Plants that attrach Butterflies and Moths

Plant nectar-rich plants and you will never be without butterflies or moths! In fact, plant a cottage garden with loads of herbs and wildflowers as well as more traditional plants and they'll love you for it! Plant as many as possible in sunny areas and include a Buddleia Bush or two for maximum butterfly appeal! To maximise moth appeal, plant flowers in particular that open at night or are white. Provide food plants as well for butterfly and moth caterpillars.

A nettle patch in a discreet part of the garden is also a must as it is important for certain caterpillar species of butterflies such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. Cut the patch back by half in mid-summer to provide new shoots for the mid-summer brood of caterpillars.

Most important of all if you wish to attract butterflies (or any other wildlife for that matter) is to avoid the use of pesticides.

Plants to attract Butterflies

Agrimony (agrimonia eupatoria) - Grizzled Skipper

Angelica (angelica archangelica)- Swallowtail

Anise Hyssop (agastache foeniculum)

Bird's Foot Trefoil (lotus corniculatus) - Common Blue, Adonis, Grizzled Skipper, Chalk Hill Blue, Clouded Yellow, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Marbled White, Clouded Yellow, Silver Spotted Skipper, Wood White, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Brown Argus,

Bladder Campion, (silene vulgaris)

Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scriptus) - Brimstone, Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Broom (cytisus scoparius) - Silver Studded Blue, Green Hairstreak

Bugle(ajuga repens) - Wood White, Orange Tip, Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Duke of Burgundy Fritillary

Buddleia - Brimstone, Peacock, Small and Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Red Admiral

Catmint (nepeta cataria)

Cornflower (centaurea cyanus) - Common Blue

Corn Marigold (chrysanthemum segetum) - Chalk Hill Blue

Cowslip (primula veris) - Duke of Burgundy Fritillary

Dog Violet - Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary

Fennel (foeniculum vulgare) - Swallowtail

Field Scabious (knautia arvensis) - Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Marbled White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell

Forget-me-not (myosotis arvensis)

Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) - Heath Fritillary

Globe Thistle (echinops ritro)

Greater Knapweed (centaurea scabiosa) - Comma, Small Skipper, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Essex Skipper, Silver Spotted Skipper, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Peacock, Silver-washed Fritillary, Grayling, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell

Greater Stitchwort (stellaria holostea)

Guelder Rose (viburnum opulus)

Hawthorn (cratageous monogyna) - Duke of Burgundy

Hemp Agrimony (agrimonia cannabinum) - Peacock, Comma

Hollyhock (althae rosea)

Honesty (lunaria annua) - Orange Tip

Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis)

Ice Plant (sedum spectabile) - Tortoiseshell

Joe Pye Weed (eupatoria purpureum)

Kidney Vetch (anthyllis vulneraria) - Small Blue

Lady's Bedstraw (gallium verum)

Lady's Smock (cardamine pratensis) - Orange Tip, Green-veined White

Lesser Knapweed (centaurea nigra) - Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Comma, Silver-washed Fritillary, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Silver Spotted Skipper, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis

Marjoram (majorana origanum) - Small Copper, Large Blue, Chequered Skipper, Large Heath, Scotch Argus

Marshmallow (althea officinalis) - Painted Lady

Meadow Cranesbill (geranium pratense) - Northern Brown Argus

Apple Mint - Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell

Musk Mallow (malva moschata) - Painted Lady


Oak (quercus robur) - Purple Hairstreak

Ox-eye Daisy (leucanthemum vulgare)


Perennial Flax (linum perenne)


Poppy (papaver)

Primrose (primula vulgaris) - Duke of Burgundy Fritillary

Purple Loosestrife (lythrum salicaria) - Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone

Purple-top Vervain (verbena bonariensis) - Small Tortoiseshell

Ragged Robin (lychnis flos-cuculi) - White, Common Blue, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Red Clover (trifolium pratense) - Clouded Yellow, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Painted Lady

Red Valerian (centranthus ruber) - Small Tortoiseshell

Restharrow (ononis repens) - Lulworth Skipper, Silver-studded Blue

Rock Rose (helianthemum mummularium) - Green Hairstreak, Silver Studded Blue, Northern Brown Argus

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis)

Salsify (tragopogon porrifolius)

Sea Holly (eryngium maritimum

Selfheal (prunella vulgaris)

Sloe/Blackthorn (prunus spinosa) - Brown Hairstreak, Small Tortoiseshell

Small Scabious (scabiosa columbaria) - Brimstone, Red Admiral, Comma, Painted Lady, Peacock, Adonis, Marbled White, Blue

Soapwort (saponaria officinalis)

St John's Wort (hypercium perforatum)

Sweet Rocket (hesperis matronalis) - Orange Tip, Green-veined White

Sweet Violet (viola odorata) - Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary

Sweet William (dianthus barbatus)

Teasel (dipsacus fullonum) - Common Blue, Small Copper

Thrift (armeria maritima) - Glanville Fritillary

Thyme (thymus) - Wall, Dingy Skipper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis, Small Copper

Vetch (vici sativa) - Dingy Skipper

Viper's Bugloss (echium vulgare) - Painted Lady, Wood White

Weld (reseda luteola) - Small White, Bath White

Wild Mignonette (reseda lutea) - Bath White, Cabbage White, Orange Tip, Small White

Wild Strawberry (fragaria vesca) - Grizzled Skipper

Blackthorn - Brown Hairstreak, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone

Rowan - Brimstone

Wild Privet (ligustrum vulgare) - Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet

Plants to attract Moths

Bird's Foot Trefoil (lotus corniculatus) - Belted Beauty, Black-veined, Bordered Grey, Chalk Carpet, 5-spot Burnet, Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet, New Forest Burnet, Latticed Heath, 6-spot Burnet, 6-belted Clearwing, Scotch Burnet, Slender Scotch Burnet, Straw Belle, Yellow Belle, Mother Shipton, Brown-spot Pinion, Burnet Companion

Black Horehound (Ballota nigra) - Cream-spot Tiger

Bladder Campion (silene vulgaris)- Campion, Marbled Coronet, Netted Pug, Marbled Clover, Dark Brocade, Sandy Carpet, Pod Lover, Lychnis

Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta)- Autumnal Rustic

Borage (borago officinalis) - Crimson Speckled

Biting Stonecrop (sedum acre) - Feathered Ranunculus, Yellow Ringed Carpet, Northern Rustic

Cowslip (primula veris) - Plain Clay, Northern Rustic

Cow Parsley - Double Square-spot, Single-dotted Wave, Twin-spot Carpet

Daisy (bellis perennis) - Bordered Straw

Dropwort (filipendula hexapetala) - Satyr Pug

Evening Primrose (oenothera biennis) - Elephant Hawk

Eyebright(euphrasia officinalis) -Barred Rivulet, Heath Rivulet, Pretty Pinion

Field Scabious (kanutia arvensis) - Forester, Narrow Bordered Bee Hawk, Marbled Clover, Lime Speck Pug, Shaded Pug, Wood's Dart

Garlic Mustard (alliaria petiolata) - Garden Carpet

Golden Rod (solidago) - Lime Speck Pug, Bleached Pug, Golden Rod, Wormwood Pug, V Pug

Greater Knapweed - Scarce Forester, Satyr Pug, Marbled Clover, Treble Lines

Greater Stitchwort (stellaria holostea) - Cloaked Carpet, Dart, Yellow Underwing, Marsh Pug, Plain Clay, Twin-spot Carpet, Archer's Dart

Hedge Bedstraw (gallium mollugo) - Archer's Dart, Autumnal Rustic, Barred Straw, Ruddy Carpet, Royal Mantle, Common Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet, Wood Carpet, Water Carpet, Flame, Hummingbird Hawk, Purple Bar, Striped Twin-spot Carpet, Mottled Grey, Green Carpet, Yellow Shell, Bedstraw Hawk, Striped Hawk, Small Elephant Hawk, White-line Dart, Six-striped Rustic, Mottled Rustic, Silver Y, Red-headed Chestnut

Hedge Woundwort (stachys sylvatica) - Rosy Rustic, Plain Golden Y, Sub-angled Wave, Beautiful Golden Y

Hemp Agrimony (eupatorium cannabinum) - Wormwood Pug, V-Pug, Lime Speck Pug, Marsh Pug, Gem, Scarce Burnished, Jersey Tiger, Scarlet Tiger

Herb Bennet (geum urbanum) - Riband Wave

Herb Robert (geranium robertianum) - Barred Carpet

Horseshoe Vetch (hippocrepis comosa) - Mullein Wave

Hollyhock (althaea rosea) - Mallow

Hound's Tongue (cynoglossum officinale) - Coast Dart, Feathered Ranunculus, Flame, Scarlet Tiger

Kidney Vetch (anthyllis vulneraria) - Black-banded, Belted Beauty, 6-belted Clearwing

Lady's Bedstraw (gallium verum) - Red-headed Chestnut, Archer's Dart, Autumnal Rustic, Bedstraw Hawk, Small Scallop, Cream Wave, Hummingbird Hawk, Small Elephant Hawk, Oblique Striped, Gallium Carpet, Plain Wave, Riband Wave, Bedstraw Hawk, Archer's Dart, Purple Bar, Red Chestnut, Ruddy Carpet, Royal Mantle, Common Carpet, Water Carpet, Red Twin Spot Carpet, Striped Twin-spot Carpet, Square-spot Dart, Wood Carpet, Mottled Grey, Barred Straw, Green Carpet, Many-lined, Yellow Shell, White-line Dart, Ashworth's Rustic, Silver Y

Lady's Mantle (alchemilla mollis) - Red Carpet

Lesser Knapweed (centaurea nigra) - Silver Y, Lime Speck Pug, Satyr Pug, Scarce Forester, Treble Lines, Marbled Clover

Maiden Pink (dianthus deltoides) - Marbled Coronet

Marjoram (majorana orignaum) - Sub-angled Wave, Mullein Wave, Lace Border, Shaded Pug, Double-striped Pug, Black-veined, Burnished Brass

Marshmallow (althea officinalis) - Mallow, Marshmallow, Pale Shoulder

Meadow Clary (salvia pratensis) - Brown Spot Pinion, Hebrew Character, Powdered Quaker, Emperor

Meadow Rue - Marsh Carpet

Meadowsweet (filipendula ulmaria) - Glaucous Shears, Emperor, Lesser Creamwave, Satyr Pug, Scarce Vapourer, Powdered Quaker, Least Yellow Underwing, Marsh, Brown-spot Pinion

Meadow Vetchling (lathyrus pratensis) - Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, New Forest Burnet

Mullein - Mullein, Striped Lychnis

Navelwort (umbilicus rupestris) - Weaver's Wave

Nettle-leaved Bellflower (campanula trachelium) - Campanula Pug

Oxlip (primula elatior) -Square-spotted Clay

Pink - Hawk

Elephant Hawk Moth Purple Loosestrife (lythrum salicaria) - Emperor, Small Elephant Hawk, Powdered Quaker

Ragged Robin (lychnis flos cuculi) - Campion, Forester, Lychnis, Twin-spot Carpet, Marbled Clover

Red Campion (melandrium rubrum) - Rivulet, Campion, Lychnis, Twin-spot Carpet, Sandy Carpet, Marbled Clover

Red Clover (trifolium pratense) - Garden Dart, Latticed Heath, Chalk Carpet, Belted Beauty, Mother Shipton, Shaded Broad Bar, Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet, Silver Y, Beaded Chestnut, Burnet Companion

Red Valerian (centranthus ruber) - Elephant Hawk

Ribwort Plantain - Clouded Buff, Garden Dart, Heart and Dart, Muslin, Ruby Tiger, Jersey Tiger, Wood Tiger, Marsh, Rosy Rustic, Six-striped Rustic, Rustic, White Colon, Knot Grass, Brown Rustic, Red-headed Chestnut Rock Rose (helianthemum mummularium) - Amulet, Broad-bordered White Underwing, Cistus Forester, Silky Wave, Ashworth's Rustic, Argus, Wood Tiger, Northern Brown, Square-spot Dart

Rosebay Willowherb - Twin-spot Carpet, Small Phoenix, White Banded Carpet

Small Scabious (scabiosa columbaria) - Marbled Clover, Lime Speck Pug, Shaded Pug

St John's Wort (hypericum perforatum) - Bright-line Brown-eye, Lesser Treble-bar, Purple Cloud, Pale-shouldered, Treble-bar

Sweet Rocket (hesperis matronalis)

Sweet Violet (viola odorata) - Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing

Tansy (tanacetum vulgare) - Essex Emerald

Teasel (dipsacus fullonum) - Mouse

Thrift(armeria maritima) - Amulet, Feathered Ranunculus, Thrift Clearwing, Black-banded

Thyme - Thyme Pug, Satyr Pug, Lace Border

Toadflax (linaria vulgaris) - Toadflax Pug, Marbled Clover, Toadflax Brocade

Valerian (valeriana officinalis) - Valerian Pug, Lesser Cream Wave

Viper's Bugloss (echium vulgare) - Golden Twin-spot, Forester

White Campion (silene latifolia alba) - Pod Lover, Campion, Broad-barred White, Marbled Coronet, Lychnis, Marbled Clover, Sandy Carpet, Twin-spot Carpet

White Clover - Latticed Heath, Dot, Garden Dart, Chalk Carpet, Clouded Sulphur, Shaded Broad-bar, Mother Shipton, Beaded Chestnut, Burnet Companion, Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet, Belted Beauty, Silver Y  Wild Angelica (angelica archangelica) - Triple-spotted Pug, White Spotted Pug, Mottled Beauty, Brindled Ochre

Wild Basil (clinopodium vulgare)

Wild Carrot - Marbled Clover, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Sussex Emerald

Wild Clary (salvia horminoides) - Twin-spot Carpet

Wild Clematis (clematis vitalba) - Bright-line Brown-eye, Lime Speck Pug, Haworth's Pug, Small Emerald, Fern, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Least Carpet, Pug, Chalk Carpet, Small Waved Umber, V-Pug, Double-striped Pug, Willow Beauty, Mottled Beauty, Small Fan-foot

Wild Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) - Ashworth's Rustic, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Large Yellow Underwing, Small Square-spot, Frosted Orange, Small Angle Shades, Foxglove Pug

Wild Pansy (viola tricolor) - Pluvia

Wild Primrose (primula vulgaris) - Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Double Square-spot, Riband Wave, Silver-ground Carpet, Plain Clay, Ingrailed Clay, Green Arches, Vine's Rustic, Uncertain

Wild Strawberry (fragaria vesca) - Amulet, Ghost, Yellow Shell, Beautiful Carpet, Dark Marbled Carpet, Kent Black Arches

Wild Wallflower - Flame Carpet

Wormwood (artemesia absinthium) - Wormwood Pug

Yarrow (achillea millefolium) - Belted Beauty, Dewick's Plusia, Essex Emerald, Lime Speck Pug, Straw Belle, Wormwood Pug, Mottled Beauty, Ling Pug, Ruby Tiger, Yarrow Pug, V Pug, Sussex Emerald, Grey Pug, Tawny Speckled Pug, Common Pug, Mullein Wave, Straw Belle

Yellow Flag Iris (iris pseudacorus) - Belted Beauty, Crescent, Red Sword-grass, Water Ermine, Webb's Wainscot, Rosy Rustic, Rush Wainscot

Yellow Rattle (rhinanthus minor) - Grass Rivulet, Lead-coloured Pug, Scarce Bordered Straw

Barberry - Scarce Tissue, Wheat

Blackthorn/Sloe - Grey Dagger, Marsh Dagger, Dark Chestnut, Dun-bar, Dark Dagger, Copper Underwing, Chinese Character, Early, March, Common Emerald, Dotted Border, Dotted Clay, December, Double Square-spot, Emperor, Figure of Eight, Light Emerald, Lobster, Lappet, Leopard, Lunar Thorn, Small Emerald, Mottled Pug, Feathered Thorn, Orange, Scarce Umber, Scalloped Hazel, Short Cloaked, Scalloped Oak, Oak Eggar, August Thorn, Brimstone, Early Thorn, Lackey, Pale Brindled Beauty, Blue Bordered Carpet, Broken Barred Carpet, Mottled Umber, Mottled Beauty, November, Brown-tail, Pale November, Winter, Sloe Pug, Sloe Carpet, Clouded Silver, Grey Pug, Green Pug, Peppered, Sharp-angled Peacock, Magpie, Small Eggar, Scarce Vapourer, Swallow-tailed, Tamarisk Pug, Pale Tussock, Least Black Arches,Yellow-tail, Sprawler, Green Brindled Crescent, Beautiful Arches, Flame Brocade

Broom - Grass Emerald, The Streak, Broom-tip, Lead Belle, Spanish Carpet, Frosted Yellow

Dog Rose - Brown-tail, V-Pug, Lunar Thorn, Lobster, Shoulder Stripe, Barred Yellow, Feathered Thorn, Streamer

Hawthorn - Small Fan-foot, Grey Dagger, Marsh Dagger, Dun-bar, Mouse, Beaded Chestnut, Copper Underwing, Brimstone, Brown-tail, Buff Footman, Coxcomb Prominent, March, Early, Magpie, Orange, Chinese Character, Common Emerald, Common Quaker, Dotted Border, Double Square-spot, Emperor, Leopard, houldered Brocade, Emerald, November, Pale November, Lackey, Winter, Mottled Pug, Mottled Beauty, Pinion Spotted Pug, Purple Thorn, Common Pug, Grey Pug, Peppered, Light Emerald, Brindled Beauty, Ingrailed Clay, Pale Brindled Pug, Lappet, Feathered Thorn, Mottled Umber, Short-cloaked, Frosted Green, Scalloped Hazel, Scarce Umber, Magpie, Willow Beauty, Oak Eggar, Swallow-tailed, Scalloped Oak, Figure of Eight, Large Thorn, Early Thorn, Least Yellow Underwing, Oak-tree Pug, Broken Barred Carpet, December, Small Eggar, Tamarisk Pug, V-Pug, Green Pug, Clouded Silver, Pale Tussock, Yellow-tail, Hebrew Character, Green-brindled Crescent, Beautiful Arches, Knot Grass, Satellite, Dark Chestnut, Yellow-line Quaker, Dark Dagger

Hazel - Angle Shades, Copper Underwing, Dun-bar, Bordered Sallow, Oak Beauty, Small White Wave, The Magpie, Clouded Border, Barred Umber, Winter, Pale November, Small Quaker, Dot, Satellite, Grey Arches, Sprawler, Nut-tree Tussock, Green Silver-lines

Oak - Alchymist, -foot, Fan-foot, Small FanAngle Shades, Bordered Sallow, Dark Dagger, Barred Sallow, Scarce Merveille du Jour, Sycamour, Flounced Chestnut, Small Black Arches, Buff Footman, Pale Shouldered Brocade, Beautiful Brocade, Brindled Pug, Common Quaker, Twin-spotted Quaker, Chestnut, Heart, Festoon, Dotted Border, Dusky Hook-tip, Engrailed, Oak Tree Pug, Goat, Spring Usher, Oak Hook-tip, Peppered, Oak Beauty, Oak Lutestring, Brindled Beauty, Oak-tree Pug, Light Emerald, Pale Brindled Beauty, Small Brindled Beauty, Feathered Thorn, Orange, Lunar Thorn, Lunar Marbled, Feathered Thorn, Brindled Pug, Purple Thorn, Scalloped Hazel, Scalloped Oak, Mottled Beauty, Square Spot, Scorched Wing, Lobster, Large Thorn, August Thorn, November, September Thorn, Pale November, Winter, March, Blotched Emerald, Common Emerald, Scarce Umber, Jersey Mocha, False Mocha, Maiden's Blush, Marbled Pug, Red-green Carpet, Tawny Prominent, Great Prominent, Broken Barred Carpet, Mottled Umber, Triangle, Yellow-line Quaker, Yellow-legged Clearwing, December, Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Sprawler, Grey Shoulder-knot, Oak Rustic, Merveille du Jour, Brindled Green, Oak Nycteoline, Nut-tree Tussock, Scarce Silver-lines, Green Silver-lines, Light Crimson Underwing, Dark Crimson Underwing, Lunar Double-stripe, Scarce Dagger, Svensson's Copper Underwing, Orange Upper Wing, Dark Chestnut, Red-headed Chestnut, Oak Yellow Underwing

Rowan - Autumn Green Carpet, Coxcomb Prominent, Orange Underwing, Welsh Wave, Mottled Pug, Red-green Carpet

Wild Privet - Copper Underwing, Coronet, Lilac Beauty, Barred Tooth-striped, Garden Privet, Yellow-barred Brindle, Small Bloodvein, Pale Pinion, Flame Brocade

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