West Coast Lady, Vanessa annabella
Plants used as nectar sources by the Adult West Coast Lady
The West Coast Lady butterfly likes sages such
as the ground cover Salvia gracias
(photo right). Salvia gracias is excellent for rock walls and
steep hot banks. It has attractive light purple flowers. It is very
drought tolerant. Sages are very popular with butterflies as well as
hummingbirds. Deer don't eat them unless there is nothing else to eat.
(If you have deer that will eat this you should grow rocks.)
Another popular butterfly plant is the Narrow Leaf
Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis. ( photo below)This
Milkweed is an insect magnet in the summer. All sorts of butterflies
visit it and lots of interesting beetles, bugs, and other flying
things. This is definitely the most hopping (crawling, creeping,
buzzing etc.) place to be in the summer. It needs water and will spread
wherever the ground is wet. If you have a dry native landscape, you can
put it near a drippy bird bath and it should stay put. It is also a
larval food plant of the Monarch
Plants used by the Larva of the West Coast
The West Coast Lady Butterfly larva feeds on
plants in the mallow (Malvaceae) and nettle (Urticaceae) families.
Some of the Mallows that are enjoyed by the
Sidalcea spp. and Spheralcia
spp. There are many species of Spheralcia that are
beautiful in a garden setting.
Checker Mallow, Sidalcea malvaeflora sparsiflora is a small
delicate perennial that likes moist shady areas. It does well under
traditional garden conditions.
Desert Mallow, Sphaeralcea
ambigua, (photo below) is a two to three feet tall perennial.
It likes hot dry full sun landscapes, as it is native from Baja
California to Utah. It is showy with lots of
orange flowers and gray foliage. It has a very long flowering period
especially if it gets a few summer rain showers ( a.k.a. you with your