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Butterfly Host and Nectar Plants

Butterfly caterpillars (larvae) are particular about what food they eat. Monarchs eat only milkweed. Gulf Fritillaries eat only passionvine. Some butterflies are not as particular, such as the Painted Lady. Painted Lady caterpillars eat dozens of plants.
Host plants are the primary items that transforms a butterfly garden into a butterfly habitat.
Many species of moth caterpillars can feed on a wider variety of host plants than butterfly caterpillars.

Nectar plants produce nectar that attract and feed adult butterflies as well as other insects and even birds (hummingbirds). Nectar plants attract butterflies to your garden if they are living in the area or traveling through while migrating.

Some plants are both host and nectar plants. A few such plants are milkweed, aster, firecracker, frogfruit, Philippine violet, shyleaf, oleander, Mexican petunia, and passionvine.

N = Nectar H = Host F = Fruit HB = Hummingbird Plant T = Thorny
W = Weed; not suitable for a garden A = Aggressive, not suitable for a garden
Anise Hyssop - N

Aster, Rice Button - N

Australian Violet - H

Autumn Sage - N HB

Azalea - N

Batface - N

Beach Vitex - N A

Black Cherry - H N

Blanket Flower - N

Blue Daze - N

Blue Pea Vine - H

Blue Sky Vine - N

Bottlebrush - N

Butterfly Bush - N

Butterfly Weeds - N W

Buttonbush - N

Calico Vine - H

Candlestick Cassia - H S

Candy Corn - N HB

Canna Lily - H N

Cape Honeysuckle - N HB

Cat's Whiskers - N

Chaste Tree - N

Cherry Tree - H N

Christmas Cassia - N

Cigar Plant - N HB

Coontie - H

Coral Honeysuckle - N HB

Cosmos - N

Creeping Indigo - H N W

Cudweed - H W

Cypress Vine - N W HB

Dianthus - N

False Foxglove - H N W

False Heather (Mexican Heather) - N

False Nettle - H S

Fennel - H S

Fire Bush - N HB

Firecracker, Upright - N HB

Firecracker, Weeping - H N HB

Firespike - N HB

Frog Fruit - H N W

Golden Dewdrop - N

Green Shrimp - H

Hackberry / Sugarberry Tree - H

Hercules' Club - H N T

Hibiscus - N

Hollyhock - H

Hop Tree - H

Indigo Spires Salvia - N

Lantana - N

Lantana, Weeping - N

Lemon Marigold - N

Liatras - N

Lion's Mane - N HB

Loquat - N

Mexican or Summer Petunia - H N

Mexican Sage - N

Mist Flower - N W

Morning Glory - N W

Oleander - H N

Parsley - H S

Partridge Pea - H

Passionvine, Purple - H

Passionvine, Blue - H

Passionvine, Boomerang - H

Passionvine, Corky Stem - H

Passionvine, Inspiration - H

Passionvine, Lady Margaret - H

Passionvine, Lavender Lady - H

Passionvine, Maypop - H

Passionvine, Running Pop - H

Pawpaw - H

Pellitory - H

Pentas - N HB

Pepperweed - H W

Periwinkle - N

Philippine Violet - N

Pineapple Sage - N HB

Plumbago - H N

Plumbago, Florida Native - H N W

Poplar - H

Porterweed, Tall - N HB

Purple Milkweed - H N

Rayless Sunflower - N

Red Bay Tree - H

Red Pagoda - N HB

Red Pagoda, Flaming - N

Red Porterweed, Dwarf - N HB

Red Salvia Sage - N HB

Ribgrass Plantain - H

Rosemary - N

Rue - H

Ruellia, Wild Petunia - H W

Salt Bush - N

Sassafrass Tree - H

Sensitive Plant - H W

Shy Leaf - H W

Snow Squarestem - N

Spicebush - H

St. Augustine Grass, Variegated - H

Stoke's Aster - N

Summer Farewell - H N W

Sunflower Tree - N

Sweet Bay Tree - H

Sweet Gum Tree - H

Tansy Mustard - H W

Tropical Milkweed - H

Turks Cap - N

Twin Flower - H

Verbena - N

Veronica - N

Violet - H

Water Hyssop - H

Wax Myrtle - H

Wedelia - N A

Whirling Butterflies - N

Wild Lime - H T

Willow - HN

Wisteria - H N A

Wooly Pipevine - H