Butterfly Gardens …

Here are two lists.

  • One is a list of “nectar flowers” for a butterfly garden. Those are the flowers from which the adult butterflies can drink the nectar.
  • The other is a list of “host plants”. Those are the plants on which the mother butterfly lays her eggs, because she knows that’s what the caterpillars can eat.

The following two lists are drawn from a book called The Life Cycles of Butterflies, by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards. It is available from the Louisville Free Public Library, or Amazon.com, in paperback or Kindle format.

Nectar Flowers …

  • Tall verbena
  • Coneflowers
  • Lantana
  • Butterfly bush
  • Milkweeds
  • Mexican sunflower
  • Tall garden phlox
  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Sweet William
  • Egyptian starflower
  • Petunia

Host plants …

In the same volume, the authors list the following as their favorite “host plants”. A host plant to a butterfly is the plant where the mother lays her eggs, because that’s the only plant — or one of the few plants — that her caterpillars can eat.

  • Artemisia, host to American Lady
  • Asters, host to Pearl Crescent
  • Coneflowers, host to Silvery Checkerspot
  • Dill, host to Eastern Black Swallowtail
  • Elm trees, host to Question Mark
  • False nettle, host to Eastern Comma, Question Mark and Red Admiral.
  • Fennel, host to Eastern Black Swallowtail
  • Hollyhocks, host to Painted Lady
  • Hop vines, host to Eastern Comma, Question Mark
  • Milkweeds, host to Monarch, Queen
  • Passion vines, host to Gulf Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary, Zebra Longwing.
  • Paw paw tree, host to Zebra Swallowtail
  • Pipevine, host to Pipevine Swallowtail.
  • Plantain, host to Common Buckeye
  • Plantain-leaved pussytoes, host to American Lady
  • Prickly ash, host to Giant Swallowtail
  • Queen Anne’s Lace, host to Eastern Black Swallowtail
  • Rue, host to Giant Swallowtail
  • Snapdragon, host to Common Buckeye
  • Spicebush, host to Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Spider flower, host to Cabbage White
  • Sweet Bay Magnolia, host to Tiger Swallowtail.
  • Tulip poplar, host to Tiger Swallowtail.
  • Violets, host to Variegated Fritillary
  • White Clover, host to Clouded Sulphur
  • Willows, host to Red-spotted Purple and Viceroy.

Questions? Email Hart at nhhagan@gmail.com.