Native Pollinator Plants

Recommended Native Plants for the Butterfly Highway

This is a list of suggested plants native to each of the major North Carolina regions. Most of the plants listed can be found in all three regions. This list is not intended to be comprehensive and only highlights a selection of plants that many nurseries and gardens centers are likely to carry. For more comprehensive lists of native plants, see links to additional resources below.

North Carolina Mountains

Trees and shrubs:
Oaks Quercus sp.
Red Maple Acer rubrum
Black cherry Prunus serotina
native Blueberries Vaccinium sp.
Pine Pinus sp.
Spruce Picea sp.

Annual and perennial flowers:
Aster Symphyotrichum sp.
Iris
Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
Bee Balm Monarda
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis

North Carolina Piedmont

Trees and shrubs:
Oaks Quercus sp.
Pussy Willow Salix discolor
Spicebush Lindera benzoin
Pawpaw Asimna triloba

Annual and perennial flowers:
Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca
Phlox
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
Native honeysuckle
Purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea
Indian blanket
Tickseed Coreopsis sp.
New England Aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

North Carolina Coastal Plain

Trees and shrubs:
River Birch Betula nigra
Oaks Quercus sp.
Laurel cherry Prunus caroliniana

Annual and perennial flowers:
New York Ironweed Veronia noveboracensis
Seaside Goldenrod Solidago sempervirens
Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
Coral honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens
Blanket flower Gaillardia pulchella
Spotted beebalm Monarda punctata

For additional native plant resources visit:

North Carolina Native Plant Society

Bringing Nature Home – Douglas Tallamy

NC Cooperative Extension – Native plant finder

North Carolina Botanical Garden

NC Audubon – Bird Friendly Plant lists

Xerces Society – Mid Atlantic Native Plant List

NC Native Plant Nurseries List

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Gather your family and friends and plan your next outdoor adventure for one of North Carolina’s many unforgettable natural destinations. Help NCWF preserve wildlife and wild places for our children and future generations to come.