Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

American Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa virginiensis


Larval food sources utilized by the American Painted Lady

Plants in the Asteraceae including California Pearly Everlasting Gnaphalium sp. and Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea. They both have white flowers that keep their color and shape when dried, in a similar fashion as stock.

Habitat of the American Painted Lady Butterfly

The American Painted Lady butterfly likes moist open areas such as meadows, fields and open riparian areas as well as coastal areas with low plant material. A native perennial garden is a common patrol ground.

The American Painted Lady is similar to the Painted Lady

To distinguish them quickly look to the wing tips. They differ in the size, shape, and distribution of their spots. The American Painted Lady butterfly has two blue dots divided by two black dots on the hind wing. On the fore wing four white dots at the wing tips; the middle two are higher and smaller than the outer ones. Also look at the long tear-shaped spot below these.

Also, like many species in this butterfly family the front legs are much reduced. These butterflies get around on their back legs, making them look like a very odd four legged insect.

Adult food sources utilized by the American Painted Lady butterfly

The adult American Painted Lady sips nectar from various Milkweeds, Asclepias spp., as well as the very showy yellow-flowered perennial Goldenrod, Solidago

spp. and the clumping white-flowered perennial Marsh Baccharis, Baccharis douglasii. Both Milkweed and Marsh Baccharis are also popular with many other butterflies as well as colorful beetles. Butterfly Mint, Monardella spp. is also popular with the American Painted Lady. They also like to visit Buckwheat, Eriogonum spp.
American Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa virginiensis, sorry she looks likes a faded old lady, but age does that. - grid24_6