Native Plants Valuable to Wildlife

TREES – Evergreen 50’ +

American Holly, Ilex opaca - Fruits eaten by Bluebird, robin, Mockingbird, larvae plant for Henry’s Elfin Butterfly

Cabbage Palmetto, Sabal palmetto, SC State Tree - Fruits eaten by Robins and raccoons

Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis - Fruits eaten by many birds, nesting cover

Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana - Fruits eaten by Cedar Waxwing, Purple Finch, Bluebird, nesting for hummingbird, warblers, doves, larvae plant for Great Purple Hairstreak butterflies

Gordonia, Gordonia lasianthus - Songbirds

Live Oak, Quercus virginiana - Warblers’ spring migration, acorns eaten by squirrels, turkeys, Nuthatch

Longleaf Pine, Pinus - Nesting for Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

Pine, Pinus species - All used extensively; seeds eaten by birds, needles for nesting

Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora - Good nesting, seeds eaten by Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, Red Cockaded Woodpecker


TREES – Deciduous 50’ +

American Beech, Fagus grandifolia - Nuts eaten by Blue Jay, Chickadee, titmouse, nesting for Pileated Woodpecker

Bald Cypress, Taxodium distichum - Seeds eaten by ducks and Sandhill Cranes

River Birch, Betula nigra - Seeds eaten by Chickadee, Finch, Tanager, Grouse, Nuthatch, used for nesting

Blackgum Tree, Nyssa sylvatica - Bee tree, seeds eaten by wood duck, Bluebirds, Purple/Yellow finch, opossum, squirrel

Cucumber Tree, Magnolia acuminata - Seeds eaten by Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Red-Eyed Vireo, Red Cockaded Woodpecker plant for Tiger and Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies

Hickory, Carya spp. - Nuts eaten by squirrels, turkey, Nuthatch, and wood duck

Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua - Seeds eaten by Cardinal, Chickadee, Finch, Mourning Dove, used for nesting

Magnolia, Magnolia virginiana - Seeds eaten by Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Red Eyed Vireo, Red Cockaded Woodpecker, host for Swallowtail Butterflies

Oaks, Quercus Spp. - Acorns winter staple for Titmouse, turkey, Woodpecker, squirrel, deer, Carolina Wren (SC State Bird), larvae plant, nesting, cover

Red Maple, Southern Sugar, Acer spp. - Sap used by Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, nesting/food for Warblers, Chickadee, Purple Finch, Grosbeak, Bobwhite

Basswood/Linden, Tilia americana - Nectar plant, larval plant for Red-Spotted Purple and Mourning Cloak, seeds eaten by squirrels.

Tulip Popular, Liriodendron tulipifera - Flowers visited by hummingbirds and butterflies, orchard orioles.  Seeds eaten by Cardinals.

White Ash, Fraxinus americana - Great nesting for songbirds, butterfly larvae for Tiger Swallowtail, seeds eaten by Purple Finch and Grosbeak


SMALL TREES – Evergreen 15’ to 40’

Cherry Laurel, Prunus caroliniana - Fruits eaten by Titmouse, Grouse, other songbirds and small mammals, nesting

Devilwood Osmanthus, Osmanthus americana - Fruits eaten by birds and small mammals

Redbay, Persea borbonia - Larvae plant for Palamedes & Spicebush Swallowtail, fruits, eaten by songbirds

Wax Myrtle, Myrica cerifera - Fruits eaten by Swallow, Bluebird, Warbler, 13 other species of birds

Wild Cherry, Prunus serotina - Fruits eaten by many species of birds

Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria - Larval plant for Henry’s Elfin Butterfly, seeds eaten by Cedar Waxwing, Mockingbird and other songbirds.


SMALL TREES – Deciduous 15’ to 40’

Alder, Alnus serrulata - Fruits eaten by many species of birds

Hawthorn, Crataegus marhallii - Fruits eaten by birds, mammals

Fringe Tree, Chionanthus virginicus - Fruits eaten by Bluebird, Thrasher, Finch, Vireo & 75 other species of birds

Fraser Magnolia, Magnolia fraseri - Fruits eaten by birds, butterflies, mammals

Dogwood, Cornus florida - Seeds eaten by Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Towhee, and Vireo

American Plum, Prunus americana - Fruits eaten by Cedar Waxwing, Cardinal, Sapsuckers, nectar by hummingbirds and Swallowtails, Grey Hairstreak Butterflies

Hophornbeam/ironwood, Ostrya virginiana - Seeds eaten by Finch, Woodpecker, Mockingbird, used for nesting

Musclewood, Carpinus caroliniana - Larval plant for Tiger Swallowtail, fruits by small mammals and wood duck

Paw Paw, Asimina triloba - Larval plant for Zebra Swallowtail, fruits by small mammals

Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana - Fruits eaten by many mammals, bees, butterflies

Redbud, Cercis Canadensis - Flowers by honey bees, sees by birds, deer browse

Red Buckeye, Aesculus pavia - Flowers used by hummingbirds, bees

Red Mulberry, Morus rubra - Fruits eaten by many species of birds

Sassafras, Sassafras albidium - Nectar for butterflies

Service Berry, Amelanchier arborea - Nectar for butterflies fruits eaten by Scarlet Tanager, Bluebird, other birds, and mammals

Amelanchier canadensis - Nectar for butterflies fruits eaten by Scarlet Tanager, Bluebird, other birds, and mammals

Sourwood, Oxydendron arboreum - Seed eaten by songbird, turkey, grouse, small mammals, flowers by bees (honey), butterflies, deer browse

Sumac, Rhus spp. - Fruits eaten by Mockingbird Robin, Thrasher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Cardinal; bark eaten by rabbits in winter

Titi/Swamp Cyrilla, Cyrilla racemiflora - Nectar plant, cover

Turkey Oak, Quercus laevis - Acorns eaten by Red Cockaded Woodpecker

Walters Viburnum, Viburnum obovatum - Nectar, butterflies, fruits, mammals, birds


LARGE SHRUBS – Evergreen 15’

Florida Leucothoe, Agarista populifolia - Cover, butterflies and birds

Florida Anise, Illicium floridanum

Inkberry Holly, Ilex glabra - Fruits eaten by Bluebird, Thrasher, Mockingbirds and other birds.

Wild Rhododendron, Rhododendron maximum - Flowers used by hummingbirds and butterflies


LARGE SHRUBS – Deciduous 15’

Arrowwood Viburnum, Viburnum dentatum - Fruits eaten by fox, chipmunk, Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, Mockingbird, deer browse

Bottlebrush Buckeye, Aesculus parviflora - Flower visited by hummingbirds, butterflies

Florida Azalea, Rhododendron austrinum - Flower visited by Swallowtails, Gulf Fritillaries, Monarchs, hummingbirds, bees, and song birds

Piedmont Azaleas, R. canescens

Oconee Azalea, R. flammeum

Pinxterbloom Azalea, R. periclymenoides

Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia - Fruits eaten by song and game birds, mammals

Silky Camellia, Stewartia malachodendron - Nesting for birds, pollinators



Coastal Leucothoe, Leucothoe axillaris - Deer Browse

Dwarf Palmetto, Sabal minor - Fruits eaten by Warbler, Woodpecker

Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystix - Cover, deer browse

Spanish Bayonet, Yucca aloifolia - Moths, larva plant for giant Skipper Butterflies



American Beautyberry, Callicarpia americana - Fruits eaten by Mockingbirds, Finch, Bobwhite, Robin, Thrasher, browse by deer and raccoon

Carolina Allspice, Calycanthus floridus - Deer Browse, butterflies

Sweet Pepperbush, Clethra alnifolia - Flowers visited by bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, fruits eaten by shorebirds, game birds, waterfowl

Fothergilla, Fothergilla major - Game birds, small mammals

Golden St. Johns Wort, Hypericum frondosum - Seeds eaten by game birds, songbirds

Virginia Sweetspire, Itea virginica - Butterflies, seeds eaten by birds, cover

Mapleleaf Viburnum, Viburnum acerfolium - Fruits eaten by Wild Turkey, Bluebird, Cardinal, thrasher, squirrel, deer

Northern Spicebush, Lindera benzoin - Larval plant for spicebush swallowtail

Wild Hydrangea, Hydrangea aborescens - Wild turkey, deer browse



Carolina Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens - SC State Flower - Hummingbirds, game birds, butterflies

Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata - Deer browse, flowers visited by hummingbirds

Smilax/Greenbriar, Smilax spp. - Deer browse, Wild Turkey, many species of birds

Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens - Flowers visited by hummingbirds, bees, and birds

Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Fruits eaten by Chickadee, Mockingbird, Nuthatch, Scarlet Tanager, Robin

Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata - Flowers visited by Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, larval plant for others



Atamasco Lily, Zephyranthese atamasco

Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa - Larval plant for Azure Butterflies, deer browse, cover

Blue Wooland Phlox, Phlox divaracata - Flowers visited by Swallowtails, Grey Hairstreak, browse by deer, rabbit

Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis - Flowers visited by hummingbirds, bees, butterflies

Crestid Iris, Iris cristata - Hummingbirds, bees

False Solomons Seal, Smilacina racemosa - Deer browse, fruits eaten by mammals

Fire Pinks, Silene virginica - Flowers visited by hummingbirds, butterflies

Foamflower, Tiarella cordifolia - Butterflies, bees, spring deer browse

Galax, Galax urceolata - Winter deer browse

Green and Gold, Chrysogonum virginianum

Haircap Moss, Polytrichum commune - Winter deer browse, nesting material

Heartleaf Ginger, Hexastylis arifolia - Winter deer browse

Indian Pinks, Spigelia marilandica - Flowers favorite for butterflies and hummingbirds

Jack in the Pulpit, Arisaema triphylium - Fruits and leaves eaten by turkey and Wood Thrush, all parts caustic to most animals

Lyreleaf Sage, Salvia lyrata - Flowers favorite for butterflies, and hummingbirds

Partridgeberry, Mitchella repens - Fruits eaten by Grouse, Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, mouse

Solomons Seal, Polygonatum biflora - Roots eaten by mammals, deer browse

Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis - Flowers visited by hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, seeds eaten by Finches, Buntings

Wild Geranium, Geranimum maculatum - Seeds eaten by Bobwhite. Dove, deer



Aster, Aster spp. - Flowers visited by hummingbirds, butterflies, bees; seeds eaten by Cardinal, Finches, Thrasher, Sparrow and Turkey

Wild Indigo, Baptisia spp. - Early succession, birds, bees, nitrogen fixer

Beebalm, Monarda didyma - Flowers nectar source for Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (SC State Butterfly), Spicebush, Eastern Black Swallowtail, Pipevine, Swallowtails, deer browse

Bluestar, Amsonia spp. - Flowers visited by bees, butterflies

Black Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida - Seeds eaten by birds, nectar source for bees & butterflies

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa - Flowers nectar source for Tiger, Spicebush, Eastern Black, Pipevine, Swallowtail Butterflies, Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly. Larval plant for Monarchs.

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis - Nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies

Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca - Larval plant for Monarchs

Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium - Nectar source for butterflies & bees

Coreopsis, Coreopsis spp. - Nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, seeds eaten by songbirds, bees, butterflies

Carolina Phlox, Phlox carolilna - Nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies

Downy Phlox, Phlox pilosa - Nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies

Goldenrod, Solidago spp. - Flowers visited by butterflies, bees; seeds eaten by Goldfinch and other birds.  Goldenrod is the official South Carolina State Wildflower.  

Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium fistulosum - Great pollinator attractor, visited by Spicebush Swallowtail, Gulf Fritillary, Monarch, Painted Lady Butterflies.

Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris spp. - Flowers visited by butterflies, bees

Beardtongue, Penstemon spp. - Flowers visited by bees, butterflies

Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum tenufolium - Seeds eaten by numerous wildlife; flowers visited by butterflies, bees; deer browse

Seashore Mallow, Kosteletzkya virginica - Nectar Plant

Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata - Larval plant for Monarchs



Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrosticoides - Grouse, cover for frogs

Cinnamon Fern, Osmunda cinnamomea - Nesting

Marginal Shield Fern, Dryopteris marginalis - Shelter for toads, lizards

New York Fern, Thelypteris noveboracensis - Shelter for toads

Netted Chain Fern, Woodwardia areolata - Shelter for toads, salamanders, newts

Northern Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum - Shelter for toads, salamanders, newts

Royal Fern, Osmunda regalis - Shelter for toads, salamanders

Sensitive Fern, Onoclea sensibilis - Shelter for toads, salamanders

Southern Lady Fern, Athyrium filix-femina - Shelter for toads, salamanders



Bushy Bluestem, Andropogon glomeratus - Seeds eaten by birds insects and mammals

Broomsedge, Andropogon virginicus - Seeds eaten by Field Sparrow, Junco; deer browse, rabbit; cover for Bobwhites

Inland Sea Oats, Chasmanthum latifolia - Seeds eaten by Grouse, Titmouse, Wren, Robin

Indian Grass, Sorgastrum nutans - SC State Grass -Flowers visited by Bees, seeds eaten by birds; foliage for grazing

Salt Cordgrass, Spartina alternifora - Roots eaten by geese, seeds eaten by ducks Virginia Rail, Seaside Sparrow; deer browse

Splitbeard Bluestem, Andropogon ternaries - Seeds eaten by songbirds; deer browse, Wild Turkey

Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum - Seeds eaten by songbirds, deer browse

Bulrush, Scirpus cyperinus - Seeds eaten by ducks, marsh birds, muskrats, nesting cover