Caterpillar Food -
Pieridae Butterflies


Here is a list of caterpillar food for the more common Pieridae butterflies of North America. This list also includes some Central and South American species.

*It is important to mention that many Pieridae are considered vegetable garden pests. Many farmers find the Cabbage White Butterfly, and others like the Orange Sulphur, quite destructive.





Apply caution with
little white butterflies.



Host plants are important for all butterfly caterpillars, regardless of the family. Always be prepared for serious eating -consider garden layouts and spread these plants out.

Cabbage

Easy breakdown for Clouded Yellows and Whites:

    Broccol, Cabbage, Mustard's and other cruciferous plants.


The Sulphur Butterfly enjoys a little more variety with their butterfly host plants:

    Alfalfa, Legumes, Marigolds, Sennes, Sneezeweed, Trifolium
    Clovers and Vetches.




1) Barred Yellow (Barred Sulphur)

  • Hop Clover (Medicago Lupulina)
  • Sensitive Plant (Mimosa Pudica)
  • Side-Beak Pencil-Flower (Stylosanthes Biflora)
  • Tropical Pencilflower (Stylosanthes Namata)


2) Cabbage White Butterfly (Cabbage Butterfly, considered a menace!)

  • Broccoli (Brassica Oleraceae Italica)
  • Brussel Sprouts (Brassica Oleraceae Gemmifera)
  • Cauliflower (Brassica Oleraceae Botrytis)
  • Cultivated Radish (Raphanus Sativus)
  • Flixweed Tansy-Mustard (Descurainia Sophia)
  • Flowering Kale (Brassica Oleraceae Acephala)
  • Garden Cabbage (Brassica Oleraceae Capitata)
  • Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium Officinale)
  • Mustard Family (Brassicaceae) especially Black (Brassica Nigra), Field (Brassica Campestris), Summer (Brassica Geniculata)
  • Nasturtium (Nasturtium spp)
  • Prairie Pepperweed (Lepidium densiflorum)
  • Rocket Mustard (Sisymbrium Irio)
  • Spider Flower (Cieome spp)
  • Tropaeeolum spp. including Alaska Series, Gleam Series, Jewel Series, Tom Thumb Series, Whirlybird Series.
  • Tumble Mustard (sisymbrium Altissimum)
  • Turnip (Brassica Rapa)
  • Wallflower (Erysimum spp)
  • White Mustard (Sinapis Alba)
  • Wild Raddish (Raphanus Sativus)
  • Wintercress/Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris)
  • Yellowcress/Yellow Cress (Rorippa Amphibia)


3) California Dogface

  • Bean Family (Fabaceae)
  • False Indigo (Amorpha Fruticosa)


4) Checkered White (Southern Cabbage White/Pontia Protodice)

  • Brazos Rockcress (Arabis Petiolaris)
  • Black Mustard (Brassica Nigra)
  • Broccoli (Brassica Oleraceae Italica)
  • Brussel Sprouts (Brassica Oleraceae Gemmifera)
  • Cauliflower (Brassica Oleraceae Botrytis)
  • Clammyweed (Polanisia spp.)
  • Flixweed Tansy-Mustard (Descurainia Sophia)
  • Field Pennycress (Thlaspi Arvense)
  • Garden Cabbage (Brassica Oleraceae Capitata)
  • Pinnate Tansy-Mustard (Descurainia Pinnata)
  • Prairie Pepperweed (Lepidium Densiflorum)
  • Radish (Raphanus Sativus)
  • Sicklepod (Arabis Canadensis)
  • Spiderflower (Cleome spp.)
  • Tumble-Mustard (Sisymbrium Altissimum)
  • Turnip (Brassica Rapa)
  • Virginia Pepper-grass (Lepidium Virginicum)


5) Clouded Sulphur (Common Sulphur)

  • Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)
  • Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia)
  • California Bur-Clover (Medicago Polymorpha)
  • Deer Vetch (Lotus spp.)
  • Ground Plum (Astragalus Crassicarpus)
  • Platte River Milk Vetch (Astragalus Plattensis)
  • Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense)
  • Red Feathers (Trifolium Rubens)
  • Soy Bean (Glycine max)
  • Vetch (Vicia)
  • White Clover (Trifolium Rapens)
  • White Sweet Clover (Melilotus Albus)
  • Wild Lupine (Lupinus Perennis)


6) Cloudless Sulphur

  • Argentine Senna (Senna Corymbosa)
  • Bahama Senna (Cassia Chapmannii)
  • Candlestick Bush/Tree (Senna Alata)
  • Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)
  • Coffeeweed (Senna Obtusifolia)
  • Ground-Plum (Astragalus Crassicarpus)
  • Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista Fasciculata)
  • Senna (Cassiaceae)
  • Sensitive Pea (Chamaecrista Nictitans)
  • Sickle Pod (Senna Obtusifolia)
  • Wild Senna (Senna Marilandica)


7) Common White caterpillar food

  • Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)


8) Dainty Sulphur

  • Aster family (Asteraceae)
  • Common Marigolds (Tagetes spp)
  • Common Sneezeweed (Helenium Autumnale)
  • Greenthread (Thelesperma Filifolium)
  • Helen's Flower (Helenium Autumnale)
  • Indian Tea (Thelesperma Megapotamicum)
  • Marigold Dogweed (Dysodiopsis Tagetoides)
  • Shepherd's Needle (Bidens Pilosa)
  • Spanish Needles (Bidens Alba)


9) Dina Yellow

  • Bitterbush (Picramnia Pentandra)
  • Mexican Alvaradoa (Alvaradoa Amorphoides)


10) Falcate Orange-Tip

  • Brazos Rockcress (Arabis Petiolaris)
  • Common Marigolds (Tagetes spp)
  • Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine Hirsuta)
  • Marigold Dogweed (Dysodiopsis Tagetoides)
  • Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)
  • Prairie Pepperweed (Lepidium Densiflorum)
  • Rockress/Boechera (Brassicaceae)
  • Rocket Mustard (Sisymbrium Irio)
  • Sand Bittercress (Cardamine Parviflora Arenicola)
  • Shepherd's Purse (Capsella Bursapastoris)
  • Sickle Pod (Arabis Canadensis)
  • Virginia Pepper-Grass (Lepidium Virginicum)


11) Florida White 

  • Clammyweed (Polanisia spp.)
  • Spider Flower (Cleome spp.)

12) Great Southern White

  • Clammyweed (Polanisia Dodecandra)
  • Flowering Kale (Brassica Oleracea Acephala)
  • Garden Cabbage (Brassica Oleracea Capitata)
  • Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
  • Radish (Raphanus Sativus)
  • Romanesco Broccoli/Roman Cauliflower (Brassica Oleracea Botrytis)
  • Saltwort family (Batidaceae)
  • Shepherd's Purse (Capesella Bursapastoris)
  • Spider Flower (Cleome spp)
  • Turnip (Brassica Rapa)
  • Virginia Pepper-Grass (Lepidium Virginicum)


13) Large Orange Sulphur

  • Blackbead (Pithecellobium Keyense)
  • Featherbush (Lysiloma Microphylla)
  • Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium Flexicaule)
  • Wild Tamarind (Lysiloma Latisiliqua)


14) Little Sulpher

  • Partridge Pea (Cassia Fasciculata)
  • Wild Senna (Senna Marilandica)


15) Little Yellow caterpillar food

  • Bluebonnet (Lupinus spp) especially Sandy Bluebonnet (L. Subcarnosus), Texas Bluebonnet (L. Texensis)
  • Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)
  • Deer Pea Vetch (Vicia Ludoviciana)
  • Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista Fasciculata)
  • Powderpuff (Mimosa Strigillosa)
  • Wild Senna (Senna Marilandica)


16) Lyside Sulphur

  • Soapbush (Guaiacum Angustifolium)


17) Mexican Yellow (Wolf-face Sulphur)

  • Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia Gilliesii)
  • Fern Acacia (Acacia Angustissima)
  • New Mexican Locust (Robinia Neomexicana)
  • Prairie Acacia (Acacia Angustissima hirta)


18) Mustard White Butterfly

  • Milkmaids (Cardamine Californica)


19) Olympia Marble

  • Brazos Rockcress (Arabis Petiolaris)
  • Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium Officinale)
  • Pinnate Tansy-Mustard (Descurainia Pinnata)
  • Sicklepod (Arabis Canadensis)


20) Orange-Barred Sulphur caterpillar food

  • Apple Blossom Cassia (Cassia Javanica)
  • Argentine Senna (Senna Corymbosa)
  • Bahama Senna (Senna Mexican Chapmannii)
  • Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia Gilliesii)
  • Candlestick Bush/Tree (Senna Alata)
  • Candlestick Cassia (Senna Alata)
  • Christmas Senna (Cassia Bicapsularis)
  • Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)
  • Glaucous Cassia (Cassia Surattensis)
  • Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista Fasciculata)
  • Pink Cassia (Cassia Javanica)
  • Privet Senna (Senna Ligustrina)
  • Sicklepod (Cassia Obtusifolia)
  • Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium)
  • Wild Senna (Senna Marilandica)


21) Orange Sulphur(Alfalfa Sulphur)

  • Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)
  • American Vetch (Vicia Amencana)
  • Bean Family (Favaceae)
  • Birds Foot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)
  • Black Medick (Medicago Lupulina)
  • Bokhara Clover (Melilotus Albus)
  • Bush Clover (Lespedeza thunbergii)
  • California Tea (Rupertia Physodes)
  • Coffee Bean (Sesbania Herbacea)
  • Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)
  • Common Peanut (Arachis Hypogaea)
  • Common Vetch (Vicia Sativa)
  • Crown Vetch (Coronilla Varia)
  • False Indigo (Amorpha Fruticosa)
  • Foothill Deervetch (Lotus Humistratus)
  • Ground Plum (Astragalus)Crassicarpus)
  • Hill Lotus (Lotus Humistratus)
  • Hop Clover (Medicago Lupulina)
  • Legumes (Baptisia)
  • Lupinus Bicolor (Miniature Lupine)
  • Peavine (Lathyrus Latifolius)
  • Pea Family (Fabaceae)
  • Platte River Milk Vetch (Astragalus Plattensis)
  • Pursh's Deer Vetch (Lotus Unifoliolatus)
  • Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense)
  • Soy Bean (Glycine Max)
  • Tomcat Clover (Trifolium Trientatum)
  • Vetch (Vicia sp>)
  • White Clover (Trifolium Repens)
  • White Sweet Clover (Melilotus Albus)
  • Wild Indigo (Baptisa sp.)
  • Wild Senna (Senna Marilandica)
  • Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus Officinalis)


22) Sara Orange-Tip

  • Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium Officinale)
  • Lace-Pod (Thysanocarpus Laciniatus)
  • Mustard family (Brassicaceae) especially Broccoli Raab (Brassica Campestris), Field (Brassica Campestris)
  • Western Tansy Mustard (Descurainia Pinnata)
  • Wild Radish (Raphanus Sativus)


23) Sleepy Orange

  • Argentine Senna (Senna Corymbosa)
  • Bahama Senna (Cassia Chapmannii)
  • Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)
  • Lindheimer's Senna (Senna Lindheimeriana)
  • Mexican Senna (Senna Mexicana)
  • Sicklepod (Cassia Obtusifolia)
  • Wild Sensitive Plant (Chamaecrista Nictitens)


24) Small White caterpillar food

  • Garden Cabbage (Brassica Oleraceae Capitata)
  • Nasturtium (Nasturtium spp)
  • Radish (Raphanus sativus)


25) Southern Dogface

  • Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)
  • Black Dalea (Dalea Frutescens)
  • Clover family (Trifolium Sp.) especially Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea Purpurea)
  • False Indigo (Amorpha Furticosa)
  • Lead Plant (Amorpha Canescens)
  • Lupines (Fabaceae)
  • Soy Bean (Glycine Max)
  • Texas Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia Texana)
  • Vetch (Vicia sp.)


26) Tailed Orange

  • Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)
  • Cassia Texana (Chamaecrista Flexuosa Texana)
  • Desmodium sp. including Tick Clover, Tick Trefoil.
  • Mesquite (Prosopis sp.)
  • Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista Fasciculata)
  • Screw-bean Mesquite (Prosopis Reptans)
  • Wild Sensitive Plant (Chamaecrista Nictitens)
  • Wild Senna (Senna Marilandica)


27) West Virginia White

  • Toothworts (Dentaria sp.)


28) White Angled Sulphur

  • Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium Flexicaule)


29) Yellow Angled Sulphur

  • Winter Cassia (Senna bicapsularis)





To View Caterpillar Food for All butterfly families click here





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