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Plant Lists

This guide organizes, categorizes and provides information about plants from the Maricopa Native Seed Library.

About host plants

Host plants are plants that provide food for butterfly or moth larvae (caterpillars). Adult butterflies/moths lay their eggs on Larva (caterpillar) of cloudless sulphur butterflyhost plants, then the larvae hatch and eat from the plant before undergoing metamorphosis into butterflies. This is an important
(and often the longest) stage in the life of butterflies. Many butterfly species will only lay their eggs on one plant species (or similar groups of species) referred to as the "host plant". If you want to attract specific types of butterflies into your garden find out what the host plant is for that butterfly and make sure you have it.

If you want to support butterflies in your landscape, include both host and nectar plants to provide for their needs across the lifecycle. And if you are observant, you will get to see some of these larvae become butterflies. 





Cloudless sulphur larva on Desert Senna plant
Danielle Carlock 

Host Plants and the Butterflies/Moths they Support



Arizona passionflower (Passiflora arizonica)

Gulf fritillary, Mexican fritillaryVariegated fritillary butterflies

Common Sunflower (Helianthus annus)

California PatchBordered Patch, and Painted Lady butterflies

Cowpen daisy (Verbesina encelioides)

Gold moth and the Bordered Patch butterfly

Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)

Desert marigold moth

Desert Rosemallow (Hibiscus coulteri)

Grey hairstreak butterfly, yellow scallop moth, and various geometer moths 

Desert Senna (Senna covesii)

Sleepy orange and cloudless sulphur butterflies

Fall False Tansy aster (Dieteria asteroids var glandulosa)

Hooded owlet moths and flower moths

Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Painted lady, Grey hairstreak, Common checkered skipper, Northern white skipper, West coast lady and Small checkered skipper

Gregg’s mistflower

Rawson’s metalmark ​butterfly

Hartweg's Twinevine (Funastrum cynanchoides ssp. heterophyllum)

Queen and Monarch butterflies 

New Mexico Thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum)

Painted Lady butterflies

Odora (Porophyllum gracile)

Dainty Sulphur butterfly, several species of owlet moths

Paleface hibiscus (Hibiscus denudatus)

Grey hairstreak and common checkered butterfly

Parralena (Thymophylla pentachaeta)

Dainty Sulphur butterflies

Pelotazo (Abutilon incanum)

Several species of skipper butterflies, Bird dropping moth, Owlet moth, Crambid seed moth

Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla)

Ceranus blue, Marine blue butterflies, Melipotis moths

Purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea)

Several species skipper and satyr butterflies

Rough Sweetbush (Bebbia juncea var aspera)

Wright’s metalmark butterfly, Tiger moth, Tortrix moth

Rush Milkweed (Asclepias subulata)

Monarch and Queen butterflies, Milkweed tussock tiger moth

Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)

Pink spotted hawkmoth, Rustic sphinx moth, Five spotted hawkmoth

San Felipe Dogweed (Adenophyllum porophylloides)

Dainty Sulphur butterfly

Shrubby Deervetch (Lotus rigidus)

Acmon blue and Funereal duskywing butterflies

Side oats gramma (Bouteloua curtipendula)

Several species of skipper butterflies, Hualapai buckmoth, Viened Ctenucha moth

Snapdragon vine (Maurandella antirrhiniflora)

Common buckeye butterflies

Spreading fleabane (Erigeron divergens)

Hooded owlet moth, flower moth

Superstition mallow (Abutilon palmeri)

Several species of skipper butterflies, Bird dropping moth, Owlet moth, Crambid seed moth

Tahoka daisy (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia)

Hooded owlet moths, Sagebrush checkerspotBordered patch, and Pearl crescent butterfly

Other lists and information about host plants

What is that mustard plant?