California Native

(with a couple exceptions)

Butterflies, Moths & their Host Plants

In the Mountain Mermaid Butterfly Garden

Butterfly HOST, or LARVEL plants (in green below) are those upon which

a butterfly or moth will lay their eggs, as contrasted with NECTAR or FOOD plants

upon which the insects feed (shown in pink below). Non-natives are noted with a “nn”.

Planting butterfly and moth host plants are is essential if you want to attract females to lay their eggs.

The host plants in green below are planted in our garden.

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly

Fennel (nn)

Parsley (nn)

​California Hairstreak Butterfly

Ceanothus and Oak species

Arroyo Willow

Cheese-weed (nn)

False indigo, Buckwheat

California Sister Butterfly

Canyon Oak

Ceanothus silk moth


Yankee Point Blueblossom




Checkerspot Butterfly

Santa Cruz Island

Monkey flower


Monarch Butterfly

Narrow Leafed Milkweed

Kotolo or Indian Milkweed

Showy Milkweed

Tropical Milkweed

Note: Hardy, fast growing non-native Tropical Milkweed is the plant of choice for most Monarch butterfly breeders. Beautiful in the garden when flowering it is our most popular nectar plant for swallowtails and many other butterflies

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Arroyo Willow

Black Cottonwood


Double Curl Parsley (nn)

Italian Parsley (nn)

Bronze Fennel

Painted Lady Butterfly

San Clemente Bush Mallow

California Pearly Everlasting

Chaparral Mallow

Apricot Mallow

Silver Bush Lupin

Hall’s Bush Mallow

Thistle, Nettle

Cheese-weed (nn)

Red Admiral Butterfly

Stinging Nettle

False Nettle

Baby Tears

Skipper Butterflies

Western Fescue


West Coast Lady Butterfly




Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

California Sycamore

Fremont or Gila Cottonwood

Black Cottonwood

Arroyo Willow

White Alder

White-lined Sphinx Moth


Native Nectar Plants

In the Mountain Mermaid butterfly garden.

California Yarrow

Rocky Point Blue-eyed Grass

Spice Bush

Felt-Leaved Yerba Santa

Lilac Verbena

Dr. Hurd Manzanita Tree

Hummingbird Sage

Santa Barbara Milk Vetch

Gum Plant

Desperado Sage

Cleveland Sage

White Sage

Ken Taylor Flannel Bush

Blue Flax

Wish List

Native butterflies and moths we want to attract

or introduce into our garden.

The caterpillar host plants listed below their names are already in our garden in hopeful anticipation. Some of the butterflies on the list are in other areas of California, such as the gorgeous Pipevine Swallowtail from up north.

We will see what happens. 

California Dogface Butterfly    

False Indigo

California Tortoise Shell Butterfly    


El Segundo Blue Butterfly    

Coast Buckwheat

Callippe Fritillary Butterfly

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly    

Meyer Lemon tree    

Great fruit tree  

Common Rue

Lorquin’s Admiral Butterfly    

Black Cottonwood    

Arroyo Willow

Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly    


Southern California Locoweed

Pale Swallowtail Butterfly    


California Coffeeberry 

California lilac

Holly-leafed cherry

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly


Southern Dogface Butterfly

Striated Queen Butterfly    


Sulphur Butterflies

Buckeye Butterfly    

Monkey flower 

Non-Native Butterflies and Moths

And their host or larval plants in the Mountain Mermaid butterfly garden.

Cabbage White Butterfly 

Cabbage (nn)    

Horseradish (nn)   

Chard (nn) 

Gulf Fritillary

Passion vine

Most of the photos above by William Vann,
from EuPic Graphical Resource