Plants for Butterflies and Bees in Ottawa

The David Suzuki Foundation website offers information on planting for pollinators. Here is a list of butterflies and flowering native plants that they recommend for those of us who live in Eastern Canada and want to attract pollinators to our gardens.

Butterfly species native to Eastern Canada:

  • Eastern tiger swallowtail
  • Mourning cloak
  • Red admiral
  • Painted lady
  • Monarch
  • Cabbage white
  • Milbert’s tortoiseshell
  • Silver-spotted skipper
  • Black swallowtail
  • American copper
  • Clouded sulphur

Pollinator-friendly plants native to Eastern Canada:

Nectar plants:

  • New England aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
  • Wild strawberry Fragaria virginiana
  • Wild strawberry Fragaria vesca
  • Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea
  • Yarrow Achillea millefolium
  • Wild columbine Aquilegia canadensis
  • Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa
  • Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
  • Anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum
  • Virginia mountain mint Pycnanthemum virginianum
  • Lance leaf coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata
  • Wild nodding onion Allium cernuum
  • Woodland Sunflower Helianthus divaricatus
  • Evening primrose Oenothera biennis

Host plants:

  • Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea — American lady
  • Chokecherry Prunus virginiana — swallowtail, hairstreak
  • Pacific ninebark Physocarpus capitatus — tiger swallowtail
  • Nettles Anthocharis sara ssp. gracilis — red admiral, Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
  • Thistles Cirsium — painted ladies
  • Common milkweed Asclepias syriaca — monarch
  • Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata — monarch
  • Butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa — monarch
  • Eastern cottonwood Populus deltoides — mourning cloak, viceroy, swallowtail
  • Willow Salix sp. — white admiral, viceroy, swallowtail

Herbs for bees and butterflies:

  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Balm

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