Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

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

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Want to Amend Soil Without Harming Earthworms in Dallas Area
March 16, 2011 - I have a totally odd question. I live in the Dallas area in the blackland soil. I am removing sod from part of my back yard and will replant with nectar and host plants for butterflies. The soil is...
view the full question and answer

Xeriscape demonstration garden
October 30, 2007 - I am working with the city of Schertz to rejuvenate a xeriscape demonstration garden. We want to plant a hummingbird/butterfly garden using native plants. The current bed is currently overrun with ber...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and small trees for a slope in NY
May 21, 2012 - We are looking for a living wall made of shrubs / small trees - no more than 25' for the top of a steep creek bed. We are looking for the best erosion preventing types.
view the full question and answer

Something eating milkweed leaves in Austin
June 23, 2011 - I have some milk weed plants, and have noticed in the last few weeks that something is eating the leaves on them. The flowers are fine and no other plant appears to be bothered. I thought perhaps it w...
view the full question and answer

Duck-resistant plants for pond in California
March 31, 2005 - I want to plant around a water pond and I need some plants that my ducks will not destroy. Please help.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.