Plants for Fireflies

Plants for Fireflies

If we want to plant natives for fireflies, what should we try to accomplish with those plants?

Priorities:

  • Provide habitat for females – Mating habitat (diverse canopy heights). Places for her to lay eggs.
  • Provide habitat for larvae – Plants that build soil/leaf litter, places to find food (snails, worms, slugs, soft-bodied insects), trap moisture.
  • Operational cover for flashing adults

Plant List

These are plants that are described as facultative wetland plants, which are plants that occur in riparian areas but do well in wet and non-wet habitats. These are good plants to consider if you are planting for fireflies in areas that need to be restored or if you are starting from scratch to encourage fireflies to land.

The plants listed below are specific to Texas but are also found in many other areas of the US. Be sure to get to know your native plants, especially wetland plants to understand what might be right for your area.

Grasses

  • Switchgrass. Eastern gamagrass. Deer grass. Lindheimer muhly. Big sacaton (Mexican firefly species like this variety). Virginia wildrye. Sideoats grama. Vine mesquite.

Forbs

  • Lindheimer senna. Asters (tall aster/spiny aster). Frogfruit. Frostweed. Goldenrod. Cardinal Flower. Late boneset. River fern.

Vines

  • Purple leatherflower. Morning glory. Alamo vine. Passion flower.

Trees

  • Sycamore. Pecan. Little Walnut. Cottonwood. American Elder. Ash (green, Mexican, velvet ash). Wafer Ash. Hackberry. Elm Trees. Mexican Buckeye. Live Oak. Chinquapin Oak. Shumard Oak. Bur Oak. Dogwood. Soapberry. Trumpet Creeper. Golden Ball Lead Tree.