Native Wildflower Butterfly Larval Host Plants 
These Wildflowers are a natural food source for Butterfly Caterpillars

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wildflower Seed and Potted Plants for Home landscaping and Prairie restoration


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Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522,  Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 e-mail questions, comments, and orders to -

     For other wildflowers visit Wildflower Seed and Plant Price List .  Native Wildflowers are listed alphabetically by scientific name.  This is only a partial list of flowers used by Butterflies as host plants.  Click on each flowers common name for pictures and plant information.  
Click here for map and driving directions to 
Easywildflowers plant nursery located in Willow Springs Missouri 65793

Achillea millefolium,   Yarrow is a Host Plant for Painted Lady butterflies

Painted Lady butterflies use many different plants as host plants, including Yarrow, Hollyhock, Malva and Borage

Amorpha canescens , Lead Plant 
is a Host Plant for 
the Dogface sulfur and Gray Hairstreak

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

Aristolochia tomentosa, Dutchman's Pipe Vine  
is a Host Plant for 

Pipevine Swallowtails (Battus philenor) 
The butterfly Battus polydamas, whose range includes most of the south eastern US also uses some species of Aristolochia as a host plant.


Aruncus dioicus,  Goat's Beard 
is a Host Plant for 
Dusky Azure Celastrina nigra

Caterpillar 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.

 Asclepias incarnata,  Marsh 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

Asimina triloba, Pawpaw  
is a Host Plant for the 
Zebra Swallowtail Eurytides marcellus

pawpaw is also host for- Pawpaw sphinx Dolba hyloeus


Zebra 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.

Aster novae-angliae, New-England Aster
 is a Host Plant for 
the Pearl Crescent


Pearl Crescents use New England and other asters as a host plant. New England Asters are also great nectar source for many butterflies. 

Aster laevis Smooth Aster
is host plant for
Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos


Caterpillar 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.

Ceanothus americanus, New Jersey Tea
host plant for
Spring Azure Celastrina "ladon"

New jersey tea is also host for
 Summer Azure Celastrina neglecta



Spring 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

Cephalanthus occidentalis, Buttonbush
Titan sphinx Aellopos titan

Buttonbush is host for Hydrangea sphinx Darapsa versicolor

Caterpillar hosts: Seven year apple (Casasia clusiifolia), common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and white indigoberry (Randia mitis); all in the madder family (Rubiaceae).
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.

Chamaecrista fasculate Partridge Pea is a Host Plant for several butterflies

Partridge Pea is used as a host by:
Orange/Common Sulfur
Cloudless Sulfur
 Clouded Sulphur
Colias philodice

Gray Hairstreak and Little sulfur

 Chelone glabra white turtlehead

Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas phaeton



Cimicifuga racemosa Black Cohosh is a Host Plant for
Appalachian Azure Celastrina neglecta

Caterpillar 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.

Cleome serrulata, Rocky Mountain Beeplant host to
Checkered White Pontia protodice

Caterpillar 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.

Dalea 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). 

Helianthus annus,  Common Sunflower 
is a Host Plant for the 
Streamside Checkerspot


several Sunflowers are used as host plants for
The Streamside Checkerspot
Bordered Patch Chlosyne lacinia
Gorgone Checkerspot Chlosyne gorgone
Silvery Checkerspot Chlosyne nycteis

Hydrangea arborescens,  
Wild Hydrangea
Hydrangea sphinx Darapsa versicolor

Caterpillar 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.

 Lespedeza capitata,  Round-headed  Bushclover
host plant for
Eastern Tailed-Blue Cupido comyntas


Caterpillar 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); and others.

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.

Lindera benzoin Spice Bush Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus

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.
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.

Lonicera flava,    
Native Yellow Honeysuckle
host plant for
Snowberry clearwing Hemaris diffinis

Honeysuckle is host for Hummingbird clearwing Hemaris thysbe


Caterpillar 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.

Lupinus perennis,  
Perennial Lupine

Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus

Lupinus perennis is host to 
Melissa Blue 
(includes Karner Blue) Plebejus melissa


Silvery 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.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia creeperhost plant for
Virginia creeper sphinx Darapsa myron

Virginia Creeper is host for 
Pandorus sphinx Eumorpha pandorus

Caterpillar 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.

Passiflora incarnata,  Passion Flower is a Host Plant for Fritillaries
Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae



A few species of fritillaries use Passion vine as a host plant. This includes the 
Variegated Fritillary Euptoieta claudia

 and Gulf Fritillary.
and the Julia Heliconian Dryas iulia
and Zebra Heliconian Heliconius charithonia

Caterpillar 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.


Arachne Checkerspot Poladryas arachne

Caterpillar hosts: Various species of beardstongue (Penstemon) in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae).
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.

Rudbeckia Blackeyed susan
Silvery Checkerspot Chlosyne nycteis

Caterpillar hosts: Many different composites including black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia), sunflowers (Helianthus), and wingstem (Actinomeris alternifolia).


Sassafras albidum 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. 
Larval Host: Spicebush butterfly, Tiger swallow-tail, Palamedes butterflies, Pale Swallowtail.

Senna marilandica,  Wild Senna is used as a medicinal plant

host plant by various butterflies of the sulfur family including:
Orange/Common Sulfur
Cloudless Sulfur and
Little Sulfur

Viola pedata,  Birdfoot violet is a host plant for Regal Fritillary Speyeria idalia


Great Spangled Fritillary Speyeria cybele
Range: Alberta east to Nova Scotia, south to central California, New Mexico, central Arkansas, and northern Georgia. Comments: The most common fritillary throughout most of the eastern United States.
and Aphrodite Fritillary Speyeria aphrodite

Violets are a host plant for 
Zerene Fritillary Speyeria zerene
and Silver-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene
And Meadow Fritillary Boloria bellona
And Arctic Fritillary Boloria chariclea

Regal Fritillary Caterpillar hosts: Violets including bird\'s foot violet (Viola pedata).
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.

Zizia aptera,  Golden Alexander is host to
Ozark Swallowtail

Pap Identification: Nearly identical to Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). Face is yellow; black pupil in eyespot trailing edge of hindwing is not centered and touches inner edge of windwing


Caterpillar 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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Flower Pictures    Wildflower Seed and Plant Price list   Order Form 

Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611  e-mail questions, comments, and orders to -

Copyright 1999 Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers.
  All rights reserved.  Revised: June 16, 2017 .