Amount of Nectar vs. Smell
While it is true that both hummingbirds and butterflies like many of the same flowers, if your goal is specifically to attract hummingbirds to your yard, it is extremely important to know that hummingbirds have no sense of smell. This fact will have a great impact on the specific flowers you would choose to place in your yard.
A hummingbird is far more interested in the amount of nectar a flower will produce rather then the scent of the flower. A good choice for a hummingbird garden would be Hibiscus, which has large, open tubular shaped flowers and because it provides an abundant amount of nectar. The “Turk’s cap”, a close relative of the Hibiscus, is another popular hummingbird attractant because of its red cup like flowers.
The color red is known to help attract hummingbirds. The reason for this may be that the red is far easier to the hummingbird to see at a far off distance or that the hummingbird is able to see into the ultra violet range. Also, it is believed that red flowers tend to contain more nectar than other types of flowers, as do tubular shaped flowers.
This not to imply that all the flowers found in your hummingbird must be red. Far from it, hummingbirds like flowers of almost any color including pink, orange, yellow, purple and so many more. Any of the following suggestions would please the hummingbirds: impatiens, yellow bells, shrimp plants, and begonias are just a few flower bearing plants. Just keep in mind that the hummingbirds have no sense of smell and therefore desire plants that produce large amounts of nectar.