Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Fri. & Sat. from 9am-4pm
8331 Nelson Way
Escondido, CA 92026
Tues. to Sat. from 9am-4pm

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us. Update: Bert's Memorial Open House will be May 24.

Butterflies and California Native Plants

Most of the butterfly pictures taken on this page and on the web site have been taken in the Las Pilitas Nursery, Santa Margarita, garden. They are all alive and often going about their business as usual undisturbed by the photographer (my father or myself.) If you have ever looked at dried specimens you will notice that although it may be more difficult to see identifying characteristics the live specimens are far more colorful and intense. Colors fade and change with drying and chemical preserves. You can also see behavior patterns, posture,etc. These are things you will never see in a shriveled, spread specimen!

Here is a simple butterfly garden for California.

or here is a more detailed list

Plants for a California Butterfly Garden


Order Lepidoptera; Butterflies and Moths


Family Danidae Milkweed Butterflies


Family Nymphalidae Brush-footed Butterflies

Sierra butterfly - California CrescentPhyciodes orseis - grid24_6
California Crescent, Phyciodes orseis

Family Papilionidae; Swallowtail and Parnassian Butterflies


Family Pieridae; White, Sulfur, Marble, and Orange-tip Butterflies


Family Riodinidae; Metalmark Butterflies


Family Lycaenidae; Hairstreak, Copper, and Blue Butterflies


Family Megathymidae; Giant Skipper Butterflies


Family Hesperiidae; Skippers


Family Saturniidae, Ceanothus Moths


Family; Sphingidae


Family Sphingidae Sphinx moths, Hummingbird Moths

Great Ash Sphinx Moth - grid24_6
Great Ash Sphinx Moth

This will take a little while to load. At about 100 butterflies per minute for 100 feet of terrain and it went on for a couple of weeks. 50 miles, is about 26000(100 foot strips)X 21,600 minutes(actually more)= 1/2 billion Totally unscientific, but can give you a little bit of an idea how much nature is still left. And it was much better 30 years ago.