Native Prairie Plants for Birds and Butterflies

Bring birds to your garden with these native prairie plants that thrive in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.

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Ohio spiderwort

A favorite nectar source, spiderwort bloms in May and June. Its pretty three-petal flowers are accompanied by grasslike foliage. Place grow 2-3 feet tall, making them ideal for the edge of a prairie garden. Zones 5-8

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Butterfly weed

A calling card for Monarchs at other butterflies, butterfly weed is a bold prairie plant with vibrant orange flowers that grow in June and July on 1 to 2-foot-tall stems. Zones 4-9

Rattlesnake-master

Growing a rambunctious four feet tall, rattlesnake-master has prickly, round flowers and smooth, blue-green, swordlike foliage. Take advantage of its sculptural appearance by planting it in a prominent place. Zones 4-8

Fringed loosestrife

Upright or sprawling, this perennial reaches 1-2 feet tall, forming masses of foliage and summer blooms. Native in wetland shores and damp thickets, it prefers wet conditions. Plant it in full sun to light shade. Zones 3-9

Climbing rose

The fragrant, deep summer flowers of the wild climbing rose are followed by scarlet autumn foliage and cherry-red hips. Climing rose grows 5-6 feet tall, and its vigorous canes can be trained up a trellis. Zones 4-8

Golden Alexander

An important nectar source for many beneficial insects, golden Alexander blooms in May on two-and-a-half foot stems. Black Swallowtail caterpillars eat both the leaves and flowers. Zones 4-9

False sunflower

Radiant as the sun, false sunflower unfurls new blossoms for weeks beginning in July. This sturdy, 3- to 5-foot-tall plant has a strong branching habit and will form a large clump of foliage and flowers. Zones 4-9

Starry campion

Fringed white details on starry campion lend an airy look and make it perfect for softening bold stands of prairiegrass from June to August. Plants grow 1-3 feet tall. Zones 3-7

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