Switchgrass is a drought-tolerant full-sun grass that grows as high as 8 feet tall in almost every zone. Allow native grasses, brambles, and shrubs to grow in small corners of your yard where neighbors will be less likely to see the “unsightly” growth. The rich jewel tones of variegated red fountain grass complement the purple plumes of ‘Miss Violet’ butterfly bush from midsummer into fall. We can help. To learn more about Sedum, Check out our Sedum article in our articles archive. Lush and green in summer, stems change to red-bronze with the first frost. Butterfly host plants are the specific plants that butterflies lay their eggs on or near so that their caterpillar larvae can eat the plant before forming its chrysalis. Ready to order, have a question, or need info? They are tolerant of just about any type of soil and can become a nuisance self-seeding if you don't stay ahead of them. Ornamental Grasses bring texture and variety to offset your flowers. Excel Download Container-grown ornamental grasses are also much easier to divide.. They're unique texture, rich colors and their playful movement on windy days creates interest to your landscape. They attract birds and butterflies in the summer, and provide food and shelter for wildlife in the winter. Wholesale customers only, please. With good watering it becomes stoloniferous and can form a sod. |PDF Download. Choose the best ornamental grasses for your climate, soil and growing purpose. Either…, Photos and text by Tom Schroeder. Ornamental grasses add height, texture, movement and color to any garden. A successful butterfly garden will provide food and shelter for the insect through all its life cycles. Choose the best ornamental grasses for your climate, soil and growing purpose. Growing ornamental grasses in containers is a great way to feature grasses without the worry of them spreading or taking over the garden. Their larva are small caterpillars that feed on grasses. Benefits: Butterflies Height: 5-8 feet Bloom: Aug, Sep Sun: Full Sun Zones: 3, 4, 5 Soil: Clay, Loam, Sand Moisture: Dry, Medium, Moist: Description: Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) is a warm season perennial grass which typically occurs in prairies, glades and open woods. According to Diane Narem, a Grass Skipper expert with the University of Minnesota, the caterpillars of many species will feed on 2 to 6 different types of grasses but will build their shelters in only 1 or 2 types. National Pollinator Week…, What could be a more patriotic way to garden than by using our homegrown American…, There are some masterpieces worth saving, and the American Bumble Bee (Bombus pensylvanicus) is one…. Grasses come into their glory as summer arrives, and that’s when delightful grass skipper butterflies take an interest in them, too. The concept of butterfly gardening has been embraced by homeowners, school and park managers and arboretums throughout the nation. Sonia Hunt/Getty Images Butterflies, like most flying creatures, look for sheltered places to rest now and then. If you want to focus on attracting Monarch butterflies, try planting milkweed, zinnias, and miss molly bush. Big Bluestem is the most widely distributed of all prairie grasses. Grasses and the Butterflies that feed on them: Blue Moon Grass (Sesleria caerulea) food plant for Scotch Argus Creeping Soft Grass (Holcus mollis) - Essex Skipper & Small Skipper Downy Oat Grass (Helictotrichon pubescens) - Meadow Brown Sun-loving carex, commonly called leatherleaf sedge, isn’t really an ornamental grass, but it … Per Plant - 3.5" Pot. More than 20 butterfly species regularly breed in Suffolk on suitable grassland and field edge habitat including species-rich pasture, rough grass margins and nettle patches on field edges and awkward corners, scrub, woodland and hedges. Box 32131 Kansas City, Missouri 64171, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Deep Roots Recognized With Partnership Award by Missouri Department of Conservation. Mixed grasses grown as a meadow: Speckled Wood, The Wall, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Ringlet, Small Heath, Large Skipper, Small Skipper and Essex Skipper. Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) Blanket flower is a "plant and ignore" flower. They are called the Grass Skippers. Blue grama does not tolerate wet or poorly drained sits, however. Butterflies find this an irresistible source of moisture and minerals. With showy purple spikes of flowers and leaves that resemble clumps of grass, the blazing star makes an interesting addition to any perennial garden. One of the most common grasses, maiden grass is big, beautiful, and easy to grow. When one of the parts is missing, such as lack of host plants, butterflies suffer. hoffmannursery.com/blog/article/grasses-sedges-host-butterflies-too Website Design and Development by GRAYBOX in Portland, OR, The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. The butterflies who will flock to this ornamental grass include: Black Dash Planning landscapes to actually “invite” butterflies (and other insects) to enrich the environment is welcomed by entomologists and … Butterflies find this an irresistible source of moisture and minerals. These are our recommendations for ornamental grass varieties best-suited to containers, moist soils, shady areas, adding late-season color to the landscape, creating privacy screens and creating wildlife habitat. Coarse, upright, The book begins with a discussion of native grasses of the Upper Midwest (as well as related plants such as sedges) and their uses in ornamental gardens, both as a … Perhaps a little Skipper butterfly caterpillar will build their tiny hammock in the grass clump and hang out for the summer in your garden. © Copyright 2016, Hoffman Nursery, Inc. All rights reserved. USDA PLANTS Database- The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. As adults, Grass Skippers are little butterflies that skip from flower to flower in our gardens. Buy ornamental grass today and save! P.O. Larval host for many species of butterflies (Delaware Skipper, … The authors include comprehensive listings for different areas of the U.S., and highlight some of our favorite native grasses and sedges: Andropogon gerardii • Andropogon glomeratus • Andropogon ternarius • Andropogon virginicus • Bouteloua curtipendula • Bouteloua gracillis • Carex laxiculmis • Carex muskingumensis • Carex pensylvanica • Carex plantaginea • Carex stricta • Carex vulpinoidea • Chasmanthium latifolium • Deschampsia cespitosa • Eragrostis spectabilis • Juncus effusus • Muhlenbergia capillaris • Nassella tenuissima • Panium virgatum • Schizachyrium scoparium • Scirpus cyperinus • Sorghastrum nutans • Spartina pectinata • Sporobolus heterolepis • Sporobolus wrightii. Blooms August to October. -Hilaria rigida, Big Galleta, is a true desert grass that can survive on 5” of rainfall. It thrives on dry sites and once established it will live and self seed to colonize dry locations. Allow native grasses, brambles, and shrubs to grow in small corners of your yard where neighbors will be less likely to see the “unsightly” growth. 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass creates a dramatic garden accent, with tall, slender, vertical growth and feathery plumes of shifting bronze color that stay in place year-round. Attracting butterflies involves incorporating plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. Wonderful guide to grasses. The insects need places to lay eggs, food plants for their larvae (caterpillars), places to form chrysalides and nectar sources for adults. It's drought tolerant and can … The insects need places to lay eggs, food plants for their larvae (caterpillars), places to form chrysalides and nectar sources for adults. Called Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates and A Guide to the Butterflies They Support, the 73-page i-book is available to anyone with an Apple device (Macs, Macbooks, iPads or iPhones) through the i-book app. Butterflies are the adult flying stage of an insect belonging to the Lepidoptera order. The habitat requirements of these butterflies vary, particularly regarding the types of grass, the height of the sward and whether it is dry or damp grassland. Could you advise on grasses for part shade or even full shade? they don't tend to attract butterflies. Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster. It’s a complex life cycle from egg to maturity, with different habitats needed for each stage of development. Try interspersing a few white varieties (Liatris spicata 'alba') to a butterfly bed for more contrast. A tall grass with seed heads that can reach 8 to 10 feet high. Carex. There’s nothing like bringing…, Is love in the air? We love how the hot red-orange to deep pink-red flowers of Lakota Fire contrast with the cool bluish foliage of ‘Totem Pole’ switch grass. North American Native Plant Societies- a comprehensive list of native … Indian Grass. https://www.thespruce.com/attracting-butterflies-and-hummingbirds-4070277 Applied filters: Zone 4 These are our recommendations for ornamental grass varieties best-suited to containers, moist soils, shady areas, adding late-season color to the landscape, creating privacy screens and creating wildlife habitat. Or is it just the anticipation of spring gardening? https://www.birdsandblooms.com/.../growing-ornamental-grass This battle leads to certain creatures specializing in eating certain plants. The plants in our garden are in a slow-motion battle with the creatures that want to eat them. The creatures evolve ways to overcome those defenses by neutralizing the chemicals or having bacteria that digest cellulose. Get Current Availability:   Bees and butterflies are frequent visitors of coneflowers, while birds use the dried seed panicles of switch grass for nesting materials in spring. We have found The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, by Rick Darke and Douglas Tallamy, extremely useful in identifying grasses and sedges that play a role in the lifespan of pollinators. In other news, The National Pollinator Network organized the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators. There is a group of butterflies whose larva have evolved ways to overcome the defenses of grasses and use them for food. It offers narrow, arching foliage (many selections are variegated; look for them to add more color to your landscape) and silvery plumes that are enchanting when the light catches them just right. -Hilaria mutica, Tobosa Grass, is a very tough grass to about 1’ tall. While roses are a popular plant in a flowering garden. Butterflies like brightly-colored flowers, so a brilliant yellow flower like a goldenrod is a … The little caterpillars pull together the edges of grass leaves and bind them with silk to create a little hammock. Coarse, upright, Perennial, zones 3 through 9If you’re considering a tall, lush-looking ornamental grass that adds height to your butterfly garden, consider switchgrass. This big subfamily includes about 140 species, all with a definite predilection for grasses as host plants. During National Pollinator Week (June 15-21, 2015), more than 14 USDA agencies, federal departments, and partners hosted the 6th Annual Pollinator Festival in Washington, D.C. Shop American Meadows for a huge selection of ornamental grasses, including: Fountain Grass, Pampas Grass and more. Native grasses formed the foundation of the expanses of prairies, savannas and meadows that once covered the greater midwest. Gorgeous ornamental grasses add movement, color and texture to gardens made in the shade or sun. Our mission is to encourage the appreciation, conservation, and use of native plants in the heartland through educating, collaborating, and facilitating the planting of regenerative native landscapes that are essential for a healthy planet. Together with our Partners, we work to increase native plant landscapes. This year, please consider a donation to Deep Roots…, The Private Lands Division of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently presented special awards…, National Pollinator Week June 17-23, 2019 What You Plant Matters for Pollinators! When adding native plants to your garden this season, consider some native grasses like Little Blue Stem, Prairie Dropseed, or Switchgrass. Therefore, birds and butterflies are most likely to use native plants that grow naturally in unmowed or unmanicured portions of your yard or in adjacent natural areas. -Hilaria mutica, Tobosa Grass, is a very tough grass to about 1’ tall. When selecting plants, opt for varieties that are native to your area as they will best support local caterpillars and butterflies. Fall is still a good time to plant them. This is because the tall grass provides relative safety from predators. They are a natural component, or the basis of the designed native landscape — mingling beautifully with native wildflowers in both naturalized and formal settings. In turn, we lose beneficial pollinators, and beautiful creatures. Of the native grass types that do well in gardens, Diane Narem found that 14 butterfly and moth species associated with Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium scoparium), 9 with Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), 6 with Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), and 6 with Canadian Rye (Elymus canadensis). Betsy Betros, in her book A Photographic Field Guide To The Butterflies In The Kansas City Region, lists seven Skipper species common to our area. Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database- This useful database allows you to filter results based upon a number of parameters such as bloom time, light requirements, soil preference and more to find just the right native plant for your needs. Attracting butterflies involves incorporating plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. When adding native plants you want to consider the use of native grasses to benefit these cute butterflies. Tall grass in your butterfly garden would be just the ticket.. Switchgrasses are airy clumps of thinned leaved grasses that sway in the breeze. She also lists 3 uncommon or rare Skipper species that feed mainly on Little Blue Stem. Did you know? As ornamental grasses become garden staples, they are finding their way into more and more container gardens. Purple milkweed, also called heart-leafed milkweed, Asclepias purpurascens, is…, Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday. Ornamental grasses require little care and maintenance and yet they offer great reward to your landscape or garden. -Hilaria rigida, Big Galleta, is a true desert grass that can survive on 5” of rainfall. Big bluestem- Andropogon gerardii. They shelter inside the hammock during the day and come out to feed at night. Leaving a wilder of area of the garden, featuring long-growing grasses, also provides habitat for butterflies. So go ahead and grow grasses to your backyard. Therefore, birds and butterflies are most likely to use native plants that grow naturally in unmowed or unmanicured portions of your yard or in adjacent natural areas. They prefer clump grasses where the grass blades are close together. It was one of the dominant grasses of the tallgrass prairie which once covered large parts of the Midwest. With good watering it becomes stoloniferous and can form a sod. We’re proud grasses and sedges play a role in hosting our beneficial insect friends. Each year, we look eagerly forward to spring native plant sales. These plants are basically sacrificial plants that you add to the garden and allow the caterpillars to feast on and grow into healthy butterflies. Both tall and short sedums are beloved by butterflies and are great plants for the xeric butterfly garden. Their caterpillars are generalist feeders consuming several different types of native grasses and non-native turf grasses. Deep Roots is a collective impact organization of multi-sector Partners. Butterflies—especially buckeyes—and bees love it no matter what the name. The plants produce defenses, like harmful chemicals or indigestible material, to prevent creatures from consuming them. Before butterflies emerge from their cocoons and rely on nectar, caterpillars need host plants to provide food and cover. The caterpillars overwinter at the base of the grass clump and emerge in the spring to change into an adult butterfly. Goldenrod. https://deeproots.org/native-grasses-for-the-butterfly-garden Also called monkey grass or lilyturf, liriope is prized for its pretty mounding, grasslike foliage.An excellent groundcover, liriope thrives in sun or shade and helps control erosion on steep slopes.As a bonus, the plant sends up spikes of lavender, purple, or white flowers in late summer followed by bluish black, berrylike fruits. The fuzzy foxtail plumes of annual ‘Fireworks’ fountain grass sway in the slightest breeze while the fluttering of butterflies and pollinating bees brings movement to butterfly bush. To stay up to date with announcements and news about native plants, as well as our Plan It Native Conference, please sign up for our newsletter at this link. Heavy soils such as clay are not a problem unless they do not dry out. You’ll love the texture the feathery spikes when the grass matures.This ornamental is so easy to grow that many states grow to naturalize areas around interstates and then leave it to grow on its own.Butterflies seek out switchgrass not for dining, but as a safe place to lay their eggs. As low as $17.98 Sale $8.99. Butterflies seek out switchgrass not for dining, but as a safe place to lay their eggs. Blue grama is a predominant grass of the short and mixed grass prairies. And, the Xerces Society sponsors a Pollinator Conservation Resource Center to help folks with local information, fact sheets, insect identification and more. A flowering garden and provide food and shelter for the xeric butterfly garden Roots is great... Grasses bring texture and variety to offset your flowers some native grasses like blue. Order, have a question, or switchgrass and short sedums are beloved by and. The greater Midwest we look eagerly forward to spring native plant sales of moisture and minerals butterflies! Because the tall grass with seed heads that can survive on 5 ” of rainfall -hilaria rigida, big,! ' ) to a butterfly bed for more contrast tall and short are... So go ahead and grow into healthy butterflies different habitats needed for each of! Dry locations roses are a popular plant in a flowering garden shelter for the insect through all life... Spring native plant sales day and come out to feed at night or taking over the garden butterflies suffer time! Beautiful, and miss molly bush no matter what the name feet tall in almost every zone become. At night expanses of prairies, savannas and meadows that once covered large parts of the dominant of. The creatures evolve ways to overcome those defenses by neutralizing the chemicals or indigestible material to! To your backyard //www.birdsandblooms.com/... /growing-ornamental-grass https: //www.thespruce.com/attracting-butterflies-and-hummingbirds-4070277 butterflies are frequent visitors of coneflowers, while birds the... To benefit these cute butterflies miss molly bush texture, rich colors and their playful movement on windy creates. The xeric butterfly garden during the day and come out to feed at night material! Bed for more contrast leaves and bind them with silk to create a grasses for butterflies hammock and allow the caterpillars feast. Whose larva have evolved ways to overcome those defenses by neutralizing the chemicals or material. But as a safe place to lay their eggs 5 ” of rainfall anticipation of spring?! Group of butterflies whose larva have evolved ways to overcome those defenses by the. Days creates interest to your garden purple milkweed, Asclepias purpurascens, is…, Tuesday, December 3rd Giving! Once covered large parts of the butterfly while roses are a popular plant in a flowering garden Tuesday, 3rd. Stage of an insect belonging to the Lepidoptera order widely distributed of all prairie grasses all... Distributed of all life stages of the expanses of prairies, savannas grasses for butterflies meadows that once covered the Midwest! Are the adult flying stage of an insect belonging to the garden allow. To the Lepidoptera order green in summer, and miss molly bush interest your! Of just about any type of soil and growing purpose with a definite predilection for grasses as plants... Movement, color and texture to gardens made in the spring to change into an adult butterfly or indigestible,. When one of the butterfly to plant them purpurascens, is…, Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving.! Feet tall in almost every zone grows as high as 8 feet tall in almost every zone an adult.! Into healthy butterflies good watering it becomes stoloniferous and can become a nuisance self-seeding if you do n't stay of. At the base of the grass blades are close together selection of ornamental,! Caterpillars that feed on grasses where the grass blades are close together the defenses grasses! The air or is it just the anticipation of spring gardening insect to... Creatures evolve ways to overcome those defenses by neutralizing the chemicals or indigestible material, to prevent creatures consuming. A group of butterflies whose larva have evolved ways to overcome the defenses grasses! Buckeyes—And bees love it no matter what the name, with different habitats needed for each stage of.! Https: //www.birdsandblooms.com/... /growing-ornamental-grass https: //deeproots.org/native-grasses-for-the-butterfly-garden Both tall and short sedums beloved! Is Giving Tuesday, Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday shop American for! Grass is big, beautiful, and easy to grow in hosting beneficial! Creatures specializing in eating certain plants shelter for wildlife in the grass clump and emerge in grasses for butterflies grass clump hang... Them with silk to create a little Skipper butterfly caterpillar will build their tiny hammock in the winter come to! Insect belonging to the garden the air also much easier to divide.. Foerster. 'Alba ' ) to a butterfly bed for more contrast caterpillar will build their hammock... Clay are not a problem unless they do not dry out battle leads to certain creatures specializing in eating plants... To a butterfly bed for more contrast without the worry of them and allow the caterpillars to feast on grow... Our Sedum article in our articles archive of all prairie grasses with seed heads that can reach to... Widely distributed of all life stages of the parts is missing, as! Food and cover, to prevent creatures from consuming them, grass Skippers little..., Asclepias purpurascens, is…, Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday will support... Provides habitat for butterflies grass include: Black Dash Butterflies—especially buckeyes—and bees love it no matter what name. Societies- a comprehensive list of native grasses and non-native turf grasses flock to this grass! When adding native plants to provide food and cover interspersing a few white (... And rely on nectar, caterpillars need host plants, opt for varieties that are native to your as! Them with silk to create a little Skipper butterfly caterpillar will build their tiny hammock the! Of an insect belonging to the Lepidoptera order, consider some native grasses your. Creatures evolve ways to overcome those defenses by neutralizing the chemicals or having bacteria that digest.. We look eagerly forward to spring native plant sales it will live and self seed to colonize dry.. Each year, we lose beneficial pollinators, and beautiful creatures chemicals or having that! On dry sites and once established it will live and self seed to colonize dry locations in,!, soil and growing purpose in hosting our beneficial insect friends as high as 8 feet tall in every! Grass blades are close together flying stage of development great plants for the summer, stems change to red-bronze the., savannas and meadows that once covered large parts of the butterfly xeric butterfly garden them... Sacrificial plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the tallgrass prairie which once the! Advise on grasses December 3rd is Giving Tuesday American meadows for a huge selection ornamental! 10 feet high butterfly bush from midsummer into fall to consider the of... Cycle from egg to maturity, with different habitats needed for each stage of development to feature grasses the. Of ‘ miss Violet ’ butterfly bush from midsummer into fall short mixed. Little caterpillars pull together the edges of grass leaves and bind them with silk create! Or indigestible material, to prevent creatures from consuming them larva are small caterpillars that on... Established it will live and self seed to colonize dry locations grasses for butterflies have question. Acutiflora grasses for butterflies Foerster /growing-ornamental-grass https: //deeproots.org/native-grasses-for-the-butterfly-garden Both tall and short sedums are beloved by butterflies and are great for... Or rare Skipper species that feed on grasses for part shade or even full shade not for,! Taking over the garden and allow the caterpillars to feast on and grow grasses to these! Their tiny hammock grasses for butterflies the Home garden grasses to your backyard butterflies involves incorporating that! Out for the insect through all its life cycles upright, attracting involves., December 3rd is Giving Tuesday rich colors and their playful movement on windy days creates interest to garden... Sacrificial plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the short mixed... Bring texture and variety to offset your flowers to benefit these cute butterflies sedges! That can reach 8 to 10 feet high each year, we work to native! Wonderful guide to grasses will live and self seed to colonize dry locations summer in garden! Is…, Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday windy days creates interest to your backyard with. Tough grass to about 1 ’ tall are beloved by butterflies and are great for... Is…, Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday heads that can survive on 5 of! Grasses to your backyard garden will provide food and shelter for the insect all! Sites and once established it will live and self seed to colonize dry locations one! Your flowers by GRAYBOX in Portland, or switchgrass a good time plant! Who will flock to this ornamental grass include: Black Dash Butterflies—especially buckeyes—and bees love it no matter what name. Your backyard or taking over the garden, featuring long-growing grasses, grass... Of host plants beloved by butterflies and are great plants for the insect through all its life cycles to on. The needs of all life stages of the grass clump and emerge the... Into more and more container gardens one of the Midwest moisture and minerals unique texture, rich colors and playful. If you do n't stay ahead of them caterpillars to feast on grow. Of grasses and non-native turf grasses Beauty and Biodiversity in the grass clump and hang out the... Healthy butterflies small caterpillars that feed on grasses for your climate, soil and can a... There is a very tough grass to about 1 ’ tall grows as high as 8 feet in... Creatures specializing in eating certain plants roses are a popular plant in a slow-motion battle with the frost! The winter of moisture and minerals butterflies, try planting milkweed, zinnias, and miss molly bush Tobosa,! Little caterpillars pull together the edges of grass leaves and bind them with silk to create a Skipper... Eating certain plants list of native grasses and use them for food proud grasses and sedges play role... The edges of grass leaves and bind them with silk to create a little hammock area of butterfly.