Larval Host Plants of Selected Lepidoptera (e.g. Butterflies, Moths, Skippers) in Virginia

placeholder imageBlack swallowtail caterpillar

This list of larval host plants for common Virginia butterfly species was compiled by Bob Glennon and David Bryan, NRCS Private Lands Biologists, and Celia Vuocolo, PEC’s Habitat and Stewardship Specialist. 

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Butterfly Species Larval Host Plant Species
American Lady Pussy toes, New York Ironweed, Burdock
American Snout Butterfly  Hackberry
Baltimore Checkerspot Turtlehead, False Foxglove, Hairy Beardtongue, Wrinkle Leaf Goldenrod
Black Swallowtail Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Carrot, Rattlesnake Master, Golden Alexander
Cabbage White Many Plants in Mustard Family, Cabbage Family including Broccoli
Checkered Skipper Mallow, Hollyhock, Velvetleaf
Checkered White Many Plants in Mustard Family, Cabbage Family 
Clouded Sulfur Alfalfa, White Clover, Peas, Baptisia
Cloudless Sulfur Ornamental Cassia, Partridge Pea, Wild Senna
Common Buckeye Plantains, Gerardias, Toadflax, Snapdragons, False Loosestrifes, 
Beardtongue, Spiderwort, Blue Vervain, Wild Petunia 
Common Hairstreak Peas, Mallow Family, Beans, Clovers, Cotton
Dogface Butterfly  Peas, Alfalfa, Indigo, False Indigo, Prairie Clover
Eastern Pine Elfin  Eastern Red Cedar, Shortleaf Pine
Eastern‐tailed Blue Baptisia, Roundhead Lespedeza, Ticktrefoils, Vetches, Clovers
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Ash, Willow, Hickory, Serviceberry, Tulip Poplar, Birch, Cherry
Gorgone Checkerspot Sunflowers 
Great Spangled Fritillary Violets
Hackberry  Emperor Hackberry, Sugarberry
Henry’s Elfin American Holly, Huckleberry, Highbush Blueberry, Eastern Redbud, 
Winterberry, Viburnum
Luna Moth White Birch, Persimmon, Walnut, Hickory, Sumac, Sweetgum
Meadow Fritillary Violets
Monarch Milkweeds
Mourning Cloak Willow, Aspen, Cottonwood, Elm, Birch, Hackberry
Orange Sulfur Alfalfa, Vetch, Peas, Clover, Wild Senna, Partridge Pea, Baptisia
Painted Lady  Thistle, Hollyhock, Sunflower, Joe‐Pye Weed, Rose Mallow, Ironweed
Pearl Crescent Asters
Question Mark Nettle, Elm, Hackberry, Hops, False Nettle
Red Admiral Nettle, False Nettle, Pellitory 
Red Spotted Purple  Wild Cherry, Aspen, Poplar, Cottonwood, Oaks, Hawthorn, Birch, Willows 
Silver-spotted Skipper  False Indigo, Wild Licorice, Locust, Bluestem Grasses, American Wisteria, 
Panicum spp, Ticktrefoils
Silvery Checkerspot Wingstem, Sunflower, Aster, Purple Coneflower, Black‐eyed Susan
Spicebush Swallowtail Spicebush, Sassafras 
Spring Azure Columbine, New Jersey Tea, Dogwood, Witchhazel, Black Cherry, Vibernum, 
Black Cohosh, Sumac, Meadow Sweet
Variegated Fritillary  May Apple, Violets, Passionflower 
Viceroy Butterfly Willow, Poplar, Cottonwood, Black cherry, Chokecherry
Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth Virginia Creeper, Vibernum, Wild Grape
Wood Nymph Purpletop, Bluestem Grasses 
Zebra Swallowtail  Pawpaw