What Kinds of Flowers Attract Butterflies?

While flowers may bring color to a garden, some gardeners seek even more color than the plants themselves can provide. Flowers that attract butterflies to the yard bring a little extra whimsy, giving a flower garden movement and additional joy.

Mexican Zinnia

Native to Mexico, Mexican zinnia (Zinnia haageana) is a flowering annual that is commonly used in flower beds in warm weather gardens. Mexican zinnias have bushy green blue foliage and daisy-like white and orange flowers. The flowers attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. Mexican zinnias are extremely drought and heat tolerant, making them an excellent choice for gardens subject to long, hot summers. Mexican zinnias should be planted in well-drained soils in full-sun locations.

Bee Balm

Bee balm (Monarda spp.), also commonly called horsemint or wild bergamot, is a flowering plant commonly used in flower beds or as a border plant. Bee balm has rich green foliage and clusters of round, tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees with their sweet nectar. The summer blooming plant will grow best in full sun or light shade, with rich, well-drained soil. The leaves and flowers of bee balm can be used for herbal teas.

Arizona Poppy

Arizona poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora) is an herbaceous annual that can be found growing in the wild throughout the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, as well as in Mexico. The poppy boasts attractive blue-green foliage and bright orange flowers, similar in appearance to California poppies. Despite their lack of fragrance, Arizona poppies attract a variety of butterflies and bees. They grow well in sunny locations in sandy grasslands.

Keywords: butterfly flowers, flower types, attractive flowers, flowers attract butterflies, flowers for butterflies

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.