Flowers that look like butterflies are ones that will always add a certain type of uniqueness to your garden or even to the indoors, sometimes the similarity in appearance is just a coincidence.

Colorful Flowers That Look Like Butterflies

While other times, it results from the flower’s intentional evolution to draw butterflies and promote pollination.

Watch for blooms produced by a plant with some of the butterflies they imitate flitting around it, here’s the list that will enlighten your knowledge and talk specifically about each option.

List of Flowers That Look Like Butterflies

1. Butterfly Bush

When to Plant Spring
  • Moist soil
  • Less fertilizing
  • Remove spent flower spikes
Type Perennial
Hardiness Zone Five to Eight


Fast-growing and perennial, the butterfly bush is also called the Buddleia davidii, and it bears multitudes of long, spiked trusses of flowers from summer to autumn. As a result, butterfly bushes need to be clipped in the early spring despite being low-maintenance. Find out more about how to grow this shrub with flowers.

This beautiful flower, also known as “summer lilacs,” is hardy to zone five and stays evergreen from zone eight south.

Butterfly Bush Blooms in Garden

This broad, arching shrub, which reaches a height of five to 10 feet, bears a profusion of fragrant, colorful blooms, primarily purple and pink, to give you the butterfly garden of your dreams. The colors are ideal for cutting, and the shrubs do well in perennial or shrub borders and attract butterflies.

On another note, you must remember that it growth only appears on fresh wood. Therefore, pruning can be postponed until the spring when the new wood is ready to sprout. However, Buddleja may not begin to leaf out in the spring until after other perennials.

Please be aware that many states have designated the butterfly bush, initially imported from China, as an invasive species due to its propensity to smother native butterfly plants that are vital to wildlife.

In addition, if gardeners deadhead the blossoms, it tends to stay restricted in cooler climates, where they can become a nuisance weed and spread vigorously in warmer temperatures.

2. Bee Balm 

When to plant Spring or fall
  • Well drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Neutral Ph
Type Perennial
Hardiness zone Zones four to nine


Bee balm is also known as the Monarda spp in botany, in addition, at times it is also known as the wild bergamot. This beautiful blower is a perennial favorite native to North America.

A Native American shrub called bee balm is renowned for both its fragrant foliage and its eye-catching scarlet summer blossoms. In June and July, you will see the flower transform and grow two to three inches wider flower heads with slender, tubular blooms are formed. The flower colors are white, pink, red, lavender, and purple. 

Blooming Pink Bee Balm Flowers

It is love by different pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, because they have the long tongues needed to access the nectar from the tubular flowers.

However, bumblebees and a few other insects engage in a “nectar robbing” activity because they are too large to enter some of the tiny tubular flowers of some bee balms. The insects “rob” the flower of its nectar by making a small hole at the blossom’s base to reach the nectar and avoid the pollen.  

Bee balm works best in direct sunlight which is a range of at least six hours a day. Although it will still grow, it won’t flower as well and is more prone to powdery mildew in partial shade. Instead, give your plants pH-neutral, wet soil that drains quickly. If necessary, add compost or old manure to the ground.

You can grow bee balm in the spring or fall, by the same token, the optimal time to divide and transfer existing plants is in the spring.

Give the location some thought. The leaves are susceptible to the fungus powdery mildew if there is poor air circulation, if this happens, you should that you must reduce watering. Leave 18 to 24 inches between plants. 

3. Blazing Star

When to plant Fall
Care Water regularly in dry weather

Fertilize the soil

Full sun

Type Hardy perennial
Hardiness zone Zone three to 10


Spectra, often known as blazing star, gay feather, or prairie star, is a hardy North American plant with many decorative appeals.

This hardy wildflower attracts novice and seasoned gardeners due to its tall, stately amethyst or white plumes and delicate grass-like foliage. In addition, it’s a low-maintenance jewel that’s simple to grow and spread, blazing in the summer heat while other plants wilt. 

If you are seeking a hardy perennial to provide your summer garden with a strong splash of dependable color and spectacular form, then this flower is one that you can plant.

Close View of Blazing Star Flowers

Unfortunately, our gardens can slow down and sag a little after the frenzied development of spring and the beginning of summer, especially when extended periods of hot weather arrive. 

As the high temperatures and poor moisture persist, grasses lay dormant, new foliage grows slowly, and many plants conserve energy by limiting blossoms, giving gardens a worn-out appearance. 

Hardy perennial L. spicata, native to the prairies and meadows of Eastern North America, grows long spikes of vivid purple bottlebrush flowers and slender, grass-like leaves and is one of the loveliest butterfly garden plants

This clump-forming perennial, which blooms from mid-summer to autumn, is a member of the aster family or the Asteraceae, scientifically, and the Liatris genus has about 40 species. Plants develop from a corm, producing substantial, durable tuberous roots in zone three to nine. 

Delicate grassy foliage emerges in the spring, followed by solid stalks topped with eye-catching, feathery flowers in vivid purple or white. Numerous tiny florets are grouped in long flower heads that emerge from each branch. The flowers attract lots of insects for pollination.

4. Black-eyed Susan

When to plant Spring
  • Full sun
  • Well-drained soil
  • Acidic ground
Type annuals or short-lived perennials
Hardiness zone Three to nine


Black-eyed Susans is also called the Rudbeckia hirta, this beautiful flower is a pollinator-favorite, typically bloom from June through August, frequently smothering broad fields with their golden-yellow splendor.

The dark brown center of Black-eyed Susans’ daisy-like flower head is referred to as the plant’s “black eye.” It is a local of eastern North America and a member of the aster family, Asteraceae.

Black-eyed Susan Flowers in Garden

It has naturalized in zones three and all the way through nine. Even though some black-eyed Susan species go by other names, like Gloriosa daisies, they are all members of the Rudbeckia genus.

When it comes to the uniqueness of this plant, you must note that the black-eyed Susans have stalks over eight inches long, flowers with a diameter of two to three inches, and leaves at least six inches long. 

They can grow to be one to three feet tall and are a great for attracting butterflies. Because the flowers have nectar, butterflies, bees, and other insects are drawn to them. As they consume the nectar, they spread pollen from one plant to another, causing the latter to produce seeds that are wind-resistant.

5. Butterfly Weed

When to plant Fall
  • Full sun
  • Dry soil
  • Well drained soil
Type perennial 
Hardiness zone Three to nine


Butterfly weed is necessary for gardeners hoping to attract the plant’s eponymous winged insects. This clump-forming perennial has tuberous roots that grow to a height of one to two feet.

Orange Butterfly Weed Flowers

It has glossy-green, lance-shaped leaves and a profusion of clusters of vivid orange-to-yellow blossoms bursting with nectar and pollen. These beautiful blooms are a kind of milkweed typically they would start to blossom up in the late spring when the earth is still warm. 

It takes a while to establish itself and could flower after up to three years. When it eventually blooms, late spring to late summer will see the exhibition of its clusters of vivid orange-yellow flowers.

Butterfly weed differs from other milkweeds in that it lacks the acidic milky fluid, but it produces distinctive seed pods that release silky-tailed seeds for wind dispersal.

6. Joe Pye Weed

When to plant Fall
  • Deep watering
  • Full sun
  • Acidic soil
Type Perennial 
Hardiness zone Zone four to eight 


Several species of the Eutrochium genus, including Eutrochium purpuream and Eutrochium maculatum, are grown as ornamental plants which is the spotted Joe Pye weed. The late-blooming wildflower Eutrochium purpureum is indigenous to eastern and central North America. It typically forms erect clusters that can be up to seven feet tall. 

Joe Pye Weed Blossoms

The native range of E. maculatum, which has somewhat more violet blooms, stretches further west to the Great Plains. However, these species are sometimes mistaken for one another because of their striking similarities. 

Joe Pye weed is a well-liked herbaceous perennial and a native wildflower that grows in several natural areas, such as meadows, prairies, and woodland clearings. It is renowned for its capacity to draw a variety of beneficial and even some lovely insects to the garden.

7. Common Button Bush

When to plant Spring
  • Neutral soil with silk and loam
  • Full sun
  • Enough watering
Type Perennial
Hardiness zone Zone five to 11


Cephalanthus occidentalis, or the common button bush, is a multi-stemmed shrub that can occasionally reach heights of 12 to 18 feet. 

Leaf blades up to eight inches long, oval to narrower, sometimes one third or less than broad as long, with a pointy tip and rounded to tapered base, smooth margins, glossy top surface, duller below the surface.

Common Button Bush Blooms

These beautiful flowers attract butterflies because of their unique colors, and they would like to come and sit on them, especially in spring. 

Leaves in pairs or threes, petiolate, on the other hand it also has glossy, deep-green leaves are essentially colorless in the fall. Small, unique, dense, spherical clusters which are the heads of flowers with a pistil fringe that extends beyond the white corollas are present. 

White or pale-pink, one-inch globes are long-lasting, distinctive blooms. Through the winter, subsequent spherical piles of nutlets are still current.

Trunks frequently twist. Spreading, heavily branched shrub or occasionally a small tree with many branches which would typically get crooked and then start drooping, an uneven crown, and pincushion-shaped white flower balls. 

8. Common Sunflower

When to plant Late spring
  • Moderate watering
  • Full sun
  • Humus-rich soil
Type Perennial 
Hardiness zone Zones four to nine


The common sunflower, is also called the Helianthus Annuus, and it is a robust perennial with many branches that grows between a half and almost eight feet tall, the common host plants have coarsely hairy leaves and stalks. 

Up to five inches in diameter, the terminal flower heads are oversized and spectacular; a tall, rough-leafed plant with a hairy stem and branches in the upper half.

Common Sunflower Growing Outside

It produces a few or many flower heads, each with a central maroon disc and several bright yellow rays surrounding it. 

Yellow-ray blossoms surround brown disc blooms. Contrary to popular belief, sunflower plant heads do not move with the sun throughout the day. However, there is some phototropism present in budding flower buds and leaves.

The plant has been cultivated in Central North America since before the arrival of the Spanish. Native American basketry and weaving once relied heavily on the yellow dye made from the blooms and the black or dark blue paint made from the seeds.

Native Americans also used the seeds’ oil for different culinary uses and ways of grinding them into flour-like swamp milkweed. You can also plant it in a container garden, and yet it will still thrive and blossom.

9. Purple Coneflower

When to plant Spring
  • Regular watering
  • Light compost
  • Full sun
Type Perennial
Hardiness zone Zones three to nine


Purple coneflowers, native to the eastern United States, are common in flower gardens. By including purple coneflower which is also called the Echinacea purpurea, in the garden or flower bed, you can attract bees and butterflies, which will help pollinate the neighboring plants. 

The plant also offers a tall background or repetitive rows of enormous, daisy-like, purple flowers that are frequently six inches across.

Purple Coneflower Blooming in Garden

The strong stalks, which can grow to a height of five feet, rarely bend or need to be staked to maintain an upright appearance.

When the coneflower cultivar Echinacea purpurea or the ‘Pink Double Delight’ is planted, the plants may produce pink blossoms. Plants of the purple coneflower live in arid or thin soil. However, you should note that poor flowering and luxuriant foliage may result from the rich soil.

When you want to grow these flowers and see them thrive, you must first place purple coneflower where it will get direct sunlight when planting.

A day with full sun must have at least six hours of direct sunlight. Morning sunlight may facilitate the highest performance in more southern regions, with late-afternoon shade preventing plant burns.

10. Floss Flower

When to plant Late spring
Care Full sun

Rich soil

Ample watering

Type Annuals
Hardiness zone 10-11


Gardeners passionate about plants strongly prize the color blue, which is uncommon in that industry and a great addition to butterfly gardens. As a result of the latter, the Ageratum is cultivated for its wacky pompom-shaped blooms, primarily blue but can also be white, pink lavender, and red, which is also known as the floss flower.

Beautiful Purple Floss Flower

Although they can be grown from seed, these common bedding plants are typically bought as nursery starts in tray packs or flats. Ageratum can be planted in containers, edged along walks or borders, or massed in displays. Their sizes range from a few inches to three feet tall.

This member of the Aster family, sometimes known as floss flower, is a group of 40 species of annuals, perennials, and shrubs indigenous to tropical and subtropical places in North and South America. 

Ageratum conyzoides, popularly known as “billy goat weed,” is a very invasive plant that grows naturally in some parts of the Southern US and has herbal and therapeutic properties. Home gardeners have access to ornamental cultivars produced as annuals that entice pollinators, including butterflies, hummingbirds, and insect species.

11. Snap Dragon

When to plant Start of spring
  • Full to partial sun
  • Moist soil
  • Neutral pH
Type Perennial
Hardiness zone Zones seven to ten


The Mediterranean region of Europe is home to the Snapdragon antirrhinum majus. Its pinchable blooms, which open and close like the mouths of amiable dragons, are the source of its common name. On the other hand, in botany, it is called the Antirrhinum Majus.

It is a cool-weather plant that thrives annually in other temperate countries and as a delicate perennial, categorized in USDA hardiness zones of seven to 10.

Snap Dragon Flowers in Greenhouse

The Antirrhinum genus has a “type species” or reference plant called A. majus. The genus has about 20 species, some native to North America and northern Africa.

The Antirrhinum genus belongs to the Plantaginaceae family, also known as the figwort family, which includes a wide range of plant species, some of which you might be familiar with. One is toadflax, often known as butter and eggs or Linaria vulgaris, a typical sight along rural roadways.

It, too, features flowers that resemble a hinged “mouth.” Other plants in this considerable plant family, such as foxglove or Digitalis, beard tongue flower or Penstemon, wishbone flower, and summer snapdragon which is the A.

Angustifolia, have fixed mouths. Members of the figwort family are characterized by their erect spikes of open-lipped blooms and squarish stalks.

12. Egyptian Star 

When to plant Late winter
Care Full sun

Moist soil

Well drained

Type Perennial
Hardiness zone 6-11


The Egyptian star flowers are some semi-tropical bushes called Pentas plants appear to be developed specifically very similar to butterflies. The brilliant red, pink, and purple nectar-rich flowers grow in clusters throughout a long flowering season, acting as a butterfly beacon. 

Pink Egyptian Star Flowers

The butterfly proboscis can easily access clusters of shallow blooms, allowing insects to dip into various flowers quickly. Consider including this plant in a landscape area that you want to be humming with activity because bees also enjoy them.

The Rubiaceae family includes well-known ornamentals like gardenias, important commercial crops like coffee, and the genus Pentas species lanceolate.

These flowers are sometimes referred to on plant tags as starflower, Egyptian star flower, or a star cluster. They are an annual that may be grown everywhere; in growth zones nine and above, the plants may even become perennials.  


Growing beautiful perennials in your garden is rewarding, especially ones with unique faces and features. Just consider the following when developing these types of flowers:

  • Make sure the environment you choose is adaptable to the choice of flowers 
  • The hardiness zones play a significant role in deciding the health and well-being of a flower, so adhere to them. 
  • There are no rules; plant as many beautiful-looking butterfly flowers as you like, and you can plant them and grow them, and they will thrive. 

With this impressive list of flowers, we hope that this spring, you will have all eyes on your property. Happy growing!

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