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....

Taraxacum officinale

Family: Compositae


Native to: United States, Widely Naturalized


Type: perennial

Forms: prostrate, rosette

Leaves deciduous

Max height: 0.50 feet

Max width: 0.50 feet






Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bee, specific butterfly species

Plant features: deciduous, naturalizes, weedy

Exposure: light shade, sun

Landscape use: container


flowers in spring

flowers in summer

Soil types: clay, gravelly or rocky, loam, tolerates poor, wide range

USDA Zones: zone 1 below -50 f, zone 2 -50 f, zone 3 -40 f, zone 4 -30 f, 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, zone 10 to +30 f

Water: drought tolerant

The common Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is a Composite that is either native or naturalized in every US state. The young leaves are consumed by humans as a leafy green and added to salads. The flowers appeal to bees and to the 76 US butterfly species listed here. When given nectar choices, the Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia, chose this flower - and none other on a particular day. Grow it to add to the palate of nectar that attract and feed butterflies.

There are a few look-a-likes to this plant including species of Hieracium, Agoseris, Rafinesquia, and Malacothrix.

It can get weedy. If the seed heads are collected, its weediness can be somewhat contained.

Public Domain images are shown here including an illustration by the artist Franz Eugen Köhler.

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

You are free to use any of the above filters to reduce the plant list further.