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Beneficial Insects



California Native Nectar Plants for Butterfies and Day-flying Moths

compiled by Jeffrey Caldwell


   NOTE :
  A broader range of users is likely for many of these species. Available observations in literature or on the Internet are mostly limited or reports are vague as to exact species of plants and/or butterflies.
   Some species listed without comment were recommended for butterflies by credible sources without details.
  Your personal observations or literature/Internet sources suggestions are most welcome! A number of species of Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, etc. not even listed here are likely of value. Both the plants and the butterflies are so thin in our mostly rather degraded habitats it is difficult to make useful observations !
  Contacts: mail to:
Phone 408 978 3297
  Healthy plants under good moisture conditions produce more nectar. Usually plants in sheltered, sunny locations get more attention.The minimum patch size in flower for one species to be likely to be "found" and used is roughly 25 square feet. Maximum interest is generated when eight or more attractive species in significant patches are in flower simultaneously. For butterfly gardens, bigger is better!
  Instead of flower nectar, many butterflies are attracted to rotting fruit. A few are attracted to tree sap, as from the wounds made by a sapsucker to living trees. Fresh dung and mud are other items of sustenance of importance to many butterflies.


Abronia latifolia. Yellow Sand Verbena.

Abronia villosa var. villosa. Desert Sand Verbena.

Abronia villosa var. aurita. Chaparral Sand Verbena.

Achillea millefolium. White Yarrow.
Propertius Duskywing, Mournful Duskywing, Common Ringlet, West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, Common Checkerspot, American Painted Lady, Purplish Copper, Gray Hairstreak, Marine Blue, Eastern Tailed Blue, Anise Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Orange Sulphur, Western Brown Elfin, Fiery Skipper, Umber Skipper.

Achillea millefolium 'Island Pink'
photographs document its popularity with butterflies.

Adenostoma fasciculatum. Chamise.
Greenish Blue.

Aesculus californica. California Buckeye.
Western Tiger Swallowtail (pollinator), Anise Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Pale Swallowtail, Two-tailed Swallowtail, Common Checkerspot (a favored source!), Tailed Copper, Gorgon Copper, Spring Azure, California Sister, Mourning Cloak, Lorquin's Admiral, Northern Checkerspot, Edith's Checkerspot, California Tortoiseshell, West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Satyr Anglewing, Calippe Fritillary, Crown Fritillary, Monarch, Common Ringlet, Cabbage White, Orange Sulphur, Large Marble, Great Copper, Acmon Blue, Thicket Hairstreak, Gold-Hunter's Hairstreak, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Dryope Hairstreak, Great Purple Hairstreak, California Hairstreak, the Farmer, Umber Skipper, Mournful Duskywing, Propertius Duskywing, Silver-spotted Skipper, Northern Cloudy-wing, Farmer (principal nectar source).

Agastache urticifolia. Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop.
'One of the best' for butterflies' (B. Wilson); Monarch. Western Tiger Swallowtail.

Allium spp. Wild Onions.
Edith's Checkerspot, Propertius Dusky-wing

Allium amplectens. (Narrowleaf Onion).
A top nectar plant for the endangered Fendler's Blue in Oregon.

Amorpha californica. (California False Indigo). California Dogface.

Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia. Common Fiddleneck.
Cabbage White, Sara Orange-tip (favored source), Large Marble, Sonoran Blue, California Ringlet

Amsinckia spectabilis. Woolly Breeches.
Acmon Blue, unidentified Lady.

Anaphalis margaritacea. Pearly Everlasting.
Anise Swallowtail, Mylitta Crescent, Woodland Skipper, American Painted Lady.

Angelica sp. Anise
Swallowtail. 'Many lycaenids' (Shapiro).

Antirrhinum multiflorum. Rose Snapdragon.

Aquilegia formosa. Western Columbine.
Pale Swallowtail, Anise Swallowtail, Silvery Blue, Acmon Blue, Common Ringlet, Common Wood Nymph.

Apiaceae. Carrot Family.
Great Purple Hairstreak

Apocynum spp. Dogbanes.
Boisduval's Marble, Western Sulphur, Great Copper, Gorgon Copper, California Hairstreak, Sylvan Hairstreak, Thicket Hairstreak, Johnson's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, Field Crescent, Northern Checkerspot, Common Checkerspot, Lorquin's Admiral, Ox-eye Satyr, Woodland Satyr, Silver-spotted Skipper, Northern Cloudy-wing, Propertius Dusky-wing, Mournful Dusky-wing, Dodge's Skipper, Columbia Skipper, Farmer

Apocynum androsaemifolium. Spreading Dogbane.
Fritillaries, West Coast Lady, Clodius Parnassian, Dun Skipper, Sylvan Hairstreak, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Lorquin's Admiral, Gray Hairstreak, Common Buckeye, Checkered White, Pacuvius Dusky-wing, Persius Dusky-wing ('addicted' (Shapiro) to this nectar!).

Apocynum cannabinum. Indian Hemp.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Fritillaries, West Coast Lady; Clodius Parnassian, Dun Skipper, Sachem, Silver-spotted Skipper, Sylvan Hairstreak, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Lorquin's Admiral, Red Admiral, Gray Hairstreak, Common Buckeye, Spring Azure, Eastern Tailed Blue, Monarch, Cabbage White, Orange Sulphur; favorite of American Painted Lady, Great Purple Hairstreak & Great Copper.

Armeria maritima. Seathrift.
Skippers, Blues, Green Hairstreak

Arabis spp.
Large Marble

Arabis blepharophylla 'Spring Charm'.
"butterflies", Cabbage White

Arabis pulchra var. gracilis.

Aralia californica. Elk Clover.
Drew 'droves of hungry butterflies' according to Bay Natives.

Arbutus menziesii. Madrone.

Arctostaphylos spp. Manzanitas.
California Tortoiseshell. Monarch. Many moths.

Asclepias spp. Milkweeds.
Monarch, Clodius Parnassian, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Red Admiral, Orange Sulphur, Acmon Blue, American Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Boisduval's Blue, Gray Hairstreak, Spring Azure, Silver-spotted Skipper, Cabbage White, Checkered White, Western Sulphur, Great Purple Hairstreak, Sylvan Hairstreak, Thicket Hairstreak, Johnson's Hairstrea, Field Crescent, Northern Checkerspot, Common Checkersot, Lorquin's Admiral, Woodland Satyr, Mournful Dusky-wing, Dodge's Skipper, Columbia Skipper

Asclepias californica
. California Milkweed.

Asclepias cordifolia. Heartleaf Milkweed.
Clark's Sphinx, Monarch, many butterflies

Asclepias eriocarpa. Indian Milkweed.

Asclepias fascicularis. Narrowleaf Milkweed.
'Super' for butterflies, at least 10 species. Western Tiger Swallowtail, American Painted Lady, Acmon Blue, Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak, Queen, Monarch, Least Checkered Skipper; excellent nectar source for Mt. Diablo butterflies. Twelve species were collected on one large patch; also attract nocturnal moths.

Asclepias speciosa. Showy Milkweed.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Spring Azure, Red Admiral, Painted Lady
Asteraceae. Dodge's Skipper, Lindsey's Skipper

Aster sp.
Clodius Parnassian, West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, Common Checkerspot, Gray Hairstreak, Cabbage White, Checkered White, Buckeye, Skippers, Coppers, Anise Swallowtail, Orange Sulphur, Purplish Copper, Crown Fritillary, Lorquin's Admiral, California Ringlet, Columbia Skipper, Sandhill Skipper

Aster chilensis. Common California Aster.
Orange Sulphur, Mormon Metalmark, Field Crescent, Monarch, Sandhill Skipper, Common Buckeye, skippers, West Coast Lady, Mylitta Crescent

Aster occidentalis. Western Aster.

Baccharis douglasii. Marsh Baccharis.
Tailed Copper, Acmon Blue, American Painted Lady, Common Buckeye; "generally attractive, especially to coppers, blues, hairstreaks and buckeyes" ­ Shapiro.

Baccharis pilularis. Coyotebrush.
Shapiro: "all fall butterflies including blues, ladies, buckeye, purplish copper, gray hairstreak and various skippers" Purplish Copper, Western Pygmy Blue, Acmon Blue, Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, California Sister

Baccharis pilularis 'Pigeon Point'.
'Small butterflies'.

Baccharis viminea. Mule Fat.

Baileya multiradiata. Desert Marigold.
'butterflies'. Mormon Metalmark. Shown in online photographs: Texan Crescent, Western Pygmy Blue, Painted Lady.

Balsamorhiza sagitta. Arrowleaf Balsamroot.
'Butterflies'. Lady, Lindsey's Skipper.

Barbarea orthoceras. Wintercress.
The best of the mustards for butterfly nectaring on Mt. Diablo (Hintsa). Brown Elfin, Gray Hairstreak, Spring Azure, Silver-spotted Skipper, Cabbage White, Checkered White, Orange Sulphur, American Painted Lady, Eastern Tailed Blue

Berberis aquifolium. Oregon Grape.
Painted Lady.

Berberis nevinii. Nevin's Barberry.

Bidens laevis. Larger Bur-marigold.
Orange Sulphur, Duskywings, Painted Lady, California Dogface, Mormon Metalmark, Common Buckeye, Red Admiral, Monarch, blues, hairstreaks.

Bloomeria crocea 'Golden Stars'.

Bloomeria crocea. Common Goldenstar.
'Great' for butterflies.

Brodiaea spp.

Brodiaea terrestris.
Skippers, Bay Checkerspot

Calochortus tolmei. Tolmei's Star-tulip.
A top nectar plant for Fendler's Blue in Oregon.

Castilleja densiflora. Owl's Clover.
Adela flammeusella, Bay Checkerspot

Castilleja exserta. Purple Owl's Clover.
Quino Checkerspot

Ceanothus spp. and vars. Wild Lilac. especially white-flowered forms.
'butterflies', Common Buckeye, Gray Hairstreak, Thicket Hairstreak, Johnson's Hairstreak, Spring Azure, Western Meadow Fritillary.

Ceanothus crassifolius. Hoary-leaved Ceanothus.

Ceanothus griseus.
Cabbage White.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus.
Pale Swallowtail, Echo Blue, Common Buckeye, California Tortoiseshell, Brown Elfin (other Ceanothus attract these, also).

Ceanothus 'Wheeler Canyon'.
Western Tiger Swallowtail.

Cephalanthus occidentalis. Buttonbush.
Excellent nectar source for many species, especially swallowtails, skippers and hairstreaks. Specifically mentioned as visitors: Pipevine Swallowtail, American Painted Lady, Eastern Tailed Blue, Gray Hairstreak, Painted Lady, Monarch (a favorite source), Silver-spotted Skipper, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Lorquin's Admiral, Red Admiral (a favorite source), Checkered White (a favorite), Cabbage White, Sachem.

Cercis occidentalis. Western Redbud.
Western Brown Elfin, Echo Blue.

Chaenactis sp.
Common Checkerspot

Chaenactis douglasii. Dusty Maidens.
Becker's White and Dark Wood Nymph in E. Washington.

Chaenactis glabriscula.

Chamaesyce hooveri. Hoover's Spurge.
Butterflies observed visiting in Sacramento Prairie restoration project. A vernal pool species threatened by habitat loss.

Chilopsis linearis. Desert Willow.

Chorizanthe robusta. Robust Spineflower.
Attracts "at least six species of butterflies" ­ Randy Morgan. Presumably C. r. var. hartwegii, Scott's Valley Spineflower.

Chrysothamnus nauseosus. Rubber Rabbitbrush.
Orange Sulphur, Common Buckeye, Mormon Metalmark, Mourning Cloak, American Painted Lady, Painted Lady, Large White Skipper, Columbia Skipper, Sandhill Skipper, skippers.

Cirsium spp. Thistles.
Clark's Sphinx, Common Checkerspot, Pipevine Swallowtail, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Pale Swallowtail, California Dogface, Orange Sulphur, Checkered White, Large Marble, California Dogface, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Western Meadow Fritillary, Zerene Fritillary, Callippe Fritillary, Unsilvered Fritillary, Field Crescent, Lorquin's Admiral, California Sister, Monarch, Lindsey's Skipper, Sachem

Cirsium occidentale. Western Thistle.
'Butterflies'. Monarch.

Cirsium quercetorum. Brownie Thistle
Two species on San Bruno Mountain.

Cirsium vulgare. Bull Thistle.
Western Sulphur

Clarkia sp. Skippers

Clarkia unguiculata. Elegant Fairyfans.
Clark's Sphinx, "butterflies"

Claytonia perfoliata. Indian Lettuce.
Spring Azure.

Clematis sp. Virgin's Bower.
Common Wood Nymph.

Coreopsis bigelovii.

Coreopsis stillmannii.
'Good butterfly nectar plant'.

Cornus glabrata. Brown Dogwood.

Cornus sericea. Redtwig Dogwood.
Orange Sulphur.

Crataegus spp. Hawthorn.

Cryptanta sp.
Quino Checkerspot. (Cryptantha intermedia is a secondary nectar plant for the endangered Fendler's Blue in Oregon).

Delphinium variegatum. Royal Larkspur.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Bay Checkerspot

Dendromecon rigida. Bush Poppy.

Dentaria californica. Milkmaids.
Gray-veined White, Sonoran Blue.

Dichelostema capitatum. Blue Dicks.
Clark's Sphinx, Common Checkerspot, Bay Checkerspot, Propertius Duskywing, Mournful Duskywing, Common Ringlet, Sara Orange-tip (favored source), Monarch, California Dogface, Pale Swallowtail, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Northern Cloudy-wing,

Dichelostema congestum. Ookow.
Propertius Duskywing, Mournful Duskywing, Common Ringlets, Unsilvered Fritillary, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Anise Swallowtail

Dichelostema ida-maia. Fire-cracker Flower.

Encelia californica.

Epilobium brachycarpum. Parched Fireweed.
Woodland Skipper.

Epilobium canum. California Fuchsia.
Pipevine Swallowtail (most avid user known to Shapiro), Anise Swallowtail, California Dogface

Eremocarpus setigerus. Dove Weed.
American Painted Lady

Eriastrum densifolium. Giant Woollystar.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Painted Lady, a nymphalid, an Hesperia skipper, Cabbage White, Gorgon Copper.

Eriastrum sapphirinum. Sapphire Woollystar.
'Butterflies', unidentified hairstreak.

Ericameria arborescens. Golden Fleece.
Visited by moths.'Generally attractive' (Shapiro).

Ericameria linearifolia. Narrowleaf Goldenbush. Interior Goldenbush.
Very good butterfly haunt on Mt. Diablo.

Ericameria ericoides. Mock Heather.

Erigeron spp. Fleabanes.

Erigeron glaucus. Seaside Daisy. and vars.
Mylitta Crescent (strongly drawn), Common White, Common Checkerspot, West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, skippers, Gray Hairstreak, Green Hairstreak, Mournful Duskywing, Mylitta Crescent
'Cape Sebastian'. Adored by butterflies.
'Wayne Roderick'. Great for butterflies, including Monarch, Common Checkered Skipper.

Eriodictyon angustifolium.

Eriodictyon californicum. Yerba Santa.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pale Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Common Checkerspot (major source), Northern Checkerspot, Edith's Checkerspot, Funereal Duskywing, swallowtails, Sara Orange-tip, Lorquin's Admiral, Small Marble, Boisduval's Marble, Western Sulphur, California Hairstreak, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Thicket Hairstreak, Johnson's Hairstreak, Nelson's Hairstreak, Western Brown Elfin, Arrowhead Blue, Propertius Dusky-wing, Mournful Dusky-wing . Locally the next best nectar plant after the California Buckeye.

Eriodictyon crassifolium.
Bert Wilson: "quite the butterfly magnet and easier to grow". Common Checkerspot,

Eriodictyon tomentosum.
Monarch, West Coast Lady, Gray Hairstreak, fritillaries, others

Eriodictyon trichocalyx.

Eriogonum sp. Wild Buckwheats.
Tailed Copper, American Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Marine Blue, Gray Hairstreak

Eriogonum cinereum. Ashy-leaf Buckwheat.
Gray Hairstreak, Acmon & Marine Blues, Funereal Duskywing, Fiery & Umber Skippers.

Eriogonum elongatum.
A "butterfly favorite" according to U.C. Riverside Botanic Garden

Eriogonum fasciculatum. California Buckwheat.
Skippers, Acmon Blue, Dotted Blue, Buckeye, Green Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, Mormon Metalmark. "Swallowtails, blues, checkerspots, painted lady, common buckeye, Tailed Copper, Mournful Duskywing, skippers" (NABA Malibu) Marine Blue, Funereal Duskywing, Fiery Skipper, Umber Skipper.

Eriogonum giganteum. Saint Catherine's Lace.

Eriogonum latifolium. Coast Buckwheat.
'Butterflies'. Two species on San Bruno Mountain. Gorgon Copper, Blue Copper.

Eriogonum latifolium ssp. grande var. rubescens. Pink Island Buckwheat.
'Butterflies'. Mournful Duskywing.

Eriogonum nudum. Naked Buckwheat.
Acmon Blue, Tailed Copper, Gorgon Copper, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Zerene Fritillary, Woodland Satyr (a favorite source).

Eriogonum parvifolium. Dune Buckwheat.
Gray Hairstreak, Acmon Blue, Marine Blue, Funereal Duskywing, Fiery Skipper, Umber Skipper.

Eriogonum roseum.

Eriogonum umbellatum var. polyanthum. Sulphur Buckwheat.

Eriogonum vimineum. Wicker Buckwheat.
Acmon Blue,

Eriophyllum confertiflorum. Golden Yarrow.
Anise Swallowtail, Common Checkerspot, Bay Checkerspot, Tailed Copper, Field Crescent, Acmon Blue, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Cabbage White, Marine Blue, American & West Coast Ladies, Fiery & Umber Skippers.

Eriophyllum lanatum var. achillaeoides. Oregon Sunshine.
Very good on Mt. Diablo. Boisduval's Marble, Gorgon Copper, Nelson's Hairstreak, Northern Checkerspot, Leinara Checkerspot (a favorite source).

Erysimum spp. Wallflowers.
"large swallowtails", Boisduval's Marble ­ Shapiro.

Erysimum capitatum. Western Wallflower.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pale Swallowtail.

Erysimum concinnum.

Eryngium aristulatum. Coyote Thistle.
Acmon Blue

Eschscholzia californica. California Poppy.
Skippers, Common Ringlet

Euthamia occidentalis. Western Goldenrod.
Orange sulphur, Crown Fritillary

Fragaria vesca
. Woodland Strawberry.
Western Meadow Fritillary, Green Hairstreak.

Fremontodendron sp.
Mostly Natives claims is a butterfly nectar plant.

Gilia sp. Quino

Gilia achilleaefolia. Yarrow-leaved Gilia.
West Coast Lady, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Gulf Fritillary, 'small butterflies'.

Gilia angelensis. West Coast Lady,
Fiery Skipper.

Gilia capitata. Blue Globe Gilia.
Common Checkerspot, Cabbage White, California Ringlet, Gabb's Checkerspot, Mylitta Crescent, Orange Sulphur, Boisduval's Blue and Juba Skipper, native white.

Gilia latifolia excellens.
White-lined Sphinx.

Gilia tricolor. Bird's Eye.
Orange Sulphur and White-lined Sphinx.

Grindelia arenicola

Grindelia camporum. Valley Gumplant.
Favorite of Great Copper, Common Checkerspot

Grindelia hirsutula
'Great' for butterflies.

Grindelia stricta.
'Butterflies'. Duskywings.

Grindelia spp.
Coppers, Skippers, Common Buckeye, Red Admiral.

Helianthella californica.
Northern Checkerspot

Helianthus annuus. Sunflower.

Helianthus gracilentus. Slender Sunflower.
'Butterflies adore'.Common Checkerspot, Monarch

Heliotropium curassavicum. Salt Heliotrope.
American Painted Lady, Marine Blue, Western Pygmy Blue, Checkered White, Orange Sulphur, Purplish Copper, Gray Hairstreak, Eastern Tailed Blue, Acmon Blue, Common Buckeye likely: Painted Lady, Fiery Skipper, Least Checkered Skipper, Sandhill Skipper, Eufala Skipper

Helenium puberulum. Rosilla.
Field Crescent

Hemizonia sp. yellow.
'Many' (NABA).

Hemizonia congesta ssp. luzulifolia. Hayfield Tarweed.
Woodland Skipper, Bay Checkerspot, 'butterflies'.

Hemizonia pungens
. Spikeweed.
Purplish Copper.

Heracleum lanatum. Cow Parsnip.
Lorquin's Admiral, 'many lycaenids' (Shapiro).

Heteromeles arbutifolia.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Tailed Copper, Acmon Blue (a favored source), Hedgerow Hairstreak, Mountain-Mahogany Hairstreak, California Sister, Mourning Cloak; one of the best butterfly nectar plants on Mt. Diablo

Heterotheca spp.

Heterotheca grandiflora.

Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp. bolanderi. Goldenaster.
West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, Checkerspots, Gray Hairstreak, Cabbage White, Coppers.

Hoita orbicularis. Giant Clover.

Holodiscus discolor. Oceanspray.
Pale Swallowtail, Tailed Copper, Lorquin's Admiral, Oceanspray Fairy Moth (Adela septentrionella)

Horkelia californica.
'Butterflies'. Two species on San Bruno Mountain.

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, White-lined Sphinx.

Ipomopsis congesta. Ballhead Ipomopsis.
Sagebrush Checkerspot.

Ipomopsis tenuituba. Slender-tube Skyrocket.
White-lined Sphinx.

Isocoma sp. Goldenbush.
'Great' for butterflies.

Isocoma menziesii. Coast Golden Bush.
Tree of Life Nursery recommends for butterfly nectar.

Isomeris arborea. Bladderpod.

Justicia californica. Beloperone.
West Coast Lady.

Keckiella antirrhinoides. Yellow Bush Snapdragon.
Quino Checkerspot,

Quino Checkerspot

Lasthenia glabrata. Saltmarsh Goldfields.

Lasthenia californica. Goldfields.
Edith's Checkerspot, Common Ringlet, Skippers, Adela trigrapha

Lathyrus spp.
Arctic Skipper, Roadside Skipper

Lathyrus vestitus var. orchropetalus

Layia platyglossa. Tidy-tips.
Edith's Checkerspot, Common Ringlet

Ledum glandulosum.

Lepechinia calycina. Pitcher Sage.
Common Checkerspot

Lepidium nitidum. Bay Checkerspot

Leptodactylon californicum: Prickly Phlox.
Western Tiger Swallowtail is a consistent pollinator; an unidentified hairstreak and Woodland Skipper, Snowberry Clearwing, an unidentified dusky-wing or sooty-wing, Clark's sphinx and White-lined Sphinx.

spp. 'butteflies'.

Lessingia filaginifolia.
'Butterflies'. Bert Wilson says it attracts: "a host of butterflies from skippers to swallowtails". Orange Sulphur, Cabbage White, Marine Blue, American Lady, West Coast Lady, Fiery Skipper, Umber Skipper.

Lessingia glandulifera var. glandulifera.
Acmon Blue

Lessingia hololeuca. Woolly-headed Lessingia.
Orange Sulphur, Fiery Skipper, Woodland Skipper, Sandhill Skipper, Common Checkered Skipper, Acmon Blue

Lilium spp.
Swallowtails only. Pale Swallowtail.

Lilium washingtonianum. Washington Lily.
Pale Swallowtail favorite.

Limnanthes douglasii. Meadowfoam.

Limonium californicum.

Linanthus androsaceus. Baby Stars.
Edith's Checkerspot, Common Ringlet, Mylitta Crescent

Linanthus dianthiflorus.
Quino Checkerspot

Linanthus dichotomus:
White-lined Sphinx

Linanthus grandiflorus. California Phlox.
unidentified Lady butterfly.

Linanthus nuttalii:
Propertius duskywing, and another duskywing

Linum lewisii.
Checkered White.

Lippa sp.
Purplish Copper, Gray Hairstreak, Eastern Tailed Blue, Acmon Blue, Common Buckeye, Least Checkered Skipper, Sandhill Skipper, Eufala Skipper

Lithospermum ruderale.Lemonweed.
Large Marble in eastern Washington.

Lobelia cardinalis var. pseudosplendens.
Pipevine Swallowtail, White-lined Sphinx.

Lobelia dunnii.
Bert Wilson: "butterflies large and small love it from skippers to swallowtails, including monarchs"; Western Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch

Lomatium spp.
Western Pine Elfin, Moss's Elfin, Anise Swallowtail, Silvery Blue.

Lomatium dasycarpum.
Edith's Checkerspot

Lomatium macrocarpum.
Edith's Checkerspot

Lomatium utriculatum. Common Ringlet,
Edith's Checkerspot

Lonicera sp.
Common Checkerspot, Silver-spotted Skipper, Pipevine Swallowtail, Snowberry Clearwing.

Lonicera ciliosa. Orange Honeysuckle.

Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans. California Honeysuckle.

Lonicera involucrata. Twin Berry.
Western Tiger Swallowtail; another source says 'butterflies'.

Lonicera subspicata. 'Butterflies'.

Lotus sp.
Quino Checkerspot

Lotus scoparius. Chaparral Broom.
Acmon Blue, Sandhill Skipper, Common Checkered Skipper, Orange Sulphur, 'whites, hairstreaks, blues, painted lady, skippers'(NABA) 'Acmon and Marine Blue, Funereal Duskywing, Fiery & Umber Skipper' (NABA Los Angeles Coastal Strip).

spp. Lupines.
Painted Lady, West Coast Lady, Skippers, Gray Hairstreak, Orange Sulphur, Boisduval's Blue.

Lupinus albifrons.
'Great' for butterflies. Blues, painted ladies, gray hairstreaks, skippers.

Lupinus polyphyllus.

Lupinus rivularis.
Silvery Blue and others.

Lupinus succulentus. Succulent Lupine.

Lythrum spp. Field Crescent

Machaeranthera asteroides var. lagunensis. Laguna Mountain Aster.
'Great' for butterflies.

Madia elegans.

Malacothamnus spp.
Buckeye, Red Admiral, Large White Skipper.

Malacothamnus fasciculatus. Bush Mallow.
'Great' for butterflies. Painted ladies, buckeyes, skippers, monarchs, red admirals (and other Malacothamnus the same).

Malcothamnus palmeri.
Common Checkered Skipper.

Malus fusca. Oregon Crab Apple.

Marah fabaceus.
Green Hairstreak.

Mentha spp.
Clodius Parnassian, Callippe Fritillary, Field Crescent, Oreas Anglewing, Pacuvius Dusky-wing, Common Checkered Skipper, Dodge's Skipper (a favorite nectar source for this species).

Mentha arvensis. Field Mint.
'Great' for butterflies. Likely are Cabbage White, Gray Hairstreak, Silver-spotted Skipper, Sachem, etc.(all listed under Mentha spp. above).

Microseris douglasii.
Bay Checkerspot.

Mimulus aurantiacus, longiflorus. Bush Monkeyflower.
Common Checkerspot, Sara Orange-tip

Mimulus cardinalis. Scarlet Monkeyflower.
Cabbage White, Checkered White, Checkerspots, Painted Lady, Common Ringlet (NABA Malibu)

Monardella spp.
'butterflies'. 'Especially fritillaries and skippers' ­ Shapiro. American Painted Lady, Monarch, Tilden's Skipper. Online photographs show Lorquin's Admiral, Common Checkerspots, and Pale Swallowtail nectaring on Monardella, most likely M. villosa.

Monardella antonina.
Especially fine species for butterflies; Monarch favorite.

Monardella australis
Bert Wilson: 'a GREAT butterfly plant'

Monardella crispa. Crisp Monardella.

Monardella frutescens. San Luis Obispo Monardella.

Monardella glauca.

Monardella hypoleuca.
Butterflies. Dogface.

Monardella macrantha.
Larger butterflies

Monardella odoratissima

Monardella purpurea X villosa. Monardella 'subglabra'.

Monardella villosa. Coyote Mint.
"An excellent butterfly plant." Propertius Duskywing, Mournful Duskywing, Common Ringlet, West Coast Lady, Acmon Blue, Sandhill Skipper, Monarch, Red Admiral, Lorquin's Admiral, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Anise Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, California Dogface, Common Checkerspot, Northern Checkerspot, Leanira Checkerspot, Ox-eye Satyr, Callippe Fritillary, California Tortoiseshell, Milbert's Tortoiseshell (a favorite source), California Dogface, Farmer

Monardella viridis.

Muilla maritima.
Adela flammeusella, important early nectar plant for the endangered Bay Checkerspot

Navarretia heterodoxa.

Oenanthe sarmentosa.
Great Copper

Oenothera elata var hookeri. Hooker's Evening Primrose.
White-lined Sphinx

Pedicularis densiflora. Indian Warrior.
Propertius Duskywing.

Penstemon sp. Anise

Penstemon pseudospectabilis. Anise

Penstemon spectabilis.

Perideridia kellloggii. Kellogg's Yampah.

Perityle incana.

Petasites palmatus. Coltsfoot.
Anise Swallowtail, Sara Orange-tip.

Phacelia sp.
Small Marble.

Phacelia brachyloba.
Common Checkerspot

Phacelia californica.
One species on San Bruno Mountain. 'Many' species (NABA).

Phacelia campanularia.
'butterflies'; White-lined Sphinx

Phacelia tanacetifolia.

Philadelphus lewisii.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Common Wood Nymph. 'Many species'.

Phlox diffusa.
Heliothis obsoleta (day-flying moth), skippers

Phlox speciosa.
Woodland Skipper in eastern Washington.

Phyla nodiflora (aka Lippia). Frogfruit.
Orange Sulphur, Sandhill Skipper

Physocarpus capitatus. Ninebark.

Plantago erecta.
Quino Checkerspot

Plantago ovata.
Quino Checkerspot

Plectritis congesta. Rosy Plectritis.
Good nectar source for early spring butterflies.

Plectritis macrocera. White Plectritis.
Common Ringlet, Adela trigrapha, Schinia sp.

Pluchea odorata. Salt Marsh Fleabane
Attracts 'a variety of butterflies' (Shapiro).

Polygonum spp.
Purplish Copper

Potentilla fruticosa.
Monarch, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, West Coast Lady, Tailed Copper, Boisduval's Blue, Marine Blue,

Potentilla glandulosa.

Prunella vulgaris. Self-heal.
Cabbage White, Silver-spotted Skipper, American Painted Lady, Great Arctic, Dun Skipper (particularly fond of this source)

Prunus ilicifolia. Hollyleaf Cherry.
Anise Swallowtail, Western Tiger Swallowtail

Prunus virginiana var. demissa. Western Choke Cherry.
Milbert's Tortoiseshell.

Psilotrophe cooperi.

Ptelea crenulata. Hoptree.
California Sister, Anise Swallowtai, others. "Everyone" (Wilson)

Purshia tridentata.

Pycnanthemum californicum. Mountain Mint.
Likely very good or even excellent.

Ranunculus californicus.
Common Ringlet, Sara Orange-tip, Adela trigrapha, Large Marble, Mylitta Crescent

Rhamnus californica.
Common Checkerspot, Edith's Checkerspot, Lorquin's Admiral, Mourning Cloak, Pale Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Echo Blue, California Hairstreak.

Rhododendron macrophyllum.

Rhododendron occidentale. Western Azalea.
Pipevine Swallowtail

Rhus integrifolia

Rhus trilobata. Squaw Bush.
Very attractive to checkerspots; Edith's Checkerspot, favorite of Johnson's Hairstreak & Common Checkerspot.

Ribes spp. Currants and Gooseberries.
Zephr Anglewing, Coppers.

Ribes aureum var. gracillimum. Golden Currant.
Monarch, Clark's Sphinx.

Ribes californicum. California Gooseberry.

Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum.
Western Pine Elfin, Spring Azure, Western Brown Elfin

Rubus parviflorus. Thimbleberry.

Rubus spectabilis. Salmonberry.

Rosa spp.
Mourning Cloak.

Salvia spp.
'butterflies'. American Painted Lady, Monarch, Buckeye, Red Admiral, Pale Swallowtail, Common Sulphur, Silvery Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper, White-lined Sphinx

Salvia apiana. White Sage.

Salvia brandegei.
'Well liked by butterflies'; White-lined Sphinx.

Salvia carduacea. Thistle Sage.

Salvia 'Carl Nielson'. 'Butterflies'.

Salvia X 'Celestial Blue'.
Swallowtails, Painted Lady.

Salvia clevelandii. Cleveland's Sage.
Pale Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Anise Swallowtail, Monarch, Silvery Blue, Orange Sulphur, Common Checkerspot, White-lined Sphinx. Important butterfly plant.

Salvia columbariae. Chia.
Common Buckeye, Quino Checkerspot, Clark's Sphinx

Salvia x 'Gracias'.
Gets some butterflies.

Salvia leucophlla. Purple Sage.
'Butterflies'. Painted Lady, Monarch.

Salvia mellifera. Black Sage.
Common Checkerspot, Monarch, Common Buckeye

Salvia 'Pozo Blue'.
"THE NATIVE BUTTERFLY BUSH! Attracts about 30 species" ­ Bert Wilson. Photographs show Painted Lady, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Fritillary, California Dogface, White-lined Sphinx, Snowberry Clearwing; specifically noted: Mournful Duskywing, Common Buckeye, fritillaries, hairstreaks, skippers
Salvia 'Vicki Romero'
Butterflies including Monarch.

Salvia 'Winifred Gilman'.
Dogface, White-lined Sphinx.

Salvia spathacea.

Sambucus mexicana. Mexican Elderberry.
Anise Swallowtail.

Sambucus racemosa.

Sanicula arctopoides.
Brown Elfin

Sanicula bipinnatifida.
Bay Checkerspot

Sedum spathulifolium.
Painted Ladies, Red Admiral.

Senecio canus.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Western Sulphur, others

Senecio douglasii.
Great for butterflies. Mormon Metalmark.

Senecio integerrimus var. exaltatus:
Western tiger swallowtail, western white, mourning cloak, Parnassian, west coast lady, blues, skippers and orange sulphur, others

Sidalcea malviflora. Checker Mallow.
One species on San Bruno Mountain. Monarch.

Sisyrinchium bellum. Blue-eyed Grass.
Large Marble

Solidago spp. Goldenrods.
American Painted Lady, Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Purplish Copper, Marine Blue, Sachem, Orange Sulphur, Checkered White, Great Purple Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, Crown Fritillary, Lorquin's Admiral, California Ringlet, Monarch, Columbia Skipper.

Solidago californica. California Goldenrod.

Solidago canadensis ssp. elongata. Canada Goldenrod.
Monarch, West Coast Lady, Red Admiral, Gray Hairstreak, Mylitta Crescent, Acmon Blue, Pine White, California Tortoiseshell
Solidago confinis. Southern Goldenrod.
A particularly good species for butteflies.

Solidago guiradonis. Guirado's Goldenrod.

Solidago multiradiata. Northern Goldenrod.
Mourning Cloak, West Coast Lady, blues, Orange Sulphur

Solidago spathulata.

Spiraea douglasii

Cabbage White, Clark's Sphinx

Stachys ajugoides var. ajugoides. Wood Mint.
'Persnickty Pink'.

Stachys ajugoides var. rigida.

Stachys bullata.
'Great' for butterflies.

Stachys chamissonis.

Stachys pycnantha.
'Great' for butterflies. California Dogface.

Styrax redivivus.
Pipevine Swallowtail, Western Tiger Swallowtail.

Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus. Common Snowberry.
Snowberry Clearwing, Lorquin's Admiral, Common Checkerspot

Toxicodendron diversilobum. Poison Oak.
Common Checkerspot

Trichostema lanatum. Woolly Blue-curls.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, California Dogface, Monarch, Large White Skipper, hawkmoths

Trichostema lanceolatum. Vinegarweed.
Pipevine Swallowtail, Woodland Skipper ('addicted' and 'swarms over it' says Shapiro)

Trifolium spp. Clovers. Clodius Parnassian, Large Marble, Orange Sulphur, Silver-spotted Skipper, Spring Azure, Sachem, Dun Skipper, Eastern Tailed Blue, Gray Hairstreak, American Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Common Checkerspot (to large clovers), Dogstar Skipper

Trifolium amoenum.

Trifolium willdenovii. Tomcat Clover.
Orange Sulphur, Bay Checkerspot

Triteleia hyacinthina. White Brodiaea.
Adela trigrapha and three other day-flying moths

Vaccinium ovatum. Western Huckleberry.

Verbena spp.
Propertius Dusky-wing

Verbena lasiostachys. Western Vervain.
Field Crescent, Sandhill Skipper

Verbena lilacina 'de la Mina'.
'butterflies'. Monarch

Vicia spp. Vetch.
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Clark's Sphinx, Northern Cloudy-wing, Pacuvius Dusky-wing, Arctic Skipper, Roadside Skipper, Eufala Skipper

Viguiera laciniata.

Viola spp. Violets.
Large Marble

Viola adunca. Western Dog Violet.

Viola sempervirens.

Wyethia spp.
Northern Checkerspot, Common Checkerspot, Lindsey's Skipper.

Wyethia angustifolia. Narrowleaf Mule-ear.
Common Ringlet


   Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions
by Arthur M. Shapiro and Timothy D. Manolis, 2007; Shapiro's web sites and Internet articles quoting him.
   Bert Wilson's Las Pilitas Nursery Web site.
   Several butterfly gardening articles on the North American Butterfly Association Website.
   Butterfly Gardening with Native Plants San Luis Obispo County:
   Insect Visitors of Illinois Wildflowers Web site.
   Yerba Buena Nursery
   Tilden Regional Parks Botanic Garden,
  Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 
   California Flora Nursery
   Theodore Payne Foundation
   Tree of Life Nursery
   The Green Hairstreak Corridor:
   The Interdependence of Native Plants and Fendler's Blue Butterfly:
   Moldenke, A.R. 1971. Studies on the Species Diversity of California Plant Communities. Ph.D. Thesis. Stanford University.
  Grant, Verne & Karen.1965. Flower Pollination in the Phlox Family
   Hobday, Alistair. 1992. Specificity of pollinators of common wildflowers of the Jasper Ridge serpentine grassland. Biology 178 Project, Jasper Ridge Paper, Stanford University.
   Nectar for Erynnis on Jasper Ridge (student paper)



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