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Want Butterflies? You Need Host Plants!

Updated: May 3, 2022

Everybody wants a butterfly garden to see these magnificent creatures flitting from flower to flower. Unfortunately, the most important part is usually overlooked, the host plants. Host plants are specific plants that feed the larval stage of the lovely butterfly. Here’s a short list of host plants and the larvae they are hosting.

Acer rubrum (Red Maple) - Cecropia Moth

Actaea racemosa - Black Cohosh - Spring Azure

Apios americanus (American Groundnut) - Silver-spotted Skipper

Aquilegia canadensis (Wild Columbine) - Columbine Duskywing

Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant) - Dogface sulfur, Gray Hairstreak

Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem) - Delaware Skipper, Dusted Skipper, Cobweb Skipper

Aristolochia durior (Dutchman’s Pipe) - Pipevine swallowtail

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) - Hoary Elfin, Brown Elfin

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry) - Coral Hairstreak

Aruncus dioicus (Goat’s Beard) - Dusky Azure

Asarum canadense (Wild Ginger) : Pipevine swallowtail

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed), Asclepias incarnata ssp pulchra (Showy Swamp Milkweed), Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed), Asclepias exaltata (Poke Milkweed), Asclepias verticillata (Whorled Milkweed), Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed), Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed)

Asimina triloba (Paw Paw) - Zebra swallowtail, Pawpaw Sphinx

Aster laeve (Smooth Aster) - Pearl Crescent

Aster novae angliae (New England Aster) - Pearl Crescent, Checkerspot

Aster novae belgii (New York Aster) - Pearl Crescent

Aster umbellatus (Flat-topped Aster) - Pearl Crescent, Harris’ Checkerspot

Baptisia australis (False Indigo) - Wild Indigo Duskywing, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Orange Sulphur, Clouded Sulphur, Frosted Elfin, and Hoary Edge