Brodiaea elegans

Family: Asparagaceae


Native to: California, Oregon


Type: perennial

Forms: erect, tufted

Max height: 1.3 feet

Max width: 1.3 feet


magenta/purple, violet




Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, specific butterfly species

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape use: container

Propagates by: seed

flowers in spring

Soil types: average, well drained

USDA Zones: zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: +10 to +40 °F

Water: drought tolerant

Butterflies that feed on this plant

  • Brodiaea elegans

There are 25 species of Brodiaea, a member of the Asparagaceae family.

Brodiaea elegans, an Oregon native, is in cultivation and is drought tolerant. It can be grown from seed in Zones 8 10, flowers in spring, can be cultivated in either part shade or sun, and grows to 1 1/3 feet high and wide. Brodiaea elegans can be grown in containers and will attract adult butterflies.

Adults that feed on Brodiaea include:
Battus philenor, Pipevine Swallowtail
Anthocharis sara, Pacific Orangetip
Anthocharis stella, Stella Orangetip
Euchloe ausonides, Large Marble
Pieris marginalis, Margined White
Pieris rapae, Cabbage White
Pontia protodice, Checkered White

Battus philenor 3
Euchloe ausonides
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. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. 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 and 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.

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