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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - October 31, 2009

From: Richmond, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Larval host plants for Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for a list of larval host plants for Painted Lady butterflies. Could you provide such a list?

ANSWER:

Native larval host plants for Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) are thistles, mallows and various legumes such as Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine).  They are four thistles that are native to Virginia:  Cirsium discolor (field thistle)Cirsium horridulum (yellow thistle)Cirsium muticum (swamp thistle), and Cirsium pumilum (pasture thistle).  We show twelve mallows (from the Family Malvaceae) native to Virginia.  Some notable attractives ones are:  Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow), Gossypium hirsutum (upland cotton)Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow)Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow), and Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow).  You can see more by searching in the Native Plant Database under the Family category for Malvaceae Family and using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose Virginia from the Select State or Province category.  


Lupinus perennis

Cirsium discolor

Cirsium horridulum

Cirsium neomexicanum

Cirsium pumilum

Callirhoe involucrata

Gossypium hirsutum

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus moscheutos

Kosteletzkya virginica

 

 

 

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