer moderate to regular watering.

Rudbeckia hirta will grow to a towering 6 1/2' tall while staying fairly narrow at 1 1/2' wide. (Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer' is much smaller plant.) The simple pointed green leaf is alternate, toothed, and is either lanceolate or obovate. It is a deciduous short-lived perennial that can be grown in containers and in summer will produces large yellow flowers with a conspicuous central 'cone' loaded with pistils, stamens, and nectar. It is native to Central United States. It will grow in sun or part shade in a wide range of soils.

As a member of the Compositae family, this plant will attract a long list of butterflies.

In addition to those, Rudbeckia is particularly attractive to two butterflies:
Polites themistocles, Tawny-edged Skipper
Speyeria cybele, Great Spangled Fritillary

Rudbeckia hirta will attract additional butterflies:
Boloria selene, Silver-bordered Fritillary
Calephelis muticum, Swamp Metalmark
Oarisma poweshiek, Poweshiek Skipperling
Plebejus melissa, Melissa Blue

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant can be grown in a container and will attract and feed adult butterflies. These plant can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall.

Our database of nectar plants for all US butterflies contains over 10,000 entries. The top five nectar plants -- Cirsium, Lantana, Asclepias, Salvia, and Verbena -- will appeal to 90% of all US butterflies. Pick from these if you want to provide nectar for your local butterflies.

Once you start with these, you can add from another 630 genera in 110 plant families to attract more insects to your garden.

By far the most import butterfly nectar plant family is Asteraceae. If you grow plants in from this family, butterflies will find your garden.