HOST PLANTS FOR BUTTERFLIES


Swallowtails

The Swallowtails, worldwide there are over 560 species. In the United States these are some of the largest butterflies and many are common to gardens. All adults visit flowers for nectar. All may overwinter in their chrysalis that are green or brown and slung to a twig with a silk string.

So if your swallowtail chrysalis has not hatched by late Fall, do not panic, it may hatch in the Spring.

Below is a list of some of the major species that frequent gardens. The host plant for the caterpillars is listed for each and if it is available from us or elsewhere, we list the link for you to purchase the plants.

ZEBRA SWALLOWTAIL

TIGER SWALLOWTAIL

Range:

Eastern US, excluding New England and Northern part of Great Lakes. South to Eastern Kansas, Oklahoma and Eastern Texas.

Adult Habitat:

Moist woods along rivers, wooded swamps and pineflats

Larva Food Plants:

Paw Paw (Asiminia triloba) and other Asiminia species.

Plant Sources:

Paw Paw Trees
The Nursery at TyTy
Raintree Nursery

Range

Throughout North America (2 subspecies)

Adult Habitat:

Forests, Meadows, River Valleys

Larva Food Plants

Eastern - Tulip Tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera),Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis), Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Western - Cottonwood/Aspen (Populus species), Willows (Salix species), Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina),Ash (fraxinus species)

Plant Sources:

Sweet Bay
Mountain Valley Growers

GIANT SWALLOWTAIL

BLACK SWALLOWTAIL

Range

Eastern North America rare in Northeast.

Adult Habitat:

Forests, Meadows, River Valleys, Citrus Groves in South

Larva Food Plants

Various Citrus, Prickly Ash (Xanthoxylem americanum)

Plant Sources

Citrus Plants/Trees
Growquest
Raintree Nursery

Range

Eastern and Central US, to Southeast California

Adult Habitat:

Open Areas, Meadows, Gardens

Larva Food Plants

Parsley Family - Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Celery, Golden Alexanders, Queen Anne's Lace, Wild Carrot

Plant Sources

Golden Alexander - We Sell in 4" Pots for $5.00
Golden Alexanders
While we sell Golden Alexanders as a Wildflower and it is a food source for the Black Swallowtail, we have tested many food sources for this butterfly over the years and their favorite by far has been Bronze Fennel. You can buy seed or plants at any Garden Center in the Spring/Summer


SPICEBUSH SWALLOWTAIL

PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAIL

Range

Eastern US

Adult Habitat:

Woodlands, Swamps, Gardens

Larva Food Plants

Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin)

Plant Sources


Range

Eastern US (Rare in New England) to Southwest.

Adult Habitat:

Woodland Clearings, Meadows, and Scrub in Southwest

Larva Food Plants

Pipevine Species

Plant Sources

Pipevine species
Lazy SS Farms Nursery
We purchased our Pipevines from Lazy SS Farms. Imagine our delight when they arrived and on inspection had Pipevine Swallowtail eggs already on the vines!!!!

All plants from this nursery are of the highest quality. If we had a large nursery, we would like this one!

Other Swallowtails in North America

We listed most of the more common Swallowtails found in the United States but there are other species as well.

Anise Swallowtail, Polydamas Swallowtail, Joan's Swallowtail,Baird's Swallowtail,Schaus Swallowtail,Bahaman Swallowtail,Ornythion Swallowtail,Lycophron Swallowtail,Androgeus Swallowtail,Two Tailed Swallowtail,Three Tailed Swallowtail,Palamedes Swallowtail,Victorine Swallowtail,Anchisiades SwallowtailWe hope you can attract as many of these butterflies as possible.

Monarchs

Monarchs have their own page, click on the banner below to visit our Monarch Page.

Sulphurs and Whites

This page is not quite ready, but we are building as fast as we can.