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Butterfly Plants
A List of Nectar Producing Plants

Alpine rockcress (Arabis alpina)
Aster (Aster)
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Bugle (Ajuga)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
Campion/ Catchfly (Silene)
Caragana/ Pea tree (Caragana aurantiaca)
Campion/ Catchfly (Silene)
Catmint/ Catnip (Nepeta x faasseniii)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Common marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Day lily (hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus)
Field eryngo (Eryngium)
French marigold (Tagetes patula)
Golden rod (Solidago Canadensis)
Heliopsis (Heliopsis helianthoides)
Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium purpureum)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera x tellmania)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Ironweed (Vernonia spp.)
Knapweed (Centaurea)
Knautia Scabious (Knautia)
Lavendar (lavandula angustifolia)
Lilacs (Syringa spp.)
Leopards-bane (Doronicum)
Ligularia (Ligularia spp.)

Martagon lily (Lilium martagon)
Masterwort (Astrantia)
Mezereon (Daphne)
Mouse-ear (Cerastrium)
Pennycress (Thlaspi)
Phlox (Phlox paniculata spp.)
Pink (Dianthus)
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.)
Primrose (Primula)
Purple coneflower (Echinaea purpurea)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Ragged robin (Lychnis)
Sweet pea (Lathyrus)
Sage (Salvia)
Siberian squill (Scilla sibiria)
Snakeroot (Liatris spicata
Speedwell (Veronica)
Stoke’s Aster (Stokesia laevis)
Stonecrops (Sedum spp.)
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Thrift rose (Armeria)
Thistle (Cirsium)
Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata)
Vervain (Verbena spp.)
Vetch (Vicia)
Yellow chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria)
Viburnum (Viburnum spp)
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Examples of Host Plants

Each butterfly species have their own host plants; find out which butterflies thrive in your area and select the host plants accordingly. Here are some examples:

Butterfly -- The food plant of the caterpillar

Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) -- Poplar, aspen
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) -- Nettle
Apollo (Parnassius apollo) -- Stonecrops, houseleeks
Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyhce lygdamus afra) -- Lupine***
Yellow Brimstone (Anteos maerula) -- Senna
Buckeye (Junonia coenia) -- Platain, gerardia
Comma (Polygonia c-album) -- Nettle, hops, elm
Meadow Fritillary (Boloria bellona) -- Violets
Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne) -- Violets
Shepherd’s Fritillary (Boloria pales) -- Violets
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) -- Violets
Purple Emperor (Apatura iris) -- Willow, poplars, aspen
Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis chrysalus) -- Oak
Purple Hairstreak (Querqusia querqus) -- Oak
Monarch (Danaus plexippus) -- Milkweed
Mourning Cloak (Vanessa antiopa) -- Willow, birch, elm
Mylitta Crescentspot (Phyciodes mylitta) -- Thistles
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines) -- Cuckoo-flower
Sara Orange Tip (Anthocharis sara) -- Wild mustard
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) -- Strawberry tree
Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) -- Thistles, nettles, yarrow
The Peacock (Inachis io) -- Nettles
Swallowtail (Papilio Machaon) -- Fennel, milk parsley, wild carrot
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) -- Carrot, celery, parsley, fennel
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) -- Hop Tree, Citrus
Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -- Black cherry
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)  -- Senna
Orange-barred Sulphur (Phoebis philea) -- Peas
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) --- Nettle
The Queen (Danaus gilippus) -- Milkweed



***Please note: Lupine is only natural to North of America, not Europe - and equally, Glaucopsyche lygdamus afra is an exclusively North American butterfly. It is highly invasive of waysides and suffocates smaller plants and weeds that are important food plants of butterflies and insects. So do practice caution with lupine!


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