Butterfly Friendly Trees & Shrubs

I came across an article today that detailed a bunch of trees and shrubs that are beneficial to butterfly and moth species that I wanted to share with you. These trees and shrubs are specifically beneficial to Missouri, so please check that they are not invasive species where you live before planting.

Small Trees: (Up to 30 ft. tall)

Downy Hawthorn - Beneficial to 150 different species

Downy Serviceberry - Beneficial to 119 different species

Flowering Dogwood - Beneficial to 150 different species

Large Trees: (Up to 90 ft. tall)

Shagbark Hickory - Beneficial to 200 different species

Tulip Poplar - Beneficial to 368 different species

White Oak - Beneficial to 410 different species


American Hazelnut - Beneficial to 31 different species

Arrowwood Viburnum - Beneficial to 104 different species

Ninebark - Beneficial to 40 different species

Other Beneficial Plants & Trees:

Pin Oak

Rough- Leaved Dogwood

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Prairie Rose

Not only are the above mentioned trees and shrubs good for butterflies and moths, but they are also beneficial to song birds. An average chickadee clutch can eat 6,000-9,000 caterpillars before leaving the nest. Let’s also not forget that butterflies are pollinators and trees are carbon sinks. The benefits of planting a few shrubs or trees can be pretty big in the long run.

*These trees and shrubs were included in an article “Bring in the Birds” by Jan Wiese-Fales in the October issue of Missouri Conservationist.