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Butterfly Nectar Plants

Columbine (Aquilegia formosa). This is a nectar source for the Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon), Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon), Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus), Acmon Blue (Plebejus acmon), Common Ochre Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia), and Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)


Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis). This is a nectar source in summer/fall for the Monarch (Danaus plexippus), West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), Mylitta Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta), Acmon Blue (Plebejus acmon), Pine White (Neophasia menapia), and California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica)


Hall's Lomatium (Lomatium hallii). Lomatiums in general are nectar sources for the Western Pine Elfin (Incisalia eryphon), Moss's Elfin (Incisalia mossii), and Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon).


Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum). Not a common plant, but is a possible nectar source for the Fritillaries, West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella), Clodius Parnassium (Parnassius clodius), Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris), Sylvan Hairstreak (Satyrium sylvinus), Hedgerow Hairstreak (Satyrium saepium), Lorquins Admiral (Limenitis lorquini), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)


Kincaid's Lupine (Lupinus sulphureus kincaidii ). This is a nectar source for the endangered Fender's Blue (Icaricia icarioides fenderi).


Leichtlin's Camas (Camassia leichtlinii var. suksdorfii. This is a nectar source for the Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) and Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus), and it is often used as a perch by Fender's Blue (Icaricia icarioides fenderi).


Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). A nectar plant for the Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), Spring Azure (Celastrina echo), Red Admiral (Limenitis atalanta), and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)


Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor). A nectar source for the Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon).


Oregon Geranium (Geranium oreganum). This is a nectar source.


Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum). This is a nectar source for the Western Pine Elin (Incisalia eryphon), Spring Azure (Celastrina argiolus), Brown Elfin (Incisalia augustinus), and Cedar Hairstreak (Mitoura grynea).


Rosy Checkermallow (Sidalcea virgata). This is a nectar source.


Rosy Plectritis (Plectritis congesta). It is a popular nectar source for early Spring butterflies.


Showy Daisy (Erigeron speciosus). This is a nectar source for the Eastern Tailed Blue (Cupido comyntas), Common Ochre Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia), Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme, and Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)


Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum andosaemifolium). A very important nectar source for Fritillaries, West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella), Clodius Parnassium (Parnassius clodius), Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris), Sylvan Hairstreak (Satyrium sylvinus), Hedgerow Hairstreak (Satyrium saepium), Lorquins Admiral (Limenitis lorquini), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)


Stream Lupine (Lupinus rivularis). This is a nectar source for the Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus) and others.


Tarweed (Madia elegans). A likely nectar plant. This was an important oil-seed plant eaten by native americans. Photo by Bruce Newhouse.


Woods Strawberry (Fragaria vesca). Nectar plant for Two-banded Checkeered Skippers (Pyrgus ruralis) and the Western Meadow Fritillary (Boloria epithore).


Photographs of Native Host Plants for Butterflies



Photographs: Donald Gudehus; Descriptions: Ellie Ryan

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