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

Butterflies that feed on this plant

Abaeis nicippe

Aglais milberti

Agriades glandon

Ancyloxypha numitor

Anthocharis cethura

Anthocharis midea

Anthocharis sara

Anthocharis sara subsp. stella

Anthocharis thoosa

Apodemia virgulti

Atalopedes campestris

Atrytonopsis hianna

Boloria chariclea

Boloria epithore

Boloria freija

Boloria frigga

Boloria selene

Calephelis arizonensis

Celastrina ladon subsp. echo

Celastrina lucia

Chlosyne palla

Coenonympha tullia

Colias eurytheme

Colias harfordii

Colias interior

Colias meadii

Colias occidentalis

Colias palaeno

Colias philodice

Colias tyche

Copaeodes minima

Cupido comyntas

Danaus plexippus

Epargyreus clarus

Erebia epipsodea

Erynnis brizo

Erynnis funeralis

Erynnis propertius

Glaucopsyche lygdamus

Hemiargus ceraunus

Hesperia metea

Hesperia nevada

Hesperopsis alpheus

Historis odius

Hylephila phyleus

Incisalia eryphon

Lerodea eufala

Lon hobomok

Lon melane

Lycaena cupreus

Lycaena phlaeas

Mastor aenus

Mastor aesculapius

Mastor celia

Mastor celia subsp. belli

Mastor elissa

Mastor hegon

Mastor vialis

Mitoura spinetorum

Nymphalis antiopa

Oarisma garita

Occidryas anicia

Occidryas chalcedona

Papilio glaucus

Papilio machaon

Papilio polyxenes

Papilio rutulus

Parnassius clodius

Parnassius phoebus

Phoebis neocypris

Pholisora catullus

Phyciodes tharos

Pieris oleracea

Pieris rapae

Pieris virginiensis

Plebejus saepiolus

Polygonia gracilis

Polygonia progne

Pontia occidentalis

Pontia protodice

Pontia sisymbrii

Proteides mercurius

Pyrgus communis

Pyrgus ruralis

Pyrisitia lisa

Speyeria atlantis

Staphylus ceos

Thecla sheridanii

Thorybes mexicana

Thymelicus lineola

Vanessa annabella

Vanessa atalanta

Zerene cesonia

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 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.