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Logo: Backyard Butterflies


What Butterflies Eat

Butterfly Host Plants Adult Nectar Plants
Giant Swallowtail wafer ash, rue zinnia, buddleia, lantana, penta
Monarch milkweed milkweed, verbena, lantana, blue mist flower, frostweed, goldenrod, aster, mexican sunflower
Queen milkweed milkweed, verbena, lantana, blue mist flower, frostweed, goldenrod, aster, mexican sunflower
Red Admiral nettle rotten fruit, sap
Cloudless Giant Sulphur senna butterfly bush, lantana, butterfly weed, aster, penta, zinnia, salvias
Gulf Fritillary passionvine lantana, buddleia
Eastern Black Swallowtail dill, fennel, parsley zinnia, fennel, gallardia, aster, phlox, thistles
Painted Lady thistle, artemesia sunflower, coneflower, zinnia


Some easy butterfly nectar plants for your garden:


Butterflies like plants with lots of small flowers and flat landing pads, especially those in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). There are hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that butterflies use as food sources.

  • Zinnia
  • Penta
  • Eupatorium (blue mist flower)
  • Lantana
  • Verbena
  • Aster
  • Sunflower
  • Mexican sunflower (tithonia)
  • Liatris (gayfeather)
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