Plants that Attract Birds 2018-07-08T14:36:35+00:00

“Plants that Attract Birds”

There are many plants you can buy for decoration, wind breaks, preventing soil erosion, but whenever possible buy plants that attract birds.


Scientific Name

Common Name(s) Evergreen/ Deciduous    Comments

Large shrubs – Plants that Attract Birds – (6 – 10 ft when mature)

Amelanchier alnifolia Serviceberry D Upright to spreading branches, small rounded leaves; clusters of small white flowers; blue-black fruit attractive to wildlife; orange to red fall color.

Cornus sericea Red-osier Dogwood D Red stems in winter; flat, white flower clusters followed by white to blue fruits attractive to birds; yellow to red fall color; streamside understory plant, shade tolerant.

Prunus americana American Plum, Wild Plum D Thicket-forming; white flowers before leaves, fruit good for preserves; attracts wildlife; cold and drought tolerant; yellow to red fall color; found along canyons and slope bottoms.

Prunus pensylvanica Pin Cherry D Large shrub to small tree; thicket-forming; shiny green leaves; red edible fruit; shade tolerant, white flowers, red fall color.

Prunus virginiana melanocarpa Western Chokecherry D Irregular, branching shrub with shiny dark green leaves and elongated flower clusters; suckers to form thickets; dark purple fruit excellent for preserves; reddish-orange to yellow fall color.

Rhamnus smithii Smith buckthorn D Upright habit with dark green shiny leaves; black fruit in late summer on female plants; yellow fall color; good screen plant.

Rhus glabra Smooth Sumac D Open, rounded thicket-forming shrub; bright green leaves; pyramidal clusters of yellow flowers produce fuzzy dark red fruits in fall that persist into winter; outstanding yellow-orange-red fall color.

Shepherdia argentea Silver Buffaloberry D Medium shrub to small tree; thicket-forming; silver, rounded leaves; golden to red, edible bitter fruits on females attract wildlife.

Sorbus scopulina Native Mountain Ash, Greene’s Mountain Ash D Large shrub to small tree with divided leaves, white flower clusters followed by orange fruit attractive to wildlife; orange to red fall color; found in moist sites on slopes in rocky canyons.

Medium shrubs – Plants that Attract Birds – (4 – 6 ft when mature)

Amorpha fruticosa False Indigo, Leadplant D Open, wide-spreading shrub; feathery green foliage; spikes of deep blue flowers in summer; yellow fall color; deer resistant.

Artemisia tridentata Big Sagebrush E Silver colored evergreen with peeling grayish bark; leaves densely hairy and aromatic; wildlife browse plant; does not tolerate high moisture.

Cowania mexicana Cliffrose E Upright oval shrub; rigid, gnarled branches; small, lobed olive-green leaves; fragrant creamy-colored flowers followed by feather-tailed seeds.

Fallugia paradoxa Apache plume D – E Open, rounded shrub; small grayish-green leaves; whitish shreddy bark; white, rose-like flowers; fuzzy pinkish seed heads appear all summer; native to San Luis and Arkansas Valleys.

Fallugia paradoxa Three-leaf Sumac, Skunkbrush D Arching branches with glossy green three-parted leaves, small yellow flowers before leaves; reddish hairy edible fruits; orange to red fall color.

Ribes aureum Golden Currant D Arching growth habit; yellow clove-scented flowers in late spring; yellow to black fruit attracts birds; well-drained sites; orange to red fall color.

Ribes inerme Whitestem Currant D Rounded growth habit; few if any spines; whitish stems becoming reddish-brown and flaky; small pink flowers followed by edible, tart, wine-red fruit.

Ribes lacustre Bristly Currant, Swamp Currant D Low-growing shrub with spines; lobed leaves; greenish-purple flowers in drooping clusters followed by bristly purple fruit; native along streams; browse plant for livestock and game.

Rubus deliciosus Boulder Raspberry D Arching growth habit with peeling, cinnamon-colored bark; shade tolerant; spineless; large, white rose-like flowers in spring followed by sparse raspberry-like fruits.

Small shrubs – Plants that Attract Birds – (less than 4 ft when mature)

Arctostaphylos patula Manzanita, Bearberry E Spreading growth habit with dense foliage; mahogany-red stems; oval, bright green erect leaves; pink flowers in spring followed by dark brown small apple-like fruits; does best on well drained soils.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Kinnikinnik E Mat-forming evergreen with small oval leaves; pink urn-shaped flowers followed by red fruits; requires well-drained gravelly soils; attracts wildlife; needs light shade.

Atriplex canescens Furwing Saltbush D – E Light green to gray small leaves; interesting four-winged fruits on female plants; tolerant of poor or salty soils; slow-growing.

Ceanothus fendleri Fendler Ceanothus, Mountain-lilac D Spiny, low shrub with small white flower clusters in late spring; wildlife browse plant; grows on coarse soils; less available.

Ceratoides lanata Winterfat D – E Dense erect shrub covered with white woolly fruits; grayish-green leaves persist in winter; excellent forage for wildlife.

Juniperus communis montana Common Juniper E low-growing evergreen; needle-like leaves with whitish stripes; bluish-gray berry-like fruits; shade tolerant; needs well-drained soil.

Mahonia repens Creeping Oregon Grape-holly E Low-growing thicket-forming ground cover; blue-green leaves turn purplish in winter; yellow flowers followed by edible, blue grape-like fruit; shade tolerant; may winter burn in windy, exposed sites.

Philadelphus microphyllus Littleleaf Mock-orange D Rounded, compact slow-growing shrub with small gray-green leaves; fragrant white star-shaped flowers.

Physocarpus monogynus Mountain Ninebark D Interesting shreddy bark on older branches; white to rose-colored flowers in small heads; good wildlife cover; leaves resemble those of currant; yellow to maroon fall color; less available.

Prunus besseyi Western Sand Cherry D Upright, rounded open shrub with grayish-green leaves; numerous white, single, fragrant flowers followed by purplish-black fruits that attract birds; red fall color. ‘Pawnee Buttes’ is a low, spreading groundcover.

Purshia tridentata Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope-brush D Spreading shrub with small, oval gray leaves and pale yellow flowers in early summer; requires dry, coarse soils; important browse plant for wildlife.

Ribes cereum Wax currant D Rounded growth form; lobed, leathery leaves; lacks spines; pink tubular flowers in spring; edible orange-red berries in summer attract birds.

Rosa woodsii Woods Rose, Wild Rose D Spiny, dark reddish-brown stems; thicket-forming; dark green compound leaf; single, large pink flowers in early summer; reddish-orange fruits; browse plant for wildlife.

Shepherdia canadensis Russet Buffaloberry D Prostrate to upright shrub; brown thorn-less branches; dark green, oval leaves with russet colored scales beneath; inconspicuous flowers followed by red to orange bitter fruit on females; attractive to wildlife; shade tolerant.

Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry D Arching growth habit; thicket-forming; rounded, blue-green leaves; shade tolerant; pink bell-shaped flowers in summer; large white berries in fall persist into winter; attracts birds and small mammals.

For more details and information on plants that attract birds contact The Bird Man.

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plants that attract birds


plants that attract birds


plants that attract birds