Host Plants for Butterflies - Nymphalidae Family


To View Host Plants for Butterflies for All families click here

This list details the largest family - the Nymphalidae, or Brushfooted.

Covered are North American species along with other Brushfoots that are found in Central and South America as well. Click on the following for Nymphalidae with butterfly names starting with letters:


Photo: PhotoFarmer



Following is a quick breakdown of the caterpillar food of the common butterflies within the Nymphalidae family.

Host plants for butterflies - Admiral Butterfly

            • Aspens
            • Birches
            • Chokecherry
            • Cottonwoods
            • Oaks
            • Poplars
            • Wild Cherry
            • Willows

              _______
Host plants for butterflies - Anglewings

            • Aspens
            • Birches
            • Elms
            • Hackberry
            • Hops
            • Nettles
            • Willows

              _______

Host plants for butterflies - Buckeye butterfly

            • Everlasting
            • Mallows
            • Nettles
            • Plantains
            • Pussytoes
            • Snapdragons
            • Thistles - Mostly weeds and can be invasive

              _______

Host plants for butterflies - Crescent / Checkerspot butterfly

            • Asters
            • Plantains
            • Turtlehead

              _______

Host plants for butterflies - Fritillary butterfly

            • Violets
            • Wild Violets

              _______
Host plants for butterflies - Ladies

            • Everlasting
            • Mallows
            • Nettles
            • Plantains
            • Pussytoes
            • Snapdragons
            • Thistles - Mostly weeds and can be invasive

              _______

Host plants for butterflies - Leafwing butterflies

            • Passionflowers

              _______
Host plants for butterflies - Tortoiseshells

            • Aspens
            • Birches
            • Elms
            • Hackberry
            • Hops
            • Nettles
            • Willows



1) American Painted Lady (American Lady Butterfly)

  • Aster family (Asteraceae) including:

    Apple Blossom (Aster novi-belgii)
    Barr's Pink (Aster novae-angliae)
    King George (Aster amellus)
    Purple Dome (Aster novae-angliae)

  • Basket Flower (Centaurea americana)
  • Blueweed (Echium vulgare)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
  • Burdock (Arctium lappa)
  • Cudweed (Gnaphalium falcatum)
  • Cheeseweed (Malva parviflora)
  • Common Mallow (Malva neglecta)
  • Daisy (Bellis perennis or Leucanthemum vulgare)
  • Douglas' sagewort (Artemisia douglasiana)
  • Everlasting (Asteraceae)
  • Field Balsam/Rabbit Tobacco (Gnaphalium obtusifolium)
  • Forget-me-not (Myosotis sp)
  • Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
  • High Mallow (Malva sylvestris)
  • Hollyhocks (Malva alcea)
  • Knapweed (Centaurea americana)
  • Licorice icicles (Helichrysum thianschanicum)
  • Licorice Plant (Helichrysum petiolare)
  • Little Mallow (Malva parviflora)
  • Mexican Sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana)
  • Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
  • Mugwort/Common Wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris)
  • Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)
  • Nettle (Urtica sp)
  • Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
  • Plantains (Plantago and Musa sp)
  • Purple cudweed (Gnaphalium purpureum)
  • Pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii)
  • Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
  • Running Mallow (Malva neglecta)
  • Scotch-Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)
  • Silver Brocade (Artemisia stellariana)
  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum sp)
  • Sweet Everlasting (Gnaphalium obtusifolium)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
  • Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum)
  • Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum)
  • Wavy-Leaf Thistle (Cirsium undulatum)
  • Western Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium palustre)
  • Western Sagewort (Artemisia campestris)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


2) American Snout Butterfly

  • Hackberry family (Celtis sp)
  • Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis reticulata)
  • Nettle Tree (Celtis sp)
  • Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)


3) Angled Leafwing

  • Crotons (Codieaum sp)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • Nettle (Urtica sp)


4) Aphrodite Fritillary

  • Violets (Viola sp) including:

    Bird/Birdsfoot (Viola pedata)


5) Arctic Fritillary

  • Violets (Viola sp)


6) Baltimore Checkerspot

  • English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
  • False-Foxglove (Aureolaria grandiflora)
  • Hot-lips Turtlehead (Chelone lyoii)
  • Husker Red Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis)
  • Narrow-leaved Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
  • Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)
  • Plantains/Turtleheads (Chelone sp)
  • White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
  • White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)


7) Banded Orange (Banded Orange Heliconian)

  • Passionflower/Vines (Passiflora sp) including:

    Corkscrew Pssionvine (Passiflora suberosa)


8) Blue-morpho Butterfly (Common-morpho)

  • Pea Plants (Fabaceae)



9) Blue-eyed Sailor

  • Branched Noseburn (Tragia ramosa)


10) Bordered Patch

  • Awnless-bush Sunflower (Simsia calva)
  • Boneset (Eupatorium sp)
  • Blood Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida texana)
  • Blue-weed Sunflower (Helianthus ciliaris)
  • Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium candense)
  • Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
  • Common Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
  • Crownbeard (Verbesina sp)
  • Cucumber-leaf Sunflower (Helianthus debilis cucumerifolius)
  • False-ragweed (Parthenium hysterophorus)
  • Frostweed (Verbesina virginica)
  • Golden Aster (Heterotheca sp)
  • Golden Crownbeard (Verbesina encelioides)
  • Golden-eye Sunflower (Viguiera dentata)
  • Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Jerusalem Artichocke (Helianthus tuberosus)
  • Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
  • Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
  • Prostrate Lawn Flower (Calyptocarpus vialis)
  • Helianthus annuus lenticularis)
  • Zexminia (Zexminia serrata)


11) California Crescent

  • Sunflowers (Asteraceae)
  • Thistles (Cirsium sp)



12) California Sister
  • Oak family (Quercus sp) including:

    Arizona Scrub (Quercus chrysolepis)
    Bur (Quercus Macrocarpa)
    California Black (Quercus Kelloggii)
    Canyon Oak (Quercus chrysolepis)
    Coast Live (Quercus agrifolia)
    Encina (Quercus agrifolia)
    Plateau-live (Quercus fusiformis)


13) California Tortoiseshell

  • Aspens (Populus sp)
  • Birches (Betula sp)
  • Buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus)
  • California Lilac Blue Blossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus)
  • Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
  • Elms (Ulmus sp)
  • Hackberry (Celtis sp)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • Nettles (Urtica sp)
  • Willows (Salix sp)


14) Carolina Satyr

  • Carpet Grass (Axonopus sp)
  • Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
  • St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)
  • Buffalo Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)


15) Comma (Hop Merchant and Comma Anglewing)

  • Elms (Ulmus sp) including Armerican (Ulmus americana)
  • Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)


16) Common Buckeye (Buckeye Butterfly)

  • American Bluehearts (Buchnera americana)
  • American Speedwell (Veronica americana)
  • Beach Gerardia (Agalinis fasciculata)
  • Blue Toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis)
  • Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
  • Brazilian Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
  • Butter and Eggs (Linaria vulgaris)
  • Canadian Toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis)
  • Cape-marigold/Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula)
  • Carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata) Can be invasive.
  • Common Frogfruit (Lippia phyla nodiflora)
  • Common Plantain (Plantago major)
  • Creeping Charlie (Pilea nummularifolia)
  • Diascia (Diascia vigilis)
  • Dwarf Plantain (Plantago erecta)
  • English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
  • False Foxglove (Aureolaria grandifloria)
  • Golden-eye Sunflower (Viguiera dentata)
  • Greater Plantain (Plantago major)
  • Geliotrope (Heliotropium sp) including:

    Alba (Heliotropium arborescens)
    Iowa (Heliotropium arborescens)
    Lord Roberts (Heliotropium arborescens)
    Marine (Heliotropium arborescens)
  • Gerardia (Agalinis sp) including Beach (Agalinis fasciculata) Cluster-leaf (Agalinis fasciculata) Flat Flower (Agalinis homalantha) Slender (Agalinis tenuifolia)
  • Island-bush Snapdragon (Galvezia speciosa)
  • Lippia (Verbena Lippia americana)
  • Loosestrife (Lysimachia sp)
  • Mat-grass (Lippia nodiflora)
  • Match-heads (Phyla nodiflora)
  • Monkey Flower (Mimulus sp)
  • Owl's Clover (Orthocarpus sp transferred to Castilleja sp)
  • Plantains (Plantago sp) including:

    Buck-horn (Plantago coronopus)
    Buck-horn Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata)
    Cedar (Plantago helleri)
    Common (Plantago rugelii)
    Dooryard (Plantago major)
    English (Plantago lanceolata)
    Greater (Plantago major)
    Pale-seed (Plantoago virginica)
    Ribgrass (Plantago lanceolata)
  • Paintbrush (Castilleja sp) including:

    Prairie Indian (Castilleja purpurea)
    Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)
  • Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea)
  • Sedum (Crassulaceae sp)
  • Snake-herb (Dyschoriste linearis)
  • Snapdragons (Scrophulariaceae)
  • Stonecrop ( Crassulaceae/Sedum/Orpine)
  • Tall-weed (Plantago hookeriana)
  • Thick-leaf wild Petunia (Ruellia succulenta)
  • Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
  • Twinflower (Dyschoriste humistrata)
  • Twinspur (Diascia sp)
  • Violet Ruellia (Ruellia nudiflora)
  • Wild/Beach Foxglove (Agalinis fasciculata)
  • Wild Petunia (Ruellia caroliniana)
  • Verbena (Verbenaceae) including Brazilian (Verbena bonariensis)


17) Common Checkerspot

  • Bee Plant (Scrophularia californica)
  • Dwarf Plantain (Plantago erecta)
  • Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja eyserta)
  • Mexican Plantain (Plantaego hirtella)
  • Monkey Flower (Mimulus sp)
  • Purple Owl's Clover (Castilleja exserta)
  • Red Owl's Clover (Orthocarpus purpurascens)
  • Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)


18) Common Hairstreak

  • Common Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
  • Hollyhock (Malva alcea)
  • Mallows (Malva sp) including Marsh (Althaea officinalis)


19) Common Mestra

  • Noseburns (Tragia sp) including Branched (Tragia ramosa)


20) Common Ringlet

  • Grasses - Many species including:

    Andropogon sp
    Arrhenatherum sp
    Axonopus sp
    Lolium sp
    Paspalum sp
    Sesleria sp
    Sisyrinchium sp
    Stenotaphrum sp
    Stipa sp
    Tridens sp

21) Common Wood Nymph

  • Grasses
  • Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
  • Purpletop Grass (Tridens flavus)
  • See Above #20


22) Compton Tortoiseshell

  • Birches (Betula sp)
  • Cottonwood (Populus sp)
  • Poplar (Populus sp)
  • Willows (Salix sp)


23) Crimson Patch

  • Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus wrightii)
  • Smallflower Wrightwort (Carlowrightia parvifolia)


24) Diana Fritillary

  • Violets (Viola sp)


25) Eastern Comma

  • Elms (Ulmus sp) including American (Ulmus americana)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • Nettle (Urtica sp) including:

    False (Boehmerica cylindrica)
    Common (Urtica dioica)
    Stinging (Urtica chamaedryoides)
    Tall (Urtica procera)
    Wood (Laportea canadensis)


26) Edwards Fritillary

  • Violets (Viola sp) including:

    Nuttall's Violet (Viola nuttallii)
    Hookedspur Violet (Viola adunca)


27) Empress Leila

  • Hackberry (Celtis sp)
  • Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis reticulata)
  • Spiny Hackberry (Celtis pallida)
  • Sugarberry (Celtis occidentalis)
  • Nettle Tree (Celtis sp)

28) Eyed Brown

  • Sedges (Carex sp)


29) Field Crescent

  • Asters (Asteraceae)including:

    Apple Blossom (Aster novi-belgii)
    Barr's Pink (Aster novae-angliae)
    California (Aster chilensis)
    King George (Aster amellus)
    Purple Dome (Aster novae-angliae)

30) Gemmed Satyr

  • Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon)
  • Sedges (Carex sp)


31) Goatweed Leafwing

  • Crotons (Codiaeum variegatum) including:

    Doveweed (Croton monanthogynus)
    Texas (Croton texensis)
    Three-seed (Croton lindheimerianus)
    Woolly (Croton capitatus)


32) Gorgone Checkerspot

  • Common Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
  • Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
  • Loosestrife (Lysimachia sp)
  • Plains Sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris)


33) Greater Fritillary

  • Violets (Viola sp)


34) Great Spangled Fritillary

  • Violets (Viola sp)

35) Green Comma

  • Alders (Alnus sp)
  • Azaleas (Rhododendron sp)
  • Birches (Betula)
  • Rhododendrons including:

    Chapman's Rhododendron (Rhododendron chapmanii)
    Tree Rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum)
  • Willows (Salix sp)


36) Gulf Fritillary

Avoid using Tropical Passionvines, such as Passiflora vitifolia. As a rule of thumb these will be many of the red color vines, some can also be blue. Caterpillars won't survive on these.

  • Passionflowers (Passiflora sp) including:

    Amethyst (Passiflora alto)
    Birdwing (Passiflora tenuiloba)
    Blackmer (Passiflora caerulea)
    Corky-stemmed (Passiflora suberosa)
    Lavender Lady (Passiflora Alatocaerula)
    Incense (Passiflora incarnata cinnicata)
    Maypop (Passiflora incarnata)
    Mixta (Passiflora mixta)
    Purple (Passiflora incarnata)
    Star of Mikan (Passiflora alto)
    Twin (Passiflora biflora)
    Yellow (Passiflora lutea)
  • Pentas (Rubiaceae)





To View Host Plants for Butterflies for All butterfly families click here

Brushfooted Butterflies of North America - H-Q

Brushfooted Butterflies of North America - R-Z




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