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.

Here is a simple butterfly garden for California.


Plant these plants in a garden in most of California and water it once a week and something will grow and butterflies will show up.  In some locations they made need a little extra water, in coastal California most will survive on their own after the first summer. I've not included the large bushes and trees as most of you do not have the room. If you want a list that includes those look here. These plants can survive, hopefully, that 'person' that aways seems to show up at community gardens and stay just long enough to kill half of same garden.
Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus,  butterfly on a Milkweed - grid24_12
Asclepias fascicularis, Narrowleaf Milkweed gets eaten by the butterfly larva.
Asclepias speciosa with a Painted lady butterfly and a Fritilary Butterfly. Milkweeds are a wonderful addition to a California gardens. - grid24_12
Asclepias speciosa, Showy Milkweed is not as easy as Asclepias fascicularis, Narrowleaf Milkweed but does well in inland locations and is used by a a number of butterflies.
Astragalus nuttallii, Nuttall's Milkvetch flower - grid24_12
Astragalus nuttallii, Nuttall's Milkvetch grows on coastal bluffs but is easy in most gardens and many of the Sulfur butterflies.
Baccharis douglasii Marsh Baccharis with Butterfly - grid24_12
Baccharis douglasii, Marsh Baccharis and most other most of the Baccharis spp. serve as nectar sources and larval sources.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens looks great in a north slope or part shade garden - grid24_12
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens, Low Blue Blossom works in part shade to cool sun and is used by a number of butterflies .
Here a Cirsium occidentale var. venustum, Red Thistle, flower is being visited by a Monarch butterfly.  - grid24_12
Cirsium occidentale venustum, Red Thistle is used by all sorts of butterfly larva.
Dogface Butterfly, Zerene eurydice, on Corethrogyne filaginifolia, Silver carpet. This flower will grow well in a container - grid24_12
Corethrogyne filaginifolia, Silver carpet, is used by a Checkerspots,and some blue butterflies.
Checkerspot Buterfly on a Diplacus punceus - grid24_12
Diplacus species is used by the Checkerspot Butterflies.
Tailed Copper Butterfly, Lycaena (Tharsalea) arota on a Buckwheat flower - grid24_12
Eriogonum arborescens, Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat works in most gardens and is small enough to fit.
Lotus scoparius, Deerweed, is a larval food plant for the Bramble Hairstreak Butterfly.  - grid24_12
Lotus scoparius, Deerweed is used by Sulfur and Blue Butterflies.
Monardella villosa, Coyote Mint,  with a Monarch Butterfly - grid24_12
Monardella villosa, Coyote Mint is like a butterfly magnet.
Our Penstemon 'Margarita BOP' with a swallowtail butterfly - grid24_6
Penstemon Margarita BOP is used by butterflies and their larva.
Leaves of Quercus durata Leather Oak are rolled under. - grid24_6
Quercus durata, Leather Oak is a very small oak and many butterflies live on oak leaves.
Two Pale Swallowtail Butterflies on one Salvia clevelandii Alpine. This sage has been been a wildlife magnet in the garden. - grid24_6
Sages are very good for attracting adult butterflies to your garden.  Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine'
Salvia Pozo Blue with a Pale Swallowtail butterfly working the flowers. - grid24_12
and 'Pozo Blue' seem to be the butterfly champs.
Sphaeralcea ambigua, Desert Mallow makes great flower. - grid24_12
Sphaeralcea ambigua Desert Mallow is used by several butterflies and is a beautiful addition to the garden.
White lined sphinx moth larva on a California fuchsia. - grid24_12
Zauschneria or Epilobium, California Fuchsia, is used as a nectar source for butterflies, a larval source for White-lined Sphinx Moth