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Plant list for a wildlife garden.


The following list was compiled by the RSPB and the RHS as suitable plants for wildlife gardening, and is especially designed to attract birds and insects.

Click to see 10 top tips on how to create a wildlife garden.

 Promoting wildlife tourism as a means to wildlife conservation.  Wildlife Planet.   

Common Name

Latin NameConditionsSeasonQuality to wildlife
Field Maple

Acer campestre

Small size makes it ideal for gardens


Commonly found in wild hedgerows and woodlands, it provides good cover for birds and attracts many insects

Achillea milleflora

Good in full sun, requires little care

Provide colour in summer

Attract insects and butterflies

Allium schoenoprasum

Open sunny situation and well-drained soil.


Attracts insects to its purple globe flowers
Pheasant Tail GrassAnemanthele LessonianaExcellent all year accent plant for a sheltered sunny border


Bushy grass provides cover for insects and ground feeding birds
WindflowerAnemone x hybrida ‘Pamina’ Perfect for the middle of a shady border


AstilbeAstilbe x arendsii ‘Irrlicht’Shade loving Thick foliage and large clusters of flowers to attract insects
Gold Dust Plant Aucuba japonica ‘vaiegataEvergreen shrub Thick foliage to provide good cover for birds all year round.
Weeping BirchBetula pendulaSuitable for small gardens  Good cover for birds and insects, the seeds are eaten by many finches
Bellflower (Telham Beauty) Campanula persicifoliaSelf seeds readily tolerating even poor soils

Low rosette of leaves all year round, flowers in summer

Attracts insects with its large stalks of bell flowers all summer


Carex pendula Fully hardy.  Evergreen tuft forming. Cover for birds and insects


Carpinus betulusLow lying rich soils – is shade tolerant Their nuts are attractive to birds
CornflowerCentaurea cyanusRequires sun, in any well-drained soil.Summer/AutumnTheir flowers attract insects in the summer
Rock roseCistus x hybridus ‘Corbariensis’Ideal for large patio containers or a sunny shrub border. Requires protection from wind. Summer 
DogwoodCornus Alba Will tolerate variety of soils and locations. Prefers neutral to acid, moist soils with full sun to promote winter colour.June-AugustBerries taken by wide variety of birds. Winter interest.
CotoneasterCotoneaster x  CornuibiaGrow in moderately well-drained soil; sun or part-shade.Evergreen Berries are eaten by thrushes, ring-necked parakeets, starlings, blackcaps, tree sparrows, finches and waxwings. Small compact leaves provide good nestcover. Clusters of flowers to attract insects in the summer, turning to large clusters of bright red berries in the winter
FoxgloveDigitalis PurpureaFully to frost hardy. Does best in semi-shade and moist but well-drained soil.SummerBees
FernsDryopteris affinisPartial sun or shady conditions Good cover for ground feeding creatures in summer
Buckler Fern