Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). Photo: Scott Woodbury

Mailbox Habitat

With just a few native plants and a birdhouse or birdbath, your mailbox can become a small wildlife magnet inviting birds and butterflies to dine or take up residence.


Full sun, dry soil

A. Rose verbena (Glandularia canadensis)

B. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

C. Royal catchfly (Silene regia)

D. Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya)

E. MO black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

V. Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

Shade or semi-shade, average to moist soil

AA. Golden ragwort (Packera aureus)

BB. Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)

CC. Meadow Phlox (Phlox maculata)

DD. Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya)

EE. Shining Blue Star (Amsonia illustris)

VV. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Native landscaping isn’t just for the back yard! If you want to establish a formal native shade garden for your front yard or other area, this  plan can help you. This Front Yard Formal article by Scott Woodbury from the spring 2019 issue of the Missouri Prairie Journal is a companion to this plan, and contains photos of many of the featured plants. Learn more about plants featured in this plan from this audio file from Scott, and learn more about the plants’ growth habits from this audio file from Scott. The following practices apply to plantings where some degree of control is desired. That is, these design elements will help produce a garden that looks as though it was thoughtfully designed and planned as opposed to a naturalistic meadow or recreated prairie where plants grow more randomly.

Mailbox Habitat