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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects

Native Plants for Butterflies

Achillea millefolium
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters 5-10 cm (2-4 in) across at stem tips. What appear to be single flowers within this cluster are actually tight heads of several tiny flowers, each head with 3-5 white ray flowers surrounding several yellow disk flowers; both ray and disk flowers produce seeds. The ray flowers are usually white but can also be pink or reddish. Flowers bloom later at higher elevations.

Anaphalis margaritacea
Pearly Everlasting
Clump forming, perennial herb with small withering basal leaves and papery white flower clusters.
Flowers are very small with yellowish disk flowers surrounded by dry pearly white involucral bracts with dark triangular bases. The flowers which can be male or female appear in late summer. Flowers are in desne flat-topped clusters 15 cm (6 in) across.

Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Each flower has 15-40 lavender to white ray flowers that range from 5-15 mm long with numerous small yellow disk flowers in the center. Each composite flower head is cupped by a green involucral of bracts that are 5-7 mm high and mostly blunt at the tip. The ray flowers of this plant are often mistaken for petals. The center of the flower contains tiny, tubular disk flowers.

Campanula rotundifolia
Delicate stems topped by large, nodding bell-shaped blue flowers.
Large, nodding bell-shaped blue or purplish-blue flowers (rarely white); sepals hairy at fused base with awl-shaped lobes; 5 fused petals. Flowers single several on thin, wiry stalks atop stem. Size: 1.5-3 cm (.6-1 in) long.

Chamerion angustifolium
Tall perennial from rhizome like roots with unbranched stem and terminal spikes of large red to pink flowers.
Stalked, sepals 4, petals 4, stigma 4 lobed; several to many (15+) in long cluster atop stem; primary color: pink to red/purple; size: 2-4 cm (0.8-1.5 in) wide.

Cornus stolonifera
Red-osier Dogwood
Spreading, thicket-forming shrub with bright red stems.
The tiny flowers have 4 petals and 4 stamens; numerous in dense, flat-topped terminal clusters; primary color: white to greenish; size: 2-4 mm long.

Eriophyllum lanatum
Woolly Sunflower
Wooly leafy perennial with yellow daisy-like flowers.
Daisy-like. Ray flowers 8-13, yellow, 1-2 cm long. Disk flowers yellow. Involucre 9-12 mm high, the bracts firm, erect, embracing the ray achenes. Heads single on long stalks; size: 3-5 cm (1-2 in) across.

Fragaria virginiana
Wild strawberry
Low growing wild strawberry with runners, white flowers, and small red strawberries.
5-7 white petals and a yellow center, leafless flowering stalk; size: 1.5 cm (.6 in) across.

Grindelia integrifolia
Entire-leaved Gumweed
Seaside perennial with sticky heads of yellow flowers.
Flowe heads are hemispheric, with 10-35 yellow ray flowers and numerous yellow disk flowers; involucral bracts have sticky, glandular resin and long, slender spreading tips; size: ray: 8-20 mm long; disc head: 1-3 cm wide.

Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Shaped like a pea flower; flower stalks are short; primary color: bluish-purple, brown with age; vary from pale blue to dark violet or purple; occasionally all-white; arranged in spikes 12-28 inches long along upper section of main stem.

Mahonia aquifolium
Tall Oregon Grape
Erect, stiff-branched shrub with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
Many in erect clusters that are up to 20 cm (8 in) long, flower parts in sixes; primary color: bright yellow; size: about 0.5 cm (0.25 inches) long.

Malus fusca
Pacific Crabapple
Small tree, slender in form, appears thorny; bushy in the open.
fragrant white to pink apple blossoms in small clusters; pretty in bloom, but small; size: 9-14 mm long; shape: petals oblong-oval to obovate.

Penstemon fruticosus
Lowbush Penstemon
Spreading shrub with numerous tubular purple flowers.
Large tubular purple flowers are produced in late spring or early summer, in spikes of 3-10 at tops of stems.

Penstemon serrulatus
Coast Penstemon
Perennial, sprawling sub-shrub from a woody stem base, with large purple tubular flowers at stem tips.
Hairless, deep blue to dark purple tubular flowers on short stalks in 1 to several compact clusters at stem tips; 4 fertile stamens; size: 17-25 mm long.

Philadelphus lewisii
Mock Orange
Erect, loosely branched shrub with large fragrant white flowers.
4 petals; numerous stamens; 3-15 in clusters at the end of lateral branches; size: 2-3 across.

Prunus emarginata var. mollis
Bitter Cherry
Shrub or small tree with white flowers and small red cherries.
White or slightly pinkish, 1-1.5 cm across, saucer-shaped; 5-10 in a rounded or flat-topped cluster. Flowers appear when leaves are about half grown.

Rhododendron macrophyllum
Pacific Rhododendron
Showy shrub that can grow very large, with clusters of large pink flowers.
Pink to rose-purple, bell-shaped, 5-lobed (the lobes have wavy edges), 2-4 cm long; few to many in showy terminal clusters.

Ribes sanguineum
Red Flowering Currant
Erect, multi-stemmed shrub with showy clusters of deep pink flowers in early spring.
In erect or drooping clusters of 10-20 flowers; pale pink to deep red; size: 3-10 mm long; shape: tubular. Flowers appear just prior to leaf emergence.

Sambucus racemosa
Red Elderberry
Shrub to small tree with clusters of small white flowers and red berries.
Pyramidal clusters of small creamy-white flowers with an unpleasant odor.
Cavity-nesting bees use broken branches as nest sites.
Sedum oreganum
Oregon Stonecrop
Flower color: yellow

Sedum spathulifolium
Broad-leaved Stonecrop
Flower color: yellow

Vaccinium ovatum
Evergreen huckleberry
Bushy shrub with small shiny green evergreen leaves and small clusters of pink bell-shaped flowers.
In small clusters along branches; flowers are bell-shaped, pink, to 8 mm long.

Vaccinium parvifolium
Red Huckleberry
Delicately branched shrub with small red huckleberries, suitable for shady areas on decaying wood.
Small bell-shaped greenish-pink flowers about 4 mm long hanging individually along lower sides of stems; length:

Viburnum edule
High Bush Cranberry
Shrub with bright red berries and brilliant fall foliage.
Clusters of small white flowers.

The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.