California Native Plant Society

Butterfly habitat gardening

Butterflies and moths perform important pollination work in our gardens, and their beauty is legendary. Their bright colors and graceful motion in the garden can bring a backyard habitat to life.

Butterflies seek out nectar sources. You can use the sites below to identify native plants that are guaranteed to attract butterflies in your area, and then incorporate them in your own garden. Special bonus: butterflies lay their eggs on "host" plants, where the caterpillars can dine and eventually graduate to chrysalis stage, then metamorphosize to adult flyers. Host plants will help support that next generation. Plant your butterfly garden, get a good identification book, and enjoy!


White-lined sphinx moth feeds on Penstemon spectabilis at Fullerton Arboretum. Photo by Laura Camp

Common Buckeye butterfly
Photo by Laura Camp


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