Native Butterfly Host and Nectar Plants | Carolinian Canada

Native Butterfly Host and Nectar Plants

Graham Buck
Monday, September 12, 2016

Planting as many of these plants in your garden will sustain butterflies by providing food year round to all the stages of butterflies. Some non-native plants, while excellent nectar sources do not feed the caterpillars that grow into butterflies, where as many native plants serve as nectar and caterpillar food sources.

MILKWEED IS THE HOST PLANT FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLIES AND THE NECTAR PLANT FOR MANY BUTTERFLIES AND INSECTS. THEY ARE INVALUABLE FOR ATTRACTING MANY BUTTEFLIES, SUCH AS SWALLOWTAILS.
Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

LEGUMES ARE THE HOST PLANTS FOR SPRING AND SUMMER AZURE AND OTHER BLUE’ BUTTERFLIES AS WELL AS SILVER SPOTTED SKIPPERS.
Showy Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense)
Canada Milk-vetch (Astragalus canadensis)

TALL COMPOSISTES ARE EXCELLENT LATE SUMMER FLOWERS FOR MONARCHS, GREAT SPANGLED FRITILARIES AND MANY OTHER BUTTERFLIES.
Joe-pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Green-headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata)

MEDIUM COMPOSITES ARE INVALUABLE NECTAR PLANTS FOR LATE SUMMER BUTTERFLIES.
Cylindrical Blazingstar (Liatris cylindraceae)

BLACK-EYED SUSAN AND ASTERS ARE THE HOST PLANTS OF THE SILVERY CHECKERSPOT AND NORTHERN PEARL CRESCENT. THEY ARE ALSO EXCELLENT NECTAR PLANTS IN THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbekia hirta)
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
Purple-stemmed Aster (Aster puniceus)
Sky Blue Aster (Aster oolentangiensis)
Smooth Aster (Aster laevis)
Heath Aster (Aster erecoides)

GOLDENRODS ARE EXCELLENT NECTAR SOURCES FOR MONARCHS AND OTHER FALL BUTTERFLIES. IT IS A MYTH THAT THEY ARE THE SOURCE OF ALLERGIES.
Gray Goldenrod (Solidago nemorialis)
Ohio Goldenrod (Solidago ohioensis)
Zig-zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)

PUSSYTOES AND PEARLY EVERLASTING ARE THE HOST PLANTS OF THE PAINTED LADY BUTTERFLIES.

Pussytoes (Antenaria neglecta.)
Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

PLANTS OF THE CARROT FAMILY (DILL, FENNEL, QUEEN ANNE’S LACE) ARE THE HOST PLANTS OF THE BLACK SWALLOWTAIL.
Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)

VIOLETS ARE THE FOOD PLANT OF THE GREAT SPANGLED FRITTIALRY.
Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Early Blue Violet (Viola papilionaceae)

MINTS ARE GOOD NECTAR PLANTS FOR BUTTERFLIES. THEY ARE ALSO ARE ATTRACTIVE TO OTHER INSECTS DUE TO THE STRONG SMELL.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)

GRASSES AND SEDGES ARE THE FOOD PLANT OF THE SKIPPERS, COMMON RINGLET, WOOD NYMPH, AND LITTLE WOOD SATYR BUTTEFLIES.
Indian Grass (Sorgastrum nutans)
Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)
Big Bluestem Grass (Andropogon gerardii)
Sedges (Carex spp.)

TREES AND SHRUBS: DOGWOOD IS THE HOST PLANT OF THE SPRING AND SUMMER AZURE BUTTERFLIES. CHERRY IS THE HOST PLANT OF THE TIGER SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY. HACKBERRY IS THE HOST PLANT FOR HACKBERRY BUTTERFLY, SNOUT BUTTERFLY QUESTION MARK, MOURNING CLOAK AND TAWNY EMPERER
Alternate Leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia):
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

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