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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

A California Sister Butterfly, Adelpha bredowii californica - grid24_12
California Sister Butterfly
Mourning Cloak Butterfly sipping mud - grid24_12
Mourning Cloak Butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa
A Red Admiral butterfly visiting an Arctostaphylos wellsii, an uncommon manzanita, endemic to the central coast of California.  - grid24_12
Red Admiral Butterfly
Sierra butterfly - California CrescentPhyciodes orseis - grid24_12
California Crescent, Phyciodes orseis
Euphydryas chalcedona, Variable Checkerspot on Wayne Roderick. Usually white spots on abdomen, and yellow antenna balls.   - grid24_12
Chalcedon Checkerspot Butterfly
A Tortoise Shell Butterfly on Arctostaphylos stanfordiana Bakeri, Louis Edmunds Manzanita. - grid24_12
California Tortoise Shell Butterfly
Gabbs Checkerspot Butterfly - grid24_12
Chlosyne gabbii, Gabb's Checkerspot
Chlosyne palla, Northern Checkerspot - grid24_12
Chlosyne palla, Northern Checkerspot
Mylitta Crescent butterfly - grid24_12
Mylitta Crescent Butterfly on a Erigeron glaucus, Seaside Daisy
Hoary Comma, Polygonia graclis above Big Bear at 7000 ft. There were a lot of Ribes cereum and Ribes nevadense - grid24_12
Hoary Comma Butterfly
Comstock fritillary on Monardella, wing open - grid24_12
Comstock's Fritillary Butterfly
mormon fritillary speyeria mormonia - grid24_12
Mormon Fritillary, Speyeria mormonia

Family Papilionidae; Swallowtail and Parnassian Butterflies


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


Family Riodinidae; Metalmark Butterflies

Mormon metalmark, Apodemia mormo virgulti - grid24_12
Mormon Metalmark Butterfly

Family Lycaenidae; Hairstreak, Copper, and Blue Butterflies

a pixalated  brown elfin butterfly, Callophrys augustinus - grid24_12
Brown elfin, Callophrys augustinus
A gray hairstreak on a manzanita, Arctostaphylos - grid24_12
Gray hairstreak, Strymon melinus
California Hairstreak, Western Hairstreak, Satyrium californica - grid24_12
California Hairstreak Butterfly
Great Purple Hairstreak, side view - grid24_12
Great Purple Hairstreak

Family Megathymidae; Giant Skipper Butterflies


Family Hesperiidae; Skippers


Family Sphingidae Sphinx moths, Hummingbird Moths

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.
Other places you might find us roaming about:
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We tried to use kibble for the webmaster, he still can't type. He does bark the answers.
Copyright 1992-2014 Las Pilitas Nursery
Edited on Jan 28, 2014. Authors:
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