Native Plants that Feed our Butterflies and Birds 

from Bringing Nature Home:  How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Dr. Doug Tallamy, Timber Press, 2007

Typical gardens often are barren wastelands to native insects and thus birds.   Almost all North American birds other than seabirds — 96 percent — feed their young with insects and caterpillars, which contain more protein than beef. 

Gardeners could slow the rate of extinction of our native wildlife and birds by including native plants in their yards. A patch of violets will feed fritillary caterpillars. A patch of phlox could support eight species of butterflies. The buttonbush shrub, which has little white flowers, feeds 18 species of butterflies and moths; and blueberry bushes support 288 species of moths and butterflies. Click here to read the article.

Plants That Attract Birds To Your Garden

Birds visit trees, shrubs, vines and perennials for five things: fruits (berries), sweet nectar (flowers), insects (particularly caterpillars), nuts and seeds, and shelter. Tom Tribble, from the NC Audubon Society offers this list of plants that attract birds to your property…

Berries Nectar
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
Dogwood (Cornus florida) Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) Bee Balm (Monarda)
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) Beardtongue (Penstemon)
Smooth Witherod (Viburnum nudum) Phlox (Phlox spp.)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)
Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Blueberry (Vaccinium) Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)


Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
Trees for Caterpillars Cardinal Flower (Lobelia)
Oak (Quercus spp.)
Willow (Salix spp.) Nuts and Seeds
Cherry (Prunus) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Birch (Betula) Coreopsis
Crabapple (Malus spp.) Aster (Symphyotrichum / Eurybia)
Maple (Acer spp.) Goldenrod (Solidago)
Pine (Pinus spp.) Coneflower (Echinacea)
Hickory (Carya spp.) Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) Iron Weed (Vernonia lettermanni)
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)


Grasses – Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, Pink Muhly