Host Plants for butterflies
These Wildflowers are a natural food source for Butterfly caterpillars
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This is only a partial
list of flowers used by Butterflies as host plants.
Click on each flowers common name for pictures and other information.
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located in Willow Springs Missouri 65793
is a Host Plant for Painted Lady butterflies
|Painted Lady butterflies use many different plants as host plants, including Yarrow, Hollyhock, Malva and Borage|
canescens , Lead
|The Gray Hairstreak uses a number of different plants as hosts, including Lead Plant and Partridge Pea. The Dogface sulfur uses Lead Plant, False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) and Purple Prairie Clover|
hosts: Goat\'s beard (Aruncus dioicus) in the rose family.
Adult food: Flower nectar, including wild geranium.
Habitat: Shady and moist deciduous woods.
Range: Southern Appalachians, Ohio River Valley, central Illinois, and northwest Arkansas.
Conservation: Habitats may be threatened by the spread of garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis) in the mustard family.
Milkweed is a Host Plant for Monarch Butterflies
|Monarch butterflies use milkweed, and only milkweed, as a host plant. Swamp Milkweed is a favorite. Not only do they lay their eggs on it, they love it as a nectar source. Other milkweeds commonly grown for Monarchs are Common Milkweed, Showy Milkweed and Butterfly Weed|
Swallowtails use PawPaw and only PawPaw as a host plant.
Wing span: 2 1/2 - 4 inches (6.4 - 10.4 cm).
Caterpillar hosts: Shrubs of the genus Asimina (pawpaw) in the Annonaceae family. Young plants are preferred.
Adult food: Moisture from sand and nectar from flowers including blueberry, blackberry, lilac, redbud, viper\'s bugloss, verbena, dogbane, and common milkweed.
|Pearl Crescents use New England and other asters as a host plant. New England Asters are also great nectar source for many butterflies.|
hosts: Several species of smooth-leaved true asters including Aster
pilosus, A. texanus, and A. laevis.
Adult food: Nectar from a great variety of flowers including dogbane, swamp milkweed, shepherd's needle, asters, and winter cress.
Habitat: Open areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots, fields, open pine woods.
Range: Southeastern Alberta south through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and southeastern California to Mexico; east to southern Ontario and all the eastern United States.
|Baptisia australis (False Wild Blue Indigo)||Blue Indigo is a native host plant for the following butterflies - Wild Indigo Duskywing, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Orange Sulphur, Clouded Sulphur, Frosted Elfin, Hoary Edge.|
Azure Caterpillar hosts: Flowers of a variety of woody shrubs and
occasionally herbs including dogwood (Cornus florida), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus
americana), meadowsweet (Spiraea salicifolia), and Collinsia.
Adult food: Flower nectar from dogbane, privet, New Jersey tea, blackberry, common milkweed, and many others.
Habitat: Openings and edges of deciduous woods, old fields, wooded freshwater marshes and swamps.
Range: Alaska and Canada south of the tundra through most of the United States except the Texas coast, southern plains, and peninsular Florida; south in the mountains to Colum
hosts: Seven year apple (Casasia clusiifolia), common buttonbush (Cephalanthus
occidentalis), and white indigoberry (Randia mitis); all in the madder
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including phlox, lantana, and stoppers.
Range: Uruguay and northern Argentina north through Mexico and the West Indies to the Florida Keys. Strays north to Maine, and west to North Dakota and southern Arizona.
Pea is a Host Plant for several butterflies
Pea is used as a host by:
Cohosh is a Host Plant for
hosts: Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Rich, deciduous woods, especially near streams.
Range: Central and southern Appalachians from southern Pennsylvania south to northern Georgia. Isolated populations in southwest Missouri, eastern Tennessee, central Kentucky, and southern Ohio.
Mountain Beeplant host to
hosts: Plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) including cabbage (Brassica
oleraceae); and caper family (Capparidaceae) including Rocky Mountain
bee-plant (Cleome serrulata).
Adult food: Flower nectar including hedge mustards, composites, and alfalfa.
Habitat: Wide variety of sites including dry weedy areas, vacant lots, fields, pastures, sandy areas, railroad beds, and roads.
Range: Permanent resident in southern United States and northern Mexico; temporary in northern United States and southern Canada. Does not occur in most of New England.
purpurea (Petalostemon), Purple
Prairie Clover is a Host Plant for three butterflies
|Purple Prairie Clover is used as host plant by the Dogface sulfur, Striped Blue, Mexican Blue (Hemiargus isola).|
Sunflowers are used as host plants for
The Streamside Checkerspot
Bordered Patch Chlosyne lacinia
Gorgone Checkerspot Chlosyne gorgone
Silvery Checkerspot Chlosyne nycteis
hosts: Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), buttonbush (Cephalanthus
occidentalis), and waterwillow (Decodon verticillatus).
Range: Maine south to south Florida, west to Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
hosts: Many plants in the pea family including yellow sweet clover (Melilotus
officinalis), alfalfa (Medicago sativa); various species of vetch (Vicia),
clover (Trifolium), wild pea (Lathyrus), and bush clover (Lespedeza);
Adult food: This butterfly has a low flight and a short proboscis, thus is found at flowers close to the ground which are open or short-tubed. These include white sweet clover, shepherd's needle, wild strawberry, winter cress, cinquefoils, asters, and others.
Habitat: Many open, sunny places including weedy areas and disturbed habitats.
Range: Southeast Canada and Eastern United States west to western North Dakota, central Colorado, and central Texas. Also ranges from southeastern Arizona, western New Mexico, and west Texas south to Costa Rica.
Bush Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus
Swallowtails use both Sassafras and Spicebush as a host plant. Spicebush
Swallowtail caterpillars are one of the most fascinating caterpillars
I've ever seen. Click on the link above to see pictures of both the
caterpillar and the adult butterfly.
Habitat: Deciduous woodlands, fields, roadsides, yards, pine barrens, wooded swamps, and parks.
Range: Eastern states from southern Canada to Florida; west to Oklahoma and central Texas. Occasionally strays to North Dakota, central Colorado, and Cuba.
hosts: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle (Lonicera), dogbane (Apocynum),
and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle, snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, and Canada violet.
Habitat: A wide variety of open habitats, streamsides, fields, gardens, and suburbs.
Range: Northwest Territories and British Columbia south to southern California and Baja California Norte; east through most of the United States to Maine and Florida.
Blue Caterpillar hosts:
Astragalus, Lotus, Lupinus, Melilotus, Oxytropis, Lathyrus, Vicia, and other species in the pea family.
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including Asteraceae.
Habitat: A variety of locations including open woods, coastal dunes, prairies, meadows, road edges, rocky moist woods, and brushy fields.
Range: Central Alaska south to southern California, Baja California, Arizona, New Mexico, and western Kansas. Along northern United States east to Nova Scotia and south to Georgia.
quinquefolia Virginia creeperhost plant for
hosts: Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Grape (Vitis),
Ampelopsis, and Viburnum.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Woodlands and brushy areas.
Range: Maine south to south Florida; west to North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas.
Flower is a Host Plant for Fritillaries
hosts: Various species of passion-vine including maypops (Passiflora
incarnata) and running pop (P. foetida).
Adult food: Nectar from lantana, shepherd\'s needle, cordias, composites, and others.
Habitat: Pastures, open fields, second-growth subtropical forest and edges, city gardens.
Range: South America north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to the southern United States. Wanders north to the central United States; rare northward.
hosts: Various species of beardstongue (Penstemon) in the figwort family
Habitat: Desert grasslands, open mountain meadows and fields.
Range: Western Nebraska; southeast Wyoming; eastern Nevada south through the Rocky Mountains to Arizona, New Mexico, west Texas, and southern Mexico. Isolated population in the southern Sierra Nevada of California.
hosts: Many different composites including black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia),
sunflowers (Helianthus), and wingstem (Actinomeris alternifolia).
is a Host Plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail
|Spicebush Swallowtails use both Sassafras and Spicebush as a host plant. Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars are one of the most fascinating caterpillars I've ever seen. Click on the link above to see pictures of both the caterpillar and the adult butterfly.|
Senna is used as a
plant by various butterflies of the sulfur family including:
Cloudless Sulfur and
violet is a host plant for Regal Fritillary Speyeria idalia
Fritillary Caterpillar hosts: Violets including bird\'s foot violet
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of milkweeds, thistles, red clover, and mountain mint.
Habitat: Tall-grass prairie and other open sites including damp meadows, marshes, wet fields, and mountain pastures.
Range: Tall-grass prairie remnants in Montana and North Dakota south to Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma; rare or absent from former range east of the Appalachians.
Conservation: Rapidly vanishing or declining in much of its range. A species of concern for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. All populations should be conserved.
Violet plants are host to several butterflies including
Diana Speyeria diana
Caterpillar hosts: Violets (Viola species).
Adult food: Dung and flower nectar from plants including common and swamp milkweeds, ironweed, red clover, and butterflybush.Habitat: Fields, edges, and openings in moist, rich, forested mountains and valleys.
Range: Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas; southern Appalachians from central Virginia and West Virginia through the mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama.
Alexander is host to
hosts: Yellow pimpernal, meadow parsnip, and golden alexander in the
parsley family (Apiaceae).
Adult food: Nectar of flowers such as rose verbena, wood betony, puccoon, and false garlic.
Habitat: Cedar blades and woodlands.
Range: Missouri, northern Arkansas, and western Kentucky. Comments: A relative of the Old World Swallowtail.
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