The Top 100 Plants for Wildlife


Save the planet! Plant these species. These trees and plants are the best for our local ecosystems.

See NWF.org/NativePlantFinder.

What do the numbers mean? Oaks support 346 species of butterflies and moths in our locality. Plums & cherries support 290, etc.

For a PDF file click on The Top 100.

For more info contact Hart at nhhagan@gmail.com.

1. Oaks, 346

2. Plum & cherry, 290

3. Willow, 239

4. Birch, 223

5. Maple & box elder, 205

Maple trees support 205 species of butterflies and moths.

6. Hickory, pecan, pignut, bitternut 196

7. Aspen, cottonwood, poplar 193

8. Apple, crabapple, 185

9. Cranberry & blueberry, 172

10. Pine, 150

11. Elm, 148

12. Alder, 129

13. Basswood, linden 119

14. Walnut, butternut 115

15. Ash, 113

16. Blackberry, dewberry, himilaya 105

17. Beech, 104

18. Hawthorn, 101

19. Chestnut, 87

20. Viburnum, arrowwood 81

21. Filbert, hazel, Hazelnut, 80

22. Dogwood, bunchberry 77

23. Rose, sweetbriar, 74

24. Ironwood, tupelo 71

25. Spruce, 69

26. Grape, 58

27. American hornbeam, 55

28. Witchhazel, 55

29. Locust, black locust, rose acacea 53

30. Persimmon, 47

31. Goldenrod 55

32. Strawberry 49

33. Sunflower 47

34. Meadowsweet, Spirea 46

35. Hackberry, sugarberry 43

36. Honeylocust, gleditsia 41

37. Sumac 39

38. Sycamore 36

39. Holly, inkberry 34

40. Blackgum 33

41. Sweetgum 31

42. Bluegrass 30

43. Joe Pye Weed 30

Joe Pye Weed

44. New Jersey Tea 29

45. Elderberry 28

Elderberry.

46. Ninebark 27

47. Sassafras 27

48. Violet 27

49. Virginia Creeper 26

Virginia creeper, a native vine.

50. Horsechestnut, buckeye 26

51. Honeysuckle 24

The Snowberry Clearwing Moth caterpillar feeds upon choral honeysuckle.

52. Hibiscus 23

Hibiscus thrives in wet soil.

53. Juniper, red cedar 22

54. Buttonbush 21

55. Bulb panic grass 20

56. Geranium 20

57. False indigo, indigobush 19

58. Flax 19

59. Redbud, judastree 18

Redbud tree.

60. Tulip poplar 17

61. Purslane, hogweed 16

62. Greenbriar 15

63. Snowberry, buckbush 15

64. Wisteria 15

65. Crownbeard, wingstem 14

66. False goldenaster 14

67. Indigo, wild indigo 14

68. Ironweed 14

69. Magnolia, sweetbay 14

70. Bluestem, broomsedge bluestem 13

71. Willowherb 13

72. Peppervine, amelops 12

73. Fleabane 12

74. Meadowrue 12

75. Browneyed susan, blackeyed susan 11

76. Dogbane 11

77. Milkvetch 11

78. Milkweed, butterfly weed 11

Butterfly weed, a type of milkweed.

79. St. John’s wort 11

80. Pawpaw 11

81. Sourwood 11

82. Wahoo, burningbush, euonymous 11

83. Cordgrass 10

84. Vetch 10

85. Mulberry 10

86. Yarrow, sneezeweed 10

87. Butterweed ragwort 9

88. Cattail 9

89. Columbine 9

90. Buckthorn 9

91. Catalpa 9

92. Hydrangea 9

93. Spicebush 9

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly needs Spicebush as a host plant.

94. Coral bristlegrass 9

95. Firebush, croton, prairie tea 9

96. Groundcherry 9

97. Iris 9

98. Switchcane 9

99. Thorn-apple, jimson weed, prick 9

100. Beebalm, wild bergamot 8

Bumble bees (a native wild bee) love bee balm.