Value to Wildlife

butterflyOne of the big benefits owners discover when they restore their shoreline is the return of wildlife. Native plants are the foundation of this entire community of life. By adding natives that are known for providing excellent food and shelter you can attract a variety of wildlife (see list below). Enjoy hearing the call of frogs, watching birds feed on flowers or seeds, and butterflies resting on a leaf.

Plants Valuable for Wildlife

Some of the plants listed below are not distributed throughout the state of Minnesota. Consult the Native Plant Encyclopedia to select species that are appropriate for your part of the state, matching the shoreland zone and soil type requirements for each species to the characteristics of your site.


Codes for Wildlife Value


A — Food and Cover
B — Butterfly Nectar
C — Cover

E — Bee Nectar
F — Food
L — Butterfly Caterpillar

M — Moth Nectar
N — Bird Nectar
S — Seeds




C — Balsam fir (Abies balsamea)
A — Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
C — Tamarack (Larix laricina
A — White spruce (Picea glauca)
C — Black spruce (Picea mariana)
C — Jack pine (Pinus banksiana)
C — Red pine (Pinus resinosa)
C — White pine (Pinus strobus)
C — Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) Little bluestem
C — Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans)
C — American vetch (Vicia americana)

Trees & Shrubs: butterflies, bees, moths

L — Box elder (Acer negundo)
L — Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
L — River birch (Betula nigra)
L — Paper birch (Betula papyrifera)
L — Bog birch (Betula pumila)
B — New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)
L — Balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)
L — Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
L — Big-tooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)
L — Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)
B — Wild plum (Prunus americana)
B — Canada plum (Prunus nigra)
B — Pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
B — Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
B — Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
L — White oak (Quercus alba)
L — Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)
L — Northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)
L — Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
L — Red oak (Quercus rubra)
B — Common blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)
B — Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus subsp. strigosus)
B — Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
EB — Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
EL — Prairie willow (Salix humilis)
BEL — Black willow (Salix nigra)
B — Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba)
EL — Wolfberry or Western snowberry(Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

Wildflowers: butterflies, bees, moths

B — Leadplant (Amorpha canescens)
L — Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
B — Indian hemp (Apocynum sibiricum)
E — Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
BEL — Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
B — Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
BL — Ciliate aster (Aster ciliolatus)
BLE — Heath aster (Aster ericoides)
BL — Smooth aster (Aster laevis)
BL — Panicled aster (Aster lanceolatus)
BL — Woodland or Side-flowering aster (Aster lateriflorus)
BL — Large-leaved aster (Aster macrophyllus)
BL — New England aster (Aster novae-angliae)
BL — Aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius)
BL — Sky-blue aster (Aster oolentangiensis)
BL — Red-stemmed aster (Aster puniceus)
BL — Silky aster (Aster sericeus)
BL — Flat-topped aster (Aster umbellatus)
BE — Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
B — Purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
ME — Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
BE — Spotted Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
BE — Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
BE — Grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)
B — Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
B — Ox-eye (Heliopsis helianthoides)
E — Round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata)
BS — Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera)
BS — Cylindric blazing star (Liatris cylindracea)
BS — Meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis)
BS — Dotted blazing star (Liatris punctata)
BS — Prairie blazing star or Gay-feather (Liatris pycnostachya)
BL — Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis)
BM — Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
BL — Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
BE — Gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis)
BE — Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
BE — Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)
BL — American vetch (Vicia americana)

Wildflowers: hummingbirds, orioles

N — Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
N — Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
NS — Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera)
NS — Cylindric blazing star (Liatris cylindracea)
NS — Meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis)
NS — Dotted blazing star (Liatris punctata)
NS — Prairie blazing star (Gay-feather) (Liatris pycnostachya)
NC — Michigan lily (Lilium michiganense)
NC — Wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum)
N — Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
NS — Blue phlox (Phlox divaricata)
NS — Prairie phlox (Phlox pilosa)

Summer Plants

F — Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
F — Smooth juneberry (Amelanchier laevis)
F — Wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
F — Creeping spikerush (Eleocharis smallii (palustris)
A — Water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile)
A — Wild plum (Prunus americana)
A — Canada plum (Prunus nigra)
A — Pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
A — Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
A — Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
A — Common blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)
A — Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus subsp. strigosus)
A — Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
F — Crested arrowhead (Sagittaria cristata)
F — Northern arrowhead (Sagittaria cuneata)
F — Common arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)
F — Sessile-fruited arrowhead (Sagittaria rigida)
A — Common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
A — Red-berried elder (Sambucus racemosa)
A — Hardstem bulrush (Scirpus acutus)
A — Dark green bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)
A — Woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus)
A — River bulrush (Scirpus fluviatilis)
A — Three-square bulrush (Scirpus pungens)
A — Softstem bulrush (Scirpus validus)
F — Bur-reed (Sparganium chlorocarpum)
F — Giant bur-reed (Sparganium eurycarpum)
C — Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)
F — Common low blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)
F — Wild grape (Vitis riparia)

Fall Plants

F — Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
F — Red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea (stolonifera)
A — Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
A — Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus vitacea) Virginia creeper
F — American mountain-ash (Sorbus americana)

Winter Plants

F — American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
A — Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
A — Fireberry hawthorn(Crataegus chrysocarpa)
A — Downy hawthorn (Crataegus mollis)
A — White hawthorn (Crataegus punctata)
A — Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
A — Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)
F — Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

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