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Butterfly Nectar Sources Nectar-Rich, Non-Native

Annual Plants for Butterfly Gardens

Annual plants are valuable in butterfly gardens because they tend to bloom a long time, especially if the spent blooms are removed. In general, single rather than double flowers are recommended. When the plant name is not specific (for example, Verbena), take care to purchase species grown in, or recommended for, Connecticut. Certain plants that are treated as annuals in Connecticut may be perennial farther south. None of the plants on the list below are native to Connecticut. Thus, there is no potential biodiversity risk with using cultivars.

Common Name Scientific Name Flower Color1
Ageratum Ageratum houstonianum B, Pi, W
Coreopsis, Dyer's or Garden Coreopsis tinctoria Y
Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus L, R, Pi, W
Gaillardia, Annual (Blanket-flower sp.) Gaillardia pulchella (var. pulchella recommended in CT) R, Y, O
Globe Amaranth Gomphrena globosa Pu, R, Pi, W, O
Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens B, Pu, W
Impatiens (get annual species) Impatiens spp. R, W, Pu, Pi, O
Lantana  Lantana spp. O, P, R
Marigold Tagetes spp. Y, O
Mexican Sunflower Tithonia rotundifolia O, Y
Nicotiana (= Winged Tobacco) Nicotiana alata LG, R, W, Y
Pentas (Egyptian Star Cluster) Pentas lanceolata R, Pi, W
Petunia (some people recommend no hybrids) Petunia spp. W, and others
Phlox, Annual Phlox drummondii R, Pi, W, L
Sunflower, Common (grows very tall) Helianthus annuus Y
Sweet Alyssum Lobularia maritima Pu, W, R
Verbena (cultivated species) Verbena spp. R, Pi, W, Pu
Zinnia (Cut and Come Again Zinnia is particularly recommended, despite its double flowers) Zinnia spp. O, Pi, R, W, Y, Pu

1Flower Color Codes: B=Blue, L=Lavender, LG=Lime Green, O=Orange, Pi=Pink, Pu=Purple, R=Red, W=White