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.

Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui


California Native flowers used by the Painted Lady Butterfly

One of their favorite flowers is Lobelia dunnii. A small water loving perennial with bright blue flowers. Also, like many other butterfly species, they like California aster, Aster chilensis.

The Painted Lady Butterfly is found throughout most of the world.

It is similar to the West Coast Lady as they both have many small dots on the underside of the hind wing. The west coast lady has an orange spot along with the white ones on the edge of the upper fore wing. The American Painted Lady has two very large eye spots on the underside of the hind wing.

California Native Plants eaten by the larvae of the Painted Lady butterfly

The Painted Lady butterfly eats mainly Cirsium spp. In California, California Thistle, Cirsium californicum, and Red Thistle, Cirsium proteanum are common. White forget-me-not, Cryptantha spp., and Fiddle-neck, Amsinkia spp. are also eaten to a lesser degree. Mallow, Malva spp. and Stinging Nettle, Urtica spp. are also eaten but not as much so.

Vanessa cardui , Painted Lady in January probably just after  emerging, wing open - grid24_24
Vanessa cardui , Painted Lady, sunning in January
Vanessa cardui , Painted Lady in January probably just after  emerging, side view. - grid24_24
Vanessa cardui , Painted Lady, underside of newly emerged butterfly in January

A short movie of Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui on Rabbit Brush.