Adding Butterfly host plants

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Nothing is better than being a nursery for our wildlife.
With the pollinators garden well established, I’ve been lucky to watch the workings of a bee colony and see native bees that I had never seen before.  Sweat bees are gorgeous!
So who else can I bring to the yard? Butterflies it is! This species needs more than just nectar. Providing host plant for the caterpillars that become butterflies is just as important as flowers for our fluttery friends. Below are butterflies native to Colorado, with links to where you might purchase native host plants.

Species Host Plant Nectar  
  • Violets
  • Viola adunca
  • V. nuttallii
  • V.nephrophylla
  • V. palustris
  • V. glabella
  • milkweed
  • thistle
  • goldenrod


By Beatriz Moisset

(American Lady, Buckeyes, checkerspots)
  •  aster
  • dogbane
  • goldenrod
  • marigold
  • common milkweed
  • selfheal
  • vetch


By Wilson44691


By Queerbubbles

  • chokecherry
  • ash
  • hop trees
thistles, milkweeds, lilac, and other nectars 218px-Eastern_tiger_swallowtail3


By Jay Williams



For more information

The forest service provides the pollinator of the month.  To read about fritillarys go to:

This is a great site for finding butterflies in your area.

To learn more about making a inviting garden space for butterflies see:


Featured Plant

Image Sources

  1. Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, – This image is Image Number 5382189 at Insect Images, a source for entomological images operated by The Bugwood Network at the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service.(cropped), CC BY 3.0 us, Link
  2. Jay Williams –, CC BY 2.5, Link
  3. Wilson44691 – Own work, CC0,
  4. Queerbubbles – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.