The Native Plant Nursery LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.nativeplant.com
butterfly_garden_kit

Butterfly Garden Kit

The butterfly garden kit contains a mix of 32, plug-sized, native Michigan perennial plants chosen to provide nectar and/ or host plants for local butterflies. Each plant comes labelled with the first 3 letters of the genus and species name. In your garden, space the plants about 2 feet apart, take them out of their tubes, plant and water them. At this spacing, kit will fill an area about 100 sqft.

The species included in the kit vary. A typical kit includes 11 different species for a site with full sun to partial shade and average soil. Kits can be customized by request to accommodate a variety of sites from sun to light shade. For more information on our local butterflies and the plants they use, check out our table of butterfly host & nectar plants. Plants are typically chosen from the following list:


Agastache nepetoides, (Yellow Giant Hyssop)
height: 4 -6 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: mesic
a large upright plant with broad leaves produces spikes of white-pink flowers in late summer.
Allium cernuum, (Nodding Wild Onion)
height: 1 -1.5 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: dry mesic -mesic
graceful nodding pink flower clusters emerge from a clump of narrow leaves
Aquilegia canadensis, (Wild Columbine)
height: 2 -3 ft.
light: pt. shade -sun
moisture: mesic - dry mesic
reddish flowers in spring provide food for hummingbirds; tolerant of a variety of habitats from full sun to light shade; a somewhat short-lived perennial, spreads well by seed.
Asclepias incarnata, (Swamp Milkweed)
height: 3 -4 ft.
light: sun
moisture: wet -mesic
Colorful pink flower clusters in summer; attracts butterflies and other pollinators.
Asclepias syriaca, (Common Milkweed)
height: 3 -5 ft.
light: full sun -light shade
moisture: dry mesic -mesic
Upright stems with large oval leaves; spreads by roots to form a patch; large round clusters of pink flowers in summer; fragrant flowers a nectar source for butterflies; host plant for the Monarch caterpillar; clusters of warty pods release silky seeds.
Boehmeria cylindrica, (False Nettle)
height: 2 -3 ft.
light: pt. shade -shade
moisture: wet -wet mesic
upright perennial with spikes of inconspicuous, green flowers amidst the upper leaves; does not sting; butterfly host-plant for the question mark, comma and red admiral butterflies.
Coreopsis lanceolata, (Sand coreopsis)
height: 2 -3 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: mesic -dry mesic
compact perennial with narrow, lance-shaped leaves; long-stemmed flowers with fringed petals; seed in fall a food source for birds.
Coreopsis tripteris, (Tall coreopsis)
height: 4 -8 ft.
light: sun -pt. sun
moisture: mesic -wet mesic
several upright stems with branched clusters of yellow flowers in late summer; spreads by underground runners to form a patch; seeds provide food for birds.
Eupatorium perfoliatum, (Boneset)
height: 3 -5 ft.
light: sun -part sun
moisture: mesic -wet mesic
an upright perennial with textured, pointy leaves joined around the stem; naturalizes well in wet soil; tolerates typical garden conditions as an ornamental; An excellent nectar source for butterflies.
Heliopsis helianthoides, (False sunflower)
height: 4 -6 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: mesic
An upright plant; can spread by runners to form stands topped with yellow flowers in late summer; seed an excellent food source for birds; a good butterfly plant.
Liatris aspera, (Rough blazing star)
height: 3 -4 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -dry
long-lived perennial root forms a bulb; several upright stems with narrow leaves.
Lobelia siphilitica, (Great Blue Lobelia)
height: 2 -4 ft.
light: sun - shade
moisture: mesic -wet mesic
compact form; several upright stems form spikes of blue flowers in fall; can spread well from seed.
Lupinus perennis, (Wild lupine)
height: 1 -2 ft.
light: sun -part sun
moisture: dry mesic -dry
perennial roots produce a compact cluster of radially arranged, leaflets on compound leaves; spikes of blue flowers; a somewhat finicky garden plant; naturalizes best in sandy, well-drained soils.
Monarda fistulosa, (Wild bergamot, Beebalm)
height: 3 -5 ft.
light: pt. sun -sun
moisture: mesic
An upright, lightly branched perennial; light purple flowers in summer; fragrant leaves.
Monarda punctata, (Horsemint)
height: 1 -2 ft.
light: sun
moisture: dry mesic -dry
A low-growing perennial spreading to form a small patch; somewhat narrow leaves fragrant when crushed.
Oenothera fruticosa, (Sundrops)
height: 1.5 -2.5 ft.
light: sun -part sun
moisture: mesic -dry mesic
perennial roots form a dense cluster of upright stems; flowers open in the sun.
Penstemon digitalis, (Foxglove beard-tongue)
height: 3 -4 ft.
light: pt. shade - sun
moisture: mesic
perennial roots grow several upright stems topped with white, tubular flowers; can work well as an ornamental.
Penstemon hirsutus, (Hairy beard-tongue)
height: 2 -3 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: dry mesic
perennial roots pruduce a compact cluster of upright stems; can work well as an ornamental specimen.
Pycnanthemum virginianum, (Mountain mint)
height: 2 -4 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -wet mesic
perennial roots form a small patch of several upright stems; leaves small and narrow with minty fragrance.
Ratibida pinnata, (Yellow coneflower)
height: 4 -6 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -dry mesic
perennial roots produce several upright stems topped with relatively large blooms; can naturalize well from seed; leaves divided into narrow segments.
Rudbeckia hirta, (Black-eyed susan)
height: 2 -4 ft.
light: pt. sun -sun
moisture: wet mesic -dry mesic
A short-lived perennial. Blooms throughout the summer and into the fall. Reseeds itself readily on open ground.
Schizachyrium scoparius, (Little bluestem grass)
height: 2 -4 ft.
light: sun
moisture: dry mesic -dry
a warm-season perennial grass; grows a compact clump of bluish-green leaves turning orange to red in fall; silky seeds throughout upper stems; works well as an ornamental.
Silphium terebinthinaceum, (Prairie dock)
height: 4 -8 ft.
light: full sun -light shade
moisture: dry mesic -mesic
a clusters of large, upright lower leaves sends up a leafless stalk in late summer that branches into numerous yellow flowers; a long-lived perennial; deep tap root.
Solidago riddellii, (Riddell's goldenrod)
height: 2 -4 ft.
light: sun
moisture: wet mesic -mesic
perennial roots send up several upright stem with narrow, arching leaves.
Solidago rigida, (Stiff goldenrod)
height: 3 -5 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -dry mesic
perennial roots send up several upright stem with soft, velvety leaves; clusters of relatively large, yellow blooms in early fall.
Solidago speciosa, (Showy goldenrod)
height: 3 -5 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -dry mesic
perennial roots send up several upright reddish stems with shiny, cleanly-cut leaves
Sorghastrum nutans, (Indian grass)
height: 4 -6 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -dry mesic
clumping, warm-season perennial grass; leaves turn shades of yellow and orange in fall.
Vernonia missurica, (Missouri ironweed)
height: 4 -6 ft.
light: sun
moisture: mesic -wet mesic
an upright perennial; purple blooms later produce bronze fluffy seed.
Veronicastrum virginicum, (Culver's root)
height: 3 -5 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: wet mesic -dry mesic
several upright stems with narrow, sharply pointed leaves, arranged in whorls (or tiers) to create interesting texture; spires of white flowers form at the top.
Zizia aurea, (Golden alexanders)
height: 2 -4 ft.
light: sun -light shade
moisture: mesic -wet mesic
upright loosely branched perennial with divided leaves; topped with golden blooms in spring; naturalizes well from seed.

Monarch butterfly feeding on Common Milkweed flowers (Asclepias syriaca)




Giant Swallowtail stopping to feed on Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa)




a butterfly nectaring on Wild Bergamot (Beebalm - Monarda fistulosa)




Monarch caterpillar feeding on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)




Swallowtails visit flowering Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)




small butterfly on an False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)




Monarch crysalis




a Tiger Swallowtail visits the Beebalm for a meal




A butterfly garden kit one year after planting




a butterfly garden with a mix of native and non-native flowers