Flowering Trees are Nectar Sources for Butterflies

It is time to look beyond perennials and annuals for plants to add to your garden as nectar sources. Many flowering trees attract and provide nectar for many species butterflies and moths.

Plum Tree Blooms Flowers - Tiger Swallowtail

Plum Tree Flowers
Tiger Swallowtail

When we think about nectar plants, few of us consider trees. It is wonderful that nature isn’t limited by our imagination.

Buttonbush Shrub - Cephalanthus occidentalis - Tiger Swallowtail

Buttonbush Shrub
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Tiger Swallowtail

These are only a few of the trees that provide nectar for butterflies. Some are strong attractants, like Vitex. Others do not attract many butterflies, such as Crepe Myrtle.

Black Cherry - Prunus serotina - American Lady Butterflies

Black Cherry
Prunus serotina
American Lady Butterflies

When choosing a tree to plant as a nectar source, there are various factors to consider. Many trees are host plants as well. Butterflies and moths lay eggs on and their caterpillars host on many species of trees. Check out some of the facts that you should consider before planting a tree in your yard on our Many Trees Are Butterfly Host Plants page. On that webpage we go discuss issues such as thorns, yard space, trimming trees, power lines, and more.

Bottlebrush Tree - Callistemon sp - Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies

Bottlebrush Tree
Callistemon sp
Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies

If anyone in your family or who anyone who visits often is allergic to bees and wasps, be sure to check out that factor before planting a tree. Vitex is a wonderful butterfly nectar tree but wasps and bees are strongly attracted to it. If you have bee hives and wish to add more nectar source for bees, Vitex is a great plant to add to your yard.

Loquat - Japanese Plum - Red-banded Hairstreak

Loquat – Japanese Plum – Red-banded Hairstreak

Most trees bloom only for a couple of weeks or during only one season. If your yard space is limited and you’re planting a tree for nectar, you could choose a tree that is also a host tree. You could also choose a tree that blooms for more weeks in the year than other tree choices.

Flowering trees are a wonderful addition to a butterfly garden.

Redbud Tree - Cercis canadensis - Duskywing Butterfly

Redbud Tree
Cercis canadensis
Duskywing Butterfly

Sparkleberry Tree - Vaccinium arboreum - Giant Swallowtail

Sparkleberry Tree
Vaccinium arboreum
Giant Swallowtail

Vitex Tree - Vitex agnus-castus - Julia Butterfly

Vitex Tree
Vitex agnus-castus
Julia Butterfly

Hercule's Club - Zanthoxylum clava-herculis - Monarch Butterfly

Hercule’s Club
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis
Monarch Butterfly

Crepe Myrtle Tree -  Lagerstroemia indica - RARELY Used as Nectar Source - Palamedes Swallowtail

Crepe Myrtle Tree
Lagerstroemia indica
RARELY Used as Nectar Source
Palamedes Swallowtail

Crepe Myrtle Tree -  Lagerstroemia indica - RARELY Used as Nectar Source - Pipevine Swallowtail

Crepe Myrtle Tree
Lagerstroemia indica
RARELY Used as Nectar Source
Pipevine Swallowtail

Willow Tree - Salix species - Red-banded Hairstreak

Willow Tree
Salix species
Red-banded Hairstreak

Sparkleberry Tree - Vaccinium arboreum - Red-spotted Purple

Sparkleberry Tree
Vaccinium arboreum
Red-spotted Purple

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