Butterfly host plants
Updated: Jul 13, 2022
by Jeanne McRight
Pollinator gardens not only can provide nectar for butterflies and other insects, but also will help to support the caterpillar stage of butterflies and moths if you add their native host plants.
Native host plants are the plants where butterflies and moths lay their eggs. They’re important because those plants are what a new caterpillar will start to eat after it has hatched.
Also, read this BB blog entry: http://www.bloomingboulevards.org/post/planning-a-butterfly-garden-include-both-nectar-and-host-plants-for-the-specialists
Common butterfly native host plants for southern Ontario
American Painted Lady: pussytoes, pearly everlasting
Black Swallowtail: golden alexanders, as well as non-native dill, parsley, fennel
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail: birches, willows, ashes, prunus species
Red Admiral, Question Mark: nettles, elms, hops, hackberries
Admiral, White – birches, willows, poplars, hawthorns
Azure, Lucia – dogwoods, viburnums, blueberries, meadowsweets
Blue, Silvery – lupines, vetches
Brown, Eyed – sedges
Fritillary, Great Spangled – violets
Hairstreak, Banded – oaks, walnuts, hickories
Monarch – milkweeds
Mourning Cloak – willows, meadowsweets, elm, poplar
Skipper, European – timothy
Skipper, Peck’s – grasses
Skipper, Least – grasses
Sulphur, Common – clovers, alfalfa
Sulphur, Orange – alfalfa, clovers
Tortoiseshell, Compton’s – birches, willows
Viceroy – willows, poplars, apples, prunus sp.
White, Cabbage – mustards, brassicas, nasturtiums
Wood Nymph, Large – grasses
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) The BAMONA project aims to serve as a one-stop database of butterfly and moth data that scientists can use to form or to address research questions. While it is a collaborative effort between individuals with varying levels of knowledge and experience with Lepidoptera, contributors share a common goal of assembling high quality data on butterfly and moth distribution.