Butterflies in Mind -- Zinnia
Susan C. Dunlap
A collection of 50 images as if seen from a butterfly’s point of view. Includes the names of native Zinnia species and the most complete list of US butterflies that will feed on Zinnia blossoms.
Butterflies in Mind -- Asclepias
Susan C. Dunlap
“Milkweed is the single most important plant for Monarch butterflies. This lavishly illustrated book contains details about the structure and cultivation of native Milkweeds, information about the 139 nectar-feeding butterflies they...
Butterflies in Mind -- Monarch
Susan C. Dunlap
This abundantly illustrated volume enables you to select from a complete list of well described perennial nectar plants that are known to attract & feed Monarch butterflies. Over 40 genera are described that are suitable to be grown...
Butterflies in Mind -- Perennials
Susan C. Dunlap
Butterflies in Mind - Perennials. This book is a definitive guide to perennial nectar plants preferred by US butterflies. It empowers you to feed, attract, support (and help identify) nectar-feeding butterflies that reside in the US....

Eupatorium capillifolium

Family: Asteraceae

Common name: DOG FENNEL

Synonym: Anthemis sancti-johannis

Native to: Bahamas, Cuba, Eastern United States, South West Bulgaria, Southern United States


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, tufted

Max height: 6.6 feet

Max width: 2 feet


white/off white


green, light


Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, specific butterfly species

Bird uses plant for shelter or cover or cavity: cover

Plant features: naturalizes, self-sows, weedy

Exposure: sun

Landscape use: container


Propagates by: cutting, seed

flowers in spring

flowers in summer

Soil type: wide range

USDA Zones: zone 2 -50 f, zone 3 -40 f, zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: -50 to +40 °F

Water: moist, regular

Eupatorium, also call DOG FENNEL, is a member of the Compositae (Aster) family family. There are 129 species in this genus. Eupatorium capillifolium, a perennial that grows to 6 foot tall by 2 feet wide, is in cultivation, and can be grown from either seed or cuttings in Zones 2-10. It is native to Southern United States and the Eastern United States. It flowers in spring and summer.

If grown from cuttings, the best results might be obtained from cuttings taken in early spring. Given its narrow width, one might try this in a container. It prefers regular to wet watering conditions. Grow in plenty of sun. Try arranging this with other tall narrow plants.

Eupatorium attracts butterflies that feed on plants in the Compositae (Aster) family, listed here on the left.
Eupatorium in particular attracts:
Appias drusilla Florida White,
Ganyra josephina Giant White
Junonia coenia, Common Buckeye.
Rekoa palegon Gold-bordered Hairstreak

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

You are free to use any of the above filters to reduce the plant list further.